Join us for VISIONS Summit NYC  - June 11
Season 2 Episode 12
May 16, 2023

It's a Wrap

Looking back over the scope of Season 2 of Infinite Shelf, starting with some real problem-solving situations with great guests who shared willingly about their experiences and moving into the second part of the season about how we connect as humans and how that relates to the brand, Philip and Brian from Future Commerce join Ingrid to recap Season 2 and offer a sneak peek into what is ahead in Season 3. Listen now!

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This Episode Sponsored by:

Infinite Shelf - Triple Whale
Infinite Shelf- Gorgias
Infinite Shelf- Shopware

Looking back over the scope of Season 2 of Infinite Shelf, starting with some real problem-solving situations with great guests who shared willingly about their experiences and moving into the second part of the season about how we connect as humans and how that relates to brand, Philip and Brian from Future Commerce join Ingrid to recap Season 2 and offer a sneak peek into what is ahead in Season 3. Listen now!

Stay Curious

  • {00:05:45} “There's a lot of existentialism in the purpose. What is my purpose? Why do I exist? And I think the greatest of leaders and the brands that endure have to go through that.” - Phillip
  • {00:012:46} “Some of the best brands are the brands that are run by people who are the consumers of the brand or are solving the problem that they themselves ran into and are now realizing how many more millions of people have that same problem that needed to be solved.” - Ingrid
  • {00:024:17} “The world is constantly changing and there are going to be things that are introduced that are going to necessitate me changing along with them. And I always want to be on the side of adapting to those things or trying them out and being open to them.” - Ingrid
  • {00:028:11} “Some people are tearing down other people's channels so that they can prop up their own because they don't like change. And that traditional retail mindset has been afraid of digital transformation for the longest time.” - Phillip
  • {00:032:53} “I'm going to hire the person who got really into the metaverse, not because they got it right or wrong, but because I now know how their mind adapts to new information and how growth-oriented their mindset is.” - Ingrid
  • {00:040:47} Season 3 will be a deep dive into the DTC industry, what’s changing, what the landscape looks like now, and whether or not it matter anymore. You won’t want to miss it!

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Ingrid: [00:00:02] Hello and welcome to Infinite Shelf, the Human Centric Retail podcast. I'm your host, Ingrid Milman Cordy, and I'm joined today by, you may know them, Brian and Phillip from Future Commerce. Hey guys.

Brian: [00:00:17] Hey, good to see you.

Phillip: [00:00:18] Hey, glad to be back. Thanks, Ingrid.

Ingrid: [00:00:21] I love the bookends. I feel like this might be a fun thing to do. We'll do a kickoff with you guys and say hello and then wrap it up

Phillip: [00:00:30] We'll disappear for an indiscriminate period of time

Ingrid: [00:00:34] Yeah. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:00:34] And then we'll come back. No, I think it's been so awesome to watch you grow in creating content, Ingrid, And you've had such an amazing journey over the last year, and it's great to come back and revisit some of that with you.

Brian: [00:00:50] Totally. Yeah. There are some like all-time favorite moments from Infinite Shelf that happened on this season. And so I'm excited to be here at the end of sort of the bridge episode between season two and season three. This is awesome.

Ingrid: [00:01:05] Definitely. Yeah. And stay tuned, everyone, to get a little glimpse of what we have cooking up for season three. I think it'll be really exciting and it's frankly, it's content that I want to hear as a listener myself. So stay tuned. But all right, season two, what a journey. So season two sort of started off in one direction. We were trying to do some problem solving with real live founders and CEOs, and we actually had some fantastic conversations with actual problems and people that were having issues with the privacy updates and acquisition and the cost of acquisition and what that all looks like in today's current landscape. And then people problems and trying to evolve. And I just want to thank the founders and the leaders that came on for that portion of season two and their vulnerability. And it's really hard to come into a public forum and not just do like the victory lap of here's the greatness and here are all the things that we did perfectly well and how we survived, which are always great stories. And I love hearing them. But like come on we all just want to hear the problems because we can all relate to some extent. And so that was really, really a great portion of it. And then, yeah, had some private, personal issues and timing and things like that and just needed to reprioritize things in my life. And then our savior, Kiri Masters, came in to help swoop in and resurrect the podcast alongside me. And she was such a fantastic co-host. And she came in and we talked about just sort of these really basic human components, like what makes people human. So our need for community, our need for purpose, our memory, our need for creativity. So actually we centered the rest of season two around those human making emotions because this is a human centric retail podcast. And so really what I wanted to do was chat with you guys, having listened to the episodes now and I know you have a few favorite moments and some questions. And then obviously in the world of digital and in the world of retail, 24 months is basically ten years.

Phillip: [00:03:28] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:03:28] So there are things that have changed and things that we want to go back to with our older, wiser selves, thinking back to a few months ago and what we would have done differently and how the landscape has changed. So ultimately, that's what we're here to chat about. And then, yeah, a little sneak peek at season three.

Phillip: [00:03:46] If we could like maybe start off in a really good place, which is when we came together to launch Infinite Shelf as part of Future Commerce, when we spoke to you, we were saying like, I think one of our challenges was how does infinite Shelf play into the Future Commerce narrative? And like some of the themes that we have and those themes change over time, and it's really amazing to watch how just your vibe attracts your tribe. You find people that are like minded and you're creating content. Even when you're creating it independently, you wind up touching on a lot of the same subjects. And it's funny going back and sort of reviewing what took place over season two, which was, you know, about a year of elapsed time for the season. Life changed, like you just said, so much in that space of that year. But just from the outset, from the first episode of season two with Joe Fish and you from Wine Access, which by the way, Brian, I felt was really up your alley.

Brian: [00:04:47] Oh, he was. I actually signed up for Wine Access, their newsletter. I've ordered from them. I've ordered some really good wine from them.

Phillip: [00:04:55] Of course you have.

Brian: [00:04:56] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:04:56] Of course you have.

Brian: [00:04:57] As a result of that podcast.

Phillip: [00:04:59]  [00:04:59]There is a clip that I felt was pretty prescient. But at one point you were talking about like the change of leadership. And Joe comes in as the new CEO and they'd lost like some 30 plus percent of their customers. And he talks about an existential crisis and his like, how do we get back on track? Was he was asking himself the question, why do we exist? Which is right up Bryan's alley. [00:05:29]

Brian: [00:05:29] Oh, yeah.

Phillip: [00:05:31] Is this existentialism crisis of...

Ingrid: [00:05:34] The perma existential crisis.

Phillip: [00:05:35] Yeah.

Brian: [00:05:36] Yeah, you've got to be able to do it as a brand. If you can't have an existential crisis as a brand, what's the point?

Phillip: [00:05:43] What's the point? It's just [00:05:45] there's a lot of existentialism in the purpose. What is my purpose? Why do I exist? And I think the greatest of leaders and the brands that endure have to go through that. [00:05:57] And so that to me was like the timing was spot on. It was the kind of conversation we have all the time in other venues at Future Commerce. And it just speaks to people that are seasoned builders like you and the people that you bring around you who are having the same kind of conversation over and over. Those are the actual things that nobody's talking about. Everybody wants to share the ten tips or tricks or whatever. So I felt like just from the start you laid a really great foundation in season two, and we'll get to the sort of vulnerability stuff and the deep emotional human making components. But I just wanted to give you props from the outset because I thought that that was a really wonderful way to open things up.

Ingrid: [00:06:42] Thank you. Appreciate that.

Phillip: [00:06:43] Yeah.

Brian: [00:06:44] Yeah. And I thought it was really phenomenal. That vulnerability was sort of evident moving into episodes two and three and continuing on with Lauren and Katie. I thought they were also like, they just really opened up their business. And like you said at the outset of this podcast, super interesting conversation. Not many founders will actually go into that level of detail about how their business is being run and the challenges they're facing.

Ingrid: [00:07:21] Yeah.

Brian: [00:07:21] What a great way to sort of set the stage for season two, episode five. This is Vulnerability part one. And then also episode six, which is part two to that episode. I feel like you took it to the next level and you actually covered topics I've never heard covered on a business podcast before. I think that opened up the conversation for people to truly bring their full selves to the conversation, and at work and with and with friends as well. It was amazing.

Phillip: [00:08:04] Ingrid, let me ask you, when you have an audience listening to you, there can be sort of a performative aspect to the way that content is created. And some of us I've been accused of being like, performatively vulnerable. You seem to have a very, very different approach. Was it hard to sort of open up in that way?

Ingrid: [00:08:28] That's such a good question. I would say once I made the decision that it was important for me to share that information and to open up about, not everything needs to come into work with you, right? Like if I just got into an argument with my husband over burning toast or something stupid like that.

Brian: [00:08:51] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:08:53] I do think that there are boundaries, right? But then there are really things that will impact how you think and where your brain is at and how strategic you're able to be and how present you're able to be. I think once you make that decision, whether you're hosting a podcast or whether you're leading a team or whether you're on a team, committing then to that and just not having the boundaries around the things that you've decided to make public and share, I think is sort of that line where the fake vulnerability or I wouldn't accuse you of that, Phillip ever. But I just mean like in general, there are people who are like, Oh, I need to be more accessible or more human. And so I'm going to be a little bit superficial, but talk about my family or talk about whatever. And people aren't stupid, right?

Brian: [00:09:51] Uh huh.

Ingrid: [00:09:51] It always comes off as what it is inauthentic or just put on to check that box. And so I would say for me, it's more just about deciding what things are going to come into that sphere of your life and then committing to that being the full story, like completely adding color to it.

Phillip: [00:10:13] Brian, you said something earlier and I didn't want to correct it in the moment, but you said brands have to have an existential crisis. Brands are corporations. They're not people. They're run by people.

Brian: [00:10:27] Mhm.

Phillip: [00:10:27] And I feel like this is the chasm. And like we often I know that's simple language and I don't want to nitpick it, but like this is the chasm that we personify brands as if they can feel things. And so this idea of authenticity is really it can be performative vulnerability, performative authenticity when it's a brand and that's when it's not genuine, that's when it doesn't come through. It has to come from the people.

Brian: [00:10:50] Totally.

Ingrid: [00:10:51] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:10:51] And that's a thing I've heard you talk about Ingrid, both on the show and off of like what makes a brand different. And it's about the people, and that's work that you put in every day. It's not a tactic that you employ in the short term. Maybe you could talk a little bit more about that.

Ingrid: [00:11:08] Totally. Yeah. And we actually did in season two talk a lot about this topic and like kind of broke it down into the Purpose episode. I think we talked a lot about, you know, brands that do it well and then brands that just do it as marketing and it's just really evident. And the same thing with like creativity and storytelling. I think a brand that does a really good job is Bobby. It's like that infant formula brand.

Phillip: [00:11:34] Mm.

Ingrid: [00:11:35] And it was started by mothers and they didn't love what the off-the-shelf formula options were and they didn't want to sort of create even more friction in motherhood with breastfeeding versus formula. And they are so delicate and thoughtful and respectful while they're wading in those waters and also created a product that mothers want to reach for. And again, that's just such an authentic that's where you start having, okay, sure. It's a brand, right? It's a product. It's Bobby and it's got this purpose in the market but behind that the humans behind that are mothers. They experience these feelings and these emotions between sometimes the difficulty of breastfeeding and all of the emotions tied up into that and then created a product that people would feel good about feeding their children. And that's just an example where, yeah, you do end up personifying this brand, but at the end of the day, it is the people that are making the decisions behind the brand. And I think that [00:12:46] some of the best brands are the brands that are run by people who are the consumers of the brand or are solving the problem that they themselves ran into and are now realizing how many more millions of people have that same problem that needed to be solved. [00:13:01]

Phillip: [00:13:01] You actually kind of covered this a little bit in, I know we're jumping around a little bit, but Brian like zipped us forward into the future.

Brian: [00:13:08] I did.

Phillip: [00:13:09]  [00:13:09]In episode three when you were talking with Higher Dose, which Brian touched on a second, but you kind of were diving into like those differences between men and women and sort of like motivations and these very specific problems, engendered problems around the way that you have to take care of your own body. Like the original biohacker, I think was the thing that kind of came out of that to me is like women have had to be biohackers from the beginning of time [00:13:36]

Ingrid: [00:13:36]  [00:13:37]Yeah. There is so much more asked of our bodies. [00:13:40]

Phillip: [00:13:40]  [00:13:40]Oh, sure. And in this role is like in motherhood as well, and childbearing. It's like it is a thing that is so human and so unique to your experience. And it's an unfortunate thing, but I don't know if you know this, most podcast consumers are men. Probably because we don't have to bear children. So we've got all this extra time to listen to, you know, Hustle culture. But I do think that those things are sort of intertwined in that having this unique experience and then sharing that experience with others in conversation, but also trying to weave that into like maybe it's not bring your whole self to work, but definitely informs your availability and emotional availability and your headspace while you're there, Right? That's part of it. And you brought that in season two in a big way. [00:14:35]

Brian: [00:14:35] Yeah. And I think you touched on things that were, like you said, really core to the human experience. So you started with vulnerability and then you moved into sort of all the things that genuinely make up what motivates us and how we function, and so moving from vulnerability into community building and belonging. So the group dynamics, creativity, and storytelling and that's a native part of humanity. Curiosity, which is part of Future Commerce core values as a business. Then purpose and then memory. I feel like you really struck out to uncover all the different parts of a person and what makes them actually, what motivates them, which is interesting because you approached it from a business standpoint, but also from a consumer standpoint.

Ingrid: [00:15:43] Totally.

Brian: [00:15:43] These two things coming together are what make up the relationship between brand and consumer.

Ingrid: [00:15:51] Oh, totally.

Brian: [00:15:52] Yeah, and I think you did a great job of the completeness of story there. It was amazing.

Ingrid: [00:16:02] I appreciate that. I think it is sort of that whole thing that we've always imagined about this podcast from the beginning, which was it's this long table and they're brands and companies and people who work for those companies who are humans serving the humans on the other side of the dinner table or retail shelf. And so bringing that full-fledged, the thing that unites us, because there are so many things that we do in this dichotomy thinking of brand and business serves consumers, and they kind of create these walls and boundaries around what those two entities are forgetting the fact that actually we're all just humans in the same way that people that make up brands are consumers too. And so that's where a lot of the conversation around memory and purpose and community, both sides of the table, the businesses and the consumers participate in that and have those needs. And so whether you're thinking about organizational structure or leadership, growing, evolving your company, new product offerings, things like that, those are all centered in human function and decisions and desires and needs. And then not forgetting that the people at the other end of the table are the recipients of that, but also are contributing to hopefully making those decisions with you is sort of the whole purpose and the reason why it's still a business podcast and not a podcast of just Ingrid really feels strongly about creativity today.

Brian: [00:17:38] I mean, this is what makes things like CAC and ROAS actually have meaning.

Ingrid: [00:17:44] Yeah.

Brian: [00:17:45] We throw all of these measurements at all these things, but why are we doing it?

Ingrid: [00:17:49] Totally.

Brian: [00:17:49] It's to actually understand what's going on with all of these other things.

Ingrid: [00:17:54] Yep.

Brian: [00:17:54] And we have these metrics that we've assigned to them. And let me tell you, we've seen metrics evolve in the last year. ROAS is now like a dirty word.

Ingrid: [00:18:05] I know. {laughter}

Brian: [00:18:06] It's yeah, we're going to see them evolve again because we're trying to all measure something that is intrinsic human experience

Ingrid: [00:18:21] Yes.

Brian: [00:18:21] And it's a phenomenological experience. And so what each person experiences individually is what we're going to have to measure eventually. And hopefully AI can help us do that because it's really hard to do as a bunch of like very sort of turing based logical brains right now. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:18:49] I would actually like to touch on something that was a moment in time... You talk about the human experience. Part of the human experience is maybe like fitting in and finding fad and fashion, right?

Ingrid: [00:19:00] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:19:00] And it's maybe a little groupthink, too. Sometimes. A lot has changed since the beginning of season two, including a bit of a crypto winter. And there was a time when I think that we... There was a Shoptalk episode from 2022 at the beginning of season two where we may have been sort of on the fence about where Web3 and Web3 communities might be going. I think you were even toying with maybe going deeper down the rabbit hole on Web3 for season two. A lot of that changed dramatically, especially as your own, you know, you started dealing with your own personal stuff in your life and you sort of reprioritized, and that made you rethink things. What's your thinking now, Ingrid, as you're looking back on season two and the way the conversations and the retail and eCommerce ecosystems have changed in that time.

Ingrid: [00:19:53] Yeah. Well, so the metaverse and cryptocurrency and things like that, there were things about that community that were super intoxicating to me. Just full stop. I mean, I likened it to back when like AOL and the early days of the Internet was around and we were all just sort of like fishing around in these different chat rooms and meeting different people. And it just felt new again. And we were all sort of the nerdiest of us were learning to like code for the first time and teaching ourselves HTML to have a cool like profile and things like that and the constant discovery of new things and people and it's like this Alice in Wonderland experience, it felt like, of falling down that rabbit hole. And I think that's probably where that comes from. Now that I think about it.

Phillip: [00:21:01] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:21:03] It really felt like this Alice in Wonderland thing where it triggered all of the things that make me the most excited and have sort of set me on the path of digital and eCommerce in general, It was just a part of the ecosystem that was constantly and still is constantly in flux, and I love those components of it. And that was just in the metaverse and crypto and all of that was just in hyperdrive and web3 And then you had all these like philosophical things about the banking infrastructure and how governments back money. And just all of those things were just so fascinating to me. So yeah, I totally got intoxicated by some of the rhetoric and some of the information and just learning about it and wrapping my head around it. But I think even if you go back to that episode, I still grounded the conversation and at least how I was looking at it professionally, like when I take out the sort of hobbyist version of that, which was highly there professionally, it all just still goes back to who are you trying to connect with and service and what practical problem are you trying to solve? And the further you get away from that, whether it's a problem that is really, really practical, like I need to let's go back to the toaster. I need a new toaster. Or I'm an artist and I'm trying to connect with people and I'm trying to make them feel a certain emotion. It just all of those things are constant and that need is always there and there are always going to be different platforms and different ways to meet that need whether you're a consumer or a brand. And it was really fascinating to me how some of the offerings of Web3 and the Metaverse were seemingly aimed at doing that.

Phillip: [00:23:06] And this is no critique of like sort of following a lot of the conversation in the ecosystem because that's part of building great content, too, is trying to answer questions that people have right now in this moment. I think also you went on to talk about curiosity and that is what spurs all of this

Ingrid: [00:23:23] Yes.

Brian: [00:23:24] Mhm.

Phillip: [00:23:24] Is staying curious about the things that are both evergreen and sort of truism in the way that we build businesses and especially in retail. It used to be a generational business.

Ingrid: [00:23:40] Right.

Phillip: [00:23:41] You had like a family business that would pass down from generation to generation. It was a trade that you learned and adopted. It became like a family, a learned behavior of how to create and sell.

Ingrid: [00:23:55] And a learned skill set, too.

Phillip: [00:23:57] Yeah, exactly

Brian: [00:23:57] Uh huh.

Ingrid: [00:23:58] Yeah. That never... Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things that I still hold constant as a principle for me is thinking about, and this can now be, I think, applied to all of the cool stuff that's happening with AI and ChatGPT and the plug ins and all of those things. It's that same thing of like, wow, [00:24:17] the world is constantly changing and there are going to be things that are introduced that are going to necessitate me changing along with them. And I always want to be on the side of adapting to those things or trying them out and being open to them. [00:24:37] So while things may be with the metaverse are more complicated or less exciting maybe now than they were two years ago, I still am fully, I'm always going to want to nurture the part of me that wants to know what the new next thing is and be the opposite of like the Luddite. Is that how you pronounce it? Luddite.

Phillip: [00:25:00] Sure.

Brian: [00:25:00] Luddite. Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:25:03] The story of the Luddites is fascinating. Like the actual what happened.

Brian: [00:25:08] Yes.

Phillip: [00:25:10] For those who are not familiar, want to recount it?

Ingrid: [00:25:13] I'll give you the CliffsNotes. And it's basically when the sewing. So it used to be like when you would have like wool would be done by hand.

Phillip: [00:25:27] Mhm.

Ingrid: [00:25:27] It was a very, very like labor intensive process. And there were a lot of people who were dealt with wool. And there's probably a good word for it, Brian. Do you know the word for the people that would like actually do it by hand...

Phillip: [00:25:36] Weavers.

Ingrid: [00:25:37] Yeah, they would put it on the loom.

Phillip: [00:25:39] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:25:39] And then there would be a machine came out that would actually mechanize that and not require the people to be sewers and the people to work with their hands. And it was this huge thing where everyone was, again, afraid of losing their jobs and losing their livelihood all the way to I think it was like Queen Victoria said, "I will absolutely not..." It was probably Queen Elizabeth the first, actually now that I think about it, "I will not buy my garments from this machinery. I want to make sure that my public is working and fed and all of that." And, you know, I think she was trying to be on the side of the people. But in reality, what happened was the industry that cropped up around this now mechanized thing that went from being one person doing one thing at a time to one machine doing a thousand things at a time, actually exponentially grew the jobs and the market and the economy around that. And it was this net positive for everyone. And there are a lot of examples about that, about the Internet. And I think there are a lot of things with AI that are similar. But then the Luddites were the people who actually broke into the machinery warehouse and burned down all of the machines.

Phillip: [00:27:01] Yeah, we're going to stop. Nowadays it's like, "We'll just unplug the machines. We need to have a six month moratorium."

Ingrid: [00:27:09] Right.

Phillip: [00:27:09] "So that we can understand what the hell is going on."

Brian: [00:27:11] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:27:12] Yeah, it was probably a butchered, sort of like trying to make it not long winded, but still long winded.

Phillip: [00:27:18] No. It's good.

Brian: [00:27:19] It was good.

Phillip: [00:27:19] Yeah, it's a great recap. The sabotaging of the machinery to sort of prevent an eventuality is usually how that's used. And I think that that's such a key point in understanding the current moment too. This has happened once before. I mean, we've had this conversation in the eCommerce ecosystem with traditional retail for 25, 30 years. I've heard of channel teams cannibalizing each other's ad spend budget,

Ingrid: [00:27:54] Oh, my God. It's happening.

Phillip: [00:27:55] Siloing in businesses sabotaging each other's numbers for their own benefit. Gerrymandering reports. I've seen it all and this doesn't even have to happen at the industry level like it's happening in every business today already [00:28:11]. Some people are tearing down other people's channels so that they can prop up their own because they don't like change. And that traditional retail mindset has been afraid of digital transformation for the longest time. [00:28:24]

Ingrid: [00:28:25] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:28:26] The change never comes as fast as the, as the technological fear mongerers like to say that it will.

Brian: [00:28:35] Yes.

Phillip: [00:28:35] It's been 30 years for eCommerce. We're very fearful of AI right now. It could be 25, 30 years before we ever see it really make a dent in productivity. Who knows?

Brian: [00:28:48] Who knows?

Ingrid: [00:28:48] At the end of the day, though, if you look back, though, and you see the companies that actually didn't ignore the digital revolution and didn't ignore all of the things that were happening, all of their boats rose.

Phillip: [00:29:00] Yeah. Right. Yeah.

Brian: [00:29:02] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:29:03] And so it goes to show you again, the way that the loom made the industries bigger and added jobs and was all accretive, not only is it just the right thing to do or maybe the growth mindset thing to do, which now is like the trendy thing, but it's ultimately the better business decision. And so it's not just about, oh, being ahead of the curve, just to be ahead of the curve. There's time after time evidence that when you adapt to what the new environment looks like and where people are existing, it is net positive for the entire business, not just for the digital channels.

Brian: [00:29:47] The real question is how quickly will things be adopted? I think you look at NFTs and crypto and blockchain.

Phillip: [00:30:00] I'm sorry. What? What's that?

Ingrid: [00:30:01] What are those?

Brian: [00:30:02] What are those? There was a lot of hype and I think there was a lot of what we're talking about. "Hey, if we're early adopters, we're on top of this, we're going to be out in front of it. It's going to change how business is done." And then it turned out like it was kind of more of a foundational technology...

Ingrid: [00:30:25] Yeah.

Brian: [00:30:25] That's going to affect things in a really slow and long term basis that...

Phillip: [00:30:30] Maybe.

Brian: [00:30:30] And well, maybe. You say maybe.

Phillip: [00:30:34] As a person who has a significant amount of their net worth tied up in NFTs. I can speak with great verisimilitude that it's a maybe.

Brian: [00:30:46] {laughter} It's a maybe. And then we look at AI, which has been adopted very, very quickly. I mean, you're saying, Phillip, you said maybe it's going to be 20, 25 years before we see a significant change in the way that we actually function...

Phillip: [00:30:59] The nature of...

Brian: [00:30:59] The nature of work, the nature of commerce, how we purchase things, and how we engage with the world.

Phillip: [00:31:05] Sure.

Brian: [00:31:05] And I think there is some truth to that. I think what we're seeing, though, is really practical application. Really quickly back to what you were saying, Ingrid. When you are evaluating NFTs and you came to those initial interviews you had your hobbyist hat on and your professional what does this actually mean for me hat on. And I think back to actually episode four of season two, where we were at Shoptalk altogether. We were talking about the metaverse. I made fun of PacSun for like the whole episode.

Ingrid: [00:31:42] Nice.

Brian: [00:31:43] Good times.

Ingrid: [00:31:45] They don't care. They're like surfing right now.

Phillip: [00:31:47] They'll never be on our show anyway.

Brian: [00:31:50] No.

Phillip: [00:31:51] They're never going to answer our calls at this point.

Brian: [00:31:53] Probably not. Not after they listen to that episode, that's for sure. Even before that.

Phillip: [00:31:58] Yeah.

Brian: [00:31:58] We were already at a point where we were like, "Hey, like this metaverse thing, what is this? Is this actually the future we are going to actually have?

Phillip: [00:32:08] Yeah.

Brian: [00:32:11] So a year later and I just got back from Shoptalk, I think everyone else is saying that now too, which is funny to see the before and after. I sat in on the final takeaways session at Shoptalk and they were like, "Live stream, metaverse, frictionless." And then they got done and they're like, "Hey, yeah, maybe none of these things."

Ingrid: [00:32:40] {laughter} So my question then is you're hiring someone, and you ask them what they think about the metaverse. For me, okay this isn't a question. This is a statement. [00:32:53] I'm going to hire the person who got really into the metaverse, not because they got it right or wrong, but because I now know how their mind adapts to new information and how growth-oriented their mindset is. [00:33:09] And I'm hiring that person just because they're wrong, we all were to some degree at some point, either interested or wrong or right about the metaverse, whatever, but just the fact that we were exploring it and talking about it and learning enough to talk about it is indicative of who I want on my team.

Brian: [00:33:26] Totally.

Phillip: [00:33:26] Well, you actually touched on this, and man I was trying really hard to make this a linear survey of the last season. And then Brian zipped all around. So we're going to just jump around a little bit.

Brian: [00:33:39] Of course. That's how my brain works, man.

Phillip: [00:33:41] You're quantum, buddy.

Brian: [00:33:44] That's right.

Phillip: [00:33:45]  [00:33:46]You touched on in the Curiosity episode, which I think is episode nine, you said this idea of being curious and this trait of being curious, especially around decision making, you said that it's like you get all this new data all the time and you're trying to make all of these decisions based on new data and you're taking actions based on this information. And some of that information could be useful now in this quarter, and some of that could be useful now for, I don't know, five quarters from now or ten quarters from now. Knowing how to sort which is relevant now and which is relevant for the future is the job of the leader. [00:34:28]

Ingrid: [00:34:28]  [00:34:28]Correct.

Phillip: [00:34:29]  [00:34:29]That curiosity component, though, is the mainstay of everyone, especially in the innovation side of the business, especially as a business that's trying to constantly transform in a world that has never changed as fast as it is. [00:34:39]

Ingrid: [00:34:39] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:34:40] And working at the scale of the brands that you do, these are the traits that leaders need. It's not the are you a metaverse expert? It's the are you an adaptability professional?

Ingrid: [00:34:49] Definitely.

Phillip: [00:34:50] And that's where like it also ladders into one of my more favorite episodes of the season which was talking about purpose, and if we take away this idea that your purpose is intrinsically tied not to the fact that you have work that's meaningful, but to the skill that you perform. If we are in the midst of this big upheaval in AI and productivity and those skills are being co-opted by something that's innately smarter, faster, and more knowledgeable than you'll ever be, where is your purpose? This is a wonderful existential crisis for humanity to realize that maybe our purpose is not in the fact that I write a newsletter. You look over PNLs and Brian reads philosophy. Maybe the purpose is something a little more human and less about the work and the role and the productivity that we churn out and the amount of attention that we command from people. And it's something even deeper and esoteric than that. Finding purpose becomes the human pursuit, not how do we make use of the time that we have here. And how we're spending that time. It's about like the search for purpose. I think actually abstracting work away from that conversation could be really meaningful for humanity. And that's something that if we had to tie this whole season together, you probably didn't set out to communicate that overall. But those are the things that I'm experiencing looking at this content now through the current lens. Really powerful stuff.

Brian: [00:36:27] Anti-work ism. I don't know if you've read the Derek Thompson series on work from The Atlantic. He coined this term a couple of years back called workism. And he said Americans true religion is work. Workism. That's where we derive our greatest value from and put ourselves and our self-worth into is corporations...

Ingrid: [00:36:53] Yeah.

Brian: [00:36:53] And the work we do for them and our careers.

Ingrid: [00:36:56] Yeah.

Brian: [00:36:57] Like to like you said Phillip, to sort of extract out purpose from that and say, "Well, hold on. Maybe this is not the religion we should all be following." That's such a powerful statement.

Ingrid: [00:37:11] I love that you kind of came away from the season with that even. And I would love to say we set out to make that your experience and realization. It just actually happened organically. And I do think that weaving in the inevitable components of being a human, running a business, or being a human consuming from a business will hopefully lead people to those types of things. And even along my journey as an individual and as a professional, having to come to that realization that my entire value isn't derived from my professional accomplishments and the title or the company that I'm working for, or how many people work for me or how big the budgets I manage are. And that's a journey that I'm on daily. I think about where I draw the line between who I am as a professional and who I am as a human. And that line has always been inextricably linked for me at least. There hasn't been a strong delineation. And that is a journey that I'm on right now with reprioritizing and becoming a mother and wanting to spend more time out in nature and wanting to build a community and things like that that aren't just so linked to who I am as a corporate employee.

Phillip: [00:38:38] Mm. Ooh, what an incredible way to spend some time reviewing the content of season two.

Ingrid: [00:38:50] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:38:51] What are you doing next?

Brian: [00:38:52] Mhm.

Ingrid: [00:38:52] Oh, well. Oh, man. Season three. I'm really stoked for it. And it actually, it does play into it's a really nice evolution from season two and all of the foundation that we've set and even season one, frankly. I think season one, we led into a lot of things that were very tactical and DTC-focused and discounting and what that's going to do and all of those things. And so season three will follow me and a very exciting and very fun and wickedly smart guest co-host that shall remain nameless for now. I'm going to tease you guys. Well, you guys know, but I'm going to tease the audience.

Phillip: [00:39:36] Ooh, I love a tease.

Ingrid: [00:39:37] Yeah, they are. They are a frickin force. And I'm so stoked to get to talk to them regularly and share those conversations with you. But the whole idea for season three will be the existential identity crisis of DTC brands these days. So we went from DTC darlings and everyone needs to go direct to consumer and build their website and forget about all these other channels. And it sort of completely changed the game as it relates to how you acquire new customers, and what is required of a brand to go to market, and there were just all of these things that came in with DTC, and then of course, some of the dirty secrets underneath of all the VC funding and profitability issues and getting to a place where you're actually going to be profitable when you have a brand that people already love and you've checked all the other boxes. And so that industry is an industry that I grew up with.

Phillip: [00:40:47] Sure.

Ingrid: [00:40:47] It completely parallels my professional world development, like 15 years basically, of being either leading a DTC team or part of a DTC business and then having been part of acquisitions and having been part of brands that added DTC, you know, like so all of that experience parallels my professional development too. And so the exploration is, well, what's now? What do we what are we doing as DTC leaders? What does DTC even mean in 2023 and beyond? Is DTC still a thing? Does it matter? Like what does that all look like? And there are clearly, thankfully, no clear answers, But there's a lot to explore. And hopefully in every episode there'll be a lot of like practical takeaways and also maybe some war stories and some funny things that people can really relate to as being part of the DTC journey.

Phillip: [00:41:47] Yes.

Brian: [00:41:47] Well, I can't wait.

Ingrid: [00:41:51] We are going to get into generational stuff in the workplace.

Brian: [00:41:55] Mm.

Ingrid: [00:41:55] How do we all coexist? Now the Gen Z's showed up and millennials are there and boomers and everyone is just joining this chaotic party.

Brian: [00:42:05] Gen X. Oh, wait, what?

Ingrid: [00:42:06] Gen Z.

Brian: [00:42:08] Oh, I know.

Ingrid: [00:42:08] Gen X.

Phillip: [00:42:12] The Gen X, which I conveniently opt myself into when it makes sense for the conversation so I can, you know, confess...

Brian: [00:42:23] You're on the line.

Phillip: [00:42:25] I can be a Gen X or I can be a millennial. They're too busy just trying to deal with their arthritis at this point. Can't really fault them

Brian: [00:42:35] Oh, sheesh. He went there.

Ingrid: [00:42:38] Oh, my God.

Phillip: [00:42:39] Menopause and arthritis, Brian. It's like there's a big deal. You got to deal with those things as they come up. You can't you know, you can't be weighing into every online debate.

Brian: [00:42:48] I feel like you're talking about yourself right now. That's what's happening right now.

Phillip: [00:42:51] {laughter} Menopause and arthritis. 100%.

Ingrid: [00:42:54] But I think you're joking, but there was this whole article in the New York Times with millennials hitting midlife crisis.

Phillip: [00:43:03] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:43:03] That got a lot of press because it's crazy because we're supposed to be like these young whippersnappers who are coming in and getting yelled off your lawn. But in reality, we're just like, we're hella old now. So what are we to do?

Phillip: [00:43:14] Yeah, I'm feeling that.

Brian: [00:43:15] Man, I feel old.

Phillip: [00:43:17] I'm feeling that. I'm an elder millennial. I'll claim that affiliation, that group affiliation.

Ingrid: [00:43:22] We're geriatric millennials, I think it is.

Phillip: [00:43:24] Yeah. Geriatric. That's right. I'm feeling that a little bit. It's tough. And that's why I feel like when we're having these purpose conversations, there is a work intersection with sort of what am I doing at this point in my life, especially folks of us who have been in digital, or digital transformation in some way, for most of our lives. We've been doing this because we were the people who were the early adopters who came into these legacy businesses.

Ingrid: [00:43:51] Exactly.

Phillip: [00:43:53] We were the people with the new ideas. We were brilliant young people who just made it happen. We aren't those people anymore.

Ingrid: [00:43:59] And we were the translators, too.

Phillip: [00:44:02] Right.

Ingrid: [00:44:02] We lived both in the analog and the digital world. And so we still, I think, today play that role. But now Gen Z is coming in.

Phillip: [00:44:12] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:44:13] We're not going to have the episode right now, Phillip.

Phillip: [00:44:15] No. Okay. I'm just saying it makes me excited to hear it for when it happens because I think a lot of the conversation that's missing right now is how do we deal with that change that's already... It's not coming. It's here already.

Ingrid: [00:44:27] Exactly.

Phillip: [00:44:27] It's already been in motion for a little while. How do we all deal with that? That could be a really interesting set of conversations.

Brian: [00:44:33] I feel like we haven't dealt with it. Even though it's here. It's not been dealt with yet.

Phillip: [00:44:37] I'm actively trying not to deal with it.

Ingrid: [00:44:39] We have to talk about it. That is what season three is all about.

Brian: [00:44:43] Ooh.

Ingrid: [00:44:43] I hope you'll tune in. And I'm just so grateful to get to continue this really fun and hopefully fruitful journey for everyone involved. And thanks again for a really great season two. It's been a really fun, exciting and a growing journey.

Phillip: [00:45:08] Thanks for having us. Thank you for doing it. Can't wait to see what you do in season three.

Ingrid: [00:45:13] Thanks, you guys. See you soon.

Brian: [00:45:15] See you, Ingrid.

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