S4E28 Brian Childress Fractional CTO Shares How to Scale a Tech Company

S4E28 – Brian Childress – Fractional CTO  Shares How to Scale a Tech Company
Brian Childress – Fractional CTO Shares How to Scale a Tech Company. My next guest is a fractional CTO who helps tech startups structure their software engineering team and architecture so a company can scale. In this episode, we talk about red flags to look for when hiring offshore teams, should you spend more time building an idea or validating an idea, what held him back in his career, what helped him succeed in his career, and a whole lot more. If you’re looking to start or scale a tech company, this episode is perfect for you. Please welcome, Brian Childress.

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Key Timecodes

  • (00:58) – Show intro and background history
  • (01:39) – Deeper into his background history and business model
  • (03:37) – What are the biggest challenges that non-technical founders face
  • (05:52) – Deeper into his project management strategies
  • (10:23) – How to create a team to scale a business
  • (14:27) – What are the right professionals to run a SaaS business
  • (15:38) – What is more important building x validating
  • (19:09) – Deeper into his career path history
  • (21:37) – What helped he succeed in his career
  • (23:56) – An advice for CTOs who are building a company
  • (26:02) – How does he see the impact of AI in the next 5 years
  • (30:03) – His thoughts about the SaaS business market
  • (31:32) – How to scale a SaaS business
  • (35:16) – What is the best advice he ever received
  • (36:42) – Guest contacts


[00:00:00.320] – Intro
Hey, this is Sean Tapper, the host of Payback Time, an approachable and transparent podcast in building businesses, increasing wealth, and achieving financial freedom. I’d like to bring on guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go.
[00:00:17.250] – Sean
My next guest is a fractional CTO. So what does that mean? He’s a consultant that can help multiple startups. He specifically focuses on structuring the software engineering team and the architecture so a tech company can scale. Some of the things we talk about are red flags to look for when hiring offshore teams. Should you spend more time on building your idea or validating your idea? What is one big thing that has held him back in his career? And what is one thing that helped him succeed in his career and a whole lot more. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a tech company or scale a tech company, this episode will be perfect for you. Please welcome Brian Childress. Brian, welcome to the show.
[00:01:00.650] – Brian
Sean, it’s great to be here. I really appreciate it.
[00:01:02.070] – Sean
Indeed. Thanks for joining me. Why don’t you kick us off and tell us about your background?
[00:01:06.150] – Brian
Yeah. Professionally, I am a fractional CTO, so I get the privilege of being able to work with a number of different startups and small and medium businesses as they’re building out their custom software solutions. My background is in software engineering, software architecture. So that’s where I’ve spent the last good 15 years of my professional career and really enjoyed the opportunities to work in in healthcare and in finance and consumer SaaS products. So a bit across the board as far as the different industries and technologies that I’ve had a chance to work with.
[00:01:40.140] – Sean
Nice. Now, did you previously start, build, and sell a business or were you working for companies?
[00:01:47.810] – Brian
Mostly working for companies. There are a number of different startups that I’ve been either a founder or a lead founding engineer on. So there are quite a few of those. And most of those have, unfortunately, never gotten to see the light of day, but certainly been in a lot of different projects. But I’ve worked everywhere from small startups to Fortune 100 organizations.
[00:02:13.380] – Sean
So before I… I’ve got a bunch of questions here teed up to dive into. One question, though, before we go through the list would be, can you tell us a little bit more about a fractional CTO? What are you doing with customers? And we know it’s fractional, it’s not full-time.
[00:02:29.120] – Brian
Yeah, so It’s one of those newer terms, especially for us here in the United States, specifically in the technology realm. Now, we do have fractional CMOs and CFOs. It’s a fairly popular paradigm. So for me, I am working with teams and organizations, helping them to lead their software development practices. Most often, I’m brought into projects when they’re either looking to scale the applications that they already have in place or if there’s a problem that they’re trying to identify and solve for. So typically I’m not building ground up brand new ideas or SaaS products. Most often I’m coming in after something’s already been built and we’re ready to head into the next phase.
[00:03:16.730] – Sean
Got it. And you mentioned you’re more consumer SaaS. So would you say you’re more B2C, or are you a mix between B2C and B2B?
[00:03:24.410] – Brian
Oftentimes, I’m B2B. It’s where I land. And then most of my customers, then they may be selling B2C, but typically B2B is where I tend to hang out.
[00:03:37.110] – Sean
Okay. All right. So one of the first questions I teed up is, what are some of the biggest challenges that non-technical founders face?
[00:03:46.850] – Brian
So non-technical founders, they really have a lot to overcome from a technical standpoint. And I think one of the biggest challenges that they have is that they don’t know what they don’t know. And so unfortunately, when it comes to technology, oftentimes they hand over a lot of control of their business, of the software that they’re trying to build. And unfortunately, it’s too much control that they hand over. Because technology can feel like this mysterious black box type of thing. To a non-technical person, it’s very confusing, it’s very scary or fear-inducing. And so we tend to try and find somebody that that sounds and looks like they know about technology, and then we just hand over everything to them. And when we do that, we hand over complete control of, ultimately, the business that we’re trying to build. And unfortunately, I’ve seen that go bad quite a few times.
[00:04:47.190] – Sean
I love examples. Can you give an example?
[00:04:50.680] – Brian
Yeah. I was talking with a team maybe a couple of months ago now, and they had hired a development agency in a different country. It doesn’t matter where they’re located, but that was just a scenario. And they had spent $100,000 so far to hire this development agency to try and get things up and running. So $100,000, at least six months had been spent working with the development agency, and they had nothing. They had nothing to show for it. They had no control, they had no code. They didn’t know where the application that they had been shown was hosted. They were basically out. They couldn’t take anything that they’d spent all that time and money on to take it to another developer. And so unfortunately, they just had to chalk it up to a very expensive lesson learned and moving on to the next. And unfortunately, that type of story we hear all too often.
[00:05:52.430] – Sean
Absolutely. I’m going to get a little tactical here, but I’ll look at this through my lens. So my background, so you know, is about 17, 18 years in tech, primarily in project management roles. And what I found is a big failure a lot of businesses make, especially new startups, is they will give the requirements handed off to development team And then they’ll revisit in too long of durations between deliverables. So I found no matter if it’s onshore or offshore, you need to create a high level of rigor and meeting with people every week so you see, is this staying on track? And if not, you can quickly make corrections to get it right back on track. And if they’re not delivering, you can cut those payments off immediately so you don’t spend 100 grand. So with your experience, because it sounds like you’ve got experience on not just the coding, but also the architecture, do you help put a framework in place regarding project management?
[00:06:53.800] – Brian
I do. So typically when I come into an organization, they already have some project management in place. So I try and work within whatever they have, but really trying to drive it back to what is the business value? What is it that we’re trying to build? And how is this going to ultimately serve the business? So, yeah, I do bring in. I’ve got a number of different tools in my toolbox. And really, as far as project management goes, I try and align it with what I think is going to make the team and the business most successful. I try to not be too dogmatic about proposing certain approaches to project management. Just in my experience, we get too much resistance if we try and force something on the team or the project.
[00:07:38.340] – Sean
A hundred % agree, because I’ve seen people that, or an organization that runs Waterfall, and you come in with your agile methodology, it totally flips the thing on its head. It’s like, No, you don’t want to do that. Use whatever framework you guys are comfortable with, but create those touchpoints, create that rigor 2-3 times a week, I recommend, and to keep people on track. And you can run those meetings how you want, but making sure you’re doing testing every week, you’re looking at results every week. It might just be little things you get to see, but that way you keep that project on track. Now, with what you’re doing, I would see Because you’re more of a fractional CTO, you’re probably not writing code like a full-time engineer. So I assume you’re probably doing more architecture work to make sure an organization is built to scale. They go from, Okay, so you’re at this level, you’re generating this amount of revenue, you can handle this, this number of clients. I’m going to help you put the architecture in place so you can scale to 10X that. Is that what you’re doing?
[00:08:43.780] – Brian
Absolutely. Yeah. So 10X is really where I try and target. I try to not build for any more than that. It’s usually we learn a lot in that where we are now getting to 10X. And so we don’t design beyond that. But scale is interesting because I think about it in a few different ways that I’d love to share.
[00:09:07.300] – Sean
Yeah, please.
[00:09:08.660] – Brian
Yeah. So typically when we talk about scale as far as software goes, we usually think about scale as adding more users to the system. That’s fairly straightforward. We have 10 users, we want to have 100 users. And so for that, there’s some fairly well-trodden paths and approaches that we can take to be able to do that. But for me, I’m also looking at scaling the number of engineers that I can bring onto the team. Can I add additional developers from other areas of the world? Can we now have a globally distributed development team? And what are some of the practices that are required there? And then the third way that I look at scaling is around how can we add more features to the platform where I don’t have to come to my project manager and say, Well, you want to add this particular feature, But because we built the system in such a way, it’s actually going to require quite a bit of rework for us to even be able to get to a place where we can then start to add this new feature. And so for me, that’s where I’m really looking at how do we build the system, how do we architect it in a way that we can continue to add features along the way that won’t require huge levels of effort in the future?
[00:10:22.810] – Sean
I love that. To give you a quick case study here with Tykr, we have gone through three different versions versions of the web app. We’re on the third version now, and this is where we’ll probably stay for the long haul. But the second version was that in between point between the MVP and where we’re at today. And it was pretty much a mistake, and it cost us about a year because we really pigeonized hold ourselves with the architecture. We could not add the features our customers were looking for. It wasn’t a massive failure, but it was like a lesson learned. Let’s fail forward, fail fast, and keep things moving. But I wasn’t exactly pleased with that experience And it’s like, this is where an architect is so critical to see that vision and understand the audience is probably going to want this, this, and this. So we need to be prepared to build that. So I see you coming into play making that call and helping a team really build the right stack so they can scale for the customer.
[00:11:20.830] – Brian
Yeah, it’s such a critical component being able to see not only in the short term, what are we building in the next three months, but how is that going to get us to our a goal that maybe 18 months into the future? And how do we balance that with not over engineering or making things too complex on either end of the spectrum?
[00:11:39.810] – Sean
Sure. Can you share with us maybe some of the red flags you look for when hiring offshore developers?
[00:11:47.890] – Brian
Communication is the very first one that I look for. How well do they communicate? How often do they communicate? In what ways do they communicate? Is it consistent? Am I getting the information that I’m we’re looking for? That’s a really big one. From there, if I feel comfortable with how we’re communicating, one of the biggest indicators for me is how many questions do they ask? Are they continuing to ask questions to better understand what it is that we’re building, what is the business that we’re in, what are the problems that we’re trying to solve? Because I think most often the horror stories that we hear about offshore development agencies or free freelancers or anything along those lines, is that they operate almost like order takers. We just say, Hey, we want this thing. They say, Okay, I know how to build that thing, and they go and do that. Ultimately, I think it’s our responsibility as developers, as architects, to make sure that whatever it is that we’re building is actually the thing that we should be building, that we should be focusing on, so that we’re aligning our technology initiatives with the business initiatives.
[00:12:59.980] – Brian
So that’s a big one is, how many questions do they ask and how deep do they go in those questions?
[00:13:06.760] – Sean
Here’s one for you. So when we were building the MVP, I actually went through two different teams, and I had managed teams prior to this with numerous projects. Well, the first team said they could build a B2C SaaS, and it was quickly determined after about three to four months in, they cannot build a SaaS. They can build websites. You name the platform, WordPress, SASS, whatever, they’ve got it covered. But to build a custom-coded SaaS way out of their league brought in a second guy who was decent but couldn’t get to what I would say world-class level, let’s Tykr. So how do you ask the right questions to really qualify people? Obviously, you can ask, What have you done before? And show me your portfolio. But if they don’t have that, maybe they have the skills. But how would you uncover if they truly have the skills to build a SASS?
[00:13:59.000] – Brian
So I always like to allow, whether I’m interviewing an engineer or I’m interviewing someone to potentially bring on as a partner, I want to learn more about their projects. And so what I’m listening for are some specific details within those projects that I’ll continue to ask deeper questions about. I think a lot of times, and back to our original question around the challenges that non-technical founders face, is it’s easy for us to throw around a lot of keywords and in technical jargon that makes it sound like we know what we’re talking about, that we know how to build these things. And I think developers are extremely guilty of it. I’ve been guilty of it early in my career. Just trying to make ourselves feel smart or look smart. So we just throw around a lot of words and acronyms just as a way to confuse people. And unfortunately, it works. But for me, because I’ve got that technical background, I’ll continue to ask deeper questions. And I want to understand how did they solve particular problems. When they talk about particular technologies, can they balance the pros and the cons of using a specific technology?
[00:15:10.880] – Brian
And if they can’t, then it could be an indication that that’s the only technology they know or that’s the only one that they’re willing to use. And for me, technology is just a tool. We want to make sure that we’re choosing the right tool for the given use case for the problem we’re trying to solve. I just want to make sure that they’re able to see a bit more broadly than outside of what they just have the most recent experience with.
[00:15:38.140] – Sean
Sure. Right on. Another good one here is, should a team be focused more on building their idea or validating their idea?
[00:15:47.580] – Brian
I would argue validating. Absolutely. It’s really, especially coming from a technical standpoint, I know I can say it’s easy, but compared to validating an idea and actually getting it out into the marketplace and finding that ideal customer that’s willing to pay you money for the thing that you’re going to build, I think that’s just so much more important than, can we build this thing? And how do we make it scalable? And Do we use Stripe or PayPal or some other platform? Those things don’t matter if we can’t actually get someone that’s interested enough to actually pay for the product. I really always encourage my founders, any teams that I’m we’re working with, to really validate ideas so deeply. Go beyond our friends and our family groups and really get out there and talk to our customers and potentially folks that may not be our customers, and just try to understand what it would take to potentially convert them as well. It’s just really, really important.
[00:16:49.430] – Sean
I 100 % agree. I know a lot of founders out there, and I was guilty of this in my earlier days is, build it and they will come, philosophy. Build it a dream, right? And you don’t want to do that because you could invest tens of thousands of dollars into something that nobody will use, nobody cares about. So how do you validate an idea? An idea, or what I tell people, is try to go to MVP with the least amount of money and time spent And in some cases, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, some cases that’s presenting UIs, have somebody put together UIs in like, Bigma or Photoshop, maybe a PowerPoint. Maybe if you can put together something that’s basic with Wix or Squarespace. It won’t give you the full custom functionality, but provide them with an experience to at least have the conversations of what people… When they can start saying, I like that, but what if it could do this, this, and this? And then you write all that down, and that’s your roadmap. So that’s my philosophy on validation. I’d love to hear how you tactically approach validation.
[00:17:51.900] – Brian
Almost identical, honestly. So one of the very first phases for me that I suggest is to hire a designer to put together a clickable prototype. And you mentioned Figma. That’s a fantastic tool for this type of thing. Get that in front of people so that they can start to see it because we really need that visual connection to what it is that we’re building. It’s tough Powerpoint can do okay, but really having something that you can click through and you see data moving, and even though it’s all fake, that can be monumental and really extremely valuable. I really encourage folks to iterate on that clickable prototype before we get to custom development, because once we get into custom development, that’s where things get really expensive really, really quickly.
[00:18:40.470] – Sean
Yeah. And that’s where people get so far down the road and invest so much money and realize, oh, gosh, I spent the price of my home on something that nobody’s going to use.
[00:18:53.080] – Brian
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s heartbreaking to hear when folks will cash out their 401k accounts to fund It’s custom software development projects, and they go nowhere. It’s devastating.
[00:19:06.560] – Sean
Yeah, 100% agree. Avoid that. All right, another question here. A little gear shift. What has held you back in your career?
[00:19:16.310] – Brian
I think the biggest thing that’s held me back, and I know a lot of folks, technical and maybe non-technical as well, this feeling of imposter syndrome, right? Not feeling like you have the skills, you have the capability or knowledge. And so you tend to be much more reserved and less likely to push yourself or put yourself out in front of your peers because the fear of judgment. And if I make a mistake or say the wrong word, then my career is just over at that point. Thankfully, that’s not actually true, but that feeling can be overwhelming, and it can lead to all sorts of things, self sabotage and just really restraining your ability to grow. And that’s something that I’ve worked on a lot is that idea of imposter syndrome and how can I leverage that feeling to continue to propel me forward.
[00:20:15.890] – Sean
I want to dive into that a little bit further because a lot of people, even listeners, may be feeling the same thing. Imposter syndrome is very common. So how did you help coach yourself through that?
[00:20:27.810] – Brian
One of the most helpful things for me So I like to create lists, the things that I’ve achieved. And so for me, I created a list of all the accomplishments that for me, I shouldn’t have been able to do. I have multiple patents in software development. I’ve held prestigious titles. I’ve worked at prestigious companies, all of those types of things that when we have an opportunity to take a step back, it’s like, wow, I have done a lot. I have really accomplished I’ve accomplished quite a few things. Really having that list to continue to reflect back on is like, no, I have done these things or something equivalent. I can do it again, and I can continue to push myself to do even more. I found that to be hugely, hugely helpful. Even today, before I walk on stage to give a conference talk or something, I’m still reflecting back on, I have spoken in front of this many people before, and that I found to be a game for me.
[00:21:30.620] – Sean
That’s a great tip, something we can all apply. Well, you love those tactical examples of what can we do today, so good one. This is very similar. What has helped you succeed in your career?
[00:21:43.160] – Brian
I have this mental image of our comfort zone. It’s almost like I’m in a bubble, and my goal is to push against the edges of that bubble but not make it burst. Really, the idea is that I’m pushing my comfort zone just a little bit more, pushing against that fear and really embracing it. For me, public speaking was one of those things that in college, we were required to take a public speaking class, and I put it off till the very last semester possible. I barely passed. I didn’t gravitate towards it. It wasn’t something that was for me. And so I went into this idea with that background. And so I really needed to push against that comfort zone. And being willing to do that and recognize the fear and the feelings that were there and just continuing to celebrate the small victories has really helped me to Excel and grow in my career. But it does require a bit of discomfort to get there.
[00:22:45.560] – Sean
Yes, I love that. So this is not pointing at you directly, but most people who are like CTOs or software engineers, architects, they do lean to be more introverted, highly technical, highly analytical, heads down, very productive, and not public speakers. So to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to go on stage and learn how to be a public speaker is very difficult. So it shows just giving yourself the push and just push through those little barriers can go a long way because now I’m assuming you being on stage, being able to network more, shake more hands, be out there in more front of people is probably bringing you more opportunities. Is that probably a correct assumption?
[00:23:31.250] – Brian
You’re absolutely right. The connections that I’ve made, being able to walk into a room and folks know me, but I’ve never met them. I mean, it’s an incredible feeling. So it’s certainly opened up a lot of doors for me.
[00:23:45.220] – Sean
What advice do you have for CTOs looking to start a business, or maybe even the CTO out there who’s with a startup that wants to maybe jump to another startup or maybe jump into corporate? We’ll break down the first one first. Any CTOs out there looking to start a company, what advice do you have?
[00:24:06.840] – Brian
I think the biggest thing as far as from a technical perspective, is to really focus on the business. What is the problem that we’re trying to solve. And that’s a challenge that a lot of us technologists have is we’ve got a huge toolbox of all sorts of tools and ways that we can solve problems. And that’s our superpower, is our ability to solve problems in many different ways. And that’s what we want to do. But we don’t always understand what the problem is. We don’t dive deep enough into what is it that we’re trying to solve. We just start trying to solve things. So I always encourage folks to take a step back and really understand the problem, really, really understand the problem, and then start with something simple. And as we can evolve, we can then bring in all of those fun new technologies and those tools that we have in our toolbox to continue to grow and evolve and build a bigger business upon that. But really trying to restrain ourselves from bringing technology into the equation for as long as possible. And that’s tough, right? That’s why we’re all in technology is because we love those things so much.
[00:25:14.600] – Brian
[00:25:15.460] – Sean
What you just described there separates the lead software engineer from the CTO, because I’ve met so many people out there that fall into that category of, you’re a better fit for lead software engineer because you’re bringing all these tools, but not once to do ask me, how does this business make money? What pain is the customer going through? How do we resolve that pain? And then bring in the tech. I think any listeners out there, this is a good takeaway. If you’re interviewing for a CTO, is what are they more focused on the tech and the toys or how to really solve problems for the customer and make money. That’s where the CTO is like, okay, you’re checking one of the boxes of many to find a good CTO. If they start answering the questions correctly in in that regard.
[00:26:01.130] – Brian
Yeah, absolutely.
[00:26:02.330] – Sean
Right on. All right, let’s jump to AI. Since that’s a hot topic, how do you see AI really impacting or changing startups over the next five years?
[00:26:13.200] – Brian
As far as startups go, I think AI is going to be an absolute game changer. We’re experiencing a shift in the way that we live and work and operate like we haven’t seen before. Or compare it to the advent of the Internet and our ability to to get access to information in such a way. I think AI is really interesting. It’s really fascinating. I think it’s extremely powerful. From a software development standpoint, we’re able to create more software We’re better, faster, at a higher quality. I think that’s going to really change things. I think it’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for smaller startups to start to come out and evolve. I’m I’m seeing a lot more these micro-SAS applications that are very focused on a very target market, very niche problem that it’s solving. They don’t need huge user bases in order to be successful. They’re able to survive with 500 or a thousand monthly users, and they’re doing really, really well. And I think those are only going to continue to proliferate out there. So I’m excited about that for sure.
[00:27:29.170] – Sean
I have a question here that you probably didn’t see coming, but I was asked this question on a podcast a few weeks ago. Before I was on, the guests let me know I had some well-known VC on. I won’t say the name, but they said that the SaaS market has become saturated, and it’s leveling out. And my response was, I completely disagree. I think that there can always be a better mousetrap. There can be better UI, better experiences, products that provide less clicks. But I’d love to hear your thoughts on that comment about maybe SaaS leveling out. Do you think that’s true?
[00:28:04.910] – Brian
No, I would agree. I don’t know that it’s necessarily leveling out. I think we’re seeing more players come into the game that are doing a better job, solving more specific problems for different either use cases or industries. I think we’re going to continue to see those things. Maybe where I can see that comment coming from was we might not see as many big SaaS platforms that encompass everything in our entire day and all of the work that we do lives within one SaaS platform. I do think that we’re going to continue to see more SaaS products that we have to interact with day in and day out. And we’re seeing more products that sit in between a group of products and serve as integration points to be able to pull information from one source and transform it, move it into another, or scheduling calendar invites. And I think we’re going to see a lot more of that type of sases come out. There’s always an opportunity to continue to improve what we build and how we build it, and the users are going to be the ones to tell us how well we’re doing.
[00:29:11.940] – Sean
Right. Good call. I agree. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Are you a beginner investor and want to increase your confidence with investing? Tykredu is now live, which includes investing courses. The first course is titled Stock Investing for Beginners, which includes over 60 videos that take you through modules, including Overcoming Myth, the Difference between Stocks, ETFs, Index Funds, and Mutual Funds, Investing versus Trading, the number one reason why stocks go up and down, knowing when to buy, knowing when to sell, increasing confidence, how to invest your first $1,000, and real-life examples. It’s like looking over my shoulder to see how I buy and sell stocks. Simply go to edu. Tykr. Com or go to Tykr. Com and click the Courses link at the top of the page. Okay, back to the show. This connects the dots to our audience. We have a lot of retail investors, myself being one, not just an entrepreneur, but I really enjoy investing in the stock markets. And I do teach our audience that SaaS is a great area to look for because of the scalability. You can increase revenue without increasing your liabilities as fast, meaning payroll being one of the biggest liabilities.
[00:30:28.120] – Sean
Unlike an agency or a service business, So you increase your revenue, you usually got to increase your payroll. So we love SaaS, and there’s always good SaaS investment opportunities. But for the entrepreneurs out there looking to create a SaaS, what advice would you have them? What would be a good starting point?
[00:30:47.490] – Brian
Again, focusing on the problem. What is it that you’re trying to solve? Who is your target audience? And being very, very, very specific about that. There’s seven or eight billion people in the world. We don’t need to solve a problem for all of them. We need to solve it for a very, very narrow niche. I was talking with a group of colleagues earlier today, and they’re building an AI for dentists. It’s just starting to really narrow it down. It’s like my ideal customer is a practicing dentist, and they want to be able to ask questions and receive responses. And the interface between them and an AI platform or that SaaS platform is going to look a lot different than some of the others. So I think it’s really important to focus on what is it that we’re doing and who are we serving.
[00:31:32.690] – Sean
Right on. And then what advice do you have for founders out there looking to scale a SaaS?
[00:31:38.410] – Brian
Try and keep things as simple as possible as you continue to grow. I think that’s one of the things that really challenges us is we make the solution so complex that it’s very hard to actually scale the solution. We need to try and add more servers and add more users and add more features, and all of that complexity combined, it can be just overwhelming. If we add artificial complexity on top of that, it’s almost always a recipe for disaster. I really encourage folks to just keep things as simple as possible. And then as the application grows, it may grow in unpredicted ways. Just pay attention to where customers are using the platform, how they’re using it, because it may inform new product features and new development efforts that you might not have had on your roadmap 12 or 18 months ago.
[00:32:36.450] – Sean
Awesome. All right, well, let’s jump into the rapid fire round next. This is part of the episode where we get to find out who Brian really is. If you can, try to answer each question in about 15 seconds or less. You ready?
[00:32:49.940] – Brian
Ready as I’ll ever be.
[00:32:51.820] – Sean
All right, there we go. What is your favorite podcast?
[00:32:55.170] – Brian
One I’m listening to a lot right now is the Tribe of Millionaires podcast. So it’s a mastermind group or it surrounds a mastermind group called GoBundance. They bring in on a lot of really interesting guests. So I really enjoy that one right now.
[00:33:10.420] – Sean
I’ll put it on the list. All right, next up, what is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:33:15.690] – Brian
10x is better than 2X. Dan Sullivan, Dr. Benjamin Hardy. That’s a fantastic one.
[00:33:22.220] – Sean
Yeah, I’ve heard that recommendation before. Nice. All right, what is your favorite movie?
[00:33:27.550] – Brian
I love Cheeky Humor, so Dumb & Dumber for me. The original Dumb & Dumber movie.
[00:33:32.360] – Sean
Nice. Coming back to the ’90s. Sweet. All right. So what is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:33:39.560] – Brian
Follow your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. I’ll give a little bit of color to that one. So my passion is outdoor recreation. I love to go and explore and do things outdoors, but it was in direct conflict with some of my other goals, my other life goals. And so I actually had to come back to the drawing board and realize I needed a shift in my career to be able to achieve a certain financial and other type of goals. And so I had to really change my approach there.
[00:34:14.170] – Sean
I love that. And just to drill in that a little further, Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank has mentioned the same thing, where if you follow your passion, and in many cases, because he’s a guitarist, he’s always been playing the car, was he going to make… Was he going to become a multimillionaire as a guitarist? Probably not. Set those expectations. And you want to find out, okay, so what can make money? And when you start to learn what does and start helping people at the same time, you realize that you actually have a passion for that as well. It develops. And same thing in IT, I fell into IT as well. I didn’t see that happening when I was much younger, but it’s like, okay, so this solves a problem and you can make money at this? Awesome. All right. Other hobbies out there still I have interest in, but I’m not going pro at golf anytime soon. But you get it. You’re an outdoorsman. It’s like, you’re not going to be able to financially get to where you want to be. You can still enjoy it, but you got to find something that makes money.
[00:35:14.350] – Brian
Right. Yeah, exactly.
[00:35:16.070] – Sean
Yeah. All right. Flip that equation. What is the best advice you ever received?
[00:35:19.970] – Brian
My dad says, slow down to speed up. I think certainly when I was younger, I had a tendency to just want to jump in and do things very quickly, and the results spoke for themselves. And so really slowing down, being more methodical, understanding what it is I’m doing before I start doing it, I was able to actually move much more quickly as a result.
[00:35:43.980] – Sean
As the US Special Forces say slow is smooth, smooth is fast. I love that. All right, last question here is the time machine question. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:35:58.760] – Brian
I I think I would probably go back to maybe my early 20s. I think that would be an opportunity to really try and… We don’t have a lot of the same obligations. We don’t have a family and a mortgage, and really taking advantage of that period of time to really go and explore new things, new countries and cultures and people. I think that’s something that now that I have an opportunity. I do have a a bit more flexibility and financial stability. I’m trying to bring that into my life. It would have been fun to do it at that period of my life as well.
[00:36:41.930] – Sean
All right. And where can people reach you?
[00:36:45.070] – Brian
I’m most active on LinkedIn, so I always encourage folks to reach out and find me there. I’m happy to connect and would love to have a chat.
[00:36:53.760] – Sean
Awesome. All right, Brian. Well, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. John, thank you. We’ll see you.
[00:36:59.180] – Brian
[00:37:00.180] – Sean
Hey, I’d like to say thank you for checking out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts out there you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. And if you have a moment, please head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a five-star review. The more reviews we get, especially five-star reviews, the higher this podcast will rank in Apple. So thanks for doing that. And remember, this show is for entertainment purposes only. If you heard any stocks mentioned on this podcast, please do not buy or sell those stocks based solely on what you hear. All right, thanks for your time. We’ll see you.