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IAM702- Founder Brings The DC Area Tech Community Together

Podcast Interview with Brian Dawson

Brian Dawson is the founder of District Flight Deals and DC Tech People. District Flight Deals helps people in the DC area save up to 75% off normal flight costs. DC Tech People is a new business that seeks to bring the DC area tech community together through stories and products made for them.

  • CEO Hack: App- Roam Research
  • CEO Nugget: Speed is better than planning especially when costs are low
  • CEO Defined: You bear the responsibility and the backstops with you

Website: http://districtflightdeals.com/

https://www.dctechpeople.com/
https://www.briantsdawson.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dctechpeople


FULL INTERVIEW

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Transcription

 

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

[00:00:30.10] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brian Dawson of District Flight Deals and DC Tech People. Brian, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.60] – Brian Dawson

Thanks so much for having me, Gresh. I'm really excited to be here, talk to you, talk to your audience, and, and get chatting.

[00:00:46.20] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I do know you're doing some phenomenal things in the area. And before we jump in, I want to reintroduce you to Brian so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Brian's the founder of District Flight Deals and DC Tech People. District Flight Deals helps people in the DC area save up to seventy-five percent off normal flight costs. And DC TechPeople is a new business that seeks to bring the DC area tech community together through stories and products made exactly for them. Brian, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:00:46.30] – Brian Dawson

Absolutely. Let's do it.

[00:00:47.09] – Gresham Harkless

So they kick off everything. I want to rewind the clock a little bit and hear a little bit more about what I call your your CEO story. We'll let you get started with your businesses.

[00:01:23.59] – Brian Dawson

Yeah. So a couple of years ago, I was working, my regular nine to five or more like eight to six I guess. But and wanted to start a business for a long time. At the same time I had just gotten engaged and a lot of friends were in a similar situation. I'm from Los Angeles, my wife's from Alabama, friends getting married all over the place, so I was doing a lot of traveling that year. And I've always been kind of into the travel hacking scene so started to really get serious about looking for cheap flights, turned that into keeping track of cheap flights, and then saw that some other people had done similar things in space and have like shared cheap flights that they found.

And I was to subscribe to some blogs and newsletters that help people find cheap flights but there was always the annoyance for me of getting an email about a cheap flight but it's not from DC, it's from Philadelphia, it's from New York or just, and you can't figure it out until you click into the email. So I wanted something just for me, and figured there were other people who might want that too, So decided to make District Flight Deals which is an email newsletter where I send out cheap flights that I'm finding.

And then over the years have kind of refined that process to be able to find pretty great flights a couple of years ago my wife and I took one, or last year we took one, to Rome for two eighty-three dollars round trip. So that's the kind of thing that I'm trying to send out to people and that people are taking advantage of.

[00:02:43.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I'm definitely sure everybody who's listening to this is probably shaking their head in agreement right now and looking to figure out how they can find those great deals. So it's great to hear, like, how you scratch your own itch, and then it starts to grow into what is a business and a great opportunity and so many others.

[00:03:03.19] – Brian Dawson

Exactly. Exactly. yeah, recently it's different flights for later this year like late twenty, early twenty-first one but right now kind of waiting to see how things develop. Still sending out flight deals but as I said in the distant future it'll be interesting to see how that develops. And then that's kind of led me into this other business that I've started DC Tech People. So when I was starting District Flight deals, didn't really know anybody in the tech space in DC. It's something I've been interested in for a long time but I just kind of solved every problem by googling and answering or looking for answers on forums and everything like that and I knew it'd be really nice if I knew people in the space who I could go to for you know to ask technical questions, for mentorship, that kind of thing.

And then over the course of the business, I started to get to know people, to you know people would reach out, I would reach out to people and get to know people and it was really helpful for the business. And so that kind of desire to get to know even more people led me to want to start a site to bring the DC area tech community together. And there are some different pockets where you know the community gets together with meetups and stuff and now that's kind of on hold but wanted just a place to help people tell their stories, people like you, other entrepreneurs in the area, and then kind of figure out what could be the most helpful thing I could do, to make products for these people.

In the last few weeks that's just been in the last month I saw some friends in the DC area tech community get laid off so I kind of accelerated plans to make a job board and made a a job board called Still Hiring DC so that people who have gotten laid off can find some open positions going forward. So launched that a few weeks ago and that's kind of like the first product that I see, but I know that more will come, I'm just kind of trying to get to know people and get to know what could be helpful.

[00:04:48.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And it makes so much sense and I definitely, you know, been honored to kinda be on the site as well too. So I definitely appreciate that. And I think that I love, again, kind of the organic nature, I guess you can say, of how things start to develop because I think when you start to just have an interest and you start to pursue that interest, you don't necessarily know exactly what it's going to be. But, obviously, in the times that we're recording this, you know, a need presented itself. And because you had started to build and have that community, you're able to kinda provide that product or service that helps meet that need. Yeah.

[00:05:18.80] – Brian Dawson

Yeah. Exactly.

[00:05:19.69] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I know you touched on each of the businesses and kind of what they include. Is there anything additional you wanted to kind of let us know that we should know about, the business so that we can understand how you serve your clients?

[00:05:32.10] – Brian Dawson

Yeah. Sure. So right now, like I said, there's a job board and, you know, the customer there would be companies who are looking to hire. But, more of my relationship is with people in the DC area tech community who might be candidates, or people starting businesses, or growing businesses. And I'm telling their stories on the site like I mentioned I interviewed you Grush, and that's gonna go live soon in the interview section of the site. And that's pretty much it for now, but we'll be adding products in the future. So for district flight deals, it's people who are looking to travel for cheap. And for DC tech people, it's people who want to get to know other people in the community, learn what's going on, and, maybe post or find an open job.

[00:06:10.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I know you're from the Los Angeles area, you said, but I think for somebody who's kind of, a DC native, so to speak, or DC area native, I should say, you're always looking, you know, to have, like, opportunities, especially around this area and see and be able to drill down, find job opportunities as you mentioned, or, of course, flight deals, go to Rome for two hundred dollars or so also helps out as well too. So, definitely appreciate you for creating that. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for you personally or your businesses, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:43.30] – Brian Dawson

I think we kinda touched on it actually in that last question which is, I think it's the adaptability and the flexibility. I think our world changes faster and faster and making predictions and plans for what's gonna happen is harder and harder. And I think that you know my belief and kind of what I try to live out with the businesses is that it's the people who can respond quickly to change and can adapt that are going to be the most successful going forward. And so I think it's that adaptability, I'm still trying to figure that out with District Flight deals right now, what that business might look like. I think most airlines dropped like ten percent today in their stock price and that's gonna be crazy but that's the kind of stuff that I think means you need to be able to be flexible.

[00:07:29.00] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

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[00:07:40.00] – Brian Dawson

Okay. Thought about this a little bit. I think the number one thing that's kinda changed how I work in the last four months and has definitely made an impact is, an app or it's it's not a dedicated app. It's in a browser but it's called Roam Research. Have you heard of this by chance? I have not. I have not. So it's, it's similar to Evernote or Notion or a note-taking app like that. But the difference is that you can if I'm taking notes say, you know this is what I did in district flight deals today, did you know I executed this marketing strategy, I fulfilled these customer requests, you can link, I can link to another note, I can say you know, I did marketing and put like hashtag marketing or just make a page that's all about all my marketing efforts.

And kinda like Wikipedia, you know then you can go to the next page but what's really interesting is that then when you go to that next page you can see everywhere you've linked to that page from. So it just kind of helps, it's hard to explain I would encourage everybody to kind of play around with it but on the internet, most links are directional, they take you somewhere but you can't see where someone has linked to that site from or in Evernote or Notion it's like that.

But on Roam, you can see where it's been linked to and there's just something magical about that that just lets you synthesize everything you're working on, see everything as one, and it's got some really great task management functionalities. So instead of keeping my knowledge in one area like Evernote and my tasks in another area like Trello, it's all in one in Rome and it's an amazing tool, I encourage everybody to check it out.

[00:09:19.10] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah absolutely, so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to hop into a time machine, might tell your younger business self.

[00:09:30.60] – Brian Dawson

Yeah, I think it would be a long kind of theme you touched on earlier. If I was to go back and

[00:09:34.70] – Brian Dawson

If I were to go back and tell myself it would be that speed is better than than planning. And that's obviously not always true but in general, I think I personally spent too much time planning, too much time predicting what I think is going to happen and you just never know until the rubber hits the road what exactly is gonna shake out. And by doing things with speed you get advantages. So like one example is, have you heard of the law of shitty click-throughs?

[00:10:06.60] – Gresham Harkless

No, I have not.

[00:10:08.20] – Brian Dawson

Okay so there's this, a growth marketer in Silicon Valley, I don't know exactly what he does but his name is Andrew Chen, and he runs a great blog, I believe he's a venture capitalist too, but I don't know his exact resume but he penned this law of shitty click-throughs and he talks about how when the internet first came on, you know came online, the first banner ad on a website, the click through rates were like seventy-five percent. Over time customers get used to it, they get ad fatigue, they no longer we don't even see banner ads anymore they're just not visible to me. Eventually, the click rate gets down to almost zero and that happens to every marketing channel.

And so the thing to do there knowing that every marketing channel eventually will reach an excuse my language but shitty click-through rate is what he calls it. Then the answer is to move a speed. There you know if you were on Facebook ads in twenty twelve you could have done well, now pretty hard. I mean it's still doable. And in twenty years probably very very hard. So speed gives you that advantage in marketing channels and I think it gives you an advantage in a lot of other areas too just you can plan all you want but you only know once you start doing things and you learn a lot faster by doing things. So that would be my advice to myself and I think my advice to others too is just do things quickly if the cost of doing them is low.

[00:11:27.60] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense and that and it just reminded me of, you know, like first mover's advantage as well too, because a lot of times, especially on social media platforms, if you were one of the first movers or within that first wave, I guess you can say, you paid next to nothing for a lot of the advertising, you know, opportunities and things like that. But as time goes on, more people use it, the price starts to go up, and then there are more people and more noise on it. So it starts to become a lot harder to kinda get through and have that non-shitty click-through rate that I'm sure we're always kinda searching for.

[00:11:58.70] – Brian Dawson

Exactly. If you could have been on TikTok two years ago then, you know, you'd be doing really well right now. So yeah, if the cost is low just take some gambles and try to move quickly.

[00:12:08.79] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I love that too where you said, you know, speaking from your own perspective, because I think so many times I hear that kind of self-awareness within that too because I think if you know you lean more way or the one way or the other, it's always great to understand that you can shift that way because you probably already have that strategy in your mind of what you're gonna be thinking about. But now just trying to take more actions and take more gambles to to see things through.

[00:12:30.00] – Brian Dawson

Yeah. Exactly.

[00:12:31.50] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, What is the definition of what it means to be a CEO? And we're hoping to have different quotes, unquote CEOs on the show. So, Brian, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:43.10] – Brian Dawson

To me, being a CEO means that you bear the responsibility. You're the buck stops with you and whatever happens with the business even if it's a decision that somebody, one of your employees made or for me, you know, any decision that I make that ends up on any of my products, it's it stops with me. I'm the one responsible and, that's my definition

[00:13:07.29] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes so much sense. I think especially when we have these visions and what we want to do with our businesses, you have to keep in mind that, you know, we are and the buck does stop with you. So a lot of times, these decisions that we make are sometimes even decisions that we don't make. You know, you have to understand that comes back around to you. So I think that's an incredible perspective and definition.

[00:13:26.70] – Brian Dawson

Yeah. And then because of that, it's up to you to make good processes that people can follow, good processes for your products and your systems and everything. And, if somebody you know one of your employees makes a bad decision and that's info for you to go back and make a better process, make a better system that's not going next time.

[00:13:42.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I love that second part of it because I think so many times we can outwardly blame, people or circumstances or things, but I think if we take the brunt and we understand that, if the buck stops with us and if something was a mistake and we maybe we didn't communicate it, so maybe we can work on how we can better communicate that. But I think that gives us a lot of, the opportunity to be our best selves so that the business and everything around the businesses is better too.

[00:14:09.60] – Brian Dawson

Yep. Exactly.

[00:14:11.39] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Brian, truly appreciate that definition and that perspective. Appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all about some things you're working on.

[00:14:26.29] – Brian Dawson

Sure. Getting to contact me is probably the best place right now is on Twitter. It's at DC tech people. That's right now, where I'm personally tweeting about updates to that project and what's going on. And I try to be transparent if anybody wants to ask me questions about how something is built, or what my thoughts are on making various decisions, I'm really happy to have conversations there. Or you can find my email if you go to dctechpeople dot com, very easy to get in contact with.

Other last thoughts I guess I'll just give a couple of book recommendations that I haven't read lately. So on the theme of that CEO question, one book that really processes is up to you, and all the the way that your business works is up to you. Especially the first part of the book is really good. And then, related to how hard it is to plan for the future and how to be flexible would be, Anti Fragile by Nassim to Plea. Highly recommend that book. That's probably my favorite nonfiction book I've maybe ever read. So if if anybody has heard of those go check them out. Reach out to me on Twitter, we'd love to connect with some people.

[00:15:39.60] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, thank you so much again Brian. We will have the links and information in the show notes, and I definitely, you know, appreciate the book recommendations as well. I think that I think seven Habits of the Highly Effective People, you always wanna kinda sharpen the saw, and I think books and, you know, podcasts and interviews are a great way to do that. So I appreciate you for sharing that, for doing that, and for reminding us of doing that as well too. So I appreciate you, my friend, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:03.70] – Brian Dawson

Thank you, Gresh. So good to be on the show, and, yeah, good one.

[00:16:07.79] – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Tue, 09 Apr 2024 07:42:37 GMT

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Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2024 07:42:37 GMT, Duration: [00:16:43.57]

[00:00:02.20] - Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkness values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO CEO podcast.

[00:00:30.10] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brian Dawson of District Flight Deals and DC Tech People. Brian, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.60] - Brian Dawson

Thanks so much for having me, Gresh. I'm really excited to be here, talk to you, talk to your audience, and, and get chatting.

[00:00:46.20] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I do know you're doing some phenomenal things in the area. And and before we jump in, I want to reintroduce you to to Brian so you can hear about about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Brian's the founder of District Flight Deals and DC Tech People. District Flight Deals helps people in the DC area save up to seventy five percent off normal flight cost. And DC TechPeople is a new business that seeks to bring the DC area tech community together through stories and products made exactly for them. Brian, are you ready to speak to the IMCO community? Absolutely. Let's do it. So they kick off everything. I want to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more about what I call your your CEO story. We'll let you get started with your businesses.

[00:01:23.59] - Brian Dawson

Yeah. So a couple years ago, I was working, my regular nine to five or more like eight to six I guess. But and wanted to start a business for a long time. At the same time I had just gotten engaged and a lot of friends were in a similar situation. And I'm from Los Angeles, my wife's from Alabama, friends getting married all over the place, so I was doing a lot of traveling that year. And I've always been kind of into the travel hacking scene so started to really get serious about looking for cheap flights, turned that into keeping track of cheap flights and then saw that some other people had done similar things in the space and have like shared cheap flights that they found. And I was to subscribe to some blogs and some newsletters that help people find cheap flights but there was always the annoyance for me of getting an email about a cheap flight but it's not from DC, it's from Philadelphia, it's from New York or just, and you can't figure it out until you click into the email. So I wanted something just for me, figured there were other people who might want that too, So decided to make District Flight Deals which is an email newsletter where I send out cheap flights that I'm finding. And then over the years have kind of refined that process to be able to find pretty great flights like a couple years ago my wife and I took one, or last year we took one, to Rome two eighty three dollars round trip. So that's the kind of thing that I'm I'm trying to send out to people and and that people are taking advantage of.

[00:02:43.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I'm definitely sure everybody who's listening to this is probably shaking their head in agreement right now and and looking to to figure out how they can find those great deals. So it's great to hear, like, how you scratch your own itch, and then it starts to grow into what is a business and a great opportunity

[00:03:03.19] - Brian Dawson

flights for later this year like late twenty twenty, early twenty twenty one but right now kind of waiting to see how things develop. Still sending out flight deals but like I said for the distant future but it'll be interesting to see how that develops. And then that's kind of led me into this other business that I've started DC Tech People. So when I was starting District Flight deals, didn't really know anybody in the tech space in DC. It's something I've been interested in for a long time but just kind of solved every problem by googling and answering or looking for answers on forums and everything like that and I knew it'd be really nice if I knew people in the space who I could go to for you know to ask technical questions, for mentorship, that kind of thing. And then over the course of the business I started to get to know people, to you know people would reach out, I would reach out to people and get to know people and it was really helpful for the business. And so that and kind of desire to get to know even more people led me to want to start a site to bring the DC area tech community together. And there are some different pockets where you know the community gets together with meet ups and stuff and obviously now that's kind of on hold but wanted just a place to help people tell their stories, people like you, other entrepreneurs in the area, and then kind of figure out what could be the most helpful thing I could do, to make products for these people. In the last few weeks that's just been in the last month I saw some friends in the DC area tech community get laid off so I kind of accelerated plans to make a job board and made a a job board called Still Hiring DC so that people who have gotten laid off can find some open positions going forward. So launched that a few weeks ago and that's kind of like the first product that I see, but I know that more will come, I'm just kind of trying to get to know people and get to know what could be helpful.

[00:04:48.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And and it makes so much sense and I definitely, you know, been honored to kinda be on the site as well too. So I definitely appreciate that. And I and I think that, I I love, again, kind of the organic nature, I guess you can say, of how things start to develop because I think when you start to just have an interest and you start to pursue that interest, you don't necessarily know exactly what it's going to be. But, obviously, in the times that we're we're recording this, you know, a need presented itself. And because you had started to build and have that community, you you're able to kinda provide that product or and or service that that helps meet that need. Yeah.

[00:05:18.80] - Brian Dawson

Yeah. Exactly.

[00:05:19.69] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I know you touched on each of the businesses and kind of what they include. Is there anything additional you wanted to kind of let us know that we should know about, either the business that we can understand how you serve your clients?

[00:05:32.10] - Brian Dawson

Yeah. Sure. So right now, like I said, there's a job board and, you know, the the customer there would be companies who are looking to hire. But, more of my relationship is with people in the DC area tech community who might be candidates, or people starting businesses, growing businesses. And I'm telling their stories on the site like I mentioned I interviewed you Grush, and that's gonna go live soon in the interview section of the site. And that's pretty much it for now, but we'll be adding products in the future. So for district flight deals, it's people who are looking to travel for for cheap. And for DC tech people, it's people who want to get to know other people in the community, learn what's going on, and, maybe post or find an open job.

[00:06:10.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And and I know you're you're from the Los Angeles area, you said, but I think for somebody who's kind of, a DC native, so to speak, or DC area native, I should say, you're always looking, you know, to have, like, opportunities, especially around this area and and see and be able to drill down, find job opportunities as you mentioned, or, of course, flight deals, to to Rome for two hundred dollars or so also helps out as well too. So, definitely appreciate you for creating that. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for you personally or your businesses, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:43.30] - Brian Dawson

I think we kinda touched on it actually in that last question which is, I think it's the adaptability and the flexibility. I think our world changes faster and faster and making predictions and plans for what's gonna happen is harder and harder. And I think that you know my belief and kind of what I try to live out with the businesses is that it's the people who can respond quickly to change and can adapt that are going to be the most successful going forward. And so I think it's that adaptability, I'm still trying to figure that out with District Flight deals right now, what that business might look like. I think most airlines dropped like ten percent today in their stock price and that's gonna be crazy but that's the kind of stuff that I think means you need to be able to be flexible.

[00:07:29.00] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:07:40.00] - Brian Dawson

Okay. Thought about this a little bit. I think the number one thing that's kinda changed how I work in the last four months, and has definitely made an impact is, an app or it's it's not a dedicated app. It's in browser but it's called Roam Research. Have you heard of this by chance? I have not. I have not. So it's, it's similar to Evernote or Notion or a note taking app like that. But the difference is that you can if I'm taking notes on say, you know this is what I did in district flight deals today, I did you know I executed this marketing strategy, I fulfilled these customer requests, you can link, I can link to to another note, I can say you know, I did marketing and put like hashtag marketing or just make a page that's all about all my marketing efforts. And kinda like Wikipedia, you know then you can go to the next page but what's really interesting is that then when you go to that next page you can see everywhere you've linked to that page from. So it just kind of helps, it's hard to explain I would encourage everybody to kind of play around with it but on the internet most links are one directional, they take you somewhere but you can't see where someone has linked to that site from or in Evernote or Notion it's like that. But on Roam you can see where it's been linked to and there's just something magical about that that just lets you synthesize everything you're working on, see everything as one, and it's got some really great task management functionalities. So instead of keeping my knowledge in one area like Evernote and my tasks in another area like Trello, it's all in one in Rome and it's an amazing tool, I encourage everybody to check it out.

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[00:09:19.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah absolutely, so I I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to hop into a time machine, might tell your younger business self.

[00:09:30.60] - Brian Dawson

Yeah, I think it would be a long kind of themes you touched on earlier. If I was to go back and

[00:09:34.70] - Brian Dawson

If I was to go back and tell myself it would be that speed is better than than planning. And that's obviously not always true but in general I think I personally spent too much time planning, too much time predicting what I think is going to happen and you just never know until the rubber hits the road what exactly is gonna shake out. And by doing things with speed you get advantages. So like one example is, have you heard of the law of shitty click throughs?

[00:10:06.60] - Gresham Harkless

No I have not.

[00:10:08.20] - Brian Dawson

Okay so there's this, a growth marketer in Silicon Valley, I don't know exactly what he does but his name is Andrew Chen, he runs a great blog, I believe he's a venture capitalist too, I don't know his exact resume but he penned this law of shitty click throughs and he talks about how when the internet first came on, you know came online, the first banner ad on a website, the click through rates were like seventy five percent. And over time customers get used to it, they get ad fatigue, they no longer we don't even see banner ads anymore they're just not visible to me. Eventually the click rate gets down to almost zero and that happens to every marketing channel. And so the thing to do there knowing that every marketing channel eventually will reach a excuse my language but shitty click through rate is what he calls it. Then the answer is to move a speed. There are you know if you were on Facebook ads in twenty twelve you could have done really really well, now pretty hard. I mean it's still doable. And in twenty years probably very very hard. So speed gives you that advantage in marketing channels and I think it gives you an advantage in a lot of other areas too just you can plan all you want but you only know once you start doing things and you learn a lot faster by doing things. So that would be my advice to myself and I think my advice to others too is just do things quickly if the cost to doing them is is low.

[00:11:27.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense and that and it just reminded me of, you know, like first mover's advantage as well too, because a lot of times, especially on social media platforms, if you were one of the first movers or within that first wave, I guess you can say, you paid next to nothing for a lot of the advertising, you know, opportunities and things like that. But as time goes on, there's more people that use it, the price starts to go up, and then there's more people, more noise on it. So it starts to become a lot harder to kinda get through and and have that non shitty click through rate that I'm I'm sure we're always kinda searching for.

[00:11:58.70] - Brian Dawson

Exactly. If you could have been on TikTok two years ago then, you know, you'd be doing really well right now. So yeah, if the cost is low just take some gambles and try to move quickly.

[00:12:08.79] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I love that too where you said, you know, speaking from your own perspective, because I think so many times I hear that kind of self awareness within that too because I think if you know you lean more way or the one way or the other, it's always great to understand that you can shift that way because you probably already have that strategy in your mind of what you're gonna be thinking about. But now just trying to take more actions and take more gambles to to see things through.

[00:12:30.00] - Brian Dawson

Yeah. Exactly.

[00:12:31.50] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO? And we're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on the show. So, Brian, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:43.10] - Brian Dawson

To me, being a CEO means that you bear the responsibility. You're the the buck stops with you and whatever happens with the business even if it's a decision that somebody, one of your employees made or for me, you know, any decision that I make that ends up on any of my products, it's it stops with me. I'm the one responsible and, that's my definition

[00:13:07.29] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes so much sense. I think especially when we have these visions and and and what we want to do with our businesses, you have to keep in mind that, you know, we are and and the buck does stop with you. So a lot of times, these decisions that we make are sometimes even decisions that we don't make. You know, you have to understand that comes back around to you. So I think that's an incredible perspective and definition.

[00:13:26.70] - Brian Dawson

Yeah. And then because of that, it's up to you to make good processes that people can follow, good processes for your products and your systems and everything. And, if somebody you know one of your employees makes a bad decision and that's info for you to go back and make a better process, make a better system that's not going next time.

[00:13:42.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I I love that second part part of it because I think so many times we can outwardly blame, people or circumstances or things, but I think if we take the brunt and we understand that, if the buck stops with us and if something was a mistake and we maybe we didn't communicate it, so maybe we can work on how we can better communicate that. But I think that gives us a lot of, opportunity to to be our best selves so that the business and everything around the businesses are being better too.

[00:14:09.60] - Brian Dawson

Yep. Exactly.

[00:14:11.39] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Brian, truly appreciate that that definition and that perspective. Appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all about some things you're

[00:14:26.29] - Brian Dawson

working on. Sure. Getting to contact me probably best place right now is on Twitter. It's at d c tech people. That's right now, where I'm personally tweeting about updates to that project and what's going on. And I try to be transparent if anybody wants to ask me questions about how something is built, or or what my thoughts are on making various decisions, I'm really happy to have conversations there. Or you can find my email if you go to dctechpeople dot com, very easy to get in contact with. Other last thoughts I guess I'll just give a couple book recommendations that I haven't reading lately. So on the theme of that CEO question, one book that really processes are up to you, all the the way that your business works is up to you. Especially the first part of the book, really good. And then, related to how hard it is to plan for the future and how to be flexible would be, Anti Fragile by Nassim to Plea. Highly recommend that book. That's probably my favorite nonfiction book I've maybe ever read. So if if anybody has heard of those go check those out. Reach out to me on Twitter, we'd love to to connect with some people.

[00:15:39.60] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, thank you so much again Brian. We will have the links and information in the show notes, and I definitely, you know, appreciate the the book recommendations as well too. I think that, I think seven Habits of the Highly Effective People, you always wanna kinda sharpen the saw, and I think books and and, you know, podcasts and interviews are a great way to do that. So I appreciate you for sharing that, for doing that, and for reminding us of doing that as well too. So I appreciate you, my friend, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:03.70] - Brian Dawson

Thank you, Gresh. So good to be on the show, and, yeah, good one.

[00:16:07.79] - Outro

you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five star rating. Grab CEO Gear at w w w dot CEO gear dot c o. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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