The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

17. How great teams can build great Canadian companies with Michael Katchen of Wealthsimple

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Wealthsimple is building the world's most human financial services company. Yes, the company most well known for raising near $300M to disrupt traditional financial services companies by leveraging 'robo-advisors' is on a mission to be more human.

The brainchild of Ivey HBA ’09, Michael Katchen, the company today, manages almost $7 bllion in assets, and employs more than 300 people.

Katchen sat down with long-time friend, Eric Janssen, to talk about his journey; from leaving management consulting to working in the start-up world and building a disruptive company in an industry he had never worked in. In this episode Katchen uncovers how he thinks about hiring, and getting the most out of his team, as well as his outlook on the future of great Canadian companies.

But you got to be willing to work hardbecause that's what it's going to take. It is supposed to be hard. If you wereeasy to build truly transfort of impactful companies, we have a lot moreof them, so I think that's one of the things you screen for is is: Do youfind people that are able to work hard, you're? Listening to the Ivyentmrernorpodcast from the Pierre L, Moriset Institute, Farrante Prenership at theIvy Business School? In this series I ventrepreneur an Ivy Faculty member,Eric Janson will anchor t the session. My catchin appreciate you making timeout of your busy schedule to come and catch up with me thanks for at me funto catch up yeah. First Time together in this new building, we spent a littlebit of time together at the old building Um. It upgraded your digssince our days and ivys sitting on the other side of the table. Now so asbeing sot. You look good appreciate that, coming from the event industry, Ihad to get new clothes. I had teshirts and nice jeans and running shoes, but Ihad the upgreatist an blasers. So well it looks great and Um. Thankfully Ihaven't had to do that yet go it by with some jeans and t shirts, NiceBlazers, though, thank you so there's a few topics that I want to get intotoday. One of them is the focus of the conversation. I want to get toleveraging a team and growing through your people versus relying on justyourself, but I think it would be helpful just to give people somecontact we're in the same graduateing class of two thousand and nine. U N andtwo management consulting left management consulting to join. Iremember getting the email, you joined a start up, one thousand memories so,and you tell me about the leap from how did you make the decision to go fromconsulting to your first start up at the time? It's a long, ish story help. That's Okgo for it, okay, so I had always wanted to start a business nearly dropped outof I just before starting ivy M to start a business where I'd want abusiness competition, so it always wanted to get to that. But for onereason or another found my way in to consulting and when I got close to theend of my two year tenure at the firm decided it was time to start a businessand I spent the last six months working with a friend on a few ideas and twomonths before I was set to leave. I got a call from him here and he said Mike.I've decided to go a different direction, I'm going to move to NewYork and take a job at some indest. My Bank and I was heartbroken I felt like Ididn't- have the experience or confidence to start a business on myown and actually decided that I would delay those plans again and get a jobin private equity. But, unlike most people in private equity, I wasn'tdoing it to be in private equity. I was only doing it, so I could get to knowthe CEOS, the portfolio companies and learn from them what it was like tobuild a business. I think that was a fool's plan, but long story short. I got a an fortunatephone call from some of my very first colleagues at McKenzie who had justmoved to California to start a business, and I got a call saying unsolicitedoffer Mike We'd just got into this thing called why comminator this wastwo thousand and Tan. I don't think anybody knew what why commonare was. Ididn't know what it was at the time and they said you know come come buildthis thing with us. If you want, I said t at is absolutely what I should bedoing and Um jumped on a plane and moved to California, and we spent a fewyears building that company wow, so you joined as you'l have to correct me if Irong, but I think you were in a business development role, sort of astrategy, VP business vellen Roe in the beginning, cracked. So what did thatlook like early days? What did you do as the Business Guy Yeah? So we had a very different business towhat we're in today, which was Um online memorials, which is still, Ithink, a problem that needs solving. You know, God forbid, you lose someonewhich is a universal experience that you care about. There is nowhere online that isbeautiful, indappropriate for Memorali memorializing, that that person withwith other loved ones and that's what we created and it was a beautifulproduct- and we had this belief that it...

...was going to do well with the genealogycommunity, so everybody's crazy, Andrew uncle, who is the family historian, thekeeper of the Family Tree and so the first week I joined a thousand memories.I sa I said I'm going to become the expert at the genealogy community and Ihopped on a plane, and I went to Byu Bringhamon University in Provo Utahto learn about the community. This is kind of the heart and soul of where mormonism is based and there's a hugelink between mormanism and genealogy, and there was a huge conferencehappening at the C at t Byu. So I decided it was the best chance. I hadto go and learn about this pace and I showed up totally green on bothgenealogy and mormonism and made a fool of myself asking for coffee ad to becampus on day one, but that's how we KINDOF got our start learning aboutthis space, and I spend the next few years really trying to cultivate thiscommunity building partnerships with all sorts of family history,scrapbooking type communities, mommy bloggers very different than what we dotoday with the goal of trying to get the word out about what we werebuilding and ultimately, we sold the business dancistry Otcom and I thinkthe genealogy bat was a really good one, but it was super random in the earlydays. So I wanted to get so that acquisition happen fairly quickly forfrom m from memory e sent a note saying that you were joining in roughlyeighteen months later. I think the company was acquired by ancestry hacorrect so early days. We'll talk about this same case with welsomplater onthere's, a million things you could be focused on focusing on the genealogy communityturned out to be the right thing to focus on if you end up getting quiredeighteen months later. So how did? How did you make that bet early on that?That was going to be the right thing to focus on. I think we were looking tosee how people were using the product, and we saw a lot of people using it forfamily history. You know it was actually we built this for memoralizingloved ones Kindo in the moment, but we found a lot of people were using it tocollect old, scrapbook type memories and Memorbilia and erlooms about theirfamilies, and so that's where this idea for the genealogist came from wasseeing how people were actually using the product and trying to dig into thatand understand the data and the kind of client, behavior or user behavior thatwe were seeing it wasn't like a stroke of genius. It was hey. This looksinteresting. Let's go check it out, nd. So that's that's! Where that all camefrom Ne, so gets acquired you move into a product, visiter product role, prockmanager, top yea, and then a country manager typerole. When did this itch to actually go it on your ownagain start up because thereas it was checking out some old, some old emailshere. So an email from March of twenty thirteen announcingthat you're working around a side, hussle called Portfolia dot me should still be called port. Falliho Imean. Maybe you still have the domain. You've paid your refresher fees andthen maybe six months later. Basically, thanks for your feetback on doinganother survey. Now it's called steady up and then another year after thatintroduction of well simple, and if I look at the timeline, so twsant ythirteen, you were at ancestry at the time. So how did the idea get going asyou were still working at ancestry? The answer is immediately. You know wesold the business and I think I was excited and itching. I still hadn'tstarted something myself and I knew that's what I wanted to do, and so Ihad to stay at ancestry or or there was a good reason for me to stay inancestry for a year after the acquisition- and it was a perfectopportunity to start exploring ideas, and I tried to build a disciplinearound that where you know I had a list that I would force myself to add toevery day at least one new idea and every week I would have a process whereI'd go through my list and try to rank them on. Am I excited about this andpassion about the idea of the problem? Do I think it could be big and do Ithink I have any business executing you know in this category and over theprocess of you know six months really...

...refined what I wanted to work on, whichwas this idea for wallsimple or Portfolia or steady up whatever wecalled it back then, and it was a problem that we were facing. You knowwe were fortunate that the team I was working with at the time had just solda business they'd made a little bit of money that they wanted to invest andthey didn't really like the options available to them in the market, and soit was like the perfect case. Study of here is a problem that I understand,I'm having it myself. My friends are having it. I think it's real, you knowinvesting is complicated and expensive for most people. Is there somethinghere that maybe is interesting to work on, and I I came to fall in love withthe concept which was you know, investing and being smart about moneyis the way people end up living the lives they want. It is as the dean ofHarbard Business School says, you know, there's great, no, greater form ofdignity. You can offer another human being than financial freedom and thatthat really always resignated with me as this powerful force for good ashelping people get access to the tools, a financial freedom, and so I loved theidea had a understanding of it 'cause. I had this group that we're trying tosolve this problem. The part I struggle with is what the hell business do. Ihave starting an indestment company. I've never worked in this industry andnever worked in a regulated business before, and so that's why it took alittle while trap our heads around actually getting a license and doingkind of the work it takes to launch this business go. So people are quickto talk about plane, Israelly. The plan goes to plan BCD, but if I peelback thelayers a little bit, maybe you can give us behind the SN scenes sneak peak.What what homeworker process did you go through in the veryearly days like what was version, one of steady up in O thoesnd and thirteen? So the first version was portfolio andthis was a webback. We launch that had a series of calculators on it aroundhow much you could save by moving from mutual funds to ETF and what a goodportfolio should look like, and we send it out to some friends and thank youeric for your early sheed back to get a sense of like. Does this resonate withpeople you couldn't sign up for anything, there was no product to sell.It was just research on. Is this a problem that resonates and have we kindof captured? You know the attention and interests of folks that we know it wasa survey. Wasn't it early on? Was it just basically trying to get data yeah?It was. What do you do with your investments? Are you interested indoing it better and do the suggestions we would make through this calculatorkind of do? Are they helpful? Would you implement them or not? 'cause ourBELIEV. We didn't want to become an invessment manager. We didn't want tohave to be regulated right, so we wanted people to do it. Themse ybelieve when we started exploring this idea, you should never hire someone tomanage your money for you, it's not hard. You should do it yourself, so wewere trying to build tools to like empower others to manage their ownmoney, and so that was the idea were exploring d. We learned from fromPortfolia people are too lazy honestly or uninterested or findit toever while mere complex to do it themselves, and actually you need to doit for them and make it easy to help people do the right thing. So that wasthe first insight from portfolios. People love the idea of it, but didn'tlove the work required to do it properly, and so we used that toiterate on the second concept, which was steady up. This was actually a webAP. You could sign up, for it tried to make it even easier to do it yourself,where we would send out an email once a month with instructions which was likesell this many shares of x by this many shares of Y and you're rebalanced andyou're. You know ontrack and you're good, and we send that Ou. We probablyhad a hundred people that were on our mailing list for that we probably Hav.Fifty people sign up and use it. They use it month, one they use at month too,and then they stopped using it and we realized again. It's too much work toask people to do it themselves that to really solve the problem, we needed totake the big leap of becoming a regulated money manager and decidedthen to make that investment, which is why there's a big gap. I think in yourin your timeline of emails between steady up and well simple, launching'cause. We had to actually go. Do the...

...proper process right, oh shoot peoplearen't going to do this on their own. We have to build something for themexactly do it interesting. I remember getting it at the time and itresognated with us, because we were, I don't know how many years out, ovegraduating sort of at that inbetween place where, if feel like, you're alittle bit beyond going to a big bank and sitting with somebody at a retailbank location to talk about the future options, but not ready to go to a fully.You know full private wealth management company sort of in between and for usat the time it was like. Oh, this is interesting. There could be anotheroption where I have a little bit more control. So that's why for us it itstood out as being interesting, so Oll we might be here because you said itwas interesting. I Sa thank you for that. Ri'll take full responsibility,no ill take oocaaspility. So how did you you ended up, making the leap to do iton your own? How did you think about D, risking it and I'll, preface it bysaying people at least I see patterns in the way that peopledo it some people do it with saving up money or raising money, andthen you know: Okay, I've got a nes. I've got a I've got some support here.Some people do it with partners. So you know me and my two CO founders arecommitted. I feel comfortable now, leaving the thing that I'm at in orderto jump in. So what got you to the point? Knowing that you were working onthis as a side hussle before you jumped in full time? When did you decide? Itwas the right point when you were ready to go at it full war, so I hid a bump in the road where Itold you. I was at ancestry for a year and it made sense for me to be therefor a year and a day before a year was up. I walked into my boss's office andI said I'm I I'm going to be leaving I'm going to move back to Toronto, andI want to start this great business around helping people, invest theirsavings and achieve great financial outcomes long term, and he torned to meand said Mike. That's the dumbest thing. I've ever heard and you're twenty fouro five years old. I forget how old that was exactly at the time and we'reactually looking for someone to run our Canadian business. For a year. The theleader of the Canadian business is going on on Mat. Leave. We don't haveanybody, that's going to step in why you jump in you know it's a thirtymillion dollar revenue business. When are you going to get the chance to stepinto a leadership role of running a thirty million dollar revenueopportunity at this age of your career? It's yours! If you want it, I wasflattered- and I got taken by this idea that that'll be a DEA risked way tomove back to Toronto and to keep working on Whill, simple right and I took the job and it wasimmediately obvious. It was a mistake. My partner still reminds me now thatshe has never seen me more distraught or depressed, then that period and hadnothing to do with the work, but just t the knowledge that I wanted to beworking on something and had delayed it for the wrong reasons, because it wasderisking because it was resume building because it seemed like a goodopportunity rather than the thing I really wanted to be working on and within a couple of months I I hadto leave and m. So ultimately, Kenda did and left tostart well simple, full time and then kind of worried about drisking andfinancing and all the rest of it, and we were lucky. We actually raisedaround pretty early on a big part of our early challenge and remaines achallenge. This Day was we asked people for their life savings and it's like anenormous ask of trust, and we thought that when we were getting going, weneeded ways to build credibility, because we were on no name company withno name people that had never worked in this industry and one of the ways wethought we would address. That was try to raise a round of funding from likeindustry titants. You know, people that had some credibility had builtbusinesses in this space and luckily kind of I met someone MSAMSAF early onwho was very like minded about this business and agree to come on board asour first angel investor and really...

...early partner, N and thinking throughthe business and founding it, and that helped us kind of put together an earlyround from really great partners that helped us get going with a little bitof capital in the bank. A group of no, how kind of around the table and and H,that's how we we did it from there. That's great n, you mention H, you havea few cofounders in the business. I know that sounds like you. You have afocus as the CEO you've got. Co Founders, who rounded out your earlyskill set. So some design, expertise and some technical knowledge were. Howdid you three meat, so rudy? An BRATT who are my cofoundersare used to be my bosses, so they were thefounders of a thousand memories down in San Francisco, along with a thirdpartner by the name of Jonathan and Jonathan, and I had he was my firstproject manager when I started a mkenzie. So that's how I got to knowthem was through Jonathan who invited me to come and work with them down inCalifornia and through working together. Rudy Bruton E, you know, became veryclose friends and partners, and we compliment each other skills welland love to work together, and so when I was getting started with well simple,I asked them to come on board and be a part of it. It took a little while toconvince them. You know we W E. I moved back to Canada they're both t American,getting them to kind of get excited about. Building a business based inToronto was a challenge but uh we ultimately love working together andstill do it. It's great something that you shared from thismorning is that the early days are messy. So in a few minutes, what werethose early days like was just the three of you. How quickly did you hirewh? What was w day one or day ten like it? Well, simple, messy Um, you know we had the the firstperson to join the team was a Guyn in Peter, Graham, who is an engineer thatwas part of Aour two Mino Thousand Memories, who I always say. If there'sone person I could work with for the rest of my life and be happy, it's it's.We call him GG, he's just a remarkable um partner and does amazing work, and so he moved to Toronto with me and hewas American also and just picked up his bags and came up and we we startedkindo hacking on this thing and the second was guy named Ave, nugent who's,a western Grad. Also here on Grad and Um, you know, was our first financialadvisor the only person that had worked in the industry. You know who we neededto get the license and came on board to help build the business, and so thatwas it. It was this tiny group of people and when I say it was messy, I mean thestory I told this morning was we were launching Canada's first digitalinvestment service and before we launched the only way to open up aninvestment account in Canada was through paperwork. Even if you signedup online. The last TAT step was to print off fifty pages of paperwork,sign it mail, it walk it or fax it into a bank branch and wait weeks to get theaccount open, and we knew that if that was our service, like we probablydidn't, have much of a future. As this, like you know, technology basedfinancial services, business and the problem was we could not find a partnerwho would work with us to deliver this, like crictionless digital aborningexperience, and so we had to figure out like how to do it anyways, and so wehad to hack it and so every day. What would basically happen as we'd haveclient sign up, and we would deliver this great digital onboardingexperience to them. They would feel it was done and then my cofounder Dave andI basically would sit there every night and print off every application we gotand sign it and either walk it Y W or drive it up to our back office orcourier there, so that the next morning those accounts would get opened, andthat was what it looked like. It was US hustling. You know, on the phone allday every day, trying to convince people to sign up every night, printingoff mounds of paperwork and signing it and trying to get you know, accountsopened and then hustling for business, and I think one of the earliest kind ofchannels we found for growing that was reliable, but totally unscalable wasevents that Thir's like Inperson...

...tacktile. I can see you and touch youknow, hopefully not touch but see youexperience made people trust us and sign up, and so we found that abouttwenty percent of the people that came to our events would sign up foraccounts and it could be five people in a room and woeld get one client. Itcould be a hundred people in room. We got twenty clients, so my job became doas many events as I can every day, so I would be buked back to back kind offrom noon till evening in as many events as we possibly could, and it wasthat kind of craziness of running around the city all day doing theseevents hopping on a plane across the country, doing events, printing offpaperwork every night and manning the phones. That's that's awesome, so maybenot awesome at the time, but look reflecting back on it. That seems, likeyou, have good memories of T, you're lighting up telling the Stori so sethat you remantisize these early days like it was frustrating as hell. Iremember how often we would just complain about things would break ourback office partner, wouldn't deliver the data properly, and so our clientswere seeing. You know, investment returns that made no sense, and thaterodes trust. Then we didn't control it, but they would think it was our faultand we couldn't do anything about it and like enormous amounts offrustration, but also those are the fun parts you remember, of like people,leaning in and just you know, brute forcing solutions. Youcan't brute four solutions at the Kontiscale whereat now often any more,but it's fun when you have like total accountability, and you just have tomake it work. So let's talk about what changes,because in my own experience I've found that every time, whatever you'reworking on roughly three xes in size for me, that was revenue. Everythingthat worked for the last stage didn't work for the new stage, so growing fromzero to one million in revenue requires a certain skillset and then the foundercan't just push the boulder anymore. So you bring on people, and you think youhave things figured out and then you get to be on three and it breaks. Thenyou get to ten and it breaks again. And so what can you think about? What whatchanged from those early days to say? The first inflection point for you? I can definitely Um I, yes. That is definitely myexperience too. I think it never stops thin. You have to reinvent the companyalmost and yourself, every six months or so or every twelve months as yougrow. You know, I think the first inflectionpoint that really comes to mind is when we were probably around like twenty to thirtypeople, which is when it really changed from being that small group around thetable of everybody pitching in on everything. The only thing that mattersyou know we jused to have this white board in the office, which was we hadfour or five colons, which were the stages in our own woarding funnel andthe goal was like. Can we move five names from you know the column on theleft of the callumn on the right every week, and then it was ten names andthen twenty names, and it was you know that kind of hustle, but when you havetwenty or thirty people you start having to put in place certainstructures, some of the people that are starting to join. You are, you know,still it's still the early days and there'se still like mission warriors,but you start to have a little bit more of this. You know career orientation,ate ore, the opportunities for me here. You know if you've been here for morethan a year, am I going to get a promotion? So that's the first partwhere it it starts to feel more like a company and then then you get to likeseventy people or eighty people and you've got to start figuring this stuffup for real you've got to have career paths and levels and that's a hugetransition. I think por ontrepreneurs because like for me in the early days Iused to have a feeling that titles don't matter, you know we're going. You know every day as a fight for survival. Callyourself whatever the hell you want, and it doesn't matter Um make yourselffeel great and that broke at seventy five people whenyou needed titles and you needed a little bit of structure to help peopleunderstand their place in the ecosystem and how to grow, and that doesn't meanhierarchy, but it just means a little more structure to things and now we'reat three hundred people- and you know...

...we broke something at around two- Fifty,where whatever we were using before stop working and I think th. The latestiteration has been around communication that it used to be. Everybody wasaround the table and would always know what was going on. I had have lunchwith everybody in the company every single day we talk about the company,and so there were no questions that were unanswered. There were noconfusions about how I felt about things, for example a three hundredpeople. There are people that I don't know very well. I've met everybody, butthere are people. I don't know very well and I have to say the same thingten times before. I'm confident that the whole company has heard it and it'sa different kind of thing, and it's taken us a little while to kind of overcome this latest iteration and myguesses we're going to feel really good about it in six months and then isgoing to break again. So it's it's a constant struggle offiguring out those those different iterations as you grow yeah. So how did you seem to be very, atleast in my my homework, very thoughtful about the people that youbrought on and h? There was an article from I don't know if it was a year agoor a few years ago, when you were, it must have been a few years ago. Youwere maybe fifty to sixty people and you had spent most of your timeactually doing the recruiting yourself. So how did you do that like how evengetting to sixty people as a e big accomplishment? What did you do to makesure that you got the right people? I think it is Um. I mean I learn thisfrom the founders of rbmb that hired, I think, even more than that they hirethe first three hundred or something personally, I think it's one of the most importanttasks for a founder, a founder C Eo, getting good at hiring, making it anexciting place to be selling the vision in the story. So you get. You know topick great talent to be a part of this thing and Um. I thought it was soimportant that I dedicated you know at least fifty percent of my time in theearly days to hiring, and I was only able to do that 'cause. I had greatpartners that could lead other parts of the business that I didn't have to lead.So you know, Brett was running our engineering organization and operationsand Rudy was doing the designing and branding and marketing. So that freedme up to to focus on that which, at the time, felt like the most importantthing in the businessand. If I bring my sals framework to it, so I talk aboutwhen you're, going after clients there, seeds nets and spears and seas and netsare talk about. Seeds is maybe some of thePr Ou do the stories that people read about you nets would be getting peopleto come in and actually apply to the jobs and then spears being o. You knownew JI be good as as an adviser or financial dadvisor. We should get himso in those early days. Did you how much time or how much focus did youspend on yours spears, strictly spears, strictly spirits? And that was amistake. It's hard to. You know it's hard when you have a wide net tofind great talent in it, and you need a good process to figure out how to find.When you look at an application. What is an application that is good, butalso is a good fit for your particular firm and culture and what you're tryingto build- and I found it a little overwhelming in the early days- and Ifocus almost exclusively on spirs- which I think is is a- is a powerfulthing when you're early enough, when you know engineers, for instance, theyget cold calls all day every day fromrecruters, and so by being the CEO and reaching out and taking my time to doit thoughtfully was a way to stand out from the pack, and I think that thatinvestment enabled us to really be targeted and thoughtful and get peopleexcited. You know it's fun to hear from a CEO and if you've got the seeds outthere, press and people are starting to hear your name and know about you andthe CO reaches out. I feel special versus a recruiter, O some recruitingfirm, and so that's one of the ways that we tried to use m. The fact that Iwas running recruiting to get great talent, but we also, I should have paidmore attention to it, to th to the net. There are several examples of peoplethat I missed that applied that we got...

...lucky. We ended up getting in the end.I remember our very four CTO got him Carni applied for a job, and you knowhe had the dream resume for an early stage company you know had been anAmazon for ten years had built their very first distribution system. Youknow architecture and it was deep. Technologist and a financial service isner like a personal finance, nerd just perfect on paper, and I missed it, and only because he happened to knowanother founder in the ecosystem and got him to write me anote personallyand say Mike, like what the hell are you doing y, you got to pay attentionto this. This application. Do we end up interviewing him and he became a veryimportant kind of early partner in the business and scaling and building orengineering team. It happened recently with our chief people officer whoapplied for a job sent me a note on Lington, which I missed, and onlyluckily did she follow up again by email that we ended up catching thingsand and ended up hiring her. So you got Ta Panchonn of the nets, but wedefinitely focused on the spears in the early days and the systems. How did youor do you now figure out how to filter through those nets? There's got to be acombination of right fit for the culture right, skill stet for the role there like assessment or questions orinterviews. What's your process to figure out who the right person is ourprocess evolves and it con? U K W has ivolved a lot since I was leadingrecruiting and it continues to evolve today end now we have a great dedicatedteam that focuses on it and it generally follows like a series ofsteps, there's a first phone call with with our recruiters and really they're,just trying to assess Shet. You know I used to say if I pick up when I wasrunning rercruiting I'd pick up the phone and try and speak to someone- andthe question I was asking was: is this someone I ever want to speak to again?You know, and if the answer was yes, then they would immediately get thecheck murd on the first stage of the short phone called process isdeliberately short to try and not waste too much time. You know on the noise and find the signals right H,so you're looking for your first signal and then you move on to your next step.WHICHDO, they have the technical chops to really do what's required of therole, and then you D, if they do so there's someone that seems interestingon first past of somebody you'd want to spend time with they have the technicalchops to do the role. Then you invest the real time in understanding theirbackground and understanding their cultural kind of values and how theyshit in and understanding whether or not they really are a fit for for whatyou're trying to do so say: ntmove down the FUNEL. Soyou've brought somebody on: Do you have a process that you set them up forsuccess? Do you have a a way that you on board them to make sure that theyfeel like they're, ready to go and contribute to alsimpl yeah? I think Um. We have a pretty robust, onwoardingprocess now, which is you know your whole first week at the company. Every minute of it is is almost kind oforchestrated and designed to give you an amazing experience and to ramp youup it's a big, steep learning curve, and so you know we have presentationsfrom all the leaders in the business I come in and I do talk on kind of thefounding story and the mythologies of the business and trying that's veryimportant to me that I always continue to do that. I think it's a great chanceto meet everybody WHO's, starting and also make sure we, I hate to use theword but indoctrinate in some ways kind of the mythologies of the businesswhich is important for culture. And then you have a rotation on like clientservice and get to know our clients, and we try to have o make sure peoplehave empathy for the problems in our product where clients are running intoissues and friction so that if you're going on and your job is going to be togo fix them on the engering team or on the design, you know team or what,wherever it is, that you're going and so Weh've a pretty. You know structuredon boarding process, which I think is a really effective tool for integratingnew new folks to the team. Talk About Transition Os somechallenges. I've found that start up SAR, it's almost. They saymarathon, not a sprint, at's, not even really like a marathon. It's like aseries of sprints over and over again, and sometimes you K W you get. You feellike you're, actually argetting,...

...everything if you've done it right,you're, getting everything out of your people and then just around thatquarter is the next. You know mile or hundred miles that we've got tocontinue to sprint any advice on. How do you continue to get more out ofpeople who are already giving so much? I wish you could tell me the answer tothat. I agree. I think I think it's tough to get the balanceright, because the reality for a start up is yourdefault dead and it requi. You know the number ofstart ups that fail is staggeringly high and it takes a Herculean effort towheel something into existence against all the odds. Even if you have a product people love,you know it's still. You gotta build a businessaround that and that's not an easy thing to do, and it's really tough. It's really toughand I think that you've got to figure out the way to do it in a way whereyou're not burning out yourself. You're, not burning your team out, and I thinka lot of that has to do with how you talk about things like work life. Wecall it work like fit, not work like balance at our company, some peoplelove to Work Hart, I'm one of them n. This idea of ow you have to set certainhours or balance is one that never really resognated with me. You knowforcing that on someone else, Bu this idea f fit you' got to find the thingthat works for you or the Setot that works for you or you incorporate thework and the personnal and the whatever in in t e in the recipe that makessense for your life. But you got to be willing to work hardbecause that's what it's going to take. It issupposed to be Hart. If you were easy to build truly transform of impactfulcompanies, we have a lot more of them, so I think that's one of the things youscreen for is is: Do you find people that are able to work hard? I think oneof the things we're talking a lot about in our business now is the importanceof working is smart as you scale, because one of the things that'sbecoming really important is how do you decouple your growth in inrevenue and business from your growth in head count? You want to be able togrow your revenues multiples faster than you do your headcount and that'swhere real scale and software comes from, and so it's not about throwingmore bodies of problems. It's about throwing you know technology and goodprocess and smart thinking around how to solve problems and Um. That's one ofthe things. That's a big conversation for us now is transitioning from beingat a stage where you could broot force here. You know an extra five hours hereand there could like make a meaningful difference on the numbers to having tobe thoughtful and works smarter and create more scale, which is somethingthat we're we're kind of in that phase of thinking about and working on. But Idon't think that was true. You know a few years ago, 'cause trying to thinktoo much about scale when you have none. It wouldn't wouldn't have been helpfulfor us at that stage. Right, myt, not a that, might have been a hon answer. ItS. it's a tough one. It's not it's, not a question that I know the answer to. Iwas Puttong got out there as a really as a purposefully, not ambiguous, butit's it's a really hard one. The answer so ive found it hard to think aboutputting aside thinking time when you're in it I get reminded from my friendsand partner WHO's still in the middle of it. When I get to reflect on alittle bit of the space that I've created now thinking time- and I talkabout that with my partner- she will aften remind me whan, it's like verypoint. BLANKD permind me what it's like to be in the middle of it. 'll Say that,but you always struck me as someone who seems to make time to think at leastwhen you're present you're here you've got a million things on the go, butyou're here right now and even over the course of our friendship seems likeyou've always been someone who's very clear and is thinking and made time topurposely. Think. Is that a conscious effort? And how doyou do it if you do well, thank you for...

...the complement, Um I'd, say I ab and flow. I I like tocreate thinking time and one of the practices I m started when I was inCalifornia after selling the business when I was like deliberate, I I want tostart a business. I got to come up with ideas as I would sit at a coffee shopfirst thing in the morning for an hour or two by myself, with no laptop with ajournal in a book, and I found it to be like meditative andproductive and enormously helpful, as I was thinking through that stage of mylife and problem that I wanted to work on and it's bad beuse, I've tried to keepup. So I still to this day, I try to start every day with one to two hoursof thinking, time with a book and a notebook at a cope shop. My hit ratethese days is not as good as it used to be, but in my calendar every morning Ihave blocked from eight to ten a m to do that and I try as best I can tostick to it and Um. I find it like enormously helpful when I stick to it.I'm always happy t that I am because I feel like my thinking is clearer and Icome. I show up work with more energy and conviction and thoughtfulness, butit's hard when you get into the grind, sometimes of creating space for it andare you when you are you thinking about a prodem problem? Is it premeditated,like I'm goingto sit for an hour and think about this thing ore youjournally on a topic. What do you do in that hour hour and a half? Usually notI mean sometimes I will and I'll go in and I'll have the journal open and justbe thinking about this particular problem. Most often I go in and I M I'mreading a book or you know some essay or article that I have saved a millionof that. I'm trying to work my way through and that sparking ideas aremaking me reflect. I find that that, like unstructured thinking, time isactually the best n. You know you hear about this from folks and I am not likea Steve Jobs. I don't acquant my my style or my ability anywhere likesomeone like that, but even him you know his onstructured thinking timewalking. You know in Palalto, California, and how he talks about the effectivenessthat had in him is a leader, an apple like. I think I think, there's value tothis idea of unstructured time alone, without an agenda and without trying tobe too purposeful about where, where your thoughts take you. So if anybodyever sees you in Toronto, I just imagine people looking at think. That'smy catchin and it's weird he's just sitting there wit h e thone. What's hedoing just sitting there so you're, just just thinking through or reading, not onyour phone, not catching up on email, a not making phone calls yeah. I try. Itry yeah, that's great there's a great book that I read recently calledDeebork by Calnewport and he talks about I've got a time around my desk,but I I try to at least get one of those sessions in the day of ninetyminutes, where I'm just focused on ha particular task hard to do. I thinkthat's really valuable, though I think it's you know there's this. I don'tbelieve anybody is productive at all hours of the day, a hundred percentthrough, but the perception is, you have to be or you're supposed to be,and so you like force yourself into very unproductive. I haven't read thebook, but imagine a lot of the principal is: How do you carve out thespecific time you need and Tochus to do? One thing really: Well, every day Ithink Amazon Cio Jabezo says if I can make three decisions a day: it's asuccessful day. U K O he's, not saying I need to make a decision every hour.If I can do three things or one thing really well, today, that'll move theneedle for the business like what else do I really need to do today and Ithink, figuring what whatever your cadence is. I think it's different foreverybody is importantthat's good, so lots on the go for you personally, Iknow you've got a little one at home. Has that been a forcing function tohelp you threaden narrowly in on just the mostimportant things as well? Totally, if you don't make time for family, youknow it's the thing that suffers the most and I wouldn't be able to Livmu tomyself. If you know I wasn't 's, the joy of my life is my time with myfamily and H...

...and so creating space. For that youknow I I try. The easiest time for me is isaround bedtimes, so I try and Leav the office every day around five o'clock,if I'm on town, so that I can give her dinner nd put her to bed andthen, if I'm working again, I'm working again after she's in bed at seveno'clock and talkng about work lie fit, and I work really hard, but I find theschedule that enables me to fit in you know the things that are most importantto me in in in my structure in my life yeah, that's great wrap up here in afew minutes. What are you most excited about? Right now could be personalprofessional. I mean honestly, I'm like really I've never felt more excitedabout the business repuic. It's there is a so much momentum right nowand just so much more opportunity in front of us that it feels like we havean endless number of fun and big and exciting and challenging things to workon that Um. It's just really a fun stage. You know we have evolved ourbusiness in he last year to become much more than just an investment company,we're trying to help people become a full service kind of financial partnerto our clients, as they navigate all of the financial choices of their life,and so we launched a you know: a discount brokerage business, the helppeople trade stocks. We we launched a tax service through an acquisition. Wejust announced the launch of a saving and spending service, which is reallysomething we're pretty proud of, and so like it just, I feel pretty Giddy I'venever felt as Giddy as I do right now about where we're trying to go and theteam we put together like I have a lot of confidence in I. What we're doing,where we're going, and just also like the humility to know that we're justscratching the surface on where we want to get to, and I feel super excitedabout that yeah, it's been a fun journey to follow. You know I I thoughtI thought I knew what well simple was, but recently with your new products andservices. I I get it more and more so I don't know exactly yet where it's goingto end up, but it it's making more and more sense to me as the story unfoldsand H, I think you've built an amazing company. An an amazing team. welelyappreciate that. Thank you. Yeah is last question. Is there anything elsethat the community can do for you? So most of our listeners are youngerenchepreneurs a lot still in school and we've got a big alumni network thatallso listen. Is there anything that we can do to help you or well simple I'dleave you with maybe three messages m the first to sign up. We Love Your Business and we'd love tohear from you. If you have feedback, we are trying to build something. Prettyspecial and we we depend on feedback to make great we'd love to hear from folks.The second is we're hiring and I think uh love to hear from really smart peoplethat care about what we're building and are trying to do that. The third is is a less selfish one, andI mention this in the talk this morning that I think that IV is an incrediblenetwork, and this is an amazing community, and the antmeners herealready are doing amazing things. One thing I would push us all to do more ofis to think bigger. It is not a Canadian thing to do and we need tochange that. I'm someone who is deeply passionate and appreciative of beinghere in Canada and being Canadian, and I worry about our future if we do notfigure out how to dream bigger, build really big companies that propel ourprosperity for years to come in the future and Um. My favorite analogy onthis is is when, when we turn our minds to winning we're actually pretty goodat it- and I remember when we were in Ivy Dean- was Carol Stevenson who wenton to chair the VANOC Olympic Community Committee that had, or was on the boardof that committee, that was they own the podium yere for the Olympics. Li e.How UNCANADIANG is that let's go own, the podiand be the best in the world.You know what happened. We Wan't know how good it felt felt. Great and peoplethink it's UNCANADIAN to think that way, and I I think we need to just shed thatso my challenge to the community, for the sake of all of us, has to reallybuild wonderful communities of companies and to think as big as youcan about the impact you want to have. I think, wew'll all benefit from thatfor years to come. That's great Mi! I'm...

...going to get you on the road! Thank youso much for the time. I appreciate com thanks, FORAA MADIC you've been listening to the Iviongminor potcast to ensure that you never miss an episode. Subscribe to the showin your favorite podcast player, or visit ivy dot ca forward, slashentrmrenorship! Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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