SHOTS FIRED w/ Ryan Gill

August 6, 2019

By 2020, over 40 million Americans are predicted to be part the GIG ECONOMY. As such, platforms whose goal it is to support freelancers and solopreneurs are hotter than ever. However, not all platforms are created equal. The boys sat down with Communo CEO and co-founder Ryan Gill to dig into this smokin' hot trend.

 

Take a glimpse into the future on this exclusive podcast from Nexxt.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

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Announcer:        Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

 

Joel:                       Che, che, che, che, check it. We just can't get away from the Canadians. That's all I'm saying.

 

Chad:                    Can't. Can't.

 

Joel:                       Guys, special show today. We have Ryan Gill co-founder of Communo, co-founder of The Gathering?

 

Ryan:                     Yup.

 

Joel:                       The number one marketing conference in the world according to multiple reputable sources.

 

Chad:                    According to Chad Sowash, that's for damn sure.

 

Joel:                       Who are reputable, yeah. Ryan, welcome to the show, man. It's an honor to have you on.

 

Ryan:                     Hey guys, thanks for having me. I'm pumped for this. Let's get into it.

 

Joel:                       It is technically your second appearance, although the first appearance we were all a little bit inebriated I guess you could say? So hopefully you remember the first interview.

 

Ryan:                     You guys were I wasn't.

 

Chad:                    Yeah, uh huh.

 

Joel:                       I was being nice.

 

Chad:                    Just again, for the audience, for listeners, we met Ryan at the gathering last year and just blown away by what was going on. And then we learned about Communo, which is a marketplace. Joel and I are totally geeked out, we love marketplaces. We're seeing a lot going on out there, and we thought, hell, let's bring Ryan on, he's CEO co-founder of Communo, have an expert who's in this every day and talk about marketplaces, gig economy, the now, the tomorrow, kind of the evolution. So that's kind of the setup.

 

Joel:                       By the way, the only thing we love more than marketplaces, is Ryan Gill. So how appropriate that he's on the show today.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, that's what I like to hear.

 

Joel:                       So, few of our listeners know who you are, so give us a brief on what you do and what sort of gives you energy, and then we'll go into Communo because a lot of our audience has never heard of Communo, but they probably should.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah. Really, the Coles Notes version is, I think from a high level for those that want to get to know me just as a human, is I've been in businesses 21 years, that'll be coming up, of running businesses, starting them. But I think in the last decade I became a bit more self-aware to know that I'm a true entrepreneur founder CEO, not an operating CEO. So that's a little weird background to start. But I basically became more self-aware about who I am and what I'm good at the last 10 years, and more closely the last five years that I'm really good at starting businesses, building the culture, building the core founding team, and then getting the hell out of the way because I'm an awful operator. So, that's who I am as a person. Everyone says serial entrepreneur. I hate that word. I have multiple companies but one vocation and it's building communities.

 

Joel:                       And I'm going to give you a little shout out in that if you don't follow Ryan on LinkedIn, the videos that you produce on a regular basis are fantastic.

 

Chad:                    Dabs.

 

Ryan:                     Dabs.

 

Joel:                       I just love the vibe and sort of the off the cuff. I feel like you say like, "Hey man, roll the camera," and then you just have thoughts just spin off your head. It's great.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah. Thanks for the shout out. And on Instagram it's @RyanGillShares or Twitter or Facebook it's Ryan Gill Shares. Follow, and why it's important, and for me it's not a plug because it's actually, most of its embarrassing or some might think, "Why are you sharing that?" But the premise of Ryan Gill Shares and why we started doing it about 18 months ago, it's very, very new, is I built many companies and had lots of success and lots of failures, and I chose to do this new startup Communo in the marketplace business, which we're going to get to today, in the ad tech space, and when I did it I said, "You know what, I love podcasts, I love watching content on social, I think social can be great, but it's often waxing poetic about what happened after they'd been successful or they'd been a failure."

 

Ryan:                     I was like, "What if we could document the journey of the whole thing from the startup, the idea, to fundraising, to building your company, and then almost like a movie, play it back in a couple of years, three years, and then people can actually learn as we go." So it is off the cuff and it isn't scripted. It's whatever we feel is important to show about that journey of being an entrepreneur, which a lot of people don't show the good and the bad and the ugly. And, you know, we only put out about 30 seconds a day or a minute a day, and then we do 10 minute vlogs on Monday. Dabs films for like 12 hours. If we can't get 30 seconds, we're pretty horrible. So [crosstalk 00:06:04], but Dabs makes magic out of 12 hours of film.

 

Chad:                    He does. He does. So let's jump into this. So we want to talk about marketplaces today. Tell us a little bit about Communo. It is more of a niche type of a marketplace. And then we'll start to spin off into kind of like what you're saying now in marketplaces and move from there.

 

Ryan:                     Well everyone that's listening, if you understand marketplaces and obviously HR and just talent, it goes like wide, narrow, wide, narrow. So Craigslist, one link on Craigslist was like bed and breakfast, you know, homes for rent, and Airbnb built a $100 billion company out of one list of Craigslist back in the day, one niche. And then it goes narrow, and then it goes wide again. You see like freelancer.com or Upwork goes wide. And I think, I'm betting on this, that it's going niche again. So although what I'm building with Communo was for advertising marketing professionals, that includes digital PR, everything that touch communications, it's a $35 billion industry when it comes to just the talent recruitment industry for this niche. So yeah, it's a small niche, but it's fucking massive.

 

Ryan:                     And so we started it about a year and a half ago. I stepped down from my other companies that I still own but don't operate anymore, and I took on the role about almost ... so we started a year and a half ago, about a year ago I took on the role as CEO and as a co-founder, and we're building a marketplace so people have real time access to the keywords, vetted talent, which is a managed marketplace. So millions of small and large agencies and solopreneurs can grow by getting and giving work more profitably. And the genesis of it is, it all comes from the top down. The clients' projects are not one, two year projects anymore. They're one month, six month projects, and you can't possibly staff for that. It's impossible from a model perspective. There's such a need for it and we built it for ourselves to start with, and then, you know, last year this time we had a hundred users, now we're up to 40,000 users. So the market has told us it's a good idea.

 

Chad:                    Holy shit dude. 40,000 users. Damn. So the cool part, and I mean this was really born out of your need through Cult, right, to be able to staff up and down quickly. So instead of going and building FTE shops, it just made sense to be able to be more fluid with the projects. So tell us a little bit about that and how the platform started to come together.

 

Ryan:                     It's a very important point here, I'm glad you asked that. The FTE shop and the agency model isn't going away and Communo is not a disruptor, we're an innovator. It's a layer on top. It's a new piece of operating like QuickBooks would be or like ... It's literally the plumbing and so we're not going to displace the agencies. They're definitely going to get a lot smaller. And when Chris and I merged ... So Chris bought my other company, I had a digital agency called Suitcase Interactive through really late 90s early 2000s, and Chris Kneeland, my co-founder in my other businesses, when we merged and he bought my company, his first thing he said to me is like, we are peanut butter jam. He's like, "We want to go from tons of employees down to as low as we can go as far as FTEs and let's try this continuing workforce model," which we managed on a spreadsheet back in the day, "And see if it can work and see if it affects our top line and our bottom line. Let's do an experiment."

 

Ryan:                     So from day one, this is 2011, we operated like that and started to narrow down our company, which was called Cult Collective. It's still is, it's a marketing engagement firm that does work for fortune 500 companies around North America. It's very successful and done well. But I would argue our biggest piece of success and why it was successful was our operating model. That's not sexy until it is, right? And so, people started asking questions, "How are you doing that? How are you growing with such a nimble small team?" And we're like, we used to have lots of people and we've narrowed down, but we had a bench of contingent workers, gig workers, that we knew were great and we could bring them in and they could do a project and then we didn't have to fire them afterwards because they didn't work for us. They were moving on to someone else.

 

Ryan:                     We started coining the term portfolio careers and I think it became popular by someone else. But Chris and I said, "Go out, we don't have a job for you for 1200, 1500 hours for the year, but we have like 300 hours. Go work for our competitors. It's fine. It's not a zero sum game." And not only did the talent love it, that worked for us, we loved it because it made us more profitable. So our top line continued to grow and our bottom line exploded because we didn't have this utilization problem that all agencies and most companies deal with when it comes to human capital.

 

Ryan:                     We're in the business in advertising and marketing that our product is people. We can't have products sitting on the shelf for six months and not being used. That causes a problem. So we solved it through ... At the time it was called The Collective and now it's morphed into Communo. The best startups, people that are listening, are usually ones that are built for yourself to fulfill a need. And we did that.

 

Chad:                    Yeah, Slack.

 

Joel:                       Yeah, Slack. A constant criticism of platforms is sort of the race to the bottom in terms of wages. How does Communo fight that and what are sort of your thoughts on how Upwork and Fiverr and whatnot are really driving down the cost for a lot of professionals?

 

Ryan:                     Yeah. I have friends at Upwork and Fiverr and Freelancer, so I love them. So that's a little asterisk beside what I'm about to say. I hate those platforms and I hate their model because as a creative myself, I started out as a writer, it is just literally a race to the bottom. I think they'll be around for a long time. There's always a need for the corner store or Walmart. That's what I think of them. But I do think they're important. Communal wouldn't be where we are without them because they led the way. And like I said, there's great people there, but the model is just ... the actual people, they're like roadkill. It doesn't matter how cheap they get sold for, it doesn't matter, there's no real guidance on what people should be paid. They might say they do it, but proof is in the pudding and the members that leave Upwork or Freelancer and come to Communo, the first thing they notice is we don't have a job under a thousand dollars. We don't allow the slider under that number. That's just one of many things.

 

Ryan:                     We do not take commissions. We're a subscription based model so they can prepare and they can hopefully budget for what they're going to pay. A lot of them join Upwork or Freelancer because it's free. Great. Guess what? It's not free. It's expensive. So those are things that, again, I don't think they're bad people and I think they'll be around for awhile, but if you're going to create a cult brand, which we're trying to create with Communo, you've got to have some enemies and they're definitely my enemy.

 

Ryan:           Shots fired.

 

Joel:                       You're talking about vetting candidates. That seems like a real scaling issue to me. Talk about that process at Communo.

 

Ryan:                     Let's go back to startup economics, they call it unit economics. In a managed marketplace like ours, we have three different types of people in our platform. The very top of the funnel is what we call extended network. They join our platform for free or for marginal, a very small fee, and they are not vetted except for we run a thing to make sure they're not criminals basically.

 

Ryan:                     And then anyone who's verified on our platform, we definitely run the background check to make sure they're not nefarious or criminals, we have a scraping tool that checks their LinkedIn, their website, and it gives us a green, red, yellow light to say, "Should we vet these people deeper or are they good enough to be on the platform?" It's verified that they are who they say they are, so you still buy them at your own risk.

 

Ryan:                     And then we have true vetted and they pay more money to be vetted. So obviously, again, extended network pays a little bit or nothing, verify pays a little bit more, but vetted pays quite a bit compared to our other platforms. And the unit economics work, and it doesn't affect their scaling because we can hire more people than other marketplaces to work on that onboarding to make sure they are who they say they are. But are they good? And one of our early taglines that was such a mistake, that I'll share with your listeners, one of our taglines was experts always. Seemed like a great thing, cool to say. I've been in the business 20 years, 80% of the work done in advertising and marketing, digital firms, PR firms, is not done by the experts. 80% is done by the juniors, the intermediates, and that's just facts. And clients know that too. But those juniors and intermediates need to be good.

 

Ryan:                     And so we took that tagline off and we really started to say, "Hey, you want on our platforms some junior to expert because that's where 80% of the work gets done. You don't want to be paying $400 an hour for an expert unless you need them." We do have senior people on the platform, very strong ladies and gents, but back to your point, why we can vet them and spend so much time and so much manpower internally and have more FTEs on our team, is because the unit economics work. Where the other companies, they need scale, and they'll just let anyone on because they're taking commissions and we don't have that problem.

 

Chad:                    So for clients who subscribe, and I mean just from a marketplace standpoint, do you allow the building of benches or talent portfolios?

 

Ryan:                     Yup. So we are adding the ... It's not live yet, I think it's next on the roadmap, is adding of tribes. We've limited ... we kind of make these tokens up in order to make sure we don't run out of people just to get everyone on the tribe. So there's 70 right now, 70 different disciplines on the platform. So you get 70 coins and you don't get them back unless they're relinquished to you from that person. If they leave the platform or something like that, you get it back. So you can have almost your entire agency virtual, you could have videographers, writers, art directors, and the cool part about the tribe is you can send direct work to them. But more importantly, community. We're not trying to build a transactional marketplace, although transactions ... and we've had millions and millions of dollars of transactions happen in a short time, it's more about that true social connectedness and hopefully that tribes piece of our business, and our feature, allows people to actually get to know each other.

 

Ryan:                     So when they need each other, and maybe it's not just for work, it's support or they have a question, they can either use a video piece of our platform or they can send a message out to their tribe and know that ideologically those people have received their invite to be in their tribe and vice versa. So they can be a bit more vulnerable and ask for help when they need it. Or scale up with speed because they trust them already. So we have a couple toggles on our platform, which we should get you guys on to test it out, but when you post a job, you can either post it to the open market, you can post it to your tribe, or you can send it direct to a member that you already know.

 

Ryan:                     And the reason why people do it, you know, disintermediation, of course, you know that term, we don't care about disintermediation because it's subscription business. We're not a commission business. So if they take it offline, good for them. We are trying to build in a loyalty program that don't want them to do that. Not because our model will be affected, we just want to track the online transactions and see what's happening just from a data perspective. Hopefully I answered your question.

 

Chad:                    Yeah, and it seems like it'd be more efficient to manage it in the platform anyway, have everything set up, your tribe, and not have to work offline. You have everything in one platform. So going back to the race to the bottom, I would think that talent feels like they're on that race to the bottom and it doesn't feel good, right? That damages a brand. So what would you tell a company? We met Justin, you brought Justin Gignac from Working Not Working, there's kind of like the same scenario where it's like, "Hey look, you're coming here not for a race to the bottom." It seems like that's where companies would want to go. They'd want to come to Communo, they'd want to go to Working Not Working because they want to build a brand that's not a throwaway brand. Right?

 

Ryan:                     And when you say brand, yeah, so the difference to ... Shout out to Justin, Working Not Working, I'm a fan, but our models are very different. Justin's model's great. They're open to clients, so when you talk about brands building brands, that would be more applicable to them and 100% if Justin was here, he would say, yeah, that's what they're building and kudos to them. And it's not a race to the bottom on their platform, which I love.

 

Ryan:                     I actually just flew Justin in to speak at our Summit. I think more CEOs, this is a total tangent, but stop thinking your competition is your enemy. You should be partners. And so I'm trying to build that bridge with Justin, we had him speak at our Communo Summit last week. Justin's platform Working Not Working is open to clients, so that question would apply more to him, so I can't answer that really. Mine is a closed marketplace, meaning it's only for agencies and marketers and solopreneurs or freelancers that do marketing type work or digital work. And so that's on them to figure out whoever their client is, what they're doing for them.

 

Ryan:                     We're the matchmaker and making sure they get the talent and 100% we want it to be vetted talent and strong talent because they're going to either continue to come back to Communo because of that talent and we fulfill our promise, but there isn't a race to the bottom because I think, again, ideologically, why we made it a closed marketplace, which potentially, I'm using air quotes, can make it smaller, but it's not, is because people know what each other's worth. If a plumber comes to your house and you're a plumber and they're there for 15 minutes, they're like, "$300 please," you know that the handle was $200 and his hourly rate was $100 or $50, whatever it is.

 

Ryan:                     In these open marketplaces like Upwork, you got people that don't have a clue what a video is worth or what a writer's worth, and so they just say, "Yeah, 50 bucks or 100 bucks." Where in Communo, the buyers are educated because they buy those services every day. And so to the plumber metaphor, in our business, it's like writers are buying from writers and so they're not undercutting them. Truthfully it's a slap in the face. And so I really feel like we are a shield in front of the creative industry saying, "Let's just let the agencies continue to deal with clients and they can set the prices and then they come to our marketplace to get talent that's good at what they do and everyone's getting paid fairly."

 

Joel:                       I love that you mention plumbers and that sort of rolls into my next question. You see platforms not only in the digital space where you live, but also on bricks and mortar or offline businesses as well, right? So we all know Uber is an obvious example, but Chad and I on the show have talked about restaurant platforms where you can have gig workers or freelancers come in and serve food or cook food, et cetera. Do you think the same rules that apply to a bricks and mortar sort of a gig platform or solopreneur platform are the same ones that sort of impact the digital? Or are there differences between the two?

 

Ryan:                     I think they're similar and the revenues are predicted to, by 2022, to be, for marketplaces in general, like 40 or $50 billion driven by the sharing economy. And I think the rule ... so they're similar, but the rules are different that I think because it's like a real battle out there in the brick and mortar because it is dying a bit, right? I don't think it'll go away, but just dying. So everyone's squeezing pretty tight. Where in the sharing economy or in these marketplaces like mine, everyone's coming in and it's in the name sharing. So there's this real generosity and you get exposed pretty quick if you're not that in a platform like ours or others like it. And I think what's interesting from a philosophical standpoint, why marketplaces from the digital perspective are growing so fast, I think it comes from the mindset that comes with sharing.

 

Ryan:                     And so I don't know if that answers your question, but I think that's a really macro way to look at it, that everyone's squeezing real tight in the brick and mortar, and so there is no collaboration, everyone is trying to grab at things. And when you have a bunch of takers, things dry up pretty quick, where in these other platforms we're ... In Uber ... I literally refuse to take taxis now, I'm done. I actually lost a client. They don't care, but I think ... Also, I don't blame them for not ... They're feeling the squeeze, so they're squeezing more, and then they're looking for a tip or they're looking for this or that. "You don't have cash on you? What the hell?" It's like, "Who the hell is cash on them?" You know, those types of things. And so they're just squeezing real tight and guess who feels that? The end consumer. And so when the end consumer starts to not like it, they prefer a digital alternative and so they a digital alternative.

 

Joel:                       I'm glad that you brought that up as well because you have some pretty strong opinions on what a freelancer is and what a solopreneur is. And when you said, you know, sort of the freelancer doesn't have sort of the buy in that may be a solopreneur does, talk about your difference of definition in those two and why one fits in nicely in maybe your economy and the other doesn't.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, for Communo alone, this is my lexicon. We actually have three different types of members. We actually have five, but small to midsize agencies, everyone understands, and then enterprise agencies are the two other of the five. But here's the three that I have delineation between, gig workers, freelancers, and solopreneurs. Here's my definition. A gig worker is a craft person with full time employment, looking for supplemental income maybe on nights or weekends. Cool. You know our 500,000 users and members over the next few years, it's a small percentage that will be those types of people. They're good people, we want them on the platform, but we're not even going to charge them because they're not adding to the marketplace.

 

Ryan:                     Then there's freelancers. Freelancers, in my opinion, are full-time independent contractors seeking to be fully billable via project based work. Great. They're the next best thing. They're not the best, but they're just looking to sell 40 hours. They're probably going to work 60, but they're not business people and they might get mad at me for this, but that's okay. They're really just employees working in a different set of rules, their own time maybe, they're still selling 40 hours and that's not bad. Some people are fucking happy that way. That's great.

 

Ryan:                     Our core member, and I want to know who created solopreneurs because I feel like Chris and I, we were talking about using those words early on, but I want to find out who coined the term because it's awesome. Maybe you guys know. In my opinion, they're full-time independent contractors, much like freelancers, very different than gig workers for sure, but much like freelancers, but they're building a business and seeking contingent workers as their framework. That is their model. They don't want another employee. They might have one, you know, EA or something like that, but their MO is to have no employees ever because they don't want that headache. And trust me, it's a headache.

 

Ryan:                     It is, it is, but there's an upside too where entrepreneurs do want employees. They are solopreneurs and they always will be that way. And that is our core membership group. We're building about a $500 million business over the next five years, they make up for almost 300 million of our revenue because that is our core people. Why? And our investors ask us this, and VCs that are investing in us, why are they the most important? Because they're buyers and sellers, which is the greatest thing in the marketplace. You want to have those buyers and sellers.

 

Chad:                    Yeah, yeah, no question. So what does a marketplace look like in five years? We know that there's so much energy that's going into it now, and people are still trying to figure it out. What does it look like in five years?

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, it's the accepted way of doing business. When you ask that, and truthfully I'm like, "What do you mean five years? People already think of it better." And that's not a slam at you guys, even though I love to slam you, people think of it like that now, it's starting to become common verbiage and things, but people understand Amazon, which been around for a while, people understand Uber. The reason why service-based has been so difficult to crack, and it's a trillion dollar marketplace, it's going to be bigger than all of these other ones, is because it's trust, right? Uber did a bit of that. Amazon for sure did.

 

Ryan:                     But it's more people, you're not buying products. And if we can, and this isn't a slam to my members, but if we can SKU our members, meaning we've forced them to verticalize, like to make sure that they are experts in something, they can do a lot of things, but why we push our members, even big agencies and small or solopreneurs to have one or two pieces of expertise on the platform, is because as you guys know, browsing is over in a marketplace.

 

Ryan:                     You're not typing in marketing person, you're typing in VR, or blockchain expert, or you're typing in logo designer for automobiles.

 

Chad:                    It's crazy specific.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah. And so I tell people shop for people and so we're trying hard from a vision perspective ... Part of my job, which we should probably get into, is who will win in the marketplaces in the future. And I'm not patting myself on the back, but it's going to be who has the best vision and can communicate it the best from a CEO perspective and defining that strategy and what you're trying to build and communicate it to your marketplace first and your staff, and then the market, I think.

 

Ryan:                     When I think about SKU'ing people, it's not negative. It's actually a good thing because the marketplace is now going online, but they're not typing in find me a marketing person or even a web person. They're typing, I need a mobile website for the travel industry. Who's going to win? The person that puts mobile developer or the person that puts mobile developer that only does travel websites?

 

Chad:                    Well, here's the thing though. Here's the thing. That's what I'm talking about. So you know, as we start to get better at this, and when I say we, I'm saying the agencies even more on the direct employer side of the house, we understand the platforms better. Now I mean, you're working with agencies I think who, from an adoption standpoint, from an understanding standpoint, they get it much more than direct employers. But on the direct employer side of the house, I think they're starting to get that they need to be more specific. What exactly do you need? You're right, you're not trying to do the job description thing. You're looking specifically, what you need to fill a gap for a project.

 

Ryan:                     Yup. 100%, and that's why membership and subscription model's better too, because it forces, again, I think it's Nassim Taleb that talks about ... Anyways, it's about charging people for stuff. They see more value in it. And so instantly, when they're paying 99 bucks a month for their subscription, they're going to care more about their profile because their profile is going to really drive what the ... it's like the front door to your, if you were talking brick and mortar, what does it look like? People understand what they're buying and are you only going to get buyers to come in? And so the reason why our model works well is because they pay, they're going to take more care and attention into their profile, which then makes it easier for people to buy from them. And so it's this nice circle. And then if more people buy from them, they invest more in that profile, which is basically their storefront. And it's just this good positive circle, positive feedback.

 

Joel:                       Hey Ryan. Most, most of our, well not most, but a lot of our listeners, and I'm sure people on your platform are younger, so let's say 35 and younger, they've never really known a bad economy for the most part in their professional lives. Everyone on this call is old enough to remember many recessions throughout our lives and particularly a really bad one about 10 years ago. I'm of the thought that the next recession, the next downturn, is going to expedite the growth of the sort of gig economy, the platform worker. Are you of the same mindset? What happens to Communo and other sites like yours when the economy goes to hell?

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, we're trying to get ahead of it so we're a help rather than a, "Fuck you. I told you so." And what I mean by that is we're seeding the community and our industry globally as we grow globally over the next 18 months. Even people that say no to us or they say they're in, we're telling them when the recession comes, when the downturn comes, don't fire your employees or lay them off. Gift them a membership at a discounted rate. We'll be ready to give them a bridge or an off ramp onto something that they can start to use these platforms as a safety net.

 

Ryan:                     And then it does become a meritocracy and everyone ... that word is hot right now. You're still going to have to be good, but it's going to weed out the people that are really willing to work. So if we're in a recession, it means there's also not a lot of work. So it's actually going to cut both ways so that hopefully they offload them on the Communo for a small fee and they help them get, you know, land on their feet and then it's on that person that's now on their own, but they don't have to be alone.

 

Ryan:                     They can join our community and if they come in looking for true community rather than transaction, they'll succeed. If they come in looking just to get, which getting isn't bad, but it's the spirit of things, this overwhelming generosity on our platform helps our members know that they're not just in it to get, they should be in it to give and it's kind of like a positive reinforcement from the group. So I think it's coming very soon, I think sooner than people think.

 

Ryan:                     And then secondly, there's going to be some winners and losers, like everything. It's going to be probably pretty sad still, I think, but platforms like ours will hopefully be a safety net for them to fall into. And then they're going to figure out they got to work their asses off just like they did at the agency or just like they did at the digital firm, to stand out.

 

Ryan:                     Amazon's a great example. In the early days, Amazon went around knocking on doors saying, "Yeah, have your brick and mortar. Cool. But you should probably open an Amazon store." And a lot of them turned their nose up and now they're out of business a long time ago or they are heading out of business. Same with us. Like I hope these agencies expose their employees to our platform so when the recession does come, they're now like, "Oh, what should I do?" they know where they can go.

 

Chad:                    Excellent, Ryan. Hey man, we appreciate you taking time, talking about marketplaces, again, talking about Communo and also hopefully you'll be able to come back sometime soon, talk a little bit about The Gathering coming up in February. We're really geeked about that, if you guys let us back in, that is.

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, we're considering it. We might build a wall.

 

Chad:                    Nice.

 

Joel:                       Nice. Nice.

 

Chad:                    Well dude, if somebody wants to learn more about Communo, where can they go?

 

Ryan:                     Yeah, if there's investors out there listening, we're closing a seed round right now and then we're going into a series A round for 20 million, about 18 months. We're closing our seed round now, so if you want to get in, you can go to communo.com and go to the investor portion. For those creatives and agencies out there listening, just communo.com and also you can hit me up on social.

 

Chad:                    Excellent. Yeah. Ryan Gill Shares.

 

Joel:                       Ryan Gill Shares.

 

Chad:                    Excellent dude. We out.

 

Joel:                       We out.

 

Ryan:                     See you everyone.

 

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