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Firing Squad: Wilco's On Freund


We are total suckers for the ‘80s. That’s why we love Wilco’s website so much. If you haven’t checked it out, do yourself a favor if you love Pac-Man, Galaga, and Donkey Kong … basically, all-things 8-bit. Anyway, back to business, On Freund and Wilco has created a sort of knowledge base for developers within a company to not only learn new skills but also get the occasional refresher for the more seasoned professional. Is it the next big thing, or destined to the dustbin of history, along with Custer’s Revenge?


Gotta listen to find out.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is changing minds and changing lives through disability inclusion.


Intro: Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad! Chad Sowash & Joel Cheeseman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest, and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they got what it takes to make it out alive? Dig a fox hole and duck for cover kids the Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level...


Joel: Oh, yeah, what's up everybody? Ask your mother about us, it's the Chad and Cheese podcast. [laughter] I'm your co-host, Joel Cheeseman, joined as always...


Chad: Don't ask her.


Joel: The peg to my Al, Chad. And today on Firing Squad, we are happy to welcome...


[applause]


Joel: On Freund.


On Freund: Thank you so much.


Joel: CEO. And also a lead singer of Wilco, I actually made [laughter] that lead singer part up.


On Freund: I do look like him though, a bit. [laughter]


Joel: You have facial hair, that's about the extent of how much you look like. On, welcome to the show.


On Freund: Thank you so much.


Chad: Give us a little Twitter bio about you, you as On not the company, we'll get into that stuff. Give us a little, little love for the listeners. Tell a little bit about you.


Joel: Love for the listeners...


On Freund: Love for the listeners, yeah. [laughter]


[music]


On Freund: Oh my.


[overlapping conversation]


On Freund: Careless whisper. Wow. [laughter]


Chad: That's a sexy sax.


Joel: That escalated quickly. [laughter]


On Freund: Amazing. If you ever seen the video to that it's all ropes. I don't get it. [laughter] Like ropes hanging from the ceiling. And he walks... I don't know.


Joel: I remember the yacht...


On Freund: There's a yacht but then it turns into ropes. [laughter]


Joel: Yeah, and I wanted that yacht.


On Freund: With knots on them, I think. I don't remember it anymore anyway, apart from being a Careless Whisper admirer and huge fan, my name is On born and raised in Israel, I've spent most of my career managing software teams, so was VP of engineering at Handy, and at WeWork...


Chad: Wait a minute, WeWork?


On Freund: Yeah.


Chad: Well you spent how much time at WeWork? That's the question, and... Did you have easy access to Adam? Because everybody wants access to Adam. [chuckle]


On Freund: Everybody does. That's true. So I was at WeWork for six years, working right next to his office, I got to spend time with him. It's a unique experience. He's definitely...


Chad: Did you meditate together?


On Freund: We didn't meditate together, but...


Chad: No? Okay.


On Freund: He's the most charismatic person I've ever met.


Joel: Did you wear shoes? While while at WeWork?


On Freund: Sometimes.


Joel: Sometimes?


On Freund: Sometimes. [laughter]


Chad: Excellent. Well, more about you beyond, beyond, WeWork if you have a family kids or...


On Freund: Yeah.


Chad: Take long walks on the beach. What else?


On Freund: Well not on the beach, but long walks are okay. [laughter] I do have a wife, she's an immunologist profession that no one cared about up until three years ago, and now everyone is excited to hear what she has to say, which is great. [laughter] She's been vindicated.


Joel: That'll be handy when this startup thing doesn't work out. [laughter]


On Freund: At least our immune system will work. And I have three kids, and in my spare time, I like to play music, I'm a drummer, not for Wilco, the band, and I also love tinkering with the home automation which is just super cool.


Joel: What does that mean? Home automation...


Chad: What does home automation mean?


Joel: Like your oven cooks spaghetti by itself. What does that mean? [laughter]


On Freund: Does an oven cook spaghetti ever even not by itself?


Joel: Yeah, I don't cook a lot as you can tell. I guess the stove.


Chad: Oven bakes. Twice baked spaghetti.


[overlapping conversation]


On Freund: Well the stove isn't automatic, it doesn't automatically do spaghetti, but a lot of things are automated from the blinds and the windows, lights, AC.


Joel: Okay, is it true that everyone in Israel does military service?


On Freund: It is true that everyone is mandated to do military service, but then actual numbers might not be as high as you'd think. [laughter]


Chad: So much like in the US? If a draft comes on, and you're rich, you can pretty much pay your way out of it. [laughter]


On Freund: No. It doesn't really work that way. It's not about...


Chad: Not about capitalism, okay.


On Freund: It's not about social economical status, but it's complicated. Let's not go into Israeli politics.


Chad: Okay.


On Freund: We can do that for hours.


Joel: Let's tell him, tell him what he's won today, Chad.


Chad: Welcome to the Firing Squad, On, here's how Firing Squad is going to play out. At the sound of the bell, you're gonna have two minutes to pitch Wilco at the end of two minutes, we're gonna hit you up with about 20 minutes of Q&A, be sure to be concise with your answers, or you're gonna hear the crickets. And that's just a sign to tighten your game up at the end of Q&A, you're going to receive one of these three from both of us, a big applause.


[applause]


Chad: Welcome to the big time, pop some champagne and prepare yourself for a golden shower... Wait, wait a minute. No, no, my bad. That was supposed to be showered with gold. Yes.


Joel: Big difference.


Chad: Showered with gold yes, yes, yes golf clap. You don't have time for a shower, you're on the right track, but there's still way too much to be done, and last but not at least the Firing Squad. No amount of soap and water will make this stinker smell good, wrap it up and start something new. Are you ready for Firing Squad?


On Freund: Born ready.


Chad: Excellent.


Joel: All right, you are on on in three, two...


On Freund: So Wilco is kind of like a flight simulator but for software engineers instead of for pilots or for software instead of aviation. Engineers don't really have a good way to gain experience, they do it on the job, which is slow, error prone and doesn't provide equal opportunity. With Wilco, you join a fantasy company, that company has a production-like system with logging, monitoring, analytics, load balancing a real data set, but more importantly, colleagues, team leads, support people, DevOps, etcetera, etcetera. And on top of that, you go on what we call quests, and a quest could be, "We have a performance problem in production. Please figure out what happened, what's the root cause. What's the extent of the damage? Fix it and communicate it to stakeholders." And the focus is on all of the skills, both soft and hard, that go beyond coding that you really only pick up on the job. If you wanna learn more, you can always visit us at trywilco.com, and sign up for free and try it out.


Joel: Super tight, super tight. Left some time on the clock, but that's okay On. We'll get to the questions and get to the...


On Freund: Let's do it.


Joel: Real stuff here. All right, the name Wilco. Did you know it was a popular alternative band from Chicago when you named the company? Was it a consideration? Talk about the name, how you came up with it. Roger Wilco, for those who don't know, is sort of expressing compliance or agreement, usually in a radio correspondence. Was that part of the name? Like talk about it.


On Freund: Yeah, so Roger Wilco was definitely part of the name indirectly, by the way, it's also part of the reason for the name of the band, but that's not related. So Roger Wilco, which stands for I received your command and I will comply and execute it, is very commonly used by pilots. As I said earlier, we're kind of like a flight simulator, just for a different domain. It was also the name of the protagonist for a series of video games from the '80s called Space Quest.


Chad: There it is. Getting in to the 8-bit video games.


On Freund: There it is now, for the video game, it was actually a pun, that was the reason behind the name, we liked it so much, we love the '80s style video games, especially quests, and we call the simulations on our platform quests. So aviation, quests, putting those two together. Wilco.


Joel: So the 8-bit branding was not some fancy agency in Tel Aviv or somewhere in Europe, [chuckle] this was home-grown from your love of '80s video games?


On Freund: Yeah, the first logo was designed by one of my co-founders, [laughter] and then the designers came in and said, "Oh, actually this is one pixel off and we need to change that, and that gradient needs to be a bit tighter," but it was completely home grown.


Joel: Okay, okay. As much as I'd love to ask about Adam Newman or his wife, or the summer camp parties, if you haven't seen it, check out Hulu for the a docudrama, I'm gonna ask about your experience at WeWork, and what it was about what you did there that sort of stimulated, the idea for Wilco. What did you bring from WeWork to Wilco? Build me a bridge to the current business as to your experience from WeWork.


On Freund: Sure, so at WeWork I was there for six years, like I said, and went through several roles, but started as VP of Engineering, managed a team of software engineers. You can ask me, "Why does WeWork even need software engineers?" We can spend an hour on that, but I don't wanna get the crickets. [laughter] So we did have an engineering team take that as a given, and both at WeWork and at Handy and other places I've been to, I realized that those engineers don't really have a good way to practice. And there is so many resources for them if they wanna learn, but nothing if they wanna practice. And somebody gave me a great analogy.


On Freund: A good friend, he said, "If you wanna know the state-of-the-art in medicine, you're going to go to someone who just graduated med school, but if you want someone to operate on your shoulder, you're gonna go to a surgeon with 15 years of experience. And that surgeon might know less than the recent grad and maybe they even forgot some of the things that they knew, and they might not be as up-to-date, but you know that they're gonna do a great job on your shoulder, and if something goes wrong, they've been there done that, they know what to do, and there's so many other skills that they've picked up throughout the years." Same goes for software, we want seasoned engineers who've been through a lot, and their battle scars kind of taught them everything they know, but everything that we see, outside is so focused on helping them learn how to write the code, which is just one skill out of many, and pretty soon might not be a relevant skill anymore anyway, given things like ChatGPT and Copilot.


On Freund: So looking around me, I just thought, "How do I give these people more experience, whether they're brand new, whether they've been doing this for 10 years, 15, 20, whatever, I wanna take the level they're at and give them the ability to practice and become even more experienced."


Chad: So do developers embrace the whole 8-bit, OG of gaming, is that one of the reasons why... I mean is this kind of like something that the entire community just loves?


Joel: What's old is new again, Chad.


On Freund: Well there used to be a saying, "Is the Pope Polish" but he's no longer Paul Polish. So... [laughter] But yeah, developers do love it, [laughter] and a lot of the developers around us, the more seasoned ones have grown up on '80s video games and they like it, some of them have grown up when retro was a thing, and they like it for that reason too. Overall, we think the 8-bit theme really conveys a lot of what we stand for and really conveys the fun aspect of our platform, because when you're on Wilco, it's not just about picking up skills, you're actually having fun in the process, so there's a reason we like games.


Chad: Well, then talk about that, how are you attracting developers or wanna be developers to Wilco?


On Freund: Various ways, some of it is through influencers, people who have a large following and work with us to promote Wilco. Some of it is through our quest partners. We have companies that appeal to developers and have developed quests on our platform so that third-party developers can gain hands-on experience with their product. So CircleCI, Docker, New Relic, Armory and many, many more Mixpanel have either build quests or are currently building quests on top of our platform, and they bring in their users to experience that as well.


Joel: Are you paying influencers or they are organically talking about the company?


On Freund: Most of it is organic. Sometimes we would pay when there's a lot of effort done by them, so if they're producing a video that's very specific to Wilco and investing a lot of their time and effort into it, then we'd wanna compensate them. But in many cases, we've had influencers that just picked up Wilco started playing and streamed the whole thing without us even knowing about it.


Chad: Talk about go-to market, who were you trying to actually target? Obviously, you want developers to be able to come in, you're starting to do that through partnerships, but how are you actually going to monetize or how have you been monetizing, and tell us a little bit about how it's been going since the last round of funding, a little over what? Nine or seven months ago...


Joel: Seven million.


On Freund: Since the funding announcement. But yeah, so.


Chad: Oh, okay.


On Freund: We monetize and we'll monetized through companies that buy Wilco for their teams, so if you have an engineering team... And that's kind of how Wilco was conceived in my mind, I also have two co-founders who both had similar ideas and eventually it's the synthesis of all three that made Wilco what it is, but for me, it all started with the need to upscale my team, and therefore it makes perfect sense for me to sell this to teams. And engineering teams actually put a lot of time and effort into things like post-mortems, something happens, they create a document, spend a lot of time gathering the lessons from whatever happened, and then the document, you know what happens with it the next day?


Chad: Buried.


On Freund: Yeah, goes into the archive. No one ever reads it, even though it's actually really good, in many cases. What if instead they built a quest, a quest mortem, if you will, and allow people to relive the experience again and again, and because it's fun people will actually wanna do this. You do this enough times the organizational history of your team exists in the form of a Wilco quest, and that means someone new joins the team, no problem. "Here are the seven quests that you need to go through to get up to speed." You switch from one area of the product to another, "Here are the five things that represent the delta between what you know and what you should know." You join the on-call rotation. "Here are the three most common scenarios you'll encounter while being on-call," etcetera, etcetera.


Chad: Okay, so are you developing just a quest machine that companies can come in, and they can develop quests, or are you also going to be developing a community/pool of candidates for companies to be able to come in and actually get qualified candidates who have been vetted through Wilco?


On Freund: So we mainly focus on the former, but the latter is kind of a side effect of that we don't have a talent marketplace or anything like that, but we do have several stories of people who found jobs through Wilco... Not through Wilco, but by playing Wilco. And they were able to elevate their skills and then get either better jobs or in one case, even the first ever job as a software engineer. We then give those developers the ability to brag through their portfolio page where they can show the quests, they've played the quests they've built, the code that they've written as part of those quests, the achievements that they've unlocked, and that bragging page can help them get their next job, but also help employers find the right talent. Now, we can also take this a step further and have companies build quests that represent a typical work day, "You know this is how cool it is to work for us, check this out. And by the way, when you're done, send us the output and let's see if you're a good fit,"


Joel: So your Wilco profile is almost a passport that you can then take to any organization that you're working with to create quests, learn from quests, etcetera. So if I go from one company to another, my team will know that I did stuff for another company, and they could be like, "Hey, who else from company A might we wanna bring over?" Is that sort of a slick way to use this as a recruiting tool, but not necessarily something you're trying to do?


On Freund: We're not trying to help people poach and what you play within a given company is a private context that doesn't really extend out of it. I mean, your score and your achievements will, but the actual quest that you've played within a given company are private. But people can also play our public catalog, whether they're employed or whether they're just doing it on their own as individuals.


Chad: So you're not looking to monetize that aspect of it yet, or at all?


Joel: It's more of an up-skilling tool, it sounds like to me like if you were gonna sell this to recruiters or employers, it would be, "We're an up-skilling platform,"


Chad: Well that's what I'm trying to ask if the road map actually has monetization for the prospect of actually targeting qualified candidates?


On Freund: So up-skilling and internal certification, knowledge sharing these are our fortes, talent acquisition is an interesting use case, but not one that we're investing a lot into right now.


Chad: Gotcha.


Joel: I wanna go back a little bit to your recent grad and 15-year experienced surgeon, I'm not real smart, so maybe I need a little bit help with that, who uses this... Like who's the target audience for this product, is it the newbies? Is it the experience to help teach the newbies? Is this an enterprise tool? Is it start-ups using this service? Are you global? Are you specific to English, a certain set of languages? Talk about who this is for.


On Freund: Yeah, so our vision is for this to be for everyone, regardless of your background, regardless of your skill level as an engineer, you always wanna gain more practice than what you currently have, or more experience than what you currently have. And I gave you the flight simulator analogy earlier, even if you have 20 years of experience and you're logging a crazy amount of flight hours, you still need to go through the simulator because a regular flight is not going to prepare you to land on the Hudson, for example, and same goes for software engineering. So we want this to be available to all skill levels, and we want this to be available to all stacks. Currently, if you build a quest, you can build it on any stack that you want, if you're looking at the quest that we've built, they're available in some of the most common platforms out there, but not all of them. For example, we don't do Golang just yet. We hope to in the future, but you can always build your own quest and do it in Golang.


Joel: Are you global?


On Freund: We are global, we're not localized yet though, so the product is in English, which at least for software engineers is a very commonly spoken and understood language. We do wanna support other languages as well, it's gonna take some time.


Joel: Okay. And then enterprise startups, like what's sort of your sweet spot of who uses Wilco?


On Freund: Sweet spot would be a traditional company with a large engineering team for now, but we think it appeals to basically any engineering team of, let's say, 50 or above, once you actually wanna start preserving the knowledge within the team and investing in professional development of their engineers.


Joel: The seven million you've raised, how did you spend it, or what are you planning on spending it on and when's your next round?


On Freund: Private jets and drugs, of course.


Joel: Okay.


[overlapping conversation]


Chad: You learned a lot from Adam, that's awesome.


On Freund: Other than the private jets and drugs, whatever was left of it, no just kidding. We really built an amazing team, both on the software engineering side, on the design side, I think it really shows, on the marketing side. We have an amazing team. I can honestly say this is the best team I've ever been part of. And that has been where most of our funds are flowing to. Like I said earlier, we didn't have a branding agency or anything like that. Everything was done in-house.


Joel: Anyone in marketing? 'cause your last Instagram post was in August.


On Freund: Apparently, Twitter works better for us. So if you go on Twitter, you'll see that we're actually very active.


Chad: Yeah, well, in the social communities, what is it going to GitHub... Where are you guys actually saying... Because again, I can see where Instagram or some of the other social media platforms might not be the developer platform, which ones do you guys go to? Have you integrated with them? Are you partnering with them?


On Freund: So Twitter is very popular with developers, if we're talking about true social media, not a developer platform. But then if you wanna target developers specifically, you have all sorts of communities like Daily Dev and those types. There are a lot of Discord communities out there for developers that we're a part of, we have our own discord community for Wilco people. And then all of the usual suspects for platforms, but in many of these platforms, it's mostly about being active and genuinely producing good content, it's not as if we're putting any ads on Stack Overflow or anything like that.


Chad: L&D is generally an HR... Kind of like under HR's umbrella, who is your buyer, who are you actually going to and who's putting their signature on the bottom line for you guys?


On Freund: What you see very often in engineering teams is that there is an HR budget for L&D, but it's at the discretion of the engineering team. So under the books, it's written as part of HR, but the VP of Engineering is able to make that decision. In many cases, they'll want the L&D team involved or part of the picture, but the actual decision is made by the VP of Engineering.


Chad: Let's talk about partnerships real quick with regard to being able to overtly grow the community, what do you have in place? From growing the community to also monetization partnerships that you have in place. Do you have both of them rolling or just working on one, mainly?


On Freund: From a partnership perspective or mostly focused on growing the community, creating good content on our platform. In the future, it is something that we plan on monetizing specifically when our partners monetize themselves. So if they wanna run their certification program on top of Wilco instead of doing a multiple choice test kind of certification program, then we'll happily charge them for it.


Chad: So how big is the community and within the community, what's the average amount of quests that a profile might have gone through?


On Freund: Yeah, so we've had close to 20,000 people on Wilco already, they're super engaged, most of them are... Not all of them. A lot of them are very engaged, we see people come back again and again. We see people play about a quest and a half per month after they finished the initial onboarding into the product, so... Yeah, those in general are our numbers.


Joel: So on the surface, I wanted to throw you into the GitHub hacker rank touring sort of platform in talking to you and getting some education, it sounds like they are not competitors.


On Freund: Correct.


Joel: Would you put someone in your competitive universe or you consider yourself a stand-alone in terms of what you do?


On Freund: So we're definitely not stand-alone, but we are taking a unique approach to this domain compared to everyone who came in prior to us. So on the one hand, you can pay a company like, let's say Thoughtworks or Pivotal Labs to come and do a workshop, and they'll come in for a week, you'll pay them probably like 100 grand or sometimes even more and to train a handful and maybe a dozen of developers. It's very expensive. It doesn't scale. On the other hand, you have Pluralsights or [0:24:52.1] ____, or all of these, and they're very scalable and at a reasonable price point, but they focus on the theory of the learning part and not the skills and hands-on experience part. What we're trying to do is bring you the value of a Thoughtworks workshop, but at the scalability and price point of Pluralsight.


Joel: You mentioned ChatGPT, is that a threat to your business that people can just run queries around code and get information? If not a threat what are some threats to the business?


On Freund: So ChatGPT quite a contrary, we think it's a great viber for us, one of the main hypothesis we have at Wilco is that code writing is just one skill out of many, and all the focus unjustifiably goes solely into it. What ChatGPT does is basically take that the importance of that skill away, people are letting AI write their code, but they still need to architect the systems, they still need to communicate with their peers, they still need to understand how to maintain a production system. They need to be able to design components or redesign components, understand security and performance implications, learn how to build a system in a way that's well articulate or could be well communicated to other people on the team. So if anything, ChatGPT really makes our business better. It makes it clear that to become a better developer, you don't have to know how to write better code, you have to pick up other skills that are important for your job.


Joel: Chad said this sounds really fucking expensive.


Chad: It could be.


Joel: On tell us about pricing. What can I expect to pay? Is it per team member? Price this out for us.


On Freund: Sure, so a regular seat would cost you $600 a year for basically any software engineer could get that for $600 a year. If you factor in what engineers go through in a single year, that's actually not a lot, so $600 is probably a third of a percent of their salary. Yet, you can onboard them more efficiently, you can make sure that when they join the on-call rotation they're ready, and thus are able to field problems better. You can onboard them into new tech, maybe you're transitioning from one vendor to another or from one language to another... So you're getting quite a lot for your buck.


Chad: Are you currently working with any human capital management platforms or learning and development platforms, the L&D platforms for integration, and then also a partnership to prospectively get into their huge portfolios?


On Freund: Yeah, we are working with a few of them to a, get integrated and b, get into their marketplace, some of those HR platforms have all sorts of marketplaces that you can pick up HR tools through them, or maybe if an HR tool recommends investing in up-skilling we could be one of the vendors that they would recommend picking up. We don't have any integration ready at the moment, but it is something that we're working on behind the scenes.


Joel: Oh, that's the bell.


Chad: That's it.


Joel: The bell means that it's time to face the firing squad.


On Freund: There were no crickets at all, I'm that efficient.


Joel: You've got that going for you, my friend, you've got that going for you. So I'm gonna go ahead and go first On reviewing this company, we did a buy or sell on a Wilco when you guys got your $7 million, I believe in summer of 2022. For reference, I was a buy. Chad was a sell. Let's see if six months later our views of the company have changed, well, number one, love the branding, I loved it then. We're kids in the '70s, '80s Chad and I. So we love the branding, but then the reference to the '80s video games is great, it doesn't have any to do with your service, but I just love the branding. There are so many boring ass websites in our business, it's nice to see someone that sort of goes zaggy when everyone else is zigging. In terms of the product itself, I think having a knowledge base, whether it's for your product, customer service, etcetera, is fantastic for businesses.


Joel: I think this is essentially a knowledge base for a team of engineers at a company, something that new people can go in and look at old archives and projects or quests, as you call them. I think it's really unique in what you guys do. I think there's a lot of opportunity. I think Chad touched on it with the recruiting side, or how do you access talent. The gig side of things, how do you integrate gig workers to come together? I think would be something interesting that you can do as that is growing, leaps and bounds. I think the global opportunity for this is incredible as technology continues to grow, and more and more companies around the world need engineers and need engineers that know what the hell they're doing. The kicker for me was in the green room, and our listeners don't get to hear the green room, but Chad asked On, if Adam Newman's new venture asked him to come work for him, what do he take the gig? And On answer was "Because of Wilco and my energy around that, I would not accept the new position with Adam Newman's new company," and so many times Chad and I see people that come out is outside the industry and they're kind of a tourist.


Joel: They're kinda like, "Hey, I'm really smart, I'm gonna solve all the problems of recruiting," and then they're gone 24 months later. So the commitment there on your side On, I think is really commendable, and for those reasons and many more that I talked about in buy or sell, check it out at chadcheese.com. If you wanna hear what I said then, is echoed now.


On Freund: Awesome.


Joel: Wilco in addition to being a great alternative band, a great start-up that everyone should check out.


On Freund: I guess that's a form of retention. I retained you as a loyal believer.


Joel: You've got Chad to face now though, so don't get too...


On Freund: Worst case he doesn't like us again, that's like...


Chad: I said, we would come back in six months and I would see where you guys are at. Now, we've got a deeper, deeper dive into this. I think it's awesome. There's no question, it speaks to my heart with the 8-bit website, just in itself, when I landed on it, I just automatically... Even eight, nine, 10 months ago. I just loved it. Still love it. I think it's amazing. I think Joel's talking about you're not being a tourist in this space because you're playing on the fringes, you're not really... You're not talent acquisition, you're not really deep into the HR side, you're really focusing on the engineering teams and being able to try to get penetration and usage from those teams and then seeping into L&D and HR. But L&D is a huge money maker for this space, being able to have integrations, being able to build into some of these bigger systems is to me a recipe for acquisition exit and obviously more time where you would be able to get on the beaches, walking on the beaches with the kids.


On Freund: Barefoot.


Chad: Yes, and most L&D systems are relics and they don't focus on a lot of the new tech quests, those types of things, so I think you would definitely... There's no question, breathe a breath of fresh air in. The hardest part here is timing for you guys, for any startup, it's timing, and right now companies are shedding developers left and right. So I think it might be good from the standpoint of being able to pull new individuals into the community, but maybe not because they're looking for a new gig and/or they're transitioning and they just don't have time.


On Freund: But then by the way, if you're, like you said, shedding developers left and right, you really wanna make sure you're making the most out of whoever is left at the company.


Chad: It's my turn On.


Joel: Zip it On, zip it.


On Freund: I just wanted the crickets.


Chad: I think at the end of the day, you guys have an amazing product, there's going to have to be some hyper-focus, and not to mention also, I think trying to get at least some advisors or some people on staff that are really focused and really entrenched in this market. Because I think this could actually really catch like wild fire, but you need to have that type of go-to market and those types of relationships to be able to get there. So I am not a firing squad, I am not a big applause, I am a golf clap, 'cause I think you're on the right road, but it's not time for the shower kiddos, it's time to do the hard work and focus on the go-to-market, so there you have it.


On Freund: All right, I survived the firing squad.


Joel: Chad was swayed a little bit there On, I think you're on track, man. How do you feel?


On Freund: I feel good. It didn't hurt. And I survived. What more can I ask for? That's like the start-up mantra, to survive and everything will be okay eventually. No, just kidding. This was fun. Thanks so much for giving me this stage and not digging too deep into the WeWork story.


Chad: We'll do that after we stop recording.


On Freund: In separate episode.


Joel: So many walks on the beach. Chad another one is in the books. We are out.


Speaker 1: This has been the Firing Squad, be sure to subscribe to the Chad and Cheese podcast so you don't an episode, and if you're a start-up who wants to face the Firing Squad, contact the boys at chadcheese.com today that's www.C-H-A-D-C-H-E-E-S-E.com.


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