Episode 15 - The Right Way to Advise a Company on Scaling w/ Mark Irace, former CMO of Fanduel



Episode 15 - The Right Way to Advise a Company on Scaling w/ Mark Irace


Mark Irace:         Nobody should come in here and tell you what to do without really understanding the business and I think that the thing I've really learned over my career is, for the first 30 days I always come in and try to understand why they do it a certain way.

Dave Knox:         I'm your host Dave Knox and this is predicting the turn. A show that helps business leaders meet their industries inevitable disruption, head-on. Welcome to another episode of predicting the turn. Today I've got a really good episode that is with my good friend Mark Irace who came from being the former CMO of Fan Duel, one of the most disruptive companies that I think has come on the environment in a long time and is really somebody that has taken a classic training in direct marketing and has brought it into this new world of direct consumer and emerging grants. So Mark, it's a pleasure to have you.

Mark Irace:         Thanks Dave, I appreciate it, happy to be here.

Dave Knox:         Well thank you. So I want to start a little bit with the journey that you've been on your career. For a decade, you were the general manager and vice president of marketing at Provide Commerce which is the e-commerce company behind ProFlowers and Shari's Berries and a handful of other brands that really pioneered direct and performance marketing. But I don't think people fully appreciate that growth story of a company that went from one million dollars to a hundred million dollars in just four years. So how did starting your career on the direct side of marketing of business prepare you for this new world of performance marketing?

Mark Irace:         Yeah that is a good question. So interestingly I got my start before the Internet existed. I started in direct mail. Direct mail was kind of the original performance marketing because you were renting mailing lists. You'd run three catalogs with different covers so an A, B, C, split test and then you'd drop them in the mail and you'd read the results. So I got my start there and when the Internet was coming around, I'd be reading the Wall Street journal and I'd be saying, "Boy I got to get in on this." So that was very early on at ProFlowers with just a handful of people in the room. Our CEO at ProFlowers was an operator very early on. He had worked at Intuit working for Scott Cook, Bill Harris, Bill Campbell, some of the legends at Intuit. So, really I already had a ... And he valued the basis of direct marketing realizing that what we were doing offline was going to be online on steroids. So he really valued my skillset and I learned a ton from him around not just more on the direct marketing side, but also just how to run a business.

Mark Irace:         So ProFlowers was a million dollar business when we started it and we were very ... That was the heyday when people were spending an enormous amount of money on deals. Our CEO was just like, "Look, it just doesn't make sense to spend a hundred dollars to make twenty. We're not going to do it." So we really just organically built that up. So I was vice president of marketing of the ProFlowers brand for about five years. We were just very systematic in growing. It's a little bit of a tricky business 'cause of inventory. So if you're going to run ... Mother's Day is coming up here but, you have to order the right amount of flowers and make sure your demand hits it. So we were very systematic in the way we grew that and that company went public in 2003 under provide commerce, which was ProFlowers as well as we launched some food brands as well and then sold to Liberty Media in 2006, which is John Malone's business for 477 million.

Mark Irace:         So the second half of my career there I really did the same thing that I did in the pro side which is taking Shari's Berries being our largest brand, and some of our other food brands and building that up. So really that blueprint of how to do it is we applied that. We're systematic and took that from a million to a hundred million dollars. So just a really great story and in fact today I was just talking to somebody, the folks that provide are everywhere. You're going to bump into somebody that worked to provide at some point if you're in the D to C space. So from there, I was there for 12 years. I went to a health care start-up called Brighter, for a year working for a very successful entrepreneur called Jake Winebaum and that was great. In healthcare I recognize that maybe it wasn't my lifelong dream to be in healthcare. Although, I think their mission was great and I think the company was great. So I left and then, to your point, I joined FanDuel. They're doing about five million dollars a year in revenue in February of 2013.

Mark Irace:         I was CMO there for four and half years through June of 2017. That's a whole nother story but the quick synopsis is, it was really a tale of two experiences. The first half being, completely euphoric with massive growth and it felt like the good times couldn't end and the second half around regulation whether it was attorney generals or what have you. It was just was a very different business. So I left there in June 2017 and that was at the moment where Draft Kings and FanDuel tried to merge. The FTC gave a negative opinion on that and so they were staying separate companies and I decided to move on. Since then, I've done lots of different engagements with either being interim CMO or buying media for folks, advising companies, et cetera.

Mark Irace:         So, sorry that's 30 years but it's a lot to say in 30 years but that's kind of been my path.

Dave Knox:         I love it. Well I want to talk specifically about that. That massive growth that you said you saw with ProFlowers becoming Provide Commerce and then you did it again with FanDuel, seeing going from single-digit millions to well over a hundred million dollars in revenue. As an executive that's in that very early stage and grows with the company, how does the job of an executive and a marketer change during that time period of startup to just trying to keep the wheels on of massive growth.

Mark Irace:         Really there were some ... There were quite a bit of similarities between the two businesses and then some things that were different. Actually I think the provide pro experience was a little bit harder just due to the inventory piece. So yeah at the beginning you're effectively in the trenches doing the work as well as managing a few folks. But if I look at my FanDuel experience, I went from ten people on my marketing team to a hundred people on my marketing team over the course of two years. So for me, that experience, as I have a hundred people on my team, it was really around getting the right resources in place, managing those folks. I did virtually no day-to-day whereas on the provide side, I was always doing a little day-to-day as well as growing the business.

Mark Irace:         The provide pieces had the inventory piece that made it quite a bit ... Forecasting became quite a bit more challenging. Where at FanDuel I remember, at one point we increased our budget going into football seasons by, I want to say it was hundred million. It was a pretty substantial gain. Short of like the engineering team and the customer service team, grinding them down with traffic and tickets, you could do it. Whereas on the pro side, you just couldn't do anything like that. So the pro side kind of forced you to be very disciplined. Whereas on the FanDuel side we could be a little more free wheeling due to the fact that we had no inventory. So yeah so I think the challenges that you face as a marketer as you grow is what every marketer faces around attribution and what's really working and all those pieces. The more I do it, I think it's getting better and I think it's getting easier but I don't think any marketer is happy with their attribution. But I think everybody is kind of starting to get closer to the answer.

Mark Irace:         So I don't know if that answers your question Dave but that was some of my experience in those rapid-growth businesses.

Dave Knox:         Yeah for sure. How about on the talent side because I found that the people that get you from one to ten million might not be the ones that get you from ten to a hundred. But at the same token, you're just trying to bring everybody on the ship because you're growing so fast. So how did you evolve with that and think about your team and the evolution of the company and your marketing team?

Mark Irace:         So I had a mentor tell me something that I never forgot. He told me, "People make products. Products don't make people." I always took that ... It really is true. So I spent an enormous amount of time on the people side 'cause ultimately it just comes down to talent. Good ideas with bad talent won't work and bad ideas with good talent won't work. So to your point on that piece, yeah you really have to understand what you need and also I'd say, because of my pro experience, really understand things that maybe didn't go right at ProFlowers and what to look out for. So on the ProFlowers side it was a very drug-response business and really brand wasn't that important to the company. Then we built just kind of like a very [inaudible 00:09:01] business and that said, we grew it to almost half a billion dollars in value. But what I learned through that was, if you just are a pure DR company, that you're just a transaction and you don't stand for more than that. Eventually it will just slow down. It will grind down because every single time you go back for your retention for an order, it's just another jump ball.

Mark Irace:         So what you really want to do is while you're building direct response and the transactional side, think about where you sit in the market place. I can give you some examples of companies that I think are doing that well. So at FanDuel, one thing I did was, they were very direct response as well, but I brought a brand marketer in that had come from InterBrand around brand strategy knowing that eventually that would be important. So that was ... It took awhile to get him ingrained in the business because every was so direct responsive like, "Well what does this guy do? What's he going to do?" But eventually we got to the point where we actually had to rebrand the business given all the changes with attorney generals and some of the stuff that PR had said, kind of consumer sentiment being negative. So it was really good that we had someone like that on the team. But yeah, you definitely find the early stage people, a lot of times they just don't fit in the bigger term piece. So we had a couple very scrappy entrepreneurial people at FanDuel that were really useful in the beginning.

Mark Irace:         But as we grew, making changes behind the scenes that now had to be submitted as a ticket, and they just didn't fit in the company. So we ended up having ... They were incredibly useful but there was a pretty big handoff between very entrepreneurial folks and people that were more seasoned over time. Both are valuable. Some could do the whole gamut from soup to nuts but there was a chunk of people that they were incredibly useful in the beginning and actually was a bit difficult to work with them towards the end just because the company had changed so much.

Dave Knox:         That's perfect. So speaking about FanDuel, I would argue that FanDuel versus Draft Kings was kind of the Coke versus Pepsi, the Uber versus Lyft. Like one of those just ... The massive battle of two companies that were leading a category going after it. I've spent a lot of time at P and G where it was Old Spice versus Axe and Secret versus Dove so that is a powerful motivator but at the same time it can sometimes be a distraction of paying too much attention to what the other guy is doing. So how did you keep your team really focused on the core metrics that mattered to your business with acquisition costs and retention and not just chasing the next league deal or the next sports team signing on board?

Mark Irace:         Yeah that's a great question and I would say my ProFlowers experience had to provide ... We were very internally focused. Our CEO didn't believe any of the incumbents could [inaudible 00:11:55] what we were doing in terms of price point or execution. We were very internally focused, very little external focus on the competitors. At FanDuel, we were pretty focused on the competitor like it was ... We were tracking that pretty hard and probably in hindsight, we probably spent too much time watching what they were doing. But we had .... So on the unit economic side, our cap was half that of Draft Kings. We had better retention. Not to say that they didn't do a good job but we were very focused on it. We had team and league deals that weren't as expensive. So we did focus on that stuff. Draft Kings ended up raising two X what we did and so they definitely deployed more capital. So even if your cap is half and they spend twice as much, it kind of puts you at parity. My ProFlowers experience, believe it or not, was really helpful at FanDuel with in particular seasonality.

Mark Irace:         So I had come from a business where, Valentines Day, Mother's day, it was ... Mother's day for example was 40% of our companies profits. So pretty much everything that shipped in that week, made or broke your year. At FanDuel, when I got there and saw the first couple years they had done stuff, looking at the data, it was very seasonal as well. So we, caught on to that quite a bit quicker than Draft Kings. It took them a couple years to really flow the media similar. They eventually caught onto it but that was a big differentiator for us. We were ... We learned early on in the season the current mindset from a user was I draft my fantasy team at the beginning of the year and on FanDuel, they would think about picking a team at the beginning of the year. Even though, you could draft a team at the end of the year or join your first contest mid-season, people kind of ... Their current behavior was drafting early. So they just did that with us and so we had substantially better caps in the begging than they did because we really understood seasonality.

Mark Irace:         I kind of chalk that up to my provide days of really understanding how to buy media that way and flow it. But eventually we got kind of closer to parity over time. So yeah so I think to the point of competition, we definitely watched what they were doing as well. I'd say the one area that they really ... Or this is an interesting challenge I think companies have. FanDuel had kind of proven that hey this could work and we actually had something to lose. Draft Kings coming in after FanDuel a couple years later, they kind of had nothing to lose because they didn't have anything. Whereas FanDuel actually showed they had an evaluation. They showed they had a business. So Draft Kings was very aggressive. I mean to their credit, they took risks that FanDuel wasn't willing to take but it really paid off for them. So they would do sports that maybe FanDuel said, "You know, like golf, we're not comfortable launching golf." Draft Kings said, "Okay, we'll launch golf and if something happens we'll just take it down." There's a bunch of examples like there where they innovated and iterated much faster than we did.

Mark Irace:         That really helped them catch up to us as well. So that is an interesting question though. If you're kind of coming in behind ... I'd say the other piece there is that FanDuel had a different business model when they launched the company and then they pivoted to this daily fantasy idea that a couple other folks had done but obviously FanDuel had done it really well. So the site, the back-end, all that was designed for something else. So, as many companies do, entrepreneurs they say, "Well, we'll take the tech we have, we'll test out the daily fantasy stuff and see if it works. Then if it works, we'll then re-platform and blah blah blah." Well what happens is, when it works you don't have time to re-platform because the business is off the rails.

Mark Irace:         So Draft Kings also, when they built the daily fantasy systems and their site, they knew what they were building from the beginning. So we always, in addition to them iterating quickly, we had some challenges just on the tech side because it was never really designed for that. We were doing so much volume so quickly. I mean that business grew, what could of taken six or seven years, that thing grew in two or three. So yeah there was some pretty interesting case study work there with both companies.

Dave Knox:         I love that. So it's a bit into the weeds a little bit but you made a comment in there that you knew that your cap was half of theirs. How did you actually find that between two private companies? How'd you get that data?

Dave Knox:         Talent is a big part of predicting the turn and as we talk about talent, I wanted to mention one of sponsors, Hunt Club. Imagine the power of the best marketers in the world helping you to find your next marketing leader. That's the power of Hunt Club. Hunt Club is a new category of talent company that powers the network of experts, connectors, and business leaders to help you find the best talent. Let's face it, recruiting hasn't changed with the times. Hunt Club is changing the recruiting game by leveraging technology and crowdsource referrals to find you the best people possible for your company. Stop paying job boards that don't work, or recruiting firms that recycle the same active candidates. Partner with Hunt Club.

Mark Irace:         So, a couple ways, one is there's a bunch of competitive sources out there for tracking. So Cantor Media for example, you can have your agency pull you. They estimate kind of what your spends are and you could tell ... There was a couple third-party sites that would measure liquidity on the sites as well as, we could actually see the Draft Kings lobby. So we could actually see liquidity, it's public and they could see ours. So we had a pretty good idea that we were deploying quite a bit less capital and seeing similar results. Then also, as we came closer to the merge ... So that was kind of cool piece of data that we had pre-merge. Then as we got closer to merging with them, we weren't sharing all the info but you had some sense that our caps were better. Both companies were deploying so much money. I mean it wasn't like one company is just spending like 10% more. It was, you're talking, hundreds of millions of dollars. So we knew our unit economics were better than theirs were.

Mark Irace:         But they deployed ... To their credit, they were actually really good at raising money. So they raised two X what we did and that kind of kept us at parity.

Dave Knox:         Got you. No, that makes sense. So moving on from FanDuel, since leaving, you've followed your passion for leading, growing, and developing direct to consumer businesses both as an advisor but also as an interim CMO with some pretty amazing companies like, Juul and Loot Crate, and Bouqs and several others. So when you step into a role as an interim CMO, what are you looking to accomplish with your time working with a company and what are you setting up with the CEO that you're going to really deliver.

Mark Irace:         Yeah so it's interesting because it depends ... So I'd say of those businesses, they all had different objectives going in. So one was kind of looking to make a change with the current leadership. Another was just a highly ... Juul Vapor was just massive growth. Then Loot Crate had been Inked Magazine's fastest growing company that had gotten a bit out of it's skis and was looking to reestablish growth. So it kind of starts with what are you trying to do? Where is the company at? That really comes from talking to the CEO. I will say companies that are at the 100, 200 level employees, my experience as the CEO goes, so goes the company. So as a marketer, I can go as far as the CEO lets me take it. So they might take some of my recommendations but not all of those. I can only do as much they'll let me.

Mark Irace:         But yet, each of those had different objectives. So it really just kind of depends. But having done this for so long, I kind of knew. Everybody has similar needs, right? So my passion is just building D to C. It's not necessarily sports, or flowers or what have you. It's really just taking a business and growing it. So the blueprint to do that is pretty consistent among companies. So everybody is trying to acquire customers. Everybody is trying to retain customers. Everybody wants to build a brand. So those things are all the same. The way to execute those is different. So each company I would do it differently but the way I think about it, is very similar. So it's really about me kind of starting there.

Mark Irace:         How are you acquiring customers? What are the marketing channels you're using? How are you rolling that up into attribution? What marketing offers are you using? How do you buy you media? Just getting under the hood of all that and what I'd say is, what I find ... I do a lot of other media buying for companies and advising. I'd say a lot of companies, what I've found, is they're doing the right things. They're just not doing those things right. So another example would be a company I advised, they were buying Facebook. They were spending about 100K a month at a 400 dollar cap and we ended up getting some million dollars a month at a hundred dollar cap. They were actually buying ... They were buying Facebook. They're doing the right things. Their just approach wasn't right and so all those things kind of come in. So once I do that assessment, then I can say, "Okay, lets move these. Let's do these. Let's tweak these. Let's rent some talent here. Like you don't need to hire this, let's rent it until it gets big enough then we'll hire it."

Mark Irace:         That approach, the blueprint is always the same. The recommendations are going to change. So that's kind of how I think about it. Does that make sense?

Dave Knox:         It does, so dig in on that talent piece a little bit 'cause I found myself, since leaving Rockfish, I've been doing what I call this kind of this executive marketing coaching. Where it's getting in with companies and just figure out what do they need in their marketing organization. What's the strategy versus the tactics? One of the things I've found is that there is probably defined two types of companies. There's ones that have hired so much tactical that they're at a point that they just need somebody strategic to come in at a senior level. That might be an interim CMO or that might be a head of marketing that comes in permanently. But then I found the other one, which is the one I think is almost more interesting where, they've got a team and they've got somebody on that team that has a chance to grow into the CMO but they need coaching and mentoring to get there because they haven't run the playbook before but they need a coach to help them. What have you seen as you've jumped in with some of these companies?

Mark Irace:         Yeah I'd say, gosh like I said, everyone is different. So one example was, they had a CMO, a talented person but just wasn't working out the way they had hoped. So in something like that, I just had to come in and provide that blueprint I talked about. Then really after that, assess what they had. Sometimes I've also found ... I'll use a sports analogy but, sometimes you have a player that was a 300 hitter and then a couple years later they're batting 200 and you're like, "What the hell? They should be better." Sometimes people need a change of scenery. So sometimes you have the talent but they're just burnt out of that company or whatever. So I've also seen that where it's like, "Hey you're really talented but this is not the place for you anymore."

Mark Irace:         So the other one I went to was a massively rapid growth company that just didn't have a CMO. They had tons of very talented people that were all kind of siloed running around and so trying to harness that and bring that in. Then the other one was a company where they had had a lot of talent and a lot of that talent had left. So they had to kind of rebuild it up. So yeah I have not had experiences or I haven't had as many where somebody could be the CMO. But I think, when you come in as a contractor, they want to see results. So I'm really kind of just like saying ... A lot of stuff that I'll recommend, I'll get to some of it and the rest of it they have to take it on and I'll help them set that up and they take it from there. Yeah I think they're all different. So you just have to really assess where they're at. That's why you can't say this is what ... I laugh too when people will say to me, "Well, what should my brand be or what should I do?"

Mark Irace:         It's like, if I'm telling you what your brand should be without knowing who your customers are, who your prospects are or what motivates them, what are the barriers to trial, nobody should come in here and tell you what to do without really understanding the business. I think that the thing I've really learned over my career is, for the first 30 days, I always come in and try to understand why they do it a certain way because you'll come in to a company and find, this is really inefficient and doesn't seem to make any sense but eventually it clicks. You go, "Okay, they're doing it in a really inefficient way but I understand why." Once you do that, you really garner a lot of trust with the team to say, "Hey, I get why you're doing it." The worst thing you can do is come in and just be like, "You're doing everything wrong. You guys know what you're doing." You find out oh wait, they are doing it wrong but they have to do it wrong because of these three other issues. They don't have tech support or they don't have operational support or whatever.

Mark Irace:         But like I said, that line of people make products, products don't make people, is so critical. I mean you just can't ... The best strategy without talent won't work. You just can't do it. I even think, when I talk to younger folks or more junior folks, that when I came up through school, I don't think the point of how to hire talent and how to retain talent, it's so important. It really is everything especially as you're a CMO, that's what it's about. 'Cause if you can't do that, it doesn't matter how good of a marketer you are, you're not going to be successful.

Dave Knox:         Yeah without a doubt. So many of the brands that you've worked with, they've been disrupting these historical industries through the creation of new categories. You had FanDuel change sports betting with daily fantasy sports. Juul is the smoking alternative really creating this category of electronic cigarettes. In the last few episodes, I've had a lot of our friends from the Bullpen Capital family on. So we had Paul Martino talk about how Bullpen looks at the world. Dave Peterson talking about the concept of play bigger in category creation. So what lessons have you learned in terms of best practices for companies that are changing an industry by creating a new category?

Mark Irace:         It's interesting 'cause some are taking a spin on an existing category. Others are, to your point, just creating something new. So it's interesting. So if I think about Juul, Juul had been chunking at that. So the backstory is, the two guys that founded that were Stanford products guys. Not product in the website sense but actually like developing product. They had been smokers and they were looking for an alternative and so they created the Juul vapor device. It's interesting, they actually did that because they just didn't build it for the scale that it's at today. They did it because they just wanted to see if they could do it and thought it would be a cool business. So the Juul, the device today, I think it had like 29 different components to put together to make it. So it wasn't build for scale but it's a really high quality device. But they were chunking at that for like six years. It really wasn't until they hit this kind of tipping point where things really took off. Then it was just complete mayhem trying to keep up with demand.

Mark Irace:         So they really stuck to it for a long time. So to your point on like, some of these things just take off quickly and others take time. Then some companies have great ideas that are just too early. I think about a lot of these early grocery delivery companies that started early and just kind of faded. Now there's Instacart and other companies that are doing really well. So the idea can be right, the timing can be wrong. It's neat to see a company grow into a category. Loot Crate probably, another great example where the early folks around subscription, the original unboxing company and really build that business off of influencers. I'm not a geek and gamer person but who knew how big that category was with just so many people that follow it. So they did just a heck of a job building that and really it was unprecedented. They really didn't have any blueprint to pull from.

Mark Irace:         So the talent piece, in terms of like ... 'Cause I know that's a big part of it is, they're still acquiring customers. They're still retaining customers et cetera et cetera. So that part is similar but yeah I think the challenge in each of these businesses like for Loot Crate was really around forecasting because those components are all sourced out of China. So how do you forecast six months out on a a rocket ship? Oh and by the way we're going to launch a few other crates to widen the pie as well as help on the retention side. How do you know what that's going to look like in six months? It was really hard. So they ran into challenges like that in that business but I mean, they really build that thing quickly to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mark Irace:         So yeah it's an interesting challenge. Then Wag I guess is another one I've done some advising for and helped them very early on to build that business. Where building that kind of dog walking marketplace with getting the supply and demand and the challenges on those businesses where, early on it was they had plenty of supply, they just didn't have the demand. How do you keep the supply happy, so you're not just doing a dog walk a week, while driving the demand side and matching all that together.

Mark Irace:         So it's really about, too I think the other piece is, all of it comes to being a problem solver and really understanding that because as you know, a lot of stuff you get through day-to-day life are things you haven't seen. I mean that happens all the time. I did some mentoring at my university where someone asked me, "Is there ever a day you go to work and then somebody asks you something you don't know how to do?" I'm thinking, all the time. I'm like, this is how you play the game. So really just being a problem solver and really understanding how to think about it and do that is essential. Especially for these business that, to your point, have no real blueprint on how to do them. I think what you need to do if you're a Loot Crate and you have operation things is how do you find the people that are really good at forecasting and planning and operations and bring those folks in to try to get ahead of that curve because you're not just worried about fulfillment today. You're worried about three, six, twelve months down the line.

Dave Knox:         Yeah so that point of problem solving, it's actually one that I love hearing you say that. I've been toying with this concept of continuous beta. It's this idea that the people at companies and the companies themselves need to be in this concept of continuous beta, perpetual change, new ways to do things, not getting comfortable and just thinking about, if somebody was going to change my business today, how would they do it? I need to figure it out before them. So how do you think people can really stay on top of that? Constantly learning, constantly trying new things and constantly changing an industry versus getting comfortable with what that industry is.

Mark Irace:         Yeah I think there's that saying evolve or die. It's really true. I think in a business that's in rapid growth, even though ... Certainly FanDuel felt like the good times that never end. They will end and so you have to think about where is my growth going to come from next? Even if growth, like I said, is rocking and rolling today, it's going to slow down. So if you're a company that ... And pro is probably a really good example of that. We were doing flowers and man it was a rocket ship but our CEO was very good operationally to say, "Fine, we knew that category wasn't a growth category but we knew we were taking share. How are we going to continue to grow?" Slowly over time, as we started to see retention slide, the customers were saying, "We love you, but we don't want to send flowers for the third year in a row for a birthday." So that's how we got into launching other brands on our site that was around chocolate covered strawberries, gift baskets, we had a food and meat brand. Other things that helped grow both acquisition, which we finally figured out there but also retention.

Mark Irace:         So I think a paranoia around growth is essential and just know that the good times will slow for all companies. You even see it with some of these companies that you think would never slow like the GEs of the world and stuff. You just have to always think like where is growth going to come from next? The other thing I think is an interesting point that I kind of ... I've always been a smaller to mid-size company guy. I've never worked for, like you had day with P and G or Coca Cola or what have you. It's always interesting to me what Dollar Shave and Harry's have done in shaving where you have companies completely focused on shaving all day long, thousands of people. These guys kind of come in and make that work or Red Bull. You're Coca Cola or Pepsi, you're only thinking about beverage and then there's this energy category that comes up. I haven't worked at a big company but it's an interesting case how these big companies that you have so many people that you would think, all they do all day is think about beverage but there's just so much opportunity to come in and make a difference.

Mark Irace:         So, I just think the paranoia on growth is essential and just when the times are good is when you really should be worried about it because when the times are bad it's hard to think clearly. Everything becomes much harder.

Dave Knox:         Yup, no that's exactly it. It's one of the quotes I end pretty much every one of my presentations on predicting the turn, is won by the guys at Basecamp of, the sooner you can stop worrying about the present, the sooner you can get to work on figuring out the future. That paranoia that you have to figure out the future, 'cause somethings going to change, not enough business leaders I think are focused on that every day.

Mark Irace:         I agree. Look I mean, when things are good, it does feel euphoric. It's probably the most exciting part of being a business person, an exec, an entrepreneur to see, it feels so good but you just have to know that that's when you should be like, "Wait." I think the quote you were saying from the Basecamp folks is a good one. So yeah so the truth is people love to talk about what they've done and about themselves. You just take people that have been through it, take them to lunch or coffee or whatever and just ask them. Certainly everybody likes to talk about themselves and people will share a lot of information. So it's out there but it is hard to be in a rapid growth company where you're so focused on the day-to-day and then to think about the future. But it happens to everybody so I think it's good advice.

Dave Knox:         Perfect well that's a great note to end on. I really appreciate you taking the time to share everything you've learned on this great journey you've had on your career. So thank you again and love and honor.

Mark Irace:         Thank you much Dave, really appreciate it.

Dave Knox:         Thanks so much for listening. If you like the show, hit that rating, and make sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single episode. For more resources, head over to predicting the turn dot com.