Ep 011 | Decoding Strategic Execution: From Ideas to Impact


Exploration vs Exploitation: Partnership's Role in Strategy Execution

April 17, 2024

About this episode

Given how dynamic and complex our world is, there’s no place for rigid and siloed approaches to strategy.

This week, Michael Olaye, SVP and Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at R/GA, shares his thoughts on developing strategy from a starting-point of flexibility and collaboration. While internal processes and expertise play a vital role in achieving an organization’s goals, too often teams miss out on game-changing solutions and methodologies by refusing to collaborate with outside agencies and industries that provide invaluable perspectives and insights. Michael, Joe, and Jonathan share personal experiences and dissect some useful case studies that illustrate why partnership and agility should be at the core of strategy development.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The evolution of strategy over the years
  • When it's more advantageous to pursue an internal development versus an external partnership
  • Bringing users into the product and strategy development process
  • How small companies can have massive impacts on much larger organizations

Guest Intros

Exploration vs Exploitation: Partnership's Role in Strategy Execution

Michael Olaye

SVP and Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at R/GA

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Transcript 📝

Jonathan Morgan  0:03  

Welcome, everybody to another episode of the strategy gap on today's conversation we'll be talking how agencies play a role in strategy execution and learning more about strategy, the primary reasons that organizations fail, and also the role that partnerships play in strategy and strategy execution. Joining us for the conversation is Michael Hawaii. Michael has built the distinguished 25 plus year career in the digital industry, Bill blending technology, creativity, growth and product development. He's currently serves as the SVP and Managing Director of Strategy and Innovation at RGA, where he brings his expertise and leadership to the digital industry. Throughout his professional journey, he's experienced many different types of roles. He started originally as a flash designer and coder later becoming a creative technology technologist and full stack engineer. As a founding member of the creative agency you docs. He has helped the company partner with major brands, such as Adidas, Nike and new balance, and his career has evolved to see him take senior positions including the Head of Technology and Innovation at Havas, a chief technology officer at the Oliver agency CEO slash CTO at the experience agency Dare and most recently, Chief growth officer at the North Alliance, which is a leading creative and Technology Specialist group in Scandinavia. His work has significantly contributed to numerous well known brands, including Adidas, American Express, Nike, vans, new balance, and much much more. Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael Olaye  1:35  

Thank you for having me, Joe. Thanks for having me, Joe.

Jonathan Morgan  1:40  

Yeah, absolutely. So certainly we talked in depth through that introduction about your background, and you've seen experience in a variety of different types of organizations. But I want to spend a little bit of time talking about your role across various agencies, kick things off, I'd love to learn your how has that experience working on the agency side, given you a unique perspective on understanding strategy and how to best execute it?

Michael Olaye  2:03  

Sure, yes. So obviously, I've been in industry a while. I think different industries see strategy in different ways. I think in my early in my career, it was very much a kind of, in a box kind of role, you did strategy. And it was usually pure strategic thinking on a piece of commercial or piece of product. I think as the years have evolved, the strategy has become a little bit wider, there's a lot more categories and disciplines and skills, you know, brand strategy, product strategy, you know, business strategy, and it's, it's been unique to see because obviously, from an agency point of view, we still look at how we build and how we structure teams to make them as profitable as possible. From a brand's point of view or clients point of view, it's still just having the right people in the room to help deliver the work. So yeah, strategy is one that I think is a bit more loose in terms of the different types of people who can contribute to strategy. But it's still quite Titan, in the fact that it is still a discipline around kind of thinking, using insights, and and coming up with ideas that will work and make an impact or be meaningful.

Joe Krause  3:14  

And that's helpful. And I think we're talking, you're talking a lot about the idea of creating strategy and coming up with ideas and making teams. How much though, are you involved on the other side of the coin, which is let's say the ideas are bought in upon people like I'm excited about this, I like the team. Now we're going to help you then take it from ideation to realization, how have you and your career, either manage that or have clients said, you know, thank you for the ideas, and I will take it from here. How have you navigated that, especially when you know, sometimes that maybe you're the best partner to help them execute, but they think that they got it, and as a result, don't leverage you for that expertise? How have you managed that very delicate conversation?

Michael Olaye  3:51  

That's, that's an issue. Point, Joe, I think, again, earlier in the career, it was always, probably most likely, the client already had the idea. And they would go to specialists. And that's why I mentioned the different strategies. So the traditional sense would be an above the line agency with some cons strategy, look at the ideation probably create some creative work. And then they would need to put that to social or put that to a product or put that online or experiential, and they would bring a brief and it would have a lot of holes in it a lot of gaps. And you'd have to then relook at our strategy, specifically from whatever channel or platform that we're trying to do. And that actually costs a lot more money. So I think that's the point you raise, it's usually comes in many, many shapes and forms. Some clients have in house teams, for instance, who can execute. And that's not a problem. I think the world's evolved to the point where you have agencies like oh gee, we can partner with an in house team. What sometimes clients want augmentation, and it's not the type of visual you can drop one person in the building and they kind of run around. It's more been a synergy of handing work back and forth between the different teams. I think the more complex projects, clients are very aware that they need to partner with agencies, it's very hard to do inside multiple reasons. One is like finding the right talent. And then holding on to the right talent in one organization that just has one product or just one brand can be quite difficult. Sometimes, in the early 2000s, we had a lot of UX designers and coders who wouldn't work in house just because they wanted the variety of work. And we see again today in a woman's to design our strategies, they want a variety of work. So yes, they will join a one, a brand, maybe stay two years, one year, and then they leave and get the brand new design knowledge. So that point you made, I think it flexes depending on what brand you're working with. The more established brands that have in house teams, they have a good system of work of agencies, I think the more newer brands, the ones who haven't worked with agencies, they're on a learning journey. And that's something that we take pride in. So we talk strategy with the client, you don't get precious about wanting to hold on to the work, you if they want to build it themselves, you didn't become almost an advisor to that role. So you don't say, oh, no, you can't build even more like, Okay, if you want to do it yourself, do you want the right team, the right structure? Have you have you met project properly the roadmap, and if you don't, we can help? Or we can bring the team and we can help you plan that as well. So for some clients, we do have to do that.

Jonathan Morgan  6:22  

Yeah, very interesting. Certainly the agency perspective is helpful on an organization side, right, getting that vast expertise that you've grown with and learn over the years. But also, on your side working for an agency, you get to see both those successes and failures across all those organizations. One thing that stood out to me the last time that we connected is, I believe you were talking about a TED talk that you had seen about two reasons that companies fail, we'll make sure we link it in the description for those that haven't seen it. But it's a great talk about how companies typically fail for one of two reasons, either they only do more of the same, or they only do what's new. And that ultimately comes down between a struggle and a TED talk as they talk about between balancing exploration and exploitation. So I want to dig into that conversation a little bit and learn to what role has this idea of exploration versus exploitation played in your career?

Michael Olaye  7:19  

I think it's played a lot. If I'm honest with you, I only saw the video. I think it was 2012, I think and it was very impactful for me. And I've used it ever since. And the reason why is, throughout my career, I've kind of been in this odd space, which has been really exciting, but also can be quite frustrating. So it started off by me being hired, I actually got hired by an art director and a creative director in a tech company. So I was called our techie in the design division or creative division. So that really exposed me to things that just usually technical people don't see the things that frustrate them, they run. And I noticed that in the company I started working at that didn't really sit in any one box. So it's quite interesting. They had, they were building the biggest UK credit card payment system ever. This is like early 92, of late 90s 1989. But they had a really good design department that was was built specifically to allow them to be able to design the work that they were trying to build. So that was quite cool. And then when I started learning more about how you know, designers, work creators work copywriters were led to have an impact on how I ended up being a software engineer, like how I coded. And that's why I kind of leaned more full spectrum. So I ended up doing both flash and also like server side coding, which is quite cool. And then as I moved on from my career, everywhere I've worked, I've only ever taken roles where I feel like the organization doesn't feel comfortable being still. So very, I'm not really interested in companies that say, Hey, we've built this one product over the last 20 years, and we're happy with it. Or we only do websites or we only do apps, it's not really something that's really resonated well, because I feel our industry moves in cycles. And technology's always impacting those cycles. So it's always good to have a company that is exploring, looking at new avenues of new technology and new design, whatever, but also very good in what they do. And been bridging those two together.

Joe Krause  9:21  

Yeah, I think what you're you're referencing is probably more prevalent, even in the last decade. It's always been the case, especially when you look at publicly traded companies, they have to grow at any costs, like even if they're growing at a really good clip. And their analyst thinks well, you should have had 32 Ernie, the earnings per share and you had your 31 cents per share. We're going to the stock crashes. So there's weird choices that they make. And the point that you're making was really most recently shown from a business that most of us know all birds the shoe company right? I mean I own them. I think all birds are fantastic. The shoes are fantastic. In the search of trying to do something new for the doing new sales. Like they said, We should do clothing, we should have apparel like we're all bears, we should have really great pants and sweatshirts. And guess what, nobody bought the pants. Nobody bought the sweatshirts. They're like, give me more of the shoes, you've diluted what made you special. And as a result, they've had a very bad couple of years because of that pursuit. So it's not just doing what you're doing now really well, and maybe doing some new things. It's also just doing the new things that actually make sense and not doing it. Because you may think it's the right thing to do. You're like, well, we sell shoes. So maybe we should sell pants. It's not necessarily that leap can't be made. So have you seen any interesting choices like that, from companies where they they in the search of something new, they completely go into a different area and fail? And it's hard to come back from that? Yes.

Michael Olaye  10:44  

And I think failure is an interesting point in this conversation. So I completely agree with what you said. I would counter that with saying they are brands that have gone from footwear to clothing. But they've done it in a different way they've collaborated with specialists in the clothing field. So that's still innovation that's still explore it. So every brand is different. There are brands that would make only slippers, but then be able to go into clothing and be very successful. I think you know, anything to do innovation is risk. Scaling, innovation is a risk as well. And sometimes when we talk about innovation, we talk about the brand new, I also think things you do very well. When you scale them, you tend to tweak that's also kind of innovation. So the slippers or sandals that you're making, did you innovate in that space? Did you make new types of samples rather than trying to go make clothing? So I think innovation is an interesting, interesting topic. So strategically, many brands have data today. I mean, there's data everywhere. So you get the insights, you know, the market or you know, where you're not really winning, where you want to get, you know, more market cap or more revenue. And then it's about experimenting in that space. I think just doing crazy math launches in a brand new space where you're not really a front runner isn't very risky. So you will see a good example is banks, right? So banks have always been exploiting kind of industry, they build a service, there's a lot of middlemen and women in the middle, they make a lot of money from consumers. However, when the fintechs started rising, who were able to remove all the process and be almost instant in the way to service clients. Banks didn't sit there and think, Well, they're going to disappear in three years, they actually looked at what the fintechs were doing, adopted some of it away, they were good enough to adopt, they actually started acquiring for this type pottery. And over the last 10 years, we've seen a lot of banks, bring a lot of FinTech people into their business, give them good positions to allow them to have strategic influence in the organization, which has been spawned of sub brands in the UK, we had one called F bank. NatWest has an online bank in the US, you get pretty much most of the major banks have subsidies of fit of like finance, digital finance divisions, we even saw when the crypto was coming or blockchain, a lot of banks that are building on that. So I think it is happening. But they are brands that do stay still, usually in the in the clothing industry, or in the automotive industry, or even in the mobility industry, who take a long time to innovate. So they spend a lot of money, invest in hardware, factories, training people. And it's just a very difficult process for them to pivot really fast. And that's kind of where you need to be very strategic in your intent of how you want to impact a new market or play in the new market. And yeah, digital does help today you can play in the market and when a product comes out. So that's it. So really good.

Jonathan Morgan  13:43  

Yeah, that's true. And I imagine many listeners, they may be thinking about their companies, and they say it's probably fit into one of those two buckets, right? There's somebody that's always just doing the same things that they've always done, or they're on the opposite end, or they are what I always call it as like crystal ball syndrome, like they go to conferences, see some shiny object and they just like chase after and that's all they do. Or there's this pendulum that swings back and forth. 

Jonathan Morgan  14:09  

And they're never going to be able to find the balance of what it actually should be. How do we do both of those? So what examples have you seen? Or how have you seen companies that get that balance? Correct, where you can do a little bit of both of those and not overcorrect, either one of those directions, which ultimately leads to negative outcomes.

Michael Olaye  14:26  

So good question. You put me on the spot there. You know, I worked for Credit Suisse. For almost four I worked for an agency that worked with Credit Suisse, I have us for almost six years. I think that the way they operated was very innovative in the way they had the base services, which was financial services, but they had a lot of what I would call lifestyle services attached to that. And it was actually quite cool. So the way they communicated the products they built the activations they did really had technology designed or built into it. So for instance, they would give you a good example, they had a lot of high net worth individuals that they were servicing, you know, Wealth Management, you know, they used to stuff. But it had, that had a service on site that allowed those high net worth individuals to send their kids off every summer to a camp where they got trained on just what it was to be in that kind of money. And during those conversations, we actually built one or two prototypes that the kids got to use at the event to see how how you manage money at that skill, or how you make good business. And this kids were booked between afternoon between too often at. So that was, that was quite cool. It's not a life skill thing. But it does impact the service of the high level individual, and it does attach them to your brand and build a bit more loyalty. So not everything has to be grand, like big and grand. That's, that's that's one example. Funny enough, I'm going to bring a lot of finance companies because they got forced to to innovate and evolve. So that's why I'm using them. I think a lot and otherwise Ella's kitchen is a very cool brand in the UK that makes food for babies and toddlers. They've been growing steadily, but they were looking to kind of push into the market and hormone market cap. And they really focus their energy on building a community of moms to be moms and moms really. And it was all CRM based with a lot of data and insights, but all linked to physical products. And the way they did was by building communities, supporting parents outside of the products they sell, being thought leaders in their space, creating content, I'm talking this is maybe 2015 2016. And it really allowed them to gain quite a large market share within 18 months, so so it can be done. Another good example is BMW, they spent a lot of time looking at insights and data on how use cars were being acquired across Australia, France, UK, and Ireland. And they'd spent a lot of money over the last previous 10 years, advertising the cause for men only subconsciously. So the adverts the creative all about them drive. Now faster cars are great sounded how amazing the colors were. But when he looked at the data, when we hover over the data of used cars that they weren't to sell, because they were losing to the likes of Kia and whatnot, it turned out that the decision maker in the house is not the man. It's the woman. And the reason why you buy a used car usually is because you're either upgrading your property, or you have another car, which is your kind of special car. So so that completely changed the way everybody thought about doing not just the advertising, but also any digital products. And they allowed us to do this in order to have the driving experience, we ended up building the first used car website for BMW outside of the third party tools working with autotrader in the UK. And it's been quite successful. So that's another way of exploring, and that was done in scale. So again, it's through Insights is through, you know, asking the consumers what they want, but also as a professional using your knowledge of your industry to make a decision on the consumers. So just to go back to your point, Joe, on companies that do explore Explorer, and then don't really launch anything, I think there's a there's a graveyard full of them. Google is a great one, Google builds tons of products. And some of them exist for 334 months, and then they kill it. And I think that's sort of a good strategic way of, of innovating. Not everything you create must then be forced to exist, it is safe to fail. But when you strategically think of the product or the market you're entering, you got to look at how you manage the risk around that. So I think a lot of companies fail because they just jump in and think, hey, if I create this new division and like give it a new name, and I pile a bunch of people together, it's gonna work. And then they build financial plans around that that are one year long, or two years long, or they build massive roadmaps for the seller upwards. But it's still an experiment. At the end of the day. I think the the beauty of of innovating is you have your core competency that's generating new revenue, and you're looking for new revenue. So you want to experiment I think you experiment lightly, to see if you succeed before you start. And I think sometimes it's it's it's many reasons it's pressure. It's competition, pressure from the outside is internal pressure. It could be PR lead. There's many reasons why a company would just continue to explore or launch on finished products. But I think in today's world, I would say maybe since 2014, most of the companies have worked with doctors. They tend to look at insights, look at the data, understand what they're creating, and then incrementally build from that.

Joe Krause  19:54  

Yeah, I mean, your point about the the the used car buyer wasn't who they thought it was. It makes me think of an experience I used to work in the pharmaceutical space. And we launched a very large diabetes medication. And where we live where I live in New Jersey, it's the largest concentration of South Asians outside of South Asia. So large Indian Pakistani population and very large prevalence of diabetes. So when they launched all this lovely material about getting people educated, and mainly a lot of like meal prep stuff, they didn't realize that they that they were appealing to the person in the household that wasn't cooking. And so they weren't taking it up. They weren't taking any of the information, they didn't see any market share gains. And they were able to finally realize that after six months by just going out and seeing and going, Oh, okay, the household dynamics is slightly different. This person does this, this person does that. They shifted the messaging and they saw amazing uptick, it took him six months, we're talking to multibillion dollar company, they probably could have spent 10 minutes on the road, seeing a customer and seeing how it all went down. So the idea of not only coming up with an idea, but getting out of your ivory tower and going into see exactly what's happening. I mean, we talked about Lean Six Sigma, as some magical principle, most of it is let's go see the work, let's actually go look at the assembly line, let's go see the hospital and how it's working. Sometimes people lose sight of it. And I'm at a certain level in the organization. And therefore, I'm the big thinker, I don't need to see how that is actually happening. And I think we all realize that's a foolish way of thinking. But if our listeners can take that and realize you're never big enough, you're never going to be a have a title that's big enough where you're above going to see the work. And you might actually realize something that can change your innovation game just by going and seeing.

Michael Olaye  21:31  

Yeah, and that's nowhere more important than when you build in products, whether the digital or not. And we always always advise that you bring your users into your process, you bring your potential, not just your existing customers, you're also your potential customers into your, into your process. I mean, let's let's learn from traditional advertising, you know, above the line advertising, when they create stories, this is before we have you know, programmatic ads and all that stuff. When it was very basic. Well, you create, you know, you write a script, your client buys it, you create film, or you pray to God, it works. There was a process in the middle, where actually you bring potential viewers, potential people about the brand, who you want to love the brand existing people will love the brand, you show them prequels of the commercial, just so you get that feedback. So yes, I agree with you, Joe, I think even when you create products, it's very important that you, you go out and you talk to consumers. If you're building experiential, you go and see what people are experiencing what they expect. You take feedback, and you implement that. But also you, you plan your strategy around iteration, it's really important to be able to iterate fast. So if something isn't working, and you get the data and insights is telling you it's not working, you're able to flex it, change it, tweak it or if necessary, throw it away.

Jonathan Morgan  22:48  

Yeah, and I think so there's a lot to how to do that successfully. And the typical way that people think about all the different aspects to consider when building and executing strategy is, first off, people are thanking the people that you have, and also the people that you're serving, you have the process that you just described of how we actually make this whole thing come to fruition. And then you have the technology that's used to actually bring it to life or execute upon it. But I think a fourth element that often is forget about maybe ties in each one of those elements. But is the partnerships right? Do we have the expertise and the capacity to do this internally? Or do we need to is there a better partner, another brand and agency, another organization that we can partner with actually help all of this come together? So you obviously have a ton of experience in that partnerships arena, both internally and externally? What do you think about the role of partnerships in each one of those elements, and ultimately, in bringing strategy to life,

Michael Olaye  23:46  

I think it's one of the most important, but recently underlooked part of creating work. For me, partnerships, both internally and externally is very key, we have something big where we say you know, innovation happens at the intersections. And sometimes when we explain to clients, we say that intersections very uncomfortable, like it's uncomfortable to innovate, it's not fun, it can be quite scary. So when you have different crops and different skills of groups of people, or individuals that come together, and they have the freedom to think outside the box, you get magic. So if you create an idea whether it's fully fleshed out or not, whether you're buying or not. Sometimes when you engage your partner, whether it's a tech partner, or it's an execution partner, they also tend to come up ideas that you haven't even thought about, because because they might be a specialist in that field. So you've you've had a new eureka moment in your team, you've got, oh my god, I can use AI and AI. Now, I can use AI to create all this amazing stuff. But I guarantee you nine out of 10 times somebody's done it already. So what you want to look at is how have they done it? Is it good enough? If it's good enough, can I implement that into my face? In? And if he's if he's not good enough, can I work with them to make their tool better? So I could get a strategic points of view? And

Jonathan Morgan  25:07  

they're like, Yeah, we lost you a little bit there, Michael. We can probably use start over if you want to start out with your response. And that's probably the best way there. I don't think you've gotten too far down into it.

Michael Olaye  25:23  

Okay, so yeah, okay. So basically, for me, partnership is most important part of, you know, creating product or actually delivering in service, both internally and externally, you might have an idea that has been thought about internally is innovative in its point of view in its approach, however, just by talking to external partners who are specialized in that field, you could get an idea that you haven't thought about, and then comes a conversation like, do you work with them to implement the tool into all the technology into your process, which would improve it, or even better? Do you engage that vendor and turn them into a partner where you actually talk to them about what you want to do your project to help them evolve their product to make both of you win. And I think strategic partnerships for me is where the latter happens, you know, you have an idea, it's fully fleshed out, it's pretty good. But it's not quite at the pinnacle of what the specialist is doing, you engage that specialist, and you work together to potentially improve a your product or their product, even both, through the partnership. That's a very kind of high end, one, when the low end side is basically knowing you have to do something, you might not have a resource, or maybe it's too expensive to get resource. But looking for those partners that have that resource or that experience, and then utilizing that into your into your delivery is another way of, of having a great partnership. So what I've been working on recently, and what I've worked on in my previous life is basically looking at other agencies, companies, startups, that can help us build better products, deliver better services,

Joe Krause  26:58  

you know, the old the age old idea of buy versus build. And you're seeing this a lot, even in industries that you might not think that this be the case, the federal government's a great example. So they were very reticent about going into the cloud. And now there's a they're using a lot of applications that are cloud based, and they are like, we can't maybe we shouldn't build a project management software, if we can go out into the marketplace. So you're seeing that, that philosophy that you've been applying for the better part of your career start to go into industries that are a little bit slower to innovate. And that's been exciting to see. And I remember being at a conference in San Diego where there was a lot of military leaders there. And the one of the vice admirals was saying, like, the solutions to the problems that we have, in this branch of the military in the Navy, it was isn't going to come from internal here, it's gonna come from everybody out here, that's a vendor, that's a agency and all that, but we make it way too hard for us to work with you. So he's like, my job is to break down those barriers. And so to the point that I think you're making is that those partnerships are out there, you have to vet them and some industries that maybe were a little bit closed off to it seem to now maybe be open to bringing those different ideas in and ideas of maybe we shouldn't build this on our own, it'd be too expensive, and we probably are missing a few things. Yeah, I think that's an exciting development for everybody on that's listening.

Michael Olaye  28:16  

Now, that was a great example, Joe, and just you made a very good point that I was going to make. So thank you for bringing it up, which is basically I think, partnership isn't so much whether the person has the skill that you need. It's also is your organization ready to accept that? So we know I mean, for my generation, Netscape, Internet Explorer, Apple, my, you know, micro, there's been so many battles of companies that could have worked together, but just refused. And we, the consumers suffered. So let's give us an IE that went on for like four years of just software engineers having to write three or three or four different types of code to work on, just to work on a website. And then during the era of, you know, the mid 2000s, we had, you know, the likes of, you know, Spotify, Facebook, you know, all these amazing companies pop up, but they were all very much sandboxed. And then I think now we're in the era if I'm being honest, now, we're in an era where these companies realize it's impossible to do everything on your own. You've got, you know, Twitter trying to do you know, blockchain and NF T's because they, they know that, yeah, I know, it might be crazy. But again, remember, when you innovate, you have to be ready to be able to throw away an idea if it doesn't work. So NF T's in its form today may not be perfect, but it will evolve into something that will will be useful. And then you've got companies like banks who are partnering with fintechs revenue, just acquiring them shutting them down, they've been a partner and bringing those leaders into the organization. You've got automotive who have been working hand in hand with you know, companies have been building you know, computers or building software or building batteries. So it's happening and then even in the tech world, where it's got this culture of hiding stuff that you know, hiding the the engine that makes stuff work. You've got an Video partnering with tech company, you've got Microsoft and video, you know, this company is doing deals now where, you know, we don't want you only talk about AI. But I think it's almost forcing everyone to step up because you can now tech stack, there is a technology that's out there, that if you have enough money, you can train, you can train models, and some people have and everyone's thinking, what's the point in me going out and building a whole team and training the whole model? When I could just partner with this company, who are not going to kill my business? They're going to improve my business? How do I do that? And how do I make a strategic so it's, it's for the long, it's for the long term, it's not just me versus 2000s of agencies, launching the same type of AI to either make it specific to what my business does. So the likes of Google, Microsoft video, Polygon, the list is endless of partnerships that's going on. I think it's exciting to be casualties along the way. I'm not like I'm not fooling myself, but there will be casualties that provide learnings for better products and services in the future. So for me, it's

Joe Krause  31:05  

it's some large companies that you think that would be better at what they do should be doing are actually falling by the wayside. There's a large CRM company, I was talking about it earlier, internally, that it has their own AI built into their CRM, and I got to see a demo of it and a very large and it was, it was something I believe in at that. And it's, you know, we're talking billions and billions of dollars and unlimited access to talent. And if they can't crack the nut, then what's the what are the odds that some small group would be able to do it? So it really does boast the idea that partnership and tech stack are probably the way to go in the future? Let the other let somebody else solve the hard, hard problem? And then we can just innovate off that?

Michael Olaye  31:39  

Yes, yes, I think we'll see a lot more partnerships. With smaller companies having massive impacts in larger organizations, I think that's a trend we're going to see from for the next kind of maybe a couple of decades. That's my prediction, my personal prediction that we're going to see a lot more smaller companies, creating things of technology that's going to impact larger organizations, and we're going to see the behavior we have now in large organizations make strategic business decisions, to not acquire 100% Those organizations because they don't want to kill the innovation in it, but rather invest in those organizations or implement things that as organizations do into their business, we're gonna see more and more of that. So the old model of just going in buying a company, taking out all their experience, people putting them in the C suite and your company shutting it down, I don't think that's really going to work going forward, just the way the speed at which technology is moving. I just don't think it's possible by time we take them into your organization, try to set everything else up. I mean, look at Microsoft and, and open AI, you know, when they have a problem, and, and Microsoft was willing to take those those leaders in, but in the end, they found a way to not have to take them, and it's just too much work. So better to just have open the idea and use them, work with them, partner with them, build amazing tools with them, but then build tools for yourself in psychology there.

Jonathan Morgan  33:03  

Yeah, absolutely. I'm not even gonna try to add anything more to that conversation, because there was a lot of good insights and examples there, and a perfect way to close out the conversation. But before we do one final question, just kind of summarizing everything that you've talked about today, and also that you've learned in your career, if you had to go back to younger Michael, just beginning his professional career and give yourself one piece of advice. What would that advice be?

Michael Olaye  33:30  

Oh, that's a hard one. I think, be more patient would be, I think as technology sometimes we're impatient. Because when you have a screen and a server and code, it's very easy to just touch the keyboard and build something and then think it's done. But there's a whole lot of other thinking that has to walk around. So I'll say more patients.

Jonathan Morgan  33:56  

Perfect. Well, Michael, love the conversation today had a lot of fun, learning from your insights and all the examples of your career and look forward to more Conversations in the future.

Michael Olaye  34:05  

Thanks for having me, Jonathan. Joe, thank you. It's been great. Thank you.

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