Originally aired on December 15, 2020 @ 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT
Join Amy as she provides you with a sneak peek into how the Cloudflare Team has been doing with the transition from daily office life to working from home. How is the team adapting to the shift? What do they miss and not miss about office life? What snacks are they eating? How has it been sharing a workspace with family or housemates? Tune in to find out!
This week's guest: Jayson Nolad
Okay, good morning. Welcome to my show Home Office TV. I'm Amy Bebeau and today we have the great pleasure of featuring Jason Nolan. Jason, welcome to my show. Hi, Amy. Thanks for hosting me. Thanks for being here. How are you doing, this is my first big question, like, how's it going for you. It's, I mean, it's a little bit of Groundhog's Day, you know, one day kind of blends into the other. And you have to remind yourself to go outside and get some fresh air every once in a while, but It's, you know, I miss, I miss some of the variety of traveling and going into the office, but it's, you know, I'm not going to complain, you know, things have, you know, we're healthy and everybody's, you know, I think we're psychologically sound as a family, you know, right now. So we're doing fine. Well, that's good. That's good. I, um, I agree that we have to remind ourselves to go outside. Like, do you have days past where you don't go outside at all. I probably do. I mean, we kind of, I have two young boys 12 and 14 and we set up like a little workout thing in the backyard. So that's if I get outside or if I don't get outside much that's that's our, that's our Little thing that we try to do at the end of the day, even, even in the dark and a floodlight now with the time change. So it's, it's something right and you get a little exercise and wrestling around with the kids. And so that's, that's nice. But yeah, I mean, I, this is my, this is my office and you know the kitchens 20 feet down the hall. And so I don't know it's it's it's so much different. You know, there's, there are some pluses to it right from a commute perspective, but yeah, it can be a little boring. Right. What was your journey like when you were commuting to the office. Yeah, so, um, you know, I've lived all over the Bay Area actually and commuted by car and by far, and this one is by boat, which is actually A pretty nice commute right it's about a half an hour boat ride from Larkspur to the city and I live You know, a couple miles from the ferry terminal here and in the city. It's about a mile to the office. So you had to figure out how to close that last mile gap right on both sides, but the 30 minute ferry ride is is Is a pretty nice relaxing way to commute. Honestly, yes. So, you know, door to door. It's, it's an hour, a little over an hour. So, you know, that's, that's something right How, what was your journey from your house to the ferry. Was that like a parking like you have parking because it's like, you know, then that's like another expensive to pay for parking by the ferry. Guys. Yeah, yeah, I did it all I I bike on both sides. I mostly drove to the fair here because it's it's a little too far to walk, but I've done that too. So I don't know I experimented with everything to share bikes in the city. A friend of mine at Google was doing a skateboard. I tried that and just not a good skateboard or that that lasted like two days, basically. So all all sorts of different, you know, attempts at trying, trying things out, but the the being able to bike on both sides of it was actually my favorite but your bike gets pretty beaten up on the boat. I would say that's the only that's the only downside. And I'm thinking about it. Now I moved to I moved to Lafayette. I, I was I'm when the pandemic hit. I was in a studio in the city that was close to the office, you know, It was pretty gross like you just go outside. There's nothing. There's nothing out there for you. You know, there's nothing. There's no, there's no motivation to go to outside and like and like be outside now. And my space is like there's motivation. There's a giant hill literally across the street. And if I want to just get a tiny bit of exercise. All I have to do is just go walk up that hill, you know, it's like a serious hill, you know, And it's pretty and then I get to see the sky. And then I'm like, oh yeah, I don't have to be like, but I have to still remind myself like get in the habit go outside like Amy, you have a yard. Now you can sit in your backyard. I think You know, keeping that mental health balance is easier when you can go outside. So speaking of working from home. How do you start and end your day now because like you used to have a commute. And now, you know, 20 feet from the kitchen to your office, not as much of a commute. But how do you know when it's time to like start and but when it's time to be done. You know, it's funny because of my job. I keep a really close eye on our stock and the market opens at 630 so that's that's kind of my wake up call is to check You know, this sounds a little, a little dorky, maybe, but to check the stock to check news to see what's moving. So from 630 to seven pretty much every day. That's What I'm doing just checking to see if there's any research written about us or one of our peers and what the volumes like and if the stocks moving in a funny way. And so It gets me up and going for sure. And some days, it's more exciting than others, you know, If something's going on. But after that, it's, you know, breakfast with the family and then, you know, I'll come back into the office that I don't know, eight or 830 to start my day. And so that's the consistency is nice. I've got a buddy that lives here and we decided to pot up and cycle together. So every once in a while, we're doing a bike ride before work, but it's, it's, it's hard when it's dark and cold and say that, you know, so it's not not as frequent as it should be. So yeah, you are the head of investor relations at Klaffler Title. So, and you helped us IPO. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I helped us IPO and I work for our CFO and help with different things around the company and talk to investors. So I'm talking to our Institutional investors, you know, mutual funds and hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds all the time and every day. And they all have, you know, questions about product or competitors or financials and it's, it's, it's a really neat job. Honestly, it's super fun. It's super engaging. They're really smart. I just did a One hour zoom call with an investor in Edinburgh and she had done a ton of work and had a bunch of great questions and you know it's I, it's, I struggled a little bit with the Scottish accent right up front, you know, but once you get once you get going, you're, you know, it's good. But yeah, it's a, it's a, it's a really neat position. And before the current situation. Did you used to travel a lot like was that a like fair part of Jason's Like, yeah, yeah, you know, in my old job I traveled a lot and in Klaffler I traveled You know, two or three times a quarter to an investor conference or something like that. And so, you know, I've been A one K on United for 10 years you know 100,000 miles a year plus and I haven't been on the plane since March, but we flew home from New York and That was the day that it kind of all hit with March, March 12 or March 13 And so that's that's probably like personally, one of the biggest changes is not just not traveling at all. And I, you know, I miss it. I really do. I don't, I don't want to travel every week or every other week, but You know, once, once every month or two to go to New York and to meet with people in person in three dimensions have dinner, you know, have a have a conversation. At the beginning or end of the meeting that's not about the meeting, you know, that's really engaging and I definitely miss that component of the job. So how has the transition been, I mean, because obviously it's been a global transition. So it's not, you know, it's not like our company just like, yeah, you know, we don't want to meet you guys in person anymore. And so, you know, you're losing those organic connections, those, you know, those like plate ways where you might bond with someone like you said over before after dinner. How is it translating, you know, to screen life. Yeah, you, it does. You know, you said that conferences are all virtual now so they're, you know, they're, they're through zoom and just like this. And sometimes it's a one on one with an investor. That's a little more engaging and small talk and and other times it's like five or 10 investors and the more the more people on the zoom, the harder it is to have small talk with an investor about Their shelter in place experience or Or just their job and important other other companies they own or whatever. So, you know, it's a you don't get to know people quite as well. You know, fortunately, we, we met with a lot of these investors pre IPO and then on the IPO register. So we know our investors pretty well. We know them. We have an in person relationship with them. I think it would be harder if if you didn't have that. But yeah, there's, there's, there's a some level of Serendipity that's lost when when things are on a, you know, on screen like this, right. Totally. And then also your, your family has children. So then they have to do their life schoolwork from home to our right Marines, not in the office in the schools. Right. So what what our eighth grader is is in school as of as recently, and he actually likes it. You know, they're, they're, they're, they're in little pods and they're masked up, but he really enjoys Getting out of the house. He told me he's a little tired of his family, you know, very kids, kids are honest, you know, very honest and so he's he's in school five days a week now from about 715 to 415 so Yeah, so that's good. And the, the seventh grader is is is at home and the school. He's at didn't Didn't set this up quite as well, you know, really, but he he's, you know, he's got a little part of his buddies that he hangs out with and they play these collaboration video games and He seems okay, you know, I, you know, I'm sure there's some deep down, you know, you know, yearning for social, you know, activities with their peer group. They don't get as much as they want, but it's a it's not been bad. That's good. And then have you created a little zoom loop of you looking thoughtful, you know what I mean that you know because right like that's a thing now right where you can like loop in like a You know, like you pretending to be engaged, you know, like into like some like long meeting. Oh, you know, it's funny you say that my my one of my kids was telling me that he has classmates that are doing that with their background. That's it. Yeah, I just learned about that. Yeah, I mean, I, I can see kids doing that. But yeah, I mean, Doing that. It's, it's hard enough for an adult to engage in zoom all day, you know, back to back to back to back. Imagine being, you know, 14 years old, like that's So, Do you have back to back meetings almost all day. Oh yeah, today my I'm just absolutely jammed today because the holidays coming up and people want to get meetings. They're pulling meetings forward into this week and my, my week is It's, it's 8am to about, you know, 430 of zooms every day. Wow. You know, it's it. I did investors will mostly be shut down between Christmas and New Year's so that So you'll have some time. Is it, is it in general in the type of role you're in carving out work like balance, you know, can be a challenge anyway. Um, yeah, with the time change because the New York people are, you know, up early our time and want to want to talk early and and they're, you know, they're, they're, they're New Yorkers, they can be a little demanding. So if they want, they want to talk about the company and understand it better and And then you, you end up with There's some Asia things that happen late at night. Right. Right. And we have, you know, one of our top 15 investors now is a big fund in Japan. And so I spoke to them last evening. But yeah, the, the, you know, investors are global and and that does dictate your calendar, a little bit, but especially in the mornings, you know, because so many people are in New York and Boston. Well, I'm super grateful that we were able to like sneak you into my I'm sure when you when you're like, yeah, December 15 that'll be good. And then suddenly like all these like meeting started like Calendar and you're like, oh, and I gotta, I gotta talk to Amy. She's, she's not really investing a lot. But, you know, No, this is good. It's a nice change of pace. Right. Yeah, for me, this is my show where I feel like I have a friend during the week. And then when it's over. I'm sad. Yeah, no, I just, I mean, the, the office and the flowers and going down to Lamberta and getting coffee and all that. Like, I really, I really miss that, you know, I know I miss I miss the flowers. I'm supposed to do. I haven't booked it yet, but I am supposed to do a segment I was requested to do a flower arranging segment for our talent week, which is this week. TV and I haven't, I haven't put on this calendar yet. I think I am going to do it. I might have to see if I can do it in the office on a day where I have to go into sort the mail or something because I don't really have the space here. I used to just love that. Like, you know, you'd come into work. Right. And I because you come in early a lot and I'd be just like All the flowers like all over the all hands. It was really fun. I love it. I love it. You saved me a Valentine's Day. I brought home some flowers and my wife was immediately suspicious that I have flowers and Where did you get these. Why aren't they wraps, you know, a way a store would wrap them like who who like who gave these to you and to give to me like somebody somebody's helping you. I know. Right, right. Jason, take these flowers. They like, I mean, I was, you know, like, like, who are the married folks who needs flowers, you know, Yeah, that was fun. We had a really we and we have we have a great office life. I think we're going to come back. With some really cool stuff. I mean, now we have Caroline quick on our on our places team heading up, you know, and she's You know, we're this week we're going to be getting some information, you know, from, you know, about how we can shift our physical office space to like better reflect what's happening, you know, in the current times and You know, I think our office spaces are just going to continue to get cooler, even though we're going through, you know, this transition now like You will come back to the office and it still is going to be a great place to collaborate and and maybe we're going to appreciate, you know, we're going to appreciate it more. We're going to appreciate the people more so Yeah, no, I mean, hopefully there's there's some there's some positives about this that that hopefully carry forward. I mean, you know, I Having having more meals with your family and and less less commuting and less of an impact on the environment right from cars and just A slightly better quality of life. And when you go to the office, you're going with purpose and you're excited and you're collaborating and you're going into meet with people, not just, you know, Talk on the phone and bang out emails for external partners. So that's, I think there's a lot of things that companies can learn and carry forward from this to Definitely, um, has, have you had any challenges. What's been the most challenging thing for you. Man. You know, ironically, the when we first got started and the kids were on zoom and I was on his in the Internet was You know that that will hashtag Internet rage. I mean, it was when the Internet goes out and the whole family is trying to I mean, it's It's more important than running water. You know, right. So that was there was some initial it challenges for sure. But we've got that and we've got Google Nest now and it's more You know, lined up and and so, but that is, you know, whether it's a Peloton bicycle or video games or zoom. I mean, these are really demanding applications for traditional, you know, home Internet. Gosh, I don't know. I mean, I The, I mean, it's, it's, it's, again, it's, it's mostly just, you know, trying to spice things up and not be boring because we were not really going out to restaurants. Right. And so, you know, we've, we've been watching Gordon Ramsey's cooking show and experimenting with cooking stuff and sometimes that goes well. But most of the times it doesn't, but it's fun. It's fun to try to Cook Parker house rolls or whatever it is you're, you know, you're doing. So the kids are into that and My wife's enjoyed showing the family that it's not easy to cook things I think is where, you know, it's not easy. It's not easy. That's valuable. It's that it takes effort and planning. Yeah skill. It's great things to learn, you know, Is there anything favorite like what is your favorite thing like has there been like a new thing that you learn to cook that you're really excited about. You know what I'm I haven't I attempted Parker house roles and failed miserably. They were literally hockey pucks and I mean a half life of a million years. These things are the last forever. I'm going to take a shot at Yogi from scratch. So it's a You know, we're Midwesterners and it's a potato heavy dish and there's flour and egg and butter, but it's it's like all rested potatoes, which I didn't. I don't think I knew that. But yeah, we're gonna take a shot at it. I think Me and the 12 year old. So, you know, door dash as a backup, you know, if it fails. Right. But we'll see how it turns out. And just to give a general shout out to the potato. I haven't given a shout out to potatoes in general on my show for a while, but I'm from Minnesota. I love a potato. Yeah, anything you can do to a potato. I prefer a regular potato to a sweet potato like to me if someone's like sweet potato fries. I'm like, why There was a regular potato. But yeah, okay. It's, I mean, it's a for a family of four. It's As a side dish. It's basically for russet potatoes are for two people for us to potatoes. But yeah, it's a it looks pretty straightforward. I'm sure there's, you know, they're going to be like like little golf balls. The first time we do it, you know, probably But we'll see how pillow. We are. He is. But yeah, well, that's that that's that's been one of the things we've been attempting as a family actually actually cooking So we're not a paleo house. No, we've experimented with vegetarian vegan and I would say kicking the animal protein habit is really hard. Amy, but we, you know, we're will do a vegan meal or a veg meal. A few days a week, but you know if if I don't know if the choices like some, you know, wonderful, you know, Animal protein dish versus keen Juan kale. It's really, it's, it's hard. Right. I feel your pain on that. It's one of my long term struggles as a human. I always want to give up eating them and the animal friends. They're very delicious. Yeah, I've been kind of holding out. I would like an apology letter from the pigs, you know what I mean, to apologize for being so delicious. Like, yeah, I'm apologizing to you guys for eating you because I shouldn't because you're conscious beings and you're You know, but like, what about a letter to me from you just to say we're sorry for being so delicious. Because I mean it's it's easy, you know, and it is a habit. I think when you say the animal protein habit. That's a good way to phrase it because It really is kind of a habit and our culture very much is, you know, is into it. It's kind of like an easy quick fix and they figured out, you know, these, you know, crazy. You know, condensed ways to raise the animal friends together. It's not so healthy, but so, but it becomes kind of like like it's cheap. You know, or easy, but it's it's tricky to extract, but it's good. I think, you know, anytime we can substitute it out and eat that quinoa and kale. I have a really good vegan soup recipe. I can share with you is so Really, we did stuffed peppers. We my wife made some peppers with beyond me last night. And it was, it was great. I wouldn't have known that it wasn't hamburger, you know, Right. Oh yeah, it was, it was really good. So yeah, you know, we've we have a nice vegetable garden in the back and we used to have chickens. We lost our chickens to the smoke. Crazy enough, but yeah yeah this this smoke. I guess they just chickens. We've they they don't have a lot of immunity to To the outside world right there. They don't they don't tend to live their full 10 year lifespans. But yeah, we lost a couple to The smoke. They just their lungs couldn't take it. But yeah, no, but so yeah giving up like fresh eggs. I can't do that. When we, you know, being in California, you're in Marin, like there's so many like farmers markets or places where we can buy You know, more, more conscious animal protein, you know, like we're in a great spot in California like that that movement of, you know, having healthier organic more humane food kind of, you know, comes from from around here. So it's nice to have those options. What are you optimistic about for the for the future. Do you see optimism in 2021 Oh, for sure. I mean, I do I Think the second half of next year could be crazy right from a from an economy perspective low rates and pent up demands from a from a society perspective, once, once the vaccine is is more Pervasive and I mean I was just talking to a friend about how it could be like, you know, 1929 you know the gay 20s all over again where people feel Free and the economy is better and maybe hopefully less political tension and just, you know, there's a chance that the second half of next year and 2022 are are are wonderful years. And so, you know, could, could things go wrong and all that, you know, for sure. I, you know, I tend to take the positive side of things, but I think the setup looks looks pretty good. Honestly, I really do. Awesome. And then, you know, as our head of investor relations. Have you been excited about like how the Cloudflare stock has been, or can we say that I mean excited and a little nervous, you know, there's, there's, there's, it's been, it's been incredible. Right. And so the stock markets up About 14% year to date and our stock is a 380% year to date. So, you know, invest investors believe in the company and and the future potential of the company and and now we have to go execute against That that vision right but people people believe in us and there's there's a couple dozen others that have really high multiples and a lot of runway and a lot of addressable market, but we're We're right up there at the top of firms that investors think have a huge potential to change things. And so that's It's incredibly exciting, you know, and and I feel a little butterfly in my stomach about, you know, the, the, the expectations that people have for the company. Right, right. Yeah, we have to, like you said execute and I have a lot of faith in our, you know, in our, in our teams that are in our senior leadership, like I think our CFO is amazing. You know, we, we have really good people. So, and we have really good teams all around the world. So hopefully you know the butterflies will You know, I mean, but, you know, it's always kind of like that. There's always going to be like, you know, things that were like, you know, can make us a little nervous. But yeah, I have been doing a great job. I've been excited. When I look at it. I'm like, oh, Yeah, yeah, it's, it's all things that that we're going to happen. They've just been accelerated by 2020 and coven really so I guess it's just, it's, it's a, it's a, you know, faster pace of what we were we were seeing before And, you know, it's, it's a, it's a better less impactful less arduous way to deliver it services to so I think You know, companies of all sizes are headed down this path. Now it's it's cloud only and cloud flirt first for our, our customers, no matter what vertical or geography here and that it definitely makes the world more more connected and there's there's goodness that comes from that. Yeah, I think like the interconnectedness of everyone. I think like one of the things that pandemic, I think, has brought to the forefront for a lot of people is Is just you, we can't deny our interconnectedness with, you know, we're, we're, we're globally interconnected, you know, via travel, but we're all, you know, interconnected as humans going through this Kind of same, you know, portal where we're all, you know, dealing with this, this, this one very specific challenge. And I think that kind of highlights How we're interconnected as a species and hopefully people are starting to feel more interconnected You know, to the world at large to the planet. I'm a firm believer that we're Really part of this planet like everything we have comes from it. Everything we eat everything we use. It's all a gift, you know what I mean, from this big You know, giant round where we're around earth believers on Cloudflare to be to, you know, like ball. We're just Spinning through, you know, space time, you know, and we're all connected and and hopefully again like We can have less political divisiveness in the years ahead. We can have more interconnectedness more compassion. You know, for each other. I think, you know, maybe like more compassion is having to be raised up. Now we're having to see suffering and hopefully that's You know, people are are succumbing to this horrible pandemic, you know, hopefully that is inciting inside people and igniting like more of a love and compassion and an appreciation, you know, for each other for the planet for our lives, you know, Yeah, yeah, it's, I see you've taken a positive and optimistic outlook. Also, Amy, so I'm trying, you know, I believe in love, you know, I'm a, I'm a hippie from way back, you know, So like I I ended up working at Cloudflare in a very kind of like magical convoluted way like I this is my first corporate job really Is it really Yeah, I went to Cloudflare for a while. Right. I've been there for two years. Two years. Okay. I think I started a little bit before you. Did you start in 2018 Yeah, the summer of 2018 We're wrapping up. Oh, no, we have a minute. I'm looking at the timer. So I just got so engaged. You know, it's about your background and trip to Brazil. This is from Brazil. So this background is, um, it's a very specific place. It's my friend's retreat center in outside of Rio de Janeiro. And the statue over here is is Shango, who is one of the Orixás. So he is a deity or, yeah, like, I guess a deity is the right way to say it. So, um, yeah, he's full power. So yeah, these are these big giant plants and these cute little tiny frogs live on them. And I always just want to be in Brazil. That's why I didn't have a real job for so long, but Brazil Brazilians are some of the happiest people in the world. Right. Yeah, one shout out to Brazil. And just to say thank you. We're wrapping up. And thank you so much, Jason. It was really great to be able to spend the time together. I got a brigade. Oh, Amy. Thank you. You know, bye.