All Business Podcast Interview: Jeffrey Hayzlett Interviews Matt
Jeffrey Hazelett: Hey, let's talk millennials. I'm a baby boomer but you know, I'm trapped in a baby boomer body, but I'm really a millennial. We're gonna get into that in the show. I wanted to bring one of the biggest leading experts on millennial generation. He's consulted for almost every Fortune 500 company for the last two decades. He's got a best selling book. Number one on Amazon's Business Book List. It's the modern day roadmap for corporations large and small. Whether you're a big business, little business alike.
Jeffrey Hazelett: How to approach this generation. How to have power and influence unlike any other demographic in history. We're talking millennials and I'm talking about the author of the bestselling book, Youth Nation, Matt Britton, and he's right here on All Business with Jeffrey Hazelett. Speaking about business, how about starting your own business, it's challenging. Dealing with millennials is challenging for some of us. But talk about investing in a liberty tax service franchise. Think about this. It makes perfect sense. The experience of a supportive team, access to a network of over four thousand offices, top-notch marketing materials. I'm telling you, I know the CMO personally and the whole marketing team there and they are awesome.
Jeffrey Hazelett: They will help, putting your own business into reach for you. And for your future. So, find out more at libertytaxfranchise.com and now it's time for us to move on into the show and talk with Matt Britton, America's leading expert on millennial generation.
Speaker 5: From Main Street to Wall Street, global business celebrity and former Fortune 100 C Suite executive, Jeffrey Hazelett takes you inside the good, the bad, and the ugly of businesses today. Saddle up. It's time for All Business with Jeffrey Hazelett.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Hey, so the first question I gotta ask right out of the bat, we talk about all this millennial stuff, but isn't it just one generation not understanding the next generation?
MATT BRITTON: No, I think it's a little a bit different. I mean, the gap between Gen X and Gen Y isn't like any other generational gap in history. Because, the millennials were the first generation to grow up with the internet in the household. And the internet was such a major factor in human business cultural development, that in many ways, the millennials and all generations after the millennials, so Gen Z and whatever comes after it, is really a different species than all generations before it.
MATT BRITTON: I think that the change from Gen Y to Gen Z is gonna be nowhere near as stark from Gen X to Gen Y and that's what I think the major difference is.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Is that because we're an internet society now? A digital society versus, you know, hey we watch the television?
MATT BRITTON: Of course.
Jeffrey Hazelett: I mean, wasn't it almost the same thing between, I would say, what was before baby boomers? I don't even know what generation that was. Really old folks, really old folks.
MATT BRITTON: Super old people. Dinosaurs? In terms of what? In terms of just the different technology?
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, I mean we think about television radio. Part of my mother and father, I remember we got the very first color TV set.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah.
Jeffrey Hazelett: That changed it. I grew up watching TV. That was the big thing. But my mother and father didn't, so now we've got this whole digital generation. I consider myself a millennial. The reason I say that is because the way I operate in my life. Although, I would still be a curmudgeon millennial. But, nonetheless.
MATT BRITTON: To answer your question, it took the telephone to reach, it took them a 100 years, 75 years to reach 100 million users, right?
Jeffrey Hazelett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
MATT BRITTON: It took Facebook three years. It took Instagram two years. So I think that's really it. Is that the rate of change and how quickly the internet has changed our society is unlike the telephone, or is unlike any other technology before it and it really has defined a generation in a way unlike any other in history. The acceleration of change and its impact on business, its impact on culture, its impact on social issues, really is really what makes this generation different.
Jeffrey Hazelett: How is this generation, what's the biggest misunderstanding about this generation?
MATT BRITTON: The main thing is a lot of misunderstandings. One is that they're self-centered. Because I think, yes, they take selfies all the time, but Gen X and 90s and early 2000s, they defined themselves by buying brands and showcasing themselves through brands in a self-centered way. There's a big misconception about privacy. That this generation cares about privacy. There are some things that they care about privacy for and it's those things that they talk about over SnapChat, versus text messages.
MATT BRITTON: But they're not really too concerned about their social security number or credit card number getting stolen. So I think that's another misconception. I think a general notion of them being apathetic or lazy, I think is way off base. I think you have so many young go-getters who are coming into the business world and they're disrupting major institutions that have been around for over a century.
MATT BRITTON: I don't necessarily believe in differences on a generational basis. I think every generation has stars. Every generation has negatives to it. I think that impact of this generation though is unlike any other for reasons that we just discussed.
Jeffrey Hazelett: And the impact mostly because of reach?
MATT BRITTON: Reach and speed. How long would it have taken in the 1990s for somebody to build a business that generated a billion dollars in revenue, right? So, the New York Times was worth more and worth less than Instagram after only three years of Instagram being in business. Now, obviously some would say, but Instagram didn't generate any revenue. No, but the amount of people it touched was far greater. I think the impact to markets is so much more disruptive and so much quicker. People really feel the reverberating effects.
MATT BRITTON: I like how you said, you feel like you're a millennial because the thing I wrote about in Youth Nation, my book, is that it's really a frame of mind. You can act like a millennial and you can absorb millennial tendencies at any age. Which is another big thing about this generation is that, their impact really spread so quickly up and down and really changed the way of lives for everyone.
Jeffrey Hazelett: What do you think of the characteristics that define a millennial? Besides the fact of just the age. What do you think are the characteristics that define it?
MATT BRITTON: It's mobile first, really, is probably the first thing. Everything goes through the phone. The phone is the new dashboard for their lives. I think that's one. I think mobile, not only meaning the device, but mobile meaning on the go. Not really wanting to be grounded. They're buying less homes. They want jobs that allow them to be more remote. So, it's not really going down that traditional path that I think most of us grew up being taught. I think that's a really defining legacy of this generation. We do have to start talking about the legacy of millennials now. That the youngest millennials are 21, 22 years old.
MATT BRITTON: Sooner or later, millennials are gonna be on the older side of old. If you will. So I think, we have to start talking about, what is the legacy of this generation?
Jeffrey Hazelett: Let's talk about this mobile first, because I think that's an interesting thing. Let me give you a good example of this. I have had offices, buildings, things like that in the many businesses I've had, and I'm always like, no you gotta have an office, you gotta have a desk, you gotta be there. And now I'm like, I don't care, you know?
MATT BRITTON: Right.
Jeffrey Hazelett: And that's to me, that mobile first thing. Like, no we can be light of foot, I can have you work out of your home. I'm more open to that than I've ever been in my life. As long as we're connected through a video conferencing or some way I can reach you 24/7 so to speak.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah.
Jeffrey Hazelett: It's just a different way of defining it, right?
MATT BRITTON: That's right. And I think in regard, you're seeing this whole free-agent boom or freelancer revolution where people are renting space at WeWork. Not going to work for companies, and really offering value as a freelancer in a very specialized skillset and proving that notion that you don't need to be, not only at the company or in the offices, but you can be an employee of the company to have tremendous value to a larger organization.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, and that used to be looked down upon, right?
MATT BRITTON: That's right. But what's happened is, these big companies are moving towards the city. So you look at Pepsi in Purchase New York, or Microsoft in Redmond Washington or Visa in Foster City. All those companies are starting to create these innovation hubs in their neighboring major cities because that's how they can attract the young millennial talent. And the tax concessions of having these huge campuses are now far outweighed by having the proximity to this young generation. Wine companies are gonna start to really move in their headquarters into cities. They're gonna contract their full-time work forces and augment it by these freelancers.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, which is just change. I mean, at my own office, we used to be in an office sharing deal. Then went out and got our own, then I had the opportunity to go back to an office sharing. This is in New York. And I said, yeah, we're gonna do it. Because just the benefit of that, of the interactions with other people and offices, the things that we did, even a little tension from time to time. You know, how you organize the conference rooms and everything else. All of it's good. It makes you think. I'm about to do it again. I'm gonna be partnering, coming up here with Damon John.
MATT BRITTON: Oh, very cool.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, Damon's got his own-
MATT BRITTON: In his new shared workspace.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, Damon's a good buddy of mine, good friend. I got to thinking the other day, I said, you know what? Get over it Jeff. Go do this. I mean, my gosh, they've got standup desks, they got everything. I've been pretty excited.
MATT BRITTON: Nice.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: Very cool.
Jeffrey Hazelett: And my team's excited. It's just different. A different way of thinking about it. I'm gonna be that millennial. I'm gonna think differently. There we go.
MATT BRITTON: Sure.
Jeffrey Hazelett: I loved your book, Youth Nation, you mentioned the book itself. In the book, I recall you argued that the counter culture of the 60s, I this was interesting-
MATT BRITTON: Yeah.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Has become the culture of today. Talk about that. How does it impact our business approach and how we communicate?
MATT BRITTON: I think it's done today on a much more larger and accelerated scale.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: So if you look at this 60s, you had all these people that were protesting the war and protesting the government and there was this counter culture revolution where younger people who were before that in the 50s really stifled in their voice, tried to create a platform. And you looked at Woodstock as the penultimate example of that.
MATT BRITTON: Well today, you're seeing that on a much more decentralized and accelerated basis. Where the movements of tomorrow in business and culture and some ways even politics, those decisions aren't being made from the boardrooms, they're being made from the sidewalks. These young people are starting movements and when they're starting those movements, they're actually having a real impact. So the same way that in the 60s that whole hippie revolution had tremendous impact on the future of so many different industries and really the United States culture and society in general.
MATT BRITTON: You're seeing that really happen on a much larger scale right now with this generation. It's coming back.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Well, because they're connected. And because they have the network. I think that stuff it was existent in the 60s, they just couldn't get ahold of each other, right?
MATT BRITTON: Well they would stand on soapboxes and scream in town squares in front of 100 people. Where now, you can create a YouTube channel and create videos in front of millions of people.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: So, it's really the access and the reach that you have. If you're good and you have a voice, you can really make a huge impact.
Jeffrey Hazelett: And if you get lucky every once and awhile too.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah, luck doesn't hurt.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah. I bet in the 60s most of them were just stoned, they just couldn't do anything about it. I think one of the bad things that I saw in an article in Social Media Week was that millennials are earning 20% less than their parents did.
MATT BRITTON: Yep.
Jeffrey Hazelett: In your work that you do, how does that correlate to the timing of their integration into the workforce and what we call this post-depression, post-2007 economy?
MATT BRITTON: Well, I think it's a couple of things. I think, first of all, you look at how they're spending their money. And the version of the American Dream for Gen Xers and the boomers and everyone before that was, saving up money, getting married, moving out to the suburbs, you have this house with the white picket fence and two car garage, right? Well now, that version of the American Dream has taken a U-turn. Where, this younger generation wants to stay in cities and in doing so, they're giving up space and privacy really for the proximity and connectivity of cities.
MATT BRITTON: When they're doing so, they're not buying apartments in cities because most of them can't afford it. Because the real estate prices in cities over the last ten years have skyrocketed. Especially relative to suburbs. They're not really saving up for cars anymore either because the ease and access of Uber combined with the cost of gas, tolls, parking, and insurance, just makes the whole notion of buying a car not as important.
MATT BRITTON: So, think about it. Those are the two most important discretionary expenditures that the consumers had to made. And many of these consumers don't even make them anymore. So instead, A, they theoretically need to earn less. They're staying in an apartment with other people longer. They're getting married later for the first time in US history. The average age of a male having their first baby is over 30 years old.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Wow.
MATT BRITTON: So people are acting younger way further in life. Which allows them to put off the pressure of income in a way that maybe we didn't have in 90s and early 2000s.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Matt, doesn't that change things, doesn't it have a longer term impact? Don't you think that's gonna have some negative impact?
MATT BRITTON: Of course it will.
Jeffrey Hazelett: If they're not saving? They're not building an asset of some kind with a house or even with a car for that matter. I get the car more than the house or the apartment or whatever you wanna, property. Because property's always been a safe investment and at the end, I always had that. And so when I could live off of that later on.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah, but some would say Gen Xers, took the path of going to work for a big organization and working their way up the corporate ladder to the C Suite and now the average age of a company in the Fortune 500 is less than ten years old. So, I think those tried and true paths of the past don't really exist anymore. So whether it's good or bad, I think it's the future. I think the plus side of that, I guess the counter point to that, is that people are much more in control of their earning ability.
MATT BRITTON: Later in life, I can pivot to different careers later in life, because they can freelance. Because they can learn a marketable skillset or find a product that they can sell directly to consumers. So think success has really been democratized and because of that, the potential is always there. But yes, it'd be much greater if people were building up savings or home equity or things of that nature. But as we saw in 2008, even that isn't tried and true.
Jeffrey Hazelett: I still think that's got a huge impact in the long-term. With where our economy and the way we would measure the growth of the economy. We would measure the health of our nation I think is a big piece of that.
MATT BRITTON: True. Right, but I mean, look at the air of consumerism in the 90s where people would just rack up credit card debt to buy brand [crosstalk 00:14:51].
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: This generation has defined themselves through experiences versus the accumulation of items. So, yes, I mean all of this is gonna have a long-term impact to the economic footprint of our country. As is just the barbel economy that, for the first time since the 20s, point one percent of our population control is 25% of the wealth. Because the middle America and the middle class is eroding because of offshoring, outsourcing, et cetera. There's a lot of factors that are gonna change the future economic footprint of this country.
Jeffrey Hazelett: What do you think are some of the factors that we need to be aware of if we're gonna hire these younger workers?
MATT BRITTON: I think first and foremost, for most jobs, say they're a brand manager for a toothpaste brand. Nobody's passionate about toothpaste. It doesn't matter what they say, they don't wake up in the morning and think about toothpaste or deodorant, or battery [crosstalk 00:15:39].
Jeffrey Hazelett: Well, if you use it, you think about it but probably not-
MATT BRITTON: Think about it to the extent that you need to use it and that's basically about it, right? And I think these low involvement categories that so many businesses are centered around, really just aren't important to this young generation. That's okay because people will do it for the income and maybe they can infuse passion into these low involvement categories. But the fact is that most of these people are gonna have side hustles. They're gonna have other incomes coming in. Whether they're freelancing or whether they have their own little business. I think that businesses need to embrace that.
MATT BRITTON: When I was running my agency, when we got up to about 500 people, I would always walk around just to say hi to everyone and people would like switch off from their Gmail tabs when they saw me walking by. And I don't want them to do that. I wanna know what else they're working on because I don't think it's good to be 100% consumed by your job. But I think a lot of legacy employers, because so many of these big companies, the C Suites are still not filled with millennials, they just don't understand that.
MATT BRITTON: So they try to repress or suppress their staff-
Jeffrey Hazelett: Control.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah, control. Then they'll find other outlets and then they're not loyal to the company and you can't retain them. I think it's really understanding who the people are and what they're going about. And yes, they're not passionate about toothpaste, but you know what, they can take some of those passions and infuse it into a brand and maybe help your business evolve.
MATT BRITTON: I think another thing is that, which is just one of the most frustrating things, I've worked with over half the Fortune 500 over the last 20 years. And what I see time and time again, especially as a [inaudible 00:17:05], is you see these big executives talk about Evan Speagal from SnapChat or Mark Zuckerberg. They're these Gods, or these innovation drivers, yet there's 30, 29 year olds, in their organization. They're seven floors below them, that they've never met. That they're not talking to. That have no voice in the future of the company and their board is filled with, basically all the white men who don't really understand the future.
MATT BRITTON: Some of them do. But, the fact is, they don't embrace the youth in their organization. A lot of them are on golden parachutes and just wanna cash out and because of that, there's young upstarts there, disrupting them. So what I tell to executives that I feel like are in that [inaudible 00:17:42] is, you should create a shadow board. You should get a board of five to seven young people that are your young stars. It'll get retention tool and it'll actually allow you to disrupt yourselves and you should answer to them once a quarter. Just like you have to answer to your shareholders. Because in reality, they are a byproduct, they're a mirror of who your shareholders are. Which is the future consumer.
Jeffrey Hazelett: You mentioned a word called side hustle, or phrase, and I think that's interesting because ten, 15 years ago, if you ran a side hustle and I knew about it, I'd fire your ass. And you're saying that's better to have now? It's okay?
MATT BRITTON: I think so. I mean, in my experience, people who have been successful in business are people who have initiative. And if they have initiative in life, they're gonna take initiative towards following their passions and they're gonna take initiative facing inwards towards your business and finding new nooks and crannies of your business or new ways to expand. And it's really hard to ring fence that desire, that initiative just to towards your job because they're paying your bills. And I don't think it's realistic to expect somebody to do so.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, but how do you outline that so if you're an entrepreneur or you're not being taken advantage of? So that they're using your time, your resources to do those kinds of things. I do know I have a couple of employees who's got side hustles on different things and they're not necessarily related to what I do, so it does bother me. I gotta make sure, I'm just concerned about if they're using my time and we just have good conversations about that. I mean, how do you define the conditions of satisfaction around allowing them the freedom to do that and then not feel that you're being taken advantage of?
MATT BRITTON: I don't think that success variable is time, I think the success variable is output and value. So I think that if I had an employee who was working eight hours day, but only two of them were spending on my business, but the things they were doing during those two hours were moving the needle, I don't care what they do the other six hours of the day if that allows me to keep them. I think the days of clocking in and out and focusing on hourly productivity, I don't think productivity is done on an hourly basis. I think it's almost the opposite.
MATT BRITTON: I think people need to figure out how they can deploy whatever their employee is best at and least expendable in, and how do it focus that output towards your business. That doesn't always take eight hours a day.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Right, if you can get it done in two or three, is it worth it? Interesting question. I think that's an interesting question. So, millennials are now taking over the Gen'ers right? In terms of the largest demographic in the workforce. But also management positions now, right?
MATT BRITTON: I mean, they're starting to.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: Millennials are starting to fill the C Suite. They're not quite there yet, but when they do, you're gonna see a lot of this change accelerate.
Jeffrey Hazelett: It changes, I mean, just the way they go about thinking about where the success of the company is, right? It's certainly changed the face, I think, of advertising. Where it used to be much more subjective, now it's more quantitative, right?
MATT BRITTON: Yep. Well, you would think so but you still have a lot of CMOs who are golf buddies with the CEO of a Madison Avenue agency. They're spending 80% of their dollars on television commercials that nobody watches with creative that's completely subjective and not well enough tested. You still see a lot of laggard brands that are operating in a 1995 world and thinking that that's gonna be their path to continue to drive their business.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, that's gonna go away though. The writing's on the wall for that.
MATT BRITTON: When though? When? You'd think that it would happen already.
Jeffrey Hazelett: You would think the tipping point would already be there, man.
MATT BRITTON: Heres the tipping point is that Amazon and Apple just announced that they're making actual television devices. Young kids, there's a couple of things true about the Gen Z. They have no idea what a television network is. So we were growing up, we knew NBC Must See Thursday night, right? We knew what networks were. They meant something. They mean nothing to these kids. And they walk up to TV sets and they try to swipe them because what the TV's gonna become one day, is a giant iPad hanging on your wall and in that world, Joe's Pizza can advertise during the Superbowl. Just like Papa John's or Domino's can. They can just do so programmatically, targeting a small subset of people within one mile of their location.
MATT BRITTON: I think it all [inaudible 00:21:46] actually the hardware and the device and the hardware's been disconnected, it hasn't been merged with a computing device, but I think with Apple and Amazon seeing that they wanna own the living room. Own that ecosystem, I think that starts to create a real tipping point that we haven't seen yet.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, you own the community, you have your own broadcast network.
MATT BRITTON: Yep, that's right.
Jeffrey Hazelett: That's what I've said for a long, long time and stuff they were doing with C Suite TV, C Suite radio, as we do here. Look, let's go get to the people that want to listen or watch. Let's build a trusted network with them and then let's feed that network, man. Feed the engine.
MATT BRITTON: Yep. But networks are really people.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: Brands are people, people are brands. I think an individual can be a network. I would argue the Kardashians are a much bigger network right now than a lot of the Viacom networks [crosstalk 00:22:33]
Jeffrey Hazelett: Than Fox, than Fox.
MATT BRITTON: Yeah. They have a more engaged audience. They're individuals but it doesn't really matter to the consumer. They're tuning into them to follow their lives the same that they would tune into a TV show.
Jeffrey Hazelett: It's called the trashy network though, isn't it?
MATT BRITTON: Yeah.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Well, I kid you Kim, I kid you. Don't yell at me next time I see you.
MATT BRITTON: It's funny, I actually think the Kardashians get bad rap because I think that there's a lot of things that they do for young women in terms of being entrepreneurial.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yes.
MATT BRITTON: And being confident in their business ventures. That's great. I think that they have gotten a bad rap based upon the source of their fame. But as they grow, you can start to see some of the ways that they can maybe be a good influence. You'd hope.
Jeffrey Hazelett: I would hope so, and I do think you're right. I think they're pretty smart young women for the most part. And I think they married bad. That's what I would say. I think they married very badly.
MATT BRITTON: Right.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Because they guys that they're hanging around for the most part, just real losers. At least a couple of them are. Anyway, that's my two cents on that one. How did you get into this side of the business, Matt?
MATT BRITTON: Well I went to school at Boston University. I was a big night club promoter there, handing out fliers. By the time I graduated I had a little bit of an empire in terms of throwing these huge events all over the city in Boston.
Jeffrey Hazelett: So a hustler. You were a hustler.
MATT BRITTON: I was a hustler and I still am. But what started to happen is a lot of local businesses started to ask, can we sponsor your event? Can we put our logo on your flier? Can we set up a table or hang up a banner inside your parties? That started me to get to have a closer relationship with businesses and albeit they were local and regional businesses. I started to work with them on their own campaigns to reach a young audience and that was right about the time when the internet first became a thing on college campuses.
MATT BRITTON: I started basically an agency, and they quickly went past local and regional businesses into some of the really first web 1.0 start ups like eBay and Yahoo! and really started to create some of their initial campaigns targeting college students. Built up a business, unfortunately then the bubble burst in 2000, a lot of my clients went bankrupt. So I had to sell the company, I call it selling the company but it was really having an organization bail me out, called Alloy. They bought my organization.
MATT BRITTON: I moved to New York, learned about real brands, you know the P&Gs and Cokes of the world. And then left that organization in 2002 to start my agency, Mr. Youth, which became MRY, which I ended up running for about 12 and a half years before it was acquired by the [inaudible 00:24:58].
Jeffrey Hazelett: Very interesting. Let's get back, a little bit, to the millennials. One more thing on that I'd like to know. Management styles, totally different. Right?
MATT BRITTON: Yeah, I think management styles of old was super quantitatively driven, which is, what are the numbers? Are you submitting your TPS reports on time, if you saw the movie The Office.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Oh, yeah.
MATT BRITTON: That's how it worked. I think now, you really have to break down those walls. I mean, the way I like to manage employees is I look at them on the same level and I keep my door always open. Some people don't even have doors. It's really understanding that, you're not above them on the societal base. If you company is a microcosm of society, you need to look at them almost like a peer. Yes, you're their boss. Yes, you sign their paychecks, but as soon as you create those boundaries and levels, then I don't think they're able to be open around you and really able to share really the value that they were meant to share.
MATT BRITTON: I think that's where I've been successful with my organizations. To me, that really breeds great culture.
Jeffrey Hazelett: But it's hard for people to switch like that. To say, hey, I get the power seat, so to speak, and now I gotta give it up.
MATT BRITTON: Yep. Well, I mean, if you're really secure in yourself, you know you're not really giving it up.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah.
MATT BRITTON: In fact, that's just empowering you more.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Right.
MATT BRITTON: I think but there's a lot of people that are unable for ego or because of legacy thinking, aren't actually able to get there. So you have to call the assistant's assistant to go ten floors up and meet them once a year. Where in reality, you really need to break down those walls and see what's really going on. Because what starts to happen is, leaders get disconnected with what's really going on with their employees, with their culture, and really their industry. And then that's when you see companies get blindsided. Why is Toys R Us filing for bankruptcy?
Jeffrey Hazelett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
MATT BRITTON: Obviously, everybody could say Amazon, but I would argue that, there's been so many industries that have been able to create rising companies that sell direct to consumers like Warby Parker, right? You could buy eyeglasses on Amazon, so why didn't Toys R Us create that? It's because the leadership, at some point, got disconnected and didn't move quickly enough and weren't listening to their employees. And that's only one of hundreds if not thousands of examples.
Jeffrey Hazelett: But still, not every digital company's gonna make it. You mentioned Warby Parker, but let's talk about Quirky. I mean, Quirky was a, that had all the markings of whoah, what a cool site, what a cool place. But yet, they sold shit nobody wanted.
MATT BRITTON: Of course. But it's one thing if a venture funded start up doesn't make it. It's another thing if a company that's around for 100 years that employs thousands of people, goes out of business just because they made the wrong decisions. [crosstalk 00:27:41].
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, change, adapt, or die my friends. That's the name of the game.
MATT BRITTON: Yep.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Change, adapt, or die.
MATT BRITTON: That's right.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Well, what's on tab for you next?
MATT BRITTON: So, I took over in January of a software company called Crowd Tap that I had actually incubated within my agency and spun out as a standalone company which then raised a bunch of venture capital. We're doing some really interesting things. Crowd Tap was originally about as an influencer marketing company but we've uncovered and incredible opportunity and real time intelligence, a real time market research. Under the premise that every business person needs to be really data-driven. Every decision they make. People shouldn't make decisions based upon myopic thinking or just the closest available option. They should be testing everything with their audience because you can.
MATT BRITTON: I'm really focused on this notion of real time business intelligence and we're creating some incredible new products for our clients in that space. So I'm super focused on that. So doing a lot of speaking, I do about 60 to 80 speaking engagements a year just around the things that we're talking about. The changes of this generation is bringing to the culture and society. Thinking about my next book and just having a lot of fun.
Jeffrey Hazelett: You're having some fun. That's the name of the game. Make a little money, do some new things, learn a little bit, and have fun. You can't ask for much more-
MATT BRITTON: Yeah, I also love mentoring young people and seeing them grow. At this point in my career, the fact that I can see people who I've hired out of college then go on to get great roles at other companies is definitely one of the biggest joys of what I do.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Isn't it cool to do that? I really think that's really neat.
MATT BRITTON: It's amazing. I love it.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Yeah, it's like having another child to be honest with you. I don't want people, if you're listening in-
MATT BRITTON: You don't need to [inaudible 00:29:16] through college.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Except I didn't have to pay for it, exactly.
MATT BRITTON: Right.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Well, my friend, what a pleasure. Matt Britton right here talking about Youth Nation, talking about the new counter culture of the millennial. Used to be talking about that in the 60s, but now we're talking about it right here in 2017, going into 2018 and we're talking millennials and what you need to do to get ahead in this audience. So Matt, thanks so much for joining me right here on All Business with Jeffrey Hazelett.
MATT BRITTON: Thanks for having me.
Speaker 5: You're listening to All Business with Jeffrey Hazelett. Brought to you by C Suite Radio, a podcast network featuring today's top business experts that is part of the C Suite Network. The world's most trusted network of C Suite executives. Find this and other business podcasts on c-suiteradio.com.
Jeffrey Hazelett: Hey at the end of every show, I like to talk about the things I learned. I enjoyed this conversation and a lot of people like to talk about millennials and some people in a bad way and some people in a good way. I really liked the thought process about how they're thinking mobile first. You know? Mobile first. In fact, I don't know if you know this, but Mark Zuckerberg starts off a meeting at Facebook when they start showing him and if there's not a mobile option that's presented right up front, he doesn't wanna talk to you. He cancels the meeting.
Jeffrey Hazelett: But here's the other thing I learned. Output and value, versus how many hours you spend at work. I gotta think through that one a little bit more. How do I put that into my own operation so I don't get so upset when people take off early, right? It used to be, you put in long hours, you stay there after the boss, and anyone that leaves beforehand, kind of frowned upon. Well, Matt's opening up my eyes. Maybe I need to be thinking about output and value more and more conversations around those conditions of satisfaction. And maybe even let people include those side hustles.
Jeffrey Hazelett: How about this guy on my team, are you listening right now? If you're doing a side hustle, you better cut me in. I learned that right here on All Business and don't forget all the other shows that you can listen to on C Suite Radio. You know, we've got about 60 podcasts out there. You gotta be able to find something you like besides just my show. So tune in and listen. Go to C Suite Radio, and find All Business with Jeffrey Hazelett. Pass onto a friend, and then go find another who. Thanks for listening.