The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 5 months ago

Ep 232: The Current Macroeconomic Conditions And Effect On The Startup World w/ David Campbell, CEO Tropic

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 232: The Current Macroeconomic Conditions And Effect On The Startup World w/ David Campbell, CEO Tropic

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

But are everybody? Welcome back to the pavilion podcast. This is a show where revenue leaders get the tips, tricks and tactics they need to be successful in their roles. Before we get to today's content, let's have a quick shout out from our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by raprise, the only complete demo creation platform that go to market teams turn to when they need to create live and guided demo experiences. Now let's get into today's episode. All right, welcome back to the pavilion podcast, where revenue leaders learned the tips, tricks and tactics they need to be successful. I've got David Campbell, CEO of Tropic, in the House, coming from New York City. David, how you doing, good man, great to be here with you tom thanks for playing men like that, very official sounding. I'm excited to be talking with you today. Yeah, absolutely, I'm excited to have you on and we got an important topic to get to before we get there. You know, just from doing a little linkedin research, saw you are self proclaimed, you know, like ten years ago, not someone that you thought would run a SASS company. Or maybe that was the last idea that you ever had. So she's in here. It's on like a brief history of how we how that changed so much in the last decade. Yeah, totally funny that you get into that. Yeah, so you know, my whole life I actually thought that I would be in some kind of a creative pursuit of I've been a musician my whole life. I've been a writer. I've always had, you know, fiction, poetry and stuff like that on the back burner. I've also always had side hustle. So I was the guy that had like the Rock Museum when I was five years old that I charged entry for. I grew up in like the Napster era, which was probably dating me a little bit, but I was also the guy that would, you know, download the Lincoln Park CD burden and then sell it at school for ten bucks. But that was always a side hustle for me. My main passion was really for, you know, creative stuff, and I went to see Berkeley studied English there. When I graduated, I was really convinced that I was going to be the person to write the next great American novel and I funneled all of my efforts into that. I actually rented a cabin in northern California, went off the grid, no phone or Internet, for year and a half and cranked out this novel that ultimately turned out to be terrible. Told by people that have actually published books that the first one always is. But that was actually, you know, that was what I thought I was going to be doing and I kind of had to kind of take a step back and reassess and think, you know, what is it that I can play to in my strengths to really find what my next path is, you know, for my career, and I realized that a lot of the things that I loved about that experience writing the book. We're very entrepreneurial, right, like I loved setting my own hours, I love setting my own vision and executing against it. I love kind of having full control over my destiny. And Smarter people in my life said, you know, you sound like an entrepreneur and if you want to be an entrepreneur, of the place to do it as Sass, and that was all it took really. So, you know, the next piece of advice was like okay, so where do I start? And they said, you know, you can either be a technical CEO or you can be a sales background CEO. I...

...chose the ladder, got into sales again because I think sales is extremely entrepreneurial. You get to control your own destiny and the rest is history. And you know, looking at, you know, the two or three years or whatever it is now that we've been building this thing with traffic, I've come to realize that it actually running a company is an extremely creative pursuit. It really scratches the same edge that I was trying to scratch and writing the book. So I didn't really wander as far off the reservation as it might have felt initially. And you know, there's so many facets to company building to dig into that it's a kind of the most ultimate creative pursuit. So very happy to kind of wound up where I am, but never in a millionaires would have thought it would be where I would wind up. Yeah, what an amazing story coming from you know, there's a talk to a lot of founders and CEO's on the podcast and you know, typically people have a little bit more of a direct approach in there. Maybe they were an engineer for you know, Google for ten years then they you know, saw problem in one to solve it. But I'm a believer. I'm a big Fan of the book. Range forget who wrote it, I think David Epstein, and about, you know, collecting all these different skill sets, all these different experiences that you wouldn't think on paper would probably help you as a founder, but probably really. Do you know the dedication that it takes for a year and a half were you're just chopping wood and carrying water to try to write a novel? And you know everything that you did from a creative in a music perspective? So I love to hear just that, that unique background. Yeah, no, thank you a hundred percent. I couldn't agree more. I think the most successful entrepreneurs have a bucket that they fill with experiences across a broad set of different categories. I place a high premium on people who've been in the restaurant industry as well. I think there's a lot of parallels between that and company building. So that I could go on about all of that stuff forever, but that's me in a nutshell. Yeah, not love it. So the reason we're here, we're talking right now, early June. It's on everyone's mind, it's on everyone's keyboards talking about you know, what's going on in the in the macro environment, financially, and so I don't even need to really explain further. If you're listening to this podcast, you know what's going on, but it sounds like it's something that you know, especially with what tropics doing. You folks are so involved in the process of how companies buy and sell SASS and I'd love to hear you know, like what your first take is on everything that's going on, and then we can kind of go from there. Yeah, definitely. You know, I'm not going to restate the obvious. I'm sure people have seen the sequoia deck at this point and you know heard the Allend podcast episode and all that. I do think that it's great that you know we're in a time and place where this is not new. Obviously, you know, finding ourselves at the beginning of what I believe is going to be a two or threeear recession is an uncomfortable place to be, but it's not the first time we've been here and I think that it's important to kind of start there. And, as I'm sure lots of listeners have already heard and know, incredible companies have been forged during really difficult economic downturns and I think the the key to success in...

...those companies is adaptability and really just understanding that you know the the tactics that have led to success and you know, if you're on a sales team, in your deals, the outcomes that you've anchored to and your sales process, the process that you've run, is is not going to work now. It's going to have to change. But I think that the reality is it can change and still drive success and we have this like huge wealth of data that we didn't have and situations like this before, like covid nineteen, totally unprecedented event, right. But economic recession is not, you know, we sought in two thousand and eight. We saw it briefly around covid we're seeing it again now and, you know, all of these investors and founders and operators have the benefit of hindsight and forming what company should be doing. What I think is, you know, to give like the very brief cliff notes on tropic you know, when in periods of rapid economic growth and kind of a growth at all costs tach economy, which is where we've been for the last several years, right, so much investment is placed on empowering the sales team, empowering the marketing team, giving them data, tools and resources, hiring the most elite people on those teams and thoroughly empowering them to go grow the top line is, you know, exponentially right. That's kind of the mandate. In periods of recession, the the opposite happens. The focus shifts from the top line to the bottom line. What tropic does is provide purchasing infrastructure rather than sales infrastructure and provide data and tools and even a team to execute on your bottom line rather than your top line and drive savings. And the reason that I start there is because your point. You know, we have about two hundred customers. We've seen, you know, innumerable thousands of transactions happen and we've been closely monitoring the ships and buying behavior in the market and and you know, we have some thoughts on that that can but hopefully inform people on the sale side and empower them to shift with the market that's changing now. So that's kind of like just an Intro, I think, to bring us into the conversation. Yeah, yeah, well, I'd love to hear some of the data that that you're seeing in that that you're able to share, because we're talking before this. But you know, I'm a salesperson, right, and so these are conversations that I'm having with customers. It's conversations we're having as a collective sales force to say hey, you know in the text base there's consolidation that people are talking about. There's, you know, budget cuts, there's you know, you're seeing layoffs from, you know, companies that you know, on paper six months ago, look like they were killing it, and so you have to change your approaching and you know, if you're selling something that you know, before your pitch was around, Hey, we're going to help you grow, you know, x, Y Z faster. Well, now maybe it's you have to change the pitch a little bit as well and change like the story in the the problem that you're solving for. So I'd love to hear some of the the data that you all are seen. Yeah, definitely. So let's start with what the board conversation is like. At traffic we are an outcome selling organization, so we like to focus on like what are the board what is the what are the board meetings about? You know, what are the three to four things that are happening in the board meeting that the CEO is being mandated with, because...

...those are going to trickle down to all of the people that have budget, that are buying and they're going to have to do whatever it is that they need to do to ladder up to those outcomes. Right. So, but we've shifted away from is the growth at all costs outcome, you know, the three four XS are over your growth. We're now focusing on kind of sustainable, approaching profitability type growth, and I think that, you know, craft ventures did a great job of breaking this down and and their podcasted or their video that they release that they gave to their portfolio companies, they kind of bucketed companies into three different zones. One is like you're in trouble, to is you're okay, and three is you're on top. I think that most tech companies are just trying to get to okay. Okay in this case is defined by, you know, two P five x growth. You're over yere, but at fifty percent gross margin, which most of the highest growth companies in TAC are probably not currently achieving, at a hundred and twenty percent net dollar attention. So the focus has shifted from insane growth multiple into how do we get our margins up and how do we get our net dollar attention up, because those are going to be the the levers that companies are going to have to pull in order to raise that next ground and have it not be a down around, or at least having not be a terrible downground. Right. So what that means for purchasing behaviors is, you know, you already kind of hit on some of this huge pressure to consolidate and eliminate overlapping tools, right, and you know, if you if you rewind the clock in your so say you have of you know, just to like pick on one example, so you have like one team using slack, another team using Microsoft teams. You know, some people are using zoom, some people using hangouts. That used to be fine. What we're seeing now is that it's not fine. Companies are trying to rationalize down to larger enterprise agreements and if you can't be rationalized that way, they're trying to cut you right. So that's that's one thing. And tool affinity matters less now than cost. Right. Finance suddenly has tremendous power. where the you know, the business stake willers used to have tremendous power. Finance can override that is what we're seeing. The second thing is at renewal. You know, we're seeing almost across the board, flat renewals, even if you you know, have growth in your in your plan, even if it's consult you know, conservative growth, when companies are coming into a renewal they don't want to commit to any of that because any commitment to growth in a contract that renewal is going to make its way all the way up to that board meeting, probably right, because the board is put in pressure to hedge those growth plans. So coming into renewal, that's something definitely to be thinking about. The counterparty is going to be gunning for something flat, even potentially something reduced. And then I think the other thing that, you know, we've noticed is that some of our customers are prioritizing better payment terms even over the net value of the contract, because cash flow is now such an important factor. Right. So if you're a start up with less than one year runway, the difference between annual upfront payments and quarterly payments is a massive difference. Right. Moving to quarterly payments,...

...buys you some runway to figure some things out. So, you know, these are some of the things that we've noticed. In all of them, I think I implications for how we sell, which I can get into in just a moment. Interesting. So there's a few things I wanted to I want to pull the covers back on. So the first was, you know, you're talking about there's kind of like the bad versus, okay versus good spot for companies to be in, and one of those, you know, factors being net dollar attention at a hundred twenty percent. Do you think that, I know this maybe isn't the exact topic we're talking about, but do you think there's a place for some of these companies shifting around head count and taking some of the folks that were, you know, whether it's marketing or new business sales, and putting them into account management, putting them into customer success and shifting things that way? or or what exactly tactically, do you think that you know, companies are going to be doing to increase yeah, so, yeah, so there's a couple different levers that you can pull right. One is, you know, say you have a churn problem, then what you do is you slow your growth down right. So that just me. That doesn't necessarily many lay out your sales team, but it beans. You know, maybe instead of hiring twenty people, you hired to right. Yeah, and that gives you the bandwidth to figure out how to, like plug the leaky bucket. Then there's plugging the leaky bucket, which, your point means increase emphasis on account management. And if you look at how some of these to companies are hiring, the sales hiring is slowing and the account management hiring is increasing. Because, you know, upsell is one thing, but if your grows for attention is fifty percent, it doesn't matter how much you're upselling. So, you know, I think, I think that's right. You know, people jumping over the fence and moving from sales into account management. There's, you know, there's a lot more meat on the bone there if you're trying to get to a fifty percent gross margin, and you got a long way to go. So we're definitely saying, you know, those kinds of trends. And the other question I wanted to bring up. You were talking about renewals for companies. I'm sure you see a lot of those for the business when you're talking about you mentioned flat renewal and to me that I think what you were getting out was like the head count or the seat count or the license count. But what do you have you seen any shift in terms of how companies are going to market? You know, typically, I feel like you know, and I'm sure it varies, but a typical SASS renewal you might see a price adjustment of three, five, seven percent, things like that. Are you still seeing that? Do you see that that changing, or are, you know, vendors typically, you know nowadays, cutting it to flat as well, or have you seen any trends there? Yeah, definitely. It all comes down to kind of your market leverage. So one of the things that we're noticing is that if you're a nice to have, you're probably going to get cut if you're being perceived, as you know, as a nice to have to the organization. The era of buying growth tools that are nice to have has sunset. It doesn't mean that your tool needs to change necessarily, but I think that maybe the way that you sell it needs to change. Right what? We'll come back to that in the moment. So I think that every conversation that every customer is having with every vendor, whether consciously or not. Right now they're forming a pressure around is this and need to have ers that are nice to have,...

...because everyone is under the gun to cut xpercent, x dollar amount, right. So what I mean by that is, like, if you're a net suite, for instance, you're probably a need to have that sweet has, you know, five percent programmatic uplift. That's in every single renewal and that sweet as the leverage to lean into that and kind of enforce that right, because it's you know, it's going to take six months. If you want to make a switch, you don't know who you're going to switch to. Sales forces another great example, right, like deeply, deeply embedded, deeply and trenched high as possible market leverage. If you're not a need to have I would encourage you to be flexible there, because we have seen optouts that vendors didn't see coming because, you know, they they every year they have this uplift that they forced. Someone is accountable for it in their quota, right, and that's something that, if you're a sales leader, you should really look at, take a careful look at that, because if you turn an account because they don't want to do the extra five or ten percent. Is it really worth it right? And we actually have seen that happen a couple times. So it all comes down to your leverage and I think that you got to take a really careful look in the mirror, maybe even talk to some customers and get some like real data points and figure out are we need to have a real nice to have and if we're a nice to have, the key that is go back to the borderroom. That's always what you know, what we do on the sale side of traffic and what we're seeing shake out in the market with the purchases that are customers are doing. If you are connecting what you do in a one to one way to one of those three to four major metric ships that need to be driven, then you're probably going to make the cut. Right, like if you can demonstrate that, yes, you cost money, but you're going to take out more cost than you're bringing to the table or you're bringing some kind of efficiency through the automation that means that they don't need to hire extra people and don't need to drag down the gross margin. If you're connecting back to one of those you know three things that craftfencher said. We need to hit these these benchmarks. Then you stand a better chance to make in the cut. But if you're still in, you know we're going to help you grow your top line. World it's going to be a lot harder renewal to enforce the uplift Yep, yeah, that that makes sense and that that seems like a good segue into on the sellar side. Selfishly, I'm curious about that, so so curious, like how does one, as a sales leader or salesperson, react to what's going on and make sure that you are you know you can be adaptable and Change Your game appropriately? Yeah, a hundred percent. We actually at you know, this is something that we did at tropic. Is like a listening to her. So I'm actually having ten one on ones with different customers of ours to say, you know what's happening in your board meetings, and these are not even renewals that are coming up in the near future. Right. I think that's one of the things that's very important about the economy that we're in. Account Management is so, so, so key that you want to be incredibly proactive, right. You want to be reaching out now and you know talking to people about what's going on, talking about next year, learning what kinds of pressures they're under and just listening to what they have to say. I think that has to be step one. I think that if you don't have a really strong client and health practice, you know,...

...this is the time to definitely enforce that, for for your existing customer base, like make sure that you really really know what's going on inside your accounts, because, like passive auto renews, that kind of stuff's not going to happen anymore. The same, I think, is applicable on, you know, on the new business side. Like listen, listen, listen, listen, listen to learn, not rocket science. It's always the most important thing in sales, but figure out what those outcomes are that matter now, and I think you have to go back to the drawing board and re architect your pitch. Honestly, like I think this, this market calls for a different playbook than the one that we had before. The outcomes that your company is selling need to shift to map to the new outcomes and that's, you know, a pretty big shift that needs to happen. So, you know, like I said, it's got to be about what those board room conversations are about, because if it's not, then you're a risk. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, I'd you know, something I'm curious about too, and I've in my career of always been in, you know, the Martech or sales tech world, and there's just a lot of there's a lot of vendors. There's a lot of overlap where, you know, vendor a, you know, has one feature that is great and then they kind of do this other thing. Vendor B does that first thing okay, but they do the second thing great. And there's just a lot of overlap for what tools do. And I think in a period of hyper growth, you know, I saw a lot of companies that they would they would pick the best in breed of this, best and breed of that, and they kind of, you know, try to figure out how to integrate everything together. How would you, if you were working with with company or working with the customer, you know, make sure that you know, if they are going to consolidate, that it's going to be with you versus, you know, someone else. Like it feels like a time where, yeah, if you go with sales force and you go with Zoom and you go with, you know, slack in some of these, the biggest names. Feels like a pretty safe time to do things like that. So I'm curious for those vendors that may be smaller, maybe more best in breed, like how do you how do you change that conversation from a consolidation or have you know, you kind of keep your wedge in the door that way. Yeah, definitely. So I think the first you know, unfortunate tactical reality is you have to be flexible. I think that, you know, we're seeing a lot more price flexibility than we were saying before because, you know, there is a very, very real budget number that can't be changed. Right. It's not like a smoke and mirrorge negotiation. It's like, you know, the guy is falling kind of situation. So maybe we're more willing to offer a twenty percent discount, that kind of thing. That's not going to win a deal, though. People. People don't buy for discounts, they don't buy for features, right. So I think that the the big determining factor and not getting rationalized, is you have to kind of break out of that feature by feature comparison. Right. So what the exercise that they're doing is they have a spreadsheet, they have all their vendors in the spreadsheet, they have what those vendors do and they're trying to figure out which vendors do the same things. Right. So if you look at like slack and teams, for instance, on paper, for someone in a finance team, okay, these are both. These are...

...both chat tools, right, they both have like, you know, escalate to a video call, that kind of a thing. But if you talk to the people that love slack, they're going to tell you a much richer story about the outcomes that they're getting from slack. Right. So I think you have to be very cognisant to sell the outcome and to sell the why of the platform versus the features. Again, not not rocket science for sales, but that's really the key, because the features are what are you know, those are what are sinking the ship when it comes to these rationalization opportunity. So if you're able to present tangible business outcomes, this is what we did, this is the efficiency that we created. That connect back to those cost cutting measures and this is the way that you know, not to mention the switching costs, right. So bring those in and say, even if you have this enterprise agreement, you now have change management to get everyone used to using this feature on this other tool that's going to take you six months, and quantify the business impact of the you know, of making the change and really focus on the costs, right, the costs and time, the costs and money and alongside the outcomes that you've been able to drive previously and get totally out of the future matronx world. That's really got to be the key. Yeah, you mentioned this a little bit earlier, but I think you know sales people previously, in the best of times you can rely on some of those other CSUITE VP leaders, the crow, the CMO, the CIO, to, you know, really champion a deal, be your exec sponsor and help you bring it home and help make that business case to the CFO. And as Salesperson, obviously you want to be in touch with the economic buyer, but I think you could get you could get away within me a little lazy on that. I think over the last few years it feels like that's not the case. Now feels like you're not only do you need to have the conversation with whoever the stakeholder is, but it's probably a lot tougher for the cro to go in and talk to the CEF and say, yeah, I really want this, like we're getting it. You know, maybe that's not how they say it, but it feels like you really need to bring whoever holds the purse strings into these conversations earlier and be able to, you know, talk through like what the business case and what the impact is. Say, I feel like deals are just going to start getting dead at the where you think it's the finish line, because solision do that up front work one hundred percent and we've seen that like tremendously increase. Right, this is kind of what I was getting up before. The power dynamic has shifted. If you were a couple months ago, if you were quadrupling your business, you're over yere and you just raised two hundred million dollars. What the Ciro with the CMO want, they're going to get right. Yeah, like at the the the CFO could kind of like be there as a voice of reason and say, Hey, maybe we want to try and get twenty percent off of this, but they couldn't just beat to the deal in most cases. Right. So, in most cases that the buyer, the most senior buyer, over the like growth arm of the business was the person who had total autonomy and authority to buy something. And you know, they try to buy it sensibly. But in a lot of cases, I'll tell you, like when we're working with customers, if the if the Ciro, comes...

...and says, Hey, we're not running a process here, we want to buy this tomorrow, we say okay, you know, because that's that's the nature of the game. Now what we've seen is that the CFO is blocking those deals at the very end now, because the CFO is the one who has to report this again in those board meetings. Right at all, we it all comes back to me for the board meetings. I know I sound like a broken record, but that's like, that's the magnitude of what we're dealing with. They now have full empowerment and and less. It's perceived as an absolute need to have right. So that that's the key. Like get those stakeholders involved early, build a relationship with people on the finance team early, if you can work with them through the process. You know, if you're working with us, we like to get involved as earlier as possible and write shot gun with you through the deal, because we want the we want the deals to get done too. We just want them to get that efficiently. But a CFO WHO's trying to fit, you know, a lot of numbers that don't fit into a spreadsheet has the power to kill a deal at the last minute, when they didn't a couple months ago. Yeah, yeah, that's that's super interesting. So before we before we take a shift and we're going to do some rapid fires in a minute or two, any other data that you that you wanted to get into or anything key topics that we missed? No, I would say so. Here what we're seeing is again huge increase in cancelations, which to me, is a determination made by is this need to have our nice to have huge focus on payment terms, flexibility on payment terms, you know, backloading and agreement with payments is a lot better than not signing the agreement at all. You know, quarterly payments, things like that. Strong emphasis on pursuing flat renewals, because with the flat renewal piece, what's happening in a lot of cases is, well, we know from you know, the sales side, that there's probably going to be some price changes. Is Our products change. Usually that's not being forecast internally right. Usually internally. When the finance team is saying what our expense is going to be next year, they're looking at what they've spent last year to make that determination. So there's a big, big push there, and then huge pressure to consolidate and eliminate overlapping tools and collapse into more enterprise agreements. Those are the the major purchasing trends that we're seeing. Love it. Last thing before we get to the rapid fire. We're any places that you would suggest? You mentioned a few of the spots of Sequoia Deck, you mentioned the Allin Pot a few others. Any other places that you'd recommend? Whether someone's listening to this in there buy or or there a seller and they're not in those board room conversations that they should go just to like really stay on top of all this and he suggest yeah, yeah, there's a huge wealth of resources. Most vcies are putting stuff out. There's a lot of noise. I think that the sequoia deck was a really good one. The one episode of all in was really good. I can't remember what number it was. Craft ventures put out a video you can find on youtube that was also really good, where they address their portfolio companies. Those are the best ones that I've seen and yeah, yeah, I'm sure there's going to be more, but that's kind of what we've been anchoring on. Okay, awesome. All right, couple rapid fires for you. First Up, David. We...

Are we're big learners on the PODCASTS. Imagine you are a reader because, well, you were a writer and I see books behind you. So here's are there any books that have have changed or, you know, made a significant impact on your career or your life? Any genres fair game? Yeah, yeah, I'm going to be really cliche here, but the hard thing about hard things. Yeah, been horrow. It's that that was an amazing read. I read that when I was starting tropic and it really shaped my philosophy. I recently read amp it up by frank sluman. If you haven't read that one amazing business book, it'll. It'll have you feeling like a warrior by the end and it has like very tactical and tangible things that you can do with your business. So those, those have been very formative for me. I also am a big fan of leaders eat last it's a couple of years old now, but you know, the the shift and leadership it's kind of a more candid, more vulnerable type of mindset that I think we've had from leadership in the past. Those I'll typify, you know, certainly my leadership style. And then, you know, best non business book doing is my favorite book of all time and that's just a good book for expanding your mind and seeing new possibilities. So tell everybody read that one too. Okay, I'll have to check that one out. Speaking of Ben Horowitz is actually thinking this while we were while we were talking. It's it's time for a lot of founders and CEOS to turn on that wartime CEO type of mentality that they may not have had the last, you know, five or so years. One hundred percent. I we had an all hands yesterday. I said, you know, we are at war right now and it's time to ban the war drum. Like I think if you're if you're a venture back to growth start up, you're kind of always at war, but this is a different flavor of it. So if you're not making big changes, then you're doing something wrong right now. Yeah, yeah, absolutely, all right, David. What goes on in the headphones music wise for you? That's a good question. You're not going to like the answer. So I'm big into death metal and black metal. So that's always the you know, European, ideally classical music. Plenty of that. I actually just started listening to this this I think it's a trio from Sweden, if I'm not mistaken, called Drain Gang. That's kind of like a electro rb thing. So I'm always listening to those. I like all all music of all varieties. PODCASTS. I love true crime. I listen to a lot of last podcast on the left, I like the Allend podcast. I keep it pretty narrow in that world because you can get lost. There's a whole see of podcasts out there, is I'm sure you know. Yeah, yeah, Nice. What's what's something that you like to do outside of work that helps you recharge? Yeah, great question. So I'm a drummer, so I play in a couple different bands and that's a good way to, you know, blow off steam and exercise that energy in a really productive way. So that's a that's a big one for me. Most of my free time is now spent with my newborn baby. I just got back from fraternity leave, as you know. Thank you. So have a a month old baby and and that's a...

...full time job on top of my full time job, but I certainly love spending time with him. Yeah, that's great. That's great. Who is one person that you would want to see come on the pavilion podcast? Who? Great Question. HMM. I'm torn between Barack Obama on Elon Musk, kind of like the light side the dark side of the course, some sometimes, someone sometimes. The second part of that question is that you you have to help me get them on. So I don't know if you have an actually those guys. No, I don't, unfortunately, not yet. Let me get back down that one. Will work on that. Will work on that. Is there any sort of do you have a favorite quote, philosophy, Mantra, anything that guides you, anything that you hold close to you? Yeah, I think I'm going to look it up so I don't get the name wrong, but there is a great quote from a Formula One race or. I just did this on our our all hands yesterday and I think it's very of the moment. Formula One's hot right now. Oh, I know it is. Yeah, like about a sport no one cared about in the US, you know, five years ago, and now everyone's talking about it. Yeah, we have. We have Netflix to thank for that. So is it was the the late Great Ayrton Senna. He was way before I knew about Formula One, but apparently was on top of the world one, I think, three champion and championships and round. He said you cannot overtake fifteen cars and sunny weather, but you can when it's raining, and that to me is very of the moment. Right now it's absolutely raining and I think if you learn how to adapt, then you're in position to overtake fifteen cars when it's a lot harder when conditions are good. Wow, I love that quote as great. My last thing I wanted to ask you I saw on one of your posts recently you're talking about, you know, kind of like a good day versus a bad day and how you'd Structure Your Day, and one thing that stood out I think you mentioned that you on some days or most days, meditate with your wife in the morning. Could you talk a little bit about that, like when that started in what that does for you? Yeah, definitely. So I'll start by saying meditation as a huge, you huge part of my life and I've been practicing for about ten years now and it is made a macro impact on my psyche and my decisionmaking and, you know, my stability just about every area of my life. So my wife and I started meditating together when she was pregnant, as we were kind of like charting the uncertain future. We started with headspace, which I know is not super original, but head space is just great. Like it if you're interested in trying to start meditating and you haven't had space, is a great way to do that. They have some meditation specific to pregnancy. So we would kind of sit up together in the morning and and meditate in silence and it was a really good way to bond and kind of get grounded and what matters, because, you know, the thing that I'm finding...

...with all of this uncertainty in the market and you know the impact in particularly that it's having on our industry, it's really important to have the perspective that, you know, as much as I love my company, there are other things that matter in life and you know, having family, you know, friends, whatever it is for you. You know, I think that getting that perspective actually gives you the clarity that you need to run a company successful. So that's going to a big practice for us and a good way for us to stay very in touch with, you know, the family side of things. Super Cool. I love that, David. This was a this is a hoot. I appreciate you coming on. Before let you go, want to give you a chance to say you know, first of all, any other words that you have that we didn't get to and then the best place for folks, if they want to learn more about you, if they want to learn more about tropic, the best places to do that definitely yeah, engage with me on Linkedin. I'm pretty active on Linkedin. I would love to hear from you. I accept every request that I get and would be delighted to have a conversation with you there. Also at Tropic, we you know, one of the stages in our process is we offer a stack assessment where we look at all the tools that you have when you're paying and figure out where there's opportunity for you to focus on your bottom line and save. It's way better to cut costs on software than it is to cut head count, and that's a service that we offer for free for anybody that's listening. So if you're listening and you're trying to find ways to tighten the belt on your business. Get in touch with me. We'd be happy to give you an assessment. It'll show you areas of opportunity, even if you don't work with us. So just putting that out there and we have a link that we can share if you want to use that later. Yeah, what a great offer. Love that. Cutting software is better than cutting headcount. I agree, David. I appreciate you coming on. Best of luck as you're in wartime mode for you in the tropic team, and hope talk with you soon. Thanks so much. Really going to be here with the time I'm going man. All Right, thanks for tuning in again. This episode is brought to you by reprise. We're prettiest, is it no? Code Enterprise Ready Demo creation platform that gives go to market teams the power to control the narrative of their demos and deliver custom product experiences without developer involvement. Easily convey your solutions value to decision makers with guided demos and live sales demos. With reprise, try the reprieve platform for yourself and start creating winning demos today at reprisecom. We back next week with another episode. Until then, hit me up on linked in. My Name's Tomallemo, and get after it. We'll see you next Monday, please,.

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