“We were an against all odds story.”
That was how High Alpha Managing Partner Scott Dorsey began sharing the story of founding and growing ExactTarget at Litera’s The Changing Lawyer LIVE! The dot-com bubble had just burst when he and his partners founded ExactTarget in late 2000, which made starting a software company a seemingly risky decision. The fact that none of the co-founders had a technical background stacked the odds even higher.
What their team did have, though, was passion for the problem they were trying to solve, and great partners. Scott shared his story of working with Steve Humke at Ice Miller in the nascent days of ExactTarget, when a relationship that lasts to this day was formed.
In his presentation, Scott recounted the importance of partnerships and trust in creating true innovation. Through downturns and difficulties, trust and relationships were key ingredients of the team’s success — and they remain important.
“Necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s never truer than in times like this,” Scott said. “This level of distress pushes us all to focus on what matters most. It’s all about focus on family and what matters first, and then you can clear your head and focus on business.”
Watch Scott’s full keynote, “Moving Target: Navigating from a Turbulent IPO Market in 2008 to a $2.5Bn Exit,” below:
Haley Altman: I’ve had the pleasure of being able to work with Scott over the past four years in terms of founding Doxly and and working with High Alpha. It’s like they were more than just advisors — they helped us really build, and build everything that we did, and scale. We can definitely talk more about the High Alpha story and what High Alpha does for companies, and how it helps shape the leaders because it isn’t just about building companies. It’s about creating the next generation of leaders and really changing the business landscape. So I’m excited to dive into all that and just thrilled to have you here to share more of your story. So thank you for joining us.
Scott Dorsey: Thanks Haley. You know Doxly was such a huge part of my life and of High Alpha’s journey and we’re delighted to see Doxly as a part of the Litera family. Hats off to Litera for this for this wonderful day. I feel honored to be a part of the keynote and everybody watching, thank you for joining us, and I hope you’re staying healthy and productive, and making the very most of this really challenging time.
Haley: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s obviously and I think what Avaneesh said, what we wanted to do today is, you know, we know everything is challenging, a lot of things are changing, people are trying to figure out how to navigate things. And, and I think one of the things it’s like, you know, being in Indianapolis where I am currently right now, you know, we know a lot about the story of ExactTarget, what it’s meant, not only for the journey of the business, but what it’s meant for the community, the city and and honestly, the region in terms of now what we do in tech talent, so I’m really excited to kind of dive into that story, but there’s also so much to talk about and unpack around how it’s impacted Indy, about the challenges you faced, and particularly, the timing of all of it. So I’d love to really kind of dive into that. I mean, Scott, you’ve never really shied away from challenges — you always go full force into everything. And when you started ExactTarget, there were a number of challenges that would have deviated from kind of how people traditionally start businesses and the geographic location, the time period and and kind of that access to capital. Like, can you give us a little bit more about the the beginning of that ExactTarget journey and how you faced some of what people would have not expected to be the traditional start.
Scott: I’d be happy to, Haley. We were kind of a “going against all odds” story. I went to graduate school at Northwestern Kellogg from ‘96 to ‘99, studying internet business models and entrepreneurship and really how the world was changing around us. We started ExactTarget in late 2000, kind of early 2001. And really, against all odds. The Internet bubble had just burst. We were first time entrepreneurs. We had three co-founders, none of us technical, that was highly unusual. And of all things, we’re going to start a software company in Indianapolis, Indiana. Even more remote, we’re actually in a suburb of Indy, kind of a farming community, called Greenfield. So it was kind of a “good luck” moment. But we had a real passion for helping marketers take advantage of the new internet age that was upon us, and a lot of passion and a lot of conviction and a lot of really wonderful partners. Ironically, I moved from Chicago, my wife is from Indy. So she was really delighted that we were kind of coming back to her hometown, but I really didn’t know anyone.
A friend introduced me to a guy you know well, Steve Humke, who runs Ice Miller. Steve was literally the first person I met in Indianapolis. And I kind of sketched out on a napkin, here’s kind of what we’re thinking for ExactTarget. And, asked him, you know, could you help me? We were really, really poor. We were kind of the definition of bootstrapped entrepreneurs. And Steve, you know, took a big chance on me and I think this is a strong lesson really, for all lawyers and law firms, but he he took a big chance on me and said, “we’ll do the work pro bono until you get up and running and see if this is a real business.” The funny thing was that we were so scrappy and really bootstrapping that we worked without a salary. The three co-founders, we worked without a salary for the first nine months. And Steve had a deal with me that I wouldn’t have to start paying my legal bills until we paid ourselves. So I remember having conversations every month with my wife about “Hmm, should we start taking a salary? No, no, no, I’m gonna have to start paying my legal bill. So let’s, let’s just see if we stretch that out a little bit.” And we did, and Steve would say that I tossed around nickels like manhole covers, I was so cheap, but back in the early days it’s kind of what was required. But the neat part of the story is, you know, 20 years later, Ice Miller is still my legal partner for all the companies and all the work we do. So it was that early friendship and loyalty that that, you know, really paid off for a long term relationship.
Haley: You know, I mean, I remember hearing that story. I mean, you know, I was an associate at Ice Miller, and then a partner there in between working with another firm, but that is such a thing. It’s like, you know, you want to partner with the entrepreneurs. And so, you have that “so you’re starting this business and you’re you’re gonna, you know, you’ve got the backing of a law firm that’s going to help you kind of figure out how to get started.” Now you’re in an area where, you know, after the tech bubble burst, I can’t imagine that there was a lot of access to capital so so you’re being scrappy, you’re saving, you know, the nickels and pennies and, and trying to do this. How do you approach that? Like, what’s the foundation that the three founders, you know, kind of came together to kind of really set that foundation? I think there’s probably a lot of people right now that are trying to figure out what to do in their business when now cash constraints become a real problem.
Scott: Now, I’ve been thinking a lot about the old proverb that necessity is the mother of invention, and you know, I feel like that’s never truer than times like this, you know, a great disruption, a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Just the world, people, companies feeling enormous amounts of stress. And I think I think the best answer is really focused. You know, I think I think this level of distress pushes us all to focus on what matters most. And certainly, you know, for teams and employees and families, it’s all about caring for yourself and caring for your family first. And if you’re able to do that, then I think you can clear your head and really focus on the business but it’s, it’s really hyper focus, I think of just blocking out as much distraction as you can really focusing on what matters most for your business for your clients. And for the work that you’re doing. And this is, this is a moment where I’m seeing just a tremendous amount of innovation being unlocked, mostly out of necessity, and it’s created a different level of focus that I think is going to produce some wonderful new companies and wonderful inventions and and really amazing ways of working. One of my one of my friends said recently that the future of work just arrived early. And I love that quote. And I think that’s very true. Not that we’re going to work from home every day for the rest of our lives. But no question that work in life is gonna be quite different from this point forward.
Haley: I mean, I think it is, I mean, you see how people have to figure out how to communicate, there’s so many things when the constraints like when you have all these constraints added. I think that level of focus, I think that’s something that I’ve learned kind of from the High Alpha team is that that ability to focus there’s so much opportunity and growing a business you can take things in all these different directions. And so it’s easy to get excited about opportunity when you’re especially when you’re first starting out and thinking about all the things you can do and if you try to do too much you boil the ocean anywhere. So when you know you’ve talked about this a number of times that there’s some key elements when you want to have a strong business model that really kind of sets you up for success. And I think that’s really good for people to be thinking of and being mindful of and it’s always a good callback, even when you’re in a business like what are those kind of real key elements that you feel set people up for success?
Scott: Sure, when we look at startups, I think it’s important for any business, we kind of start with what problem we are solving we, we want to solve challenging problems, rather than just kind of building technology that’s, you know, looking for a solution. But is there a problem? Is there an opportunity or need that we can fulfill in a unique way? And then really marshalling all of our resources to understand that and understand who we’re serving and, and make sure that we’re building products and services, you know, that delight them. And it’s really interesting here, I think we’re in a time now where, you know, the nice to haves are really just nice to have, you know, we really all kind of need to focus on the need to have and how can we help? How can we help organizations and our clients in their areas of most urgent need? Because that’s really all everyone can focus on at the moment.
Haley: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s something that we see too is like you what is that how do you how do you kind of focus in and so then, you know, for businesses, what’s that problem that you’re trying to solve, you understand that the market’s big enough, and that there are the opportunities then then you’ve got to figure out how you position yourself in a way that it’s this is a this is a need, this is what we’re solving in that.
Scott: Yeah, here we all have one thing real quick also that I think kind of getting back to this kind of scrappiness or you know, necessity theme, I really do think you can promote extraordinarily creative thinking, when you’re when you’re resource constrained. You, you’re really forced to think differently and think creatively. And we really did that during the early days of ET. Let’s give you a couple quick examples. We had no capital, you know, to hire a sales team, yet we had lots of friends that were displaced, you know, with the.com, bubble bursting, not all that different than what we’re seeing today. Phenomenal people from many technology companies are being let go, unfortunately, you know, just given the uncertainty of the economy. So we hired many, many enterprise reps, but we hired him as independent sales agents. They were, you know, largely commission oriented. And we said help us, and we’ll give you equity. And if, if this kind of turns into a real company and we get funded, we’ll hire you down the road. Another example was we worked with advertising agencies who needed technology to serve their customers. And that created a channel to give us a lot more reach in the market. And I think those, those kind of creative solutions would not have happened if we were sitting on a lot of capital, or we’re just too comfortable, they were really just out of just hardcore necessity and needing to think differently and a lot more creatively. So I’m, I’m seeing quite a bit of that great creativity, you know, flowing out right now, which is really wonderful. Yeah.
Haley: How did you get the first customer? I mean, I think those are like, it’s like, I feel like there’s always like milestones in business, like where you like, you know, you’ve got to achieve those and it’s like, it unlocks almost like the next level for you. And so, you know, how did you get that like those first, like couple customers that told you? I mean, in your ExactTarget was permission based email marketing, and that was something that now if you look back, it’s like, Oh, that’s so I mean, we don’t write emails every day about it. Different things, but that wasn’t a thing then and so how do you get people to understand like what you’re trying to do?
Scott: Yeah. You know, like my co founder Chris Baggott, I think he was a lot like you, Haley. He had a huge vision. He was an amazing evangelist, he really helped people kind of fast forward, you know, and visualize how work would be different. And so it was a lot of just kind of early evangelism and finding friends and colleagues and businesses that believed in us and shared a similar vision. It was a lot of leveraging friendships and relationships. And I think that’s been a common theme throughout my life. And I think very much about that in the legal profession is that so much of this comes down to building trust and friendship and relationships so that you’re helping people but they also want to help you in return.
Haley: Yeah, well, I think that’s great. So now you get those first few customers and now you’ve got to figure out how to kind of scale that so you know that there’s this is a thing is going to help people in my in a couple of years ago that in a conference in Atlanta, that it’s Never been an easier time to start a business but never been more difficult to scale. And so, you know, you go from having those customers. So what does that mean to you? Because a lot of people are seeing opportunities right now. There’s, there’s, there’s gaps like this crisis is, showing us the gaps that we have that are in how we work and how we do things. So it’s easier to start things, but what do you do to scale it? What’s important to think about?
Scott: I think that’s exactly right, Haley, and that that adage is even more, I think relevant today, we’re finding it High Alpha will start more companies in 2020, I believe than we did in 2019. Because of that massive disruption, more talent in the market, more unique problems to solve. The bigger challenge is how do you scale existing businesses? And how do you help those companies survive this extraordinary amount of uncertainty that we have, that we have ahead of us? So I think I think for many companies, and I look back on our time scaling, it’s taking extraordinary care of yourself, your customers, really listening. I think in many ways the best listeners end up being the best businesses because they can really understand what the market is asking for and what their customers are asking for. And they respond quickly. So, I’m a big fan of talking less, listen more. And I think if you listen to many, in many cases, your clients will show you the way you have to lead them and inspire them. But it’s a lot about responding to clients. I think this is a time for let’s just say software and tech, in particular, where getting close to your customers is paramount because they’re going through their own level of distress. And they probably have new needs and need a different level of empathy and support maybe than they did three or six months ago. So I think it’s getting really, really close to your customer. And then as we start to return to more of a semblance of normal, it’s looking for opportunities, and it’s just it’s being opportunity, we can all kind of crawl into a hole and be ultra conservative. We have to look for where the opportunities and I think businesses are kind of come out leaner and stronger, and those that can affect accelerate, you know, kind of post crisis, I think will really set them up to set themselves up for some separation and more long term success.
Haley: No, I think that that makes a lot of sense. And it is, you know, it’s like one of the things like even when you you know, when you start a legal term when we were you know, focused on legal and and it’s like, when you have long sales cycles, you start to learn to be conservative and like, how do I focus in and how do I know it, figure out what the customer wants and what the customer needs and and think about the geography of it all. But okay, so then, you know, you’re growing this business and you’re you found great talent in Indy. I think that was one of the most impressive things you brought so much talent in from the city and like we used to say in Indiana, it was there’s a complete brain drain, we lose talent to different places, and you took the universities, and you helped bring that talent in. And so let me ask this first before we get into kind of what happens next. But like, what was that like, enabled you guys to really capture the best and brightest talent and keep them here instead of them going to the coast into Silicon Valley and other places. That’s a huge part of success.
Scott: Absolutely. I think, you know, when you’re building a business, you need to think about what are the assets and strengths of the region where you’re located. And, you know, if you’re in the Bay Area, for example, it’s an extraordinary amount of talent and inexperienced talent. In a market like Indianapolis, you have to leverage a different set of strengths. And our strengths were, to your point, phenomenal universities and just an amazing amount of young talent that wanted to work in tech and wanted to be a part of, you know, high growth dynamic companies. So we, that became our focus, you know, my focus became, how do we build an organization that attracts phenomenal people, absolutely the best, the best and the brightest and they, they love the company so much that they want to grow with us. They want to work hard for themselves and for their peers and be part of something really special. So, culture and core values became extraordinarily important to this alien, as you know, I think that ultimately is probably our greatest differentiator at att was building a culture that attracted amazing people. And really brought out the best in them. That’s probably insight. As I look back around this 12 or 13 year journey, it was the culture and the people that that above all else I think we did, we did a really great job of.
Haley: Yeah, I remember when I was though I just moved back from, from Silicon Valley. So I went out, I did the Silicon Valley thing for a while for the legal side, and they came down to like the tech, I would go to the tech events, and then I would see the orange. And we’ll talk about what that means. So it’s interesting, though, where this light came from, like, where the focus on culture, the timing of it, I think, is super interesting. But, to get there, you guys, you’re growing this business, you’ve raised a more limited amount of capital for a business that it gets to this point. So I’d love for you to tell people, from the start until you do this, decide to go public, how much capital had you raised? And this is like from 2001. To What 2007?
Scott: Yes, yeah. So you know, part of our story Haley’s we filed to go public twice, so we’ll probably talk about the first failure obstacle that we had to get over. But at the point we filed to go public the first time we only raised $6 million in primary capital, we were $48 million and gap revenue heading to $72. And we still had like four or five in the balance sheet. So we broke all records for capital efficiency, it probably came back to me tossing nickels around like manhole covers. We were very frugal.
Haley: Yes, I know. That’s, I mean, that’s amazing to be able to, like kind of build with that and to have that growth. I mean, that means the product market fit the team is out there. Okay. 2007, you’re nearing the end of the year. You’re working with legal counsel and you decide to go public, you decide to file so you file it you filed in December of 2007. Is that correct?
Scott: Yeah, I’ll share that. I’ll share that day, Haley. So it was December 15, 2007. And it never was a large goal or ambition of mine to go public. Honestly, I was concerned about you know, filing to go public for, you know, the kind of lack of personal privacy you have as a CEO or an executive team, and the pressure, you know, that it puts on the company. And I always thought that we would file to go public if we clearly felt it was just the right thing to do for the business. And we had arrived at that place, you know, small to medium sized SaaS companies were going public, we’re being well capitalized. They were, they were doing extraordinarily well in the public markets. And we were, we were at a moment to your point, we were very thinly capitalized. And we, we started, we started working with many fortune 500 clients who had high expectations for us, we needed professional services, we needed international offices, we really needed a brand that was kind of more enterprise grade. And for all those reasons we really thought going public was the right move. So we filed December 15, 2007. And me being a collaborative kind of team-first leader, I wanted to do it in a special way that that all of our employees could experience so we we rented out a local theater, we had a company meeting with you know, probably 250 of us 300 It was the first day of our CMO Tim Kopp started actually that was day one for him.
So I shared with him I shared with the company that we were about to file our S-1 and we called the printer and said go, and we kind of pressed the button live so the moment was something that we could kind of share with everybody in real time. So that was the high point December 15. We felt pretty good at that at that moment.
Then 2008 happened.
Haley: I remember that, I literally just moved in January when I moved to Silicon Valley that’s when I made the move and and everything went crazy. Law firms were laying off people every downturn hit and it was just a massive mess. So now you’re a company on file like what happens now like for you like how was that experience? Like how did you engage with your counsel on this, this is a big thing to be you know on file and and I imagine the markets were not super friendly right?
Scott: It was a tough stretch to endure. We had strong legal partners, you know, that helped us file the s one and go public and then and then our legal counsel along with investment bankers really helped us, you know, gauge what was happening in the outside market. But yeah, to your point, Haley, we were kind of busy going through the IPO process in Q1 of ‘08 and then in Q2, just the market absolutely fell to pieces. There were zero venture backed tech IPOs in Q2 of ‘08, and it just became apparent, you know, little ExactTarget from Indianapolis wasn’t gonna be the first one to break open the IPO market. So it was incredibly challenging. I’ve often described it as we had all the burden of being a public company, with none of the benefits. You know, we were still having to provide quarterly guidance. We were briefing and reporting results to the analyst community, all of our financial data was public so our competitors could get their hands on it very quickly. And we still didn’t have any capital. And we were really, really in limbo, and it took every ounce of leadership, teamwork, tapping into the good cultural reserves we have built with our employees to say “hang in there, you know, we’re going to be okay.” And Haley, I did not want to pull the IPO at all costs. I thought that’s just that’s a sign of failure. No way are we going to pull the IPO and Q3 passed, Q4 passed, still no tech IPOs, no confidence that we were going to be a well received IPO. And then, believe it or not, in the first quarter of ‘09 we’re still on file.
Oh, my gosh, I learned so much about running a public company before being a public company because we really have a lot of responsibility. It also became clear to me that when you go public investors are going to be looking for growth, but they’re also looking for margin expansion. And we were so small and ironically, we were profitable, that it would have been the worst thing ever if we’d gone public because it would have really tied our hands around making bigger, bolder investments. So we started coming around to that way of thinking we had a lot of later stage VCs reach out to us and say, you know, you’re not going to get public, but we think you can be an amazing company. And for a, you know, very thinly capitalized business. In Q1, we raised $70 million. And then in Q3 or Q4, we raised another 70. And we literally ran a little internal campaign called better than an IPO. And we just broke down for a team why. We actually announced the funding and pulled the IPO on the same day, it was a move. And we said, this is not a sign of failure. It’s a sign of strength. And here we go. And we created a much bigger vision and got a lot much more aggressive, actually about our ability to invest in innovation and M&A and international expansion. And thank heavens, it was the best thing that ever happened to us.
Haley: Oh my goodness. So how do you communicate with your board at this time so you’re deciding to stay on and I totally get it. I mean, you don’t want to have to pull something without a compelling switch, which is that new round is like it’s that stressful and you have to be careful about what the signals are but, but how did you communicate with your board? So you’ve got to communicate with the board, the earlier investors, your team, like, how do you give them the confidence in terms of the direction and I mean, you’re profitable. So it’s great, but like, right now we’re trying to figure out like, What do I do? How do I communicate to my board the best course of action?
Scott: Here’s a fun little story, really just in going down memory lane here a little bit. I’ve done a couple talks on leading through tough economic times. I went back and reviewed every board deck from Oh, ‘08 or ‘09, just to check my memory and see what kind of what the tone with the tone of the business and my communication was at the time. And the word that I’m most proud of was December of ‘08. We’re still on file. You know, ’08 had been a tough, you know, tough economic year for all businesses. We were fairly recession resistant because we were digital marketing, you know, we were a less expensive faster way to connect with customers and so we were very well positioned and we felt we were well positioned. And in oh eight December of oh eight we kind of outlined a vision with our board to say it’s time for us to make a counter intuitive move and start investing for growth. And when we had enough confidence I’d say in our unit economics or value prop, our strength in the market that we felt it was time to go aggressive in hiring and expanding and we thought we’d catch our competitors flat footed because everybody was contracted and sure enough you know, thank goodness, knock on wood, it worked out it worked out brilliantly because we built capacity and new products and expanded internationally far faster than our competitive set. And it proved to be very valuable for us.
Haley: That is that is such a bold move. I mean, because you everyone is like you’re trying to just think like how long can I go like how many months Do I have that countdown of like, here’s the dollars versus you know, to just say I’m going to have so what what do you think it was that got the board is it is it just like outline a confident vision. What advice do you have for leaders right now that are trying to, you know, they’ve got, like a lot of times got this instinct of what you can do and what will like really help things before, but how do you communicate that in a way that that captures a board that’s going to be more skeptical about spending capital?
Scott: Right, exactly. I think I think it’s really about understanding and knowing your business, Haley. So I’m seeing a lot of advice today, there’s kind of one size fits all. You know, for example, there were venture firms back in ‘08, that, you know, said, you know, rest in peace good times, you know, lay off 25% of your staff, and in many companies just did it. And that was maybe the right answer. For many it wasn’t the right answer for all. So I think the key advice and I’m working with our entrepreneurs today very closely is understand the macro landscape, understand the amount of uncertainty, but make the best decision for your business based on what you’re seeing in the business. What are you hearing from customers? What does your pipeline look like, are new deals still getting closed? Are you more recession resistant than most? How do you shift your value prop in, in difficult times, you know. I’m also finding, you know, if your homepage looks the same as it did a month ago, shame on you, you really have to shift your content, your messaging, your value prop, and those that are the most agile and creative and flexible. I think you’re those that are going to win. So we were fortunate we felt like our more lightly funded competitors were going to struggle to get capital, we felt like our larger competitors were going to get conservative. And fortunately, we’re kind of right in the middle. And we saw enough green lights across the business that we said, let’s go for it. Let’s let’s start investing early. And it just takes a long time for these investments to pay off whether you’re investing in developers to build products or, you know, sales reps to expand your distribution. You know, it could take 6, 12, 18 months, you know, before they hit full productivity. So making those investments early, is often the right call.
Haely: And that’s amazing. Well, one of the things I think that was always clear at ExactTarget was this vision, just like this longer term vision, like we’re gonna you guys always had this big vision and you just built backwards to think about what do you need to do to get there. One story that I didn’t know that this actually was. I know the story, but I know when this happened, and this is so fascinating to me. So you’re going through this IPO time, Tim Kopp has joined us CMO and he comes to you with an idea and like, I’m like sitting here like, you know, around culture and and focusing on that and I’m, I’m remembering like, I was I was representing people trying to stay alive at this time. So I was wondering how can we refinance companies? How are we like just pulling every dollar that we could to keep a business afloat? And like, everything’s so stressful and, and you guys make a very, like interesting decision to go all in on something that was a little bit surprising. But why don’t you tell everyone a little bit more about
Scott: I’d be happy to Haley. So when we started we developed a list of core values, eight of them, which in hindsight, I think is too many. And High Alpha we have three, but core value number one was treat people well, and the golden rule, we wanted to be a company that was kind of above all else. But being kind didn’t mean you couldn’t be competitive and couldn’t be very driven and very determined. And I think honestly, that’s where we caught many of our coastal competitors off balance that they viewed us as kind of nice, you know, kind Midwesterners, you know, but we also had a competitive fire, you know, that burned very, very hot. But we would routinely hear that our culture was amazing. And when a visitor would interview with a company or a customer would come into one of our buildings, they just felt like an energy, a vibe, people were excited, enthusiastic, were working hard, were working well as a team, really caring for one another. And we heard all these culture attributes that were quite wonderful. So we knew we had something special. This was right during that same time though, where we were under the quiet period, and we were finding we couldn’t communicate as much with our employees as we had before. And, you know, the culture started to shift a little bit and many of our employees were worried that the private to public transition would change culture, perhaps not for the better. And I started hearing from employees like I just don’t feel like I know what’s happening. Like, the level of communication isn’t what it was when we were a lot smaller, almost people kind of yearning for the early days. And we wanted to change that. So Tim, our brand color was orange. And that had really started to become our identity in the market and cross a, you know, a landscape of software companies, we really wanted to own the color orange from a brand perspective. Today, you know, Orange is amazing color, and I even see a couple shades of orange on Litera’s logo, which I love, and you may see a little bit of orange behind me. But orange really became kind of our predominant brand color and identity. And Tim’s proposal to me, which I loved, was let’s use orange to build our culture framework, and we kind of came up with this “be orange” mantra and theme. And we built, it wasn’t overly prescriptive, but we built a framework around our culture where orange really became the identifier orange became the common thread in orange was really left open for interpretation. So our employees could express orange in whatever way they saw fit. And I was a little worried honestly, at the beginning that would feel a little too corporate or a little, you know, kind of top down, a little pushed down, I think cultures have to be authentic and, and many times cultures have to be an expression of the behavior that already exists, you know, in that culture changes day to day, week to week, but, you know, culture is how the organization behaves, and how people behave and how they treat one another and how they, how they work with their clients. So, at any rate, we came up with this orange “Be orange” culture framework, and it was phenomenal. It was probably the best thing that we’d ever done and also at that time, I committed to the company that every Friday rain or shine, they would receive an email from me using, you know, ExactTarget software. So it had, you know, it had video, pictures, it was beautifully well done, but they would have a inside view into what my week look like — whenever I was traveling, what I was thinking about what kind of meetings I attended, you know, key accomplishments for the company metrics challenges, and it created this highly anticipated communication vehicle that just really opened the door for me and our team and we knew we were about to hit the accelerator around growth, and that culture would matter even more and communication would matter even more. And for five and a half years, I never missed a Friday note, you know, rain or shine, vacation, travel, going public, it didn’t matter. And the best part was that employees would hit the Reply button, and they didn’t go into a dark hole. They went right to me, and they would give me encouragement, they would share ideas, they would share frustrations. As we scaled it was an amazing vehicle for me to keep a one to one relationship with our team, I would respond to everyone, I would encourage feedback. And then over time, people would lobby to get into Friday note, you know, it would be a, an event in Australia, and they’d send me a picture from the events and they’d say, please include us in the Friday note.
The orange element was powerful because it started to kind of get woven into a lot of our programs. So our, our new employee onboarding program, you know, became,
you know, had an orange theme to it. Our leadership development program, you know, was leading orange and it became kind of a way of life for us, and I’d say just a common thread and then colors are so powerful, you know, they’re very emotive and they can really create energy and a sense of feeling of goodness, our onboarding program is called officially orange and it left me for a moment. So officially orange leading orange, and it just became our identity and it became such a powerful glue, I would say pre the organization that I’m just so grateful that we had made a call framework but color at the center of it color as an identity, you know was was really, really quite powerful. And one thing is really fun to Haley after we were acquired by Salesforce, maybe two years after one of our former employees spun up a Facebook group called Orange Crush. And within 48 hours, we had over 1000 members, and everybody just posting pictures and videos and reminiscing. And I thought if your culture lives on past the company, that’s a good sign like that, that shows you were onto something. And it was also a culture that our clients felt a part of. And I think it’s important, if you have a culture that’s strong and powerful, you want your customers and partners to feel a part of it as well.
Haley: Right? Well, I think the entire community started to understand and organize around like what the ExactTarget culture was, you would go to an event and there would be this huge orange center and you’re like, ExactTarget’s over there.
Scott: Right, exactly exactly.
Haley: It was like, I know no one else is at this event, but I know where ExactTarget is. It’s like it just became a thing. Even in the community, everyone knew and everyone that worked there. So it became like a, it definitely became a defining thing and it tied into your guys’s values. And what did that impact? What was that impact on the customers? I mean, I think that, you know, I think a lot of times like I’ve seen more and more and I know I know it very well from High Alpha like companies like Lessonly they post their values on their website, they live to their values, those values become a way to create this relationship with their their customers, their employees to me, you want to have that culture inside, but it becomes external and and what did that orange culture mean to your customers?
Scott: Yeah, I think it was. It was very, very powerful. So very commonly, Haley, we would have a customer sign on with us. And I would get a note from them saying, We’re so excited to be orange. We’re so excited, joins your orange family, you know, and then connections became our really kind of mega user conference where we brought all of our customers and partners from around the world Indianapolis 567 thousand people and it really allowed us to kind of show off our hometown and our team and, and really bring the overall community together. And that was probably the kind of the pinnacle I’d say of our culture building or opportunities show who we were and and you know how we thought about building business and building community that was a wonderful thing to kind of bring everybody together. Yeah.
Haley: And I do hear from our team that there may be some intermittent connectivity issues so we apologize if this isn’t is a kind of although the stream on the web pages a little is having any trouble that we’ll we’ll just keep going. And if you refresh the page, what I understand is that if the stream stops, feel free to just refresh the page and then you’ll be able to see it should come right back. So apologies there. But you know, as we all learn how to do new things and new times, so I’ll keep on with that. Well, but yeah, so that means you have these conferences, you bring your customers in And your employees are now fully engaged. Everyone in the community knew people that worked at ExactTarget and they loved working in exacttarget. And now you’ve so you’ve scaled things through a global brand. And now you’ve grown, I think you grew pretty substantially with those two investment rounds. And you started to, you know, kind of think about the public market again. So, what now? How did you decide to do that? Now you’ve gone through it, you’ve been burned once. So what makes you what are the things that go into that decision about how you’re going to how you’re going to do this again?
Scott: And believe it or not, we did go public. We gave it a second run, and thankfully, we were successful. Haley, we went public in March of 2012. And that decision just became really natural. You know, we had a good year in 09, and then we really, really took off in 10 and 11. And we use that capital, you know, smartly and and it was we just felt the business was Really scaling and accelerating, and we were really prepared to go public. And thank goodness, you know, it didn’t work out the first time because the second time we were, we were bigger, stronger. We were really much more prepared, you know, to go public, we had a stronger executive team, we were stronger on the financial legal side, you know, we still had extraordinary legal partners that were kind of helping us every step of the way. And we hit a pocket, you know, when the IPO market was really hot and very receptive, you know, to companies like ours. So we still look capital efficient, but we really became a growth story, our, our growth rate moved from the, you know, 30% range to 40s to actually we had 55% growth in 2011. So accelerating growth rate on a big base, north of 200 million in revenue. So we felt like we had a really compelling story, and thankfully, you know, the IPO went remarkably well. One really fun part. of this story, in working with our investment banks is of course, we talked about culture and said, you know, orange culture is a is a very big differentiator. And, you know, they were like, okay, you know, that’s nice. Every company kind of feels like a culture. I mean, every every company, you know, loves their culture and their team and feels like that’s a differentiator. And no, they said, that normally makes the first draft of the one but normally doesn’t kind of make it in the final version. It’s hard to substantiate and, and I really wanted, you know, culture to come across strong, you know, in our offering and our roadshow, so we provided employee engagement data that kind of backed up the fact that we had a, you know, top culture and a different level of employee engagement commitment. And once they got to know our team and in our company and started working more closely with our customers, they really, really agreed so we had culture as a key component to our roadshow and our s one, and then everybody kind of fell in love with the orange theme. And I brought a couple props. Haley so I’ll give you a little tip. So this was this was our S-1. And I’m told we were either the first or one of the first S- 1s ever to have color on the front and back cover. So we were really proud of that. That was fantastic.
Haley: I’d like to say for everyone that has not seen publicly filed documents they are usually from a very specific printer. You have to pick them up like the way that they’re constructed is very, very specific and very, very plain. And so color is definitely not the norm.
Scott: Exactly, so that was a breakout but then we took it even a step further. Haley being that we’re marketers, we always thought of ourselves as kind of marketers building software for marketers. So we worked with the New York Stock Exchange, and they were wonderful to work with. And they helped us put orange carpet all throughout the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. And then, I brought another prop, every trader or an orange county check it the day we went public, and I’ve got one of those too. Got a little raincoat. I could actually I could actually wear that out today a little. It was it was just fun like and you know, it’s fun really to as well as many of the many of the reporters and commentary folks who the New York Stock Exchange and CNBC are still work today. So we had Jim Cramer I got to go live on Mad Money, which was an unbelievable thrill. Bob Pisani was on the floor. He was wearing an orange jacket and in Brian Sullivan. And, you know, here we are, you know, seven, eight years later and they’re still working the floor and you know, helping to guide us through this wild stock market. So it was, it was it was just an incredible experience for me and our team. And it was, it was an absolute joy and really fun that it went so well. Yeah.
Haley: How do you rely on like legal counsel, how did they kind of help you and partner you. I mean, obviously, the investment bankers are leading a lot, but like, you know, around that time of the IPO, and both before and after you guys did, you did six acquisitions. You’ve gone public now? Like, what’s the role of legal counsel and like, kind of advising you through all of that sort of stuff? What makes them a good, what makes them a good partner for you? Big decisions.
Scott: I’m glad you’re asking that Haley, I think a couple of things come to mind. One, of course, would be just technical legal skills, you know, helping to give you great guidance legally, and provide as much clarity as possible. That’s extraordinarily important. Being hyper responsive and Quick to your needs. Super, super important. But I think Above all, it’s understanding the business and understanding the team and being able to balance our legal expertise with business acumen, and really understanding what the company is working to accomplish. And I would say that’s where I felt so fortunate that, you know, my legal partners have been extraordinary over time. And it’s, it’s a mix of technical legal advice and helping to provide clarity on tough issues, but also business acumen and business judgment, and helping to kind of weave that all together, help us make the very best decisions we could for the business and you’re so right, he’ll you think about all the different life stages of a company. Goodness, I mean, for us, it was formation and all the legal work around formation, all the different rounds of capital, and all the complexity that comes along with that. Filing to go public, doing acquisitions, ultimately selling the business. We were a public business that sold to a public business, incredibly complex, but throughout all of it, it’s really understanding the business, I think and having a mix of business and legal judgment. And just being a good partner, you know, to the CEO and into the executive team and the board. That’s extraordinarily important. Also, just building the relationships, you know. So we were fortunate that legal counsel in every board meeting, often even when it probably wasn’t necessary, but it gave our legal team context for the business and the challenges and the upside, and all the different players and pointed points of view. And in those that relationship equity that gets built up in the context building, I think, is priceless. And it really comes in handy during tough times. And good times, you know, you think about there are a lot of different milestones in the business, you know, many of them are good positive things, but they’re also tough things that happen, and having a trusted legal partner to help navigate those tough times. And in particular, if the legal partner has credibility with your board, that’s very, very helpful as well. So they’re, their voice really means something and really, really cares about In our case, our outside legal counsel was phenomenal and trusted and had credibility and respect across the board. So when they were advising me or advising us, you know, their voice you know really really meant something.
Haley: that’s important I think understanding of business and what it means is like it you become lawyers it can become a true partner to business and especially when it’s when the in times of downturn and you have to know what the business is to help them advise them. So okay, so now you’ve gone public, you’ve you’ve had five successful quarters where you beat like the earnings projections and but now now, the big of the Big Kahuna in the market comes calling like how do you decide that you’re going to make this exit you know, you keep going, you guys were being incredibly successful. So So what makes you decide to sell?
Scott: Yeah, thanks, Haley. We were enjoying being a public company. You know, I I enjoyed it. I actually thought it was a really treat. It was a privilege to speak to smart technology investors about The business you love and you’ve dedicated more than a decade of your life to so I, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed talking strategy and vision and financial performance. And I really did enjoy being a public company. We had no intention of selling things were going remarkably well. We had 2000 employees, you know, with offices all around the world. We were, you know, 300 million in revenue, kind of heading to 400, we were making a big impact on the community. So, so you’re right, when that when that inbound inquiry comes in, from a big player like Salesforce, whoo, you know, you really have to take it seriously. And being a public company, you really have to do your very best to do what’s in the best interest of your shareholders, you know, and that and that takes a lot of analysis and in counsel. So fortunately, once again, kind of our combination of legal partners and investment banks helped us we formed a subcommittee of the board largely our independence. That could help us kind of navigate through the process. And, and we’re kind of on our way. So it was really quite interesting. We fortunately had a decade long relationship with Salesforce. And we actually had relationships with many other big players in the in the software industry. So, you know, I, I always you know, when when you’re building a software company, you really have to focus on building for independent success. I think if you get too focused on selling the business or m&a, you know, you’re really gonna lose your way. So you really have to be thinking about how can I build a long term sustainable independent business. However, it’s important to build partnerships with firms that could be potential acquirers. And I think that’s one thing we did well, we integrated our technology with Microsoft and Adobe and Salesforce and SAP and we had just very close relationships. So if the moment ever happened, where we kind of got the the inbound knock on the door, I wanted to be well positioned with other firms that are We could hopefully create a bit of a competitive process to make sure that we were achieving the best price and the best outcome for our shareholders. So through this journey, Haley, that’s, that’s exactly what happened. And my, my hope was that two things would happen one, it would be a competitive process and, and the price would kind of hit a zone where we just felt it was it was really kind of a no brainer for our shareholders and our employees. And then secondly, that we would join forces with the company that would be very committed Indianapolis and would make even a bigger impact on our community. And in Baltimore true and unfortunately, you know, Salesforce was the was kind of the the winning acquirer, and, boy, they’ve just done an extraordinary job here in Indianapolis with hiring they probably have hired you know, 500 to 1000 additional employees in Indianapolis is you know, the tallest building in Indiana is now the Salesforce tower. So we are we’re forever branded a tech community and innovation committee. Unity, and then their foundation continues to pour lots of capital and resources into our community and in many unexpected ways. So it’s, it’s just a happy story. It’s kind of one of those, one of those stories where an acquisition actually became even better for the community where I think many can use, like indie, you know, many kind of woman, oh, we’ve lost another headquarters, we’ve lost another independent company. But, you know, in this case, we, we just, we just adopted, you know, one of the largest and most innovative software companies in the world that now has the second largest location in Indianapolis, you know, so it’s been it’s been really tremendous. I mean, it has an easier the fail. It is the biggest building, it’s got Salesforce across the top. It’s brought so much to us. And it is it’s one of the testaments to like, what you build and what you guys aim for in order to do it because the action led to more jobs. It’s led to like a bigger emphasis on technology, and tech companies in the city. And so it’s been it’s been incredible to be a part of, but I do like the building that network, I think is such a incredible thing and something that can be so important. And so I think that almost I do want to ask one question before I tie into this, but how was it working with with Mark? And what did that mean for like you’re learning about how to lead and what it does takes to take a software company to that level. I mean, that’s a different level. So what did you learn from that? Yeah, a couple of stories. Haley, so I worked for for Marc Benioff for probably 15 months. And it was it was incredible. I mean, it’s just an amazing experience it the first thing I would note would be, we were we were a fast moving, successful, publicly traded software company like we thought we knew what speed you look like. And once we got inside of Salesforce, it was well, it was just completely different level it was it was like the analogy of, you know, being a really good college football player and then you get into the pros and like the speed of the game is way faster than you’ve ever experienced. So that was shock number one. I would just say the speed the world ethic, the vision, different level and kind of amazing learning experience. Mark is just, you know, extraordinary obviously he’s he’s a brilliant entrepreneur and tech and, and leader for social good. He just has so many talents, but a couple things I would I would share that even caught me as a surprise very really really lives the beginner’s mind, you know, and he’ll talk a lot about the beginner’s mind that to, to learn and grow and be creative. You have to put yourself in learning environments, you really have to bring a beginner’s mind to everything you do. That’s easy to say. It’s really, really hard to do. Like we’re also busy. we’re so busy on zoom calls and emails and day to day, how do you put yourself in position to keep learning so this is a funny story. We were just acquired, you know, marks my new manager, you know, I haven’t haven’t really had a boss other than my board, you know, for 1213 years, and we’re going to start doing weekly one on ones and he was in Indianapolis, and I was to meet him at a hotel so I kind of screwed over to the hotel, a little nervous, a little anxious. And he wasn’t at the hotel, his his assistant Joe said, He’s over at the mall. Why don’t you go meet him over there? And you guys will do like a walking one on one. Like, what? Like, what is Mark doing at the mall? He was he was actually at the at&t store, learning about their new connected home products, and was speaking to a sales representative who had absolutely no clue who Mark was. And he was there for 45 minutes, just learning about their connected home products. And it was kind of at the time when IoT was becoming big and he was really really thinking a lot about the Internet of Things. And, and he was just on a little journey of learning, which which was really quite amazing. So So beginner’s mind. That was a big one. I would say first successful Salesforce has been never being satisfied with success, just always looking for opportunities to improve and to get better. Always thinking two or three years out, you know, Mark is a phenomenal visionary and is always thinking, you know, two, three, or even longer out on the horizon and making investments now, he’s thinking about what dreamforce is going to look like three years from now. So you know, always kind of out ahead of the game.
And two other things I would reference, messaging, Salesforce does a phenomenal job with messaging and repetition of messaging. That was a really big learning and then I’ll just say the last one that he’s he’s really done an extraordinary job of, you know, really, even since I left Salesforce is just using business as a platform for social good. And I think above you know, perhaps all leaders or majority of leaders in tech, he really thinks that business as a way to make the world a better place. He’s very generous, very philanthropic minded, and I think he’s built a platform that has really enhanced the culture of Salesforce but really has made the world a better place and and that’s that’s really admirable. So we’re lucky to have him leading Salesforce and speaking out, I think on on big global issues. And it’s been it’s been fun to kind of be a small part of their journey.
Haley: That’s what I think is the beginner’s mind and what you talk about there. That’s so it’s so amazing to just like, keep thinking, and there’s always new things to learn. And then, you know, so you, you, you’ve had this journey of exact target all the way through IPO to sale to now being a part of this huge, massive company. And you you kind of go back to that like what to learn and you join forces with three amazing people in indeed, to do the next thing and you could have hit you’ve got four kids, like a relaxed taking a break, you know, and you decide to do Something else that’s big and impactful. So how did you decide to join and create High Alpha? And tell us a little bit about what it is?
Scott: Yeah, thanks. Yeah, I’d love to. So High Alpha, we’re a venture studio focused on starting and scaling new enterprise cloud companies. And it’s a really a neat model. We were kind of one of the first pioneers to combine a startup studio with a venture fund. And really tie those two together and find really interesting synergy opportunities. We have 35 to 40 people on our team. And as you know, it’s a wonderful mix of really incredibly talented people. Every function one would need to start and scale a new cloud company. We have data scientists and software engineers, product designers, growth marketers, experts in HR and recruiting and finance and we built a platform that helps talented founders like yourself, Haley, you know, take an idea in the past. and turn it into reality and, and build and scale a company. For me like my personal drivers were. One I wanted to find a vehicle to give back. You know, I’ve just been extraordinarily fortunate and blessed to have so many incredible mentors and investors and advisors, you know, helping me every step of the way. This was a dream of mine to be able to do the same thing and kind of pay it forward. I wanted to do something that if successful would leave a lasting impact and legacy on our community, love Indianapolis and just more broadly, I love tech entrepreneurship and software also wanted to find a way to leverage everything I’ve learned you know, it’s just been an incredible learning journey. And I wanted to find a way to leverage my network and learning and really just at the core help people yeah, yeah that all together though. I also like to be challenged. You know, and I like to learn and is you know, it startup studio is remarkably difficult to be starting, you know, many companies all at one time, and then I’m also learning a lot about venture capital. I never expected, you know, to be a VC, but, but I, but I do enjoy investing, and I enjoy supporting entrepreneurs and helping them grow their companies. So I’m on another, you know, I think you always want to try to put yourself on new learning curves. And I’m on the learning curve of how do you build a successful startup studio? And how do you be a successful venture investor? And, you know, back to company building and operating so it’s, it’s a joy for me, it’s been just a perfect fit.
Haley: Well, and I mean, I think I want to make sure people understand so a venture studio is a new term, like a lot of people understand accelerators, incubators have these connotations of what that means and it’s just like a loose amount of it can be very helpful and incredibly meaningful to move companies through those and so this is really different. This is really taking the idea this is like taking a lot of times your guys’s ideas, write down battle testing them. And so you have the Sprint Week which is honestly one of the most, most favorite weeks I’ve ever had. You know, so I have this idea and then you know, in legal and you guys have experience in legal and so I got the benefit of being a part of those Sprint Weeks. And so what are you guys trying to accomplish in that Sprint Weekend? And I because I think it actually tells a lot for businesses that may be starting out like what you should be thinking about. So what are you trying to get after in Sprint Week when you decide which company you’re going to move forward?
Scott: Yeah, Haley to your point, Sprint Week is a blast. It’s kind of its kind of culmination. And I’d also say the forcing function of how we start businesses, you know, I like to describe that teams and companies need forcing functions. You need unique catalyzing moments and events, to spur people onto greatness and stretch them perhaps further than they could stretch themselves. So that that’s really that’s really Sprint Week for us. So we take our four most compelling ideas. And to your point, it could be a mix of our own idea, an idea that an entrepreneur brings us. We do a lot of work with corporate partners because that are going through some form of digital transformation. We work with them on what are ideas that can be standalone software companies. So we drop those into the top of The funnel. And then we lock in on four that we think really have potential. We assign teams, all four partners run our own team, we have high Alpha team members, and we bring a lot of outside guests and subject matter experts and potential founders. And then we just go all in, you know, for the week we, we clear our calendars and kind of let your family know you’re going to, you’re going to have a few late nights. And we’ve also learned, and this is, I think, advice for anybody. The power of uninterrupted time is really quite extraordinary. And we force ourselves to make big decisions quickly. And we try to really compress time during that week. So as you know, it’s extraordinary what we can accomplish in three days. And then we kind of pitch and present to one another on the fourth day. But our goal is to identify a big problem we’re solving, we build, we build the MVP, we really do high fidelity design, we have a very good sense for the product, we do massive customer validation. Hopefully we’ve spoken to over 50 potential customers, so they can really help us shape the solution and validate what we’re building. We identify a company name, we build a brand, we build a financial model, a resource model, you know, etc, etc. And by the end of the week, it’s almost mind boggling when you see these presentations, that it’s only been three, three days of intense work, because you can just really force yourself to, to see far more than you could otherwise. So it’s been incredible, Sprint Week has been, you know, kind of a key icon, or I’d say ingredient of what we do at High Alpha. And we’ve started 17 new companies. And we’re on the verge of, I believe, starting four or five new ones. So we’re going to be up into the 20s here pretty quickly and Sprint Week is that forcing function that really helps us, you know, bring out our best.
Haley: And when you think about it now, like I mean, so you’re both managing companies and you’re investing in companies. What, what is what are you thinking about right now, and this is an incredibly difficult time. You’ve got a number you’re wearing another are different hats as you’re advising companies right now? What are you thinking about in terms of how to help guide them through this crisis?
Scott: Well, number one of these is just communication, Haley. And I think it’s just so important that teams are communicating well with one another. And I know we’re probably all getting a little bit of zoom fatigue. Although zoom has done, I think, an extraordinary job scaling and scaling the platform. So I think you have to find the right, the right mix and blend of communication and the learning team members kind of put their heads down to do their own work and make sure that they’re keeping their family healthy and striking the right balance. But I think communication is extraordinarily important. Focus is very, very important. And just working on the items that are, you know, in in the direct line, direct path of what you need to get accomplished. And, and I think really just trying to be a sounding board, you know, for these entrepreneurs, not all that different than what legal counsel will do a strong legal partner is, is a sounding board. I think you need to have empathy. You need to have high availability and need to help guide them through difficult decisions. The one right now, Haley that is so Top of Mind, and I’m sure it’s top of mind for any entrepreneur or lawyer who’s been listening is the Cares Act and the paycheck protection program. The number of hours spent over the last 2, 3, 4 weeks deciphering the program. And helping small businesses make the very best decision of whether they qualify or not, is really something and it’s a bit unfortunate that the rules and guidelines weren’t clear. You know, there’s quite a bit of ambiguity, but I think it’s a I think it’s a striking example of the important importance of legal counsel. And I’ve seen so many extraordinary lawyers, not only in Indy, but really all over the country stepping up, I mean, literally working around the clock to advise their clients on whether they qualify for PPP. And for venture backed companies. There’s so much to think through. You have to think through the affiliation rules. You have to understand if you have a bank that’s proficient in SBA lending, you have to have content At you can make the certifications required for the loan. And to me it’s it’s one of the moments of this crisis all remember most through the partnerships we have with a variety of legal teams of a time when legal teams really needed to step up and guide their clients through a very ambiguous set of guidelines and ultimately try to read the best decisions for them and their boards.
Haley: And that’s incredible. And I think there you’re seeing a lot of attorneys it’s really digging in. And I think that this ties back to your earlier I said, understanding the business because how they’re capitalized, who is working with them, it would obviously play into what these guidelines are. So imagine that that comes back in is like, how does the lawyer partner with and understand the business so that they can give that advice?
Scott: Absolutely. This is the main certification of PPP. Given the economic uncertainty this loan is necessary to support the ongoing operations of my business. Yeah, there’s No way you can certify or, or advise a client and how they should think about that statement or certification unless you really know the business and you really are a partner to the business and into the CEO. That’s it’s extraordinarily important.
Haley: Well, and I, I can’t believe like we’re pretty much almost out of time. So I’ll ask one more question before I turn it over to our next panel. But so what you know, as businesses, think and position themselves to exit this, you really focused in on how to build the culture of your company to add to this, what would be the advice you give for people right now, in this process? What can they do to best position themselves to take the next step to move out as we move through everything?
Scott: Sure. And Haley, are you saying from more of an M&A perspective or just just kind of building, just just ongoing operation, just kind of building strength and resilience? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it comes back to some themes that we’ve that we’ve spoken about, I would say Start with communication. And you know, the obvious communication is communicating to your team. But it’s also extraordinarily important to think through every constituent and make sure that the lines of communication are very, very open. Investors, board members, customers, prospects, partners, it’s really important to let everybody know how you’re doing as a business and where you’re focused and where you need help. So I think job one is communication. I think job two is just that hyper focus. Just really keeping yourself and your team focused on what matters most. I think three is just thinking about sustainability and longevity, we have so much uncertainty, it’s very, very difficult, perhaps impossible to know what q2, q3 and q4 are going to look like. So making sure you have enough cash in the business. You really understand the the unit economics and financial considerations of your business. I think I think that’s extraordinarily important. And then the last one I would lead with is just being creative and and Being opportunistic and having some fun, and I credit you and military team for putting this program together today, this is not something you would have done in the ordinary course of business. And you’ve got a super fun and interesting lineup of speakers with Molly bloom coming later today and a lot of other other great ones. So I think it’s just a time to think creatively, and look for new ways to help your customers and frankly, just help community and society. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time recently with other CEOs in our community and also leaders at the state in thinking about what role can technology play to help us all enter the workforce safely? You know, a smart restart to our businesses, I also think is an area that leaders need to start thinking about when some of the restrictions ease and hopefully the virus case counts start declining in a material way. How do you safely bring your team and your company’s back back into a work setting? That is a good place to start thinking and I think we all need to be cautious and thoughtful and planful as we can be.
Haley: Well, thank you, Scott. I mean, this has been amazing. Thank you for sharing your time and your story and your experience. We really appreciate it.