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Podcast: Forget B2B or B2C, Think Human 2 Human w/ Bryan Kramer

NetWise Dec 8, 2021 8:01:31 PM

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Show Notes:

The guy who first rocked the black shirt (before Zuckerberg), Bryan Kramer, stopped by the Data Basement to chat with Adam and Mark. Bryan is an international keynote speaker, a bestselling author, global TED speaker, and strategist consulting Fortune 500 clients.
 
Here are a few highlights:
  • Did COVID make us more present? We had more time to do hobbies and spend time with family. The forced modification helped people to be more human and more present.
  • How do we stay present as humans?
  • Human2Human is now Human2Zoom2Human.
  • Nobody is allowed to suck on camera anymore...even if that means getting coaching.
  • Allowing ourselves to be imperfect, simplistic and empathetic - if we are three, we are our human selves. This applies to brands as well.
  • People share in order to connect with others. Most people crave connection. During COVID it was what we craved the most.
  • There are 3 levels of listening - 1. thinking about something else, 2. thinking about what they are talking about but waiting for it to be your turn, and, 3. listening and not evening thinking about anything. We need to be at level 3 all of the time.
  • During the 7 minute lull or the awkward pause use a powerful question to continue conversation. Make the question about the other person.
  • Intimacy = "Into me you see."
  • Humans have good bullshit detectors. We have a great nose for artifice.
  • We are energy-sensitive at different levels depending on our background and our life experiences.
  • We needed remote life more than ever. There was a reckoning of freedom and it's why so many people quit their jobs. People want to move forward. They crave change.
  • The office is child care for adults.
  • COVID caused shift in media consumption. How do people build, run, grow and sustain it?
  • Everyone is craving community and they don't know where they fit.
  • How do you run community - build, grow and sustain it so people want to belong to it?
  • At some point your community will grow past you.
  • If you do it right and provide people a high value, people will want to come back to do business with you.
  • If you want a $human creator coin for listening, shoot an email to bryan@bryankramer.com
  • "The rising tide lifts all the boats" --John F. Kennedy & Bryan Kramer

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Transcript:

Adam Kerpelman:

... there.

Mark Richardson:

I adopted black shirts every day of my life, maybe it was after college, but it's just so much easier. I'll show up on stage in a black shirt and I'll show up on this interview with a black shirt.

Adam Kerpelman:

It's funny ...

Mark Richardson:

It's just so much easier.

Adam Kerpelman:

It's funny how you realize the virtue of that later in life. Brian, the other occasional host on the show, and I went to high school together. We had to wear a uniform and everyone hates it at that age. It's so oppressive, you have to wear a button-down and a tie but in retrospect it made there be a whole lot of being 16 I didn't have to deal with because I wasn't being judged on whether the T-shirt I was wearing was cool or not.

Mark Richardson:

Whether you were sagging your shorts at the level off your hips-

Adam Kerpelman:

All novelty ties are stupid. Hey everybody, it's The Data-Driven Marketer. I'm Adam.

Mark Richardson:

I'm Mark.

Bryan Kramer:

And I'm Bryan.

Adam Kerpelman:

Welcome back for another hang in the data basement. Thank you for joining us and a special thanks, as always, to our guest this week Bryan Kramer. He's the president and CEO of PureMatter, the founder of Human 2 Human, and the spinoff H2H companies. At this point I'll throw to you Bryan to say a little bit about what brought you here or how you came to be here, I should say. What brought you here is our producer saying, "Hey, do you want to do a podcast?"

Bryan Kramer:

And it was a nice email too, so thank you Jess. That was-

Adam Kerpelman:

[crosstalk 00:01:42] Shout out to producer Jess.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. Yeah. I guess what brought me here is a deep question but I'll go for the not so deep question and-

Adam Kerpelman:

Deep is fine.

Bryan Kramer:

Because that could go really far back. But I was always an agency guy in my life. I started in the agency world and worked my way through, and up. Then eventually created a agency out of all of the great mentors that I had in my life. Then my wife and I ... Not only did we say we wanted to get married we started an agency together and then had a child within the first two years. So it was like wow, we're really going to make this all work. We did. It was bumpy, ups and downs like everyone else, over 20 years of having an agency. Really bumpy. Like some major ups, some major downs. We rebranded and kept up with all kinds of fun, interesting things. And scaled at certain levels and then scaled back at certain levels. Eventually working with some great brands in our second 10 years, Mastercard, and Cisco, and Netflix, and all kinds of cool stuff.

Bryan Kramer:

Then social media became a thing and that was my shiny penny, and I loved it. I started interviewing people like we're doing now. That was like, "Oh my god, we can co-create content together." Then Human 2 Human was born out of that. It was like ... We were talking about it so much but I was like this gives us a chance to meet people halfway around the world. So I started speaking about it a lot. There's a long story there but I'll keep that for later maybe. Anyway, that was just my thing and that's who I am. That became kind of a next stage to where we took our life and here we are today.

Adam Kerpelman:

Mark just got involved with the podcast recently when he came onboard.

Mark Richardson:

That's right.

Adam Kerpelman:

So he hasn't gotten to experience what happened as we were warming up for the podcast. Sometimes these are the best episodes, are the ones where we say, "Well what are you excited about," and just start talking to the guests. Then at some point I have to say, "Guys, we have to stop talking. We're doing the podcast." Like we need to back up, reboot, and start doing the thing. But yeah, you were talking about the context of Human 2 Human and you were saying that it should be Human 2 Zoom 2 Human now. I think a lot of people think about that, right now, as the thing that's like, "I can't wait to get back to the office. I hate Zoom."

Adam Kerpelman:

At NetWise we've been remote, as long as I've worked here and five years before that, so I have gravitated to a job where I deliberately don't get to ... I get to continue to live in that digital space. I've spent the last year in a space where I've seen the really interesting communities that start to emerge when a thing like a pandemic hits and everybody gets pushed into a new paradigm, basically. But yeah, I think, I mean that's a cool place to start. Just what's been your experience of this thing hits that kind of pushes everyone to suddenly be ...

Mark Richardson:

For what for-

Adam Kerpelman:

... physically distant but actually socially we're kind of closer than we would be in the normal world sometimes. If you think about connecting the nodes of being able to join a giant group of people across the country on a regular basis. I just couldn't do that if I ... I don't have the money-

Mark Richardson:

Sometimes do you feel like for entrepreneurs who want to implement a Human 2 Human approach are there modifications to your strategy that you would recommend, given the new normal?

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. Well the modification was kind of forced on us and that's the Zoom part. But it's interesting to me that we went through these cycles, like almost if you look at it I think everybody went through kind of like the period that an astronaut goes through when they go to space, where they get cocooned. If you read about it there's different levels of grief when they get separated from humanity. Then they go through adoption or adaptation of like, "Well this is only going to last for so long and so I'll just be okay with being in space alone." Then they start to realize, "Well wait a second this could ... We're up here for whatever it is, 10 days, how long is this really going to be? Oh my god, how am I going to do this?"

Bryan Kramer:

Now for us we didn't have an end in sight, so there was an extra additional piece in there of, "Is this really going to end?" So we didn't have that piece of, "I'm going to get to go back to Earth in nine days or seven days left." So we were left with an extra additional whatever you want to call it, no deadline. So there was that and we didn't have each other to console and be with, other than you saw birthday Zooms popping up all over the place, and people getting on and probably connecting more than we ever did, I would say. I don't think that before that I'd ever had a birthday Zoom. People were wishing me birthday on Facebook but I don't think I had a 12 person birthday Zoom before. I think there was a lot of wonderful things that came out of it that unfortunately we're going to romanticize in 20 years, maybe 10 years.

Bryan Kramer:

So there's a shift in that, to answer your question, that I think will force people to be more human. That's to take an approach of being more present. I think we're a little more present because you can see people on video with their eyes more. We have to be locked in more. Like are they looking directly into the camera? Are they looking to the left? Are they even paying attention to what I'm saying? You get a little twitchy around that. Where in person you're not so locked in on that. You're kind of just having a conversation with someone and we're not like, "Are they even listening to what I'm saying," as much as we are when we're on Zoom. So there's not ... That context is missing there. So that's the piece that I think is the biggest awareness for us. I think the big challenge there is just get on the phone and stop doing video. If you want to take it back to being more present shut the video down. I could keep going on this topic, so I'm just going to-

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. No, it's ... I was on a call recently where the CMO of some other company just kind of said, "On some level no one is allowed to suck on camera anymore." There's some level where you have to get to the point of ... I mean, maybe that means people get coaching. I mean, I don't know. But otherwise-

Mark Richardson:

I think some people do. I think there's ... I mean-

Adam Kerpelman:

There's for sure ... Yeah. It's weird.

Mark Richardson:

I have friends who are actors and I actually started out as an actor here in Hollywood. There's totally a thing now of acting for Zoom and it's completely different than your normal ... I mean, the same principles as film acting but there's that different ... There's another screen involved now, so it's really interesting how ... Then on a meeting, on a deck or presentation, you're kind of expected to be performing. You're on video, you're in this kind of performance mode where then if you're one of the receivers you're actively listening. It's what you were saying Bryan, you were like, "Are they really engaged with the topic we're discussing? Are people following? Are they Slacking somebody at the same time? Going off to find a resource on the Internet?" Which is all just normal office behavior, right? I mean, you think about the things you normally do are passive activities is you're on a conference call, "Is it my turn to speak? Let me put away Sports Illustrated."

Mark Richardson:

I think now people have to be ... Especially if you're ADD, which I am as well Bryan. It helps us to really focus one screen, one topic at a time. Because if you're in Lalaland then, like Kerp was saying, there's this pressure to be excellent on video.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. I totally agree. So we've got to give ourselves permission not to be and just to be ... That's one of the tenets I wrote about in my book, that to be imperfect not to be perfect. The other two are simplicity and empathy. If we're all three then we can actually be our human selves and not ... It's actually focused on us but also on brands, like if a brand could be imperfect, empathetic, and simplistic then that would be our best human brand.

Bryan Kramer:

But also I also did interviews of over 250 people of all walks of life, including a lot of CMOs, CEOs of a lot of companies. One of the things that I did is I took all the transcripts and I put them into a word cloud generator of why do people share with each other, and what do they want from all of humanity? I did it for my second book for Shareology. The why people share with each other and what do they want? The answer, the one big word that came up at the end of the day with all of these words jumbled together, if you've ever seen a word cloud, is connection. It's interesting because when we got that taken away, when the pandemic hit, was the number one thing that we all craved the most was connection.

Bryan Kramer:

So what you're saying is totally in line with that, that we all have to give each other grace in the moment. And in that imperfection of the thing that we want the most, which is that and knowing that we're going to be imperfect, we're going to say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, not have the right eye contact, all that kind of stuff.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. I think it ... And when you present it as a problem, potentially, my answer is always kind of, "Yeah, but he solution isn't that the technology is bad. Like let's get off Zoom. It's that you need to figure out a new culture for this new way of being that is a drastic shift for people like me who didn't grow up streaming video games like teenagers now do, so they're completely ..." The funny thing is talking to younger people about this. They're just like, "Yeah, whatever." Like it's not such a big deal, compared to how the professional world is responding. But you're right, it ultimately comes down to it's a cultural solution, not a build a better Zoom thing. It's like you just have to understand that ...

Adam Kerpelman:

I work in some hacking groups where literally no one looks at the camera the whole time. The point is just to be there and the camera is somewhere, and you're working on projects together. Occasionally you look. If it's like, "Hey, I need to talk to Scott right now." But otherwise everyone is there but working on something else. As soon as you know that there's not this awkward feeling of like, "I need to make eye contact," anymore. I work on a bunch of projects where we don't even turn on the video and then it's just-

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, it's like ...

Adam Kerpelman:

... a phone call. So we just deployed the solution you already mentioned, in cases where it's like, "I need to be lying on the floor stretching during this meeting," or whatever. And like fine. I couldn't do that if we were in a conference room.

Mark Richardson:

Right. Or you'd look like-

Adam Kerpelman:

I mean, that's not true. I used to do that at my company but like ...

Mark Richardson:

When you own the company you can lay around wherever you want.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah, I can't do that in someone else's conference room.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, it's easy when you can go off video and stretch, do some yoga, lie on the floor and still be present. I think that's the key thing, is how do you stay present? How do we stay present as humans then into entrepreneurs, marketers, whatever our segment is in our specific level of excellence or subject matter expertise? How do we ... I think about kids. The virtual learning thing, how that was such a shock to the system. I'm not a parent but I have many friends who are and I've seen the weirdness that COVID lockdowns put on the learning path. I'm thinking if I'm having to adjust my professional workflow, the ways that I interact, and brainstorm, and collaborate, for this visual virtual medium what must it be like for kids who are just forming their first friendships, their associations to authority, teachers, trust? All those things that you get within school learning? Then that's all flipped on its head as well. I think we may have some interesting psychological studies in the next 20 years coming from this period of adjustment.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. Well the present part of that has always been a problem in anything and everything. I actually wonder if we're not more present, like when ... I might turn that on its side and say that this actually made us more present. I think that this was a gift in that regard because when the pandemic hit I think all the Buddhists in the world were like, "Welcome, we've been waiting for you." We weren't ready for it. Like, "Oh my god, what do I do? I have more time." I actually started doing art. I'm like, "What do I do now?" I was bored sometimes and I'm ... Like we were talking about ADHD or ADD and we're like, "What do I ... Oh my god, I ..." I actually started beading, like these little crystal diamond things. I went onto Amazon, I'm like, "What do I do for a hobby?" I'm like, "I need more hobbies in my life," because I stopped traveling and speaking, because I couldn't. I was like, "Oh my god, what am I going to do?"

Bryan Kramer:

So this presence thing actually turned up. I'm like, "Well okay, I got to ask some questions of myself of like okay what am I going to do with this?" And to that now being present thing then, "Well how can we be more intimate with others? How do we be present with others now in this moment," like when you are on Zoom without having that lull? Like we used to have that seven minute lull you have with a group or with people that we always talk about at an event-

Mark Richardson:

That's funny, yeah.

Bryan Kramer:

... and all of a sudden that seven minutes hits and so-

Mark Richardson:

Awkward pauses.

Bryan Kramer:

The awkward pause and all that. The way around that is with a powerful question that you can go deeper in. And really intimacy is into me you see. The deeper that you can go with a question the deeper you can go with a conversation. The seven minute lull, or any kind of lull, goes away. So the more you can hit with powerful questions ... There's hundreds of powerful questions, thousands of powerful questions, but if you don't go there with them and you just keep the conversation going with ... Like your not in true intimacy, you're in that third level.

Bryan Kramer:

Because there's three levels of listening, right? There's the first level of listening where you're thinking about something else while they're talking. There's the second level, where you're thinking what they're talking about but you're waiting for it to be your turn. Then there's the third level of listening where you're listening and you have no ... You're not thinking about anything else. You're not even thinking about what you're going to say next. When it's your time, when it's your turn, you will just be present and know that you will know what to say. Now if we were all on that third level in all our lives can you imagine the world we'd live in?

Mark Richardson:

That's the utopia, right? That's the dream.

Bryan Kramer:

I mean, I have given this advice to many people with social anxiety, including my wife who is a musician. She's completely comfortable playing instruments in public, and songs and compositions she's put together. Stuff I'm terrified to put out there. But then in between she doesn't like the part where she has to banter. So we talk about this a lot. The answer I always give people is just ask a question. I mean, I'm here doing it on the podcast. The podcast is great practice. You wait six seconds and if no one says anything ask a question. It's really-

Mark Richardson:

I mean, we've been going 20 something minutes now, we haven't had a ... We're do like three awkward pauses. We haven't-

Bryan Kramer:

Right.

Mark Richardson:

... even taken those.

Bryan Kramer:

I think, yeah the ... One of the things that's ... Man, I have a bunch of notes and it's like, "Okay, what do we have time left for?" To keep chasing that thread. So the first place that I really became familiar with this ... Which I went to school for directing but not for acting. They have you take acting classes though and you spend a lot of time working with actors.

Bryan Kramer:

In that class I remember getting over this hump of understanding that to be a good actor was to ... Like everyone thinks you have to memorize your lines and that's the hard part. The hard part is you have to run your lines so much that they're so internalized that you're actually listening to what the other person is saying. The only thing that occurs to you to respond with is the thing that was pre-written and so it's kind of easy but you really have to actively listen or else humans, like monkey brains, watch it and go, "He's not listening. This doesn't feel authentic anymore." It turned into an active listening exercise that I've carried my whole life, even though I stopped acting promptly after that class.

Mark Richardson:

Humans have a great nose for artifice, you know what I mean? Like even-

Adam Kerpelman:

[crosstalk 00:20:32] Bullshit detectors?

Mark Richardson:

Bullshit detector, right.

Adam Kerpelman:

If you want to be less academic about it.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, there you go. Bryan do you want to react to that? How do ...

Bryan Kramer:

I agree. I agree. I think we're all energy sensitive at some level. Some of us are energy sensitive at different levels. That depends upon the level of where our background is and where we come from, and what kind of things we've gone through in our life. When you've gone through certain things that will give you a basis for where you're going to see that bullshit show up. Usually it's going to come around how you make it about you or how you make it about them. That's the deciding factor for where that conversation's going to go. Normally humans make it about themselves and when-

Mark Richardson:

But that's I think what ... Yeah. When you ask a question though it's turning ... It's making it about the other person.

Bryan Kramer:

Right. Yeah. Well when you ask the question it makes it about the other person but I don't think that people make it typically ... And this is where things could change and you could be a really powerful leader, when you make that question about the other person.

Mark Richardson:

I love that. I like that you referred to the Buddhists rallying around in lockdown, it's like okay here's ... This is kind of the time to implement your meditation and I'm sure Buddhism got a big spike in interest. It's funny, I was just watching the new Sopranos' movie last night, The Many Saints of Newark, really cool.

Bryan Kramer:

Is it good?

Mark Richardson:

It's good, yeah.

Bryan Kramer:

I can't wait.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, it's worth a watch. And there's a great little doff of the cap to Buddhism in there where you least expect it. It's pretty fun. Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

So the interesting thing that I alluded to before, that this is a remote company. This technology was starting to eke into the scene already. The thing that happens when you hit a paradigm shift like social crisis, like a pandemic, I think with technology ... This is just the media theory nerd part of me running away with like it just accelerates everything 10 years, right? So there's already a subset of kids that ... Like when they talk about school I always kind of say, "The kids will be fine." I'm not sure the kids are stressed out about this. It's the parents and that kind of ... It's the place where the pandemic becomes such a monumental cultural shift across the globe because we have to look at the fact that school is great for kids but it's also built-in childcare. We take that away and it really disrupts other pieces of the mechanism that I think if we tried to figure out how to fix, instead of just rolling back to how it was, it would be a lot better for humanity in the end.

Mark Richardson:

Specific to school, is that what you're talking about?

Adam Kerpelman:

It's just an example of an institution, right? I mean, you could say the same thing about marketing, about sales, like literally ... It just impacts everything because what it really is is a shift in media consumption, right?

Mark Richardson:

Right.

Adam Kerpelman:

Like we switched from seeing people in person to having a media-based solution for how we do what we're doing right here, all being in our little meta virtual space of the three of us.

Mark Richardson:

We were almost ... We're kind of primed for it in a way. Like we were getting further and further away from the in person ... I think about a TED Talk. Obviously Bryan your experience with keynote speaking or a professor, you're in a discussion room. You're able to read people's body language, you're able to actively listen and synthesize a thought from the reading material or what someone just commented on. We've been slowly moving that in person body language readable, almost improve-based, exercise into this segmented remote context; whether it's online learning or Udemy, or YouTube creators, you're learning ... I learned chess and guitar through YouTube instructors versus hiring a guitar teacher. I'm sure that's how a lot of people are accruing their skills now. So it's interesting how it's permeated work as well. It's kind of an evolution.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. Well everyone is so different. I think that there's different ... And a unique way that each person needs to be addressed, right? So like in school the school system is broken. We all know that. So is it in companies too. So we just broke the mold and now we're moving into remote. Then nobody knows how to be with that either. Like, "Do I demand a check in once an hour and what are you doing at home? Are you constantly watching TV and playing Nintendo or are you actually doing your work?" Same thing at home. Like, "Why isn't your video screen on?" As a student my son is like ... Day one they're like, "Turn on all your videos so that we can see you all on." Then day 100 not one is on. Same thing for remote, day one pandemic, "Check in every hour on the hour so we know you're there." Then day hundred, "We don't care. We know you're doing your job. It's all good."

Bryan Kramer:

So it's just like man was this a gift. It's like we needed this more than ever in so many ways. I mean, I'm not trying to make light of the pandemic because there's so many things that were bad about it but there just was such a reckoning of freedom that came for what this is and that's why so many people are now quitting their jobs because it's like, "I'm not going back to what it was. I'm moving forward." We're all moving forward into the newness of what this is going to be and let's go with that.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, you've got-

Adam Kerpelman:

To chase the analogy the office is childcare for adults when most of us don't need it and you can put together a completely competent company made up only of people who don't need it. Then you don't have to provide it. It's actually a great cost savings but like ...

Bryan Kramer:

It is. And it's also still needed for comradery to go in-

Adam Kerpelman:

For sure.

Bryan Kramer:

... somewhere one day, two days a week. Leave it up to them. Give them the freedom to do that. Again, personalize the experience just like you do for students because students learn differently, each and every one of them. So personalize it. Get a look into what that looks like.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. I think it's a really interesting ... It's that ability to personalize it that I think marketers are, in a sense, familiar with but we don't have filters to these other institutions. Because the marketers and the teachers only talk in rare contexts. It's like but we're all trying to tell the story of something that possibly our listener doesn't want to know about, right? I mean, that's marketing. "Hey, I have a thing you might care about over here. Are you interested, huh?" American history-

Mark Richardson:

Or create the need for that.

Adam Kerpelman:

But the idea that you can have a more granular approach on a student-by-student basis is something I've been pitching for 10 years, in terms of if we could electrify the teaching experience. Then you do other things for the social stuff, right? Like most of the implicit social interactions that I had during classes or in the hallway, in all of my school experience, were unpleasant and anxious. But then there were a couple things. There was like ... I enjoyed my sport, I enjoyed shop class. You can reproduce those things without the school. The kids already do it themselves. They play League of Legends on the weekend. They're fine. The kids are fine. The kids aren't upset by this. I mean, there's some aspects where it's like, "Okay, get them in Little League or whatever," but ... Or have rec leagues. Put more of the public school money ... Well the public schools need the same amount of money but find some money for rec leagues. That used to go into desks for the students and it seems solved.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, there's something about-

Adam Kerpelman:

But it applies to companies as well. You need to find those replacements and so if you're a fully remote company like us ... Like I'm largely in charge of this effort at our company, as the head of comms internal and external, we have to actively have fireside talk events and you really have to work to pull the team together in a community sense on any level. It's just a little easier when you can just say, "Okay, everybody block the last hour on Friday and come out into the bullpen."

Mark Richardson:

I feel like it's ... Yeah. You were talking about career or job pivots in the pandemic, Bryan. I think that dovetails nicely with what Kerp is saying. I mean, I feel like from what I was seeing ... And I changed. I came over to NetWise ... What was this? Four months ago now. I was starting to feel a lot of the same burnout, this sensation of, "Man, teamwork doesn't feel ... It feels more like me work and then I'm reporting back to the team." Like the idea of working as a part of a team in a remote context really requires some TLC. This idea of you're going to be managing your discipline, your projects, and then we need to form a process or a context for how we establish feedback, or accountability, and things like that. It does take on ... It takes on a bit of a different feel when that forum is a Slack channel versus everybody in a boardroom together looking at the pitch deck or the creative deck, or the brief.

Mark Richardson:

So I think it's interesting some people just looking for a different way to work as a team versus, "I don't like this product," or, "I don't like the service that I'm working for." It's, "I want to find a better ecosystem. I want to find a better team context to work within."

Mark Richardson:

As someone who had changed jobs one thing for me that I noticed was, I guess, the desire for a more concerted teamwork kind of context. Where I felt like in my previous position there was a lot of siloed work come back. The nature of collaboration, I think, is a value point that people are looking for nowadays.

Bryan Kramer:

I think-

Adam Kerpelman:

It definitely shifts a bit if you're not in the same room. I'll say I've seen the emergence of job descriptions, like community strategist and stuff, starting to show up, particularly for the opensource crypto projects where they're kind of like, "Okay, we raised a bunch of money from all these people and we have to wrangle them now." Wrangle is not a fair word, it just it takes work. I'd imagine it would be HR department in sort of a traditional company structure but it's way different with those other projects. I think it ends up way closer to a marketing effort, right? Or a coaching effort, honestly, to use another term from your background Bryan.

Adam Kerpelman:

But increasingly it's a thing of sort of like you got to have events together and you got to hype people up. I mean, there's aspects to the whole thing where ... Transparency is important, I think. Certain values that if you can roll them in you can be really effective with the new way that stuff is doing. And just everybody's happier, partially because like I don't have to be in the car for two hours a day. I can spend that time with my kid or outside, or whatever.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. Well there's two things here that I'm pulling out. There's a lot of things here but there's two that are coming out loud and clear for me. One is community. Community is like a big piece of what everyone is craving to be a part of and they don't know where they fit, especially as there's detachment. There's so much detachment right now from, "Where can I fit in and belong," whether it's inside your company, whether it's inside a smaller group in your company or whether it's within your community of customers, or it's your community of even just your life. "Where do I fit into ... And plug and play into this community?" Then there's the flip side of that and, "How do I run my community? How do I build a community? How do I grow the community? How do I sustain a community and make it so that it's still human, and it's still a community that people want to belong to, and I don't oversell something? Or I'm not creating something that people then eventually want to leave that because I'm doing something that is self-serving or self-sabotaging?"

Bryan Kramer:

So there's all these things that we have to think of. Then it's just becoming like an animal unto its own and now it's beyond what you originally created the community to be. So community is a really, really cool awesome thing, until it becomes not so awesome. And we're afraid to start it because we know that eventually that community can grow beyond us. And it's too much for us to even handle, so then we never start the community because this is what we fear. So I'm always ... I love community by the way. It's my favorite ... It's my superpower actually and I love, love, love, love community. I think you can grow a whole company, I think you can grow companies on just communities and never spend a dime on advertising. Shoot me for saying that, I know that ... But I-

Mark Richardson:

No, there's a ... You have a great blog post about that actually, on BryanKramer.com.

Bryan Kramer:

Did I write that?

Adam Kerpelman:

[crosstalk 00:35:27] Good plug.

Mark Richardson:

... How to Grow Your Business Without a Funnel, Ads or Website.

Bryan Kramer:

I know. I know. I'm kidding.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. I mean ...

Mark Richardson:

It's good stuff. Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

I always say that the human race's superpower is collaboration in the end, right?

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

We have traditionally done that through community level things that are either community government or like churches but like it grows past that and everyone's kind of looking for the same thing. The trick to crafting it is to make it ... You will lose control of it. That's how it works. It's a system where you can bootstrap something through it but it's going to grow past you at some point. That doesn't mean like you can't make some money, or whatever, on the way but that's a thing to prepare for if you're sort of orienting that certain beast. In our case Data-Driven Marketer is a community. Like we're trying to sponsor a community. I 100% know, as the current ringleader, that it might end up out of my hands eventually. That's fine. We'll detach the brand if that's what's got to happen but right now I'd rather pull together the group of people that care about the same stuff than try to sell a bunch of shit.

Bryan Kramer:

If you do-

Adam Kerpelman:

But the point is to get a feedback loop. And if we do it right instead we can have a community of people who just tell us what to build and I don't even have to think about the product anymore. It's great.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah, if you do it right then people will thank you and come back to do business with you because of what you have done to provide them a high value. It's really kind of the same and no different than what Google does. You go to their site, you search for what you want, and then you go somewhere else, to the destination you wanted. Then you thank them for what they've given you by coming back again to search for what you want and going somewhere else. The community is offering a place for you to meet someone that you want to meet, that you didn't know you could meet, and you thank the person who gave you the life of the community. But people don't treat it that way. They see a community as, "I can build this so it helps me." If you could build it so it doesn't help you, it helps them, and take the opposite approach you will win.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yes.

Bryan Kramer:

I just can't get that into enough heads. I know that I'm like, "Stop doing that," but that's the right approach.

Adam Kerpelman:

It's the way to win long term as well, which is the place where I bring it up the most often. It's kind of like it's also there is a lot of technical to do around the SEO stuff that we talk about sometimes but I frequently point out that the core of that has to be a content strategy that ultimately actually answers questions for people. Because everything else is just going to be some kind of technical scam that Google is trying to squash all the time, because they're just trying to provide the answers for people. So the-

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, I like to call it ... It's like ... Oh go ahead.

Adam Kerpelman:

Oh I was going to say, to try to wrap this guy up in a reasonable amount of time, we're going to hit the last point that Mark knows-

Mark Richardson:

It seems like we're about to dive into SEO, so I'm ready to get cranking some SEO.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah. I know Mark's getting excited. Unfortunately we don't have anything that I'm excited about because I think the SEO juice will be better right now, to be completely honest. Yeah, tokens. So like my experience with the community stuff was predicated on working all these projects that are tokenized. So the community has so much more power when they're built into these systems where they really are involved in the economy of the product because it's not owned by some VC-backed company that means you have a board and you have all kinds of other people, and they have their agendas that are sometimes misaligned. And I'm bringing this up because you mentioned that you have HUMAN coin, which means you understand. So it's still only like one in five people I get to talk to this about, so I'm always excited.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, I'm-

Adam Kerpelman:

We'll talk about SEO in the next one.

Mark Richardson:

I'm the gumshoe, break it down for me. Break down HUMAN coin for me Bryan.

Adam Kerpelman:

But yeah, what are you working on there?

Bryan Kramer:

Well HUMAN coin is on the Rally network. If you go to Rally.io. Anyone listening, and you guys, if you want a Rally ... Sorry, a HUMAN coin I'm willing to flip you a coin for free, just as a gift for listening. So you just go to Human ... You actually can email me, Bryan@BryanKramer.com. I have to say this because my parents did this to me, Bryan with a Y, Kramer with a K. I actually said that to my dad last week by accident and he's like, "Really?" I go, "Yeah, you ... Whoops. I guess you should know that." But I say it so often because they did that to me.

Adam Kerpelman:

I have to say P as in Paul about the P in my last name all the time.

Bryan Kramer:

Oh really? Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

P as in Paul.

Bryan Kramer:

So yeah, it's on the Rally network. The Rally network is VC-backed. But it's a creator coin. There are, I think now maybe, a couple hundred creators. When I first stared there was 75 and they're building it so that creators can wrap the coin around community. There are gamer creators, there are music creators, there are influencer creators, there's different art creators. All kinds of creators that are doing things around whatever it is that they're doing in life. Then they've built communities and are doing things around their coins to help either support what they're doing or to create more value for their community. So all tides lift all boats is basically what they're doing. When the Rally network does well everybody does well also. But we also have our own individual coins. When the community of the actual coin holder does well it also helps the coin holders do well.

Bryan Kramer:

So if you go to Rally.io/human ... I think it's $human or it's /human. I can't remember, sorry. But when you go there then you'll see the page, you'll see everything that ... You can do all kinds of activities and stuff. That's the whole network.

Adam Kerpelman:

Awesome. We'll definitely link to that-

Mark Richardson:

[crosstalk 00:42:07] we'll link it in the show notes for sure.

Adam Kerpelman:

... in the show notes. And to be clear VCs need to exist, it just means a thing about the relationship at the top of your company and where the money comes from, and things like that, so there are good VCs, like the ones backing Rally.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah, this one is the big one that started LinkedIn and Facebook, and then some coin ... The people that started Coinbase are-

Adam Kerpelman:

[crosstalk 00:42:28] Sequoia. I don't know, I'm out of my depth. I'll cut that part.

Bryan Kramer:

Andreessen.

Adam Kerpelman:

But yeah, Mark the quick breakdown is blockchain. The thing that's so cool about blockchain is it lets you do networks like this in a way where people are actually in control of the digital asset in a way that they haven't been before. Past that it's a technical explanation that I'm happy to jump into some time but we're out of time. But it-

Mark Richardson:

Bird's eye view is fine.

Adam Kerpelman:

It makes it so that when I have the coin ... I actually have the coin I can take it other places and use it with other stuff, and Bryan can't stop me basically, which ... In a sense, we're all marketers here, it's a loyalty program. It's no different than we've been running for decades.

Mark Richardson:

Got it.

Adam Kerpelman:

But because the pieces are composable and the underlying ledger is public, ultimately, you can do interesting things, right?

Mark Richardson:

Right.

Adam Kerpelman:

So the creator like ... Not the economy. They have created a separate economy ... Not a separate economy but a different and more supportive economy for creators out of this kind of stuff because hungry artists are always out there trying to find a way to get their stuff paid for. This is a great solution because it cuts out all kinds of middle people, so it's like Patreon is really cool if that works for you. If that doesn't work there are ways to do it with even fewer banks.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah. I mean, I've got a buddy selling digital art. He's making more on NFTs than he ever sold ... I think he sold maybe like $300 worth of painting when it was in a gallery. Now he's clearing tens of thousands on NFTs.

Bryan Kramer:

Wow. Wow.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah. Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

But I feel like there is maybe-

Bryan Kramer:

Wow!

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, it's crazy stuff.

Adam Kerpelman:

... a fun place to wrap it up, just by asking how the HUMAN coin experience has gone so far?

Bryan Kramer:

Wow, it's just amazing. It's been neat to learn something new that I have no idea what I'm doing. And learn along the way and go, "Oh my god, I didn't really know that or understand that." Also I really see the future, just not even of crypto but, like you said, NFT and blockchain, and how all this is going to evolve. I'm working with a company now that is mind-blowing on just how NFTs will start to become real world with like property. And now we can all, potentially, even get in on funding land. And take a little slice of land and fund it, and have it built through construction companies that'll also be crypto funded, and they'll be building the land through NFTs. And the construction software will manage the entire process through blockchain. The whole thing will be done on budget and on time because of all of this, and all the tools, and all the ... The architects will come in and then it's just-

Adam Kerpelman:

And if it isn't everyone will know instantly-

Bryan Kramer:

They will know instantly.

Adam Kerpelman:

... because the books are open.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

So I don't have to go, "Hey, can I see the spreadsheet that you may or may not have [adultered 00:45:40] where this record is"-

Bryan Kramer:

Transparency.

Mark Richardson:

You mean the second set of books or the first one?

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah, exactly. Right. The blue ones or the red ones?

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah. It's mind-blowing. I feel like what I'm doing opened my eyes to what's possible. I'm at just this little small level of this really cool place where I get to actually ... Like I said before, all tides lift all boats. When the HUMAN coin changes a way of community, and it really is all around community, and that's what I've learned the most. And I'm having a great time doing it, but the more that that happens the more it's opening my eyes to also what else is potential out there for what's going to happen. So yeah, it's been great.

Adam Kerpelman:

Yeah, it's super ... And the reason I love talking about this part of it so much, to the point that I'm kind of like, "Okay, let's get to the part of the podcast where we talk about this," it just ... I talked about the 10 year acceleration. Like this is all sort of manifestation of this moment in time, brought on in part by the pandemic, that's like up there with World War II, in terms of the shift I think we'll see in it when we look back from this kind of stuff. And one of the layers is you get pushed to the digital space, everybody's trying to figure out community in that space. Then you're already figuring out community in a space ...

Adam Kerpelman:

The crazy thing in crypto is it's mostly young people, so they're all super familiar with video games. So they don't even balk at the idea that the points are made up. Like, "I don't care, number go up. I'll sell it later." It's just so ... It's so cool what I think we'll get done when you apply the Human 2 Human community plus these layers of tech that are just starting to catch on because of this stuff. [crosstalk 00:47:36] thanks for coming on to facilitate this conversation basically.

Bryan Kramer:

Thanks for having me.

Adam Kerpelman:

Ends up-

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, this was awesome.

Adam Kerpelman:

Ends up in an awesome place and for sure we'll have to have you back, so we can just go further down the rabbit hole and skip all the intro stuff.

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, we got so much more to dive in.

Adam Kerpelman:

But yeah, where can people find you?

Bryan Kramer:

I make it really, really hard. If you go to BryanKramer.com, I said earlier that's with a Y and a K, that's where you can find me. Everything is there.

Adam Kerpelman:

Awesome.

Bryan Kramer:

Yeah.

Adam Kerpelman:

Well this has been another-

Bryan Kramer:

Thank you guys so much.

Adam Kerpelman:

This has been another-

Mark Richardson:

Yeah, thank you.

Adam Kerpelman:

... Data-Driven Marketer. I'm Adam.

Mark Richardson:

I'm Mark.

Bryan Kramer:

And I'm Bryan.