[Podcast] An Inside Look at Deschutes Brewery with CEO Michael LaLonde (Part II)

In part two of the conversation, Jon interviews Micheal about how Deschutes views growth and marketing in the modern world of craft beer.

Michael believes if you aren't growing your dying because of the rising costs of making beer.

He talks about the biggest changes he's seen in marketing over his career, the marketing KPIs they use to measure success and the surprising way Deschutes views their 'competition'.

Show Notes

Michael talked in depth about how he views growth, marketing and competition. The reality is,

"If you don't grow, you die in the beer business." - Michael LaLonde, CEO, Deschutes Brewery

The status quo isn't an option for Deschutes and craft brewers like them. But, finding ways to continue to build a brand and invest in marketing when attribution is sometimes non-existent isn't easy. Michael goes into specifics around how they face these challenges as an organization.

Why if You Don't Grow You Die in the Beer Business

The costs of making beer are rising faster the beer prices. The only way to survive is to continue to find ways to improve gross margins.

The Biggest Change to Marketing According to Michael

Focus groups don't work. The consumer no longer behaves like they say they will when in a focus group. This means they have to do more experimenting in public and can't really predict what will happen.

The Marketing KPI's Deschutes Uses to Make Decisions

They look at Net Promoter Score and a few metrics to judge brand awareness but one unique to Deschutes is 'purchase frequency per household'. Even a small percentage shift in that KPI is a huge win for their company.

The Non-KPI Goals Deschutes has for Their Marketing Efforts

Michael wants their marketing to focus on the stories and values that make them who they are as a company. If their videos and content are doing this they are on track.

Michael's Biggest Struggle With Marketing

There is no ROI or it's almost impossible to see the ROI of any one marketing effort vs another in the beer world. Deschutes has had to make peace with certain blind spots in their tracking.

The Surprising Way Deschutes Views Their Competition

There are 7,000 breweries in the U.S., one in every congressional district but Michael views their competition not as other craft brewers but the non-craft breweries that still make up 85% of beer sales.

Why Deschutes has Never Purchased Another Brewery

Management has evaluated a few potential acquisitions but Deschutes has always felt their clearest path to growth was focusing on how they could get better, not adding new breweries.

Why Deschutes Has Never Sold

Michael discusses how the values of their founder still feed the decision to stay independent today.

Taking Over for a Legendary CEO

Being mentored by Gary Fish and what he learned from the way he ran the company was huge for Michael. The biggest lessons he took from Gary were to question everything along the way and don't be afraid to always ask why.

How Deschutes Grooms Their Future Leaders

Promoting people from within means nurturing them along the way. Michael uses his one-to-one meetings with his direct reports and people throughout the company to ensure that they are always thinking about the next generation that will lead the company.

Sending Employees to Work at Other Companies to Learn

Deschutes has a really cool employee swap program with Clif bar and others that let Deschutes employees do a tour of duty at another company to gain perspective. Michael thinks that it's a great way to see your own challenges through a new lens.

Podcast Recommendations

Michael loves listening to podcasts. his favorite right now is "How I Built This". The podcast covers stories from founders and CEOs about building and growing their companies.

About the Hosts

Nicole Mears

Nicole is a former PPC analyst, department head, and product manager. She focuses on marketing and customer success.

Jon Davis

Spent years as a PPC consultant and agency analyst before focusing on making software.

Transcript

[00:00:01] - Jon
Hey Nicole.

[00:00:02] - Nicole
Hi Jon.

[00:00:04] - Jon
Ready?

[00:00:04] - Nicole
Let's do it.

[00:00:05] - Jon
Alright.

[00:00:05]
(music)

[00:00:12] - Nicole
I'm Nicole Mears.

[00:00:13] - Jon
I'm Jon Davis.

[00:00:14] - Nicole
And this is our podcast, Shape the Conversation.

[00:00:16] - Jon
And this week is part two of my conversation with Michael LaLonde CEO of Deschutes Brewery. Really fun like we get to talk a little bit about last week to bring Michael into the Shape studio and pick his brain on a lot of things and part two I think really stands out because we were able to drill in on how Deschutes views marketing in a really complicated world of craft beer where attribution is almost impossible sometimes.

[00:00:46] - Nicole
I'm looking forward to it.

[00:00:47] - Jon
All right so let's just get right into it. What do you think?

[00:00:51] - Nicole
Sounds good.

[00:00:51] - Jon
All right. Roll Part 2 of conversation with Michael and I hope you enjoy it.

(transition)

[00:00:59] - Michael
I believe that when an individual works for a company and they can have an impact on that company they are much happier because when I worked at Arthur Andersen I didn't do anything meaningful. You know I was an auditor you know and auditors would review the books and make sure they're right. I didn't think it really mattered. And I couldn't have an influence on an organization that large so what we focus on at Deschutes is day one when somebody comes into the company we say, "We want you to come to work and figure out how to do your job better and figure out how your department can get better and give us feedback on how we can be better as an overall company." So we've created things like a fund where anybody could submit an idea and if it cost less than five thousand dollars the CFO and I just sit down and approve it within two days. So they can have that impact all the time. There's a number of committees that they can join Sustainability Committee, we have a beer leaders team which is like cheerleader's you know that rally the troops, we have a culture group that gets together and talks about our culture and how we can improve it and how we can bring you know places like Portland to you know together with the rest of the company so they feel like a part of it. So we have a number of opportunities for everybody to really be involved and have an impact and I think that really matters to people and we listen to what they have to say. A lot of people don't ask and they don't hear what all their co-owners are saying, we do. It's hard but we also respond to it. And when somebody makes a comment you have to respond to it. And that's hard to do with five hundred seventy one people and we don't do it perfectly but we try.

[00:02:49] - Jon
Yeah. And so it is interesting how much it does kind of parallel what you did too when you were working for the tribe and I could see as you said you look to grow that employee ownership program. You said that 8 percent of the company now is employee owned. Pushing that to 10, 12, 14 percent, part of the risk I could see there is that that is less cash flow for leadership to aggressively expand or take big chances out there and balancing what gets put out to employees and what is shared with the current pool versus expansion and pushing forward thinking there had to be a lot of conversations over the years at Deschutes about like hey we're big we're doing great business why don't we just keep doing it. You know but you guys are looking to push to the East Coast, you've been constantly looking to expand those distribution lines. What do you think is at the heart of that wanting to keep growing and pushing outwards as opposed to kind of staying as is or reaching some kind of status quo 570 employees is an incredibly large organization. But I have to imagine when you guys sit around and make goals you're not thinking, alright how do we make the exact same sales last year or how do we push the same amount of barrels. You're thinking how do we find that new frontier that next step. Does that come you'd think still from what was instilled in those early years?

[00:04:28] - Michael
Well like I said earlier we have a lot of financial discipline. We compare ourselves to other craft brewers out there in the marketplace so we know what ratios they hit whether it's gross margin percentage we know where we're at. So we make sure we're in line or better than the average craft brewery out there that's you know our size but the fundamental fact in the beer world is the price of beer does not increase as fast as the materials you need to produce it. So you have a sales price that a grocery store that has historically increased by 1.5 to 3 percent per year. But you have ingredients like hops, malt. Right? Health care costs they are increasing much more rapidly. So if you don't grow then your bottom line is going to be eaten up before too long. So it's true if you don't grow you die in the beer business. So you have to have that philosophy of how you can add growth margin in a tough world where prices aren't going to go up that much.

[00:05:40] - Jon
Hmm interesting. And I think one of those ways that you can kind of bridge that divide or continue to push your margins up is brand and marketing. Selfishly as a marketer really curious in how Deschutes thinks about marketing now. Is it different from kind of like the pre digital age in the 90s or is it kind of a lot of the same core principles? I remember you know Bravely Done was a big brand and push for a while. How does Deschutes think about marketing how do you balance all the digital platforms out there for such a well-known kind of consumer brand like you guys? You guys could do everything, how do you decide what to do and not to do?

[00:06:27] - Michael
Well you can't do everything, we just don't have the budget to do it. And it's changed dramatically. I think the biggest thing that has changed in the world of marketing over the past few years is we used to be able to go to focus group or some kind of survey platform and find out how the consumer would behave. And you could rely on that type of information and really know your approach to marketing whether it would be successful. Now-a-days the consumer doesn't really behave like they say they were going to behave. So when we do focus groups and feedback and we pursue that line it doesn't always work. It's really a confusing time for people in the world of marketing is that they can do no test in advance to find out whether their marketing ideas will actually work. But we spend a lot of time in digital, I mean that's what everybody is doing right now everybody's looking at their phone all the time, so we've spent a lot of time on that. Snapchat you know Facebook all those different platforms and then we work really closely with other people within our organization to tell the stories of who we are. So we have a lot of videos about who we are what we do how we approach stuff have a lot of fun more brewers are great at giving videos about the beers that are making and can do a lot of fun things there. So we really now focus on who we are and just try to display that to everybody we have a chance to come in contact with.

[00:08:07] - Jon
What KPI's are you using or what indicators process to use to make marketing decisions when you're going through that strategic planning process? How big of a topic is marketing in such a capital intensive business? It's probably not as big of a percentage as revenue as some of the others you might see but what do you guys actually used to either kill the marketing effort that maybe you're putting energy into or take on a new program or channel?

[00:08:38] - Michael
We look at awareness in different regions of the company, whether people know us whether they think that we are a brewery that they can trust. So we do a lot of surveys, we look at net promoter score, we also look at purchase frequency per household.

[00:08:54] - Jon
Purchase frequency per household. Okay that's cool stat. I like that stat.

[00:08:59] - Michael
That is a cool stat. So that's something that if we increase it by 10 percent it would be a huge impact on our business. So we monitor those statistics every year.

[00:09:08] - Jon
Interesting. And then so the marketing team is reporting those back up to management constantly and because you guys are able to tie those directly to sales and revenue numbers or your barrel stat? And I think that's an important thing that you guys probably go through with this strategic decision is finding how everything aligns to that barrel statistic I'm guessing. And as former CFO kind of a numbers guy do you think that that's something that you strive for as a company are you constantly thinking of that one KPI or do you think those KPI's kind of naturally develop in the different organizations and as long as you're keeping tabs on all those and you know they're feeding that you're comfortable with that?

[00:09:55] - Michael
The struggle that I've always had with marketing is that it is so hard to see the ROI. It's really hard to identify it. And we've done that in a number of ways.

[00:10:06] - Jon
Especially cause you can't sell beer online you can't track a purchase online. You're the ultimate use case for difficulty and tracking. As a digital marketer when I think about like how I would pitch Deschutes you know to run the digital campaigns, that one stresses me out for sure for that exact reason because you guys can't close that loop.

[00:10:29] - Michael
It's hard to see it very much so we have to do something called Street pub and we will continue to do it every once in a while and that is a 400 foot bar that has 40 plus tap handles.

[00:10:40] - Jon
It's incredible if nobody's ever seen it.

[00:10:42] - Michael
We do food. We do all kinds of bands. It's family friendly. We've raised a lot of money for not for profits and we had those Street Pubs all around the country. We did it and I think something like 20 different cities. So measuring the impact of that one day event and we tried to measure it with bars around where we had that event and the city overall and whether barrel growth was good or bad or did it change at all with very very hard to determine.

[00:11:15] - Jon
Totally.

[00:11:16] - Michael
Yeah, so that's something that we decided we can't continue to do at all those different locations because we couldn't see the ROI. You know we'll do different magazine ads full page ads in outside magazine and it will get the idea of how many impressions it is. Right. That's a metric that marketing uses, but whether it drives beer sales or not it's disconnected. So the old famous quote, "50 percent of our marketing dollars are affected but we don't know which one" is true. Yeah it's hard to see it.

[00:11:50] - Jon
Are you guys looking to close that gap at all or do you think you've kind of made peace with the fact that you're maybe going to never have those hard numbers and trust your marketing teams in some way and trust marketing and generally you know have faith I guess that putting this energy and money into it when you can't really show the ROI is something you guys should continue to do.

[00:12:12] - Michael
Yeah we look at other other breweries and how much money they put in marketing and we try to target about that same amount. There's a tremendous amount of trust that you do have to have in your team to go forward and really drive the needle. But we're dialing in how we measure the success of marketing all the time, we're getting better and better. It's not perfect I don't know if it will ever be and when I talk to other businesses that they're in the same boat is that they know that marketing is important, they know that kind of spend is important for awareness and to communicate the values of your organization, and consumers do care about the values that a company has. So we do think that's important we'll continue to spend it and hopefully the measurements will always get better and better.

[00:12:57] - Jon
Yeah and I think marketing for you guys in craft brewing is getting even harder as more and more people enter the craft brewing space. Telling your unique story in a market where everybody kind of has some kind of unique or cool upstart story and I imagine is one of the biggest things you guys are pushing up against as you're pushing into new markets or whatever is local craft breweries that are popping up and kind of the natural inclination for somebody to want to drink a beer that they knew was brewed and is the brewpub locally downtown kind of one of the initial things you guys are able to piggyback and also do yourselves. Do you think you're battling against like the next Deschutes in every new market?

[00:13:43] - Michael
Well there are 7000 breweries in the U.S. now. There's one in every congressional district. When you go into a bar what I'll often hear is "What is your local IPA?" There is no brand that a lot of people are looking for any more. They're just looking for the local IPA. So it is a continuous battle, but I have seen times where, and I've done it myself, where I go into a bar and I look at a tap handle I haven't seen before, give me a taste of that and it's not great that does happen at times. So I think when people see that not every beer is great and you really have to trust breweries that you know then I think there will be somewhat of a change but it's not happening right now, people are drinking whatever is new, different, local, and that is a continuous kind of fight. But we've always felt that as craft brewers grow you know and we're doing it well then it will lift all of our boats. So you know we try to help out everybody in the craft brewery space have a great relationship. If we go on tours everybody is open with us about what they're doing as a brewery. Larger breweries have helped us out over the years. We try to help other people out and really make sure that the whole craft beer scene is good, quality is good, and that we continue to grow because our competition is not with other craft brewers. It's with the other 85 percent of the market which is the big conglomerate breweries out there. That now can appear like little small craft breweries when they're really not and they have resources.

[00:15:32] - Jon
You mean appear as small craft breweries because they're going around buying up all these local brands when somebody goes in the bar and they ask, "Hey give me your local IPA." They are feeding that 85 percent weather they kind of know or not?

[00:15:45] - Michael
They are smart people and they have gone out and purchased a lot of small craft breweries and they are leveraging those in every way. I mean to find 10 Barrel in Georgia is amazing. But you know they get distribution because you know they have a huge distribution network.

[00:16:02] - Jon
Yeah 10 Barrel, another local brewery here to Bend that was purchased by InBev/Anheuser-Busch and really spread their distribution. I think that is the other storyline with microbreweries I would think over the last few years. One the massive growth, two all the mergers/acquisitions that have occurred in the market I don't proclaim to know the industry super in depth, but to my knowledge Deschutes has never purchased a smaller brand name you know obviously remain independent to this day one of the largest independent microbreweries in the nation. How have you viewed that you know one of the ways you guys could have spread growth especially during cash rich periods was to buy up other brands. I have to imagine that strategy was talked about why go a different direction?

[00:16:58] - Michael
Like I've said we've always felt like, well if we can improve what we do every day and have brands that resonate with the consumer then we will continue to grow and we really don't need to do that. We've looked at a number of acquisitions in the past and those didn't make any sense to us. Whether we do it in the future or not you know if we find another brewery that does make sense I think we would do something like that. No doubt about it. But Gary's never approached our business like let's build it up to sell or anything like that. He's been more you know let's grow as a company let's get better all the time, how can you not love what we're doing as a craft brewer where you can sit around and drink beer and work with a lot of great people and that's made the most sense, but I think at some point we could see a brewery and decide to buy somebody else.

[00:17:52] - Jon
You do have a lot of advantages running a craft brewery and being able to make that pitch in the job interview and if anybody sees a job listing for Decschutes you know everyones' ears perks up and looks and I've worked at startups with incredible perks and kegs and what you can imagine. But what I always found interesting is that no matter what their environment is there's still a lot of base things you need to provide people and answer for people. People still want to care about what they're doing. Year 4 of working at the brewery it's lost a little luster, right? You can still find that passion and that love for the product and what you're doing but people need to enjoy their jobs you know they want to feel like they're, like you said, having an impact. I think that is a key to anybody building a team or trying to grow a team is not to be the dictator or commanding down amongst the ranks. It's the only way you're going to build a sustainable company. I think if your goal is not to build and sell really quick you need people that want to continually have that impact four years from now and that's what they're going to find interesting.

[00:19:03] - Michael
You know a lot of our co-owners come to work every day whether they're working at the pubs or at our main brewery or even out in the sales force as you run into people all the time that are excited that you're with Deschutes Brewery. I mean I don't know how many times I've actually introduced myself and say I'm with Deschutes Brewery and they're like, "Oh my God I love you guys!" And we have a lot of our co-owners who also go out and do events in the marketplace and they see that all the time. But every day we have tours come through the brewery and people are so excited to be at Deschutes and see what we're doing so it really generates that enthusiasm internally too. It's like you know they think we're basically rockstars you know when they come on the tour and it's a lot of fun or we're sitting tasting beer on a Tuesday afternoon and there's you know 10 different beers in front of us and a tour goes by and they're like snapping pictures of us and I'll often like wipe the sweat off my brow you know like it's really a hard job to do. So it's a lot of fun and people enjoy it.

[00:20:09] - Jon
I mean it's a brand that is loved and known and you guys have lived by your virtues and you took over the CEO job 2017. We've mentioned Gary's name many times, Gary Fish well known for being the guy that was serving his beer and behind the pub at Deschutes Brewery in the early 80s when it got started. Taking over for a guy like that I imagine you were doing a lot of roles before you were you know officially named CEO but when you show up to work that day and you do have the CEO tag next to your name, talk to me through those first few months. You know you've obviously been in the room with a lot of these people they trust you but do you find there was still a change that next day when you are the guy?

[00:20:57] - Michael
Well a lot of it changed back in 2010. Gary came in my office one day and he said, "My youngest daughter is graduating from high school and she's going off to college and I want to be able to go around and travel and do some stuff. So I want you to take on all of my direct reports." That was a big responsibility and at that point there was a lot of opportunity to change the team. And it's true you have to have the right people on the bus to do what you want to do. So I changed the team quite a bit. And so we had a great team when Gary gave me the CEO title about a year ago but I have to admit there's a lot more weight on my shoulder when that happened. You know I was a guy now that when we do the presentations over at the Tower Theater, I'm the guy and I am the one that people looked to to provide the leadership. But Gary has been a great mentor for me, he has the ability to continually challenge thought to always make it better. He can be a contrarian to the extreme. He will disagree with anything that's brought up just to figure out a way to make the idea a better one to the point where he has disagreed with himself and has like an internal debate about whether the decision is a good one or not.

[00:22:23] - Jon
We always talking about all the time like at what point is being the devil's advocate stop being productive.

[00:22:30] - Michael
That's very true. So I mean that's helped me a lot to be just totally a critical thinker but to have a great team around and to continually work with the ideas generated by that team has made me feel a lot better in the role than I am right now. But there is a lot of pressure, there's a lot more pressure. Every time we don't do something right, it's my fault and I feel that way. When we do something right, it's the team that did it right. You know I can't take the credit for that because they're really the ones that are experts. I'm not the smartest guy in the room most of the time. There's other people that we have hired in the company that are ten times more talented, better at what I used to do than me, and they're pretty incredible and there's something I'm really proud of if I can say that I've had an impact on the organization is really the team that has improved quite a bit because of my leadership.

[00:23:29] - Jon
You talked about your direct reports, how often are you communicating then is it weekly meetings, monthly meetings? What kind of cadence do you use with your direct reports?

[00:23:39] - Michael
I typically do one on ones for about an hour every two weeks. With all of my direct reports. But I also meet with some of their direct reports because I think it's important that I am aware of who they are what they need to work on how they're developing how's their morale so that I can continue to improve them because succession planning is very very important we need to set up the next generation of leaders now so that if anybody leaves or retires within the company that we have the expertise to go and take over those responsibilities seamlessly.

[00:24:19] - Jon
Are you communicating that to people within the organization that you kind of forsee on that management track? Like, would I know if I've been at Deschutes two years that kind of you know you're looking at me to maybe take one of those direct reports? Is it verbalised to the point so I can start owning that and doing things to prepare?

[00:24:39] - Michael
We actually sit down and talk about what additional skills that people have to develop whether it's education or exposure to some responsibility that they haven't had before or anything like that maybe they need to go to another company and learn how they do product development or you know it could be a variety of different things.

[00:25:01] - Jon
Entirely another company?

[00:25:03] - Michael
Yeah I think you can learn from just about any company out there. We have a great relationship with an awesome company Cliff Bar, and so we can learn from them and they can learn from us and I think that's really important just to see your business from a different lens. You can bring in some really good fresh ideas that way. We've done some collaborations with different chocolate companies because they make some incredible different flavors Moonstruck Chocolates where we did a collaboration and they did actually Black Butte Porter chocolates with us but we went and saw how they approach their product development and the different flavor combinations that they created in their chocolates and it was a great learning experience. We spent a lot of time with Humm Kumbucha also learning how they do different things and we did a collaboration with them. So I think a different perspective is always important. We can learn a lot from other people.

[00:26:00] - Jon
So you talk about seeing your company through an entirely new lens by even going to work at a different company and think about that. I think another way that I kind of get a lens on what I'm trying to do is listen to podcasts read a lot of blog posts. I know you like podcasts. Do you use podcasts is just an escape? Do you use it as additional learning source? Do you have any favorites that you listen to how they kind of fit into your life and your process?

[00:26:29] - Michael
I love to listen to podcasts. I walk my dog every day.

[00:26:33] - Jon
Okay perfect.

[00:26:34] - Michael
So that's something perfect timing.

[00:26:36] - Jon
Mine is mostly washing dishes. Cooking is my bypass.

[00:26:39] - Michael
Yes when I walk my dog I'll listen to a podcast. Right now I'm listening to 'How I Built This' which is a podcast about individuals that build companies and who are entrepreneurs and they talk about their successes and their struggles and I can learn a lot about that. I mean to hear somebody mentioned Clif Bar earlier their CEO or founder talk about how he grew the company and how he was about to sell it and how he decided to walk away from a huge offer and all the different ways that they kind of perceive their business and how they improved it and the mistakes they made. I think it's very inspirational.

[00:27:19] - Jon
Cool, one you might like on that in that same vein is Reid Hoffman who was one of the cofounders of PayPal and LinkedIn he has one called 'Masters of Scale'. It's very similar to that. Maybe check him out.

[00:27:30] - Michael
I need to do that. I will.

[00:27:31] - Jon
Well you've been so generous with your time for our podcast today. Thanks so much. You gave so much stuff for our listeners and people to kind of really dig into and shed a lot of light on you know one of the brands that really does make Bend what it is and has been a huge force in micro brewing and thanks so much for being here today.

[00:27:53] - Michael
Thanks Jon. I appreciate it. I enjoyed it too.

(transition)

[00:27:59] - Nicole
Great interview John. That was a really fun one just to sit back and listen with a cold one.

[00:28:03] - Jon
Is that number two, three?

[00:28:04] - Nicole
It's number one. I said in the first episode that I was going to enjoy the second one with a cold one. Leave me alone.

[00:28:09] - Jon
Fair enough. Fair enough sorry.

[00:28:12] - Nicole
No, but I thought there were some great takeaways. You know I really liked the way that he talked about, unfortunately how marketing metrics are still disconnected. Even for you know a much more physical products like beer they're still dealing with a lot of the same problems measuring their digital engagement that the rest of us are.

[00:28:31] - Jon
Yeah they're definitely facing massive challenges being an industry where offline sales are so prevalent and you've got these crazy metrics like purchase frequency per household. Like he talked about but I thought it was interesting how they don't just look at KPI's and also hone in on really the mission and the values and the what behind the marketing to get the team focusing on that and monitoring a lot of the other things but not being kind of like a slave to the KPI's.

[00:29:05] - Nicole
Absolutely, and it was really kind of a fun point for me, and this doesn't really I mean he was talking about it in the realm of succession planning but I think it actually applies in the same way to what you're talking about is, he'll be talking to an employee and succession planning for you know Michael's direct reports and they'll have that person identify need. So hey you need to go steady product management under another company even. And so how they had you know collaboration with Clif Bar and Hum Kumbucha and Moonstruck Chocolate and how they'd go have them learn from them that was a really interesting thing to me and I think it applies to the marketing conversation in taking a step back and not saying we're so focused on beer marketing. Right. How can we do this better from a product standpoint, from a product marketing standpoint you know and so on.

[00:29:52] - Jon
Yeah I mean how many companies are sending their employees to other companies for long stretches of time to work just for the purpose of learning. That's pretty unique.

[00:30:03] - Nicole
Absolutely.

[00:30:04] - Jon
And I think it's just another indicator of what Deschutes is and what's made Deschutes what it is this focus on the future and improving their internal systems in a way that makes them even more sustainable today than they were the day before and that goes for the people too, the technology, the products constantly be innovating. It's crazy to think about the challenges that they face moving massive amounts of products across the US. But I think interesting to see how even at that scale, 570 co-owners, as they call them, they're still trying to think on an individual basis and they realize the importance of nurturing every single individual that contributes to that effort going forward.

[00:30:50] - Nicole
Absolutely.

[00:30:51] - Jon
All right. Next week Nicole gets back to work here on the podcast and we'll dig in to Facebook a little bit. What they've been going through here in 2018 recently going deep on them as a company like we did Google a few weeks ago so check us out next week too. Be sure to rate, review, subscribe wherever we get your podcast and wherever they let you review and write them.

[00:31:16] - Nicole
Yeah let us know if there was something Michael said that kind of really stuck with you. You can find all of our information and blog.shape.io/podcast.

[00:31:25] - Jon
And til next time over and out, from Shape HQ in Bend Oregon.

[00:31:30] - Nicole
Bye guys.

[00:31:31]
(music)

END

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Credits

This episode was produced by Max Bettendorf.

A big thanks also to 🎼 Music Flow Teaching for the intro and outro music, if you are in Central Oregon you should look them up for in-home creative music lessons.🎼)