What does “risk-taking” really mean in business—and how can embracing some level of chaos help foster success? Paul and Rich make the case for unpredictability, talking about everything from New York City’s Diamond District to the relatively short runway when running an agency to Rich’s management style. (Hint: It involves repeatedly hitting a metaphorical gong.) 

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Bringing More Chaos to the Enterprise

Paul Ford: My name is Paul Ford.

Rich Ziade: And my name is Rich Ziade.

Paul: And we’re the co-founders of Aboard. Aboard is an amazing tool where you can put your data into it, see your data as easy cards, easy, beautiful cards, move those cards around in rows and columns and just make sense of the world.

Rich: I appreciate the emotion you’re putting into talking about rows and columns, Paul.

Paul: I mean, this is my… [laughter] My whole life is getting a little too excited about software. It’s what I am.

Rich: Aboard is very cool. We solve small and big software problems with AI and just a very thoughtfully crafted platform. Amazing team at Aboard—we are hiring for just about everything.

Paul: Check out aboard.com. We’re not going to market too heavily to you. However, this is the Aboard Podcast.

[intro music]

Paul: All right, Rich, you wanted to talk about something?

Rich: I want to ask you a personal question.

Paul: Okay.

Rich: If I had met you at a cocktail party, or at a Fugazi concert.

Paul: Mmm hmm.

Rich: I would say that is not a person that is comfortable with uncertainty.

Paul: Huh! Okay. All right, drill in a little bit. What does that mean?

Rich: [overlapping] Well, I would have said, you know…

Paul: What are the symptoms?

Rich: Someone that’s a little, has a little more—and don’t take this the wrong way. This podcast might end early.

Paul: Oh boy. All right.

Rich: I don’t know. No, someone with a little more bravado, like, kind of a risk-taker type.

Paul: Oh, you identify risk-taking in a completely wrong way. You identify one kind of risk-taking. I’m gonna come right back at you. You identify, like, corporate business, get-in-your-face risk-taker. One: I built a career in the most miserable industry, and I was incredibly successful. I threw myself out there. I lived on air, and I, like, I was a, I won a National Magazine Award by literally just waving my arms and running around in the world.

Rich: I didn’t say I was right in my read of you—

Paul: [overlapping] I’m just telling you, all right, yeah—

Rich: [overlapping] At the cocktail party—

Paul: But I am a quiet—

Rich: I—

Paul: I’m a relatively quiet, reticent human being. That’s true.

Rich: You’re a quiet, reticent human being. But you have been, I’ve been reading, I was reading your words maybe ten years before I actually met you.

Paul: Mmm hmm.

Rich: And even then, you were taking risks. And I do appreciate that.

Paul: All right. Let’s just be mindful.

Rich: Yeah, but!

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: But! Put ten people in a room who know Paul Ford. They’re not thinking, well, he’s going to roll the dice and start an agency.

Paul: Well, there’s—

Rich: They’re not saying that, Paul.

Paul: There’s two things going on. There’s, there’s three, actually. So one is, I always worked in agencies, and I always liked working in them, but when you write and you do weird things in public, and you’re Mr. Technology?

Rich: Uh huh.

Paul: Nobody wants to hear about how you also really like learning about consulting.

Rich: I think this is the unusual thing about you. You wanted to go inside and see.

Paul: Always. So this is a tricky thing for me, and this is, I still wrestle with this in my life. I remember this one moment. I was an undergraduate at a crunchy upstate school, and I was sitting outside the art building, which was called Harder Hall, and I was saying to this young woman who, I don’t remember her name. I was a young man, and I was like, I don’t know. I think I kind of want to go check out what it’s like to work in advertising, because otherwise, how can you even critique it? Like, you gotta experience it. I’d read a book called Ogilvy On Advertising, recommended to me by a communications professor—

Rich: Legendary book.

Paul: Great book, it’s a, if you want to understand some of the DNA, especially of like, Mad Men-era advertising.

Rich: Also, that is one of the icons of advertising.

Paul: Yeah, he was fantastic. David Ogilvy, an amazing ad guy, right?

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And so I’d read this book and I was like, Oh my God, I thought I was gonna go study rhetoric in an academic context.

Rich: Art direction.

Paul: No, but I was like, this is applied rhetoric. Like, these people are convincing people to do things. If I figure that out, I’ll have figured out a million other things.

Rich: You’re curious. You were curious.

Paul: Yeah. Now, what I didn’t want to do, this is what always throws people. I didn’t want to go run an ad agency. I wanted to understand how it operated.

Rich: Mmm.

Paul: I have always been more interested in the processes. And—

Rich: So you didn’t think, I could bring in revenue? Let me go do that.

Paul: I’d never been in an office with, like, walls, right? [laughter] Like, I, like, at that point, my job, my professional career included, like, filling bird feeders and helping at the library.

Rich: Right. So, but you wanted to go in and see.

Paul: I knew that something was up with capitalism, and I didn’t think I was getting the whole story.

Rich: Did you think, let me go see if it’s actually evil?

Paul: Yes.

Rich: Did you ask yourself that?

Paul: Absolutely.

Rich: And what did you—okay, now you’re on the other side. Not only are you on the other side, you sort of took a big bite out of it.

Paul: No one will ever believe me, but I’ll tell you the truth. So first of all, I have a joke, but it’s absolutely true. People are like, capitalism, capitalism, capitalism.

Rich: Okay?

Paul: And I get it. There are absolutely vast critiques, Marxist critiques, all the critiques. David Graeber. We’re sitting here right now in a co-working space immediately above Zuccotti Park where Occupy Wall Street was held.

Rich: That’s right.

Paul: We’re in Wall street.

Rich: In New York City.

Paul: In the absolute thick of all that stuff.

Rich: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: Okay? So—

Rich: The bull. That big bull sculpture.

Paul: It’s right there. Right there. So what did I really think about all that stuff? I don’t know—I wanted to, I just wanted to know how the system worked. Capitalism is just about money, dude. And so everybody is like, good or evil, money is a medium of exchange. It is a medium. It is a way that people sort of tally things?

Rich: Mmm hmmm.

Paul: And then it kind of goes from there. [laughter] Right? But, like, the inherent evil of it is a projection of all sorts of other cultural stuff.

Rich: Mmm.

Paul: And I don’t even want to go into this on the podcast. All I can tell you is that, like, I think that people associate having money and success with a kind of intelligence and power. And if you look at when the rich ones run for office, you see a lot of this.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And some of its luck, some of its energy. Every now and then, someone will just put their shoulder to the grindstone, and they will make an incremental amount of money, and then they’ll go make another incremental amount of money. 20, 30 years later, it’s added up to a lot. The classic CEO is a good model. I went to Stanford—

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: I rose through the ranks over 30 years.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: I am worth $100 million. And you go back and you say, I know where every one of those hundred million came from. This is when I got that bonus. I got the stock—

Rich: They just picked away at it over many years.

Paul: A good example would be Tim Cook, who’s an incredible operational leader, but not seen as a product visionary.

Rich: Not a visionary.

Paul: But given an incredibly large, powerful base from which to build. He knew that his job was to incrementally—

Rich: Increase value.

Paul: Move forward, move forward, get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And he did an extraordinary job. Satya Nadella is another one. Temperament—very smooth temperaments.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: They shouldn’t surprise you. If Tim Cook came out tomorrow wearing, like, a weird hat, the entire market would melt down.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: So he never wears the weird hat.

Rich: I’m glad you took us here.

Paul: Yeah. What point—what’s your point here?

Rich: Well, it’s not a point. It’s a place I wanna get to.

Paul: Okay.

Rich: Which I think you just outlined a very particular kind of very successful capitalist. The executive.

Paul: Yes.

Rich: I mean, by—you went big, but honestly, you could be a marketing executive, a IT executive and make them make millions of dollars.

Paul: Let’s—

Rich: If you’re in the United States, you can do that.

Paul: I have a very good friend who once turned to me. He did very, very well, way before I did, and he’s a brilliant software engineer. And we were talking about, you know, how it had all worked out for him. And he went, “One of the things that was really in my favor is that I happened to be born at the moment of the largest capital expansion in human history—”

Rich: [laughing] Yeah.

Paul: “And I happened to have the exact set of skills and interests that aligned with that.”

Rich: Right. He could have been really good at welding at another good time in history, but he happened to be a thoughtful IT thinker.

Paul: Exactly.

Rich: Technology thinker.

Paul: 200 years earlier? Criminal or stone Mason. Right?

Rich: Like, right, exactly.

Paul: Here it was just off go.

Rich: Yeah, luck.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: You know, people who are proficient at a skill and diligent pick away, and sometimes they go up the chain and they become executives and they make a lot of money.

Paul: They, what do they deliver? They deliver consistency. What else?

Rich: Well, for those people?

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: I mean, they deliver consistency, predictability, a sense of calm. Usually they have big teams below.

Paul: And they define a culture, right?

Rich: They define a culture.

Paul: They say, here’s who—their job is to say, here’s who we are.

Rich: To inspire.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: Inspire. Not inspire in a religious way, but some go there. Like, some are actually, I’ve visited companies where the pass—like, people are very passionate about the place they work at, and they don’t own any of it. Like, it’s wild to see. I kind of admire it. That’s a skill. Those are a set of skills. That’s one way. Then there, we are, you just mentioned earlier, we are in New York City. If you want to take another route—

Paul: Mmm hmm.

Rich: Where knives fly out in front of you. [laughter] But if you can duck and jump, like a video game, you can find spectacular success as well.

Paul: Well, the hilarious thing about New York, like, all the big companies are here, but it’s like, seven companies that are just enormous, [laughter] and then the rest of us are like mammals running around under the dinosaur.

Rich: The Diamond District.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: My dad was a jeweler.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: He used to take me to the Diamond District, and I didn’t know what the hell was going on.

Paul: It is—

Rich: I didn’t know what was going on.

Paul: Most people have never been there. I’ll describe it for, like, 30 seconds, and then you take it from there. So it’s near Times Square, not too far. You walk over a little bit. A little bit north of Bryant Park, and the New York public library with the lions in the front. And it’s all these little buildings, like, kind of older buildings, and there’s a lot of glass fronts that look like jewelry stores, but they’re the busiest jewelry stores you’ve ever seen.

Rich: There are pavilions, a lot of them with booths.

Paul: Yes.

Rich: When you rent the booth, yeah.

Paul: There’s a lot, the industry, a lot of the people working are ultra-orthodox Jews, so they’re wearing like, sort of the hats and the distinctive outfits.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And it is bustle.

Rich: It’s chaos.

Paul: There’s just sort of like, you’re in something that really does, like, New York City is a lot of cities and countries all jammed in together.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Like, the Diamond District is its own little country with its own rules, its own ethics, its own, its own history.

Rich: It really is.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: It’s a trading post. And a lot of times, if I have a deal opportunity with Jim, but I don’t have the cash for it, you know what they do?

Paul: No.

Rich: And I saw this. They would take some of their inventory, walk it over to a friend, and be like, “I need $20 grand. Hold onto this gold.”

Paul: This diamond necklace.

Rich: “Hold on to this. Give me the $20. I’ll give it back to you once I sell the thing I want to buy to someone else.”

Paul: So a true market.

Rich: A market. A trading post.

Paul: It has, it has this front end where you can go in and buy jewelry. But ultimately, a lot of the stuff is happening, like upstairs, right?

Rich: Yes.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: My dad was a craftsman.

Paul: Mmm hmm.

Rich: So he was, he did a lot of the deals. My dad was actually a very good deal guy, but he was more a craftsman. But the people he dealt with, very often, they would go to work that day not knowing what the hell was com—was gonna happen. Like, they just didn’t know what was gonna happen. They didn’t know if somebody wanted to borrow money on 10%. They didn’t know if somebody was about to get engaged. Maybe they’d get a customer to walk in. They didn’t know if they had a plan. Like, sometimes the pawn shops would take, there’s like a period of time where you put up your stuff in a pawn shop.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: After a while, you lose it. Like, if you don’t go back and give the money back that they gave you for your stuff, they’ll sell it, so you can sell the stuff.

Paul: You’re a marketplace, a bank, and a store.

Rich: You’re in it. And what you actually are embracing, and I don’t know how someone says, I’m gonna have, no one is saying this in the Diamond District: “It’s gonna be a good year.” They just don’t know. And it’s chaos. It’s chaos and it’s bustling.

Paul: Well, there’s, how many, how many is, like a hundred enterprises? More?

Rich: Oh, no, no, it’s thousands, because a lot of them are, like, solo people that are, like, two or three people in a booth that are just kind of putting it together. And what I admired about it was they were unwavering. They were just like, it’s just gonna be another crazy week. They didn’t have a real sense. These are not people who are pulling salaries.

Paul: So the movie Uncut Gems is accurate, right? Like that…

Rich: Uncut Gems is a dude with a gambling problem. Did you see Uncut Gems?

Paul: Parts of it. I had to turn it off. I got too upset.

Rich: It’s something else. It’s a great film, by the way.

Paul: Yeah. I saw it, and I know your story. And I was like, ah.

Rich: I saw, it was my story, and it was extremely New York City, Diamond District.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: It was actually, it’s a great movie. But yes, that kind of chaos. I’m going to loan you this. I got to sell some things. What they’ll do is they’ll deep-discount stuff because they have to get liquidity to pay off a debt. It’s just mayhem. And when I saw it, I remember as a young kid, I was thinking to myself, this is not a good way to live. And for whatever reason, I chose to live this way. Like, I chose to not go get promoted. I could. I think I have the raw material to be an executive somewhere.

Paul: I mean, you have been. You were a chief product officer for a big media company for a minute.

Rich: A big media company. I could do, I could have done that.

Paul: Like, a team of 200 could report to you, and you would have five direct reports. And you’re good at that part. You actually, because I’ve seen you advise other people.

Rich: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paul: Then they implement the plan.

Rich: That’s right.

Paul: And then the plan is still going five years later. So that part of it where you’re like, here’s a strategy for your organization to deliver software in such a way that everybody’s okay.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You got that?

Rich: Yeah. Yeah.

Paul: Sure.

Rich: Yeah. I’m making a case for chaos here, and I’m trying to get there.

Paul: Well, you know what’s funny, as you’re describing Diamond District, there was a moment with the agency. So you and I, you’re like, I think you looked at me and you’re like, you’re an agent, you’re also an agent of chaos, Paul. Let’s start an agency together. And back to the earlier part of the conversation, the subtext with me is I always was actually very connected to that chaos. I worked at consulting firms and agencies. I liked the hustle. I enjoyed the pitch. And no one, I couldn’t tell that to anybody, because when I was an editor at Harper’s Magazine, they’re like, “What?” [laughter] I remember once I went, somebody wanted to do something for us, at an ad agency, and they were going to do it for free, because they just wanted the brand halo. So I went with my friend, and I just sort of, like, ran the table a little bit. Like, I just was sort of like, “Here’s blah blah blah blah blah.” And my friend, who was also an editor, was like, “Oh my God!” Like, he just couldn’t— [laughter] And I wasn’t a shark or anything. I just was, like, kind of knew what I was doing.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And I was comfortable in that environment. You put, they put 20 people around a table showing us things. I’m like, okay, great.

Rich: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: And so—

Rich: Is that sales?

Paul: Yes.

Rich: We’re sitting here talking about chaos. Is it just sales?

Paul: I got, I have an uncle who sold pharmaceuticals in New Haven who used to be a cop. I got like, it is, it is in the blood. You want to know the actual way I think about this? And it’s all, it’s chaos. It is chaos. I like, without chaos, there is nothing. There was a point, and sort of, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make two points real quick. One is, when you described the Diamond District, I started flashing back to the agency, because there’s a few things that happen at an agency. You make a little money, you put it in the bank. You put enough money away to make sure that you can pay everybody for four months.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: We did six. We were careful.

Rich: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: And then after that, you’re a bank. Like, you’re loaning money back to the company, or you’re investing in things.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: So suddenly you’re the money-lender. And then the function of the agency becomes more and more like a marketplace where people are showing up, and you’re introducing people who are, who are, like, doing stuff, and you’re doing stuff in the middle.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Your cut is work, as you build relationships around you, and that’s how the really big ones get their power.

Rich: I think that’s right. And I think what is so fascinating about chaos is that once you do find success, you would think that the normal, healthy thing to do is to say, “Okay, I’m not gonna go bet this again. I’m gonna take it home now. I did it. I made it out of the other end of this. Why keep doing it? Why keep going?” One of the things I say a lot at Aboard in this office is that we’re very much an East Coast company. I think that’s what I’m saying. What I’m saying is we’re not going to automate ourselves into a profitable business. We are—

Paul: There is a subtext. We’ve done just fine. Good for us. Underneath all this is a startup that absolutely could fail.

Rich: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And as—

Paul: We’re going to do our best—our employees are probably listening here, right? Or probably not, actually, but just in case.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: We really are doing our best to get as much runway as possible. Six months is not enough for a startup. You want more in the bank, right? We gotta keep going. So we’re focused on a long term strategy here, but the existential pit underneath us is unbelievably deep.

Rich: It’s exciting. [laughing]

Paul: Well, what we’re realizing, I think… Here’s what I think is a little different about us as founders, and this might be, this is, I think, slowly making everyone around us a little bit bananas, but it also might contribute to our success, which is that I think people are like, “Ah you’re a chaos muppet. You embrace chaos. You’re wacky,” and so on and so forth. What we know is that one bet is dangerous. A bet on five people an hour will get their credit card out and buy this thing.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Is a dangerous bet, because it’s a monoculture. You don’t build up an immune system to all the other wacky stuff in the world.

Rich: I think that’s a big part of it, is you, it makes us sound like we’re gunslingers, because we’re chasing chaos. We’re chasing a certain amount of uncertainty. But we’re not. What it demands of you is a very particular kind of faith in what you have and what you can do.

Paul: And let’s get flat-out. Let’s just be right there, my friend. You have to be a little arrogant, almost to the point of narcissism, but also a little bit able to, you gotta be able to turn that off. Like, my wife isn’t gonna put up with it. [laughter] Right?

Rich: It’s not good.

Paul: I can’t—

Rich: You don’t even play with the kids.

Paul: Yeah. Another success, honey! Yeah. No, no, yeah. No, no, but you, you and I, we are sitting here hovering over a chasm. There is some, there’s runway. Like, it’s not a complete chasm here. But ultimately, like, it’s on us to make it succeed.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And sometimes we look at each other and we’re like, “What are we doing?” But sometimes we look at each other and we go, “We got this. Everyone else is ridiculous.”

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Because you also, you get this feedback, and you’re like, that’s feedback. [laughing]

Rich: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paul: Right?

Rich: Yeah. We often try to turn what we talk about into advice, right?

Paul: Well, there’s a couple different kinds. One piece of advice is, listen carefully to this podcast, and if you don’t want your life to be disrupted or to have a lot of, like, emotional anxiety, stay away from people like us. [laughter]

Rich: Well, I mean, I mean, I think this is what you’re bartering, right? Like, our job isn’t,  isn’t just to go and have a good time and give it a whirl in New York City. Our job is to do that and at the same time, turn towards the people that work with us and even the potential customers we have, and say, “It’s chill. Everything’s good. We got this. Come on in.” [laughing]

Paul: Yeah. Well, once we get out of startup zone, the whole point is that the rest of the company has a glassy, soft surface without a lot of choppy waves.

Rich: It’s necessary.

Paul: And that sales and growth is where all of the turbulence is.

Rich: Yes. Yes.

Paul: And that’s—but we’re just not there yet.

Rich: Yes, we’re not there yet. Let me end this with a question. What advice… We’re not young. We’re not old by any means. I use skin care.

Paul: I don’t know, dude. I broke my—I woke up today and I was just like, I gotta—

Rich: I oftentimes work out—

Paul: [cartoon old man voice] My shins!

Rich: My muscles tighten up, like, when I take the weights back to the stand.

Paul: Oh, not a good feeling.

Rich: [laughing] It’s so bad.

Paul: I don’t know—

Rich: It’s like, what, now?

Paul: I’m fat and creaky, but something, something keeps me coming in this office.

Rich: Yeah. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about taking that leap? They’re young, they got a good job. They’re not…and they’re thinking, you know what? I’m gonna give this a whirl. What advice would you give?

Paul: Oh, I think we overvalue… I don’t, I operate and you operate, I think there’s different paths here, and people get really confused about the paths. I think that what is—success culture is guys with low body fat and women with three jobs talking about, like, you know, “After I crush it all day, I go surfing, and I’ve also got a startup.” And they’re really—

Rich: They eat, like, almond butter.

Paul: They have MBAs, and they optimize their romantic lives. [laughter] Like it is, what, and they’re good at—they are people where you say, “I’m going to give you some coaching about how to drive stability into the organization.” And they nod and then they do it. And some of them are good. And they’re good. They’re good to be around. They’ll generate a lot of money.

Rich: Yeah. Right.

Paul: So if you’re one of them, you’re already not listening to this because you’re over listening to Four Hour Work Week. [laughter] And God bless you. I don’t think that our path is a healthy path that people should be like, what are the five things I can do to start my agency and be successful?

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: There was a—

Rich: It’s a particular pathology.

Paul: It’s a burning, freakin’ unhealthy anxiety, and it’s a healthy way, often, to deal with the anxiety.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You are like, I call it the gong. Like, when you have an idea that you can’t get out of your head, positive or negative, you get a sledgehammer—not a soft mallet—and you get a gong, and you hit the gong until the gong, like, melts.

Rich: Reminder: We are hiring at Aboard. [laughter] It’s a collaborative environment.

Paul: No, you can push back.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: What doesn’t work—

Rich: It’s intense because we feel like we have to, everything’s urgent, right?

Paul: And conversation yesterday where, we were sitting right here where we were recording, and I just, like, I yelled at you for a minute and you were like, “You sound like you’re frustrated with me.” And I’m like, “No, I’m frustrated.” Really, it’s just—

Rich: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: It bubbles—I’ve actually, we’ve been in the room, when we are in a small, constrained space having a frank discussion, it’s actually like, I see people get emotional just being near us because there’s so much anxiety in the room.

Rich: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Paul: And I’m just being frank about it because I don’t think that, like, what I would advise you, if you feel the burning sense of anxiety and dread and forward motion and you want to feel it? Absolutely go for it.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Because don’t, don’t deny yourself the opportunity, especially if you’re in America. Just give it a whirl, baby.

Rich: That’s what I think. That’s what I wanted to hear. You took a meandering path to get there.

Paul: No, no, no. What I’m saying is, don’t talk yourself out of it. If it’s the one thing you want.

Rich: Do it. Try it. Try it.

Paul: Don’t talk about it if it’s not the one thing you want, but you just think you want a lot of money? My God, index funds are better and smart. If I had put—

Rich: [laughing] If it’s just money, yeah—

Paul: Seriously, if I had taken, like, the $10,000 I earned from Citibank writing about venture capital in 1997 and put it in a Vanguard fund?

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You know, I would have been able to pay off my mortgage. Like, like, this is a great economy to just participate in, and it doesn’t actually cost a lot.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You have to want that risk.

Rich: And just to clarify, just to close this out, I’ve failed at a few things, succeeded in a few others. We’re not sitting here perched on our, like, Success Story Mountain.

Paul: I have, I have five or ten failures that I could just enumerate right now.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: But the larger point here, let’s just sew this up, and here’s the larger point, which is that chaos is the great undiscovered country in the conversation around growth. And you and I are bringers of chaos who have learned in our, in our older years to manage it, in each other, and motivate each other around.

Rich: We still can be better, because it can be counterproductive if it goes too far. That’s real.

Paul: But what I’ve learned, and when I’m joking about you, like, hitting the gong and stuff, and I’ve seen, you know, people will sort of look to me, because you’re pretty intense, and I’m like, “If I just listen to that and respond to the anxiety, that’s bad. I need to listen to you and figure out what you’re trying to say.”

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And then give it back to you until we get it, and vice versa. You’ll, you’ll pick up my anxiety.

Rich: That’s a partnership dynamic.

Paul: But the value we create there is where a lot of good things happen around us.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: Like, by doing that, we move stuff forward.

Rich: Very exciting things happening at Aboard. A lot of big announcements coming. We want to, we’re in the city now. We might as well throw a party, Paul.

Paul: We really should

Rich: Or two or three…

Paul: Or five, and then…

Rich: Or five.

Paul: Yeah, if you want one coffee, you want to chat? Reach out. We’re down here at, near, near Wall Street.

Rich: We’re having a lot of conversations. It’s been really, really good so far.

Paul: Good times.

Rich: Check us out at aboard.com. Follow the newsletter—I mean, you essentially, Paul Ford will write you every week. I write once in a while, and I start it with, “Hello. I’m writing instead of Paul this week.”

Paul: We can get rid of that. [laughter] We don’t, it doesn’t, it’s not…

Rich: No, but it’s a great newsletter. Check it out. And check out Aboard. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Ping us at hello@aboard.com.

[outro music]

Paul: We’re actually very humble.

Rich: Super humble.

Paul: Bye!

Rich: [laughing] Bye.

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