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This week's guest: Ratnesh Shah, Head of Marketing, EMEA at Cloudflare.
Welcome to Marketing Matters. This is the show where I get to interview some of the brightest minds in marketing.
And on today's show, I'll be interviewing Ratnesh.
How do you pronounce your last name? Is that Shah? Shah. Yeah, that's correct.
I can't believe I don't know that. Ratnesh is the head of EMEA, Demand Generation for Cloudflare.
He's been with us for a little over three years. And before that, he actually headed up European marketing for a few other companies, Arkaden, Xaris, and Get Me In.
I thought that one was pretty interesting. You have to tell me a little bit about that one.
I've had the pleasure of working with Ratnesh for the last two years as we've been rapidly growing the European region.
It's just been a pleasure. So I asked him to join me on the show today. So welcome Ratnesh.
It's great to have you on the show. Great. Thanks. Thanks for having me.
I'm excited to be here. That's awesome. Hey, you know, I have a lot of fun, you know, Dave originally started this and he had a question that I just loved.
So I kept it the whole time, which is, you know, every comic book hero or every villain, every character has a, has a great, you know, backstory.
Always make sure you build your backstory.
And so I think it's always interesting to start there and talk about like, what is your backstory?
How did you get started in marketing and what drew you to where you are?
Yeah. So it was a long time ago, but coming out of university, I did quite a kind of blanket degree, a business degree, business studies, covered a number of kind of areas, including marketing.
And I kind of left uni and then it had quite a wide scope.
So I was looking around kind of jobs and the key area for me was I was quite interested in digital.
And at that time, the Internet was kind of growing.
A lot more companies were having a bit more of an online presence.
So really I wanted to go into a digital arena. I thought that, you know, this is what's going to be long-term.
I want to kind of get into that.
I'm the most interested of that. So that's really what I did. And then I got my first role.
I eventually got a role as a marketing exec, which they called then as an interactive department, which was basically the online side of the, of a business called a book club associates.
So it was part of a German company Bertelsmann.
And essentially what they were doing was sending subscriptions of books, different book clubs.
And I was doing kind of online acquisition. And that's really where I got into learning about kind of email marketing, display advertising, affiliate marketing.
And really that's where I kind of got grounded into really being in the weeds.
Yeah. You know, it's, it's funny in the U S here, we had a, I think it was Columbia house would have, you know, your, your $1 CDs.
You could join their club and every month they'd send you a, send you a bunch of CDs and you can keep them or not and return them.
Of course, nobody ever returned them.
So of course the, the, the, from their side, the breakage was really high and it made a lot of sense.
But nowadays, if you think about that with streaming music services and everybody reading books, you know, online it's interesting how just a few years ago, like these things were much more pervasive than they are today.
You know, we, we got, I remember I, I started my career with desktop publishing and, you know, I mean, I think it still exists, but I don't remember the last time I heard anybody talk about desktop publishing.
Like that's, that's something that's just completely gone at this point.
But anyways, that's kind of, that's kind of fun.
And so what about, what about this other role?
Like I what was it? Get me in. What was that? That was, that sounds like a pretty interesting role.
Yeah, that was, that was a really exciting role and a big change for me in my career because I was working in marketing, but it was the first startup I got a job in.
So it was a startup. These guys from the U S came over, they kind of pitched the idea to me.
They were looking for someone to come in and lead the acquisition marketing.
I've been, I'd had a few years experience doing email.
And as I said, affiliates, PPC, a little bit of SEO kind of stuff. And really they wanted someone to come pick it up.
But essentially what they were doing was they set up a platform, which was very well SEO for the secondary ticket market.
So, which was really blowing up in the U S with the likes of StubHub at that time.
And really they wanted to come over and create, be the leaders in Europe to in that, in that sector.
So essentially what we were doing was we'd really do a lot of work on SEO, but essentially we were just driving ticket sales every week.
And every Friday we'd have an on sale and essentially we'd be all buying tickets from the primary market, putting on secondary and allowing the prices to go up.
So if you had the tickets for the front row of, I don't know, Beyonce at the time, you know, these tickets would go for a thousand pounds depending on the demand.
So it was a whole demand and sell platform, but it was the first time I got into a startup really, really loved the energy, loved the nimbleness of how we could come up with ideas on Monday and we'd be launching them on Friday or Wednesday, you know, just having that speed to market the creativity.
And then also just to kind of adrenaline of seeing the business run and grow to, to get to a state where we could get you know, acquired, which was the main goal.
So I think I joined and I was kind of employee number 15 and after a few years I think when we were about 60 or 70 employees in we eventually got acquired by, we were the market leaders at the time and we got acquired by the Ticketmaster Live Nation at the time.
And then we became part of them because they kind of lost out in the U S I think to StubHub in the secondary market and really didn't want to do the same in EMEA.
So yeah, it was an awesome place to work and learn loads of stuff aggressive negotiation, guerrilla marketing, all that kind of stuff.
But really, really amazing place to learn.
That's really cool. Yeah. That, that market, I mean, up and through before COVID was just completely blowing up.
I, I tend to as many as I can, the sharks games here locally, the hockey games, and that secondary market is where I've gotten most of my tickets.
It's, it's, it's a pretty cool thing.
And the ones that make it really easy to, to, to buy from, even if they aren't always the best price or the ones you tend to go to, you know, it's because some of them are just so cumbersome.
No, it was exactly that. I mean, it was amazing.
It was really opened my eyes. I mean, we'd have at the beginning, in the early days, we'd all be buying, we'd all be buying and selling ourselves as well, just to ensure that we had stock as well.
Right. So we've been picking tickets up for like 25, 50 pounds.
And if you could nail some really strong tickets or it was an event where it's only a couple of days, a small venue where it's really sought after, we could sell these five X, 10 X more.
Right. So it was a, it was a big adrenaline rush.
It was almost like trading, right? Yeah. It's how you supplemented your, your salary, I guess.
It's exactly how it was. Now, along the way you started your own business, right.
You know, something like you know, formal wear rent rentals for formal wear.
Is that what it is? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So it was a time when I was, I was getting married.
I can't remember what kind of mid twenties or something.
And it was quite early, I suppose, but mid twenties getting married.
And we were doing, we were getting suits, rental suits for me and my groomsmen.
And we just, we went to a few places and we were just like, these guys are charging so much for these suits that we're going to use for a few hours.
Right. So we kind of looked into it in the UK.
And then after the wedding, me and my cousin, we were thinking about it and we eventually found the suppliers.
And then we thought, you know, when you do an Indian wedding, even when I got married, you wear a kind of an Indian Shawani and you're paying like four or 500 pounds and you're never wearing it again.
One day event, you know, like a, a wedding dress, I suppose, you know, you buy it and then you're never wearing it again, but it's a big investment.
We thought we should just hire these out. Right. And hire these out for other people that are going to events, these type of events.
So eventually we set up this business, we found suppliers.
We had some suppliers from India who were sending us loads of clothes and stuff.
And we had a little showroom in North London. And basically we kind of were the first people to do Shawani hire in the UK.
And we, we really took it and really quite blew up quite quickly.
As soon as we started doing some digital marketing, like PPC, SEO ourselves up, got a lot of activity.
And then we were doing also doing the formal wear. So we used to do stuff like Ascot and things like that, where people would come in and rent tails for us.
But we had, it was quite good, but we had some good stories. I mean, we had some famous people come in and, you know, it was quite interesting.
So what happened to it?
So we did it for two years and we kind of had a, didn't know where we were. So I was still working as well.
So it was like working there in the evenings and the weekends.
And really I had to make a decision whether I full-time dedicate myself to the business or I carry on with my career.
And really I think I kind of carried on my career because the business, I wanted to take it fully online.
I didn't really want to do all the weekends works and having to, you know, using being more hands-on, I wanted it all to be fully digital and really we didn't take it that way, but I ultimately sold my shares in it and then concentrated on trying to blow up as a marketeer.
That's awesome. So, so in, if I'm not mistaken, some of the Indian weddings actually go on for days, right?
It's not like just a one-day event. So were you, were you having to print out, you know, basically multiple outfits for the groomsmen?
Yeah, absolutely. Some weddings, because they basically, they have an Indian wedding.
So they'll take some Indian outfits for the different types of events.
And then they also would have like a formal side of it where they want to wear the tails.
So we used to just ship it all out and do them deals. And sometimes it was like guys brought a groomsman that would come, we'd be measuring them all up.
So it was, it was quite, I mean, we had a good little thing going.
It was just too much hands -on, right.
And I come from a digital background. I wanted it to be fully self -sufficient and didn't really want to do the hands-on in it.
So that's the big difference.
That's really cool. So, so one of my best friends is, is Indian, he's Punjabi.
And I, when he was in his, his twenties, we were friends at the time. And he's like, you know, I've been going through this thing where my parents are trying to find me you know, somebody to marry.
And he's like, I don't like this process.
So it was, it was 99% him. I helped him just a little bit, but he ended up creating an Indian matchmaker site.
Just to try and make the whole process a little bit less painful.
It was, it was pretty cool. So that's where I learned the most, that I know about Indian weddings was, was from going through that experience with him and kind of listening to it.
Yeah. It's big business. It's big business.
Anything you do with weddings, big business. A hundred percent, a hundred percent.
Every, every, every, no matter where you are, what culture, it's always a big deal.
You know, people will spend as much on a wedding as a house. I mean, it's ridiculous.
Yeah. No, it is mental. I mean, I mean, if you can get a business that works in the wedding market, it's pretty good.
And I know a lot of them have suffered over the last year or so, but yeah, it's big business.
Everything's minimum, you know, $2,000 or 2000 pounds.
Yeah. Well, we, we had somebody on our joint team that got married this summer and or I guess it wasn't the summer, I guess it was in the fall.
And it was, it was interesting because it had to be online.
So there was like a contingent of people, like a half a dozen or a dozen people that were actually at the event.
And then the rest of us were all online watching it, which was kind of an interesting kind of, you know, experience, you know, you know sending in the messages and, you know, trying to, you know, hoot and holler and that sort of thing.
It was, it was, it was, it was cool. I like, actually we had two people on our team that got married, right.
And another one. So it's just been really cool and heartwarming to see how people kind of adapted to that.
But to your point, I still don't think it was cheap. I still think it was probably a huge ordeal.
But it is what it is. That's cool. Hey, so talk to me a little bit about this.
So, you know we work together, so we've gone through this together, but man COVID has had an impact on marketing and it's been interesting because in my role, I've been able to see the impact on AIPAC in Europe and also on America's.
And so I have one perspective, but it'd be interesting to hear your perspective and how, you know, compare and contrast what's happened in Europe and how you've responded to that.
Yeah. So I think, I think we, we had, we had two, two strong signals that, you know, we, we, first of all, we kicked off the year really strong.
We had strong plans and we do a lot of physical events like, you know, you know, 25, 30 a quarter across the region.
So we really had strong plans, but really the signals started coming quite early on.
And two key areas where we got signals from was one was we're really close team with AIPAC and Neymar, you know, so knowing what was happening in AIPAC and understanding that, you know, it's going to follow suit.
Things were rapidly going across the regions, you know, globally, it was, that was a big, strong indication for us.
And also the fact that events were getting canceled or the last couple of events, you know, we went to, there was just no one there, right.
It was very low attendance and we could really tell.
So for us, really, it was just taking that and then really being able to pivot very quickly.
So really looking at how, how can we, you know, take them dollars, negotiate with the vendors.
We have good relationship with the vendors and look at where else we could take the money, take that money, you know, that budget where we have.
And really what it was, was moving very quickly to digital.
There wasn't a huge amount of people doing a lot of virtual events.
There was a few that we, we had good relationships with that we could invest in very quickly, but it really was for us.
And which is really key to, you know, everything that we do quarter on quarter is to look at new solutions regularly and test them out and build new relationships with vendors and see how that, you know, really works for us in terms of our KPIs.
So that was, that was really important.
So we were good at that and we moved very quickly and we found new vendors.
And now then we had after three, six months of the COVID situation, we had vendors that we were working with who really then had to think how they could change their business to provide virtual solutions for us.
And then we had that as well.
So we very moved very quickly. And also we put more budget into like, you know, social and other channels like that.
Yeah. I know in some, in some places, the, um, the move to online events was actually a little bit cumbersome for a couple of reasons.
One, uh, because everybody else did it at the same time, but two, because the vendors hadn't quite figured out how to do it well.
Were you seeing that as well?
Yeah, absolutely. We had a couple of vendors where we tried to position to them saying, Hey, we need to do this virtually.
Let's do this online. How do we do it? Especially on the more kind of intimate events that we do, which is a little bit, you know, higher up in the market and they couldn't do anything, you know, and it took them a while to adjust, you know, whether they were confident that things wouldn't be as impacted as much as they did.
Um, so really, uh, absolutely. We definitely saw that with some vendors, but now, you know, I think it's changed.
And a lot of the vendors, we had good relationships with, but as I said, they came up with solutions that we could take on board.
Yeah. You know, it's, it is kind of ironic.
I remember in the very early days we, I won't say which analyst firm it was, but we, you know, we did an event with one of the analyst firms and it was not good.
It was, you know, the interaction wasn't there. Like it was, it was basically, it basically was a webinar.
There was no interactivity. It was just very much a projection.
Um, but then, uh, you know, we, we did a, and I'll use the name, but we did a data connectors event and data connectors as a company that had been doing it for years.
And they were never very big because, you know, people didn't really believe in the online thing, but it was amazing doing an event with them because they had been doing it long enough.
They'd figured out all the ways of getting people to interact and, you know, matchmaking between the prospects and the companies that were coming in.
Um, but, but to your point, you know, a lot of the other companies have caught up now.
I, we did just do a very, and again, I'll leave the name out, but we just did a very large scale event with somebody.
And I have to say I'm disappointed in the results.
It was, it was another one of those ones where, you know, it ended up almost being, um, you know, a broadcast forum.
And, you know, it's one that, you know, traditionally we see a ton of leads from, and we got the leads.
It just didn't, didn't, you know, matriculate into something, you know, with a lot of value to it yet.
And so it is interesting. I think, I think people are going to keep getting better at it.
The longer we go through this.
Um, but it's, uh, I think it's, it's definitely been some growing pains.
Do you think there's been anything different that Europe's experienced versus the other regions?
Like, you know, something specific to, uh, how, you know, COVID has affected the marketing in Europe?
No, not really. I think, I think, you know, as I said, just being able to move quickly, I think definitely the only difference is when it kind of hit, right.
That's the, I think that was the main thing of the stage in that we could, we could see with, as I said, with the AIPAC colleagues, it was coming very early on.
So we knew it was coming, which gave us time to prepare, I suppose, and get our feet, you know, on the ground and get, get moving, uh, which was the main thing.
But the other thing, there was a worry that we didn't think we'd get, you know, engagement.
And, uh, would we get the levels that we see at physical events?
We probably don't get the levels we see at physical events, but what we do see is that people were a lot more available.
Uh, and then gradually it's become the norm and we're getting good numbers into these, uh, events and virtual events.
And people are still sourcing for information and people who are working at organizations, which are still trying to adapt or looking for solutions are still finding ways of getting that information.
And for us, it's actually, as we said, we moved very quickly and then we've seen that actually grow.
And it's been a, it's been a really strong platform for us to allow us to continue, uh, you know, continue the growth that we've seen.
That's really cool.
Now we were talking offline and, uh, somehow I didn't know this, but you have, you have a lot of passion for music and, uh, you've, you've gone to quite a few concerts and you've, you've literally traveled to get to some of these, uh, you know, other countries and such.
Talk to me a little bit about that. How did, how did that get started and what pulled you in?
Yeah, no, I've always loved, uh, live music.
I suppose when I was younger, it was a bit more concerts, but also festivals being really just like the vibe at festivals and, uh, seeing live music, live DJs, anything live really.
Um, but, uh, then working for Get Me In and the opportunity of accessing tickets very quickly.
So being able to take that and then going to see some of, uh, you know, the people I've always wanted to see, um, uh, and then, uh, really, really, and seeing them at a really good level, you know, really being really bright at the front or, uh, in a good position to really soak in the atmosphere or soak in their music.
So, yeah, that, that, that's how I've kind of really tackled it.
But, uh, any opportunity I get, you know, I try and go to live music, not so much now, but, um, I still like to see if I can get a concert at least one or two in the summer.
Um, obviously not last year, but, uh, when it comes back, but you know, my favorite bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, I've seen them a number of times and the first time I saw them was when I was traveling.
I took a year out to travel and I was in Thailand and, uh, they were playing in Bangkok and I only found out on that day, uh, and, uh, kind of raced to get tickets and then saw them in Bangkok.
And then since then I've seen them a few more times in the UK, but, uh, I've kind of just tried to add all cool artists that I've really followed and listened to a lot.
Yeah, that's cool.
That's really cool. Yeah. I, uh, I I'm pretty sure that the Columbia house one, $1, one cent, uh, music is, is the reason I got an object.
Um, I, I, I do.
I, I, as you can see, I've got albums up on the wall here in the room.
Um, I have a huge passion for music and I always have. Um, I, uh, I love going to concerts.
I haven't got to nearly as many as I wanted, but, uh, one of the places that I've been, um, especially, uh, spoiled by is we had Lollapalooza, uh, come through starting, you know, in the, in the nineties, I think 91, 92 was the first year.
And, uh, I think I went to the first six or seven of them and, you know, multiply that by the 13 or 14 bands that you have at each of them.
And I'm spoiled. I, I, and I got to see a lot of amazing, amazing artists perform.
Uh, and I, and I absolutely love it.
Um, but you know, I, I, I was reading through your notes and one of the ones I thought was really cool is that your, what your first concert was, what was that?
It was, I was very young, but, uh, Michael Jackson, Dangerous Tour, uh, at Wembley stadium.
And that was incredible. Yeah. So, uh, so here's the commonality.
So, uh, when I got into music, there was a, there was a store, it was called the warehouse and that's where you go buy all your music.
Um, and, uh, my first album that I ever bought was Michael Jackson's Thriller.
That was the first piece of music I actually bought.
So, you know, we, I guess we both started in the same place and I've, I've seen, I've seen several of these bands that you're talking about as well.
Um, you know, I remember seeing the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Lollapalooza.
That was really cool. Uh, I've seen Ice Cube, Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, I've seen a bunch of these.
Um, then there, there was, I was bummed because last year, um, there was a bunch of just amazing bands coming through the Bay area.
And, um, you know, I, I was already on the lookout for some of the tickets.
And, uh, all the shows got postponed or canceled and it was, it was terrible.
Fortunately, uh, the previous year we had a few come through that I had, I'd always wanted to see, uh, Duran Duran, if you remember them.
Yeah. They came to, uh, one of the smaller, um, venues here, tickets were ridiculous, but you know, it was, it was worth it because I'd always wanted to see them.
Uh, and then I think the other one was Tool.
I saw Tool when they came through town. Um, that was, that was, you know, more of my high school, you know, you know, aggressive music phase.
Well, one of the best artists I saw was, uh, I saw Prince at a festival and he played nearly a three hour set.
And it was incredible. I mean, I think people forget that he not only does he write great music, but he's a great musician and, uh, you know, just picking up instruments and playing them.
And the whole set was just amazing.
I think that was definitely, I felt coming out of that one, it was like once in a lifetime experience of seeing him because he was absolutely incredible.
That's really cool.
Yeah. So who are you going to go see when the, when this COVID thing's over and you can go again?
Yeah. I mean, I would love to see Daft Punk, which is one, just for their experience, but actually they just announced that they're going to split.
So I'm hoping that it's going to be one of those where they're just creating a little noise and then they're going to be like, Hey, we're going to do one time big gig all over global tour.
Um, but, uh, they would be good, but any new artists, um, really, uh, there's a couple I'm following at the moment, which I'd love to see live, uh, Umi's one, she's, she's great.
I've listened to a lot of that stuff.
So I think someone new, but yeah, just any sort of live music and being out there and listening to it, soak up the atmosphere.
I feel like it's an incredible part of my, you know, youth for growing up and stuff and whether people will be able to experience it again, because, you know, having a hundred thousand people, you know, 20,000 people in a stadium again, you know, you know, that that's one of the things I think is interesting is, you know, as we're going to come out of COVID, um, what's going to stick, right.
Like, cause cause we've made a lot of changes, you know, like virtual events, our virtual events going to stay around or at a higher level like they are now, do we go back to the in-person ones?
Do we, do we watch more movies at home?
Or do we actually go to the theater? Um, you know, do you have any, have any predictions, particularly on the marketing side of what's going to happen?
So, so I think that the virtual events will stick. I think people like it.
I think one thing is that people have become accessible. It's very easy.
It doesn't take a lot of time. So I'm hoping that will stick, but I also believe that physical events will come back.
I think in some markets people have been missing that human interaction, that contact.
Uh, so, uh, I'm hoping that virtual events will now has got a line above where it was before.
And, you know, it'd be a good channel for us.
Um, but also I do believe physical events are back because I think, you know, especially some European markets, physical contact and having that physical interaction is really important.
So I think it's going to be a blended, but I definitely think virtual events are here to stay as well.
Yeah, I absolutely agree with that.
I think that, um, you know, we're as human beings, we're social creatures and we want to interact with people and, you know, going to listening to music at home is one experience and it's a great experience.
Listening to music live is a completely different experience and it's also amazing.
And so I think, I think people will go back. I, you know, same thing with going to the movies.
I think that, you know, I've got my big TV, I've got my surround sound, but it's not the same as going to a movie theater and, you know, having a couple hundred people laughing or crying and same time you are.
So I do think we're going to revert back to it.
I think one of the things I'm the most excited about is, uh, you know, one of the challenging things has always been getting into the executives and executives, I think are much more willing to do virtual events than they've ever been before.
They'll never attend your webinar. They hardly ever attend your, you know, panel discussion round table.
If it's virtual now they do, you know, particularly if you do like, you know, some of the fun events we've done like chef's dinners and things like that.
I mean, they, they really have enjoyed those and they're open to them now, which I think is, uh, opened up more ways that we can interact with them, which I'm, which I'm pretty excited about.
Yeah. I think internally and externally, I think internally as well, considering we're a global company, we have accessibility of now all of our executives, uh, to be at these events as well.
Um, so I, I think in both internally and externally, definitely people are more accustomed to it.
A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. I, it is going to be interesting.
I don't think it's going to be a quick return though, to the physical stuff.
I think, you know, you're going to have at least half the people who are shy about doing it and for good reason.
And so I think that they're going to, it's going to be that, you know, re-adoption of physical events is going to be slow going, um, at scale.
I think you're half the, like I said, half the people maybe will go, but the other half of the people will, you know, take a year or so just to make sure that everything really is safe.
Yeah, no, totally. So we'll, we'll have to see.
So, you know, uh, one of the things that, uh, you know, you and I both come out of college and with one degree and then kind of got in a different direction, you know, you started business, you ended up, you know, doing what you do in marketing and you had an interesting path along the way.
Um, we've got people coming out of college right now and we, you know, we hire interns pretty regularly.
Um, what advice do you give them on, you know, how to get started in this, uh, in this area and how to path their way through to what they enjoy doing?
Yeah. I mean, I think, I think, um, if you want to, if you want to get in marketing, I think, you know, you've got to have a little passion and you learn that passion by kind of looking at companies and how they're focusing on customers and how they're selling to customers, whether that's B2C or B2B, cause I started in B2C and then kind of moved into B2B.
And I think, I think, you know, reading on that and understanding how, how companies are doing this and also then, you know, stuff like resource centers like HubSpot and, uh, and a lot of content there, great stuff to learn about this customer journey, the sales funnel, all these types of things, understanding that even at very high level and then looking at the different channels.
I mean, I'm a big, strong believer of, you know, a multi-channel approach and taking everything that you have to try and, you know, drive to get your goals.
So learning about them and not really having to be a specialist in them, but to understand how they kind of co-exist together on, on trying to drive acquisition or business for a company, uh, from a marketing standpoint, I think is really interesting.
So my, uh, my, my advice is always to do a lot of reading, everything's online, researching and understanding, getting a passion built up.
And then if you have a passion, then try something yourself, right?
It's very easy these days to set up an e-commerce business or a blog or, you know, something on YouTube or TikTok or whatever you like.
And then, uh, you know, putting it out there and seeing if you can, uh, monetize it or at least to see how these channels work.
Um, so I think this is, this is the best thing is doing a lot of research, reading and building your passion up and understanding.
And then when you go into a role, then you can learn how things really work, right?
The logistics of them and how the processes work and then how doing an activity and then driving all of that into the sales funnel and working with other, uh, you know, departments to get your results.
You will learn that when you go to an organization.
Yeah, that's, that's, that's totally true. And I imagine it's gotta be a weird time to be coming out of college and going into the job market.
I know, uh, I have a son who's, uh, 21, and he's had a hard time finding internships.
You know, it's like, he's been pretty close a couple of times and then the internships canceled because of COVID and you know, that sort of thing.
So yeah, it's, uh, I have empathy for the kids who are graduating these days.
I was going to say, we mentioned earlier that when you're young, you can take knocks, right?
It's fine. You can take notes and you can keep trying and you can test things out.
It's fine. So I think it's, you know, everything builds character.
So it's all good. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. You know, if there's any time to take a challenge, it's definitely when you're first coming out of college, you know, that you have the opportunity to try things.
And if, uh, it doesn't go well, you know, typically you've got a support system, they'll help you out.
And you can definitely recover where, you know, later in your career, you're not going to be as open to taking those risks.
Yeah, no, definitely. I agree. Totally. Well, thank you for having me on the show.
It's been great having you and, uh, look forward to talking to you soon.
Perfect. Thanks a lot, Rick.