Builders and Innovators: Conversation with Nick Mehta
Cloudflare CRO, Chris Merritt, speaks with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight: The Customer Success Company.
We're at the top of the hour and today I'm joined by Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, the platform for customer success.
A little bit of background on Nick and I'll kick it over to you to give us a little more insight.
First of all, thanks for joining us today, Nick.
I've been a big fan of yours. We've known each other for a while.
Selfishly, as we were chatting a moment ago, I'm looking forward to learning a lot from you today.
You're probably the most connected high energy guy that I know around town and I don't know how you do it.
So we're going to get to that.
But just a little bit more on your background. So CEO of Gainsight, you've been there for a number of years.
Prior to that, CEO of Live Office acquired by Symantec.
You were at Symantec and Veritas for a number of years and you went to school in Boston, which is code for having gone to Harvard.
In case you didn't know, I wanted to give you your background.
So thanks for being here. I want to start with something.
If you tilt your head for a second, you're going to tilt to the left or the right.
You'll see like you are a not so, well, book second, but Steelers fan.
Yeah, it's really hard to miss. Yeah. What's the obsession with the Steelers?
I noticed you've talked about this a lot. So I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and my dad was an entrepreneur in small tech companies and so I kind of grew up around technology.
But growing up in Pittsburgh, basically the only thing you've got is the Steelers and actually now the Penguins too.
And it is the identity of the town. So I'm kind of one of those annoying, crazy Steelers fans who literally, one piece of trivia, Chris, I don't think I've missed a Steelers game on TV or live for 25 years in a row.
So that's through like anniversaries, vacations, everything is scheduled around the Steelers.
So yeah, it's part of my life.
Is it shared in the family? Is everybody else a Steelers fan? My wife and I are both from Pittsburgh.
So she's not as crazy. I don't think you could be as crazy, but she's definitely like a fan and the kids are and the house is all black and gold and all that kind of stuff.
So, you know, as long as there's not too many Patriots fans around, we're all good.
So respect the Patriots though. Well, so then are you a fan that, are you happy that Brady left?
Obviously. I'm very interested to see Brady in Tampa Bay.
That's going to be very fascinating. But yeah, I, although I, Belichick is, you know, putting aside my sports team, Belichick is the greatest coach and leader of all time.
Probably of any, he'd probably be like, like he'd probably be the best tech CEO of all time.
You know, he just like so good.
So he's going to figure out some way to make the Patriots probably even better this year, I'm sure.
Well, so, so using that as a, as a step off point, you, you're on the circuit.
You were talking to really interesting people recently, Magic Johnson.
Just say a little bit about the stuff that you've picked up recently.
I love, I love how it's just like, I just saw Magic Johnson. Hey, Magic.
Oh, you did? I did. We, we, you know, to kind of fill in the dots on what Chris just said, since the kind of COVID stuff started, I think, you know, a couple of things happened.
One is, as you know, and you're doing right now, it became way easier to engage with lots of people virtually.
And that, you know, although we can't kind of physically make the same connection, we can actually talk to so many more people.
And so that's definitely been a thing that I've seen a lot of is just the, our ability as a company and my ability personally to meet with so many of our customers and prospective customers.
And I've done, I mean, literally this week, I have 28 meetings with clients and prospects.
I've done a couple of webinars and you can do so much virtually.
And then, so that's one big thing. And the second big thing is in our world, which is kind of helping companies do a better job, driving success for their customers, keeping their customers, that's become much more top of mind because of the downturn.
Because obviously when things get slow, people say, I got to make sure I'm, I got to hold on my customers.
And, you know, I was talking to a CEO of a company this morning and he's like, this, this downturn was kind of the wake up call for our company around customer success.
So kind of combination of the topical interests, as well as just like the volume of stuff you can do during the virtual world.
I didn't meet many other NBA players, though, just the one, Magic Johnson, we hosted him at a virtual event we did for some of our client executives.
And it was, it was really special because Magic Johnson, famous NBA Hall of Famer, but also just a great human being.
So that's been fun as well.
Well, that's another sort of another serendipitous sort of silver lining to all this COVID stuff.
You get to meet really interesting people. If I step back, you, you and Gainsight, you've created a category.
And you know, the theme of this, this series is all about the builders and the innovators.
And it's this combination of having sort of the charisma and the zeitgeist to get out and start something and create a category, but also like the gritty, dirty, getting your fingers dirty.
Maybe it's in the abstract, just talk about customer success.
This was something that I had never heard of 10 years ago. Yeah, right. And then it is like it is a category.
It's a you are the leader in that category. I'd love to just pop your head up and talk about building a category.
Yeah, totally. Yeah.
And we, you know, when we just give you a little background, personally, because I might fill in some of the dots and kind of how this all came about where I, I started my career in the world of kind of on premise software, you know, enterprise software, you sell to a customer, and they pay you upfront.
And then kind of you, you know, basically, you want to service them, but essentially, they paid you most of their money in that initial transaction.
And in that that world, I was at a company, Symantec, probably many folks know, and you know, I was running a division, there's a great company.
But that model forced us to focus mainly on building products and selling them.
And customer success wasn't even a term we would use, we would have said customer support, you know, want to support our customers, make sure their health, but it wasn't about, you know, proactive stuff after the sale after the sales kind of the customer's job to get value if they if they never installed the product that's kind of on them, right, if they never started using it, it's on them.
And in the SaaS world is Cloudflare knows super well, it's, you know, you're, you're being measured on the value of delivering every day, or in your case, like every second, right.
And that changes the whole mindset.
So you got to say, okay, after that sale, if I'm not driving value and success for the customer, I'm not going to be able to keep them, I'm not gonna be able to grow them.
Customer success is that concept. And I learned that firsthand.
Because I after working at Symantec, I ran a SaaS company. And we were in the cloud, you know, we're technology in the cloud, but we we were running kind of more like an on prem company, we had a, you know, sales team and marketing and product and support early SaaS days, that early SaaS days, and then you and but then one day, you kind of see those turn numbers go up or whatever.
And it's like that wake up call, while we've got to make sure we're making sure our customers are using the stuff they bought, they're being onboarded, well, they're getting value so that they renew with us.
And so in running that company, eventually, we eventually sold it.
And but during that time, I learned a lot about the importance of the stuff after the sale, you've been a big fan of this, you guys are investing it in your own company, right.
And so that's kind of you know, game site basically is like, hey, everyone's gonna have the same problem, as they move to models where customers are paying them over time, or their, their customers not committed to them for life, or they kind of have to be in that business every day.
But to your point on category creation, when we launched game site in 2013, if you looked across the whole world, on LinkedIn, there were probably about 500 customer success managers in the whole world, not companies doing it, but people in that like in their profile, yeah, in their profile, that's a pretty small addressable market for a company like us selling software.
And so we, we had to create the category out of necessity, it wasn't something we're like, hey, we want to create a category.
It's like, we got to do that, because that's what we have to do to create our market.
So we focused very much not on marketing game site as a technology.
But marketing the concept of customer success, you know, we run a big conference on it, we had 23 ,000 people there this year, we written three books on it, a very popular blog on it, spoke, I've spoken to 1000s of events on it.
And it's all this idea of why you need to change your business. And we marketed that to CEOs, you know, in terms of thinking about the org structure, to chief revenue officers, to private equity and VC firms, you know, everyone kind of buying in.
And what's cool now is it's basically a de facto standard in the tech world, you can't really can't be a legitimate tech company without some kind of focus on customer success in this day and age.
And it's starting to go into lots of other industries as well.
Can you just say a little bit about in this, in the flow of building a company, right?
You talked about this sort of narrow group of 500 people that sort of self identify, that's a small community in the beginning, right?
How do you sort of germinate that, but also have a really big, sort of a big to be and building into a big team?
How do you think about sort of getting to that point and balancing?
Well, I've got to do micro development to make sure that these 500 people become, you know, big promoters, but then I've got to get the 20 ,000 other people like, along the way, how do you balance sort of the short and the long term?
Yeah, it's really hard. And I wouldn't say by the way, it started my dog got a collaborator in the background.
I got a lot to say, his name is Snickerdoodle, by the way, and he's gonna look crazy.
But basically, we, we, we, I think that's a constant balance for every entrepreneur.
Probably you've been through this in your career as well, where you want to cast a big shadow and paint a big vision.
But the reality is, it starts with like a lot of small steps, it starts with individual customers, right?
Like, everything that happened to gain site is individual human beings, giving trust in us, working with us, helping us evolve the company, being an advocate, like I can like, name all those people that got us to this point.
And so I think there's some combination of like, not losing sight of those individual people and working with them.
And honestly, connecting with them on the personal side, too, because a big part of customer success is making your customer successful personally, right?
One thing I've done a lot of is help our people in our community navigate the job search market, you know, to get to what's that next executive job, right?
And I think that's like, one tip is not losing sight of the individual human beings, even after they leave the customer, right?
And really making sure you have that.
But on the other extreme, you got this painting this vision, you've got to you've got to be able to paint a vision, but also paint the intermediate steps.
I actually put a lot of companies do they figure out step one and step three, but they don't figure out step two, step three is like we're taking over the world.
And step one is we're trying to close this customer and step two is well, but dot dot dot what happens in between, right?
And I wouldn't say we're perfect like this, but that this is the iterative process you constantly have to have a what is that next step, the next next step, so not the one you're doing right now, and not the one that's the end, end all be all but the thing in between there.
And so for us, as an example, you know that, like, if you think about our, our, our version of that, well, the early days was okay, we've got these CSM teams want to make software for them want to make them successful, there's a small number of them.
And then the end end result is, you know, 510 years from now, most businesses will have most of the revenue coming in these recurring revenue models.
So customer success is going to be the heart of the companies, it's going to be on the same level of sales, it's going to be a critical function.
Great. Okay, what are the middle steps to get there?
As an example, for us, one of those middle steps was connecting customer success to other functions in a company, you know, customer success to product, you and I've talked about customer success to sales, introducing products for those other areas.
And so getting those middle steps, right, as I think we're a lot of companies fall down.
So as you're, as you're doing that, like, over the course of building out the business and building out the leadership team, what are the other little insights?
There are a lot of entrepreneurs that are watching and and folks that are aspiring to perhaps start their own companies and build into a category as you have, along those along the way, you've picked up these little tips, tricks, techniques, what are the other little things in that trade off?
You know, the trade off that you were just describing? What else would you share along the way that has been instrumental in building out Gainsight?
Yeah, I'll just kind of riff off some random stuff. We can dive in any of these more detail.
I think one of them is early on, your early customers kind of set the sort of path for your company.
And so there's a weird mix of you're trying to convince people to be your customer.
But also like, you're trying to pick the right customer.
And it's actually really hard. It's a lot like recruiting. You know, if you're recruiting an executive that senior, you're both selling and buying at the same time.
You've done this many times, right? You're like in an interview, but you're kind of pitching, but you're also trying to work.
And I think that's true about customers, too.
Because early on, if you get one of your first early customers, a big enterprise, then you're probably going to orient that way.
And that's going to pull you.
Yeah. And you go more SMB, that'll take you that way. And by the way, there's pros and cons to all that stuff.
There's nothing wrong with it. But I think that's kind of one general lesson I've learned is kind of thinking about this like early customers as being a strategic bet, not just like, wherever you can close the deal.
A second one, I think that is underrated and might tie to some of your questions for later, is that the notion people talk about product market fit, obviously very well established concept.
But there's also this concept that people have talked about a founder market fit, which is, okay, there's certain businesses that are like completely self-serve.
And it's all about like, optimizing the product.
And there's a velocity and yeah, exactly. Some are about analytics and some are about meeting people and high touch and all that.
And you know me, I like meeting people.
So Gainsight being an evangelical business, it's a little more mid-market enterprise oriented.
We get to meet people. It's kind of super high product founder market fit for me.
Right. I mean, that's like, okay, that's great.
And, but I've seen some entrepreneurs who are like stuck in this situation where like, you know, they don't like meeting people and they're in an enterprise oriented business.
And by the way, that can work as long as you hire a great partner or whatever drive that or the flip side, you know, they think they can solve it with sales and people, but their average selling price is a thousand dollars a year, in which case that's just not going to work.
And they underemphasize the product or the analytics or whatever.
So that kind of founder market fit is, I think a good concept.
Another one that I think is more, I haven't, one of my investors actually wrote a blog post about this, Nakul Mandan from Lightspeed Venture Partners, where he talks about these two extremes, like businesses that are really low friction and lower ASP can be really good businesses and businesses that are higher friction, but higher ASP can be good.
And it's a little tricky if you're in the middle, you know, if you're too much in the middle, too much friction, but you're kind of a low price point.
And, you know, that's another one. And then I'll just throw it again.
I can go on for hours, but last one is pricing. I think a lot of people approach pricing and value very defensively.
You know, the market charges X, we're young, we need to give it away.
And I see that sometimes from founders pitching me, they're like, Hey, here's this value prop.
I'm like, yeah, I don't know.
And then they're like, we'll do it for free. I'm like, that doesn't make it any more appealing.
It actually makes it less. You know what I mean? Like it makes it less like, well, that, that must mean that other people don't want it either.
That reinforces it. You're saying as a buyer in a product, it makes it less appealing.
If you, I believe if you, if you want to be a premium value product, then, then charge a lot and then force yourself to deliver on that value and then build a great product and drive the right services and deliver value.
If you end up with a commoditized product, value prop, but you're trying to be a premium product, that's the worst of all worlds, right?
You're like, I have the best product out here, but actually it's really cheap.
And it's not, you know, and it's, unless you're like an Amazon where you're just built to be cheap, right.
Which is kind of Amazon strategy.
I don't know if that works for everyone in enterprise software. And so I would say, don't commoditize your own value too early.
That's, that's, those are really like little sage pearls.
And you can tell like they're, they're built up over time.
They're, they're in your DNA. I want to ask you, you, you're building a category for customer success, which lives in the broader go-to-market world.
You have, I mean, you have a platform, I know of your platform and, and then there's this juggernaut of a platform around Salesforce.
How do you think about sort of the, the interoperability, the interdependence, the existential issues of being associated?
Just, I'd love to get some perspective on that. Yeah, totally. And I think that's very relevant for any company.
Cause I think it's hard to be in a startup world and not be in the orbit of some platform.
You know, the platform could be AWS, the platform could be GCP or Azure.
The platform could be Workday if you're in the HCM kind of world, right.
You know, there's these big platforms and they're only getting bigger given just the dynamics of the economy.
And so we, we've actually been really fortunate that like in the early days to now, we've kind of been very proactively aligned to companies like Salesforce.
And now we work with others as well, but like we, we you know, Salesforce early investor in Gainsight, they've been an awesome partner to us.
We work with their platform, all that kind of stuff.
And that, that all has allowed us to do a few different things. One is to go in those early days, it's so much easier as a startup to say, I've got this great thing.
You've never heard of it. You've never heard of the category, but it works with your systems you have already, right?
Like that's such a much easier pitch than, by the way, I've got this new thing and you have to use it totally separately.
It's just way easier to get in the door.
It's easier to get buy-in from like IT and executives and, and things like that.
And then, and then the platform companies can help you sometimes in terms of aligning to deals and all that.
I think one mistake entrepreneurs make sometimes is overestimating how much that platform company is going to proactively help you early on, not realizing there's 10,000 other companies and you're, and their reps are just trying, the reps of the platform companies are just trying to make their own number in sales, right?
Like, you know, let's not try to, I mean, they'd love to help the partners, but like, they've got to make their own number.
They're just busy. It's nothing against, you know, so they, some entrepreneurs take it as like an insult when the platform company doesn't help them early on.
I'm like, get, get reeled about like, you know, the relative expectations.
Yeah. Yeah. And so you got to go hustle. You got to get those customers yourself.
You got to prove the value to the platform company, show them some results.
And so I think there's an opportunity to be successful in the orbit of these giants.
But you have to be very realistic about how they work and not, not take things as insults.
Like you, it's very rare that the platform company is trying to do something negative towards you.
It's usually just that like you're, you're like an elephant, you're a mouse that can accidentally step on you that, but it's not like, cause they're trying to, you know?
And so if a rep and you, you know, it gets into conflict in the field, it's not because like, they're trying to come for your lunch.
Cause honestly don't care about your lunch.
Your lunch is too little for them, right? They're an elephant, you're a mouse.
And so, so the way to work with the platform companies actually understand a little bit how they think one benefit I had, you had two is having worked in some larger companies.
I get the psychology. It's never about the small companies and trying to beat them very rarely.
Is that true? It's literally, they're just trying to do their internal stuff, their internal politics, hit their numbers.
And you know, it, you may just be a kind of either a beneficiary or a victim of that depending on how you play your cards.
Yeah. It's like plate tectonics, right? Like, don't be careful.
You don't get sort of smushed. I think it's very topical. We were talking about this a little bit earlier today.
Like today's a big day for the big tech Titans to stand in front of Congress and, and get asked questions like, well, if, if we sort of zoom out for a moment and think about the rise of these platforms, like what, what sort of, is the response, is there a responsibility at some point for the platforms to create an ecosystem that others can play in or, or is it just a function of, Hey, they have pressures of growth, like everybody else.
And, you know, they're, they're sort of responsibilities to shareholders, employees, et cetera.
Like how do you think about sort of the, the platforms and their responsibility in the ecosystem?
Yeah, that's a great question. And I think there's, there's different layers of this, by the way, because I think that if you look at a Salesforce, that that's an important platform, but obviously you go to the Amazon, Google, Microsoft, those are like, like running the world kind of platforms.
And I think there, that means there's even more, more responsibility. I'm a big believer that companies exist kind of in the world of society and human beings exist as this other world exists for human beings.
And so I'm a big believer called a human first business against site that like companies do need to eventually like recognize that they're here to serve human beings, whether that's their employees, whether that's their employees, families, it's the community around them, their customers, of course, and their shareholders.
But it's not just like a company and shareholder thing.
And that human beings are just kind of collateral damage on the way, which is sometimes how you can interpret it if reading it the wrong way.
And so I'm glad society is kind of putting more pressure on all the companies to be responsible citizens.
And a lot of them are Salesforce, a great example of like, you know, they do a lot of stuff to try to help the community.
You see Benioff, like really trying to help San Francisco and, you know, just in lots of different ways, I'm sure they can do more, but like they definitely are trying to do a lot.
And I'm, I think that's kind of the future model for companies is that they, they have to be, you know, positive citizens of society.
Not that like we have to legislate that. I think that's just what everyone's going to force them to, because that's what we all expect.
We expect them to stand up for justice.
We expect them to stand up for equality. You know, that's just what it's going to take to be, I think, relevant to consumers in the future too.
Now, each of these big platform companies obviously has very different stances on this and things like that.
And I, so I think it'll be interesting to see how the discussions of Congress go.
I'm glad I'm being interviewed by you, not Congress right now, by the way, Chris, thank you.
So I'm just prepping you for that at some point.
Gainesville is going to get that, ready. But, but I do think that like we have a tidal wave coming, you know, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase talked about like stakeholder capitalism and the idea that you have to think about all your stakeholders and that's all happening right now in 2020, just given everything that's going on.
Yeah, it's, it's, I mean, it's certainly an interesting time and there's plenty of, we don't have the commutes, we don't have, you know, a bunch of the less effective time we can consume more content.
There's certainly plenty of content being spun up.
I'm going to switch gears for a moment. I want to sort of get back into sort of you and what it's like to be you.
I also want to remind those that are watching and want to ask a question, you can ask questions at live studio at Cloudflare.tv, one word live studio at Cloudflare.tv.
So, and I'll keep an eye on that and I'll try to, I'll try to be respectful of that.
I'm very selfish.
I'm really excited to just continue to sort of dig into what, as I referenced before, you have an amazing amount of energy.
You're very engaged in the community.
You're engaged with your family. You have a high growth business. How do you keep the wheels turning and not break down?
Like what is your secret? Lots of coffee.
I'll tell you that there's a few, few things that honestly, I'm very fortunate to have a lot of, a lot of great partners, both obviously at home and also kind of work.
In the work side, we, I think that if you're a CEO of any kind of reasonable company size, then your assistant, or like if you have a chief of staff or whatever, is like a big part of kind of keeping things running.
So I definitely have a great assistant and a chief of staff.
And my chief of staff kind of works on the communication sides of things.
My assistant obviously works on all the crazy calendaring, and I'm sure you have similar craziness in your schedule as well.
So there's some of that logistics that's can't be underrated because it allows me to just stay focused and all that.
I think that, you know, there's personally taking care of yourself.
So one thing I do during the down, the quarantine is the, the, the, although I do have a lot of energy, the back to back to back to back, back to Zoom calls or whatever, video conferencing, it'll, it'll make anyone tired.
And so I take a lot of my day for internal calls. I do them while walking.
And I actually, I have a fun thing where I, every day I put a Slack post on Slack about what I did that day.
And I always put at the bottom, my step count for the day.
And so I have this kind of like competition with myself of like, like on Monday, I had 22,000 steps, which is like 11 miles or something.
Right. And like, yeah, so I just like walking high. Yeah, it's good. And it feels great.
And I feel like so much energy from being outside. I went out this morning and walked for an hour and a half.
And I kind of routine if I go to the coffee shop a couple miles away, go, go walk there, get a coffee, come back.
And so there's just taking care of yourself.
You know, I, I'm, I'm actually like, I sleep, you know, eight hours a day.
I, you know, all that kind of, I try to be very healthy and just, you know, I want to, but also it helps me in my job.
So I think those, some of those personal things make a difference.
And then I think there's kind of creating good systems for being organized.
So I do try to be, try to be productive.
And, you know, like I, it's, I'm one of those people likes checking things off and having inbox zero all the time.
And so I ended up having a lot of systems for very productive with email and which might mean sometimes by the way, emails to my teams are often like, they send me a long email and I write back and I'm like, why?
Which means yes. Maybe a little under, under fulfilling for them for the novel that they just wrote me, but I get them the answer.
And, you know, try to be pretty efficient and productive.
And then, you know, one of the things I try to do is be thoughtful about where do I want to spend my time?
I think every leader has their own value add.
Some leaders are like amazing at internal strategy or analyzing the budget or whatever.
I like talking to people and I think I'm good at it and I enjoy it.
And whether that's customers, employees, employees, families, or are the community, these kinds of events, you know, I enjoy doing it.
And so I ended up saying, like, I'm going to do a lot of that.
And so, you know, like every week I meet 20, 30 customers, I do a couple of these events and it's, it's great.
And it kind of helps everyone, but then you have to kind of make sure that, okay, everyone else has their jobs too.
I'm sure you have this at Cloudflare. Like that means other people have to do other things, right?
Because if I'm not, if I'm not scrutinizing every row of the spreadsheet, somebody better.
I think my CFO is, I hope so.
They are. Well, you outlined, I mean, it's very full. You've, you're over, you spend time and sort of over index your time where you get energy from it as well, which is sort of a great reference point for anybody that's out there building a business and thinking about, you know, aspiring to doing what you're doing.
You are in very rare air, high growth company, really interesting job, interesting time.
And, you know, the product is a really good product.
When, if you go back into your career, you, you've been set down a path and you've, you've worked hard on that path.
What was sort of the best advice that you were given that you either best advice that you took or best advice that you're glad you didn't like good advice that was maybe given and you're glad you didn't take it.
Ah, oh gosh. These are good, good questions.
I've had a lot of, okay. Best advice that I took. One of them was my, so I worked for a guy named Mike Spicer.
Who's actually, I don't know if you know Mike or not.
I know, I know by name. Yeah. Yeah. He's a partner at Sutter Hill ventures and so venture capital firm.
And he famously is the original investor in snowflake and pure storage.
He's an unbelievable investor. And he was my first, one of my first bosses at a company called Veritas, which then got bought by Samantha.
So as a product manager and, and he he was also very good at connecting with people.
And I was very early in my career and he said, Nick, take, like I was in this large company and you know, in a large company, you can become very inward focused, you know, a lot of internal meetings and cross -functional working groups, blah, blah, blah.
Right. And, and I was doing a lot of, I have no idea what you're talking about.
And so I was in, he said, Nick, piece of advice, take one meeting a week, meet with, meet with somebody outside somebody, VC entrepreneur, have lunch with somebody, do it every week.
Right. And that was definitely like, and obviously I do that way more now, but like that concept I think was very foundational for me.
So that's one boss. And then another boss was getting Jeremy Burton, who is went on to, he was like president at Symantec and then he's been president at EMC, he's a CEO of a company in the observability space right now.
And his, what he did was he did, it wasn't saying something, but showing something to me, which is we, our products at Veritas were like super boring.
There was like software to backup your computers and servers. I mean, like you cannot pick a more, like more esoteric, like important, but not that kind of exciting area.
But he had the most killer conferences and videos and marketing.
And so he showed how you can take something that like doesn't inherently have some kind of coolness factor to it and actually make it fun by bringing personality to it.
So those are the two I'd say. And then the advice I didn't take, oh my God, there's so many times when people like, Hey, blah, blah, blah.
You should check out this like earliest stage exec job at this little startup.
And it turns out to be like LinkedIn. I'm like, ah, I'm not interested in that.
So like, yeah, I'm going to want to do that. I've missed a lot of those. I'm sure you, you've seen some of those too.
I've seen a few of those, but I, I, I think that like all those things sort of get you on your path.
And that's exactly right now.
I feel the same way. I feel the exact same way. And, and like, you know, before we started, we were talking about, and we're, we're, we're going to run out of time in one minute.
So maybe final question, let me look to see if yeah, I get to make the last question.
Final question. So as you're thinking about you know, what you're building a business in a time that is unprecedented, how do you keep yourself sort of challenging the right things?
You referenced beginner, like beginner's mindset earlier.
How do you challenge the right things, but also maybe not reinvent the wheel?
Like what, what's sort of your rubric for that? Yeah, it's really interesting.
Cause I, this is what we were talking about before. One of our values is Shoshin, which means beginner's mind.
So we kind of, that's like always been very foundational in Gainsight.
But at the same time, over the years we've reflected and said, yeah, we've tried to reinvent some things that didn't have to be that different.
And I think that there's probably a framework of saying that is this reinvention going to be transformative for us or not?
That is sage wisdom.
It's a great place for us to, to wrap this up. Nick, you have been a, it's been a real breath of fresh air, you know, not, not just staring at my wall staring at your Steelers, your Steelers sign and, and the, the book.
Congratulations on all the success.
Thanks for being a great partner to me and to us. And thanks for joining us today on Cloudflare TV.
Chris, awesome. Awesome being here.
Thanks so much.