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Episode 53  |  33:19 min

The Real Cost Of The Meetings On Your Calendar With Resultably's Dave Link

Episode 53  |  33:19 min  |  04.16.2021

The Real Cost Of The Meetings On Your Calendar With Resultably's Dave Link

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Real Cost Of The Meetings On Your Calendar With Resultably's Dave Link. The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">How many times have you been in a meeting and heard someone say, “This is an expensive meeting.” But </span><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">exactly</em><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;"> how expensive is that meeting?</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">In Operations, we spend a lot of time instrumenting things like bookings, lead funnels, and retention rates. Measuring and instrumenting time? That's too fluffy, too subjective.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Our guest on this episode, Dave Link, is on a mission to change that, and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase, “time is money”. Dave is the Founder and CEO of Resultably, a company that helps organizations listen to their employees, make better use of time, and drive efficiency.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Dave is going to help us answer the question of exactly how expensive meetings on your calendar can be. In our conversation, we talk about the hidden biases in your calendar, how org charts work like the human brain, and why you should think about renewing meetings the same way you renew software.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(3, 28, 51);">Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️&nbsp; review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect with Sean on Twitter @Seany_Biz @DriftPodcasts</span></p>

How many times have you been in a meeting and heard someone say, “This is an expensive meeting”? But exactly how expensive is that meeting?


In Operations, we spend a lot of time instrumenting things like bookings, lead funnels, and retention rates. But measuring and instrumenting time? That's too fluffy, too subjective.


Our guest on this episode, Dave Link, is on a mission to change that, and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase, “time is money”. Dave is the Founder and CEO of Resultably, a company that helps organizations make better use of time and drive efficiency.


Dave is going to help us answer the question of exactly how expensive meetings on your calendar can be. In our conversation, we talk about the hidden biases in your calendar, how org charts work like the human brain, and why you should think about renewing meetings the same way you renew software.


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect with Sean on Twitter @Seany_Biz @DriftPodcasts

Sean Lane: Hey, everyone. Welcome to Operations, the show where we look under the hood of companies in hypergrowth. My name is Sean Lane. How many times have you been in a meeting and heard someone say," This is an expensive meeting." Usually that's some indication that there are a lot of people in the meeting, or you should make sure that it's a good efficient use of people's time. But I have a question, exactly how expensive is that meeting? I want the dollar amount. And who is the judge of whether or not it was efficient or not? In Operations, we spend a lot of time instrumenting a lot of different measurements within our companies, but we're typically instrumenting things like our lead funnels, retention rates, bookings. Time though, it's too slippery, it's too fluffy, too subjective. Our guest today is on a mission to change that and bring a whole new meaning to the phrase. Time is money. That guest is Dave Link. Founder and CEO of Resultably, a company that helps organizations to listen to their employees, make better use of time and drive efficiency. Dave is going to help me answer my question of exactly how expensive a particular meeting is. In our conversation, we talk about the hidden biases in your calendar, how org charts work more like the human brain and why you should think about renewing meetings the same way you renew software. But first, I wanted a little background on why Dave started Resultably in the first place. What was the problem he saw that he wanted to solve? It turns out it all started with the tough job that managers face every day and a pretty lofty goal of his own.

Dave Link: I'm sure you've seen this too, everyone's building a better mouse trap. You look at different industries, you look at applicant tracking systems, there's thousands. So many different companies are just trying to do something slightly better. And what I always wanted to do was to be able to build a company that was fundamentally going to change how people thought about business. Which is a big goal. But when you think about being a manager at any level of a company, you have no tools that are helping you do your job. You have KPIs that you're tracking, but everyone needs time from you. Everyone needs something from you. And typically, there's not a lot of empowerment or enablement at every level of management from the senior executive, all the way down to first- time manager. Managing a few people, trying to understand what the heck's going on. So when I was thinking about Resultably, I thought, how could we have a tool that actually empowers managers with insights around the things that matter to them to make their lives easier? How do you go into a one- on- one and actually have real things to talk about without having to do a ridiculous amount of prep, for time that you don't have? How do you go and accomplish goals more consistently by having a better ability to forecast? How do you even understand efficiency inside of your team? With Resultably, we can do all of those things and quite a bit more, but that was really the impetus to get this thing off the ground. Which is, how can we go out and empower managers at every level of company with data that they currently have no way of getting today and make it simple for them to get.

Sean Lane: And realistically, that data comes down to time, right? That's at least the starting point for where any sort of data- driven conversation from Resultably is going to come from. And so I like what you said, being a manager is hard and so you start with this very specific concept of, you have X amount of time. And so most people, I would assume, at least for me, as you're getting started as a manager and as you're learning, a lot of it, you're doing on gut. Like what have you heard from managers about the way that they spend time today or the way they even think about time?

Dave Link: Yeah. So you're exactly right when you think about the gut. I've also been in the managerial role for a long time, at different levels of business, everything from pre- revenue first person, then all the way through to an IPO. And there's one thing that's universal, an absence of data and being stressed and needing more resources. You have to take shortcuts. You have to go back to past experiences, which unfortunately are biased. That's just the reality of human nature and how the brain works. In absence of data you go with what you think is the best decision at the time. And for managers at every level of an organization, not having that data that can help you understand time as the fundamental building block for how we accomplish everything is a major area of exposure that we see in the market right now. Because if you were to go do anything, build a house, go drive somewhere, create some type of action plan for something specific inside your business, it takes time. It's the thing that all of us have, we all want more of, but we don't understand.

Sean Lane: It's the thing we all have, the thing we all want more of and yet the thing we don't understand, I don't mean for this to sound like something you'd find inside of a fortune cookie, but Dave's point is pretty compelling. There's a reason why there are all those click- bait articles out there about all the things Elon Musk does before breakfast or why The 4- Hour Workweek was a number one New York Times bestseller. People are constantly looking for ways to make the most of their time. But I don't want this conversation to turn into an audio version of one of those listicles. So I asked Dave, if I truly want to understand my own time and the way my team spends time, where should I even begin? I've actually done my own personal version of this exercise before, I've timed different parts of my day, literally logged them with a stopwatch and then gone back to categorize how I spent my time at the end of a week or two weeks. I thought about how much time I spent in meetings, how much time I spent in one- on- ones, how much time I spent heads down working on focused projects and how much time I spent on building reporting or analytics. But with an expert like Dave at my disposal, I wanted to know if these were even the right starting points. How does he help other people to think about this?

Dave Link: I think there's a few things, it comes with the contextualization of the time, but broadly you do two things at work. You're either in a meeting or you're not in a meeting. And then from there, it breaks down because you start to think about the head's downtime that you just talked about. I've never met anyone in my life that could only have 30 minutes in between meetings and be super efficient with that time. You're running to the bathroom, you're handling something you need to handle, especially in this remote world that we now work in. There's no separation of church and State, so to speak. For most people you're always on and trying to avoid burnout is huge, you don't want to be burning people out. But when you go down and then you sit and you think about a calendar and you realize, okay, great, well, how much negative time do we have between meetings and are those blocks of time efficient? And that changes per role. But what you might actually find is the efficiency for a role that you currently have, and it's not based on effort, it's just based on reality, is completely out of whack. So you're going out, you're building hiring plans, you're bringing more and more people in, you're tracking the same KPIs. But what you're not understanding is efficiency. Because for every role you would imagine there's some band of time that you would expect that is appropriate to have internal meetings and appropriate to have external meetings. And then the Delta then of the rest is" head's downtime" but how efficient is that time? And that's broken up based on the different meetings that exist today. So being able to start a track and understand those types of metrics, you can actually show over time a new KPI that currently doesn't really exist, which is efficient time in terms of that heads down time, across your entire business, by role and show how, from an operations' standpoint, you can improve that over time. And theoretically, you can think about the number one item on your P& L for most businesses, which is people head count and hiring. In terms of salary, you might not have to be as aggressive with that hiring plan because you can be getting more from what already exists inside of your business today. And by the way, probably make people happier in the process because I've never heard of anyone go," I'm in the right amount of meetings and I'm really happy about how my time is being allocated."

Sean Lane: So is there a version of what good looks like? So you said, I totally get it, it's probably different for different types of roles. And so can you give me an example of a particular role and is there a benchmark that I should be striving for or optimizing for, of what good looks like or what efficient looks like? Because you're right, the definition of that might change for different people.

Dave Link: Yeah. I think part of it is understanding what's normal, you. And it's something doctors talk about a lot when you go in and it's like, people are different, so there's normal for you and then there's the broad category of people in general. And that's tough. The first thing that I would recommend that you do from an operation standpoint is try to go back and do a retro, try to look at one specific role. You go back over the past year for everyone that had that role, try to pull out as much data as you can understand, and just try to extract what is that baseline, what does normal look like? And are we within that deviation? Are we outside of it? Are we within the standard deviation against it and why do those outliers exist? And are they good or bad? And what do those indicators look like? Over time, we hope to be able to start to provide the industry with benchmark data around being able to understand stage appropriate, where you're at in terms of company and size and everything else, what these breakdowns should look like for" optimum range". But right now, the best way to do it is to try to go back and understand, especially if you feel the performance has been good in one particular area or one particular period. Maybe you had two great quarters and then the others looked a little wonky well, what did deficiency look like in those two quarters? Because what you might find is we believe a strong leading indicator of success and goal attainment is to have really efficient time spent. And then being able to understand that is critical to understand the success of a company.

Sean Lane: And you mentioned the catalyst for this whole idea behind the company was to help managers. And so I would imagine that efficiency level is also different depending on which level of leadership or where in the hierarchy you fall within your company too, right?

Dave Link: Yeah. I mean, it's tough when you think about it, because if you're just a people manager, and I say just the people managers, it's not that at all. I mean, if you don't have any managers underneath you, you're not a manager of managers, then being able to have actionable conversations and understand the time that you're spending with your direct reports or individual contributors is super important. And then likewise, when you think about being a manager at any level of the organization, you want to be fair. I've never met someone that says," I don't want to be fair and I don't want to treat people the same and give everyone a fair shake." But how do you understand what's impacting that? Because if you're really busy and you never have the time to go back and look at data and understand, wait, I'm actually not spending enough time with this individual or for whatever reason I've over- indexed on these couple of folks. And if you have data, I fundamentally believe you can be empowered to be a better manager right off the bat, even if it's your first time. To be able to understand, okay, I am fair and equitable with my time and my team, if I am over- indexing somewhere, it makes sense. Maybe that person is on a performance plan or we're focused on something else. So this makes total sense. The other lens of the product that matters a lot is when you think about diversity, equity and inclusion inside of your company, because what we can do is we can take all of this time data and overlay it with your HR data. So we can actually show you your gender and racial balance across your entire organization. So when you think about right now DENI metrics, it's just based off of traits and States, which matters of course, but we think you can get much better and deeper metrics that are happening on a daily basis to show proportionality. Meaning from a managerial perspective, are you proportionately spending the same amount of time based on gender, based on race, based on however you want to take a look at anything. And we think that that data is pretty powerful to be able to understand your business and certainly something that folks should strive to have a strong balance in.

Sean Lane: That's super interesting. So, I mean, if I think about the two main buckets that you said, you're either in a meeting or not in a meeting. What you're also saying is, in the, in a meeting category, breaking that down, based off of who you're spending time with, how that time is distributed amongst different folks on your team and finding your own internal biases to the types of meetings or the people you have meetings with, is a huge part of actually figuring out whether or not the in a meeting bucket is being spent in the most effective way. I want to pause here for a minute because my calendar would not have been a place that I would have necessarily stopped and looked at to identify my own biases. Sure I have one- on- ones and other recurring meetings, but are there people I tend to meet with one- off more often, do they come from a particular team? Who am I naturally including or excluding from those interactions? Dave thinks that people's calendars are filled with insights like this, and they can apply across a variety of use cases and audiences.

Dave Link: There's this great Harvard Business Review article that was put out a couple of years ago, on this new concept that they were coining called relational analytics. And the whole idea here is now that we work in a digital world and it's become super relevant based on the reality that we all live in. Unfortunately, due to COVID is different systems will contain vast amounts of data that are inherently disconnected. And if you can connect those systems together, you can create a very rich story around the relationships that exist inside your business and how they change over time. You take a look at your organization chart, your org chart top- down, very static. And that's not how any company operates. In fact, odds are, even from an operation standpoint, you really don't know how your company operates because it changes so dramatically. It's like a brain and you have this different synapses that are firing. That's how a company operates, some people are siloed, some people are left abandoned by their managers, some people are over- indexing in the wrong areas. There's tons of collaboration that occurs inside the organization but where and why, and how does that change over time? Once you're able to take these different data sources together, especially thinking about your communications stack, you think about video chat, email, and calendar. You think about the way in which people communicate, we can actually show you your organizational, almost think about your enterprise graph. What are the nodes and how do people connect inside your company? Because what you might realize is you need to reorg, or you could realize that, hey, these are my super connectors that exist inside my company. So if I want to go roll out a new strategic initiative, who the 5% of people in my company that I can go target, that are going to be the relational glue, holding our organization together, that can go drive the most change. Because right now there's no way that you can get that. But if you can start to, even starting with the calendar data, being able to understand how are those people meeting and who are those super connectors in your organization, you might have much better success operationally, rolling out your next big initiative by trying to go target those super connectors.

Sean Lane: I love this concept of finding the super connectors in your business. The people who serve as the connective tissue in the organization, not just through meetings on the calendar, but through all of the communication methods available to us today. And in my opinion, we, as operators inside of hyper- growth companies should aspire to be these super connectors. The more that we can connect the dots from one part of the organization to the other, the less likely that silos will emerge and more likely people will be to take others into consideration when making big decisions. Okay. We're starting to get a little theoretical here and the data part of my brain is starting to get a little uneasy. So let's get back to what we can measure. I've often found that companies who pitch me with time as the primary ROI of their product have pretty flimsy business cases. Not always, but often. When I checked out Dave's LinkedIn page, his banner across the top, literally reads, time is money, understand time. So I wanted to hold him to that claim. How can we take all of the ideas about time that we've been talking about and translate them into dollars? And Dave made a really helpful comparison that I had never heard before.

Dave Link: We wrote a blog post the other day, where we talked about the fact that it's absurd that you can be told, no, you can't go buy a thousand dollar piece of software, but no one cares if you go schedule a recurring meeting that's going to cost$20, 000 for the year without any quality control. The first thing to do is to go out and start surveying, so when a meeting ends asking three simple questions, did you need to be in the meeting? Could the meeting have been an email? And rate the effectiveness of the meeting on a scale of one to five. Now, we have that as a native feature inside Resultably, but you don't need to use us. You can go start doing that yourself to start to try to survey and understand meetings and try to contextualize the data together. Because what you might find is after the sixth occurrence of a reoccurring meeting, all of a sudden the effectiveness of that meeting dramatically goes down. But why are you continuing to have it? I mean, could you imagine as an ops person going to your CFO and saying," Hey, hate to tell you this, but we spent one and a half million dollars last month on recurring meetings where the overwhelming feedback from the team was, it could have been an email, and we've stacked ranked it in order and we want to go now work with HR, the different managers on training and enablement to go drive that cost out of the business." One and a half million dollars recurring a month and the reality is the bigger of an organization you are, the bigger of a problem this is. Because I've never met anyone that would dispute the reality, that if you spent a hundred percent of your time in internal meetings, as a company, your business would fail. But you don't understand what that cost is. You track every other cost inside of your company today, but once you can start understanding this from an operation standpoint, well, now you can actually go out and try to make better use of time, make better use of... It really comes back to what that opportunity cost is of that time. How much more efficient time are you creating for people to be able to go out and execute, especially if you're listening to their feedback, it's a win-win. Because right now, we've all sat in the meeting been like," Oh, I didn't need to be here. Or this could have been an email or this meeting sucked." And you have no way of really quantifying that qualitative feeling right now. But you can go start to do that and then when it comes down to actually putting a dollar amount against the meeting, there's variety of different ways to do that. The easiest thing to do is just to go out and just say," Hey, salary typically is sensitive, so what's just the average we're going to use for a minute of someone's time at this company." And just come to whatever that number is. Maybe you say, benefits salary fully loaded all in for a tech company that ends up being$ 45 an hour. Actually, let's just do a super easy math,$ 60 an hour, so you know it's a dollar a minute, per person, so then you go back and you can start to understand that. And obviously you can get more sophisticated depending on the sensitivity of the data you want to pull in and everything else, but it'll get you directionally accurate. You can also tier it based on the seniority level of an organization.

Sean Lane: Fair. Yeah. Okay. So, I mean, I think that$ 60 an hour benchmark gives you, like you said, super simple math to be able to figure it out. That idea of comparing the cost of the meeting to some of your other costs in the business, like buying a software tool is also something I just would not have thought of in the past for how I would make that comparison. Because you're right, I mean, we spend so much time fighting for budget or going over what the cost of a new tool is going to be. And yet meetings or time spent don't really get that same treatment.

Dave Link: And I think part of it is because it's just institutionalized part of doing business period. I mean, it's always been around, you think about, bear with me here, but a thousand years ago, King holding court. It's like, by definition, you're having a meeting. Meetings have been around since the beginning of humanity, so to start to think about it different is radical and tough for some people to think about. But if you think at the end of the day, hey, from an operation standpoint, how do we become more efficient and make people happier? Because at the end of the day, it's all about employee engagement and making folks feel like they're being listened to and empowered to be able to have a voice, to change things that happen inside of a company. But if you continue to subject that person and their time to things that are inefficient, then guess what? Someone's got to give and you want to avoid burnout, you want to avoid employee turnover as well. I just think there's a lot you can start to get at when you start thinking about time and meetings this way.

Sean Lane: Okay. So in case you missed them, Dave's three questions he recommends you ask people after a meeting are, one, did you need to be in the meeting? Two, could the meeting have been an email? And three, rate the effectiveness of the meeting on a scale from one to five. One of the first things that our CEO says to new hires at Drift is if you're ever in a meeting where you feel like you aren't adding value, or you could be accomplishing something else of a higher priority, you have total and complete permission to just walk out. Or I guess today less aggressively in a virtual setting, leave the Zoom. So let's say you take the time to do the exercise that Dave suggests, and you have a sense of how much time you or your team are spending on meetings, how much those meetings costs, et cetera, then what? This stuff only gets harder as your company grows. What can you actually do with this information? Dave said that this is a real and widespread problem.

Dave Link: I think part of it goes back to this wild statistic that was published in 2019. And this was before the whole pandemic started. An estimate in the United States alone,$ 399 billion was wasted on pointless meetings alone. The question is, how much of that is happening at your organization? We're trying to create our own new magic quadrant. If you're stuck with me on it, where you essentially index your meetings in one of four categories, and you look at collaboration on one axis and you look at effectiveness on another axis. And for meetings that are highly effective and highly collaborative, you want to keep those meetings, those are great, that's top, right. But for meetings that are highly effective, but very low collaboration, think single talker meetings, where everyone says, no, this is valuable, but no one else is talking well, why don't you move that meeting to asynchronous? In that category, it's just thinking about how do we keep something that's working, but make it more efficient for everybody? Versus something that's very low collaboration, low effective, that's your kill zone, then that's one where you just have to have that honest look where it's like, listen, this meeting isn't efficient, no one likes it, it sucks. No one likes bad news, but the reality is, if we want to make better use of people's time, we need to understand it. Because then also if you're quantifying it, you're realizing, hey, I've been told how many times I can't go renew a certain piece of software for whatever reason and I've known that I can't because it doesn't make sense. But we don't talk about that same type of idea with meetings, so should you renew this meeting? Should you actually go back? And maybe one of the things that you can do is if you just put on this recurring meeting that never is going to end, that you put some type of check- in date, some number of weeks in, where the meeting becomes around, do we need to keep this meeting? Because if it's just a status update, that can be an email. But to talk about the fourth quadrant, which is something that is highly collaborative, but low effective, that's what we were affectionately calling rethink. That's, do you really need to have this meeting? Is there a better way? Could you move this to something that's happening over Slack? Yeah, it's collaborative, but if it's not really effective, maybe you need a stronger agenda. And that gets into another category as well, which is, how much are you spending on meetings organizationally, that just don't have agendas attached. It's scandalous. That's the lowest hanging fruit. Let people know what they're walking into.

Sean Lane: Scandalous, I love it. I mean, I think that that new quadrant makes total sense to me. I'm sitting here drawing it out and then making the different categories as you're describing them. And so I think in that rethink category, I'm glad you mentioned the idea of either replacing or supplementing that with something that's asynchronous. Some of that we did, I think just to a certain extent before the pandemic and has skyrocketed since the pandemic is doing videos. And certainly email is one option, but we'll record a video of me walking through a deck or pitching a proposal. And then anybody who I need feedback from that on is getting that video. I can see who's watched the video and then also they can give me their feedback separately. So that's one alternative I feel like people could go with on the rethink bucket. But I think more than anything, you're just making this a little bit more concrete for me. Right?

Dave Link: I think so. I mean, you have to understand is, if you're willing to give over to the new idea, that time is money, which we all know, but how you view time as something that can actually be a meaningful metric, that you can try to disrupt organizations from an operation standpoint. I mean imagine going into an executive meeting and say," Listen, this quarter, I'm disrupting time at this company." Everyone's going to feel like, what are you talking about? And then you start to come up and you start to use these concepts. You talk about fire drills. Fire drills are the most inefficient thing that happens in your company, that same day meeting. So that means it's scheduled and occurs on the same day. My background in customer success, this was the bane of my existence. You're running into all these types of issues. There's not enough time to communicate and collaborate with different people organizationally, because you're just trying to fix what's going on, but it's getting in the way and these little fires, they burn everywhere across our company. The question is, how are you understanding where, why, and when they're occurring, do they actually need to be fire drills and causing such massive amounts of context switching? Are there underlying issues that aren't traveling across the organization that operationally you need to enable? Maybe you have a fire drill inside customer success, because there was a massive product issue with one particular customer, but for whatever reason, that news hasn't traveled to engineering because everyone's just trying to fix whatever the heck's going on for the customer. Because there's walls in place to make that communication not happening. But if you could understand these fire drills and why they're happening, you can go drive that operational change. So being able to think in this way, I think gives you a lot of additional context to be able to create better outcomes, organizationally, in terms of what's happening on a daily basis.

Sean Lane: And I think, if I were to take that a step further, I can then turn that into a more concrete goal. You can take this up, a more of this fluffy idea of I want to spend my time better to I want to reduce the number of fire drill meetings I have this month from 20 last month to 12 this month. And all of a sudden it becomes a measurable thing that maybe you start on an individual level and then you can ultimately grow it and expand that to other parts of your team and ultimately, other parts of your organization.

Dave Link: It's exactly right. It's how do we go and decrease meetings that don't have agendas. How do we go and understand and have goals against fire drills. How do we go and understand taking that feedback that we're talking about from team members based on inefficient meetings and correct them and show that savings. It's these new KPIs that you can start to care about that dramatically impact, it's like a bottoms up approach. Now everyone talks about goal planning it's top down it's, we want to go to the top of the mountain. It's like, that's really great, but if you're not wearing shoes, you're going to die. And I've never worked at any business that's been like," We hit our goals every single time." No, of course not. But the reality is, if you don't understand time, you don't even understand how close you're going to be. You could realize three weeks into a quarter based on efficiency and time, there's absolutely no way in this dramatic things change that you're going to be able to go achieve that OKR. So we can now create these leading indicators by understanding time better, to be able to go and figure out how do you create harmony? It's almost like music, where to be in pitch, you have to be perfectly sharp and perfectly flat at the same time. And that's understanding that, it's how are you tuning your organization to give you the best chance to sound the best, to get to where you need to go?

Sean Lane: Here's a challenge for all of us. When it comes time to assess performance against your goals this quarter, stop and consider if spending time inefficiently is one of the core contributors to why one of your goals was missed. You're naturally going to look at your funnel, you're going to look at the people, you're going to look at your conversion rates, but check your calendar. It might be new, it might be hard, but some of the answers you're looking for might live right there in plain sight. Before we go at the end of each show, we're going to ask each guest the same lightning round of questions. Ready? Here we go. Best book you've read in the last six months.

Dave Link: Best book I've read in the last six months. I re- read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, a low culture manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. I highly recommend checking it out. A great before bed reading material.

Sean Lane: All right, sounds good. Normally, I ask the folks who are working in ops favorite part about working in ops. So take that with what you will. You've had a little bit of a different path in different parts of your background, but favorite part about working in this operational world that you're in now?

Dave Link: Well, I think the best part of operations is being able to be the engineer that's trying to create. It's like, you're the WD-40 creator and where you can apply that and then see things start to work more efficiently, that's the best feeling in the world. You see something that is inherently squeaky and you're like," Oh, I got this can WD-40, which is my brain and I can go fix it." And it's awesome.

Sean Lane: Least favorite part about working with ops.

Dave Link: Probably the fact that people have strong opinions and they're not always loosely held. So sometimes you get into religion conversations about way things are done that I think all of us can stand to have a stronger sense of reason, to hear different ways to do things.

Sean Lane: Someone who impacted you getting the job you have today.

Dave Link: I would say, of all people that I've ever worked for Angus Davis at Swipely really was a leader that showed, at least showed me personally, that it was possible to go be an entrepreneur. That it's really based off of what you can do and not anybody else and you have to make people care. So I would say for him, he probably put me, he groomed me best to be in this type of position. Put it that way.

Sean Lane: Last one, one piece of advice for people who want to have your job someday.

Dave Link: It's probably not best to maybe start a company in a pandemic, find out your wife's pregnant and have two kids in daycare in Massachusetts, which is super expensive.

Sean Lane: So run is the advice?

Dave Link: Timing is everything, no, I mean, I think that is the advice, that timing is everything and the reality is never a right time. So if it's something that you want to do, if you want to take the jump into entrepreneurship, you just need to take the jump.

Sean Lane: No irony there at all. Timing is everything. Thank you so much to Dave Link for joining us on this week's episode of Operations. If you liked what you heard, make sure you are subscribed to our show so it shows up in your feed every other Friday. Also, if you really are enjoying the show or you felt like you took something away from today's episode, make sure you leave us a six star review on Apple podcasts or anywhere you get your podcasts. Six star reviews only. That's going to do it for me. Thanks so much for listening. We'll see you next time.

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