My guest today is marketer and software engineer Patrick McKenzie, who writes mostly about software-as-a-service businesses. He currently works for Stripe as a writer and an overall software business expert. I remember when I signed up for Stripe’s Atlas program to incorporate my LLC, almost all of the documentation that wasn’t legal documentation was written by Patrick.
Patrick has also started multiple software businesses such as a bingo card creator for teachers, an automated appointment system that sent automated reminders to clients, a gaming company for teaching programming called Starfighter, and a software consultancy called Kalezumeus Software.
I have devoured Patrick’s work. He is one of my favorite online writers. Before we begin, here’s my attempt to summarize what I’ve learned from him in three sentences. First, charge more for your services and products. Second, the economy is much bigger than you thing. Three, create for unique people, not average ones.
Find Patrick Online:
3:07- What surprised Patrick about writing online. Why writing online takes you from someone who is illegible to someone who is legible. Why blogging has a lower value for business people.
13:40- The benefits of owned platforms vs self-published. What people are missing about writing long-form. How to make the illegible structures legible in your online audience.
24:18- Where all the great bloggers went. Patrick’s writing process. Why you should grow an email list.
36:43- How to identify which ideas are worth publishing. How care for the craft has influenced Stripe’s culture.
46:55- What writing regularly does for a company. Why write the book before the software.
1:00:01 How “Patio11’s law” explains the amount and wealth of niche software companies. How to develop a love for your craft.
1:12:36 How to increase your optimism and ambition. Why self-promotion is like cooking.
David: So, this is a question from Matt. What did you expect, when starting to write online, that ended up surprising you, something that you didn’t expect, where your assumptions ended up being different once you started to actually go through the craft?
Patrick: Sure. So guess that’s a question both about surprise and about expectations management. Back in 2006, I didn’t really have high expectations for writing online. So to set the stage I had just arrived in Japan, actually not, after I had been there for two and a half years at that point. I have been described as a good writer for a while at this point to by teachers but being out of college, there was no longer any impetus to write large volumes and to write well, I thought, well, writing is a useful skill, and like all skills, it decays over time if you don’t use it. And my day job in Japan is not causing me to write a lot of English and so, I rather enjoy writing, it would be unfortunate if my ability here decayed to nothing.
So one of the reasons that I wrote was just sort of like the bicycle for the mind/stationary bike for the craft of writing just, I will probably use this in the future, I don’t want to decay at it. A surprising thing is that, go figure, when you spend a lot of time doing something for a while, you don’t tend to plateau at that thing, you tend to get better over time, particularly if you keep pushing yourself some different directions. Another thing that surprised me, relative to expectations, is that not all writing from an effort perspective is created equal, with regards to achieving those goals or for that matter any other goals. A selection of topics for the first several years of writing and I’m just basically, I’m just going to blog, there’s that word again. I’m just gonna blog about whatever is on top of my mind today, and so in a day where I did a lot of counting, I would read about accounting, and in a day where I did a lot of optimization of the performance of my job at swinging app, I would write about the performance of a job at swinging app et cetera, et cetera.
And it was very sort of scattershot, there was no rhyme or reason other than that, well, if you enjoy my story then here’s the next update on it, but if you weren’t bought into the Patio11 story then there was no particular reason to come to my blog on any given day, well, aside from maybe like to enjoy just the consumption of things that I write in my voice et cetera. And it turned out, after a couple years, when I was looking back at both of my stats and what people were telling me, like this is clearly your best work, is that I have a, external to the craft of writing about it, I have a comparative advantage on the intersection and the Venn diagram between marketing and engineering. I’m a much better engineer than virtually all marketers and I’m a much better marketer than virtually all engineers. And I wrote about that intersection very well and the more I wrote about things in that intersection the better it did.
And the better I wrote them sort of like long meaty detail-heavy posts in that intersection, the better they did, versus the 200 word, well I’m trying to keep up my streak so I might as well write something today to say that it wrote something on Thursday. And so after I started operationalizing that and saying, “Okay, I don’t have a boss per se for my blog. I can still write about anything I want to write about but when I’m thinking of things to write about I should probably be company stuff that’s and going to be “my beats” or adjacent to it, and I should probably be writing form factors that work for me which tend to be like 8,000 word effort posts.” People started liking the output more, I started getting better at that variety of output, there was a compounding goodness to it. I had more of a “brand developing” for myself. That is not scare quotes, and there was a virtuous cycle there of a tighter brand for my work caused more people to like it, caused them to come back more often and to recommend it to people, caused them to, like if things that adjacent to that brand were discussed online, people would inject me into the conversation even without me being in that room et cetera, et cetera, which gave me more opportunities to write, which gave me more virtuous circle all the way around.
So I don’t specifically regret spending a couple of years just in that experimental phase of throwing stuff to the wall on the internet and seeing what sticks. But if I got a do-over, I would probably have been actively looking for, “Okay, what is working? What do I enjoy writing? What fills in a need for, contemporaneously phrased at it, what fills the hole in the internet?” And there are holes in the internet but there are some that are more valuable than others. It is extremely useful that the thing that happened to be my intersection of the Venn diagram happens to be extremely commercializable for wealthy old companies, software companies, in particular, aren’t going to run out of money to throw out the question of engineering plus marketing software anytime soon. And so if I got a do-over, I would be looking at what are the opportunities that hit both my interests, my ability to write something well, and that expressed needs of relatively well-heeled participants of the economy.
David: How, in network building, there’s the famous chicken and egg problem, if there’s a demand driven marketplace, how do you actually get those first customers there? And there’s a similar question, within writing, of when you were doing your bingo card maker, how did you get people to discover your blog at the beginning? Or maybe you can tell a story from Stripe, I know in the early days of Stripe, there was writing as part of the history. How should we solve the chicken and egg problem of online writing?
Patrick: So meta comment before we get into solving the chicken egg problem. I think too many people are paralyzed and the ability to write or the desire to write by saying, “It doesn’t matter if I write if I don’t have an audience to be able to shift those words to.” And I think that even if you have literally zero people who read what you write today, it is still worth writing that thing today because you will produce an asset that you can use in the future in one-on-one conversations. And this is 180 degrees from how most people think about audience building or writing online and playing for the numbers. But if the only thing you got out of writing an essay about whatever the topic is for you is that the next time you’re doing a job search when you are writing cold emails to hiring managers for whatever the position is that you’re going after, you can use that one essay that you wrote back in the as a proof-of-work on like, “Hey, I have clearly thought about this more than most people who are sending you a cold email with a link to a resume that you’re gonna skim for 30 seconds.” And that would already be the highest ROI on writing a piece that most writers will get. So don’t feel like don’t feel like you need to solve the chicken-and-egg problem prior to writing.
That said, the chicken-and-egg cold start problem is a real problem and your audience exists somewhere and it is likely a combination of both, if you’re solving this need that doesn’t yet exist on the Internet, it’s probably a collection of people who don’t yet know that they should be friends. But also, some folks that are already friends or already an audience elsewhere and so if you find those places where your crowd or the people who should be in your crowd naturally congregates sort of participating in those spaces and then gradually injecting your stuff into those spaces works rather well. Too few people remember it, but there was, back in the day, this sad forum called the Business of Software that was hosted by Joel Spolsky and there were yours truly and maybe two dozen other people there that were building software companies all at the same time. And then if you use the math of participation on the internet that implies there were a couple hundred people reading it and a lot of those two dozen people went on to do great things and of the note 60 people that read my blog on the first day that it existed back in 2006, I assume virtually all of them saw it because they had seen me participating on that forum for six plus months.
And so saw it when I posted, “Hey, I started a blog today and I’m going to launch a piece of software in a week, here’s my post about it.” The explosion of social media the last couple years makes this easier because you can sort of interact with people who have large audiences on social media and then and the tricky benefit, gradually and in an authentic way, introduce your pieces into replies about their pieces, or your thoughts into replies about their thoughts. And there is some deep, deep social technology and nuance about doing that in a way that is both true to your values and not annoying for the person that you are sort of glomming onto and also not annoying for their audience. But I’ve seen many, many people sort of do that and do that relatively well.
And there is also, by the way, people who affirmatively makes space for that sort of thing, and I feel a little weird pointing at particular examples but there are… Well, I’ll point it myself. I have a standing invitation on my website that, please send me email I like getting email, I like reading things people have written et cetera, et cetera, and there are other people who have standing policies with signal boosting people who are new to the industry et cetera, et cetera if you had DM them on Twitter. And so if you wrote something that was relevant to an industry and you knew that folks like that existed, that might be a DM we’re sending out Twitter. Or similarly anyone with a podcast is typically looking for, well, an interview based podcast, they’re looking for more folks to interview and that there are both social reasons for them to want to vary the career stage et cetera, et cetera, of the folks the interview subset that they will be willing to interview at least some relative unknowns.
And there’s also, in addition to social reasons, that helps them with that both availability concerns. It is a true fact that the same 100 people and whatever your neck of the woods is, get “all the requests” and given that they have limited amounts of time there, you can help people with filling holes in their schedule by saying, “Hey, I actually have an interesting take on this, here’s the proof of works that ever in that that shows you about this, would you like to have me on your podcast?”
David: I feel like you’re hitting at something here between owned platforms and then borrowed platforms. So you spend a lot of time on Hacker News, you are talking about the Joel Spolsky platform earlier. So how do you think of… See, like there’s two ways to sort of give this brash advice for writers and I actually think that they’re both wrong. The first is, go publish on sort of the BuzzFeed bottle, we’re just gonna be everywhere and we’re not gonna be collecting a lot of emails and then we’re just gonna depend on these platforms for our own livelihood, that’s the first model, and I don’t think that’s right. The second model is, only right online but then you struggle to get distribution, or only right on your own website but then you struggle to get distribution. So how do you actually go on a Hacker News? How do you actually go on a Joel Spolsky and then transfer that social capital into your own walled garden?
Patrick: So interestingly, I think that people should probably have a slightly more detailed model of how their business works then it all being in a walled garden. We can talk about that in substantial amounts of detail but sufficed to say that you probably want to have something available which is a friend catcher that is accessible by anyone and then an email gate which doesn’t require payment and then probably some paid products perhaps out of the scope of this discussion. I did consulting for a while and consultants have this nice sort of mental model and what is the level of depth do you go to in a coffee chat versus what is the level of depth so you go to and deliverable and making sure that coffee chats are free use that as a… It’s a cost of doing business for you just to get into conversations that could turn into a potential engagements. Deliverables on the other hand are very not free and they’re the scope of them is committed to in advance, they have some features and then the price is the price.
When I’m writing on Hacker News, any time I feel that a comment is becoming less of like an ad hoc, it’s just me participating in water cooler discussion or more of like, “No wait, I actually have something that, there was a core value here and people would probably be referring to this for years if it had a permanent home,” I make sure that the permanent home for that thing is my blog. Actually my best blog, well, best according to the page views metric, blog post ever was originally Hacker News comment. It was, John Graham Cummings wrote a blog post about his frustrations of being told his name was invalid. And there was a threat on Hacker News about this and I started writing comment of all the different ways that sufferer got names wrong. And after I had 25 of them like, this really should not be a Hacker News comment.
And so slipped over to the blog and posted, Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. This is back in 2010 and it still gets name checked on Twitter 10 plus times a week, it has more citations in academic work then I feel is reasonably justified, and it’s sort of like the canonical place people point to when someone again gets this frustration about software has rejected my name and now I feel a little annoyed/that, which happens to me on a weekly basis because I have the last name McKenzie and I live in Japan, which definitely drove a bit of my heat when I was pounding out this HN comment.
And so when I do things like tweet storms et cetera, et cetera, when I feel like, okay, my level of engagement in this tweet storm is getting over the 15 minute mark and there seems to be some, I don’t know, I won’t say there’s no actual thought that goes into tweet storms and developing themes here and inter laying them against other pieces and maybe sighting out to other work that has been done on this, I start thinking maybe I should promote this into a blog post. And typically, that I don’t just copy-paste tweets storms into blog posts and call it a day, but rather I use the tweet storm or the HN comment or that sort of thing to think out loud, if it were. I do my best thinking by writing, and then go back into the cave, write up a real version and then post that.
David: Tyler Tringas had a good question about the benefits of long-form writing. You said earlier that your sweet spot was right around 8,000 words, and it does seem that you do prefer those long-form essays. So when it comes to being online and you said this to me a couple weeks ago, there are people who quite literally run the world, people who are the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, executives, and they’ll wake up in the morning, they’ll read a 10,000 word essay and dash right off to work. So Patrick, I thought that the internet was optimized for short posts, attention spans are falling, yada, yada, yada, all these traditional narratives. What are people missing?
Patrick: Incentive structures rule everything around me. So we could have a long, long discussion about this but so much about the received wisdom of the art of doing the internet well is downstream of the incentive structures of large B2C advertising platforms, and large producers of inventory for B2C advertising platforms. And not to pick on BuzzFeed, but since BuzzFeed is widely acknowledged to be extremely good at exploiting this dynamic, BuzzFeed has done a lot of research on what the cost curve for production of a listicle is versus the number of eyeballs that they’ll get if it has a attractive title on it versus what the cost curve is for producing long-form reporting and how many people will stay on that long-form reporting long enough to count as an impression for their advertisers. And ROH trade-off for BuzzFeed is pretty clear, they want to have almost all of their work in an easy to consume, easy to share, preferably easy to share without even having to read it kind of bucket.
And yet, most people in the world are not selling remnant inventory via an ad publisher. And if your goals are not selling a remnant inventory via an ad publisher, don’t take advice from people whose writing habits have been optimized for that incentive structure. And so what is my incentive structure from writing, is an interesting and deep question. You could probably draw up 100 people out of my professional network and say, there was like some curve of how much they like me or believe that I’m sagacious or believe that I’m capable of doing material work, and how recently has that impression been reinforced, and then what is the lifetime value of that relationship to me? And so I’m fairly certain that if I drew out that curve and then drew it out to… There’s some notion of core audience for me I think I have somewhere on the order of like 80,000 followers on Twitter and I bet of those 15 to 20,000 or more core audience.
So maybe extending out to 15K and then extended out to at 80K and then maybe extend it out to some number of people who have, Oh I know that Patio11 guy from rumors from around the internet but it wouldn’t exactly call myself a fan. And I’m pretty sure that most of the weight in that curve is in the top 100, and so that if I’m being rigorous and optimal around it that right form factor is whatever I can produce in such a fashion that the top 100 get more weight in the curve and possibly how do I do that while also continuing to expand the number of people who are in those closer circles of the orbit and increasing that aggregate value in those closer circles?
But I’m not competing with BuzzFeed, not competing with the New York Times. I’m not even competing with most people who now are engineers and writes. If you write about docker, bully for you. The person you were writing for and sort of the time that they would allocate to read the things that you were writing don’t come out of the same… It’s not the same person, it’s not same bucket that my writing comes out. And so we’re disjointed in the same way that Game of Thrones and I are disjoint. And that’s not a value judgment by the way and it’s not even a value judgment on BuzzFeed, although, I have some value judgements on BuzzFeed that I could share but neither here nor there. You just have to understand who the audience is, what your goals are, and what the incentive structure is for meeting those goals.
David: Yeah, so I have two questions, and you can take them however you want. So the first one is, how should… Like, are people just systematically underrating the illegible incentives structures? How would you think about actually making those illegible structures legible so that you have something that you’re at least oriented towards?
Patrick: I think that Google Analytics is the software that ever existed because of exactly that reason. And the… What’s the old saw? That as soon as the measure becomes the target it yada-yada-yada, somebody’s law. The Good Hearts Law, thank you. As soon as people put things on a dashboard, it starts to recompile their decision-making process around it and so you have to be very careful about what you put on a dashboard, and Google puts and time on site on the dashboard because it’s extremely easy for them to, well, it isn’t actually extremely easy for them to measure, but it’s measurable. Hits are measurable. Whereas both for privacy reasons and because that there just isn’t good data, who something affected, how deeply it affected them and whether it affected them in a positive fashion, whether it caused them to change a decision they were going to make and did that decision, did it swing a big door in their life? Now, Google Analytics won’t give you any of these things but these are far closer to the sorts of impact that I think most people want to have.
And the illegibility of… Comes in all over the place. I think it is one reason why people sort of systemically undervalue writing as a discipline. One of the things people say when they are setting, blogging is so over. There used to be all these great blogs and then nobody blogs anymore, what happened to that, is they’re not realizing how effective blogging was for the people that were doing it, and a lot of people who were you know bloggers back in the day, they didn’t have a heart attack and keel over their keyboard while writing a blog post, they’re still around and kicking it and their careers have done things in the last couple years and often their careers have done things such that they are no longer considered bloggers. And so if I ask somebody, “Okay, if you think blogging’s dead and was not dead in 2010, who are your five top bloggers of 2010? And usually they have an answer to that question, I’m like, “Great, what’s their job title right now?’ CEO, too rich to have for work again, CEO, senior staff engineer at Google and et cetera. You know the reason why they’re not describing themselves a blogger anymore because it’s a massive downgrade over the thing that blogging got them to.
And similarly, when people are thinking of incentive structures, I think a lot of folks would be surprised on the raw numbers of how many people read nice stuff. I do not run a media property is a sort of numbers. A I think first-run essay from myself would probably get somewhere on the order of like 50,000 readers or so. And then my, granted the best stuff from the archives sees a couple hundred thousand readers every year for essentially forever as far as I can determine. A post from 2012 about salary negotiation that did 500,000 readers last year. And so presumably will be seen by many, many millions in years to come unless Google decides to take a whack at me. But those numbers, they don’t adequately describe the degree to which my habit of writing helped accelerate my… For software businesses that I run, they don’t adequately describe how it helped expose many people that will both help with the Stripe stage my career and in future stages my career and they I think they also don’t describe internal changes that made.
It might seem a little weird, you wouldn’t say it’s weird for someone to have an internal change as a result of going to a gym. I think there are some people who would think that it is weird to say that you have an internal change as a result of doing push-ups before your brain, but I think that is probably descriptively accurate. So it is probably better for me on that I spent 10,000 plus hours writing versus spending 10,000 plus hours playing World of Warcraft or watching TV or something.
David: Yeah, so would you talk about 10,000 plus hours writing. What is your writing process look like? Because from what I’ve read about you, you are the kind of person who sits down on a Saturday morning and the entire idea has crystallized and you just bang out an essay and you don’t leave your chair until that essay is basically done, which is the exact opposite of how I do it. And I know Tyler Cowen is also a write everyday guy. You don’t seem as much like a write everyday guy, so what is your process for stringing together ideas and then, I know that people are thinking this, but do you have a motivation issue or how do you keep yourself disciplined or are those even questions that you’re thinking about?
Patrick: So I’m all over the map on this. As someone who’s talked to a number of great writers and to throw some names they haven’t come up yet but should. Matt Levine, he writes a column every day called Money Stuff which is delivered over email and is sort of my North Star for when I grow up I want to be able to write more like Matt Levine. Et cetera, et cetera. Everybody has their own process. Mine is substantially like you described with, I’ll say one thing which is that, prior to the Saturday where I spend six hours shackled in a chair writing like a man possessed, I typically I’m chewing over an idea for, on the low end, a couple of days, on the higher end, a couple of weeks. And a bit of an obsessive and so it’s a lot of shower thoughts which go everything from, what are the angles that I could take any particular piece all the way to and what are some anecdotes that I could bring in, maybe even particularly good turns to the phrase. And then I don’t sit down for writing like a man possessed until I’m pretty much decided on the angle and I have the rough structure of it in my head.
And then, please don’t feel like you need to duplicate this anybody because I know a lot of great writers don’t do this, but I start at the top I run until I get to the bottom, I do one reread for structure to say like, and a paragraph by paragraph level is this narrative structure in the right fashion or would it look better if I like move this third of the essay up a little bit and then do one more read on attempting to get less red marks from my sophomore English teacher and then push go and that’s when I can control the writing style and the timeline for the piece. I occasionally have been known to write for other people or write in a professional capacity and then sometimes there’s other constraints like sign-off from various other stakeholders, a deadline which is a terrifying word for me, and we have a business event happening on Tuesday the 27th and then there is a production workflow which happens and so we will need words locked by whatever it is the fifteenth and so your words need to be ready by the 15th. That’s the thing that happens, I attempt to make do with that.
You asked about motivation, given that I am an obsession driven writer, cultivating more intellectual obsessions costs me to write more. And so, to the extent that I want to write more, which I certainly want to write more, the thing that gets me inspired to do that is either having more conversations with people and much like this conversation or reading more interesting things. And so more and more varied input leads to more and more varied output, at least with respect to yours truly.
David: Yeah, you once said that Ramit Sethi is, for you, one of your all-time favorite marketers and one of the very best people at using the internet. And what the two of you have in common is you have a big regret of not using email sooner. What is it that people miss about email? Why is it important and how should people think about growing their list?
Patrick: So I will say that, do what I say not what I do, I don’t have an active e-mail list at the moment which is a straight-up missed opportunity. There’s reasons for that, I’m quite busy between my day job and having had two small children et cetera, et cetera. And when I was evaluating life, back in 2016, well, one thing has to get dropped. Probably shouldn’t be either of those two things or sleep so maybe I should write a little less than I have previously outside of the day job. But, do what I say but not what I do. Why email? So many thoughts here. One, email’s something that you can own and that is very difficult to take away from you in a way that your presence on social media platforms et cetera is not. The people who have, not just opted in, opted in is so overused in email marketing circles. Folks who really just stuck up their hand and said, “Yes, I want exactly what it is that you do and I would like to get that in my life on a daily or weekly or whatever basis.” Those folks are A, less likely to burn out on your stuff than folks in… I have an interesting relationship with Hacker News, there is a better than 50/50 shot that anything that I write will hit the top of Hacker News, which is an interesting cheat code for a writer to have.
And yet, partly as a participant in that community who doesn’t want to see that community gets stressed over a thing, and partly as someone who hates seeing negative stuff written about him on the internet, I’m sort of rate limited in how much I can write because at most people in Hacker News did not come to Hacker News specifically to see my stuff, and so if my stuff was sitting in the top of Hacker News on a weekly basis or a daily basis, that would be too much. Whereas I feel far less reticence and if I told you, “Hey, sign up for this daily newsletter and I will give you a daily newsletter.” There’s probably not a great framing but whatever, it’s easy to understand. Nobody who signs up for a daily newsletter from Patio11 is going to be annoyed when on Wednesday I’m back in their inbox covering my usual beat. It did exactly what it says on the tin.
And so being able to control the framing of what it is you offer, the cadence, the sort of brand positioning of it is much higher with regards to email than it is in participation, in forums, in communities on social media et cetera. You also have more control over both, who gets your thing, and in what way they get it. Theoretically speaking, your email can get forwarded to anybody and that is a good thing for many people who write email because forwarding to your friends is one way to grow your list, but there isn’t really a culture of forward a newsletter to a business associate to dunk on the newsletter in a way that there is definitely culture in Twitter of retweet with comment to dunk to a much larger audience. And so that changes the risk calculus, both like the psychic risk calculus of the extremely real career-oriented risk calculus of participating and so you can I think participate a little more authentically with respect to writing email to a closed audience of people who have largely, they largely know you and like what you’re “selling” versus writing on Twitter, and you kind of always have to have in the back of your head a process running on.
Is this going to excite one of the many opposed Internet outrage machines that are active on Twitter and it cost me to have a really bad day? And that’s very definitely something I have to think about when writing and Twitter that I wouldn’t have to think about when writing to my usual audience. And I know some great authors who write less then they would and write in a less impactful or pointed or true manner that they would specifically because they’re worried about social media pile-ons which seems like on the one hand, incentives rule everything around me. I understand the thought process, that just seems like a bad way to live a life. And to the extent that you put much of your writing output to your own email list and in your own spaces, you will get exposed to that downside risk less.
David: You have this quote that I really like, which is, you radically underestimate both how much you know that other people do not, and the instrumental benefits of you publishing it. Why don’t you talk about the arbitrage of knowledge here and all the things that people have built up ideas around, that they haven’t shared, but also there certainly isn’t, there’s a hierarchy here. So how can we identify which ideas are worth publishing and which ones are just noise?
Patrick: I think that it’s useful to understand that there’s an instrumental/use value for an idea. Will someone be able to take this technology, the idea that they’ve written down and replicate in their own life. And that is not the only value that a piece can have, even though, I think a lot of folks weight that particular value very highly. And your particular way of explaining something and whether that lands with a particular audience is another dimension of value, which is often underappreciated. And I’ll come back to that in a moment. Your sort of persona or demographic information et cetera, et cetera, that would cause the idea to be accepted by people who might not accept it from another interlocutor, how do you pronounce that word, I’ve only ever seen it written, that is also like another dimension of value. And so there are widely more things that should be written down than actually our written down. Let’s talk about that, this might not be a new idea but it might be new to a particular audience. I’ve had relatively few new ideas with regards to marketing over the course of my career. I think I’ve only ever had one, actually, just the one.
Most of the other stuff has been things that have been well well-known in the marketing community but the marketing community and the engineering community don’t talk all that much. A polite way of phrasing it is that, engineers are from Mars, marketers are from Venus. A less polite way of phrasing it is that most engineers think that marketing is exploitative bullshit. And so a lot of what I have done over the course of my career is just explaining things that are well understood in marketing land, like AB testing, in such a way that the culture that is engineering doesn’t dismiss them. And then like, “Hey, if you’ve learned enough about marketing to be dangerous, you as an engineer, without having to turn in your coding badge, would have more organizational sway get your projects approved more often, be paid radically more money, have a better career outcome et cetera, et cetera.”
And that isn’t quite an arbitrage but figuratively I suppose an arbitrage, and it’s fun that you think people would catch up after me doing it for 10 plus years that, “Hey, all I’m doing is like taking Seth Godin things and then put a get analogy in there,” but it works really, really well. And I think I have a tendency to be a little too self-critical and a little too self-deprecating, that’s perhaps more self-deprecating than I should be, but there is a lot of repeated value in that and in hitting stop at the intersection of two ideas. Does that answer the question?
David: Yeah, when you talk to good marketers, what do they still miss about what it takes to market well online? What is something that, to you, feels like this obvious secret hidden in plain sight, that even the best people aren’t understanding?
Patrick: There’s been a meme the last couple of years, performance marketing is the future et cetera, et cetera and we’re going to rigorously measure the effect of our campaigns and double down on the ones that are winning blab, blah, blah, blah, blah. I think that, even given that, and people’s time allocation and their relative amount of brain sweat allocation, is often determined more by what seems to be high status, either for themselves or their organization, what feels fun, what feels like a good idea. I mean Google did an art installation, what do we have planned for an art installation et cetera, et cetera, versus the things that are actually winning. And I think that caring about quality is surprisingly underrated and not just doing something because it was on our Q2 plan to get a podcast up and running but what is the best possible version of the podcast, that the podcast needs to have intro music because podcasts needs to have intro music. Step back, what’s the best possible version of the intro music et cetera, et cetera, just that appreciation of craft is something that is under indexed on. And one of the reasons I love working at Stripe is that there’s a great deal of appreciation of craft.
David: Talk about that. I’m really curious to hear it because Stripe does have an appreciation for craft and I notice it from the second I walk in. Last time I went to Stripe HQ, the woman at the front desk she had seen my photo she greeted me by name when I arrived, and I was like, wow. And then to like when I get lunch there it, the lunch is fantastic. And then just talking to the people at Stripe and looking at your documentation and your design, there is like a level of craft that somehow Stripe has avoided some kind of reversion to the mean that infects all these different kinds of companies. And there’s a lot of other companies, particularly in Silicon Valley, who get very influenced by what the data says and you can see the quality of the product actually degrading over time because I think that they’re too focused on metrics. And I wonder if crafted metrics are in some way opposed or in some way of a different language. And I’m wondering, what does Stripe do to maintain that love for craft and beauty and like care that goes into a product.
Patrick: My instant spit-take answer on this is it’s ultimately a cultural question. And I’m remembering a great, great line from one of the best books that were written about Japan which is that, when people say something is a cultural question that means that they don’t have a good structural explanation for it. And so carrying those two ideas in my mind in synthesis at the same time, there was one sense in the way that, and this is by the way certainly not a thing that we have achieved an asymptote at. I think that if you were to ask people in Stripe generally or senior decision makers we would definitely say that we’re not happy with where our quality bar is, either at any point in the past, in the present, not likely in the near future either. But, be that as it may, how do you create a culture of caring more than the other guy? Or caring more than the median in your industry? One is to explicitly say and model to people, “We care more and we are willing to spike a launch over it not being the best version of the launch.” That there are mechanical ways to do this internally such that you don’t incentive systems rule everything around me.
If you incentivize hitting the schedule on time, overtime, it will cost people to hit the schedule every time. If you incentivize shipping the best version of something, you will tend to ship the best version of something. Those are too caricatured, answer the poll, but you can sort of like choose where along the spectrum you sit and we were relatively intentional on where on spectrum we are. The being responsive to internal and external evaluations of whether something is good. A thing that we do very frequently is take… So interestingly, a thing that I do not do in my writing personally is to show writing to people prior to it being done. And I mostly published to the Internet and everybody gets it at the same time.
That would be crazy talk at work. We have multiple internal check points where we show either other people internally or sort of trusted outsiders, “Hey, here’s an early version of an essay we’re working on or early version of a landing page et cetera, et cetera, what do you think? And there’s often, the substantial lots of rework and response to feedback up to and including, we are institutionally ready to say, “Eight people have worked on this new landing page for six months and five out of five of the trusted feedback people hated it. All right, throw it away. We will start from scratch,” et cetera, et cetera. And there are pluses and minuses to that, believe me, there’s some very toothy internal real management consequences to, “Thank you for doing that work for the last eight months, we’re going to throw it all the way because it was bad, start over.” And we wouldn’t phrase it as because it was bad but that is definitely what people might feel if you tell them we’re throwing away months of your work.
So being willing to make those calls, being willing to back people when they make those calls, being willing to back people up and down the organization and when they say, “Hey I’m not an original gangster Stripe, I just joined two weeks ago and my role is not one that would normally have decision-making authority with respect to X. I’m actually, I do user operations which is a support oriented rolled Stripe, but I’ve got some thoughts with respect to this artifact.” And saying like, “Yes, we will listen to those thoughts because when we gave you an employee badge we were buying access to your brain cycles and we had we like those brain cycles,” and making sure that you increasingly get signal from the people that have been good at doing that over like previous iterations of the game, formally or informally.
David: What is it about, Stripe really talks about its writing first culture and I think that you show it sort of, a lot of the things that we do for marketing is presented as for outsiders but in actuality it’s also for insiders, and with Stripe Press, a lot of what Stripe Press is with the art of doing science and engineering, and Nadia Iqpal’s new book, and Revolt to the Public, one of my favorite books of all time actually, a lot of what Stripe is trying to do I think is raise the bar of thinking both within Stripe and then extending out to Silicon Valley, and then hopefully for the world. What is it about Stripe’s commitment to writing and what do you think the genesis of that is? What does writing so regularly do for a company?
Patrick: So I’ll make one observation which is that we have a lot of words that are available on the Internet via Stripe Press, via Stripe Increment, via the Atlas guides, Stripe Blog et cetera, et cetera. And that if you were to just do, just by word count, and just by word count of long documents, I think that upwards of 99% of Stripe word count would be internal rather than external. So granted, we have plus or minus 3,000 people working at the company, but the company’s total available corpus is massive. What does that do for us? So for obvious reasons, I can’t disclose things like the Stripe growth rate in terms of either business or in terms of headcount, just the way that typically describe by the number of people working at a company.
But say, hypothetically speaking, a lot of businesses go, well, some businesses on the venture trajectory go through a hyper growth phase, and a company in a hyper growth phase might be growing at, they’re doubling their number of employees every year. And this has some implications which are not broadly appreciated. One, is that if you joined in 2016, a company that it’s growing at 2X per year, the day you join half of your colleagues will have less than one year of tenure at the company. One year later, in 2017, half your colleagues will have less than one year of tenure at the company. One year later, in 2018, half of your colleagues will have one less than one year of tenure at the company. Continues for the duration that you’re on that hyper dressed curve.
And so, given that your corporate existence is constantly largely weighted to people who do not have the context of having been there for a number of years, we’re still getting spun up as members of the company. But while they are spun up, you can’t do work if half of your people can’t do work. So while you are imbibing the company culture and getting acclimated to how stuff is done, you’re producing that culture at the same time. You need to have force multiplier on the sort of democracy of the dead, that’s the traditional way to describe history outside of companies hopefully most of your prior employees won’t have died yet, be that as it may. Reproducing the culture and amplifying the culture of people who were there before who might be numerically, if you just go by the numbers, the people who have four plus years of tenure, that will be a very small portion of your employee basis if you’re doubling every year. But the impact that they can have by producing highly leveraged artifacts extends for years, decades, et cetera, et cetera, particularly when it changes the set point of the company culture and helps people build off of that set point in the future.
David: That works. Well I like the democracy that that idea… That that is what writing is doing, it is saying, from all these people who have been there before, as the company grows, you can still get their ideas. Actually you could almost use a Bitcoin metaphor, that they are on the chain and they’re there sort of permanently over time even as you begin to add to the ledger over time. I want to shift into talking about software companies. I think that one of the ideas that I’m just ecstatically excited about is building an online audience, writing online, then through that, actually validating demand and meeting people who could be future co-workers or future customers, future investors for your company and through that actually launching small software businesses.
One of the things I want to do with my career is basically take hundreds of people through this path. I have the writing online path now, then end up having a place where people can grow their audiences together and then basically create some kind of Y Combinator for bootstrap software businesses. That’s the path that I’m on and so my question to you is, what have you seen in terms of validating these small software businesses and then the go to market strategy, should we go to market once we have 100 email newsletters, 5,000 email newsletters, or is that not the parameter that we should be thinking about this at all?
Patrick: So scoping it to B2B SaaS companies for the moment because B2B SaaS is the kind of software that I know the best. As time goes to infinity, every B2B SaaS company will say, “Thump head, we should have a content marketing engine and every content marketing engine will eventually publish a book, either like an actual book book or something which is morally equivalent to a book based on word count, degree of intellectual depth, et cetera, et cetera. And the thing that I would suggest most people do is to pull the content marketing forward and sort of write the book before writing the software, if that makes sense? And why? One, when you think it’s like the production functions of books first to suffer, it is… Doesn’t have to be a book book, can be an e-book blog et cetera, et cetera, but broadly re-sequenced the usual sequence of deliverables.
If you are going to start a software company you’re pot committed into doing it eventually anyhow. If you do it earlier, it’s quicker to get up and running on the internet and quicker to get something worthy of the attention of others that have been running on the internet. So you get to start the clock on things like Google giving your domain some authority, you get to start to clock on things like social application via social media and attracting people to your banner, on getting newsletter subscribers, et cetera, et cetera, earlier, and those things tend to compound over time, both time that, there’s the distinction between wall clock time the amount of time that you were sitting at your desk periodically looking at the clock and doing the work and calendar time, just some things like Google Authority take just a while to bake, regardless of whether you’re physically hands on keyboard during it.
And if you sequence those activities earlier you get to have more opportunities to go through the learning loop, more opportunities for value to compound over a longer period of time versus sequencing them later. If you spend nine months in the code cave building out version 1.0 of your software and then launch to nobody, that’s nine months where you could have had developed a newsletter with thousands of people subscribing to it and then nine months after that, with relatively little additional work done on the newsletter, had people ready to buy everything on the first day. So that is the first thing I would suggest is rethink the mindset of becoming a software person who writes and think more about becoming the expert and then writing the software that sort of encodes your expertise in the software product. I think that really writing deeply about how you understand whatever your problem domain is will make your software product decisions better and I think that a company that brings us into sharp relief is base camp, and base camp to products as well, but if you look at their… Jason Fried recently did a 30 minute video of just taking you through product decisions for Hey, which is this new upstart email client and there’s a fascinating, fascinating document just done great product thinking.
And a lot of that is great thinking of the job to be done of email and how people use email in terms of workflows and what situations that fits into in their life. And a lot of people, if they just start from a software perspective of, “Okay I need to write a workflow engine for throwing my own products under the bus, and appointment management for dental offices,” it’s like, “Okay, well I’m going to need to have some way to create customers for this and some way to like create appointments and I’ll need some counter greater than yada, yada, yada.” If I were to re-sequence the order of operations in that company and say, “Okay, first I’m going to thoroughly dive into the challenges that dental offices have with regards to appointment management and what that does in their business, and that would cause me to think much more deeply on what is the sociology around changing an appointment time, what are the sort of events that cause customers to cancel, how do you get ahead of those events, and how do dentists get appointments in the first place,” was something I had no understanding of when the first day that appointment reminder open for business, which would have been a useful thing to know.
And so building a software that you’ve put in your brain push-ups and have a serious mind of how the user will use it will tend to create better software and also give you more of marketing assets to start marketing and selling the software on day one. So some of the things that I was just on folks that are going from that transition from writing about something to building a software product demonstrates that instantiates it. I also say the level of work you have to do to create the minimum viable saleable software product is relatively high relative to the level of work that you need to do to create the minimum valuable sellable word product. And interviews with the industry experts become a totally sellable ebook in, under weeks of work, it would be extremely difficult to have a modern SaaS app that was baked enough for production use within weeks of work. And yet, you can get people to pay you $50 for interviews or for any book that describes your method or any of a number of other artifacts that are primarily writing and that both the money, money is a nice thing to have, it allows you to buy things that are useful in accelerate the business.
Also rent, a cool thing, and it also trains people to pay you money with regards to the subject that you have. So the second time you ask them for much more money you’re not getting them over the penny gap again, it’s like, “Well, I paid this person $50 for an e-book or should I read about the subject, they seem to know what they’re talking about in that e-book, now I will do the additional work of no pushing them through the whatever the process is at my company if we’re green lighting a new software product,” first it’s like, “Ah, do I really want to have a discussion with security team and getting this approved, is that worth my time, I do want to put this software trial through its paces, et cetera, et cetera? You’re sort of pre-answering sales objections via producing written artifacts they can actually buy versus going directly into selling them a software based artifact.
David: What is, you had a thread about zero down a couple months ago, what is a small software business that you admire? And talk about how they use online writing and content to actually grow and validate the business? It’d be really interesting to get an example of some of the things that you’re saying, and it’d be even better if it’s a company that we haven’t heard of because I think that that proves the point well that, you like to say that the amount of money that’s flowing through capitalism would astound you. And I think that the reason why I love that is, it’s so the inverse of how a lot of us grow up, oh, there are six main jobs that you’re gonna go into it could be investment banking, management consulting, accounting, yada, yada, yada. But I think that what I’ve taken from you quite a bit is actually the number of options available to you is way bigger than you think, and give us an example of what you mean by that?
Patrick: So somebody, who is not me, coined … Mark McGranaghan again is a colleague of mine at Stripe, but he’s left to other adventures, coined Patio11’s Law, which is funny, no endorsement implied, but I think he’s probably right on this, said that, “The number of software businesses in the world is larger than you think, even after you’ve taken into effect Patio11’s Law, taken into account Patio11’s Law. And so there’s tens of thousands of extremely healthy software/SaaS businesses which you’ve never heard of, in which most people will never hear of. And the business will be born, it will successfully satisfy customers, it will grow for years, it will get sold, and at no point will it ever be legible to someone who is not a customer or employee of it. And Stripe has sort of a privileged vantage points on this, some people who are investors or business brokers have privileged vantage points on this.
I’ve been obsessed with this topic for many, many years just like, take this from faith, that when you think of legible examples, even legible examples from yours truly, of somebody who has a firm that has done the writing to bootstrap a business thing and done well by doing that. The best informed person that could tell you about examples like that is only scratching the surface of how many people who have used that tactic successfully. That said, Basecamp is often thrown out as an example here and I think far too many people say well you know Basecamp is internet famous and so that isn’t a replicable strategy, but Basecamp is internet famous because they like had no blog then they had a blog, and they continued writing for that blog for a while and internet famous is just the past tense of wrote a blog for 10 years.
Convertkit is another example. Convertkit is a company by Nathan Berry which does email marketing for writers. I think they have different definitions of writers, but I would probably say writers, creators et cetera, et cetera, and that was an outgrowth of Nathan’s own efforts doing… He wrote a series of e-books for the design community, e-books and other information oriented products for the design community. And then he wrote one book about the business of doing training products called, Authority, and said that the marketing and sales engine behind training products tends to be heavily email oriented and so Authority talked a lot about its tactical use of email and then he was like. “Uh-huh, I should really like build the email service that would exist if somebody was making email service specifically for people that were following this playbook that I just wrote,” and so that eventually became Convertkit, and Convertkit is doing fabulously well.
And yet, Convertkit is in some quarters internet-famous, there are companies that are less internet-famous. I’ll throw out an example, Moraware it makes essentially an ERP for kitchen countertop installers which is a section of the US economy, and if you’ve never installed a new countertop in your kitchen you might be underestimating price points but suffice it to say that a lot of money happens in middle class homes around kitchen remodeling, who knew? And so there is a large heavily distributed industry of mostly mom and pop businesses that have some extremely difficult planning and resource management questions around, if you don’t buy the right amount of granite at the store and it is not cut into the right amount of shapes you’re going to get to the kitchen and be extremely sad because physics and math will impose upon you the impossibility of delivering the kitchen table you have contracted to deliver and so shouldn’t you use more software than you have previously.
And so Moraware is that software and they do quite well for themselves, and for anything that you can think of that is… I don’t think that kitchen countertop installation is like the platonic minima of the size of business that you need to be to support a software business. There are multiple competing viable software businesses in like cemetery management. Not funeral management, that’s an entirely separate industry, just laying out cemeteries and ensuring that that somebody can manage the sales process for them, the maintenance process for them, et cetera, et cetera, and throw a dart at the dart board of the economy. If it hits a business it has a W-2 employee in it, that business will, at scale, consume billions of dollars to software. And there are many, many, many fractal ecosystems upon ecosystems of companies that are selling into these businesses. And so it is a wonderful, wonderful time to be alive and software.
David: That’s a wonderful answer thank you. You’ve lived in Japan for a long time now, what is the number one thing that you would like to export from Japanese culture in terms of tacit knowledge of what we can learn from, whether it’s Japanese craftsmanship, engineering, culture, elegance, music, what is it?
Patrick: Whoo, it’s a very complicated question. I’ll say as the person with the East Asian Studies degree, I’ll have to give the disclaimer that there is no one Japanese culture any more than there is one American culture, and that the degree of homogeneity of Japan’s culture is largely overstated. That said, there it’s also not the case that there is no such thing as an American culture. So some broad themes. A thing that exists in pockets in the United States and exists at more than pockets in Japan is a level of earnestness and optimism with respect to one’s work. I think there is broadly a healthy attitude for a society to have and one that I wish we’ve replicated more broadly. And I think Silicon Valley gets close to this in a lot of places although the sort of learned cynicism of the US educated classes has started to infect Silicon Valley in some ways.
But I’ll give you an anecdote, not that the anecdote is so representative of the whole, but I once met a man at a mall in Ogaki, Ogaki being the town that I lived in. And he was there at a crafts fair in the mall and his craft was sharpening scissors. Not making scissors, that’s a different company, he was just the scissor sharpening guy. and he had spent 40 years of his life getting darn good at sharpening scissors. And he talked to me for 45 minutes about the craft of sharpening scissors, his argument for why no household should have less than three pairs of scissors because you can keep scissors in like different states of sharpening and it’s clearly you would never use a fabric scissors on paper, well you wouldn’t want a sharp cuts, I’m not using the right words, but you would want one pair of scissors for sharp cuts on paper and one pair of scissors for more rough cuts on paper. Clearly you would not use these two things in the wrong place, why would you do that?
And just the level of passion he had about sharpening scissors defeats the level of passion most people have, not just for most things, but probably for anything. And a culture that has created a space where someone can say, without a trace of irony, I have devoted my career to being the best possible sharpener of scissors, is doing something right. And not ironic embrace of just loving what you do is that feels like a free lunch that the US and various other places could import from Japan, and there are many cultural socio-political et cetera, et cetera reasons why when someone says, I non ironically love what I do for a living, why sophisticated people in positions of authority would say. “Oh that’s just what capitalists want you to believe.”
But loving what you do is super power, both with respect to increasing your ability to do what you do well, and also get results out of what you want to do well, get better at what you want to do well, and just being happier with life such that all else being equal, choose to loves it the thing that you do, that is a choice available to you. Which interestingly is not the same advice as choose to do what you love. I think the advice choose to do what you love is generally bad advice because that will cost more people to want to be like professional World of Warcraft players and the market demand for World of Warcraft players is like lower relative to the market demand for whatever that my job title is right now. And so all else being equal I’m happy that I sell software for living and don’t play World of Warcraft for a living.
David: So talk about that. So within selling software for a living, I don’t imagine that when you were five years old, and maybe you went off to your first day of kindergarten, that when somebody asked what you wanted to do and all your friends said I want be a baseball player, I want to be a ballerina, I want to be a firefighter, I can’t imagine that you said I want to tell and be the foremost world expert on how to sell niche subscription as a software service, software products. How did that love evolve from being a kid to then now developing a love for the craft and the dedication that you bring to your writing, into your work at Stripe?
Patrick: So I would have been a singularly interestingly calibrated five-year-old to say I want to be a niche software sales expert. I was an interestingly calibrated five-year-old, my actual answer was I wanted to be the Commissioner of weights and measures. But yeah choosing the road less traveled since 1987. So I sort of, not to make this too much of the tell stories from years past hour, but I fell backwards since the thing that I’m doing right now. The sort of like continuing to travel up that gradient of what did we find yourself doing, find the parts of it that you like and double down more on those parts that you like, and the parts that are in that fun intersection of the things that you like, things you’re good at things that people want from you, and the things that the world is willing to pay for. But continue to travel up that gradient has worked reasonably well for me over the years.
There is, as someone who is in a career situation for plus or minus six years, where I was not enjoying what I was doing and I was sort of intellectually aware on any given Monday morning I’m going to do something that I affirmatively disliked today. And that’s kind of on me because I could make a choice to not do this, or not have to do this for next Monday morning, but I avoided making that choice for again six years of my life. And life’s too short. I make obvious improvements perhaps earlier than then I did, and if not next Monday’s new day, if you’re if you’re not loving what you’re doing right now either figure out the parts of what you’re doing right now that you can love or I figure out ways to alter your situation such that you can be doing things that you enjoy more or that you can make yourself enjoy more.
I think people underestimate the ability that they have to change and particularly to change the way that they look about things and one of the interesting parts about the Stripe cultures is Stripe hires for people who are ambitious and Stripe hires for people who are optimists and being around a lot of ambitious optimist tends to make you both more ambitious and we’re optimistic, and one would think that one’s level of resting state level of optimism, resting states level of ambition is relatively constant over the course of your life. And having 15 plus years of experience on this side, I would say, “Actually no, I think one is surprisingly able just to become more ambitious or to just say starting now I think I’m going to be more ambitious than it was previously,” and so the Silicon Valley rational set would say like self modify, recompile your own code to be more X, recompile your own code to like what you do more is an option available and solution sets and perhaps you should do that.And if you find yourself doing something that it’s like, “No, I’m just fundamentally incompatible of the thing that I do for work is not something that I will ever love, and consider changing that.
David: Last question. You once said, and I think this ties everything that we’ve discussed together, and I’ve taken this to heart that the amount out of luck that you have in life is how much value you create, times how many people you tell about it. Why don’t you wrap this conversation up in a bow-tie by explaining what you mean by that?
Patrick: Let me give a shout out to the Texting Podcast which first articulated the idea to me and their idea, their framing for it, was the luck surface area. By the way, Texting made their own luck by putting a name on that piece of advice and then by getting into my ears such that I just told you about the Texting Podcast and like 99% of you have probably not heard about it. Observation out of the way. It is too easy to hide your lamp under a bushel, or whatever the cliche is, to think that you know I’m just going to do the best work possible and I will naturally be rewarded for that. And the world is not set up to reward people just for doing great work. There’s an incentive structure around you, there are decision makers around that who will largely not be apprised of the value you’re creating unless you make it your mission to also apprise them of the value of that.
At the same time, being a professional social-media influencer in the topic of influencing people seems to be like a way to under create value versus actually doing something which produces value for the world and then promoting the fact of that value creation versus just promoting the fact of promotion. Unless you’re a PR professional, I don’t know. And so you sort of have to balance both ends of this and you also have to kind of, this is another thing where you recalibrate your own understanding and I am a very modest person, I was raised in an environment where one is heavily discouraged from tooting once on horn et cetera, et cetera. I think I’ve talked to a lot of people from various personal and professional backgrounds where that’s best case and I come from a community where “self-promotion” is heavily discouraged.
Self-promotion is kind of like self cooking, if you don’t do it and you don’t pay somebody to do it, and you are at family with somebody who’s going to do it for you then you’re gonna go hungry. So I understand that you probably need to consider that to be one of your professional skills that you probably need to get good at doing it. And there’s good ways to do it there’s less good ways to do it but that’s something which is ultimately going to fall on you. And similarly like you’re going to probably if you are employed by someone you’re going to need to own your own career advancement versus expecting management to decide based on your contributions et cetera, that you are ready for that next step.
David: Okay. Hopefully they will be doing that too but have a written record available which is ready to show them the great value that you’ve created, have actually produced that great value and be advancing that conversation forward periodically. So yeah, I probably take ownership over your own outcomes over the various different facets of creating the value that you’ll create in the world optimized for creating more value and optimized for doing it over a very long arc of your career and things will. Knock on wood, tend to work out for you. Patrick McKenzie that was fantastic, thank you very much, that was just a wealth of incredible knowledge, it’s always a treat to chat with you.
Patrick: Thanks very much for having me and if I can ever help anybody on anything my email address is patrick@kalzumeus K-A-L-Z-U-M-E-U-S .com. I started using Hey, the new email thing recently so if you email firstname.lastname@example.org Hey, H-E-Y.com, that’ll reach me. I always love getting email from folks so hit me up.
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