The Future of D2C Ecommerce and Fulfillment [Video]

Pauline Shiu

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August 5, 2020

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D2C ecommerce has evolved dramatically in just a few months. For one, it's no longer a matter of if your brand should sell on a third-party marketplace, but how.

Co-founder of ShipBob, George Wojciechowski, gives his two cents on how the industry is changing and what sellers are doing to stay ahead of the curve. Learn more about how sellers are shifting their priorities, building brand loyalty and implementing strategies, like partnering with a 3PL, to cover more physical and digital ground.

Watch "Ask the Ecommerce Experts" Episode #6

The Full Transcript

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<div id="intro"></div>

Intro to ShipBob (0:01)

Pauline, Director of Marketing, Zentail
Hi, everybody. You have Pauline back here at Zentail, and I'm really excited today for "Ask the Experts" with George Wojciechowski from ShipBob. George, great having you on today.

George, Co-founder, ShipBob 
Great. Glad to be here, Pauline. I'm excited to talk with you and have a great conversation.

Pauline 
Awesome. Very good. So, for anyone who doesn't know, George is the co-founder of ShipBob. It is a 3PL fulfillment service. Before that—George, looks like you were into some kind of investment and things like that, but for today, ShipBob seems to really have courted a really good D2C space and fulfillment, and so I wanted to explore a little bit more about that and get into your sellers, and then, obviously, talk some trends and what we're seeing moving forward.

George 
Sure. Fantastic.

Pauline 
Off the bat, can you give us a quick rundown of ShipBob's story, kind of your founding, what was the opportunity you were really looking to create and solve for the industry?

George 
Yeah. Great question. So, the company was founded about six years ago. We came out of Y Combinator in the summer of 2014. Our goal was always to give the new generations a new generation of ecommerce merchants the same tools, reach and scalability potential as the biggest players in ecommerce. And what I mean by that is, when you order something online and you're ordering from one of the big retailers—whether it's Amazon or Nordstrom or Dick's Sporting Goods—that package arrives within 48 hours to your doorstep, and shipping is usually some nominal charge or free. 

However, if I am a Shopify or a BigCommerce merchant or Squarespace merchant, and I've caught onto a new idea that's gained some traction—maybe I'm selling a cosmetics line in Minneapolis or I have a haircare company in Los Angeles—I still don't have that same potential to meet customer expectations (modern customer expectations) when it comes to ordering something online and then getting those goods that I bought to me quickly and cheaply. 

The typical story of how it goes is the merchant is usually doing self-fulfillment or working with a local 3PL that has one location, so you're shipping from that one location to all over the country. So, in short, ShipBob fixes this problem in two ways: One, we're known for having some of the most progressive tech in the 3PL business. We've built a dashboard in most of our technology, including our WMS from scratch, and we've integrated it with over 30 different apps and platforms, which you can find on the ShipBob apps marketplace which we just launched last week.

Pauline 
Yeah. And Zentail is excited to be part of that, for sure.

George 
Yeah. Zentail is one of the flagship integrations and we love working with Zentail, and it's definitely been useful for a large number of our merchants to utilize both of our services in conjunction with each other. 

And secondly, we have a network of fulfillment centers around the United States, North America and Europe. So, we have seven fulfillment centers in the United States, which are located in...a couple in Dallas, one in Tennessee, Florida, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles. 

In short, we essentially can cover 98% of the continental United States today in ground shipping. So, when a merchant comes to us, we'll look at their last three to six months of order data and suggest to them, “Based on your business, you could distribute your inventory among one of these two locations, or four locations, or even all eight locations because of how your order distribution looks.”

And what that will allow is on a per-order basis for the merchant to save money because the majority of their shipments are zone one and zone two, which are highly localized. There's no more shipping cross-country say you're in Los Angeles and you're shipping to Maine, and then Florida, and DC. It's going to take three to five days to get there, and it's going to cost you a lot more money than if you were shipping Zone 1 and Zone 2, which is the two closest shipping zones to you. 

So, in short, merchants can combine the tech we have and all the access we have to integrations and apps like Zentail with a fulfillment operation that mirrors some of the biggest players in ecommerce. [They can leverage] multiple fulfillment centers and distribution centers around the country to get their products to the customers cheaply, quicker than ever before and meet modern customer expectations.

<div id="sameday"></div>

The Future of Shipping: If Same-Day Becomes the Norm—What Next? (4:38)

Pauline 
Definitely. And kind of your point there about modern customer expectations...so before it was just kind of, like, three, five, next week is okay. Now, two-day, three-day and even, you know, we're talking same-day. And so, how is ShipBob meeting that demand these days? And where do you see...that going? So, it can always get faster, but then what? Are Amazon Lockers going to become more popular across channels? Where do you see that going?

George 
Yeah. That's a great question...There's a lot of different business models that will be tried, and some of them will work over the next three, four years to get products even closer to customers. 

You've seen UPS and Amazon doing like lockers at 7-Eleven. I'm actually not sure how well that's worked out, but one of the things that we do at ShipBob—and we have the benefit of being able to do this is because we own our tech and we've built out our dashboard technology—is partner with regional and local fulfillment operations who want to adapt our technology, thus extending the reach that our customers have to bring their products to new locations. 

And I think you'll see a lot more of that. You're already seeing that trend, and we've been at the forefront of it, but I think as time goes on, you'll see more companies like us build relationships with local regional players when it comes to fulfillment and distribution centers. It'll all be run by an overarching layer of technology, which will help coordinate the entire operation.

<div id="3pl"></div>

How 3PLs Will (Probably) Tap Into Regional and Local Networks (6:21)

Pauline 
Wow. That's smart. That's really interesting. So now I'm curious, how does that conversation go? These local fulfillment centers...I guess you're talking to them and figuring out if you can have a percentage of their space, and then you fill it as needed according to orders or history?

George 
Yes. What do you mean according to order history?

Pauline 
I guess knowing [order history, you can tell that] we've had this series of products that are shipping to...this really specific locale and [so you know to] work with that region, that local fulfillment center.

George 
Got it, yeah. That has been the goal from the beginning is that we've looked at the analytics and the distribution of orders that we were sending out from the fulfillment centers that we already operated, and that's how we placed the new fulfillment centers and also forged relationships in new areas. 

And you're exactly right. Perhaps maybe we have a client whose product for whatever reason is wildly successful in the southwest part of the country—Arizona, New Mexico, Western Texas—and we're seeing a lot of volume going that direction but we may not have great next day, two-day reach from that location on a consistent basis. We'll look for partners there who are willing to work with us. 

Maybe they're a local 3PL but they're fairly progressively minded, and they see a company like ShipBob who works with a robust amount of ecommerce merchants and it'll make sense for them to take on new merchants, help us out by doing the fulfillment piece and having it all coordinated via the technology. It's an arrangement that we've done about three or four times already and it's working out really well, so I think we'll probably continue to go down that road.

Pauline 
That's awesome. I love to hear it. It's kind of like localized last-mile.

George 
Exactly. And so you can imagine how much of a capital investment that would be if it weren't forged via partnerships—if we had to build all these locations like Amazon does. You know, [Amazon] can because they have all the money in the world, but you can mirror a similar setup through partnership.

<div id="d2c"></div>

What Does Selling D2C Mean Today? (8:39)

Pauline 
Really, really smart approach. Awesome. So, that's a lot on the fulfillment front. Let's maybe take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of some of your D2C sellers. 

Even from your own perspective of your sellers, what is the true sense of D2C in your mind? Is it through the web store? Do marketplaces count as D2C these days? And how are they approaching the two and their relationship together?

George 
Yeah. That's a great question. I think that there was a time when you could look at it as two separate things, but as time has gone on, those lines have been blurred and you have merchants who maybe started off and they were like, "I've had this inspired idea for a product and I don't want to give up a percentage to any other sales channels. I'm just going to run it from my own native shopping store." 

And then, you know, in building a business, you want to continually expand. You want to reach new markets. And so, we have seen a lot of merchants take that step where they previously didn't think that they would and enter into marketplaces, sell their products in different marketplaces that they previously wouldn't have. That's part of why the integration that ShipBob has with Zentail is so important—you guys help enable that for our merchants who are looking to expand beyond their native border.

<div id="hurdles"></div>

Hurdles of Selling D2C via Marketplaces for the First Time (10:06)

Pauline 
Bingo. Yeah. I was gonna say, that is the number one hurdle that we see for a webstore-first brand who is looking to go multichannel is the fulfillment piece, so thanks for helping us there. What else do you guys see? What are other hurdles that they need to—you know, whether it's operationally, something in the workflow, something like that—what else do DTC webstore-first companies have to solve for in addition to fulfillment?

George 
Yeah. There's a lot of noise out there. While this has been on the radar of many D2C companies and I think will continue to be, as the noise increases, how do you...you know, you're selling a great product. Fantastic. But in the times that we're in now, there are so many new products coming out and copycat products. How do you truly build brand loyalty? How do you build a following in which you have big, enthusiastic, raving customers about your product, about your brand? They see themselves in your brand. Because at the end of the day, when things like COVID hit, those are the customers that are still going to keep buying your products because they see themselves in what you're doing and what you're trying to build and in the brand that you have created.

I think that's going to continue to be at the top of the list of important initiatives. [Brands asking themselves,] “How do we continue to build a brand that people follow and not just a product that is seen as a commodity versus a half dozen other products doing something similar?”

<div id="branding"></div>

Creative Ways for Building Brand Recognition (11:33)

Pauline 
Very well said. And so, you know, advertising has really helped a lot of companies and brands in COVID. Have you seen your sellers take any other out-of-the-box approaches to brand recognition and establishing themselves upon competitors?

George 
I have been seeing a lot of that where our merchants know that...you know, I think it was the CEO of Shopify who said (and maybe he was saying this perhaps to promote his own company) but I think the quote was that ecommerce has moved up 10 years; whatever chunk ecommerce was supposed to take out of traditional bricks and mortar, it just moved up from 2030 to 2020. And that brings on an increased amount of competition in ecommerce. 

And so, what I've seen, personally, is a lot of our customers reach out to me, reach out to the partnerships team, and say, "Hey, can you put me in touch with an agency because I really need to level up now? I need somebody for better customer acquisition. I need to upgrade my Shopify store. I need to come up with some new marketing strategies." So we've seen a lot of activity in that regard where people are seeing the writing on the wall and know that not only has ecommerce moved up, but the competition has stepped up as well.

Pauline 
Yeah. Agreed. And so, what does that translate to within your warehouses? Are folks doing more private-label? Are they trying to have more variety in their assortment? What does that mean in terms of their catalog?

George 
I think that from what we've seen is not much of a change that was pre-COVID. Our merchants are still focusing on their big sellers and focusing on building a reputation around the value of those products. And as per usual, people are still coming up with new products and new features outside of their core, and so we haven't seen too much of a shift in that regard. 

I think people want to—and this has always been true too is when they try new things—they want to keep their inventory nimble because you may think that a product is going to sell really well and then you find out it's actually not, but you just spent [the money to take] two containers from Vietnam to the United States and it's not really moving. 

Customers are trying new things and keeping their inventory light and flexible, and potentially dynamic. And that's a broader question too: the merchants' engagement with their supply chain. I think now more than ever, especially after COVID or during COVID, merchants are really taking a look at their supply chain from beginning to end, from the factory where it's produced to the fulfillment centers and saying, "Hey, is this ironclad and able to function if we have another global crisis like we did previously?”

When COVID hit, one of the things that we saw was a lot of independent fulfillment centers were closing down. They couldn't operate. We saw this in North Carolina. We saw this in other states, and the merchants would come to us and say, "Hey, I need to still run a business. I'm shut out. I can barely get my inventory up."

So, what merchants are looking at now and previously hadn’t included in their calculations is, “Does the fulfillment company I work with just have one location or is there a network that if something goes down in one fulfillment center and they have to close down...is there a backup plan here?” 

And so, you'd see merchants looking for maybe two fulfillment partners, or if it's a company like ShipBob that has a network, that's a calculation that I think pre-COVID merchants weren't making.

<div id="covid"></div>

COVID’s Impact on Shipping (15:17)

Pauline 
Agreed. I agree. You know, ‘diversification’ the term has come up a lot during COVID, and obviously for us [at Zentail, it comes up] as it pertains to sales channels. For you guys, [‘diversification’] relates to your warehouse locations, and so that makes a ton of sense. How did COVID affect your shipments, if you can share a candid moment with us?

George 
Significantly. You know, Q2, historically...is the slowest quarter, and most of the activities in Q1 through 4, and a lift in Q3. We got very busy very quickly, and it was very challenging as an operation, and the ShipBob team really rose to the occasion because now we had this huge influx of volume, which has sustained, and I think it's sustained across the board. Every ecommerce company that I’ve talked to and agency that I’ve talked to—they're still perpetually busy…

Now that that panic over COVID has somewhat subsided, there hasn't been a drop-off. And so operating in the constraints of COVID, we had to enact social distancing within our fulfillment centers. Everybody had to wear masks at all times. You couldn't get in without getting your temperature taken. Power-cleaning it every night at the end of each shift. Hiring people to just literally clean around the clock while we were operating around them. These were additional costs in operational variables that we hadn't previously considered and we had to make these decisions and enact them very, very quickly if we wanted to keep the supply chain open for our merchants, which was our number one priority.

Pauline 
Way to go. Way to go, you guys. Being there for everyone. Being there for your team, right, most importantly, and then obviously your customers...

George 
Yeah, absolutely.

<div id="holiday"></div>

Will the Holidays Come Early this Year? (17:15)

Pauline 
Nice. Really good. So, I guess, any other trends you've seen? We definitely see the same thing in that the sales are spiking and they're not necessarily going down. We're starting to think more about what happens with holidays. It's just going to start sooner, I think, but any other thoughts there?

George 
I was taking a bike ride two months ago or two and a half months ago when we were in the middle of COVID and I was going down this large shopping street in Chicago and I was looking around and I was like, "You know what? Nobody is going to want to do the crazy holiday rush, Thanksgiving rush this year. No one is gonna want to stand in the department store line for 40 minutes to check out, be around people, touch a bunch of stuff that everyone else is touching...

Pauline 
And a lot of the stores now are closing on Thanksgiving, right? I think Walmart and Target both have said that they're closed, which is great of them.

George 
Exactly, exactly. I applaud that as well. I think for the public safety that is an absolute must. But that was a thought I had like two and a half months ago, and then, like you said, last week I think Walmart announced that they weren't going to do a Black Friday retail operation, and then all of the other major retailers followed suit. 

So, it's going to be a very busy ecommerce Q4—ecommerce-centric Q4. I think more people over the last four months have gotten comfortable shopping online, and when it comes to buying holiday gifts and things like that, you're going to have a lot of the people who are already comfortable shopping online for their gifts and for products and a whole slate of new people who are now comfortable with it as well.

<div id="prep"></div>

How Are Sellers Preparing for the Holidays? (18:54)

Pauline 
What does that mean internally for your warehouses? Do [sellers] have to ask for more space? Like allocate that [space] now as opposed to [waiting til] September and it's probably too late?

George 
Yeah. The holiday season rush is going to...every year since we've been in operation (and it's been six years), it keeps starting earlier and earlier and earlier. I think based on what I recall from our analytics last year, I think November 13th was the day in which we could see the volume officially kick into holiday gear mode. 

This year. I expect it to be even sooner than that. And so, messaging and communicating, we have our account managers doing regular QBRs with our merchants, finding out what their plans for the holiday season are and allocating the appropriate resources to plan for that. It's not a one-way street. It's by far completely a two-day street, so...we're communicating to our merchants what our capabilities are and what our expectations are for Q4, and vice versa. We're reaching out to them and having them tell us what their plans are for Q4 as well so it can go as smoothly as possible. I think with volumes being the way that we expect, this is absolutely necessary.

Pauline 
I think you're gonna have to open up a new warehouse storage, number nine.

George 
My co-founders, Anthony and Jivko—they operate the ShipBob fulfillment network, and they've done a fantastic job of building out really fantastic key partnerships with other fulfillment centers around the country, around the world, and they're not slowing down. So, they're on it and we're definitely gonna make some new relationships and open up some new space.

<div id="success"></div>

A ShipBob Success Story (20:42)

Pauline 
Nice. Really good. Let's see. We're nearing the end. Was curious if you want to share any of your favorite ShipBob success stories with us?

George 
Yeah. There's been plenty of success stories through the year, which is actually the absolute best thing about being in the business that we're in.

Seeing merchants starting out with you four years ago shipping—maybe 20 orders a month—to now doing 2,000 a month has been very satisfying. 

I'll have to think about that. My favorite story, I guess it's like every time that I see something on LinkedIn, or in a magazine, or a post of one of our merchants who came to us as a young or an early entrepreneur...with an inspired idea, and a lot of hope, and a lot of potential, and a lot of motivation to do something big. And then when I see them pop up on LinkedIn like they were covered in Forbes, or they were covered in Vogue...

Pauline
Phenomenal. 

George
Yeah. That always makes me super happy, and I love seeing that. It's been great over the last couple of years. The velocity of that has increased a lot where we see these merchants who started off with us and now they've made it. They've crossed that threshold. They're getting great coverage. They have a following. They have great brand recognition. And to me, that is super satisfying. I think it is for our whole team.

<div id="traits"></div>

Traits of Successful Ecommerce Brands (22:10)

Pauline 
Definitely awesome. Total hats off to you guys. So, you've brought up ‘brand’ a couple of times, and I think that makes sense for your customer base. What else do you see as a common thread between those really successful sellers?

George 
Great question. There's a lot of variables. At this point, we have over 4,000 merchants. But the common thread that I would personally say that I see is a hard vision of what they're trying to achieve while still balancing it with flexibility to test things...and not try to force it, but to try to pivot and try something new. 

So, you know, I love entrepreneurs who come in with a vision for their company of what they want to build. You can see their focus. You can see their determination, and when they're able to kind of get real with themselves and see something not working out, their ability to pivot and try something new in the name of persevering and getting to that ultimate goal is the common thread that I've seen. 

Also, a willingness to reach out and ask for help, and to have dialogue. I feel like some of the most successful entrepreneurs are also the most chatty ones. They're willing to jump on panels. They're willing to do case studies. They're willing to just have conversations and be in the mix, and be up-to-date on what the new happenings are in the industry and what techniques maybe their competitors or other ecommerce stores are doing. So, being active, not being a silo out there on your own, but actually engaging in the broader ecommerce community. By far, I think that those merchants usually have a higher success rate.

<div id="questions"></div>

10 Rapid-Fire Questions (23:50)

Pauline 
Awesome. Very good. Very good. Okay. That cues us up a little bit for our little 10 rapid-fire questions here, so let's do it. And this is gonna be fun. So, number one, what advice do you have for sellers around handling their inventory?

George 
Around inventory? I know it's hard to want to average down your costs on inventory, and it makes sense as you develop your product, but going all-in off the starting line and buying an enormous sum of inventory just so you can average down your costs almost never works out. Looking at it from a testing approach and trying to keep it dynamic in the long run is more of a winning strategy.

Pauline 
Nice. I like it. Okay. Number two, what is your advice for a small team looking to operate at a larger scale and grow quickly?

George 
Consider yourselves lucky that you're on a small team. That was in my experience at ShipBob, the most sentimental time in my entire journey at ShipBob...when you have a small team around you, it's great to have colleagues. You're going to fail. You're going to trip up. You're going to hit roadblocks, and to have partners or close colleagues and a small team there to pick you up and help keep you both moving forward, and the entire organization moving forward together, is so critical, especially in the early part of an entrepreneur's journey.

Pauline 
Great. Nice. Very good. So, work with people you like and be nimble. Good. Number three, what's one thing you wish every seller knew?

George 
One thing that I wish every seller knew. I'd love it if every seller knew that if you distribute your inventory, it is a huge competitive advantage because you're averaging down your cost of each shipment, plus you're putting yourself in a position to meet modern customer expectations by delivering that product quicker after the customer orders it. 

And I would also say that finding platforms and creating your own tech stack or application stack based on what's most relevant to your business. I feel like sometimes people get caught up because they hear a name a lot and they think that they might need it, but really kind of knowing your business and understanding the technologies that you're utilizing will help you stay focused and keep the information tight so that only the relevant information that you need to focus on is in front of you.

Pauline 
Smart. We couldn't agree more, so cheers. All right. What do you think, we spoke about this a little bit, what do you think is the next big trend in shipping and fulfillment?

George 
I saw a demo recently. I don't know if I should say the company or not, but I saw a demo recently of a platform that was essentially video commerce—really great video commerce for ecommerce shops, for Shopify stores, for BigCommerce stores. It was kind of like any merchant anywhere can create their own little HSN for their audience in real time, and then include real graphics, little incentives and deals. 

I had this demo a couple of days ago and it kind of blew my mind, and maybe it's just my take, but I kind of felt like...I told some of my colleagues this. I thought it was the future of ecommerce. I mean, this is a differentiator that no one else is doing.

And the funny thing is that a lot of these technologies are already being utilized in Asia, especially in China. And so, you can see the results of these apps and these products because they're doing gangbusters over there, but we haven't adapted them here in the U.S., and this particular feature—this video selling feature—is huge in China and now it's coming here to North America and global, and I was super impressed. So, I think some form of video selling where merchants can talk directly to their customers and create an environment that's fun, entertaining and creates offers to click the ‘buy’ button is the future.

Pauline 
Huge. I'll have to Slack you later for the name.

George 
Cool.

Pauline 
Okay. Back to you, really. Tell me about your morning routine.

George 
My morning routine during COVID or pre-COVID?

Pauline 
Your choice.

George 
Well, pre-COVID, I would wake up at 6:30, spend a half hour just going through emails, then I would go to my CrossFit gym at 7:00 a.m., 7:00 to 8:00, and then I would come home, shower, get ready, meditate, head to the office, and stay at the office till 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 at night. Now, it's fairly similar although I do sleep in a little bit. I'll sleep till 7:00 or 7:30. Will go for a run, meditate and go to my office, which is here, my desk in my living room.

Pauline 
There you go. Perfect. I love that you have meditation in there. That's awesome.

George 
Oh, it's a game-changer for me. Without it...if I don't meditate and if I don't work out, but especially if I don't meditate, I'm kind of not in a great mood and I'm drinking a lot of coffee till about 11:00 a.m. If you get your day started with a great meditation, there's really nothing that can bother you or kind of throw you off your game.

Pauline 
Great. We are huge fans there. That's awesome. Name your favorite food.

George 
Lasagna.

Pauline 
Yes. I think yesterday was National Lasagna Day. We missed it.

George 
Was it really?

Pauline 
Yes.

George 
I haven't had lasagna in a very long time. I'm here in the West Loop in Chicago and there's this restaurant called Monteverde and it's supposed to have amazing Italian food and I still haven't had the opportunity to check it out.

Pauline 
Oh, no, take out.

George 
Yeah, for sure.

Pauline 
All right. Tell me about one of your hobbies. You mentioned biking.

George 
Biking. I love going on long bike rides. I love anything that has to do with seeing new things or kind of taking me out of the environment that I spend the majority of my time and just allowing me to experience new contexts. If that's even going for a run, going on a bike ride, going on a road trip, traveling, exploration—big hobbies of mine—always kind of perks me up and kind of resets me a little bit. If I'm doing the same thing over and over, day after day, a little bit too much, that'll always kind of help me reset a little bit. And I collect replica World Series rings, which is kind of a nerdy hobby of mine. 

Pauline 
That's so cool. Now I've [inaudible 00:30:28]. That's awesome. Nice. All right. What is an item on your bucket list?

George 
I want to go to Japan. I've always wanted... You know, I watch a lot of travel shows, and every time it goes to Japan it just seems like such a fascinating place. You have the beauty that's like in Kyoto, and then you have Tokyo, which is this super progressive metropolis, cosmopolitan metropolis. It's always fascinated me. I love traveling. Vietnam is on my list as well, so I guess traveling more is the number one priority on my bucket list.

Pauline 
That's cool one—not one that I’ve heard before. All right, what is an item on your bucket list?

George 
I want to go to Japan. I watch a lot of travel shows and every time it goes to Japan, it just seems like such a fascinating place. You have the beauty that’s in Kyoto, and you have Tokyo, which is a super progressive metropolis...I love traveling. Vietnam is on my list as well. So I guess traveling more is the number one priority on my bucket list. I wanted  to go to Thailand this year. That was canceled. Thailand for me is kind of like when you talk to people who go to Costa Rica, nobody comes back and says they had a bad time. Everybody says they had a phenomenal time.

Pauline 
Yeah. When this is all done, I'll give you my notes for those countries.

George 
All right. Oh, you've gone to all of them?

Pauline
Yeah. Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.

George
Amazing. Yes, please. We’ll have to connect.

Pauline 
That's great. Let's see. Do you have any COVID goals?

George
COVID goals?

Pauline
Yes.

George 
Now that we have more time personally, you know, when we were going to the office every day, either till like 7:30, 8:00 and then I would go swimming after work, and I would get home, like, 9:00 or 9:30. Then by the time I got home, there was maybe 45 minutes for ‘me’ time...whether it's developing new skills or reading before I had to go to bed and do it all over again. 

And so, when COVID started, one of the things I invested in was MasterClass, and I've loved it. I love it...there's a negotiating class on there that I've taken by Chris Voss. I took a mixology class by these two amazing mixologists, a comedy class by Steve Martin. So that's kept me kind of working new things and spending the extra time that we have doing something productive versus just hanging out on Netflix.

Pauline 
Absolutely. I’m not going to lie, I think that's my favorite ones I've heard so far. That's awesome. Okay. Number 10. Let's round it out. What has been one of the most impactful life lessons you've had, whether that's personally or professionally? Dig deep. 

George 
When I think back to how I was and how I thought about things four years ago, five years ago, 10, 15 years ago, I was always so certain of myself and that things were the way they were, and I think that one thing I've learned as time has gone on is to keep your mind open to new ideas, and new perspectives and new contexts. It makes life a lot more interesting and you'll be surprised how much you didn't know when you thought you knew everything.

Pauline
Very good. Very, very good. Awesome. George, this has been obviously a lot of fun and I learned a lot too, so thank you for your time. Thanks for joining us. And, you know, I can't wait. We have a couple of things that we're working on together in the pipeline...

George 
Very exciting stuff coming down the pipeline.

Pauline 
Yeah, very much. So, we will hopefully be back to launch something to everyone in the near future.

George 
Wonderful. Thank you, Pauline.

Pauline 
Cheers. Thanks so much. Bye-bye.

George
Bye.

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