Transcript | Put your messaging on autopilot | David Garcia and Nathan Schlaffer (Co-founders @MarketMate AI)
The transcript from my podcast with MarketMate
David Garcia 0:00
We know that at the end of the day, all the experience of those people that are scared that are going to lose their job because they asked them to replace them. Don't worry friends, because they're going to be looking after you because they're going to be wanting your expertise or knowledge and your takes on things because you're going to be the domain expert.
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Nathan Schlaffer 0:14
2030 years from now, people are going to be orchestrators of AI is like our role is going to change from the people actually just writing the content, or the people actually just creating the ads to orchestrating AI and the tools and resources to achieve like 10x productivity.
David Garcia 0:31
I love people that can see what's not there and then make it happen. Because that's the beauty of the of what humans can do, man like, we can bring thought to reality. Just think about that. No one else can do that.
Nathan Schlaffer 0:43
You can't do this. You know you don't have this. This isn't a perfect idea yet. Let's see what people think. But don't be afraid to experiment. Failure is just learning.
Max Matson 0:56
Hey there, everyone. Welcome back to future product. Today. My guests are David Garcia, Nathan Shaffer, co founders at market mate AI, guys, welcome to the podcast. And thank you so much for joining me. Thanks. Awesome. Thank you excited to be here, Max. Likewise.
So guys, I really excited to have you guys here. I'm really stoked on your product. I think you guys have some very interesting thoughts when it comes to AI kind of the product landscape. But before we get into all of that, can you each just give me a bit of background on your career and kind of what led you to founding market man?
Nathan Schlaffer 1:31
Yeah, absolutely. So everybody, I'm Nathan, great to be here with you, Max. A little bit of background on me. I met Dave around a little bit over a decade ago. And we worked together for three years. And one of the things that we realized was, there was a huge gap between what AI could do, and what marketers needed in terms of automating content and workflows. And that gap is AI generally AI doesn't understand your buyer personas. They can't, you know do messaging and positioning because they have token limits, and they require sophisticated prompts. And Dave and I were working on marketing campaigns together, because we're product marketers, you know, b2b SaaS companies. And we're like, Man, if only AI could understand our buyers as well as we do, and help us accelerate our content development for campaigns. Help us do messaging and positioning help us do sales enablement. And that's how we came up with the idea of market made AI is it's the world's first AI platform that's trained for b2b. It's like Chachi T, but it's trained for b2b. And, Dave, would you like to kind of introduce yourself?
David Garcia 2:45
Yeah, man. Absolutely. So I'm David Garcia. I also was a product marketing manager. And that's what I did. And I, I, I also started my career in marketing. But I started in a really, really interesting way. I actually started out as like a technical support guy. And then they're like, Hey, you're actually really personable and good with people. The Do you think it'd be just an inside sales? Because I kept referring people, you know, to like, Hey, you're actually using our product, man, you got to try this. And so I'd sent him I guess I didn't get any referrals from Dave like crazy. So went into that. And then from there, I discovered like, I really do like understanding people's you know, like, what they're really trying to do, like, you're not trying to buy stuff, you're trying to fix a problem, are you trying to get something done.
So it was interesting for me, because I went from technical support inside sales to product specialists to then into the product marketing role, which I feel is honestly probably the best route to take, especially for trying to grow your talent within a company. Because that's really going to be able to have somebody that understands exactly the whole journey that you're that you're you're not only going to turn on people are going to face, but your buyers are going to face, right. So I knew all the obstacles limitations, and I understand the workarounds. And how people think this is just the way we do stuff.
So when AI comes along, it's just a mind, like you just mind's blown with all the possibilities of how things don't have to be the way they are anymore. And so like my background and the experiences that I've had, and then working with Nathan, both of us struggling, that's really what made us understand exactly why this was such a relevant thing for us to kind of dive into and see what we can do. So that's kind of like how we got into where we are right now. And, you know, that's what we're excited to talk to you about this max, because you're definitely somebody who you feel knows how to bring these topics, you know, to people and to audiences and make it digestible man, I really appreciate that about you. So we're looking forward to sharing what we got. I really appreciate that, and kind of in that spirit. So there's been this kind of change recently, right, that I've noticed in kind of the product type roles, where there's kind of a split forming between technical product and marketing product, right. Is that something that you guys have kind of seen in your your day to day? Absolutely. We've kind of seen it SAS companies, at least we've worked at, you know, the technical product manager that's more responsible
Nathan Schlaffer 5:00
For the features and the five year roadmap, and the commercial product manager that's more responsible for, you know, understanding the marketplace doing competitive research, as well as formulating the business strategy of who should we go after what should I go to market strategy be. And what we've seen is that's kind of affected b2b marketing too, because that now the product manager, or at least the commercial product manager has to be in lockstep with the product marketing manager. So absolutely, that's, it's an interesting trend that we've seen as well in our careers.
David Garcia 5:35
Yeah, I also think that a big thing that I've seen is that a lot of times, internally, that's where a lot of the the issues really happen. And the things you're seeing outside with, you know, things not converting, messages not hitting, that's just a symptom, right. And when I'm thinking about, like, the roles and responsibilities, and just the changes in the landscape that happened with the transition, and like, Hey, we're doing remote things now, you know, things are changing, people are not gonna just buy stuff, because, you know, you have an SEO tag, it's like, there's community involved. Now people care about what they're purchasing, they care about the people that buying it from, right. So like, you can't, you can't still hold on to that same way of doing things and expect it to trickle down. And people do like disseminated effectively. Right? There's just way too many limitations. So that's a big change for sure.
Max Matson 6:24
What was that? Nathan? Did you have anything?
Nathan Schlaffer 6:26
Yeah, met with a commercial product manager. It's kind of interesting, because in the past, it was released, focused, and I think it's moving towards revenue focus, is I've seen more and more product managers collaborate with product marketing and demand generation and revenue marketing and say, Okay, what are my business objectives? Right? How much revenue expect from this launch? You know, and and one of the things that I think is interesting, particularly in product marketing, but also product management is the emergence of like, a tiered go to market model is, hey, you have tier one, and then you have the revenue impact, and you have measurable goals. And then you have tier two and tier three, which are more like product releases. So I think it's really fascinating to see a shift, you know, product managers, traditionally CEO, the product, now they're much more focused on business outcomes, as opposed to just release management and project management.
Max Matson 7:24
Absolutely. What do you think that owes to do you think it's partially market conditions that are driving that, you know, the need to kind of show bottom line impact of product changes, things like that? Or is it more just a natural kind of shift in the role?
Nathan Schlaffer 7:37
Yeah, that's that's a great question. I think it's a market shift as well. SAS, especially software's and services becoming extremely saturated. Tool, fatigue is real. And people have a different SaaS solution. And we were talking about this yesterday, for almost every single thing. And you mentioned, there's even SAS tools to remove subscriptions, because there people are overwhelmed with subscription. So I think, because of that saturation, people have to have clear goals and objectives with new product launches. It can't just be we'll build it and they'll come it has to be okay, what's the what's the business impact, and you have to have clear revenue targets with each launch, it doesn't cut it just to release products, you have to have those clear business goals in mind. So I think it's really a market shift that we're seeing because of the landscape of SAS in general. David,
Max Matson 8:31
you're sure. You talked a little bit about kind of the winding road that your career to get to this point. This is a bit of a non sequitur. But what is the craziest work story that you can share in this?
David Garcia 8:48
Oh, boy, there's a lot man. Whoa. Okay, I'll tell you, I'll let's I'll keep I'll give you one. I was
we were supposed to do a presentation for a free webinar. Okay. My last company, the company before the last one. And we were set up to the webinar, it was going to be for the sales enablement. launching a product we had, I don't know how many distributors signed up to do it. And literally woke up at seven in the morning, ready to go scheduled at 8am. I'm waiting and I'm waiting and I can't log in. I'm not the I'm not the owner of the of the web, the webcast, so I can't log in. I'm calling my two colleagues. Hey, man, what's going on? I want you guys dead. nobody's answering the call. The calls are going through as the hell's going on. They had been laid off. Oh my gosh, day of my webinar with the guys that had like the administrative rights to access it.
Max Matson 9:55
Oh my gosh.
David Garcia 9:58
I was sitting there like And that was like, that was like during like pandemic stuff. So it was really crazy. But it was like, that's probably to me the most shocking thing that I did I honestly experience in my career like actually having people late, late. Yeah. What we're gonna do a presentation to people, you know, like, that's when I knew like, oh, pandemic, this everything's different now. And what actually happened?
Max Matson 10:24
What would you do? Like how do you follow up in an email on that? Or like, Hey, guys, to all the leads, so
David Garcia 10:32
that was super awkward. I honestly, I don't remember how we handled it. I wasn't in charge of that part. But it was just like, that was the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me, like ever.
Max Matson 10:44
Yeah, that's crazy. That's not an enviable position to be. Oh, man. Nathan, I'm gonna I'm gonna You're not spirit, I'm gonna throw you the same question.
Nathan Schlaffer 10:54
All right. So I mean, my craziest experience, I would say I was doing a demo at a trade show. And there were 30 people gathered around and show how this how this networking technology works. This was at Moxa. Dave when we were there. Oh, yeah. And at the beginning of the demo, I pressed the button and nothing happens. Well, they're there in front of me is like everyone from my team and customers and partners. And I'm like, Okay, let's just improvise. I could totally relate maxed, that need to improvise. So. So I just walked through the demo, explain how it works. And I literally step in front of the demo and start guiding how it works. No one noticed. So I guess the moral of the story is, you know, sometimes the show just goes on. And yeah, that's what the small stuff hiccups,
Max Matson 11:48
you know? Exactly, exactly. I think it also actually kind of goes a long way to show how kind of forgiving on average people are. Right? People are definitely willing to bear with you a little bit more. Yes.
David Garcia 11:59
Max Matson 12:02
David Garcia 12:04
Oh, that is so true. I can't I can't even think of the times where you just like, you're angry or you're upset? And it's like, oh, yeah, that was great presentation. It's like they they're gonna buy the product. Like, what will be like, Why am I such a great?
Max Matson 12:17
David Garcia 12:19
Max Matson 12:20
100% 100%. I love both of those. So, so going from there. Let's see here. I'd love to kind of get some of your guys's thoughts on AI more generally, and then kind of tie back into market mates. So let's talk about you know, six, eight months ago, when Chat GPT comes out? What is your guys's early experience with it? And what was the point at which you realized we need to go deeper than this?
Nathan Schlaffer 12:46
Yeah, I could jump in here, Dave. So yeah, six months ago, when chat GPT came out. Dave and I along with millions of other marketers, were trying other prompts, you know, trying to get it to write emails for us write messages for us refined webinar titles, and tradeshow descriptions. But the thing that really kind of was frustrating for us and many others was like, We could spend hours prompting and refining. And it's somewhat of an art and a science where you have to know like the right ways to prompt. And one thing that we saw was like, there's tons of people on LinkedIn posting. And Dave brought this up yesterday, 100 different prompts you could use to streamline your workflows. And we're like, we don't really want to go through 100 prompts. So one of the times he was busy marketers, so So one of the things that set us on this journey was how can we make large general large language models like Google bar or open API's chat GPT easy to use for for b2b. And what I mean by that is, I don't want to have to prompt I just want to put in a few inputs and get something 80% there so I can refine and tweak it with my team. But to get there, I don't want to have to spend hours prompting. So that's what set us on this journey. And we saw that those limitations in the beginning. But Dave, do you have anything to add there, brother?
David Garcia 14:15
No, absolutely. I think for me, one of the biggest things was, I became the world's biggest hoarder when it came to carousels on LinkedIn. During their prompts, I was just downloading them like crazy and my phone blew up. But I just I realized also, like Nathan said, I was also getting different results than my colleagues were. So everybody had inconsistent results. And some were way better than others. So then you start to say, well, let me try yours. And then you'd get it and then you're like, oh, it's the I refined it a little bit more. So again, that's what happens. So when you're talking about somebody looking at something, you can endlessly refine and iterate and then it's like, when do you stop? Right? Right.
That's the problem. So that's why if you don't have at least the fundamentals or Have some some guardrails to at least give you the basics of what you should be doing and the information you actually need, that you should be focusing on. That's really the best starting point. And that's what we want to do is we want to get people to be focused again. Because if you get distracted, you're going to look at your tabs that are like that long, right? And you're gonna go up like a whole 500 times before you get to that one part that you had after the output. And you're like, wait, I forgot, and you're gonna copy and paste into documents, and you're gonna call them what? And you got to store them where, right like, Come on, let's let's, it's just it's not, it's not a really efficient way, people that are super focused and get it done and organized. God bless you. I'm not that guy.
Max Matson 15:44
ever to be worth it,
David Garcia 15:45
I needed Nate and me to just sit down and get this done. Because I needed help. And I definitely know a lot of people that do because it just like Dave is
Max Matson 15:53
totally Well, I love that I can totally see how that ties into kind of how you guys have built the product, right? Because just tying back into market mate, when I kind of got the demo from you guys, and was seeing the way that it interoperated with Google Docs, right? When that was something that was really struck by is how well you've managed to create this organizational process. So it's not only that you're because it's something that everybody falls down on, right? We all have those lingering tasks of oh, I need to just copy and paste this thing over to somewhere else, give it a name, put it in the right folder, and those things slip through the cracks so quickly and easily. That'd be willing to bet they don't get done just as much as they do. So was that kind of the the line of thinking that led you guys to integrating there?
Nathan Schlaffer 16:36
Yeah, you know, that's a great question. Exactly. Max, you hit the nail on the head is we had one product marketing manager test, not marking meetings, like, you know, I live, I'm in a SaaS company. And we have 50 plus employees, and one of the struggles is getting everyone on the same page with messaging, and being able to collaborate because people exist in kind of these silos as SAS companies grow. So how does Product Marketing share messaging with demand generation or sales, share content with content marketing, or sales, share sales tools, with with sales, the sales reps? Well, with that's the reason why we integrated with Google Drive is we wanted to improve collaboration between teams. And then we've all been in those Google Docs that have like a dozen comments from product manager, your subject matter expert,
David Garcia 17:26
like a novel long because Dave doesn't know how to be concise.
Nathan Schlaffer 17:30
Well, comments, and then it's like, oh, shoot, now I've got to rewrite this whole piece of content. So we're thinking, how can we make that process easier to do so we added the Google Drive, but then we added this refined feature where the AI could take those 12 comments, and then just rewrite your copy for you so so that that's kind of the impetus for Google Drive integration, but then also refining content and in kind of more of a free form way.
Max Matson 17:58
That's brilliant, right? A process that otherwise you'd have to go back into the prompts, Edit, Copy, Paste, all that down.
David Garcia 18:08
And also think about this, how many domain experts do you have in your organization, you're limited to maybe one guy to three if you're really fortunate, right? And those guys their time is gonna be demanded by every single direction by every single department at all times, always plus customer calls, plus development, plus, you know, roadmap so that there's not enough hours in the day. So to be able to give this guy just a quick hey, here's a document Give me your notes that you put it on there at your leisure, my brother, but I needed to give those back to me, I'm not going to be wasting his time, I'm not going to be also sending them an email with a bunch of stuff that I'm asking them to get back to me on Friday at 445 customers waiting for me to get back to him and now he's the bottleneck.
Nathan Schlaffer 18:56
Absolutely. And Dave, you kind of hit on another point too, which is siloed knowledge in different parts of the org as being how do you bring that to content marketing how you do bring that to revenue marketing or so what we've done is the AI can be trained on your buyer persona, so their unique needs from the market contacts. So you don't need that subject matter experts sitting next to you reviewing your content, you can have the AI do it. Who understands your your market who understands your buyers. So that's kind of I think the direction we're taking is like David mentioned, it's a much more curated experience almost like when you're in line at Chick fil A or In and Out Burger in the United States. You have three things on the menu, fries a burger and a shake up tried to make it like that simple. But for marketers, you want to blog post, here's your scripts. You want a webinar, here's your script, and you don't have to do prompting. So that was the mad
David Garcia 19:53
one thing, man. Yeah. And I don't know if you agree with me on that brother. But I've said this to Nathan. We've had this conversation plenty of times. I believe that at the end of the day moving forward, really what we're all going to become is just like curators of taste. Because everything's going to be automated and it's going to be accessible. And it's going to be instantaneous, right? But what people don't have is they don't have taste. They don't have your case. They don't have you know, your style. Don't have your thing, right. And it's like, that's the thing I want. Yeah, I can get Basquiat looking art, but doesn't mean anything. Because I don't know how to be cool like that kind of connect to those people. Right? Right. That's why I gave Nathan my perfect example of like, why did why did beats What Why did Apple buy beats? Because they want to Dre, Dre, Dre, and they want to Dre? That was it. They wanted the cool factor. Man they wanted his they wanted him to take over and make infuse his DNA into that on a persona. That's all we are. That's why we're team we're Team human bro. Because we know that the other day, all the experience of those people that are scared that are going to lose their job because they ask them to replace them. Don't worry friends, because they're going to be looking after you because they're going to be wanting your expertise or knowledge and your takes on things because you're going to be the domain expert. Yeah, I
Max Matson 21:10
love that. I think it makes a lot of sense in the context of kind of the Creator economy too, that we're seeing, right? Where personality is the unique element, right? Like it's the thing that brings in a community that latches people on to an individual and the content, it's, it's almost like the the medium is the message, right? The medium of hey, this is me. That's the message. Agreed. 100%. Totally awesome. So I'd love to kind of get your guys's thoughts on the future of AI a little bit right. I like to indulge in a little bit of rampant speculation. So obviously, with the caveat that probably all of our answers will be wrong. Where do you guys see this revolution taking us? Where do you see kind of the end game playing out? If, let's say, you know, on a 2030 2035 kind of time horizon?
Nathan Schlaffer 22:04
Yeah. So I, I like to think back to, I was watching an interview with Brad Brad lightcap, the CEO of open AI. And he asked the exact same question, where do you see AI in 20 years, 30 years? How is that going to impact you know, some of the more creative untouched departments like marketing and sales that require that human touch. And one of the things that he commented on and I think he hit the nail on the head is 2030 years from now people are going to be orchestrators of AI, is like our role is going to change from the people actually just writing the content, or the people actually just creating the ads to orchestrating AI and the tools and resources to achieve like 10x productivity. And and I think that's really the future is whether it's large language models, or machine vision or other types of AI machine learning from datasets, we're gonna become more orchestrators as opposed to just individual contributors that are just writing, coding and that kind of thing. So that's what I think the future is. But what do you think, Dave?
David Garcia 23:17
I'll tell you what, I think that's very much on point with what I believe. And what I what I believe is that just like, if you look at the, the automation, like we I come from the industrial space, Nathan has experienced that as well. If you come if you look at that space, and you look at the fear people had about Cobots, right? And they're like, oh, wow, well, that's means that we're gonna lose our jobs. And you're like, well, guess what happened, man, you created a new boom of people that repair robots, that install robots that specialize in understanding how to apply the robots, to new and unique, innovative ways and applications that the people that are doing this couldn't even imagine would be in need of a robot to do that. Right? They just don't know, because they can't think that way.
Just like, if I'm talking to a kid, he's gonna be telling me about how cool these cool new things are going to do with the drone and all these other new new experiences that he wants to build with AP and AR and VR, and I'm not even going to I'm going to barely be able to like be a little bit of understanding of that and be able to kind of think that way, but he's just going to naturally be able to think that way because he's gonna grew up in that environment. And that's what's really cool, that you're gonna have people that are going to look at a box, some planks and some wheels and just look at a pile of stuff and someone's gonna go that's a cart, right? That's a cart that's, that's, that's it. That's a wheelbarrow. Like, that's what I love. I love people that can see what's not there and then make it happen because that's the beauty of the of what humans can do, man like, we can bring thought to reality. Just think about that. No one else can do that.
Max Matson 24:54
David Garcia 24:56
what the ability for people like me and Nate, just two people to start a company and actually grow it to something bigger or, you know, organizations are going to be four man teams, and it's going to be a big company that used to take 30 people, that's what's gonna happen.
Max Matson 25:08
Yeah, absolutely. I, you know, it's something that I go back to in the newsletter a lot is kind of looking to the past to kind of, you know, elucidate the future a bit. And, interestingly enough, one of the technologies that I've found, I think, at this early stage, at least is the most comparable to AI is actually the typewriter, right? When it kind of came on the scene, a lot of people were like, hey, what do I What do I do? The speculative nature to it. And then shortly that shifted into Oh, my gosh, this is going to take everybody's jobs, all these scribes all these people who write for a living, which we forget, was a job, right? Just like a jockey or like, you know, somebody who stables horses. So what I kind of see, and I like that you pointed out is that any new technology is going to bring with it new opportunity. Right. So I think one thing I'd like to kind of get your guys's thoughts on and pick your brains on is what do some of those new opportunities look like? Right, because I think we're all in agreement that it's not necessarily a prompt engineer. Right? I think the prompt is just the first kind of interface for it. But that it's going to be something deeper that provides a little bit more immediate value to people.
Nathan Schlaffer 26:22
Yeah, absolutely. So as far as what job opportunities we think it will create, one of the things that we've seen, at least in in our space is more and more people, hiring specialists in generative AI who know how to use generative AI technology for different workflows. For example, if we think of the marketing organization, there's the creative department that maybe uses something like Dolly, Adobe has been producing a lot of great new technology for generative AI that actually makes like still frame images motion, have motion reading video from ciliary cool. And then you know, there's also the data science area that I think there's a lot of disruption and opportunity in a company called Data rails, which is another SAS company, you know, recently came up with their product, that you're able to basically integrate all of your data sources into a warehouse, you know, ask a conversational AI, show me this report, and then it'll pull it up for you.
So I think there's a lot of opportunity ripe for disruption in data science for b2b. But then there's also opportunities in the creative aspect of, you know, how do we use generative AI to create original content? Because I had a conversation with an SEO manager, and we said, hey, from a digital marketing perspective, how is AI impacting you? Right? And he said, one of the things is, there's a big trend around original imagery for ads. But one of the challenges that we see as well, at least in the visual generation, technology is, it doesn't do well with text, frankly, it a create an ad with this headline, it's not it's gonna butcher it a little bit. And humans don't quite look human all of the time when you try to create photorealistic images. So So I think the technology needs to catch up to the vision that we have. But I think it's creating new jobs. In generative AI, it's creating new jobs for creative folks who know how to use these new technologies. And it's also changing the game in terms of how, how marketers conduct their workflows and skills that companies look for, because now they're looking for people that know how to use chat GPT. Now they're looking for people that know how to use AI technology to make you know, their company more productive. So I think it's leading to a lot of new jobs in these areas.
David Garcia 28:47
Yeah, I think it's also going to create a new a new breed of really cool, like, like professionals that are going to be like, like, I keep going back to the industrial stuff. But it's like they have they call them they call the the field mechatronics. Brother, and it's somebody who knows about robots knows about networking, understands application and technology. So it's a combination of different different expertise. And it's all combined into this cool new thing that is like possible now because people jump around from different jobs at different job now, and they change careers a lot more frequently. And that's awesome. And I think that's probably one of the coolest things that's going to really drive the innovation, I feel because the pandemic made, a lot of people rethink their priorities, and also young without them wanting to Ak they have to switch shop. So you bring in different domain expertise into a field that had never thought of things in a way that this person comes in with a refreshing new perspective.
Nathan Schlaffer 29:49
Yeah, and I think that's really something we can tap into because at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a huge surge in hiring and SAS and technology like we needed Online it just supercharged digital transformation. But then at the towards the end of the pandemic. And recently with the layoffs, tech companies are realizing, hey, we may have over hired and they start to lay off a lot of workers unfortunately. But what that leads to is a lot of companies cutting back but still having ambitious growth targets. AI is kind of like that. That game changer that can help fill the void is like, hey, how do we take our existing people and enable them to to achieve our goals, which are just as high? We just have less people?
David Garcia 30:35
Yeah, because for us, that was the other thing. And I think we that was really great that you brought that up, Nick, because I'm always looking for an opportunity to talk about that. The people that are in your organization, you over hired, or you you you cut down on people, and it's like you're in a downturn, but you got to go back up to where you are, you want to you want to expand and land it's like, though, the workload is not going to go down your staffing will, right. And the people that are there, they're going to be at half capacity. And then you're expecting them to bring on new people and onboard them, right and then have have them prepared and then be able to take flight.
And you're like, how many of those people get burned out and then leave a career because they didn't feel like they could hack it. So right. And it's like, the burnout is real, the burnout is real, and it doesn't bring the best out of people 100% Understanding that circumstance and understand the situation. And looking at things like I saw study where they were talking about the measured, like, positive people, like they have a radius, right? Of impact of like, within, like, that's what you'll go like, Whoa, that corner of the office is always so lively and so cool. And before I was chatting it up, and they're in a good mood and productive, right. But then they looked at negative people, they take up a whole floor bro because that guy can be the guy in charge of the department and shit rolls downhill.
Yep. Right. And then no one's happy. No one's cool around that guy. And the vibe is dead, right? My take fail brother. That's why like understanding that component of it. And knowing why, again, do team human over here or AI people, but I'm, I'm super gonna bang the drum hard on this one. Because I know from experience, seeing the morale drop in an organization, seeing people that we're talking to Nathan, that are our friends that are like, I was at a $5 million company and I was the only marketing person in the entire company. I know a lot of one man teams, baby. So trust me, right? So I know that there's things that we keep talking about, like multiplying and you know, being like a hyper scalar, and all this good stuff. But it's like, I really wish that we would also take a step back and look at the lessons of like the over hiring, and then just firing and then just not even thinking twice about it. And then just going, I really did my best guys. And you know, I'm really, really, really bad about this. But it's like, bro, we're talking about people. These are human beings. Man,
Max Matson 33:01
I completely agree with you. And I think that's something that gets lost in a lot of these conversations, right, is that people have this tendency to blame the technology, right? Like, oh, AI is going to eliminate all these jobs. AI is already eliminating all these jobs. There's very little data to support that. But furthermore, what doesn't get called out is the business practices is the planning the strategy, right? The whole thing that led to the problem. Exactly. And I it's such a recurring trend, actually, in the last newsletter I talked about in the media industry. And the fact that you know, everything that's going on with the Hollywood writers strike, and the actor strike is on the back of the fact that there's only six companies that control this entire industry, right six companies who have made these types of decisions to over hire to underpay to overwork for decades now. So, you know, you have a disruptive technology come in and you have a bunch of executives who think that way. What did we think was gonna happen? Right?
David Garcia 34:02
Yeah, cuz like I did that day. Like if I think about this scenario, I overheard a bunch of people and I paid them really low. And they everybody was fighting to get a position because it was it was saturation in the market. Now there's a downturn. So now the people that I have, they're lucky to have a job, okay, so they're gonna work their butt off to make sure that they keep that job. And I'm gonna keep piling on more work. And hopefully they can keep up. Oh, enter AI Wow, it's gonna make sure that they're able to keep up and tap dance as fast as they can to keep up with my demands. To be reassessed, man. Like maybe he actually had a really capable group of people but you just need to lay off the gas pedal for a minute. Because yeah, you have to is that are super indecisive. That Changed your mind constantly. And they have marketing departments that have managers that don't know how to manage up. And so that also impacts stuff and it's like, that's why it's important to understand like, there's a lot of things at play you we're looking at is like, how can we help with a problem that we know that there's a possible solution. But at the end of the day, man, like, I really do feel like we need to start reassessing our practices. I really do.
Max Matson 35:13
100% No, I completely agree with you. I think, can I ask you, what do you think would be an effective? What would create that cultural shift? Right? Because it's, it's something that I've talked about with other people as well as, how do you hold you know, that executive team accountable? How do you make it so that they're able to see kind of what their people are actually going through in that situation? And how do you kind of foster that empathy? That's, that's just requisite to caring? Right?
Nathan Schlaffer 35:40
Yeah, I think part of it is, and this is something Dave and I believe strongly like, with our values that we have for market made is like, creating a culture of honesty and transparency, like a let's learn from mistakes. Mistakes aren't fatal. Let's see what we can improve. Let's communicate expectations up and down. And also, we as a manager, you know, we want to make sure our employees are happy and satisfied and good like equips so that they're performing at their best, and they have a psychologically safe environment where they can express themselves and have creative ideas. Not feel like someone with a title always gets their way.
That's kind of the environment that I think the leaders need to set further for their company is, Hey, your opinion matters, your voice matters, we hired you for a reason. And I think Dave brought up a really good point about managing expectations and managing for sure. I think what happens a lot to marketing departments is because of all the demands from sales, because of all the demands from executives, and even product, hey, let's launch a new product tomorrow, or next week. It gets started marketing, like people can get overwhelmed. And that's a completely like, human emotion is like, oh, my gosh, I'm overwhelmed by the demands from different departments. So how do I as a marketer, prioritize across teams?
And I think part of it too, is having that conversation with your stakeholders. So the head of product, the head of sales, the head of revenue, marketing, the CEO, and then saying, Hey, I've done an assessment of the Oregon where marketing can make the biggest impact. Here are my three strategic goals for q1 are for first half. I think part of it is setting expectations, clear goals, measurable goals, time down goals, but communicating them across the Oregon if something new comes up, which happens all the time, it's like, hey, what's the priority here? Right? We set these three goals. Let's try to accomplish these first, if it's quick, I'll help. But if it takes away from these goals, we have to say no. And that's part of what Dave and I had been learning too, is that with a startup chaos land, prioritize and say, This is what we're focusing on everything else can win at the moment, so So I think that's key.
David Garcia 38:03
Yeah. And that the laughter is just a trauma response. mechanism.
And I fully am on board with what my brother mate just said. And I also think like, honestly, it's about like, if you're, if you're worried about what your employees are doing, then you got to reassess your hiring practices, right? If you're worried about you know, whether people are unproductive or not, then you should look at, you know, what does the manager say about that? And how much do you have a communication with them, to let them know, Hey, I'm here to support you. But that can easily become a really difficult thing to do, as you scale. Right? That's easy for me to say that right now. Right.
But I also understand that part of the things that I did see that happened were that a lot of times, the the person who launched the company, they start becoming a little bit more over here, and they're not as involved, and they their presence isn't as felt as much, and you have people that are making decisions, and it's on behalf of them. And you're like, is that really what the guy wanted me to do? And then his message gets lost, right? It's like telephone. That's why things eventually after a while too distant away, you're not gonna get the message across. So that's why if you really are that guy, if you really aren't going to be believing that there's plenty of examples of people that have done this, you be a part of the company culture, you be a part of, you know, what it is that people look at, or believe when they see or hear the name that that you know, you're trying to bring to the market? Yeah, absolutely.
Nathan Schlaffer 39:33
Yeah, I think you know, and this brings up the whole topic of leadership, which would be an interesting topic in itself. Yeah, yeah, sure.
David Garcia 39:40
That's a good that's a good topic, too. Yeah.
Nathan Schlaffer 39:42
There's leadership styles, you know, like, there's the authoritative, do what I say kind of leadership style, which I think is kind of phasing out in the 21st century. And then you've got the thing that I think is a better leadership style is is more of a coach. It's like, Hey, I'm going to help you you set goals and the strategy. But it's up to your creativity to figure out how to do it. And I think that's a way more scalable model than, hey, review your content and rewrite each sentence for you. It kind of, I kind of make you in my image, because that's not that's not scalable, like David said. So one of the things that David and I have been, piloting is a managerial style and leadership salad or company is, we are coaches, we help you set goals, but we don't tell you how to do your job, right you do, it will give you feedback. But at the end of the day, you own your domain. And we're open to your ideas and your creativity and how you go about it. Because I think at the end of the day, empowerment is so much more important than getting it exactly the way you want it. Sure, we've got to be stubborn about our vision, which is, you know, helping b2b marketers be more creative, helping them be more productive. But we're not going to be stubborn on the details of how we get them. Yeah, and Dave hit the nail on the head. That's why we hire people that know what they're doing, and are excellent at it. So that we can trust them with the goals and they can even push push the envelope and push us to do better.
Max Matson 41:16
Yeah, totally. I like that. I mean, it's it's looking at it as a team, rather than as a nation. Right? It's not like, yeah, it's not like I decree something. And then that's the law. It's more so we're all working towards this. being told
David Garcia 41:30
what to do, bro, I love I love people going, Hey, come here. You see that? I need that. Do that. Oh, you know what, boss? Hold on. I think you like we're, it's me versus that. Right? Going like, Man, I want them? I don't know. Yeah, I don't either, man. But you told me you gotta do it. And you're not giving me any feedback here. But you're also gonna get mad if I don't get it done that shot. Yeah, it's like, what are we doing?
Max Matson 42:03
No, exactly. And I love to see people in marketing who have this perspective to write because I don't want to speak for your guys's experiences. But in my experience, at least having you know, like, worked in the New York ad setting. There is. There are a lot of folks who think of themselves Don Draper. And it's something that I've experienced, where just given the kind of divisions and how a marketing organization tends to be structured. The culture a lot of the times falls by the wayside. And it's really a hard thing to get that culture, right. So it's so inspiring and great to see, you know, marketing organizations like yourself that are pursuing that strong positive culture.
David Garcia 42:50
Thanks, man. Appreciate that. Yeah, you're definitely a like minded person. So it's like this. This is easy, dude. Yeah. Right about this, you know, and, yeah, and this, this setting is really cool. Because we also get to talk about, like, how we can we can start to solve them, and what we're actually doing about them because we're not just saying, like, here's my gripe, you know, it's like, no, we had a gripe, dude. This is why we did what we're doing. You know,
Max Matson 43:17
exactly what do you guys say that kind of your experiences then with the inefficiencies with kind of the the problems that you faced in your work? Was that what motivated you to become founders? Because that's something I always like to kind of suss out is like what is it that created that fire?
Nathan Schlaffer 43:32
Absolutely, I think you hit a vein there Yeah, as it's like, we had been at startups for a better yet almost a decade together Dave and you saw consistently is a bit of dysfunction with with culture is like hey, we have this grand vision and this amazing product people adapt to help us get there. And but but one of the things is just from from empathizing with the marketer or empathizing with the person that's at the startup, we have dreams and goals and career aspirations to exist, hey, you know, how do you align the culture of the company, the vision, the goals, and the people's personal goals, and help them align that with the company's vision. And that's something that we saw as complete miss at companies we worked for, and there is a deep set frustration is like, Hey, how can we reach our chief goal, our personal goals and help the company win at the same time?
And that partly drove us to want to start a company too. And there have been many meetings I was with Dave, I'm like, Dave, there's a better way. We're going to do this better. Like I can't wait until we launched market mate. And we're creating a culture that's people first and what does that mean? That means if if someone has a family member that's sick or or needs to make It's a daughter's, you know, recital that is so important, you should take time off work to be there for your family to take care of them, like that is so so setting healthy boundaries to between work and personal, and helping people actually showing people that we care about them as individuals, and not just corporate profits. And that's the thing you wrote runs, like, that's so important. Because if if employees don't feel like you have their back, they're not going to work hard or give it their best. So that's, that's kind of our philosophy. But Dave, do you have anything to add? Because I,
David Garcia 45:35
I can't, I can't even count the amount of times where I literally burned myself out. I missed family functions. I was at places and I wasn't, I really wasn't there. Because I was too busy thinking about the things I had to do and how I had to get back. And people were probably really upset that I wasn't there. But how can I make them understand that this is like, you know, really important, like, all that stuff, dude, like, all of that, all of that, all of that, you know, and just knowing that I didn't feel comfortable or safe to really say those kinds of things. And also just internally, man, just because of like, who like my background? I'm first generation. So like, I'm like, go, go, go go. Like, I never felt like I was good enough.
Anyway, so like, they just had like a another thing, another layer on top of that, you know, and like my socio economic background, you know, like, my story is, I have a pretty interesting story. But all of that stuff, like it just made me go, like, my empathy level is like up here, dude. But at the end of the day, if I'm burning myself out, and I'm doing it because people are not really appreciating what I'm capable of doing. And if they only knew if I had just a little bit more of that, you know, acknowledgement, they would get 10 times what I'm putting out right now. Yeah, this is awesome. They would not even believe what the hell I'm capable of.
Max Matson 46:53
David Garcia 46:55
Absolutely. Because that will give them that and more, because I'm, that's exactly what I'm always about.
Max Matson 47:01
100% I actually, we, you know, we have a little bit of time, if you guys are looking. Perfect. I would love to kind of get a little bit more background on both of you guys. Like individually, just kind of what your journeys look like you mentioned that David, I'd love to kind of hear more, if you feel comfortable sharing.
David Garcia 47:20
Yeah, no, Sure, absolutely. I'll tell you what, I've never told anybody this, Nate knows my story. But I actually I grew up in, I grew up in shelters. Now I'm first generation, Dad was alcoholic had a lot of, you know, trauma in my family. So it was I didn't have the best start. But even with all those limitations at the places where I landed man, like the place that my mom did that when we were a kid, the executive director, Tara Williams, still in my life today, she became like a second mom to me. And she took after me, and she helped instill in me, you know, a different set of values, that were probably most people are not going to have the opportunity to learn, and really, like just take in, because of the experience that they have to go through, you know, you'll read about it in books, or people will tell you about it, or you know, you're eventually, like, just maturity hits you.
But like, I genuinely, I was very fortunate. Even though I had a lot of, you know, I didn't have the best circumstances growing up. I was one of 11 kids, you know, like I said, so like i Nobody went to college. I didn't have any of that, dude. So despite all of that, you know, I was still given opportunities to do things. And so that's why I like to a guy like me, to have a partner like Nathan, and people that believe in me, and to have an opportunity to use AI to open up the opportunity, my brother to have my own company, and to actually solve problems for professionals that were part of a network and an industry that I got to participate in and contribute to.
Like, what? Awesome. Everybody's always talking about how they want to see diversity, this diversity that's like, man, AI is gonna allow that like, but it's important for everybody to understand it, you need to contribute to this AI stuff. I don't care who you are your background, there was a study that was just released, I posted about it the Barbie, right, they put it in the eye. And what did they do era Barbies with machine guns and all this stuff. And it's like, a lot of just inherent biases, because it's like it's drawing off of known sources of stuff from the past. We need to make stuff now for the future. So in the future, the past is now totally right. So that's why like, everybody's gotta get on it. Now. If you really want to see the change in 10 years, you better get your ass off right off wherever you are right now and start doing stuff.
Max Matson 49:47
Absolutely. That's beautiful. I really appreciate you sharing that. No, you're exactly right. I think tech broadly right and AI especially our two are methods that I recommend to everybody? Like who's also from where I'm from? Right? Where it's like, if you're looking for an opportunity. This is one that's not necessarily gated by institutions, right, which I think is such a big barrier.
David Garcia 50:13
I love that dude.
Max Matson 50:16
Exactly right. It's like, oh, that college degree from that top five. Forget it. Like, would it help? Sure. But it isn't necessary. No. And I think all of those kinds of factors make it really, really interesting as kind of a fulcrum for being able to kind of lift people out of poverty, if they're able to, you know, harness the tools
Nathan Schlaffer 50:38
to wealth. Well said,
Max Matson 50:40
Thank you. Thank you, Nathan, I'd love to hear a little bit more of your story as well, if you'd be willing to share.
Nathan Schlaffer 50:46
Yeah, of course. So yeah, I grew up. You know, mom was an immigrant from the Philippines, dad was a Jewish immigrant, they came over during the war, to kind of escape that area. So growing up, you know, I always had a sense of, hey, I want to, I want to work hard, because my parents worked hard to get me here. I don't want to waste my opportunity in this beautiful country to do the most and make the most of it. And inherently, I just had this passion for technology, like growing up, you know, I was reading about IBM Watson, I was like, wow, computer can beat people at chess, it can, you know, help diagnose cancer, like, this is amazing. I want to learn more about this. So I started to learn to code and I taught myself Python. And one of the things that I tried to do at the time was, hey, I wanted to create a chatbot that can that I can talk to, and I was 19 at the time. And I tried to use conditional logic, and it just failed miserably. I'm like, I can't think of every instance. Every question every possibility. And then I learned about machine learning. And I sat in on a machine learning class, and I'm like, this is the future like this, if a computer can learn, imagine how amazing AI can evolve in the future.
So I, I worked in, you know, marketing, and I tried a couple of companies that both failed. One of them was like a marketing agency. And I remember when I had my first startup, it was exciting, because it was kind of blending my passion for marketing and storytelling and technology together. And I feel like that's my niche is I like the creative and I like the technical. And I like halfway through my startup, my dad got sick with cancer. So I had to move home and take care of him. And unfortunately, the startup kind of stopped at that point. And then I was like, Okay, what's, what's the job? That's, you know, I can kind of be storyteller kind of be technical. And it was product marketing. And I was like, okay, and I can keep helping my family kind of take care of my family. So that's what I did. I continued to work in product marketing for and then I met Dave, in that process.
And then, with this most recent AI, boom, I'm like, hey, you know, Chad GPT is like the bot that I wanted to create 10 years ago, but couldn't does the things that I wanted to do when the there it's available. So Dave, and I set up in this vendor I called Dave, and I still remember the phone call. I was like, brother, we're creating messaging for campaigns. We're creating ads. What if AI, kind of like Marvel? Because we're superhero fans, like Jarvis. Marketers like, Dude, we've got to build this thing. Let's do it. And then and then. Yeah. And we just started building it. We learned how to do cloud computing, we learned how to do SAS, and we, we built the application and now we're, we're marketing it and launching it. So this is a dream come true. I think for Dave and I like, we're very unconventional story with like, two marketers coming together and launching a SaaS company. Like, it's very unusual, but in a way, it's our story. And we're excited to be here, man. And so appreciate max that you invited us on and, bro seriously, as we're a fan, and we watch your, your podcast.
Max Matson 54:13
Thank you guys. And can I say I mean, you guys are not only like a great founding pair, I'd say from all regards, but also, I brought you on because I'm genuinely impressed with your product. You know, I think that I've looked at a lot of marketing oriented AI products. And I've chosen to cover none of them because they have failed to impress me, but market mate did impress me and does impress me. And I think that the you guys live so close to the problems that marketers face because you are the marketer, that you've created the solution that truly like addresses them in a meaningful way. So, you know, round of applause to you guys. Seriously, I'm incredibly impressed. You ruined my eyeliner Max. You gotta That's not a good luck Well thank you guys for for sharing thank you for spending some time with me and for allowing me to get to know you a little bit better. There's been so fun. Before we we wrap up. Would you mind sharing one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self? If you could?
Nathan Schlaffer 55:24
Yeah, I think the number one thing is don't be afraid to try. I think there's been a conversation my head frequently, like you can't do this, you know, you don't have this, this isn't a perfect idea yet. Let's see what people think. But don't be afraid to experiment failures, just learning. That would be my advice to my younger self. Perfect.
David Garcia 55:49
Mine would be embrace the cringe. Just around and abroad doesn't matter. It all makes sense a lot later, and all that weird stuff that you are into that made you feel super embarrassed, it's gonna pay off, I promise to pay off, you're gonna be way more interesting. You're gonna have a way more like interesting pool of topics, to talk to people. And you're going to be connecting with people that are way, way higher up in status later on in life, because they are just like you. They're complete weirdos, but how they're super cool. And people think they're never we're in a weird, awkward.
Max Matson 56:20
That's awesome, Dave. Both great advice. Well, guys, thank you again, this has been so much fun. Where can people find you follow you?
Nathan Schlaffer 56:28
Yeah, so we have a LinkedIn page, feel free to look us up on Market mate AI. And if you guys want to visit our website and just want to see a demo market, mate, go to market mate ai.com for its last demo. And David, I would be happy to meet you, especially if you're a b2b marketer, struggling with the things that we brought up lack of content resources, wanting to scale, wanting to automate processes, or make your team more productive. We're here and we'd love to have a conversation.
David Garcia 56:56
Yeah, I'm on LinkedIn all the time. Right? You know that you can reach me there. I'm on there so you guys can easily find me and I always answer so.
Max Matson 57:05
Perfect. And I'll have your socials linked down in the show notes. Oh, of course. Thank you so much, guys. Again, I appreciate it. Thanks for watching guys.
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