In this episode of ROAS we sit down with Sean McGinnis and talk about his career path as well as how he goes about building a management team that is focused on success. #ROAS
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Sean McGinnis (00:00:00):
I'm I'm kind of a, I not even a fast follower, I'm more of a laggard when it comes to some of these new technologies. Like we're not gonna be doing NFTs. We're not gonna be doing like I, my goal is to grow the business and that means pulling really, really big levers whenever possible. So I've got a relentless focus on site speed on conversion rate on skew breadth, and like, you know, introducing new killer skews into the, into the line, um, talking relentlessly and listening really intently to our customers to make sure we're, we're, we're building things that they wanna buy and that solve their actual problems.
Rabah Rahil (00:00:39):
All right, folks, episode 35 and boy, do we have a screamer? Don't let this one run away. Baba, blah. You see shoe puns, shoe pun, anybody, anybody? We have the president integrator, just the man with the plan over at kuru shoes. Sean McGinness Sean. Welcome to the show.
Sean McGinnis (00:00:55):
Thanks so much, Rob. Great to be here.
Rabah Rahil (00:00:57):
Yeah. Yeah. Likewise. We actually randomly, again, the bird app making crazy connections. You had thrown out a random tweet of people could just jump on your calendar. And I took you up on that and I think we were supposed to talk for like 15 minutes and it ran almost into 45 minutes and you're giving me this EOS stuff and all this stuff to think about, about me building a team. And you've been kind of in executive leadership role for quite some time. And I was transitioning from kind of an IC role or individual contributor role into more of a executive managerial role. And, uh, man, that, that was one of the best meetings I've ever had. So first of all, that was free, which was crazy. I would've paid you for all the stuff you gave to me <laugh> but two, it was just this kind of like this super bro connection or that bro connection. We don't have to be misogynistic, but this kind of this person to person connection where we just really, uh, real recognized real. And so after that I knew I had to have me on the show. And then you also, um, from the good of your heart sent, uh, one of our sales folks, um, who has a little bit of banged up from his hockey career, um, some career shoes and he, he can't take 'em off. I think he sleeps in 'em as well. I mean, he that's
Sean McGinnis (00:01:59):
Rabah Rahil (00:02:01):
They're the most comfy things and the cool thing and I'll stop plugging, uh, your shoe company, but, uh, they look fantastic. They don't look like the kind of quote unquote, what you would think in terms of orthopedic or help, helpful shoes that are, are built to really, uh, alleviate a lot of, um, ailments that you might have from, um, your younger years or if you are young, uh, ailments that you just kind of have from just the nature of the beast. So, um, anyway, I will stop rambling. I'm just a big, super fan of yours and, uh, I'm so happy. I'd have you on the show.
Sean McGinnis (00:02:32):
Well, likewise, I'm glad to be here that, um, office hours tweet just filled my calendar for probably five weeks straight. It was awesome. I loved it. And you were, you were early, you were all over that man. So it was great to be able to get to know you and, and to use you as kind of a Guinea pig. I think you might have been my first or second, um, meeting there, but it's just been really valuable. You know, my tendency is to kind of take this kind of gruff old man, get off my lawn persona, generally speaking. And it's like, you, you know, I put that out there in a way to kind of force myself to just be more open and transparent and, and available to these kind of random connection conversations. It's been so good to do. I'm re I mean, you're probably getting a lot of the same value outta hosting. So many interesting people on the podcast, frankly, you know, it's the same, same purpose, but you get to repurpose the content and have business value from it. I get, I get to do it in a one-on-one basis, right?
Rabah Rahil (00:03:20):
Oh, totally. Selfishly. That's exactly why I won that starter podcast where I can non creep ask like really, really smart people in the space to like, just come on and jam with me. Like, absolutely. It's cool. It's the number one neck working hack. I love it. Um, so you guys are in you're in salt lake, correct?
Sean McGinnis (00:03:35):
Yes. That's. That's where our headquarters at. Yep.
Rabah Rahil (00:03:37):
Yeah, but you're Midwest boy.
Sean McGinnis (00:03:40):
Yeah. Grew up in Chicago in the suburbs. Yeah. All my, all my childhood was spent way out in the Western suburbs of Chicago. I say Chicago, and then everyone that's from, Chicago's like, you're not from Chicago. You know, it's like a prideful thing. It's like, no, no. Grew up in Elgin, a big suburb out in the, uh, kind of the last ditch of civilization between Chicago and Des Moines basically. Yep.
Rabah Rahil (00:03:59):
You know, so it's funny you say that, cuz I actually have the same story. I went to Indiana university and we'd have a lot of people come down from Chicago. Sure. And you ask somebody like, oh, where are you from? They'll tell you Chicago. And then you get talking to 'em and like, well you're actually from Schaumburg or something like that.
Sean McGinnis (00:04:12):
You're like I'm from Joliet or for wherever. It's like you're two hours away, dude. Come on, gimme a break. Well, you gotta orient it where if you don't know who you're talking to, it's like, yeah, it's Chicago ish. Right. So
Rabah Rahil (00:04:23):
A hundred percent. But that's exactly what they would say is like we'd spend 20 minutes explaining where this small town is like this suburb of this extension of Chicago versus just saying Chicago. So I love it. How'd you get to Utah?
Sean McGinnis (00:04:35):
Uh, I was recruited out here about six or seven years ago now is 2015 gosh, time flies. Um, I was running marketing inside of a, uh, eCommerce business within Sears. Um, so we sold appliance repair parts to people that were brave enough to try and do the repairs themselves kind of the DIY community. Um, did nine figures online and eight figures in profit and ran the marketing function for that business and was contacted by a really, um, strong recruiting firm. That's oddly enough, based in Chicago, they were recruiting for a new marketing lead for a lead gen business out here in salt lake city called Clearlink. So Clearlink is if you think of 'em as like a super affiliate business, the, a lot of the big companies that, um, are kind of home oriented, um, telephone companies, TV, internet, satellite, um, home security, uh, also some insurance stuff as well, but we used to build and, and host our own websites that, uh, looked and felt like the brand's website.
Sean McGinnis (00:05:35):
And then we would drive you into our call center that we owned and operated we'd sign you up for those services while we had you on the line, we would cross sell you other services that weren't sort of in violation of our, uh, rights and agreements with those big companies. So we represented at and T and Verizon and frontier communications, all those big ones. Um, so let a big digital team there. Um, along the way we, we won, uh, the mattress firm account as kind of a more pure digital agency. So I built a team of 30 or so people that, uh, worked on the mattress firm account for a bit here in town. Um, and that's how I landed in salt lake.
Rabah Rahil (00:06:09):
How cool that's awesome. And then, so how did you transition into your current gig?
Sean McGinnis (00:06:14):
Yeah, when I was recruited at clear lake, we were owned by some private equity folks and the original plan was they were on the downward side of their investment cycle and um, at least the thinking at the time was, Hey, we're gonna sell to another PE group. So six months after I joined the firm, they actually sold a strategic buyer. Um, so it was far less interesting based on what I had originally sort of agreed to, but boy did, I love the work and I love the team and I loved, uh, everything about that job. So I stayed there and really stuck it out for about another two years or so. Um, very transparent conversations with the rest of senior leadership along the way. And ultimately we decided that, uh, we'd part ways. And I, um, opened up kind of my thinking to whatever might be next.
Sean McGinnis (00:06:52):
Interestingly enough was introduced to our CEO here at kuru at that time when I was leaving Clearlink, but I got an opportunity that looked too good to be true on paper and, uh, went over to Knoxville for almost a year, um, kind of working on that, but then came back to salt lake, reopened up the conversation with our CEO and here we are almost almost two and a half close to three years later. So I joined in October, 2019 and, um, it's been an incredible move. Great, great growth story. And, um, having a lot of fun.
Rabah Rahil (00:07:22):
Yeah. Give us, give us a little bit of spiel about kuru right now. Kind of, uh, cuz it is a really, when, when we talked about it, it was real. I, I hadn't known about it or basically known from it from you, but yeah. Give us a little bit of a background. Kind of like what you guys do, what you guys just stick.
Sean McGinnis (00:07:36):
Yeah. So the business was founded in 2008, so we've been around for a long, long time, um, direct to consumer. Most of that time, the, it was originally launched in a more traditional retail format. Um, and the, the, the initial order from Asia was on its on the water when Lehman brothers declared bankruptcy and all of the retailers pulled their orders. And so you got this young founder who's kind of staring at, you know, a mountain of inventory, a mountain of relative to today is really next to nothing. Right. But he had it that, that book of inventory represented every dollar he'd ever saved or raised. He's like, oh my gosh, what am I gonna do? You know, I don't know what, so it was almost a liquidation strategy. Originally he wrote the original website in Dr. Um, did it all himself classic, you know, he had raised a little bit of money, um, not a ton and um, started selling, you know, uh, started buying AdWords on Yahoo way back in the day.
Sean McGinnis (00:08:30):
I mean, this is super early, right. Um, here we are, 13 years later, it was the initial plan was like, okay, I'm just gonna get rid of this and we'll unwind the business. We'll try and figure out what we're gonna do next. Um, the, the business kind of got, um, catapulted on the back of a business plan win in 2006 that he actually won the grand prize at the university of Utah. So that $40,000 was kind of seed money that sent him off. And he did, did a, a bunch of research on how to, how to make shoes, how the, how the body works, how the biomechanics of the, the, the foot and the gate did a lot of patent research honestly, to like, was reading up on all these patents that a, a bunch of other folks that had come before had done and his original kind of thesis was what happens if I engineer directly into a shoe, kind of the shapes and materials you typically buy in an aftermarket insert, right?
Sean McGinnis (00:09:18):
Like why, if I'm buying a brand new pair of running shoes, do I have to go spend another 80 bucks to make them work for me? Right. And so he just thought, well, that's gotta be better. <laugh> uh, he didn't set out to solve for foot pain problem genuinely. It was just like, this is the way the body works. And I think if I build this thing in there that it'll be a better shoe. Um, and it comes to find out when he started talking to lots and lots of customers as you do in those early days, right? Yeah. They kept saying, oh my gosh, this thing is taken away. My foot pain that I've been dealing with forever, kind of like your coworker, right? I mean, my foot was hurting and this way or that way, or the other way, I put these things on and within a week or two, um, and still to this day, we get that feedback almost every single day. You know, if you go to the site and you read the cus consumer reviews on any one of the, the pairs of shoes, you'll get incredible feedback around this thing really changed my life. So here we are, 13, 14 years later, um, growing really rapidly, direct to consumer only, um, just, you know, thrilled to kind of continue that growth story and figure out what's next for the brand. And, um, so there we are.
Rabah Rahil (00:10:24):
Yeah. I love that, but you forgot one little, uh, aspect of it or one little vector. They look awesome.
Sean McGinnis (00:10:29):
Rabah Rahil (00:10:30):
How did he get the design? Well, cuz there's, there's been a lot of people out there that have kind of not solved for as well as you guys have, but you know what I mean? They they've, they've really taken a utilitarian bent of like, oh, you're, you're just gonna get what you get, what it looks like, because it's accomplishing the job again, alleviating pain or et cetera, etc. Kind of what you guys are doing. But you guys are kind of in the best of both worlds where there's no way that you're gonna look at this shoe and think it's therapeutic. Like they look awesome.
Sean McGinnis (00:10:54):
Yeah. It's, it's I so glad that you say that
Rabah Rahil (00:10:56):
Sean McGinnis (00:10:57):
Yeah. I'm really glad you say that. Um, because for a, uh, I'll, I'll get to the design angle in a second. I think we've evolved the design language of the shoes quite a bit over time. And there's still a big debate in, in house around, um, you know, should we make them more unique and look and feel like a crew or should we just make them, you know, uh, look and feel awesome within that specific category? Cuz um, we do have shoes across a wide variety of different styles. I mean we've got two or three or four major kind of sneaker types. We've got a handful of different types of sandals and one of the big questions is like, should we make it, should we kind of survey the landscape and see what the best selling let's use a light duty hiker, as an example, if we're gonna go build a hiking shoe, should it look and feel like what what's best in class?
Sean McGinnis (00:11:43):
What's the best selling stuff now? Or should we make it something that, that the design language in the design red thread carries all the way through so that, you know, it's a crew. I mean, I'll give, uh, the best example of that is something like Allbirds, right? You know, a pair of Allbirds choose the minute you look at them. Yeah. Because every single pair of them looks and feels like an Allbirds. It's got a brand identity that's really coherent and very consistently applied throughout the product line. And we're still evolving that. But back to the point that you made I've, you know, if I were to define the category that we live in, I would say we are stylish shoes for foot pain. And the way I describe that is a Venn diagram, right? Like typically stylish shoes are the things that cause foot pain and typically foot pain or oriented shoes don't look very stylish.
Sean McGinnis (00:12:23):
And when you overlap that Venn diagram in that middle that's where I think kind of crew lives in that sliver of the best of both possible worlds. Now there, you can certainly look at our line and go, there's some not very stylish stuff in there, like <laugh>, and, and, and I would agree with you, but I do think as, as kind of a north star for what we're shooting for as a brand, to, to me, that's where it makes the most sense for us to kind of define that category that way. And so we're actually having a lot of debates internally between, and among the marketing team of like, what's the best value proposition? How do we, how do we get everyone in the world to kind of no crew exists and what we stand for? Right. And that's the, my, my simplistic non-brand mind goes right to stylish shoes for foot pain, just label the category, inhabit it beautifully and consistently, and everything else will kind of come from that.
Sean McGinnis (00:13:11):
But we're, we're having that big debate around like, do we focus on, um, the, the things that being free from foot pain allows you to do more aspirational marketing, right? Looking at Maslow's hierarchy needs. Like how do we get to the point where we're communicating? What, what wearing crews makes possible for those that were dealing with debilitating foot pain before they found us, right? How do you make it a human connection where there's a motion involved and, um, people can really identify and see themselves in that, in that marketing piece. Right. So we're gonna test everything <laugh> and we've got finally got the talent in the skin and the skillset and the, uh, everything to kind of make those tests a reality. So it's just, it's a question of sequencing and timing, but you you'll be seeing some different things from us in the future for sure. In the marketplace,
Rabah Rahil (00:13:56):
How exciting. And the other thing that's really interesting about shoes as well. Cause I love how you put that almost the, the value generation is that the nexus of both of those, um, the, the aesthetic as well as the, uh, utility of the shoe. But, um, I'm guessing too, you guys have some great retention numbers cuz notoriously footwear has, has really strong retention, right? Like that's why Nike, all these other people spend so much money in the youth because it usually takes a, a really big CBR and explosion or some sort of seismic shift to get somebody out of a shoe that they grew up with or brand that they grew up with.
Sean McGinnis (00:14:31):
Yeah. It's, it's funny. We, we, um, just completed a job to be done persona project where we talked to, you know, a couple hundred customers and really, um, tried to dig in and understand like what, what is the various ways that people are using the shoes today? And there's definitely kind of two camps. There are people that, um, view it as like a bandaid, right? Like I know I'm in foot pain right now, or I know I'm gonna be, do something that's gonna lead to foot pain. If I'm gonna go to Disney and walk around all day or I'm gonna travel and I'm gonna be walking through an airport, I'm gonna wear my crews because they help solve this problem for me, but it's not an everyday fix for them. And then there's this other group that like, you will pry these from my cold dead hands.
Sean McGinnis (00:15:11):
And I will wear them all the time because they took this foot pain away from me and it's literally changed my life and I want nothing but crews in my closet. And anything else that I have to do when I'm not wearing crews, I'm kind of pissed off at the brand for not building that type of a shoe. Like if I'm in a bowling leg, I wanna pair of bowling, uh, shoes with crews. Like I we've had people ask for squash shoes, golf shoes, steel, toed, boots, um, cowboy boots, you name it. And they say, why can't you just make one of everything with your technology in it? And the answer is like, well, you gotta figure out what the market's gonna bear and like what the next category for us to enter really should be. But, um, that's the way that we think about most of those, um, folks is there's definitely those two big camps and we're, we're trying to understand, is it even possible to move people from one to the other?
Sean McGinnis (00:15:58):
Sure. But you're right. There's definitely a I've, I've sort of joked with our CEO a long time ago. I feel like he's stumbled into, in some ways it's just footwear, such a beautiful thing. I mean, name me a more expensive product that, that you wear on your, on your body anywhere every day that wears out as quickly as a pair of shoes. I mean, it's literally designed planned obsolescence, right? I mean, they don't last forever. We all know they don't last forever. You've got to rep rep repair, uh, replenish them eventually. And so, you know, I don't, I don't know of anything that I buy more frequently than shoes.
Rabah Rahil (00:16:33):
Yeah. Well, you're talking to the wrong guy just recently. <laugh> into the sneaker market and I have, uh, I have been, uh, crazily buying, uh, collector pieces and all sorts of craziness. Uh that's awesome. Yeah, it it's that's that's so cool. I didn't know the, the whole Genesis story. That's really, really cool. Yeah. Fantastic. Well, let's do one more question for the main segment and then we'll jump into the value add segment. Um, what's the nicest thing someone's done for you?
Sean McGinnis (00:17:00):
The nicest thing that someone's done for me? Oh my gosh. Um, I just, I, I think of that, answer to that question in a way that, um, it's, it's all about the network to me. I mean, there's, there's countless examples and stories. Um, but building those really core friendships in a professional setting, um, I I think are just invaluable to me personally. And so I've kept a number of really, really strong friendships, um, from all of the places that I've been. I feel like I, for the longest time, I I've almost felt like a hired gun. You know, I went from a 15 year career at Thompson Reuters to Sears, to all these big and small companies across the kind of gamut, trying to figure out where I fit best as a chess piece, I guess. Yep. Um, and the, the, the friendships and the network that I built, um, in part, cuz you've gotta put the time in and, and keep those connections alive and yep.
Sean McGinnis (00:17:57):
Ask what you can do for other folks. And um, whenever people reciprocate that or when they share that they've had success in their career, like that's the part that's most meaningful to me is, um, the time and effort. I, I view that as my, my core responsibility, my job is to develop our people. So they're ready to take the next step in their career. Hopefully that's with me, hopefully there's a room and we're our growth pathway means that there's an opportunity to promote folks. Um, it doesn't always work out that way, but that's my objective. And I want to treat every single person on our team in that way and staying in touch with folks and watching their career kind of, um, flourish and bloom and, and grow to the next level. Even when it's not on my team. It's just so rewarding. That's my, that's the thing that I, I love hearing that kind of news and staying connected with folks is what makes that possible.
Rabah Rahil (00:18:45):
I love that. And I think that's one of the, uh, um, when you have a really awesome boss, there is that really cool connection of like, if our priorities diverge, that's fine, like then you should move on or what have you. But at the same time, like both people want everybody to do well. Right. And then you had like the vindictive boss or stuff like that. It got weird, but it's just like, Hey, if you have different priorities or whatever, that's fine, you know, then they're diverging, there's no problem there and I want you to do well and I'll help you on your next steps. And let's do that. And that's, that's definitely the, uh, the vibe that I got from you on the call. And, um, speaking of that, let's jump into the value add. So, um, we talked about kind of why you took the gig at kuru, but tell me some of the, kind of the best parts and hardest parts when you transition. Cause you, you transition from ultimately, uh, um, you said kind of application or not applications, um, appliances kind of stuff into mm-hmm <affirmative> into footwear, which is totally different head space. So tell me some of the, the best parts and some of the hardest parts that have, you've kind of gone through there.
Sean McGinnis (00:19:46):
Well, I'd say the best part has been building the team. Um, I really am pretty passionate about hiring folks and my network here in salt lake because of that prior experience is pretty deep and rich. And so, um, for the longest time I kind of had these devious plans. You know, I walk into the, the business in 2019 and, um, it was a little bit of a turnaround time. And, and when I joined the firm in 19 and we've seen really tremendous growth the last two years, so it's been a, it's been really rewarding to, um, be able to hire those top performers. I mean, I'll give you two, two really good examples. When I first posted our first copywriter role, I approached a senior copywriter that was still at my old place and she had just been promoted to a managing editor. So she's just now getting the opportunity to lead people and figured out if that was a fit for her.
Sean McGinnis (00:20:32):
So she said, no, at that time I hired an incredible copywriter. Who's a former journalist. She's awesome as well. And then a year and a half later, we hired that second person because the head of growth that I hired had the exact same thought I did, which was, oh, we need this person on the team. Like she's perfect. Former ballerina like understands foot pain in an incredibly detailed way. You know, both her parents have plantar fasciitis, like she's a perfect fit for us and culturally an incredible fit, same thing. Uh, I had originally planned and, and, um, started kind of, you know, uh, wooing a, uh, head of paid channels and she, similar story just wasn't quite ready to make the move. And again, two years later he was able to bring her over as well. So here, I think I'm the one who's doing the recruiting and it looks like my head of growth is just better at it than I am.
Sean McGinnis (00:21:16):
But building that team has been amazing. I'd say the biggest challenge. It's both a challenge and it's very rewarding. I almost tweeted something today. <laugh> every Wednesday at one o'clock we have our inventory meeting and we're talking about planning inventory and what purchase orders we're gonna make and what, what skews we need. And that has been both rewarding, but also it's challenging, man. I gotta tell you, it is getting inventory right. Is so hard. It's really, really difficult. Like what's the, and I kind of give my CEO a bunch of hard time for this, but he's been saying, Hey, we've got this, this big har audacious goal. And I want to have the fewest skews possible to hit that goal. And I'm like, we need something more concrete than that. That's not directionally something. That's just gonna confuse our product team and confuse our, our ops team.
Sean McGinnis (00:22:02):
Like, we need something that's a little more grounded, but it's just hard to nail it. Right? Like, you know, we, I, I wear a wide shoe and I'm a big advocate for carrying wides because if you don't carry a wide, I'm not gonna order from you. And so we've started launching some of our best selling shoes in wides. We had a handful of smattering of other top performers available in wides, just getting it all right. Like what's the right number of colorways in any given, uh, point. Like I keep asking, like, what's the incremental value of a, a sixth colorway for this specific style. And until we really develop that, uh, point of view, it's been a little bit of a challenge we've, we've hired and really done a good job of building out the we've got a new demand planner. Who's just been excellent in like upping our game.
Sean McGinnis (00:22:46):
It's been fun to watch. And yet I wanna get to the, I wanted to get to the one yard line like right now, right. We're probably at the 50 in terms of H really understanding that. And you're gonna make mistakes along the way, but it's been so intellectually challenging and, and, and difficult to wrap my brain around in ways that, you know, uh, this is, uh, there are big implications when you're running an e-commerce brand around how, what, what that looks like you don't wanna be out of inventory and you certainly don't wanna be over IIED either. So there's a sweet spot you've gotta operate within, in order to continue to be successful as we've been the last two years.
Rabah Rahil (00:23:20):
Yeah. I mean, uh, I'm a super math guy and I love all these things and you start to get into the com combinatorials and all these things of like sizing, cuz ultimately you're an apparel business. So you have sizing on top of the sizing and you have variations, like you're talking about colorways and like, oh my gosh, man, it breaks my brain. Like, and then being able to your point as well, to modulate the cash flow with the sales cycle. Right? So it's like, you don't want to, to have these warehouses full of inventory that you then have to like figure out, but you also don't want to be sitting on a ton of inventory where your cash is just getting ate up. And so you don't wanna be outta stock, but then, and so finding that really, uh, tight balance is just incredibly hard. And then again, you layer on the apparel side of it where you're sizing and variations and colorway and
Sean McGinnis (00:24:06):
Like, and style. And what's, what's, where's the, where's the world going in 12 months. So we, you know, we're ordering and building the right new things and it's definitely complicated and there is so lot, it's just, yeah, it's super, super fascinating. And I got buddies who are like size 15 and they're pissed off. They're like, why aren't you carrying size fifteens? It's like, you know, it's cause
Rabah Rahil (00:24:24):
There's no money in it.
Sean McGinnis (00:24:25):
<laugh> everything's yeah. Everything is an implication. Right. If we go do that, it costs money. It's it's uh, it's really a challenge, but it's so much fun. I tell you.
Rabah Rahil (00:24:33):
Yeah. Yeah. That's, it's funny. I love how you put that. The most ch it's so weird, like that weird paradox, like the most challenging thing is usually the most fulfilling. Um, and so it's kind of that, that, uh, unique coupling there. Um, let's dig a little bit into hiring. Do you have any fun hiring questions or how do you assess, uh, a culture fit? Cause I I've recently gone on a big hiring spree and that's one thing that I've realized like it is so important to make sure that this person is not only a culture fit, but also, um, in terms of the direct report. So whoever they're gonna really report to and like, you know, really jam with the most that there is some sort of chemistry there it's almo it's almost like, uh, uh, dating in a weird way, right? Where there, there needs to be a certain aspect of like the personalities work, the relationships work, the, the expectation setting is, is, um, in the same kind of realm. Can you gimme some color there?
Sean McGinnis (00:25:31):
Yeah, I think the, the, the first thing to me, the, to successful hires really clearly defining the role. I mean, honestly, it's so important to do it right. And to not forget things, but also not write a job description. That's eight pages long. Like that's, <laugh> some people in our business have that instinct of like, I'm gonna grow granularly, define every single specific task that you're gonna, it's like, nah, like let's, let's stick to the big themes and, and get the a, you know, let's get the 20% of the tasks that drive 80% of the outcomes. Right. It's a full on burrito conversation from my perspective. So if, once you've got that defined, right. Um, then I think when the interviewing it's the, the, the is where you kind of bleed out that culture component of like, is, is this gonna be a fit or not?
Sean McGinnis (00:26:12):
And we just focus a hundred percent of the effort there on our, on our corporate values. We've got five of them. We put them right in the job description. We, we not only have them listed, but we give a couple sentence description of like, this is what that means to us. And then we say at the end of the job description, if you're not a fit for these corporate values or these, these human values, you're not gonna be good here. You could be the most talented media buyer in the world. And if we're hiring a media buyer and you just operate differently and you look at those things and you go, ah, I don't wanna, I don't wanna work in a place like that. That's fine. Like it's not, it's just, it's, there's no harm, no foul. It's important that we make sure that we're kind of qualifying those things on the, on the, on the beginning stages.
Sean McGinnis (00:26:50):
Right. You don't wanna invest in someone six months later come to realize it's not a fit. Right. Um, and the other thing that we do well, that's, that's from a hiring perspective. My favorite question, uh, that I like to ask during an interview actually was, came up recently at LinkedIn post from one of my former direct reports. Um, we've used this in the past and she used it in a different context, but the question is, uh, tell me about a time when you got feedback that you disagreed with. Ooh, what was the feedback and what did you do with it? I love, um, and it, what that tells me is it tells me an awful lot about how you deal with feedback. Um, and it also tells me an awful lot. I have this, um, it's probably, when I say it, there's gonna people that be like, oh my gosh, I can't believe you've got this.
Sean McGinnis (00:27:36):
That's what an outdated view. But I believe that a players are constantly starving for feedback. They will push you to give them feedback. They wanna know what else they could be doing to make your life easier to drive the business forward. Um, and see players constantly avoid feedback. And in fact will deflect when you try and give it to them because it's never their fault. It's always someone else's fault. It's always an excuse. It's always, well, there was this one time. And so I'm trying to ferret that out on the very front end of the process. Um, I've had a few situations where you ask that question, you get a answer. You're like, no, like I was pretty high on you until you gave me that answer and this is just not gonna work. Um, so that one in particular is, is definitely my favorite.
Sean McGinnis (00:28:20):
We have a pretty thorough and thoughtful, um, process that we go through. We've got, um, really detailed questions, sometimes too many, but we're, we're trying to narrow those down on like really digging into the culture. Um, it's, it's, it's a lot easier to both far it out, whether someone knows what they're doing on the skill side for the role than it is on culture. And it's, uh, infinitely easier to train for those skills right. Than it is to, uh, get someone to change the way they think, because culture is all about like what, what makes you tick? You know? Yeah. Um, and so that's what we spend almost, I bet I bet 40 to between 40 and 60% of our time in the interview process focused on culture fit and values fit.
Rabah Rahil (00:29:06):
I love that. And that in my short, short experience, that has absolutely been the path for me. I have kind of like a, a, a proxy question. It's, it's more so about failure, but personally I've found that people that have failed more, um, I'm more attuned to them than people that haven't failed, but are super successful or super talented. Yeah. Just because I want people that I know that can handle failure because quite frankly, if you're not failing, in my opinion, you're not taking enough risk. And so you want to be pushing that forward and to your point, like, how do you deal with failure? Like it's gonna happen sometimes it's gonna be really challenging. Sometimes it's not gonna cut your way. Sometimes it's, uh, I think a big thing that can get conflated sometimes is, was it a great process, but just a bad outcome, or you can have a bad process with a good outcome.
Rabah Rahil (00:29:54):
And so it's like, if there's a great process behind it and it just didn't cut your way, you had a 70% chance of winning and you ended up in the 30 percentile is what it is, man. That's fine. Let's keep running that process and that'll be fine, but right, when you have this terrible process and now you're just getting lucky and you're falling ass backwards in success. And now you're conflating luck with talent and like, oh, I'm this big, big, big man on campus. And you're like, no, you're not. And like, and so I I'm with you on that. You're
Sean McGinnis (00:30:19):
In the right place at the right time, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Rabah Rahil (00:30:21):
That's yeah. And like, you're not really talented and maybe you are talented, but there's gonna be a ceiling to your talent because to your point, um, like when I was in sports, it wasn't when the coach was yelling at you. It was when the coach wasn't yelling at you, because then, you know, they gave up on you where like this guy is not gonna learn. He's not gonna be great. And I'm gonna use my efforts elsewhere. And that's the kind of people I, I think that's so well put. And, um, there's a, a funny question that, uh, one of my, our VP of biz dev, uh, gave our HR manager, which is fantastic. Um, but they were basically saying if you were going on a flight with somebody and the flight got CA canceled or delayed, he calls it the airport question. Like, would you wanna be stuck at the airport with this person or not?
Rabah Rahil (00:31:03):
And I thought that was a really funny way to frame it where I was like, oh yeah, that cuts to the, the core of it. But I, I love that. And I think that's really, um, so essential to your point of being able to understand it's almost in a weird way, like the malleability of that person, like, are, are they able to come in and be, uh, you know, uh, synergized with the team start to use gross MBA terms kind of stuff, but like, are they gonna be able to come in and be cohesive and be able to paddle in the same direction? Or are they gonna be their own kind of, and quite frankly, those people that are talented, that can't play, it's fine, but you need to keep 'em off prem and use 'em as contractors. Like you can still get utility out of them, but like, you don't want to bring them into a team that's gonna be cancerous and it's just gonna start, like you, it takes I'm I'm, I'm sure you've went to your fair share of parties. It just takes that one weirdo to come to the party. And then the whole vibe changes. You know what I mean? And you don't wanna hire that person. You just don't,
Sean McGinnis (00:32:00):
It's funny, you mentioned failure. Like one of my favorite processes is the after action review, right? Like let's sit down and actually talk about let's debrief and just be super transparent and no agenda. I'm not here to throw anyone under the bus. Let's identify everything that went well and everything that didn't go well. And then let's talk about how we can learn from both. Like, it doesn't have to be it's, it's not all kind of a grind of just focusing on how do we always improve it's let's also make sure that we're, we're baking those things that went well into our process on a go forward basis and keeping that as part of a, you know, our, our standard operating procedure. Right. Um, those are so valuable, love that. And I, in my, my experience too many people just don't take the time to do it.
Sean McGinnis (00:32:42):
You know, it's, it's probably a half a day's worth of work. It's an hour long or two hour long meeting with the team, really just kind of brain dumping and puking all over the paper. Like this is everything that, you know, this led to this and this situation led to this delay and okay, let's capture all that stuff. And then I'm gonna take the time to write up my thoughts around how this can go, and then I'm gonna give it all over to everybody in draft mode and have you guys, you know, give tons and tons of feedback. We'll, we'll publish this thing when it's done and we'll share it out with the rest of the team. And like there's a learning moment there. Right?
Rabah Rahil (00:33:12):
I love that. And kind of just to tidy that up a little bit too, I think one of the great things about that, where you can even more, so get more out of those postmortems is you can give people the chance to write about it beforehand. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because what I've found sometimes like you kind of have a big gregarious personality, I'm kind of a big loud guy in the room and you can get these real kind of a types pounded the table where there's these introverts that have a lot to give, but they want to be perfect when they answer. And so they need to be in a room with nobody saying anything to them and being able to type it up to 'em. And so giving people different ways to, uh, insert that feedback, whether it be written on their own time or in, in play, like in while they're doing that, I think can be really helpful as well, because
Sean McGinnis (00:33:55):
Rabah Rahil (00:33:56):
Uh, there's a lot of introverts that have a lot of great things to say, but, um, the, the modern work environment, quote unquote, isn't great for an introvert to give feedback. They want to be in a room. They want to be able to write about it. They want, think about it, do a couple drafts and then submit it. So I absolutely love that, man. That's that's the path. Um, so one of the things we talked about I want to get into is the EOS. That was something that I had never been exposed to until I talked to you and we actually run our, so we have leadership meetings and we run our leadership meetings. Um, EOS doesn't really pertain to us so much cuz we're just kind of growing too fast. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the L 10 is also something that, that's how we run our meetings now, but can you give people kind of the, the high level of what the EOS is and kind of L 10 meetings and just kind of give, give people some clarity there or not clarity, but just, you know, the cliff notes, if you will.
Sean McGinnis (00:34:45):
Yeah. Uh, EOS has been transformative transformative for our business. Um, it's, uh, EOS stands for entrepreneurial operating system. It's a system that's based on a book called traction. Uh, there's a guy genome Wickman who I, uh, I, I believe the story is that he, um, came in and started running a business that his dad had sort of started, might have been on the real estate game. I might have some of these facts wrong, but he started to really document or, or the processes and the things that he felt was important to, to, to be able to run a business. And it's very typical in I'm seeing more and more and more smaller business, especially in e-com, it's become kind of almost a, a thing that is, I just got back from, um, e-commerce fuel live a couple weeks ago and there were dozens and dozens of firms there that probably run on EOS.
Sean McGinnis (00:35:32):
Um, so you can self implement that business. Or there are paid implementers that we use a paid implementer that we stumbled into. Um, our CEO was introduced to him through one of his CEO networking things, and it's been the best, uh, thing probably that we've ever done. We started using, you mentioned the level 10, the level 10 meeting as the way that they, um, recommend that you run a leadership meeting or any team meeting for that matter. We're using level tens across the entire business at this point. But we started as a leadership group and really sort of drank the Kool-Aid and ate the dog food first on our side. And we, in fact, we were using level 10 as an kind of an entry point into EOS and then started reading, uh, the traction book. And then, uh, we started training our managers. There was a kind of a companion book called how to be a great manager.
Sean McGinnis (00:36:20):
Um, we started actually training to, to that and using that we would go through a couple of chapters and everyone that was managing people in the business, we would get together and talk about it for a little bit. And ultimately about a year ago, five quarters or so ago, we hired the implementer. Um, so EOS, there's six kind of major components of the entire system. Um, get everything from, what are your, what's your mission and vision and your values. We went through a whole process to kind of reconfirm, we had our values originally, but honestly we started from scratch and still landed on the same five core values. Um, it gives you different tools. You know, we talked about values in the hiring aspect. It also encourages you to use those values as you're evaluating and rewarding and promoting and compensating employees as well. Um, they call it the people analyzer.
Sean McGinnis (00:37:08):
So there's a, a piece that that's part of that, but the level 10 meeting is effectively a 90 minute meeting. And there's a very structured way that you, that you go through the level 10, the reason they call it a level 10 is at the end of the meeting, you actually run around the, the, the horn and you score the meeting and you say, you know, was this a good use of our time? Yes or no, on a scale of one to 10. And the goal is to get all tens. And if you don't get all tens at the, you get some sevens or eights that, then the question is, Hey, what, what could we do differently to make sure that we get a 10 the next time? Right? And so the, the fascinating part to me about level 10 meetings, and every time I see people talking about how bad meetings are, I'm like you guys clearly aren't using level tens because they're incredibly valuable to us.
Sean McGinnis (00:37:46):
And I know that, um, you know, the way that most meetings are run, there's probably this aligned perception like meetings, aren't super valuable, but a level 10 meeting, you spend the vast bulk of the meeting, actually processing issues, identifying they call it IDs, identify, discuss, and debate, and then solve that issue. And it it's painful. Sometimes <laugh>, you've gotta have a lot of bravery in the room. People need to be able to stand up and go. I think this is the most important issue that we're is holding us back from performing as a team, as a leadership group, as a business, let's really identify that issue, go to the root cause of the issue, what is causing this problem. And then let's debate it like openly and let's come out the other side, having solved it and making a decision. And then those decisions usually lead to a bunch of to-dos. Those to-dos get tracked in the same system. There are software applications that, uh, people have built around this level 10 and EOS. We don't use any of those. We just use a Google sheet. Like it's very simple. When
Rabah Rahil (00:38:42):
Is the notion doc? Same.
Sean McGinnis (00:38:43):
Yeah. We're, we're reviewing our rocks every, every week. It's the, the meeting starts at the same time. There's a bunch of rules, right? The meeting starts at the same time. You start it on time. You end it on time. You spend the first five minutes getting, um, asking for some good news, personal and business, good news. Um, it's a very structured meeting, but at the end of that 90 minutes, you're using at least an hour to have IDs these issues. Like if we're gonna identify them, we're gonna BA them like crazy. And we're gonna come out arm and arm, knowing that the leadership team made this decision and, uh, the whole EO system and structure, every time we get together with our paid implementer and we leave, we, we, the word that has continually been used across every single person at the leadership table's alignment, we feel completely and totally aligned.
Sean McGinnis (00:39:27):
There is no more, well, this team's off doing and this and this team's off doing. And that like complete alignment on what everyone is working on and how that's gonna drive us to greater success in the future. It can be a longer term thing that like, this is a big thing, but, uh, it's just so valuable. And it gives us a common language. Uh, and, and honestly, before I'd gotten there, there were a number of other systems that had been tried <laugh> and this is the one that's absolutely added. The most value and head is stuck in its we re we use the system, we're gonna do our, um, all hands offsite talking about Q1 results with the whole business next Friday. And we'll spend the bulk of it, basically reviewing the vision, the traction and the organizer about it. This is how the business is going. We'll talk about EOS for 80% of that time. Probably.
Rabah Rahil (00:40:15):
Yeah. What a, what man. So, well put, go Google it or read the book or watch YouTube videos. There's so much on it, but you sent me down a rabbit hole and quite frankly, I mean, I, I can't do meetings that aren't L 10 S anymore. Like it, it, it just feels so archaic and such a waste of time and it is,
Sean McGinnis (00:40:32):
I'm so glad you guys are getting value. That's awesome to
Rabah Rahil (00:40:34):
Hear, man. Yeah. It's absolutely transformative shift. Well, and it's really helpful too, because a lot of times like the CEO is this visionary person. Like our CEO, AJ is like, I love him to death, but he's crazy. And he wants to build the universe. And so putting some semblance of guardrails on that is so helpful. Cause if not, he's gonna just talk for the whole hour about how we're gonna take over the world, which is fine. Yeah. But at the same time, like, you know, you have the whole C-suite together. We need to make sure that we're getting value from, you know, it's not. Yeah. And so, uh, the, the term alignment is so perfectly put there where I leave those meetings and everything is so aligned. And one thing too, that we did that, um, isn't, uh, L 10, but it is something out of a, a book I read called blitzscaling, which is really helpful.
Rabah Rahil (00:41:17):
So we're remote or some of us are remote and some of us are on Preem. So we have three people on prem in Columbus, on remote. Um, there's a few people in Jerusalem that are remote. Um, even if you're on, Preem try and get in different rooms, because what can happen is if you're in the same room as the other people, there's like a front seat, backseat conversation. Whereas if everybody is remote, even though they're not quote unquote remote, like they're on Preem, it's really helped out the conversation as well. Cause we had kind of some like AJ, max and Brad who are all in Columbus office would sit on one camera and there was just a different conversation there. So that would be something that I would add to, if you guys are remote or doing remote meetings, definitely use the L 10 and everything. But also if you are remote, try and make sure everybody, if even one person's remote, try and split up their group. So everybody's, um, kind of quote unquote on level footing, cuz again, you get some, some weird front seat, back seat stuff where people are kind of feel a little bit outta the conversation. I love it. How's a sens sensational, sensational overview. Sean, thank you so much. Okay. One last question and then we'll get into the rapid fire. Um, how do you see the next two to three years of e-commerce unfolding?
Sean McGinnis (00:42:24):
Well, for us in particular, um, I know we talked about this briefly before, so we're in the process of, um, replatforming from our Magento instance into Shopify. So that's about a five month project. Yeah. Um, I'm super excited to get there. I think e-com in general is going to, you know, as you know, we've seen a two year blip where the mix of e-commerce re as a percentage of total retail spiked as a result of COVID, right? Yeah. So 20, 20 and 2021 were off the charts, not off the charts, but <laugh> dramatically increased and accelerated the quote unquote adoption of being willing to buy online where we had this nice steady growth curve as a percent of total retail. And now, um, as of Q1 this year, we're back on that line, right? So like we're, we're effectively, we had a two year hiatus where people couldn't go to the stores, weren't uncomfortable going to stores.
Sean McGinnis (00:43:12):
And as a result, they shifted a greater percentage of their total spend into the online environment. Some of that related to buy online pickup in store, buy, you know, curbside delivery, the kind of omnichannel approach, um, depending on your capabilities. And, um, we're back on kind of the trend line. And it's, it's interesting how those things get measured. I really cannot recommend enough some of the podcasts that are out there. Um, you know, Jason retail geek Goldberg talks about some of the numbers from the commerce department about every quarter and it always reinforces like this is messy data. It's not super clean. There's different ways that it gets measured and there's different ways that some, some people put this activity in e-commerce and other people put it into somewhere else. So it's a little bit inconsistent in how we talk about e-com, but I do think e-commerce in general, there's some interesting things.
Sean McGinnis (00:43:58):
I'm, I'm kind of a, I not even a fast follower, I'm more of a laggard when it comes to some of these new technologies, like we're not gonna be doing NFTs. We're not gonna be doing like I, my goal is to grow the business and that means pulling really, really big levers whenever possible. So I've got a relentless focus on site speed on conversion rate on skew breath and like, you know, introducing new killer skews into the, into the line, um, talking relentlessly and listening really intently to our customers to make sure we're, we're, we're building things that they wanna buy and that solve their actual problems. Um, those are the, the big things. We're, we're just gonna continue to focus on getting better at that. Um, the other big question that we will eventually be faced with is, um, what are the points of distribution that ma that matter for us and make sense for us?
Sean McGinnis (00:44:43):
Um, we're not on Amazon today. We have no intent to go to Amazon in the future. Uh, we're not in wholesale today. We have no intent to go wholesale brick and mortar, but there is a good chance that we will be in owned and operated brick and mortar retail, uh, that we will own and operate sometime in the next two years. Probably. So one of my rocks this quarter is to talk with everyone I can about that in terms of like the cost structure and what you can expect. And what's the halo effect in the e-com in that DMA, when you go launch a store, like understanding all the implications of going down that, that rabbit hole, um, and, and what that might mean for us, you know, being a bootstrapped company, that's an expensive proposition, right? Unlike an Allbirds, we don't have a couple hundred million dollars we've raised to go and build 30 stores globally with, you know, within three or four years.
Sean McGinnis (00:45:30):
I'm sure I'm not minimizing the level of effort that took cuz I'm sure it was an Herculean task for them tons and tons of respect for them as a brand, but they, you know, VC back to go and make that a thing. And we're not, we've chosen a different pathway, so we're gonna have to be very thoughtful and deliberate about what that looks and feels like. Um, I know in my head what I've wanted to do there for a while I bet I realized recently that I had not gotten fully aligned with the rest of the senior leadership team. So this quarter I'm gonna get that alignment taken care of, come out the other side again, back to EOS, right? We're gonna be fully aligned on what this looks like, what it, where that fits in in our three year plan and objective, when it comes time for budgeting, when we need to start setting money aside, how much that needs to be, what we really want that store to look like if we decide to go down that pathway.
Sean McGinnis (00:46:13):
So that's when I think about what the future of crew looks like, that's where my head goes is where can we start spending money outside of the traditional channels that have worked for us so that we can change the dynamics of the entire ecosystem for us? Yep. Is that podcast sponsorships? Is it radio? Is it TV? We're gonna, we're gonna test our first catalog later this year. We're going to try to do some direct mail work. I've talked to a lot of folks in e-com and that direct mail is definitely working for them right now. Yeah. So super interested in trying that and testing that out, seeing if it works as well for us as it's worked for some of the other folks that I've talked to. Um, but yeah, I, I wanna find ways I've kind of, um, joked with our CEO, that my personal goal is like five years from now.
Sean McGinnis (00:46:56):
I want every single American that when they experience foot paint, I want them to think of Dr. Schuls and career footwear. I love that that's gonna take an awful lot of money and an awful lot of messaging and all the right places to make that a reality, you know, think of Dr. Schuls there in every single Walgreens and CVS and Walmart and the country and more it's incredible brand, right. What they've built. Um, but that's a different distribution strategy than the one that we're, we're kind of barreling down. So we've gotta find ways to make that happen up until that up until now, we've often said, Hey, we wanna find people that are, are experiencing foot pain and kind of slide up alongside them as a brand, right at the point, then they have the greatest need and then kind of walk away for a little bit and know when, when to come back because they may have a different need.
Sean McGinnis (00:47:38):
And what have you, it's easy for us to identify that when you're self identifying by typing magic words in the Google search box, right? It's like, oh, it's easy to find you. Um, you know, if I've got a hockey injury and my foot's mangled and I need something that's comfortable, I'm gonna run a, a search and Kru can go, Hey, have you heard of us? Like, that's very D we're really good at demand capture. And we need to figure out how to get better at demand gen. Like that's the kind of the upper funnel bottom funnel. We're really, really, really good at that bottom part. We need to find a way to change the dynamic by getting better at the top.
Rabah Rahil (00:48:11):
I love that. And the one thing too, I think in terms of the Dr. Schul stuff, they do have a magnificent brand. Um, but where you guys almost have a, a leg up or foot up, uh, is the, uh, Dr. Schulz is additive. Like you can't consume that without a shoe. Whereas you guys are foundational where you can consume your whole product without anything where like, you can just go buy some Dr. Schuls inserts and they're useless unless you have shoes to use with them where you guys are the total package. So I think that, and then the lookbook, stuff's interesting. Uh, yeah, I never think they work and I end up, they work on me. I don't know what it is like, you know, that's why these people send out catalogs, right? I mean, you're,
Sean McGinnis (00:48:48):
I wouldn't do it if it didn't work, that
Rabah Rahil (00:48:49):
That was the OG market
Sean McGinnis (00:48:51):
They built where
Rabah Rahil (00:48:52):
It sure was just built a whole bohemoth of a brand off of literally a catalog. People don't know that, but, uh,
Sean McGinnis (00:48:59):
Thick because a that's a telephone book and no one that's listening knows what a telephone book is either, but I'm old enough
Rabah Rahil (00:49:04):
To no, we're dating ourselves. Hey, you know, they'll, they'll never know the, the satisfaction of hanging up with somebody on the flip phone. You know what I mean? There, there's just, just not the same touch and screen where you just had that, that nice
Sean McGinnis (00:49:15):
Press the button. It's not, it's not that violence. Right. You don't get the,
Rabah Rahil (00:49:18):
Exactly the violent up, um, speaking of violence, let's jump into the rapid fire. Are you ready to jump on the hot seat?
Sean McGinnis (00:49:25):
Okay. Let's do it, man.
Rabah Rahil (00:49:26):
All right. Overrated, underrated, Terry
Sean McGinnis (00:49:30):
Underrated. Absolutely underrated. Interesting. Okay. Had, was no one ever in the history of football through a prettier deep ball than Terry Bradshaw.
Rabah Rahil (00:49:39):
All right. All right. A bit of a Homer pick, but that's what it was about. <laugh> um, finding the right pair of shoes, overrated, underrated,
Sean McGinnis (00:49:47):
Uh, underrated. It's so important to find the right pair and whether that's just a style thing or a fit thing, or a comfort thing, it's you use the word foundation? I couldn't agree more. It's everything in the body's interconnected and even finding the right pair of shoes can just, you know, elevate your game from a, just that level of confidence. Um, it all begins with your feet.
Rabah Rahil (00:50:08):
I love that. I absolutely love that law school, overrated, underrated,
Sean McGinnis (00:50:13):
Super overrated. I have tried to, I've tried to coach so many people outta going to law school. Um, we didn't talk about this, but I am a, a lawyer, um, passed the bar in Pennsylvania back in 1994. Um, it, it, it taught me how to think for sure, but it's not the best pathway. If you're wind up going into business, it's, it's helpful, but it's very expensive and there are better ways.
Rabah Rahil (00:50:38):
I love it. I love it. Uh, Zion national park, overrated, underrated.
Sean McGinnis (00:50:43):
Oh, I think it's appropriately rated cuz it is absolutely one of the most incredible places in the world. And I think everyone sees and appreciates that for what it is.
Rabah Rahil (00:50:52):
That's a great answer. Yeah. I, I, I went there, I got to do the, the narrow hike. It is one of the most magical places. I, I, I can't believe it was in the national park until like the nineties or something late eighties or something like that. It's
Sean McGinnis (00:51:02):
Crazy. So cool. That whole, all of Southern Utah is just, it's a whole nother landscape. It's beautiful
Rabah Rahil (00:51:07):
Hundred percent with you. We did the whole kind of Southern down there with Bryce and all of that. And it it's, it is sensational. One of my favorite parts of the country, um, Shopify overrated or underrated,
Sean McGinnis (00:51:19):
I'll let you know in about five months <laugh> as of today. I, I, I, we think we made the right decision. I'm, I'm really, really hopeful that we did. We're very pleased with the work that's going on with our development agency. It's been, you know, we're three weeks in. It's been good so far. I have incredibly high hopes. Um, and, uh, it could be a train wreck, but I don't think it will be. So I think it's, I think for us, it's gonna be one of those decisions you look back on and say, why didn't we do this like four years ago? Yep. For us, it was the, the rationale that I had to, the conversations that I had along the way with our, our CEO was the big, the big holdout, because he experienced a lot of PTSD to this day, from when we migrated from Magento one to Magento too.
Sean McGinnis (00:52:06):
Yep. And so like the, the question that I asked him, I think that was the most thought provoking was look at some point in the, in the past, Magento was absolutely the right decision for this business. And a lot of other business somewhere between then and now Shopify became the default. When did that happen? And why did it happen? And that got him really thinking, you know, whoa, it's a good question. When did it happen? And what, and you know, there's no doubt that if, if we were to build a, a business today from scratch and magenta, wasn't part of the picture and we knew we could do the level of revenue we're at today, we would choose Shopify a hundred percent.
Rabah Rahil (00:52:39):
I love it. Uh, NFT is overrated or underrated
Sean McGinnis (00:52:42):
Overrated. Oh, I love it. Even my 20 year old kid thinks they're overrated. Like this is it's. I don't, I'm trying to figure out who believes that. I think, uh, the blockchain itself has some really interesting applications. I think the stuff we're using it for today is probably all overrated, but we'll see. I could be the old Foy, just screaming, you know, shaking my fist at the moon. You know, <laugh> get off on my lawn. You crazy kids.
Rabah Rahil (00:53:06):
No, I, I I'm with you there too. I think that, uh, NFTs are the implications for art, I think are terrible, but like, uh, concert tickets would be interesting where you can only mark up the concert ticket by three X or something like that. Like having some things there. Cause I, I get really annoyed when people pervert the economics, looking at you, Ticketmaster, um, where you, you start to, uh, you know, it's not the market anyway. That's a whole nother story, right? Uh, EOS, overrated or underrated.
Sean McGinnis (00:53:31):
I think it's underrated. I think it's catching on. I think it's, uh, it's incredibly invaluable. And I think anyone who's running a smaller business that has teammates involved. If you're, if you've got 10 or more employees, I would absolutely encourage everyone to take a look at it, regardless of how fast you're growing love. Love it. It's just, there's a ton of potential there.
Rabah Rahil (00:53:50):
Yeah. There's, there's definitely a lot on there. Um, to be fair, we liked it a lot. We just used, uh, OKRs instead now. Yeah. Um, but it is very, very good. Um, but the L 10 I think is applicable to everybody is it's absolutely path. Yeah. Um, favorite meal and why
Sean McGinnis (00:54:06):
Favorite meal and why? Um, my wife makes an incredible, um, butter chicken in the, in the, um, not the crockpot, but the, the other thing that super the pressure cooker, it's just unbelievable.
Rabah Rahil (00:54:23):
Sean McGinnis (00:54:24):
And my, my 15 year old asked for it probably every week. So that's good. It's only we play with the heat probably every single time about how spicy to make it and trying to figure out that, just that right. Perfect blend of spices, but it's unbelievable. She, she's an incredible cook and uh, just the kids love it. It's like, it's the one thing everyone agrees on. And so I think that's a, it's playing on my, getting my three kids to agree when we're going out for dinner, like, forget it. It's like a fools errand. Like we're better off taking separate cars and eating at ne neighboring restaurants. And then going somewhere after, like, if we're going to a movie or whatever, just get, you cannot get 'em to agree. And I, and I was probably that way when I was a kid too, it's all sibling more fair. And like, this is the way we treat each other, but gosh, there's never any qualms when the butter chicken starts smelling throughout the house. It's awesome.
Rabah Rahil (00:55:08):
Oh, I love it. Uh, favorite podcast.
Sean McGinnis (00:55:12):
Oh, my word. Um, it's a tossup, there's two favorites and they both have, uh, the all in podcast, um, is a big favorite of mine for sure. And the fifth column is another one. Um, it, it's kind of the, the three guys that are semi libertarian that comment on media coverage of politics and culture. Um, been listening to them for a long, long time. They've been at it forever. It seems. But yeah, those are the two that
Rabah Rahil (00:55:38):
Come mind. I'm a, I'm a big fan of, uh, conversations with Tyler. Who's kind of
Sean McGinnis (00:55:43):
Bent. Well, I just listened to his interview with Barry Weiss, where he was a guest actually, um, this morning. So just so, so good.
Rabah Rahil (00:55:50):
He's an interesting guy for sure. Uh, favorite place travel to and why?
Sean McGinnis (00:55:56):
Uh, probably Pittsburgh. I love going home. That's where I was born. All my extended families there. Um, it's definitely not as glamorous as some international destinations, but as a city, it's just, I think it's, I think that's an underrated city dramatically, so I would agree. Um, and it's when you are going through the tunnel and you, and especially if it's nighttime. Yes. And the city's lit up. There's nothing, nothing like downtown Pittsburgh.
Rabah Rahil (00:56:22):
It is pretty cool. That was one thing that I was not, uh, my dad used to live in Pittsburgh and we would, I was still living in Indiana at the time. So we would just drive. Um, that is actually one of, uh, little, uh, breathtaking moments. The speed though killed me. You have to go like 20 miles an hour or so for like 50 miles, like within the, like, you're just like, dude, I'm on a highway. Let me drive, bro. That was, that's a little brutal. But
Sean McGinnis (00:56:44):
When you, the rumor that I'd heard was with when they were recruiting players in, at, um, at Pitt and some other places that they would always fly them in so that they arrived at night, so they could bring them into the city. Yeah. Through the squirrel hill tunnel at night. Like that was like a deliberate, strategic, thoughtful choice.
Rabah Rahil (00:57:02):
Yeah. And I, if I remember my, uh, trivia correctly, I think it has more bridges per square mile than even Venice. Like it's tons of tons of tons of bridges everywhere. It's really cool. It's actually yeah. Underrated city for sure. Um, okay. Last question. You'll make it through the rapid fire. If you could have dinner with three people dead or live fiction or non fictional, who would they be? So you're at a four person table. You're sitting at the head. You get to invite three people who are you invite?
Sean McGinnis (00:57:26):
Oh my gosh, uh, three people. This is a tough one. I should have prepared better for this one. Um, Hmm. I'd say Steve jobs has to be on the list. Ooh, love that. It's super interesting to, to pick his brain and, and, and chat with him, get to know him. Um, uh, probably Milton Freeman.
Rabah Rahil (00:57:54):
Sean McGinnis (00:57:55):
Um, old, old school economists. Oh, G I think he's just a fascinating character. Yep. Um, there's gotta be a sports guy in there. I, I would say Jack Nicholas, I've just like, he's didn't know. Just unbelievable. Yeah. Big. I love golf and he's until tiger came along, obviously he set the standard and he's still really active and interesting. Very active on social media on his Facebook platform. Seems like one of the most generous guys I've ever seen with that level of kind of, um, excess of, um, just, you know, success in his life. He's just such a gracious guy. It seems like.
Rabah Rahil (00:58:31):
Yeah. That's the shark guy, right? The sharks.
Sean McGinnis (00:58:34):
Uh that's Greg Norman.
Rabah Rahil (00:58:35):
Oh, Greg Norman. Ah. I'm conflating. Uh, they just did a cool 30 for 30 on Greg Norman. I don't know if you've seen it called
Sean McGinnis (00:58:40):
Shark. I have not seen that. Yeah. I just came out. I saw one, I saw a different 30 for 30 promoted this morning. I can't wait to go see about a Penn state situation back in the day. She believe I dying to go watching.
Rabah Rahil (00:58:49):
Totally conflated Jack Nichols.
Sean McGinnis (00:58:51):
Oh my gosh. That's all right, Shane, you clearly had a golfer Shane <laugh>. I'm
Rabah Rahil (00:58:56):
Not really. I tried it once and there was, I figured and you need money and time. And those were two things I didn't have and I hate being bad at things. And so I was like, forget this man. I'm out.
Sean McGinnis (00:59:06):
I can understand that. Yeah. It's, it's a fun sport. It's I it's the game I'll play forever. I mean, my just, I played with my dad about a month ago. He's 81, 82. And you can just play the game forever, man. It's you're not, you won't be as good as you were when you were 30, but you can still get it done, you know?
Rabah Rahil (00:59:21):
And I'll tell you what if I could go back and do it all over again and be a pro athlete. I would definitely be in golf. You go the most beautiful places. You never play in inclement weather. It's uh, it's very pre I CADed for a couple summers. And, um, there, there ain't nothing wrong country. Couple life. It is beautiful, man is that's you're on the most. This is incredible manicured courses. You're in nature. You're walking. It's it's could be worse. Sean, you made it rapid fire. All right. How amazing, um, tell people how they can get involved to kuru. How can they follow you on Twitter this time is yours? My friend.
Sean McGinnis (00:59:55):
Yeah. So we're email@example.com. K U R U here's the K U R U footwear.com. Um, if you know anyone who's got foot pain send 'em our way we we'll take good care of 'em, uh, have a great, um, returns policy, you know, trying before you buy 'em that type of thing, 45 days to make sure that they're working for you. Um, our, our customer experience team is incredible. They take really good care of everybody, all of our customers. Um, you can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn, just search for the name, Sean McGinnis. Um, I'm around. I tend to dominate the search results. Those poor other guys named Sean McGinnis don't know what hit him, but there's a few of 'em. It's like I got a lacrosse coach like that poor guy, like geez. You know? Um, but yeah, yeah. Connect with me. Shoot me a DM.
Sean McGinnis (01:00:40):
My DMS are open on Twitter. Um, used to be really active on Twitter. It's funny. I, um, uh, a couple of you guys are really, um, racing to try and keep the Twitter game going and grow the followership. Like I have 13,000 followers, I think 12,900 of 'em were earned about 10 years ago. And I was super active on Twitter here. <laugh> so I don't know how that actually gets measured or I don't really care much about it, but my DMS are open connect with me there. Shoot me a D uh, shoot me a note on LinkedIn, happy to connect. Um, and you know what, it's probably time when this comes out. I'll re-promote my office hours. And if you wanna schedule a 30 minute meeting on, on zoom with me, some I, every, every weekday I've got an hour open for a one 30 minute meeting. Um, so if you can grab one of those slots, there's, there's always room for one, uh, one per weekday. So I'll, I'll repromote that soon. And um, if you wanna connect with me, that's always a good place to do it there too.
Rabah Rahil (01:01:30):
Oh, I will be retweeting that like crazy. That was, uh, transformative, meaning transformative, meaning you should charge people for this, John you're the man, thank you so much for all your knowledge eloquent and thoughtful answers. And I can't believe you said Terry Bradshaw, underrated. I thought you, he has like all these ACC accolades UN
Sean McGinnis (01:01:47):
He does, but no one thinks of him in the same. You know, when you talk about the greatest chore backs, he's almost never even enters the conversation to be in the top 10.
Rabah Rahil (01:01:55):
That's a fair point.
Sean McGinnis (01:01:56):
Think about I'll give you that you got
Rabah Rahil (01:01:57):
People say, damn Marino more than him and Dan Marin
Sean McGinnis (01:02:01):
Marino, Elway. That whole, there was a whole class of folks that barely won one or never even won one. And they all would. They all rate those guys above Terry. So that's
Rabah Rahil (01:02:08):
Why that's a fair point. That's a fair point. All right, folks, if you do wanna get more involved with triple oil, we firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow us on the Twitters. And then we have a fantastic newsletter that goes out every Tuesday, Thursday called whale mail. You can subscribe right on our Twitter profile at triple whale. Sean, you're the man. Thank you so much. If you're ever out in Austin, gimme a shout. Really appreciate it. And we actually might make it out to Utah, not this year, but in next, we actually have a, a, a big cluster of triple Wellers in Utah. Come to think of it. So thank you man. And let's do it. And we actually just hired, uh, uh, our director of product marketing out of Utah. Um, so hope you work remotely there too. Yeah. So awesome. Utah love. And if you do get a chance go to Zion national park, it is absolutely.
Rabah Rahil (01:02:48):
Or just Southern Utah. It is, it is an experience like none other. It is. It is some of the outside of California. I think it's probably the prettiest part. One of the prettiest parts in the nation. It is, it is magnificent nature. If you're into that kind of thing. Well, that's it folks. That's 35 in the books. Thanks again, Sean. We'll see you soon. Hopefully ghost Steelers. Yeah, you guys, you guys kinda on down swing, but you, you, you know, you you've won enough. Let, let some other people take some, take some championships home for a little while. Um, that's it folks. That's all we got and we'll see everyone on the flip.
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