[00:00] [music]

Kevin Garber: [00:09] Hello, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world. We are in Sydney, Australia. Beautiful, beautiful summer is kicking off here. If you've never been to Sydney, Australia, we welcome you. This is the nicest time of the year.

[00:22] You're listening to the "It's a Monkey Podcast" where we talk about everything relating to tech, the tech economy, startups, social media, cryptocurrencies, I could go on and on. It is Friday the 25th, November. This is episode 69 of the podcast.

[00:40] We are trying to come to you weekly. We're working hard, pretty, pretty hard actually, editing them, getting them out and finding guests. If you do enjoy the podcast, please share it on your social media networks or just tell a friend. We really appreciate it. We have a fantastic podcast coming up for you, this show.

[01:01] Later on, in the show, we'll play an interview that we did with Danielle Tate. Danielle wrote a fantastic book aimed at entrepreneurial women. The name of the book is "Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founder's Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Business."

[01:17] We chatted to Danielle about her startups, about her book, about entrepreneurship in general and as a woman. That's coming up later on in the show, but first, we're going to kick it off with some news.

[01:28] We usually like to have a little bit of a touch on some of the stories, so we can help keep you up-to-date. Of course, I'd like to welcome, as always, my co-host, Design Lead at ManageFlitter, Kate Frappell. Kate, thanks for joining us.

Kate Frappell: [01:42] No problems.

Kevin: [01:44] What's going on in the news this week, Kate?

Kate: [01:46] This week, Instagram are trying out a new live video take, but it has a ephemeral twist to it.

Kevin: [01:55] I like that word, ephemeral. That first came back into vogue when Snapchat first launched. Ephemeral being, it doesn't last forever, right?

Kate: [02:02] Yes. It's, at this stage, very similar to Snapchat. Basically, live broadcasting that expires immediately.

Kevin: [02:11] Instagram's, up until now, has not had live video. Of course, it started out with photos and then you could do short clips. How long is the clips on Instagram, do you know?

Kate: [02:24] Not off the top of my head.

Kevin: [02:26] OK. You could do short clips, videos, but you couldn't do live video. That has become, I wouldn't say popular, but it's become possible on Facebook and on Twitter as well, through their Periscope app. Now, Instagram are offering the live video, but their twist saying, "Well, it's not going to last forever."

[02:47] On Facebook, when your live video is finished, it bundles that into a video that people can replay on your feed, but Instagram is saying, "If people don't see it at the time, it's gone forever."

Kate: [03:03] Part of the take on this is that people will be more relaxed if they know that it's not being saved, that it's going to expire and disappear. They can relax and be more themselves while broadcasting.

Kevin: [03:16] But if someone's filming you, you're not going to know whether it's Periscope, Facebook, or Instagram, unless they tell you, right?

[03:23] [laughter]

Kate: [03:24] Yeah, I guess.

Kevin: [03:25] But what's interesting is that Instagram are now getting into ephemeral, which is Snapchat's side of thing. I wonder if it's a little sort of...

Kate: [03:36] A little jab?

Kevin: [03:38] a little jab to saying, "Hey, we're here, and we're not going to give up this fight lightly."

Kate: [03:44] One of the articles I read, a spokesperson from Instagram admitted that it looks very similar to Snapchat, but it won't stay that way.

Kevin: [03:53] Of course, it's very competitive at the moment. We spoke on last week's podcast on Snapchat is going to IPO. Snapchat is growing pretty quickly. Instagram is owned by Facebook and it's got all the benefits of that.

[04:07] I used to use live video on my Nokia, 10 years ago. There was an app...

Kate: [04:13] Was that even possible? [laughs]

Kevin: [04:15] Amazing, right? There was an app called Qik that was funded by Mark Andreessen from famous Netscape, and now Andreessen Horowitz. It was the early days of Facebook and the early days of Twitter. I used to hit record on my little Nokia, and it would pin a link to both of those networks and say, "Kevin is now live."

[04:36] It used to work amazingly, and that was even pre the new age of smartphones.

Kate: [04:42] Was that just audio or...?

Kevin: [04:43] No, it was video and audio.

Kate: [04:45] Wow. My first Nokia, I don't even think it had a camera.

Kevin: [04:52] This was just around the iPhone time, one of the later...

Kate: [04:57] A more advanced Nokia. [laughs]

Kevin: [04:57] A more advanced Nokia, but this live streaming video was...I used to use it quite a lot. It's been around for a little while, but it seems to be making a resurgence.

[05:10] I've noticed the "New York Times" has been doing a lot of live video on Facebook, which has been quite interesting, especially during this election period.

[05:18] A few days ago, they went into a meeting of the Young Republicans at either Columbia University or New York University, and they live streamed the discussion they were having, which was interesting. They seemed to be experimenting, a little bit, with the live video. So I think some of the big media is going to be doing more and more of it.

Kate: [05:42] You know what, though, I think a lot of those news channels need to realize that, and probably have, that people aren't going to be using newspapers or necessarily visiting their websites. That they need to get people where they already are, which is Facebook.

Kevin: [05:55] Absolutely. It's Facebook, it is, to a lesser degree, Twitter, and Snapchat, as well. There'll definitely be times where if you have someone on the scene and they stream absolutely live...I mean, there is some of that that's going on.

[06:15] CNN were the first, and then the Gulf War was the first war that was streamed live, in a way. It's have been happening, but yeah, now it's in our phone, and on the platform. Anyway, Instagram, we'll see what happens with that live video. We'll try it out.

[06:33] By the way, you can follow Kate and myself on Snapchat. My Snapchat username is @KevDG, I believe. Anyway, I've tweeted it out. You can go through the @MonkeyPodcast, Twitter, and you can now put them in the show notes, as well. That's Instagram, live video.

[06:55] Other really interesting story, Kate, is Google Translate. Google Translate, that's the service that's used to translate Web pages. It's a service you can manually translate text. The first time I really experienced the real benefit of Google Translate was in 2010 when I was in Israel, and obviously, their first language is not English.

[07:26] You don't realize, but you're hitting all these Websites that are in a language that not only you can't read, you can't understand. You're pretty stuck. Even if you want to look up a bus time, or you want to book a movie, and Google Translate just brings it all to life, bam!

Kate: [07:42] Because it automatically translates the entire page, right?

Kevin: [07:46] Exactly. You can toggle it, but if you choose, "Always translated," and it's just [indecipherable] , "Wow. Fantastic." Being in Australia where everything is English, we never bump up against other languages. We don't really realize. We're so Anglocentric in that way.

[07:59] I stumbled upon this article that says Google is reworking its translate algorithms to a neural network type approach. Whereas up until now the way they've dealt with translation is small snippets of the sentence, so maybe a few words and a phrase. Now with this neural network approach, they're looking at the entire context.

Kate: [08:26] Yeah, the entire sentence. I know other times if I've put in certain sentences that somebody might send me in another language, I feel that Translate is a good tool to get the gist of what they're saying but it doesn't give me a thorough English conversion of that sentence.

Kevin: [08:45] You wouldn't trust it more than just exactly that, a couple of facts, a couple of the core facts. They give an example on their Web page, from German to English. Using the old translation, they have a sentence in German and the old translation said, "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that they have arisen."

[09:11] That's using the old Google Translate method. The new Google Translate, "Problems can never be solved with the same way of thinking that caused them." Pretty significant difference in its flow. The first translation is almost poetic. It's wrong and jarring. You understand what they're saying, but you don't use consciousness in that context generally.

Kate: [09:37] No, you wouldn't repeat that, verbally.

Kevin: [09:42] It's a much more smooth and seamless way. This is the push to all this machine learning, and AI, and Google has even reworked their algorithms. You may have noticed over the last, I don't know, year, two years, where you get a lot more older search results. You can see they've been doing something and that's their whole machine learning AI approach to all of their problems.

Kate: [10:08] I read, which is interesting, as well, that they have a translate community of multilingual individuals who are helping them, I guess, teach the AI so it can learn what the sentences mean and what the correct translation is.

Kevin: [10:25] Because of course, one of the advantages of these systems is that they're always learning. If you kick-start it and you have people feeding into it. Amazing that these YouTube videos and articles about robots teaching robots.

Kate: [10:43] Interesting. I think as well they've got an API. This same technology, you can grab it yourself and build upon it.

Kevin: [10:51] Yep. There's more coming to the Google Cloud Platform, a public cloud services office machine-learning API that makes it easy for anyone to use machine-learning technology. I like the way they say that it makes it easy for anyone to use a machine-learning technology.

Kate: [11:04] Anyone could pick it up at least.

Kevin: [11:08] Just hook into their Machine Learning APIs. The Google Cloud Platform is also making the system behind your own machine translation available for businesses through Google Cloud Translation API. They've haven't rolled this out entirely. I think 35 percent of all the Translate query is at the moment going through the new Translate engine but they'll be rolling that out across the board.

[11:34] There's a really incredible coming together of technologies like text processing and translation and robotics and even things like 3D printing and 3D organic printing where you can print organic material. I saw a ear being printed in New York last year from a tiny...

Kate: [11:53] An ear?

Kevin: [11:55] Yeah. Based on some DNA material, etc. It's a real coming together of a lot of these technologies.

Kate: [12:06] I recently had someone ask me, they brought up, "Oh, whatever happened to 3D printing?" I said, "I think you can get it done on Officeworks now." "What?"

[12:16] [laughter]

Kevin: [12:16] Officeworks is our local...It's the equivalent of Kinkos in the States.

Kate: [12:21] The States? I thought they had Staples.

Kevin: [12:24] Staples as well, yeah.

Kate: [12:26] Yeah? OK.

Kevin: [12:27] I think Kinkos still exists. Oh, Kinkos was bought by FedEx, I think. I think it's FedEx Kinkos now.

Kate: [12:33] Oh, I've never heard of Kinkos.

Kevin: [12:35] You haven't?

Kate: [12:36] I've heard Staples.

Kevin: [12:37] It used to exist in Australia as well but it struggled and went broke. Amazing story behind Kinkos, actually. One guy who started it and became this thing that students just always relied on. I think it was open 24 hours and you could get your assignment printed. This was so a little bit in the days when not everyone had a laser printer at home and you needed binding.

Kate: [13:00] As a design student, I'll tell you I spent a lot of time at Officeworks. It's my second home for a few years.

Kevin: [13:06] It's come a long way since then. That's the news for this week. By the way, we still got the startup minute running where we have reached out to a few people and we don't get an email every week but if you want to be featured, we've got this feature that we're going to run as often as we get the emails coming in through to us.

[13:29] If you have a startup or you work for a startup, you can send us through an email to podcast at itsamonkey.com. If you don't remember that email, just head to our website or Twitter so we'll help you out. And you can just get a 45 minutes, sorry not 45 minutes, 45 seconds.

Kate: [13:46] Seconds.

Kevin: [13:47] Just tell us about your startup and we'll give you a link on our page, now links of very valuable for SEO purposes. When you're starting out just as a startup, believe me, you need all the help you can get getting links. If you'd like that, it's our way of just giving something back to the startup community that we love being a part of. We'll still run the startup minutes every now and then.

[14:10] We're going to take a short break and after the break, we're going to have our interview with Danielle and we talked to her about everything relating to entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, tech entrepreneurship. Stick around and we'll be back after this.

Announcer: [14:27] Hi. My name is Dave Zoradi, and I'm the customer support specialist to your ManageFlitter. ManageFlitter is a tool that helps you work faster and smarter on Twitter. With ManageFlitter, you can clean up and grow your Twitter account. You'll also get access to useful Twitter analytics, social content scheduling and much more. Go to manageflitter.com and start your free trial today.

Kevin: [14:50] You're back with It's a Monkey Podcast where we talk about everything relating to tech, everything relating to the tech economy and everything relating to entrepreneurships and startups. I bumped into a book the other day. I read a lot of books about startups, tech entrepreneurship, all that's exciting stuff, and I came across a book called "The Elegant Entrepreneur."

[15:18] I tracked down the author and I'm happy to say from Washington DC, I have Danielle Tate who is the author of The Elegant Entrepreneur.

[15:30] And if you just listen to this, the kudos that this book has got, voted number one best entrepreneurship inspiring book, number one personal development book for entrepreneurs, and number one nonfiction book for women in their 20s on Goodreads, and the Amazon best seller and top rated Kindle book in the startup category.

[15:49] Written as a guide from ideally excellent for women with ideas, not MBAs. Danielle, thanks very much for making time to join us on the podcast.

Danielle Tate: [15:57] Thank you for having me. I'm excited.

Kevin: [15:59] Last night over dinner, I went to one of my favorite health food stores and ordered some very trendy bread with avocado and I speed read your book. I've only got one piece of feedback for your book, and that is, it's absolutely fantastic, and would be super interesting to way more than female entrepreneurs in their 20s.

[16:25] It really, really just captures so much of the language of entrepreneurship in the framework and the shape of entrepreneurship that people that want to start their businesses but don't understand necessarily how all the building blocks work and even some of the phrases that they need to understand, and your book just covers it succinctly and wonderfully so. Firstly, congratulations on writing a book. I can see the work that went into it.

Danielle: [16:53] Thank you. It was a startup, in and of itself. Getting it written and crowdsourcing the editing before professional editing. It was not something I intended to do but it was pointed out to me that there are so many other people that have good ideas for businesses but don't necessarily have a business educational background.

[17:12] We're all searching for that one book that's like, "Here's how you do it in plain English and here's how it feels," and so I ended up writing the book I always looked for when I started my first company.

Kevin: [17:23] A few things that I really liked about the book is, one, you're an entrepreneur yourself, so you've been there. The books written by consultants, academics, I'm not saying they don't have their place but there's definitely a special flavor when you're reading a book and someone says, "When I was going through this," or, "When I did that." It definitely adds a depth that's very relevant.

[17:47] Another thing that I really liked about your book is the actual references at the end of each chapter relating to that chapter. A lot of books that are recognized and are read but super useful for the first-timer. It's not fluffy, yet it's relatively robust, but it's also quite an easy read as well. It's also not heavy and dreary. I can see why you've raised to the top of all those categories.

Danielle: [18:15] Thank you. Yeah, I intentionally wrote quickly. Nobody wants to read 800 pages on startup. They want to get started.

[18:22] It's very unconventional to list other books to read within your book, but I'm not the expert on every single step, and there are books that have made a huge impact in my entrepreneurial adventure. I wanted to make sure that the reader had what they needed to really get started successfully.

Kevin: [18:43] Let's talk about, firstly, women in technology, women in startups. It obviously gets spoken about quite a lot, and I think it's fantastic that you've targeted at women. It's one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs.

[19:02] Something popped up on my feed earlier this week that New York has opened a co-work space for women only, which I found quite interesting. I'm not sure if you've seen that yet?

Danielle: [19:13] I missed that. We do have something in DC called Hera Hub, which is also a women-only co-working space.

Kevin: [19:20] You know what I find, Danielle, our team -- I'm proud to say, even though we've got a small tech team, we got a few really smart female tech women. What I find is that they don't back themselves enough.

[19:36] So often they're extremely smart, extremely capable, and they second-guess. I find them second-guessing themselves a little bit more than the guys. I'm, obviously generalizing, like mad, but with a couple of my team members I push them and say, "You can do this, you're fine." I'm like, "This is easily within your capability."

[19:56] There's an extra layer of humility, and it could also be there's cultural differences between Australia and America. I'm always trying to nudge them forward a little bit to back themselves.

Danielle: [20:08] It's, again, generalizing, which is a terrible thing to do. As women -- at least I was brought up to not brag about myself and to be demure -- and so in entrepreneur world and in pitch contest and in getting funding, that is the worst possible time to downplay how smart you are, and how great your idea is, and why you're the best possible person to make this company successful.

[20:33] There's some different mindsets that work well for women. In corporate America, they talk about "the glass ceiling," and in entrepreneurship, I call it "the sticky floor." A woman can think of every reason why it won't work, and if you could just get her shoved into starting, she'll do a bang-up job with a startup.

Kevin: [20:50] I've spent a lot of time in New York, and the female entrepreneurs there and investors there are just fantastic, and what I love about it is the diversity. It's not just fashion or one of those more traditional areas or marketing.

[21:07] It's blockchain technology. It's AR, it's VR, it's private equity, and I really love the depth that's going on in New York at the moment. I think Australia is starting along those paths. Obviously, Melanie Perkins from Canva, who we featured on one of our previous podcasts. I believe you're a Canva user?

Danielle: [21:27] I love Canva, and I was listening in on the podcast just to get a feel for it, and I was, "I had no idea it was an Australian startup, much less female-founded." I wish I'd tapped her for an interview in the book, but maybe in the future.

Kevin: [21:43] I'm sure in your updated version, you could drop Melanie a line. Great story. On our end, there's women doing fantastic things as well. We talk a lot about diversity teams and cross-functional teams. I think men and women work well together.

[22:06] That diversity, I think we can both benefit from being open to collaborating deep and hard. Our different mindsets, our different approaches, our different socialization can have benefits to a diversified team.

Danielle: [22:21] I completely agree. I really like cofounded multi-gender multi-nationality teams because they end up with much more unique and interesting solutions to problems because they have such different backgrounds and perspectives.

Kevin: [22:36] Tell me about your company, MissNowMrs. I must say, when I was reading your bio, reading the description of the company, I just thought to myself, "Wow, talk about an interesting niche."

[22:55] What's most interesting, and this is such a valuable lesson for first-time entrepreneurs, there's this phrase that we use a lot -- and I'm sure you've heard it as well -- it's "eating your own dog food." It's like if you're going to use your own product, that's a fantastic place to start.

[23:11] If you've got a problem, there's a high likelihood that there's one or two or three or thousands of people with that same problem. Just take us back to the problem that you had, and how that landed up inspiring you to build a whole business around it.

Danielle: [23:27] Sure. I am very much an accidental entrepreneur, and the idea that sparks this rather large company was born of my own frustration. When I got married, I decided to change my last name, and pretty organized, had all my paperwork in order, and it took me three separate trips to get my driver's license with my new married name.

[23:52] I was so frustrated at the bureaucracy and the waste of time, my time especially, and so I was, "Why isn't there something, some sort of service that automates this process." So my company, MissNowMrs, is an online name-change service for brides. What is does is it condenses this tedious 13-hour process of changing your name across all of your government and state level and personal documentations into 30 minutes for $30.

Kevin: [24:23] What's so exciting, I'm a scrappy entrepreneur, and I love the zero to one phase, and when I read that part in your book, where you got your first paid user only 30 minutes after putting up the Google AdWords, I just got that buzz and I was, "I wanna start a new business tomorrow."

[24:47] [laughter]

Kevin: [24:49] That's the moment that I love the most, when you get your first customer. There's a great line in a U2 song, and he says, "The end is not as fun as the start." I think in startups, boy, in a way, it's so true, because as you mature into a business, all the admin and keeping the ship running, it's very different to all that work, and then you switch on the AdWords and, boom, you've got your first paid customer.

Danielle: [25:19] I will never forget Wendy. Just instant validation of all of the time, all of the hours, all of the stress, just boom out of the gate, and we were profitable month one. We had quite a start. It was the adrenaline junkie, it was like arms waving excited about it.

Kevin: [25:36] Unfortunately, once you're bitten by that bug, it's a terminal illness.

[25:41] [laughter]

Danielle: [25:41] I agree.

Kevin: [25:43] You're going to be hooked for life. Now, you've got over 300,000 customers in two countries. I believe that's the US and Canada? Is that correct?

Danielle: [25:53] That is correct. We just tripped over 350,000 customers, so that's always a nice net check.

Kevin: [26:00] Fantastic. I meet a lot of people that really over-reflect on the complexity of the idea and, "Ah, I've got to get into AR and VR and big data, and insert buzzword here..." But there's an infinite number of businesses just to provide tools or services to make life easier.

[26:27] Being from South Africa, I have gold rush analogies, selling shovels during the gold rush, selling pans during the gold rush. It was a huge, huge business.

Danielle: [26:41] I believe it.

Kevin: [26:42] It's not always the super deep complex tech. It's just something like your service. I wonder, is there any equivalent in Australia? Do you know?

Danielle: [26:54] I'm not sure. I dug around quite some time ago as I was looking at possibly expanding into Australia, and at that point, it was maybe two-three years ago, there wasn't anything similar.

[27:08] It didn't make sense for me to foray into your lovely country without a really good partner who already had the bread, so a huge planning website, for instance. That would have made it very simple to roll out. At the time, it wasn't quite worthy investment in the research to then chase a new market, but it's not off the table.

Kevin: [27:30] Yeah, I would imagine. It's relatively specific to each jurisdiction. Australia's bureaucracy is pretty good, as far as bureaucracies go.

[27:40] I grew up in South Africa. When you wanted to renew your driver's license, you had to be at the office at 6:00 AM. Otherwise, you would not make it to renew it, and it could be a whole day's exercise.

[27:53] I still can't get used to the fact that in Australia, you can walk into the RTA, which is New South Wales Road & Traffic Authority, and you can renew your license, if you're lucky, in 15-20 minutes. I still just can't get used to it.

Danielle: [28:09] That will put me out of business.

[28:12] [laughter]

Kevin: [28:09] That's another lesson for entrepreneurs, that each market has its own set of problems. Something that's a problem in one market might not be a market in another, so it varies. Bureaucracy's relatively good, but I'm not familiar with this particular area.

[28:29] Actually, we changed our surname in South Africa officially, but that was to make a contraction, to make it smaller, it wasn't due to any marriage or anything like that. Do most women these days in America still change their name?

Danielle: [28:44] It's a huge market. In the US alone, there's 2.3 million marriages annually, and 88 percent of them still change their name.

Kevin: [28:52] 88 percent, so it's the majority. Is that figure dropping or staying the same?

Danielle: [28:57] It's fluctuated, and what's bubbling up is a rather fabulous sociological observation in talking to over 300,000 women. The latest generation of women are so very confident in their equal status in a relationship that a lot of the negative connotations of being changed ownership, etc., really don't even enter their mind.

[29:21] It's a matter of personal preference. Sometimes it's a matter of showing they're very committed. Sometimes they're at the end of the alphabet and tired of being called last for everything.

[29:32] There's a slow uptick that I'm seeing, so a lot of women are taking their maiden as their middle name, and that's a way to hang on to that maiden name but not have a mouthful of two last names.

Kevin: [29:46] Is there any trend of men changing their last name? Does that happen at all?

Danielle: [29:51] That does happen. Here in the States, there are only 7 of the 50 states that allow a gentleman to change his name using the married name change process. I have a few customers that have used MissNowMrs, and just had to turn a blind eye to all the cakes and wedding dresses, but not very many gentlemen, no.

Kevin: [30:12] It's interesting. My gut tells me Australia's similar to America in trends. If I think of my friends, I would think about 80 percent of them that get married have changed their names. Some have hung on to them, usually for professional reasons, actually. They've built a medical practice or something and they preferred to keep going with the momentum. Interesting.

[30:33] Interesting. One of the areas in your book that you spoke upon...a couple of areas that I made notes about, which I think people can definitely focus on. The two areas I noted were mentors and building actual support network before you need it and I really can't emphasize the importance of both enough, particularly if you're a solo founder.

[31:00] But even if you're not a solo founder, to have an accountant that you can trust, to have a lawyer you can trust, to have friends you can process this with, to have mentors that have been there, and don't wait until the shit hits the fan and, just as a note, the shit is going to hit the fan. As sure as the sun will rise in the east at some stage and probably multiple stages, the shit is going to hit the fan. And to have someone you can talk to or multiple people...

[31:28] When I am going through a tough week for whatever reason, I will go through my mentor list and I mentor other people. I think that, if anything, that's almost one of the best steps. It's a long and hard journey and life's hard, entrepreneurship's hard. We need to help each other along the way.

Danielle: [31:50] I know, absolutely. To have an entire subject matter devoted to building a support team before you need one. There's this invisible safety net. Honestly, we're not risk averse. We're entrepreneurs.

[32:02] But knowing that, yes, it's an investment, but I do have a good business lawyer who has helped me tremendously in intellectual property theft cases and all kinds of things, to have proper business accountants, to have advisers that have done things in e-commerce.

[32:20] Just having those people know from the beginning what you're doing and help you form this company and understand the story and keeping them engaged and updated so when, as you said it, shit hits the fan, you're not all of a sudden frantically googling, "Oh, business lawyer in Sydney." You have someone who not only knows you but knows your business and the best way to help you.

Kevin: [32:43] You mentioned intellectual property issues and you mentioned in your book that you had to talk about the proverbial hitting the fan, you had a bit of a bump in the road. Tell us about happened, how you dealt with it and how you came out the other end.

Danielle: [33:00] Sure. I hit actually seven bumps in the road, but the biggest one was by far the first one. At heart, I'm a nice Methodist girl from Pennsylvania, from a very small town, and so I think I was a bit naive as an entrepreneur. I thought, you have this great idea, you work really hard, you launch it and you continue to do the hard work, you reap the successes and everyone does their own thing.

[33:25] In reality, when you have a good idea, other people are like, "Oh, that' s a good idea. That's making money. Maybe I should do that, too."

[33:33] We had an instance where a gentleman came in and logged in to the site over 170 times, and mined all of the data, all of the processes, all of the forms out of MissNowMrs and created a copycat website with almost the same logo, stole the story.

[33:51] He and his wife got married and there wasn't a name change service and started to catch some press and gained some traction. I had a very difficult decision as a very young founder -- I was what, 25? -- to either take the money coming in, take business revenue and fight in court over this or I should try to use that money to outgrow, out-market this copycat competitor.

[34:16] After weighing it all out, I realized we were just too new. We hadn't built a brand yet. We hadn't locked up the strategic partnerships we needed. So I made the very difficult decision to engage in this legal battle and I think the lowest point in my entrepreneurial career to date was testifying in federal court eight months pregnant.

[34:38] I was just terrified that I was going to hurt my little boy and I was scared, I was going to lose my other baby, my company, and be bankrupt.

[34:48] In the end, we ended up settling in my favor, but it was a tremendous, this scary journey and I encourage every listener to make sure you have excellent terms and conditions or terms of use for your product or your website and get a business lawyer to write them because that's what really stood up and saved us.

Kevin: [35:10] Wow. That rally must be a defining moment but I think when you go through these tough periods, all you can do is just keep on walking through them.

Danielle: [35:22] Yes.

Kevin: [35:24] And you come out the better and learning and growing and no doubt it's...I think the issues that I find the hardest to win are when people let you down. I think I'm like you where I give a huge amount of trust and assume the best from people, and when people let you down, it's very, very heart-breaking.

[35:46] It's almost a double whammy as opposed to some technical issues or just the marketplace having a bit of bad luck. But when human beings, when you see the worst of them, it can be very disheartening.

Danielle: [36:00] Demoralizing almost and all the focus for your startup that should be going to innovation and partnerships is getting sucked into this negative battle. It was a very interesting point that I'm very glad that I managed to pull myself through.

Kevin: [36:16] And on the flip side, startups also can't over-engineer things like legals and things like that. Sometimes people come to me and they, "Haven't started my business but I'm gonna spend all this money, registering this and registering that and having professional employment contracts," and they're going to spend a fortune of money, and I just say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Your timing is a little bit off from that."

[36:46] You can get proof of concept and you can...It depends what kind of business it is, but you can get a little bit of traction beforehand and that's the art of the startup. It's finding that sweet spot of doing too much or doing too little to under-engineering or over-engineering whether it's your tech or whether it's your process or whether it's your legals. You've got to find that sweet spot.

Danielle: [37:06] I completely agree, and you're right. You don't have to be armor-plated when you start but just think about what the special sauce is. What is that key thing that makes your company different and special and successful and thinks of maybe an innovative way to protect it.

[37:22] Now, we have a locking mechanism. If a user check goes through three or four different forms on the passport side, we lock their account and have a little pop-up that says, "Hey, you might misunderstand how to use this. Please give customer support a call."

[37:36] If it's a bride who's lived many places or is truly confused, of course, we turn her account on. If it's someone digging for data, they go away. It doesn't always have to be a high dollar solution for security.

Kevin: [37:48] Tell me, what have been the benefits of writing the book? I speak to a lot of people and a lot of people think of writing a book. Was it merely a labor of love? Has it actually fed back into profile for your business and any other unintended positive or even negative consequences of having a successful book?

Danielle: [38:08] I had no intention of writing a book. Again, it's an accidental entrepreneur. It took me a while to even take the title entrepreneur seriously. I'm a go away, I have a small business or I have a website. Then someone pointed out that there's this vast pool of humanity that have great ideas but don't have MBAs and don't know how to start.

[38:30] Wouldn't it be helpful if they had a guide that was written expressly for them? That's how I started the book.

[38:39] One of the biggest ripple effects so far is just the occasional email or tweets where someone's like, "You know what, I read your book and I started up." Or, "I read your book and I'm partway through and I found a new way to scale." That big give back is rippling back in companies, particularly from women.

[38:58] Then another positive outcome has been speaking opportunities. I had never really done a great deal of public speaking. I was busy in running a company and raising a small child, and now I'm going to colleges and talking at very large companies about ideas and innovation and entrepreneurship and that's bit of really exciting new chapter of life.

Kevin: [39:20] You mentioned you're raising a child as well. I don't have children and my business is my baby. You referred to that earlier, you've got two babies. How does that go? When I picture that, I picture that must be really tough.

Danielle: [39:39] I usually have the best of both worlds. Occasionally, I have the worst of both. In being an entrepreneur, I have a flexible lifestyle. Do I work more than the average woman? Absolutely. Do I choose when I work? I do. I time my day in such a way where most of the time I pick my son up from school because that 10-minute ride home is when he tells me all about his day.

[40:05] Then, of course, I have a nanny when we get home and she watches him but then we all have dinner together. We hang out. He goes to bed at 7:30 and I go back to work. I feel like entrepreneurship is a really wonderful vehicle especially for women to define success on their own terms. They don't have to fit this round peg into a square hole of corporate America.

[40:29] They can figure out, "You know what, I can hire to backfill some of my duties when my children are very little because I don't want to miss that opportunity," or exit and start the next company. Well, it can be complicated. I think that they go together very well, and I consider my son my favorite startup.

Kevin: [40:46] Nice.

[40:47] [laughter]

Kevin: [40:48] Do you read him TechCrunch articles to sleep?

Danielle: [40:52] Oh, he's hilarious. He does know way too many entrepreneurial words and I just finished writing an alphabet book for children based on entrepreneurship, E is for entrepreneur. I just need to find an illustrator and that will come out. He's like, "Mama, I need to know about this." "What do you mean by innovative?"

[41:11] We have these magnets all over the office and he was running around looking at them. It's very cool to see entrepreneurship through the eyes of a child.

Kevin: [41:21] Sounds very cute. Does he ever stomp his feet and say, "We have to pivot today, mom."

Danielle: [41:27] [laughs] No, but he does come up with some pretty grand business ideas. What was it the other day? He's going to make a better gum ball. [laughs] We're talking and I'm like, "Well, who's your market?" He's like, "Well, all the kids at school." I'm like, "Well, how much money do they have?" Walking him through these steps.

[41:49] I think Albert Einstein said, "If you can't explain it to a five-year-old, you don't understand it yourself." In explaining it to him, it made writing the book easier.

Kevin: [41:58] Ain't that the truth? One of my frustrations is meeting people and it's at meetups or whatever, even in areas that I'm familiar with like marketing tech or something and I can't get my head around what they're trying to do. I just think, if you can't explain it in a tweet and people can't understand it, you've got to rework that. People are going to struggle to understand that.

[42:24] I think the kids market is quite interesting because going back to that phrase of being able to "eat your own dog food," I've always wondered in markets like with kids or all the people where you can't necessarily...You've got to project yourself into those markets. I think you've got an extra layer of complexity and risk and obviously reward as well, but maybe really interesting markets.

Danielle: [42:50] It's fun. I think the advantage of being an entrepreneur with multiple companies and multiple revenue streams is you can take those smaller risks because it's not the thing that's paying your rent. You can do the children's book and sort of see what happens. Whereas if it was your first startup and how you were trying to feed your family and pay your mortgage, that would not be where I would start.

Kevin: [43:13] One of Australia's biggest exports, I believe, is the wiggles, I think it's called. Are you aware of them?

Danielle: [43:20] I'm aware of them. My son's best friend was just obsessed with them. We missed the bandwagon on that but what a lovely export. There were a lot of kids that love the wiggles. I believe they even went to a wiggles concert here in DC.

Kevin: [43:34] We have some interesting exports. Tell me, what do you think of women in Silicon Valley, San Francisco? There's obviously Sheryl Sandberg who, I think, is amazing. Her talk on resilience, I think it was at the Berkeley graduation ceremony a few months ago. It was just fantastic.

[43:54] To people listening to this podcast, if you listen to one talk this year, look up Sheryl Sandberg's talk about resilience and let's face it. In life in general, and as an entrepreneur, resilience is a must. She's super smart and her whole lenient philosophy.

[44:11] There's Melissa Mare who I've heard talk at conferences and boy, does her mind work at a million miles an hour. Do you feel there is still a way to go in equality to the point where it becomes a non-issue and we don't have to have this conversation anymore?

Danielle: [44:31] Yes, I feel like we're at a tipping point especially here in the United States. When I first started my company as a woman in tech, I was the only woman in the room, which I'm totally fine with. I love guys and I enjoy working with men. But over the years, I feel like now we're 30 percent of the room sometimes. I wouldn't go as far as say 50 percent.

[44:53] But not in the numbers but in just the comfort level like, "Oh, she's a woman in tech. That's not a big deal." Female founders are highly profitable here in the States. I think the one place -- I mean there are several places -- but the biggest place that sticks out to me where there's still a good bit of room to improve all the way around would be funding.

[45:12] I think less than two percent of venture back companies have a woman in a lead position as a co-founder, as a CEO C-level management person. As a woman especially pitching female related solutions in companies, it can be very difficult to explain the problem to a roomful of elderly white men who don't understand.

[45:36] You end up making a lot of analogies to sports or to cars to help them figure out the problem you're solving for half the population. I think the more women that become angel investors and venture capitalist, the easier that will be and the more diverse the ecosystem of funding will become.

Kevin: [45:55] I think there's probably a broader issue with VC industry in general. That's not just a male/woman. It's a certain type of pedigree of male as well which even migrants may have more difficulty with or things like that. Basically, just more diversity on the investment side of things would be better for everyone including the people currently in that industry.

Danielle: [46:25] I agree. Somebody told me recently that your net worth is your network and if you didn't go to certain schools or if you're new to a country and still have amazing ideas, there should be someone who understands you and hopefully looks like you that's available to support you.

[46:43] And I feel like crowdfunding is also helping as well because it lets you reach so much broader audience that may understand your problem more so than the larger venture capital firms.

Kevin: [46:54] You're based in DC, is that correct?

Danielle: [46:58] That is correct. 12 miles from the White House.

Kevin: [47:01] What's the most famous startup that's come out of DC. We don't hear about DC that much. I would imagine there's a lot of government-related startups there. Yours is almost a bureaucratic startup for lack of a...it's not the most sexy phrase but in a way it is.

Danielle: [47:18] LivingSocial, I don't know if you're familiar with them.

Kevin: [47:22] Sure.

Danielle: [47:22] They were DC founded although they were just purchased by Groupon for negligible fees so not our shining star any longer. A ton of tech companies, a lot of military, I'm trying to...caught me off guard on that one. I'm going to get harassed by people after this podcast for not mentioning their companies.

[47:43] Our media does a great job covering politics. They do very poor job covering business and entrepreneurship and startups so it's a little bit frustrating living here. It's a hotbed. There are so many cool tech companies coming through and doing things and innovating and then they have to go begging in New York and Silicon Valley to get funding and get recognition.

[48:07] There are a lot of us here in DC working very hard to change that.

Kevin: [48:11] What's DC like at the moment? By the time this interview plays, the election might be done and dusted although who knows what's going on. What's the vibe there? The whole world is just enthralled by this. I don't even know what to call it. This story, this drama, this...

Danielle: [48:30] Soap opera.

Kevin: [48:31] soap opera, yeah. What's going on? What's the feeling on the streets then?

Danielle: [48:35] We are all very embarrassed. On the world's cape, to just be under the microscope on this particular election, I don't think it matters what party you're affiliated with. I think we're all scratching our head and wondering, "How did they get to this point? What's broken in our electoral process that put us where we are currently?"

[48:57] I think we have been beat to death with media coverage of every nuance of the election of the candidates and, "Well done. I can't wait for election day to just be done with it and deal with the fallout and muddle through for four years and start over."

Kevin: [49:13] Get on with our lives." Even in Australia, we're saturated by it. I can't imagine what the saturation...It's a bit perplexing. I've spent a lot of time in the US. I love the US. I love Americans. Some are amazingly smart people, even these amazingly smart people in your government. You got incredible people there and sort of White House having trickled up.

[49:39] It's also, in fairness, it's such a thankless job as well. That's such a tough job. You look at poor Barack Obama how he's aged. I mean the stress of that job is just...We talk about startup stress but wow, that's...You're getting a fixed income, you don't have to worry about that, but in terms of the whole world's social dynamics, military dynamics, all of that at your fingertips. Very, very difficult.

Danielle: [50:08] Oh, I agree. I look at Canada and their Primer Minister and he has done the things he said he was going to do and is quite likable and dynamic and makes very logical decisions and I'm like, "We have an even larger population pool than Canada just per capita. What are they doing that we could mimic? How can we pivot our system to innovate and make this a little bit better?"

[50:34] I think we're all just holding our eyes shut and trotting along and really hoping to make the best of whatever happens and I think there will be a lot of change in the next election. That would be my prediction. It will be a very big change platform.

Kevin: [50:49] I'm sort of two minds. The fact that these "weak candidates," is that reflective of a strong liberal democracy where the institutions are so strong on their own that leadership is not as important as a place where the institutions are a lot weaker and the leader needs to carry it through a lot more? Or is it reflective of something's broken and it should still be churning out fantastic high-quality leaders?

Danielle: [51:19] Those are very excellent questions, and I'm by no means qualified to be talking politics with you. [laughs]

Kevin: [51:24] Don't worry, I'm not qualified.

Danielle: [51:26] This is my personal viewpoint. My thought in all of this and then doing the Canadian comparison just because they're our good neighbors, their race is much shorter. The amount of money necessary to run for the extended period of time to be a candidate in United States, you need to be insanely connected, insanely wealthy.

[51:48] I feel like it eliminates. There's just this very large barrier to entry for...The average Joe is not going to be president of the United States. The really great people who do good things and are well connected and do well in life just don't even have a shot at making it through the gauntlet of time they campaign.

[52:11] I wonder if we shortened it a little bit, if that would open the pool a little bit further. But that was just a musing I had the other day when I was talking to some friends.

Kevin: [52:21] But wasn't both Clinton and Barack Obama, they didn't come from particular pedigree like the Bush's of the Kennedy's. Am I right?

Danielle: [52:30] That's very true, but they still received very large amounts of funding.

Kevin: [52:35] Ultimately.

Danielle: [52:35] Yes, ultimately.

Kevin: [52:37] Anyway, we digressed. Danielle Tate is the author of a fantastic book, the Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founders Guide to Starting and Growing your First Company. I'm going to go out on a limb and say even if you're a male entrepreneur, it's a fantastic, nice, tight summary of what you need to think about, some of the language of business, the building blocks of business.

[53:00] Danielle's also the CEO of MissNowMrs.com. We'll put a link to everything on the show notes. Danielle, it was really fantastic talking with you. Congrats, on all your success and no doubt, we'll be staying in touch.

Danielle: [53:15] Thank you, Kevin. I really appreciate it.

Kevin: [53:18] Thanks for your time. Bye-bye.

Announcer: [53:21] [dog barks] The It's a Monkey Podcast is brought to you by CheckDog. Use CheckDog to easily review and monitor your website for spelling errors, broken links and broken images all with the push of one button.

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Kevin: [53:55] Kates, what do you think about...You're more the target market, in a way, than I am.

Kate: [54:06] I skimmed through her book last night, actually, and read...there's a summary at the end of each chapter. I particularly like the way she's formatted the book, and just how concise she is as well. The fact that there is that summary there, there's quotes in between chapters, diagrams, and a glossary at the end. It's super helpful.

Kevin: [54:30] She really hit a sweet spot with the formatting and the layout that just makes it...There's so many good books these days and there's so much text for us to digest, that we need all the help we can get to just getting through it all.

Kate: [54:47] Definitely. Her writing style's very easy to consume as well, which is good. Another plus as well, she's tackled a lot of the more daunting aspects, I guess, of entrepreneurship. Finding a technical founder, and even exit options, financing, all sorts of things. I read it with a lot of interest, actually.

Kevin: [55:11] As I say, maybe it's a nice niche marketing angle to aim it at the entrepreneurial woman, but it's, absolutely, generally across the board. I didn't find anything particularly unique to the woman angle.

Kate: [55:25] In terms of being especially for women, there's a very small amount. There might be a page on what to wear, power dressing. She probably touches on the fact of family and having children, and the effect of that on your business, but definitely not a dwelling point.

Kevin: [55:52] Interesting. It is a very fast-growing segment of the entrepreneurial community. These days everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, which I see as a fantastic thing. It's a difficult thing. It never gets easier. I've read a ton of books in my time, and I continue to read a ton of books.

[56:15] Educating yourself is like exercise, you've got to keep on doing it. You even yourself forget some of the basics sometimes, so you've got to read it from all different angles. There's a famous motivational speaker called Zig Ziglar. He passed away a few years ago. He used to do the circuit with Tony Robbins, etc.

[56:37] He was saying in one of his talks, "People always say to me, 'I love coming to your talks, and I get so pumped, and I get so inspired, but in one week, I'm feeling flat again, and I'm back to where I was.'"

[56:47] He said, "Well, I could say the same thing about taking a shower. I take a shower in the morning and by the evening, I'm a bit sweaty and dirty. It's like, well, the next day you've got to take a shower again. You've got to do it. You need to do it to keep filling yourself up. These things aren't once-off exercises."

Kate: [57:02] You must have to find that thing that drives you, as well, I would imagine.

Kevin: [57:07] You do. I always like to be reading a business book and a non-business book.

Kate: [57:13] At the same time?

Kevin: [57:14] At the same time. Not literally at the same time, but to flip between the two. Because if it's only just business, it can feel a little bit, it's eat, live, and breathe business, which I do in any case. The other books can give you insights that will feed into your business sooner or later because it is a calling as opposed to a vocation. It balances it, in a way.

Kate: [57:45] I recently read one of Jon Westenberg's articles. He was interviewed on the podcast a few weeks ago, and he was saying just how much he loves reading, and all the different books that can contribute to your success. He was saying to not undermine the power of a fiction story.

Kevin: [58:08] In many ways, fiction is like art. In many ways, art is more real than real life. You're a designer. You probably understand what I'm saying. I don't want to get all sort of...

Kate: [58:24] Subjective.

[58:25] [laughter]

Kevin: [58:25] Yeah. But how often do you walk away from a brilliant movie and you think about real world...It's made you think about, self-reflect about real world things as opposed to maybe a documentary or something like that that's quite bounded.

Kate: [58:44] It fuels your creativity, makes you think in a different section of your brain. You might get consumed by a certain topic so much because your business revolves around that, but to step out into a fiction story that's completely unrelated...

Kevin: [59:00] Absolutely. What I always say is, I'm always looking for new inputs for the system, for myself. I go to talks and retreats and meet new people. If you look at musicians, they often go and record albums in a totally different place to get new inputs, smell new smells, see new people, and just shake it up.

[59:26] I think as an entrepreneur, it's a marathon, and it's a long marathon, it's a hard marathon. You've got to keep yourself going. You've got to keep yourself passionate, and you've got to keep on having those inputs. I'm very bad at reading fiction, actually.

Kate: [59:50] I'm the other way around. [laughs]

Kevin: [59:52] I enjoy a good fiction book when I find it, but somehow I just don't have the patience. I like foreign movies, though. Foreign movies are my thing. I really like foreign movies.

Kate: [60:03] I'm a sucker for a fiction. If anything, if I have to get a nonfiction book, if I'm interested in the topic, then I'll breeze through it, but if I'm making myself learn something that doesn't come naturally to me, then I lose interest really quickly.

Kevin: [60:19] You mean those new books on the Blockchain I've got, you're not nagging to borrow them from me?

Kate: [60:26] Not exactly.

[60:27] [laughter]

Kevin: [60:29] Joe, who we had on the podcast a few weeks ago talking about the Google...We should get her again because we only covered the positives of the Google...

Kate: [60:37] Pixel Phone.

Kevin: [60:37] Pixel phone. We should get an update on that. She's always reading these zany fantasy books. I see her at lunchtime sitting in our breakout room, and she's reading wizards and sci-fi stuff, and she's sucked into that.

Kate: [60:54] She also likes anime, as well. She loves "Sailor Moon."

Kevin: [60:57] Speaking of Jon Westenberg, he published an article on our blog a week ago on why Twitter is still relevant in 2017, which was an interesting read, as well. Jon is always opinionated as always, which is good.

Kate: [61:12] He writes well, in my opinion.

Kevin: [61:14] He does.

Kate: [61:15] I like to hear what he has to say.

Kevin: [61:17] That's the thing with being opinionated. It's divisive, but people are always interested in people's opinions.

Kate: [61:28] That article, in particular, I really liked how it ended up. I liked the fact that it addressed lots of different social channels and how they contribute, and just where Twitter is going next year and currently.

Kevin: [61:40] I think next year is going to be Twitter's year.

Kate: [61:42] Really?

Kevin: [61:43] I really do. This election, we won't get into the whole ins and outs of the politics, but boy, there's been a lot happening on Twitter. It was really interesting yesterday. Donald Trump met with the New York Times.

Kate: [62:00] How did that go?

[62:01] [laughter]

Kevin: [62:01] A couple of members of the New York Times live tweeted from the meeting. It was fascinating. You read their blog post about it and it was fantastic. This could only happen on Twitter, and that's where Twitter really shines as the real-time platform. I think they're sorting out some of their challenges. Next year is going to be the year of Twitter.

Kate: [62:31] The live tweeting and having a relevant hashtag definitely makes a difference. I was at a conference a few months ago, and the amount of likes and retweets and stuff I got on the tweets that we used for the conference was unbelievable.

Kevin: [62:46] That's why I've always said, Twitter should have an events. On Facebook, you can create an event. Twitter should have that because people can create it, bundle their hashtag in it. The event kicks off, which just feeds into it, and boom, boom, integrate it...

Kate: [63:01] Straight into a calendar, attend. You could even tweet in, in anticipation of the event.

Kevin: [63:07] Apparently, Jack Dorsey is a very big fan of this podcast, so Jack, come on. Just get your product team...

[63:17] [laughter]

Kate: [63:17] Sort it out. Make it happen.

Kevin: [63:18] They're not idiots. They're very smart people at Twitter, but the bigger a company and a platform becomes, the more dependencies they are. That's why there's always room for a startup, a small startup, a one person, two person startup, because you can move fast.

[63:42] That's your biggest advantage. Your biggest advantage is IBM, or AT&T, or Telstra, they cannot move. They just cannot move. I spoke to someone who's working at Qantas in the tech side, and he just said he's so frustrated. The velocity is just not there because there's dependencies. You have to get sign off.

[64:08] That's what I miss about the really small days when we started ManageFlitter with James. It was just the two of us, and it just moved, but unfortunately, things grow and there are dependencies. It's just the way it is. It's impossible to avoid that. It's just laws of physics.

Kate: [64:26] I guess taking that idea back to Danielle's book, she mentions the struggle of finding a technical co-founder. You were just lucky enough to have James here. Was that the case or...?

Kevin: [64:41] James is working on CheckDog. James has broadened to work on CheckDog, and to help with some of the client work. We struck out, with James being a genius.

Kate: [64:51] He's fortunate.

[64:52] [laughter]

Kevin: [64:52] He's fortunate. James is one of the few genuine full-stack developers. A lot of people call themselves full-stack developers, and I think it's because they can code in JavaScript, and they can follow spec in there, but James is a genuine full-stack in the sense of he has design sensibility, a genuine design sensibility. That, and an amazing developer. Super smart guy.

[65:20] He's actually on a lot of the podcasts I did, James. If you go back to, gee, I don't know, maybe episode 40, 45, 50, all those podcasts up to there are myself with James, so you can listen to them.

[65:32] He's got his own startup now, ChargeDesk, in the payments [indecipherable] , which is doing quite nicely, but we're lucky. Melanie Perkins from Canva, who we also had on the podcast, and she also said she spent quite a few months if not longer trying to find her technical co-founder.

[65:51] Having a good co-founder is really the most powerful thing in the startup journey, in the tech startup journey. It's a rough ride. You've got peers, you can mutually support each other.

Kate: [66:06] I don't know obviously, but I would feel that finding someone who shared your passion and your dream, that had that technical skill, would be difficult to find.

Kevin: [66:19] Very, very hard.

Kate: [66:20] She mentions going to hackathons and even giving them tests before you hire them type of thing. Even then, you still never know.

Kevin: [66:30] The other way to do it is, if you can't save up a little bit of money or get investment, you can hire a few people and with a view to that, the shining stars, you can essentially turn them to your tech co-founder.

Kate: [66:44] That's because you've got to have the finance for that.

Kevin: [66:46] You've got to have finance for that, so there's various ways to do it. On the flip side, the very big reason why companies in Silicon Valley don't work, second biggest reason after failing to find product market fit, is...

Kate: [67:04] What's that?

Kevin: [67:05] co-founder fallout. It's a marriage. It literally is. You're talking about money, and equity, and product vision. Someone thinks, "We should have ephemeral," another one says, "No, it should archive," and away you go.

[67:21] There's two schools of thought, the Silicon Valley co-founder school of thought, and there's actually another school of thought where some very successful businessmen...There's a famous guy, he passed away a few years ago, one of the richest self-made guys in the UK, Felix Dennis, or Dennis Felix. I always cannot remember which way it goes.

[67:41] [laughter]

Kate: [67:41] I can't help you there, sorry.

Kevin: [67:42] He was one of the richest self-made guys. A lot of the magazines in the UK were written by him. He wrote a book called, "Get Rich." It's an ironic title about his journey of becoming so wealthy. He says, "To start up, especially your first business, you should go it alone."

[68:00] He said, "There's so much effort in relationships." He said, "You'd rather use that energy just to do stuff."

[68:07] Like with everything in life, there's various schools of thought. If you meet someone that you connect with and you want to build a business together, great. But if you don't, hey, you can also give it a go alone. It also depends on your personality. It depends on a lot of things.

Kate: [68:22] In some ways, you've got a better chance if you meet someone on your journey, consciously looking for someone, rather than just going with a friend. That person that you meet, you're not already connected. You've got not as much to lose.

Kevin: [68:38] The best way, as well, is with people that you've worked with in the past. This does happen quite a bit in Silicon Valley, as well. They were on a team in Google, and they all leave, and they start up X company. They've worked together, they like the vibe already. In a way, that's a good solution. You've tested it out.

Kate: [68:58] That must be a big threat for big companies like Google.

Kevin: [69:00] It's huge.

Kate: [69:01] I mean, they hire all these smart people, and then they get along, and somebody says, "I've got a better idea," they all leave.

Kevin: [69:08] One of the biggest challenges for these companies is losing staff, whether it's to competitors, or whether it's to new startups. Our businesses are built on smart people. They're in very high demand, so much so that some of these tech companies got into trouble a few years ago because they signed, or they agreed informally, to not poach each other's staff.

Kate: [69:31] I was going to say that. I feel like Facebook and Google, and there's another company, they have an agreement that they can't poach each other.

Kevin: [69:38] I think it was Adobe, although I stand to be corrected, but they got into trouble because...

Kate: [69:44] So is it still standing?

Kevin: [69:45] No, it's breaking the law. It's actually colluding. There's laws against collusion, and they're not allowed to do that. They got nailed and I think they had to pay some big fines. You can sort of understand...

Kate: [70:01] Who do they pay to?

Kevin: [70:05] The government, I think.

Kate: [70:06] Is it the government's business?

Kevin: [70:08] It's collusion. They have collusion laws because it prevents the free market from doing its thing. That's why you can't collude. Two big phone companies can't get together and say, "Hey, I won't decrease prices if you don't decrease prices," and they go, "OK, let's not decrease prices." Who loses out?

Kate: [70:31] The person who does.

Kevin: [70:33] The consumer.

Kate: [70:34] Oh.

[70:34] [laughter]

Kevin: [70:35] Especially if they've got a lot of market power. There was quite a few of these big companies but...

Kate: [70:43] But if you did bring your prices down, if you were a third party, and you weren't in the collusion, you would lose, as well.

Kevin: [70:50] I think there's laws around how big these companies need to be before it's a problem and things like that. If two little sandwich shops say, "Let's not decrease the price of our coffee," I don't think anyone's really going to care, but if some massive companies that have very big market power and between them they control 50, 60, 70 percent of the market, they're essentially controlling prices.

[71:17] That's where these laws stem from. They obviously got them under some type of law. If a lot of big companies in Silicon Valley say, "No, we're not going to poach," in a way, maybe it's also these companies can be less fastidious about looking after the staff because they think, "Well, there's one less thing we have to worry about." The big company down the road is not going to be at their throats.

Kate: [71:43] I wonder what their fine print is. Say someone actively wanted another job. If you were at Facebook and you actively want a job at Google, even if you went through a recruiter or something like that, do they still not hire you?

Kevin: [71:54] A big part of the recruiting process is poaching. With LinkedIn and everything, people just, "Oh, we need a product manager. Let's look at the product managers at Google and send them all an email."

[72:06] Kate, episode 69 is done and dusted. This is a long episode.

Kate: [72:13] Yes, it was.

Kevin: [72:14] There's two schools of thought. We get feedback, some people like the long one, some people like the short ones. It depends. I like podcasts that are about an hour or so. Anything longer tends to be...and this has gone quite a bit over.

[72:27] We'll try to keep them to an hour or so, but at the same time, I think sometimes if people are listening to the podcast on a drive or on a long walk, we like to give the feel that you're listening in on a conversation around the industry, that you hopefully pick up useful bits and pieces.

[72:43] We love to hear from you. Please email us, tweet us, comment on one of our Facebook posts, and we'll be back next week. Got some great interviews coming up. Every Friday, we're going to really work hard to get you this podcast. Every Friday. That's episode 69. We'll see you next week.

Kate: [73:12] See you.

[73:13] [music]

[73:13] [silence]