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Episode 150  |  34:32 min

Adam Jackson, co-founder of Braintrust: marketplace products

Episode Thumbnail
Episode 150  |  34:32 min  |  10.22.2021

Adam Jackson, co-founder of Braintrust: marketplace products

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This is a podcast episode titled, Adam Jackson, co-founder of Braintrust: marketplace products. The summary for this episode is:

Speaker 1: Hey there, product lovers. Welcome to the Product Love podcast, hosted by Eric Bodak, co- founder and chief evangelist of Pendo and super fan of all things product. Product Love is the place for real insights into the world of crafting products as Eric interviews founders, product leaders, venture capitalists, authors, and more. So let's dive in now with today's Product Love podcast.

Eric Boduch: Well welcome lovers of product today. I'm here with Adam Jackson, co- founder of Braintrust. Adam, why don't you kick this off by giving us a little overview of your background?

Adam Jackson: Yeah, sure. Eric, thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to be on here. Yeah, so I'm a, a software engineer by training. I studied computer science at Vanderbilt University and then right out of school, moved here to San Francisco. And that was, I'm an old man now, it was about 16 years ago and I'm sort of like a kind of a lousy engineer turned entrepreneur. So I moved out here and actually, so Braintrust is my fourth venture backed endeavor. All marketplaces all in different categories. So when I got out of here, I started an eCommerce marketplace, that allowed people to shop online and for locally available products that was acquired by Intuit. My second marketplace was called Driverside, which connected car owners with mechanics who had capacity for them almost in real time. We grew that into a national marketplace and were acquired by advanced auto parts. And in 2012, I started a company called Doctor on Demand, which is a, now the country's largest video tele- medicine service that grew into a very large enterprise healthcare company and really required the talents of what I would call a real manager. So I stepped out of day to day operations there four years in and then got to come back to my kind of true passion. My first love, which is deep tech. And I got into blockchain kind of full- time at that point and helped start a hedge fund along the way called Cambrian and became obsessed with this idea of marketplaces being owned by their users. And that's where Braintrust came from.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. And we'll dig into that a minute, but tell me, for marketplace companies, what's the attraction to marketplaces?

Adam Jackson: Oh, I just really love having to build a company for two different customers. So you're getting punched in the face on both sides instead of one. In SaaS, it's just one punch. In consumer, it's just one, but marketplaces, you have two customers you have to serve. So, it obviously like challenging to build. Once you build them, they're incredibly valuable, right. I just love the network effects of these businesses and it's a real joy once you get them going.

Eric Boduch: So, obviously big challenges, like you said, because you have two customers, you have two sides you have to build demand for, right. Because if you only have one side kicking and the others doesn't exist, the marketplace inherently falls apart. What have you learned or how has building marketplace companies changed over the last, well, four companies? How has that evolved over time?

Adam Jackson: Yeah. I think in a lot of ways. On the financial side, these web enabled marketplaces have become more and more sort of financially extractive. Right. And we're seeing that play out in the gig economy, right. Where Uber drivers can't stand Uber. Doordashers can't stand restaurants and restaurants can't stand DoorDash, et cetera. But, but then on the product side and I know that's much more the focus of your show, product just has to keep getting better and better and better and you have to really delight both sides or you're just not in the game. So, I think the product experience has just come so far for a lot of these marketplaces as well.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. So there's a product leader out there or an entrepreneur starting a company that's a marketplace these days. What advice would you give them?

Adam Jackson: Yeah, I think it sounds a little basic, right. But, building things that users absolutely love and starting with them on UI design, right. So, implementing stuff is not hard these days. It just, that's just the part that takes time. It's starting with an interface, either on Skecher or whatever and really getting lots of users through it. And when they get stuck, like really digging of why, like what did they expect to see there? What is their mental model of what you're offering and build around that instead of trying to jam them into yours.

Eric Boduch: Cool. Now, one of your experience is Doctor on Demand. Dr. Phil, tell me about that experience.

Adam Jackson: Well, this is a crazy story, and I love telling this story to product people too because it's a bizarre kind of path that we took here, but we've had a successful exit of Driverside to advance auto parts. And I was sort of like taking a little bit of time off and trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And the only thing I knew I wanted to do next is build a consumer brand. My first two companies actually were failed attempts at consumer brands. They're consumer brands that turned to into B2B or, or B2B to C, which is always what you do when you have to pivot to money. And so I knew from my third one, I was like, I just want to build a consumer brand. I want to build something that delights people, that solves a real problem, and that makes people's lives better. Consumers, right? Not businesses. And I got a call from a friend who's actually the founders of Nextdoor, neighborhood app called me, they're long time friends, Sarah and Nirav. And they said, Hey, we're connected with Dr. Phil down in LA. And he and his son, Jay, have this great idea for an app it's like urgent care on your phone. And I was like, wow, that's a cool idea. I'm like, I've never really been to the doctor. I've only like only been to urgent care once. I just, all I know out it is the healthcare consumer experience sucks and there's so much room for improvement, right? So that, and you have Dr. Phil who reaches 35 million people a day through his TV show. I'm like, man, those are pretty good ingredients. Right? So big audience built in and a big consumer problem to solve. So we got together, we started the company. I started, I was our founding CEO and Jay and Phil are co- founders. And the idea was simple, build a video medical app that was easy to use. And then we'll talk about it on the Dr. Phil show. And that's what we did. And the irony is none of us have any medical background whatsoever. So we got some great doctors on board, great chief medical officers and a staff of just incredible physicians. A lot. We seated with a lot of at Stanford or current Stanford physicians, but we started from scratch. First principle is thinking on the interface, right? So you just come up, there's one button, see a doctor, it would walk you through the kind of, the previsit questions. And we just started as simply as possible, tested the heck out of it, ripped out a lot of the crap you see in doctor's offices today that are kind of nice to have data collecting things that don't don't necessarily have to be there. And then, made a really delightful follow up process. We were the first ones to do HIPAA compliant encrypted video for video chat. Now it's pretty ubiquitous, but this is in 2012. And we just like just made a delightful consumer experience. And the thing just blew up in the app store. And if you looked at all the reviews, it was just, you saw two sentiments breakthrough in the app store. It was, this was so easy to use. And that doctor was so nice. Right? So it's like the interface just had to get the hell out of the way, so the nice doctor could just do her job and we grew really quickly. And now it's the largest service of its kind in the U. S, I believe.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. No interesting story. And how do you deal with the... I can definitely see like making something easy to use, making it a pleasant experience because those are problems that a lot of consumers have had with visits to doctors, dentists, healthcare professionals in general. Part of the complexity that I would think is there is regulatory issues, especially telehealth. How did you deal with that? Was that a big hurdle? How did they deal with that, well, I guess today, a lot of the COVID stuff has been rescinded so to speak, but telehealth's regulatory issues seem like that'd be a big constraint to taking it to market.

Adam Jackson: It was huge. Yeah. It was a giant barrier to entry back then. Our in- house council was I think employee number eight or nine, which, most startups don't bring a full- time lawyer in that early, before the series A, I think. And so, when we started, it was a regulatory kind of gray area, but the good news was it better than telephone. There were a lot of doctors practicing medicine over the phone with no video and video's just better. Right? It's obvious. You can see more, you can diagnose more, you can see other maybe potential comorbidities. So, we certainly had our share of conversations with state medical boards and those weren't always as straightforward as I would've liked, but the point was like the app was secure. It was good doctor, good board certified doctors practicing good medicine. And we drew a bright line around anything that was just like legally regulatory and probably morally object, like prescribing controlled substances, which ironically is totally fine now post COVID. But back then, when there were rules, we went into great pains to follow them and it worked out for us.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. It's interesting how, as a product team, you got legal involved so early, just because of the constraints in your particular industry.

Adam Jackson: A hundred percent.

Eric Boduch: So I have to ask, I have a few friends in tech, who's have a guilty pleasure of watching Dr. Phil. Personally, I can't do it because for whatever reason, I find it stress inducing and I have enough stress in my life in tech as it is, but what was it like working with him? It had to be kind of interesting. He's a celebrity from... Just people just know him, right. He's got that fame in kind of the same way Oprah and had started out, right? That whole concept of a very particular niche where he's famous.

Adam Jackson: Yeah. It's amazing. I think he's sort of one of the last kind of great American celebrities in that. He was sort of born like Oprah brought him in. Right. And he was born into this television era when there was no internet. There was no YouTube, there was no fragmentation.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. I think of Dr. Phil and Judge Judy as like a couple of the last two.

Adam Jackson: Yeah. He was the only thing on, right. So he gets Superbowl like ratings basically every week. Now, I think it's impossible for any single person to capture that much of an audience, because there's just too many options now. Right. It's like you have all the YouTubers and all the TikTokers, and no one watches TV anymore. Right. Broadcast gets the lowest ratings compared to Twitter and YouTube and whatever. So it was amazing to work with him. I'm actually not a fan of the show either. I'll tell you a funny story. We would fly the team down to LA. I think they shoot on the paramount lot and we were going to do our first on- screen demo of the app. And I had the phone up AirPlayed to their jumbotron. This is back when like none of that shit worked. Right. It just, iPhones were terrible. And like the airplay stuff didn't work. And it was very, very nerve wracking to do a live studio audience demo of the app. But that was kind of the only, Phil and Jay were like, look, you got to show the people how it works and you can't fake it. Right. So you just, they're very genuine people. So, we had the phone all wired up. We had the doctor on the other end waiting to take the call from someone in the audience and the segment, they do like usually a two or three segment show. The segment before, the Doctor on Demand segment was this like insane spousal abuse, very morbid and sad. The woman was crying and it was just heartbreaking. And so me and the team are sitting in the front row and we're just like almost in tears because it's just this poor, awful story. And I'm just like, man, fuck. Why do we have to follow this? And so we did the demo and it worked, it was good. And everybody was super excited, but I'm like, yeah, this show can be a bummer sometimes. But look, he does great work. The last thing I'll say is like, he was like, I didn't interact with him directly a ton, but for a few years and he has the best work ethic, I think of anyone I've ever met in my life. And I have a pretty strong work ethic myself and he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke. He's like a complete, just focused on success, focused on making a difference, focused on changing the world, helping people and he just, he's a machine he's been doing that show for twentysomething seasons now. And he's just like, he's not joking around with you. Right. He's just like an NFL coach. And it was a little scary at times, but I have so much respect for him in his subject.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Talk to me about the impact. I see celebrity speaking at product and I've talked to some of the people that run them and they're not entirely sure how much that impacts attendance, but in your case, endorsement from Dr. Phil, Doctors on Demand, how much did that drive uptick in the application? How did he quantify it and how big was that impact?

Adam Jackson: So look, I don't think we would have been as successful as we were without him. I can categorically say that. I think our first three or 4 million consumers came from that channel. We did eventually wear it out. Eventually like you got to take insurance, you got to get... We signed Walmart and United Healthcare and Comcast and Home Depot to offer to their employees and their members. And it ended about three, four years in, it ended up a dual strategy, consumer and enterprise, and it turns out the better you are at one, the easier the other becomes. So it was a very controversial thing at the time. My board gave me a lot of shit about it. It ended up working. I wasn't the right guy to fully execute it. We brought in my friend Hill Ferguson who took the ball the next four year. I stayed very close to the company, large shareholders still. Now it's merged for the company called Grand Rounds. So it's kind of this like digital health giant now, hundreds of millions in revenue, but those early days, we couldn't have done it without them. It was, I think, a rare case actually, of a successful celebrity endorsement. And I've seen plenty of cases where it makes no sense where, you get Ashton Kucher to tweet about you. It's like, who gives a shit right? His audience doesn't care about your app.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Yeah. Well, let's talk about Braintrust because I think you're doing some really exciting things there and it's a different way of approaching a marketplace and a problem. So, well, first let's start about, what big problems are you solving at Braintrust?

Adam Jackson: Yeah, for sure. So, I'll back up a second and sort of like reveal the dirty little secret I've realized about web two enabled marketplaces. So think like from eBay, Yelp, all the way up to the kind of the gig economy companies now, the playbook for those companies. And look, I've been building them my whole life and investing in them. I know I've been part of the problem here and now I'm trying to be part of the solution. So the playbook for those companies is, you come up with an idea, you raise probably billions of dollars in venture capital. You use that capital to subsidize one or both sides of the network until you can build the inaudible, right. Gets lots of buyers, lots of sellers. And then you come out the other end with an investor owned network, right? Where does all that money come from? Comes from VCs and those investors then need a return. Rightfully so, right? They were the risk capital that took a chance. And so where does that return come from? Comes from the rake. And the rake goes up and up and up. By rake, I mean the percentage of every transaction that's taken by the company as a fee. And so when the rake keeps going up, the incentives between the users who make their living on the network and the folks who own and operate the network start to diverge, right. And you see this in the gig economy where the drivers on Uber complain about the cut, the dashers and restaurants absolutely hate DoorDash, right? They're just abysmal economics. And so, when those incentives diverged your network effects that were so hard earned start to erode. There's a now huge incentive to disintermediate the network and you've left yourself open for disruption. And for years I was trying to figure out what is that disruption going to look like? Right? Because I saw for years, restaurants hate Yelp, but they can't get off of it. Right. Or sellers try to go around eBay, but it kind of doesn't work and good luck getting around Uber. Right. And so then came blockchain tech and this idea of tokens replacing shares of stock in basically making the corporation, the profit seeking corporation obsolete, right? So instead of a profit seeking corporation in the middle that connects buyers and sellers creates a trusted place to transact and then takes a big fee. You have this network where people can just transact peer to peer and the fees are de minimis right? And so, stocks are profit return mechanism, profit extraction, and profit return, dividend mechanisms. Tokens are just trust mechanisms, right? There's no extraction. It's not a profit return. There's no dividend, right? It's not a corporate entity. So it's a totally different way of organizing people to connect buyers and sellers. And so to me, that was a big breakthrough with Ethereum, right? You could program a token to represent ownership and control in a network. And so this became sort of a token economic theory that I was looking to deploy capital into while I was a GP at Cambrian, the fund I helped start. And this is in 2017, 2018. There was really just nobody doing it. And so we decided, let's create what we're calling a user owned network and let's see if it can work. And our big theory there was that user owned networks would grow faster and become more valuable to their users than investor owned networks, simply because you can take that 30, 40, 50% rake, bring it to zero. And so that's what we did with Braintrust. And we had to pick a category. So we said, well, instead of starting with ride sharing, which is super hard and it's offline, let's start with connecting knowledge workers, like designers, developers, product managers with gigs, like super interesting freelance gigs, like building software for Nike or Goldman Sachs or Nestle or Porsche. So that's where we started back in 2018 and we've grown a pretty big marketplace in the last few years.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. So I have two threads I want to dig on. I don't know which one you want to talk about first, but one would be governance at Braintrust. And then second would be more about the market you're going after and how it's kind of the future of work. And what does that mean to you? Which one should we take first?

Adam Jackson: Yeah, sure. So maybe I'll touch quickly on the market and then we can do a deep dive on governance.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Tell me about governance because you're talking about this as like a community owned network or a user owned network.

Adam Jackson: Absolutely. So think about, let's just compare web two and web three, right old and new. So governance in a traditional web enabled marketplace is decided by the corporation, right? So if it's... We're all knowledge workers here. So let's talk about Upwork or Fiber, like disputes are handled by the corporation. Clients always win, right? We all know that. Fees are decided by the corporation and who bears those fees also decided by the corporation. Spoiler alert, talent always pays the fees and they go up every year, no secret. And if you're finding work on one of those marketplaces, you're giving away 20, 30, 40 plus percent of your income to this corporation and in the middle. And you have no say you, in fact, Upwork's terms of service and actually your work history on Upwork is their intellectual property amazingly. So, that's the old way of doing things. And it's not very friendly to the talent. And it's not a great experience to clients either. Right? Because clients now have to like trench through all these people who are trying to spam them just to get them off the platform. Right. There's that disintermediation factor again, which is a strong motivation. People bid super low, win the job, pull the job, the client off the platform.

Eric Boduch: Oh. And the costs are higher for the clients too. Right?

Adam Jackson: Exactly.

Eric Boduch: They end up-

Adam Jackson: Yeah. For every dollar they're spending, they're getting what, 50, 60 cents.

Eric Boduch: You can see that in restaurants and DoorDash.

Adam Jackson: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. So look, it's just like, it's the old way of doing things. It's sort of normal for us today, but it will go away. And so the new way of doing things is you set up, you get your talent together. You build software that connects them with clients. Reputation and work history are all built into the software. It's totally transparent. No one's trying to hide it. There's no walled gardens. Because you're owned by your users, you have no incentive to charge your users fees. So we take a zero rake from the talent and a flat 10% fee to clients, which is just meant to sustain the network. Right. It's just keeps the lights on. And so now what you've done is you've created this low fee marketplace where now very large and interesting and ongoing projects can transact on this marketplace. Right? So I'll just give you real examples. Porsche is developing in dash software for their cars as a gig on Braintrust. Now, and this is hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars a month being transacted. They would never pay Upwork fees for that, right? That job would never touch Upwork. And so, and great talent are never going to give a big piece of their income away to a marketplace provider. So by lowering fees, you've been enabled a whole new class of amazing transactions. And then, so look, where does governance come in? So it's one token, one vote. There are no shares of stock. There's no corporate entity on Braintrust. It's a nonprofit tokenized network just like Ethereum or Bitcoin. And the only way to get tokens is by helping us build the network. So invite talent, onboard talent, invite clients, onboard those serve as a community ambassador to help grow the talent network. Just dozens of things like help, spread your invite code. So people sign up and then when those folks sign up with your invite code and they start transacting on Braintrust, you'll earn a percentage of what they transact in the form of the Braintrust token. And so you start accruing these tokens in proportion to the amount of value you've added to building a network. And so that's how we've grown this quickly without any sales people, barely any marketing. We have like 20 people on the core team and it's like inaudible, we have now tens of inaudible people in our community that hold Braintrust tokens that have a vested interest in Braintrust, succeeding, because that's where they make their living. And then the way you upgrade the network or change the rules is token holders can propose something on our governance portal, say like we should get into video editing category next, or we should change the fee structure for clients or talents or some other, or we should change how payments work so people get paid differently. Any anything a corporation would decide can now be just proposed as a governance proposal by token holders and then voted on by token holders up or down.

Eric Boduch: Hmm. That's all really interesting. Now what's the corporate structure of Braintrust?

Adam Jackson: There is no corporation. Braintrust is a protocol on Ethereum. It lives on Ethereum. It is maintained and contributed to by dozens or hundreds of individuals in corporations that kind of make their... I have a company called Freelance Labs that is a software development shop and we do jobs on Braintrust. So we have a vested interest in helping build Braintrust. So we're a for- profit, our little company here in California, but the Braintrust network itself, it's a nonprofit. It's what we call in economic terms like a public good. So it's just like Ethereum, right? Ethereum is a platform for, a global platform for smart contracts. Uniswap is a global platform for trading tokens in a decentralized way. Braintrust is a global decentralized platform for connecting knowledge workers with gigs.

Eric Boduch: So leads to the other thread I was going to go down, future of work. What does it mean to you? I think I have some idea how you're going to answer this, but...

Adam Jackson: Yeah. Look, I think future of knowledge work, I think more and more broadly, future of most work is independent contractors. I think when you can keep all of the value you create on a two- sided marketplace, it can become sustainable for you to be independent. That's true if you're an Uber driver or a DoorDash or a UI designer or product manager freelance on Braintrust. I think we're going to see knowledge work. I'll just talk about knowledge workers because that's where Braintrust plays for now. I think we're going to see, well, we certainly already are seeing knowledge workers sort of unbundle out of corporate America. I think the Wall Street Journal's been calling this like the great resignation. This is where folks are like, you know what? We can all work remotely now. We don't need to go back in the office. And any company that tries to make us go back in the office is probably not going to retain their best and brightest. And so we can unwind out of these expensive cities that we never really wanted to live in to begin with. And we can do our work from where we want for whom we want at full market rates. And so we're actually seeing an influx. We have been seeing now since COVID at Braintrust of really skilled and experienced knowledge workers coming out of tech companies and being freelancers because it's a better lifestyle, there's more freedom. And they're always surprised they end up making more money too. And so this is the beginning of this trend and I don't see it reversing anytime soon.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. How do you think this, going down a whole nother rabbit hole, but impact on cities like San Francisco and New York, both remote work and the future of work, how's that going to impact some of these places?

Adam Jackson: Well, I think it's going to create this phenomenon where people can live, where they want instead of living where they have to, right. I'm from the Bay area and this is famously a part of the country where a lot of people live here because they feel like they have to, right. Because they have to be proximate to HQ and mountain view or HQ and Somac. And I think now like you can live where you choose and that means... So, I don't think it's going to be the demise of cities. It'll be the demise of San Francisco because San Francisco wants and is actively trying to destroy itself right now and it will likely succeed from what I can can tell, but places like New York. New York's a great city. People who want to live in New York will live there now, not because they have to. And then folks who want to live in a smaller town, and have that feel will have the freedom to do that. So I just think it's just better for society in general. It's just more autonomy.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Interesting. So community, how is that... I imagine this has a pretty big impact on how you're building product, right? You were just talking about some of the governance and the voting structure. It's impacting the Braintrust network as a product too, whether you just think about, well, however you think about that. So talk to me about how community has impacted the building of the product at Braintrust.

Adam Jackson: Yeah. So the early product was just kind of built by there's five of us, now six core teams that kind of all were just kind of chipping in. And we built the MVP, we got the MVP out there last year and now the last year, the story's been very much community driven. Right. And now we just, we just started decentralized the network last week. We're on main net now, Ethereum. And now it's like officially community driven. And so what's been cool about that is it's been not just like UI, UX, like good product managers are always going to get user feedback that way. Right? That's kind of like table stakes these days. Now it's like, Hey, what's the roadmap? Where are we actually going to spend our resources? So I'll give you an example. There's a proposal winding its way through governance right now in our Discord that a community member proposed. And we've actually never heard of this person before, just kind of a new person. And he said, it's a real bummer when you do a job for a client or you send the first invoice and they don't pay you and you go through, we have community led dispute resolution. So it's like, it's not... There's no company deciding who's right. Actually the community elects jurors and they get paid tokens to kind of adjudicate the matter, but let's say it's decided in favor of the talent, but the client just still doesn't pay. Right. It's actually super rare on Braintrust. But as we get bigger, it'll become a bigger issue. Right. And so this person proposed, why don't we build like a talent insurance fund? And so, you'll have this little pocket of money that gets set aside and we'll have to decide how it gets funded. But if someone ever gets stiffed, they'll be made whole here. And then there's other people talking about let's provide group health insurance and blah blah. And so, these are things that if we were some centralized corporation, we'd be like, eh, it's not really our business. And we'd probably just kind of move on. And now that's community controlled. It's like, okay, this is a feature that clearly there's community in support for, but the community's also going to have to vote and decide how it gets paid for. Right. And so it's kind of this cool dynamic of making decisions that are going to benefit all of those folks who make their living on Braintrust.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. It's interesting. So if you're a product leader out there listening to this podcast, and you're thinking about like all this stuff you're talking about, about the impact of community, what should they think about? How should they think about communities impacts on products? What can they learn from a community run product organization like you have there?

Adam Jackson: Well, look, I would back up and say incentives matter the most. Right. So think about, well, unfortunately, what can happen in some products is the incentive of the corporation that pays the product managers, may be divergent from the incentives of the community that use that product. Not always, right. I think there's products like Pendo, there's some really great products out there that, it's easy to keep incentives aligned because the more your community and your users love your product, the better your corporation does. That certainly can be the case, but not always right. What if a corporation is like, you know what? We're going to introduce three new paid tiers and we're going to chop out, we're going to slice out features and make this thing harder to use until we get you to the$ 900 a month tier. Well, look, the community's not going to like that. Right. You now have misaligned incentives. And so that makes the job tough for a product manager. Right. So it's like, oh, we don't want to like people off. So, I would say like, just do everything you can to get inside head of the power users and see like, Hey, okay. Maybe, if our job as a corporation has to charge more, what more value can we give and bundle in here that would make these people happy to pay instead of mad about paying. Right, because there is such a thing as happy to pay. So that's always been my north star, is get people happy.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. I think that's a great north star to have, especially if the struggle you have when you're talking about marketplace is who's your primary constituent, right? And some of the SaaS companies, it's easier. If your goal is to make product managers lives better, then you have to make them happy to pay, right. That you're making a big enough impact that you're taking a piece of that impact, and improvement on how they build, launch, manage and grow, scale, product companies. So interesting. So, we're talking about these new models, business and tech, how do you think it's going to impact how we build products and deliver value in the long term?

Adam Jackson: Yeah. I think, look, I'm a little biased here, so I'll start with that. But look, I really believe in this user owned network being very disruptive to invest your own network. So, I think the two can coexist on some level. I think the amazing thing about tokens, blockchain tokens is you can get your users and your community involved in ownership and control of your network via these tokens. I'll give you an example, right? So Reddit is rolling out ERC20 Ethereum based tokens on some of its sub Reddits. I believe the Bitcoin one and maybe like one of the video game ones or something. And these tokens are granted to folks who are like good denizens on those sub Reddits. Right. They contribute a lot. Maybe they help moderate. They're not trolls. Right. They're actually making the Reddit more valuable and they're earning tokens, presumably programmatically for those contributions. And then potentially someday like those tokens will have either cash value or utility on Reddit. I'm not sure exactly what Reddit's plan there is, but that's an interesting way of like, oh, you're now... Now your users have some skin in the game. Right. So I think all product managers who have vibrant communities need to start thinking about how to get those communities, to get some skin in the game and blockchain based tokens are just an incredible way to do that.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Yeah. That is interesting. I think it gives a lot of product managers something to think about, how they incentivize grow their communities and frankly strengthen their communities because this is a way to strengthen an existing community that you might have.

Adam Jackson: Yeah. I could build loyalty. Think about what Badging did, remember Badging like 10, 15 years ago. That was like the magic wand of all products was I'll just throw badges in. And it's like, okay, well that'll get you so far, but tokens are the new badging, right?

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Yeah. I mean it's beyond just that social credit so to speak. And you can think of Reddit Gold et cetera. And it's an interesting next step to some of that.

Adam Jackson: Yeah.

Eric Boduch: Well, this has been fun. Let's talk a little bit about you. What's your favorite product?

Adam Jackson: I love this question because it's so hard to answer and I kind of hate my answer sometimes, but it's Google photos has been my favorite product for years. I just think they've nailed it. It's the only good photo sharing and photo collection app out there in my opinion. But before that, I was a huge fan of Path. Do you remember Path? Dave Moore and social network, I thought they did such a beautiful job and so I just, I love elegant mobile UI.

Eric Boduch: Yeah. Yeah. So final question for you today. Three words to describe yourself.

Adam Jackson: So I would say in maybe in order, curious, passionate and impatient.

Eric Boduch: Well, thanks. This has been great. Appreciate it, Adam.

Adam Jackson: Eric, I'm a big fan of the podcast and it was a pleasure to guest and thanks for having me.