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And I think you're seeing the full hybridization of fire overnight and it doesn't go away once you create this kind of access for people. I think this is going to fundamentally change the way every school delivers its products.
It's a matter of how the pandemic has changed everything, how we shop, work, socialize, travel, every daily interactions being upended and redefined.
And with the school year just a few weeks away, that same critical eye is now being turned on. Education questions abound and people wonder, will education and colleges ever return to normal?
A better question might be what is the new normal look like for education, for higher education? K through 12? Can we do better? Or is this an opportunity to fix problems with higher education that have been with us since its creation? Some skeptics think that the traditional university model will simply go bankrupt over the coming years or that classrooms will be forced to transition completely online. But as with most things, it's not just black and white. There's many gray areas.
And in those gray areas we find hybrid models for learning part time, part in person, some online, some remote, a weekend here, a week there. These are the new models that are going to define education. It's not the faceless eLearning of the past. Instead, it embraces the Internet as well as in real life meet ups when they're warranted.
These new hybrid models of learning are being pioneered by a company called Too You, led by CEO and co-founder Christopher Chip Pasek to you, helps leading universities create online degrees and experiences that change lives to.
You got started 12 years ago during the 2008 financial crisis. But Chip's journey through the world of educational companies began long before that. His first venture was called Cerebellum Corp. It created educational learning content before the Internet. He worked with a number of creatives. Their names you might know, like TJ Miller and Kerry Washington, who would go on to become household names. While that company might not be a quote unquote success in the eyes of some, it helped build a wealth of experience as an operator in the education space.
It also led him through working on a senatorial re-election campaign and becoming CEO of a startup responsible for revitalizing the Hooked on Phonics children's educational brand. After all of that chip with the founder hat back on and helped launch to you in today's interview, Chip and I talk about his journey and his work to you. You'll hear about a daily ritual to you employees do to build culture. How Chip was one of the first customers of their product offering and the new types of data and insights they're bringing to the world of higher education.
Education is changing faster than ever before, and its future might just be hidden in plain sight. Enjoy today's interview with Chip Pasek, the CEO of To You.
This season of Hidden in Plain Sight is brought to you exclusively by our friends at Splunk. The Data to Everything platform Splunk helps organizations worldwide turn data into doing its time for data to be more than a record of what happened.
It's time to make things happen, learn more it's function or by clicking the link in our show notes.
Chip, welcome to the show. Thrilled to be here, really happy to be with you. Same, and it is an exciting time for the world. It's a tumultuous time, a lot going on, social unrest, the pandemic. So I just love to get a kind of read on where you're at. What are you up to and how is everything in your world, Chip?
Well, I mean, it's been 20, 20, certainly been extraordinary. So everything from clearly the the pandemic and the impact that higher ed has seen. And then my personal life, my my son, my oldest high school senior class of twenty twenty will certainly be a class that will be remembered. And now he's heading to college for the first time, right midst of what is clearly a very complicated pandemic. So pretty extraordinary. But all in all, I have so much to be thankful for and can't complain.
The company is doing great. My family is healthy and so we go on from here.
It's an exciting time for to you. And many people now are just becoming familiar with the company outside the world of higher education. But this is something that you all have been at for almost a decade now. So I was curious if you could walk us back to the origins of the company and your involvement. I would love to hear that story.
Well, actually, it's been 12 years. So over a decade when we started, the company was me and a small group. We believed that the world was ready for high quality online degrees. It was a bit controversial at the time that people, the great schools, really weren't doing anything online. And so people thought that the ideal was a little crazy, to be honest. And, you know, fortunately, we didn't let the skeptic win. That's one of our guiding principles.
And we we kept pushing ahead. We really believed that the world was ready for something great. If we could get the will of a great institution behind you and convinced a couple of great schools, first USC, then Georgetown, then Chapel Hill to build with us some high quality online graduate programs. And then 12 years later today, we're doing this at a scale that I think most people have. And what I think is kind of funny is we've been doing it a long time.
Just an example. We just passed eight hundred thousand classes, inception to date. So like, you know, two hundred and forty five thousand students, a large number. And I feel like right now a little bit of the conversation and higher ed is almost like people think we just all invented the Internet. It's all brand new and that's not the case. We've been doing this really, really well for a really long time. And I would tell you that when you do it well, you get not only the quality to be as good, but I think you can argue it's better than the campus program.
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And there's a lot of conflict, I think, going on in higher education, whether it's fear of what's the future hold or a lot of different people have the mindset like, oh, fifty percent of colleges and universities are going to go bankrupt over the next ten to fifteen years. Like that's a paraphrase. No. Yeah, that's paraphrasing a recent quote from a Harvard Business School professor. And I think what's interesting about a lot of this kind of fear mongering around higher education is nobody's really holding themselves accountable.
So like they might make this sweeping statement now. But I don't think a lot of people are going to be following up with this professor over the next 10 to 15 years. So you're a skeptic about this quote, I would love to dig into why are you a skeptic and what is the future of learning look like in higher education space?
Well, first of all, there is so much need. So one of the things that I'm proud of about our founding us, about the founding of the company, we were really going after what we thought was a big problem. And I think what's great about startups is you have an opportunity to either disrupt an industry or fix a pain point for people. And we really believed that this was a very big pain point. And so, you know, I think we've proven over the last 12 years that if you do it really well, you can create something fantastic.
It was hard. It took a lot longer and it was a lot harder than we expected. But, you know, I believe there is so much need for quality, higher education. That the notion that that 50 percent of the schools are going to go out of business, I just I just don't fundamentally think it sinks to the the sheer level of need for the world. And you've got great universities being much more responsive today on things like relevant skills.
So you take out the boot camp side of our business. We offer the largest boot camp programs in the country from all great universities to 30 different great university clients offering super relevant programming to help somebody reskill themselves or upscale themselves to get a new job. And that kind of response, I don't think was in Clay Christiansen's mind when he gave you those quotes, when he gave the quotes, those quotes to the world. But look, you're going to see some consolidation, no doubt.
You'll definitely see some schools closed that that candidly, we're on the edge of closing. But I think those that are responsive to relevant programming, affordable programming will win. And I think the innovation that we're seeing in our partner suite would be indicative of that when it comes to some of your partners.
You know, you brought up USC, Georgetown, Chapel Hill, some of the early partnerships when you were forming those partnerships, executing on them, and then you created these online master's degree programs. Were there any big data takeaways where you discovered data about how students learn online that kind of ran counter to the industry norm or what people think of as like the status quo? Yeah, I'm curious, after you got those master's degree programs running, what type of data did you discover and how did that kind of like open up the team's eyes to the opportunity at hand?
Well, the great thing about being online is you do have a tremendous amount of data you just don't have access to in the classroom. So and we're constantly analyzing it to make sure that we're doing the best we can for the students and noticing, even on a per course level where with intercourse engagement might drop so that we could drive a better quality product with that particular part working with our school. I mean, some of the things we saw in the early days that that became very important go forward were that you could really create great relationships in the online environment.
We thought that the synchronous sessions created a level of intimacy that you didn't typically see in online education. I think that's very relevant today. So the way we run our programs into the sort of intimacy between students and faculty and students and fellow students is a big part of what makes it a compelling process. And also hold your feet to the fire a little bit, because no back row was our early model or our sort of tagline line. And if you think about what that tagline means, we're really pulling students from the back row, putting in front and center.
And you can do that with a really high quality online program in a way that at times can be difficult with a campus program. Ultimately, I do think that whether it be analyzing per student patterns of engagement to drive higher quality engagement and of course, on the business side, we saw that programs were much more regionally based, even though they were online than we expected in the early days. So that really appeared and drove a whole series of business decisions over the first three or four years.
The data architecture is a key component of how we run the business and how we support our our students, our faculty and our university partners. So when it comes to your data architecture, there's this industry term about dark data, meaning that this is the data that organizations are currently collecting, sitting on or could access very easily. But for whatever reason, they're just not getting it. When it comes to the new business model, what type of data do you kind of bring to light for your partners that they couldn't have found on their own or maybe they just were too focused on what they're doing to find it?
Do you ever bring to them data and insights? I mean, I'm sure you do on a pretty regular basis. But what are some examples of data you bring to them that currently they just had no idea about any big stories there?
Yeah, well, I think I mentioned a moment ago that, you know, on a course level, as you track engagement and you track how students are are moving through the content. An example of something we saw is that engagement really does drop. If you're if you're in a recorded video and you go past, let's say, around 10 minutes, you want to keep your chunks of video.
Short engagement is much higher. So that's an example of net promoter. Wars are something that I would say most of our university partners did not deploy, so surveying your students on a continual basis to understand how they feel about each part of the program, whether it be the content, the faculty, the tech, the support they're receiving. So we're pretty obsessed with net promoter scores internally and to you and we use them to run the business. So using that data to not only organize the program, but organize the actual product itself and make it more responsive.
There's no question that the data orientation inside the company has really helped the programs thrive. Sure.
And when it comes to online learning at large, a lot of critics might say, OK, engagement or the community building aspect of these programs is something that still has yet to materialize. What are your takes on this and how do you go about building community and the online world or an online master's degree program?
Well, we now have master's and bachelor's programs. And I do think the community that we've been able to organize the grad level is probably more robust than most online programs.
So if you look, we did a survey with Gallup that we thought was the final nail in the coffin of whether online could be as good. We think it shows that across all these different survey metrics that online can be better than the campus program. And ninety two percent of the students said that if they could do it again, they would. So we were quite pleased with that. And part of how you get there is is really driving high quality community engagement and you have to be intentional about it.
So intentionally creating the right curated path for students when you flip the classroom, creating engaging moments for the students to be together, whether it be in break out groups or in assignments. So the number of times where we had small group projects when I was in the MBA that I took, that was powered by two, you know, tremendous amount of opportunity for you to engage with your fellow students and then also doing it in a representative way related to the brand in all of our programs were very intentional about really bringing the university's brand to life.
So an example from my MBA program is one of the first courses you take, one of the sections of the first course, the orientation course you learn about what a Tar Heel was and people people don't know what a target is. And so and they did it in a very funny manner where they interviewed the faculty. So. You know, that kind of engagement is really important because as a new student to the university, you're super excited to become part of this great university culture that's been around for 250 years.
Like, you know, the great education experiences of your life are when you were part of something bigger. And I do think you're intentional about how you organize online that can really work. So we work at it. The pandemic has created some challenges because we have a lot of physical things that our students do together, believe it or not. So we historically have set people to a variety of physical immersions where they might go on a weekend and go either to the campus or go to a different city and come together.
So we've been doing those virtually in the time of covid.
So creating opportunities for students to engage both with one another and with faculty and with great alums. One of the benefits of the online environment, you can bring alums in from anywhere. They don't have to make the trip. So you're able to engage alums in a really meaningful way.
That's really exciting, bringing all the stakeholders together like that. And if I read correctly, you took your first business course when you were in your 40s. And I love that you took the MBA that your company created. Could you tell us a bit about why you chose to go that route?
So I was a liberal arts major at George Washington University and it totally changed my life. I I can't overstate the impact it had on me as a human being.
So one of the reasons I love what to you does is we bring access to great universities, to people all over the world. And I find it incredibly, personally meaningful. And my liberal arts background gave me, I thought, a great sort of foundation of critical thinking of basic reading and writing. I still believe today are a fundamental part of who I am. And as I got out of college, I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug and I started my first company and ran that company for a long time.
And that led to a whole series of additional business opportunities. And I would say I'd never taken an actual business course post college until well after college. And we were onboarding our B school and I started getting really intrigued at the idea of doing it myself, had to convince both my wife and my board that I was not technically insane. So my wife in particular, running a large startup is not a nine to five gig. So fortunately I was able to make it work.
And I do think it proves that. My experience does prove that you can fit it into your life in a meaningful way. And ultimately, it was awesome. Took me a long time to be clear. So it took me a little under five years to navigate through the program. But I kept at it and I learned so much and met incredible people and I became a Tar Heel. And I really do think that the bonds that I have with the school are just so meaningful.
And I didn't do it because I wanted to talk about it on press. We know, to be honest, when I was in the program, I didn't want to do press because it was so damn hard that I didn't want there to be any risk that I was talking about it. And then at some point I drop out of the program. That's not a win. Sure, but I made it and I did pretty well in the end and did better in courses that I would say like accounting, that, you know, aren't what I studied, not where I come from than I expected.
So it was a real confidence boost for me in some of the places where you don't immediately feel as powerful as you do, maybe like the public speaking courses, the strategy courses, the marketing courses. I do felt like I brought a lot to those courses, whereas, you know, accounting and analytical tools and some of the some of the real quantitative courses did really stretch me. But I tell you, I loved them.
Yeah. And thank you so much for sharing that part of your journey. I think that's really interesting. And if we back it up a little bit more to that first company, Cerebellum Corporation, and the program that you produced there called Standard Defense, I'd really be curious to know what did you what was the inspiration for creating the educational technology or the educational content, really? And what did you learn throughout that process of building the company and creating the programming?
So that was my first love. So we really believed way back in the day that this makes me sound a little bit like a dinosaur because this is all pretty well. But we believed that you could really create a more compelling learning experience if you injected humor and you made the topics more approachable. And so we had this idea of embedding comedy into. Different types of courses, and we created what was first a video series and then eventually a PBS show, and it was called Standard Deviance and it was basically middle school, high school, college courses, all taught by a group of really fun people, actors, comedians.
And, you know, the show is great, to be honest. Like still today. It's still pretty funny. I mean, it's now you know, I made some of these shows in the 90s, but when you watch it even today, some of the stuff is really fun. And we created a super engaging way for people to learn complicated subjects. You know, the deep fried world of organic chemistry. You don't normally hear organic chemistry in the deep fried world of connected.
So definitely I would say the show did well enough, like in the year 2000 TV Guide and Today Show named it is the top show for kids. And we sold something on the order of five million DVDs. So it's hard to talk about it as a failure. But ultimately, after about a decade, we did sell the company and not for for any sort of positive story. If the Internet existed, we would have had a much more obvious distribution channel.
You know, the web didn't exist yet. And so the way it used to work is you put stuff on TV and then you would sell stuff and you're selling stuff in a very indirect way. So it made it really difficult to make the business model work. And ultimately, you know, one of my harder days as a CEO was I had had to lay off something like seventy five percent of the company in a day. And so I always say about to you, to you is my second venture backed company and my third CEO stint.
And I would tell you that, you know, I it's been a it's been a big success, but I so I appreciate it maybe more than others do because I had to go the other way. And you kind of lived through 10 years of sweating away at your at your company and it's your baby and you end up ultimately shutting it down. The tough way to go. But if I could take the one big lesson from those early years, if I could put my 50 year old into my twenty two year old, I turn 50 this coming Christmas Eve, I would tell you that it's the power of focus.
You know, I did way too much back in the standard deviance days and the company can only handle so much activity. Everything's going to be harder than you think it's going to be and it's going to take longer. And so ultimately, you can kind of die under your own weight if you try to take on too many things, even if there are other good ideas. So when we got to when we started to you, I won't take credit for the the story of to you.
There's too many people involved and too many incredible people. But I will take credit for the early years of keeping us super focused on what we were doing, which is build the world's best online degrees. Now, much later in our history, we ended up diversifying the company. But in those early years, I think that core focus was really critical.
And there's two things I'd like to focus in on here. The first one, I think, is the transitional period. When you went from cerebellum to, you know, to you psychologically, that is a really challenging thing to go through, right.
Investing so much of your heart, your blood, sweat and tears for a decade and then having to, you know, step back and look at the results, which when I hear that selling five million units of a DVD, that's a learning focus. That's an extraordinary accomplishment. And. How did you get through that period, transitional period of your life psychologically and kind of rebuild your mindset?
I don't get asked that very often, interestingly. So so I didn't go right from standard to two of you. Important to note. So I ran a US senator's re-election campaign, which was a wonderful Barbara Mikulski is right. So that was she had given me my first job out of college and I got to know her pretty well. And so what I was still working for her. I started the first company and as I left to start it, she became a small investor in the company.
So I stayed in very close contact with her.
And ultimately, when we when we shut the company down, she was running for re-election and she asked me to come set up the campaign. So I became deputy campaign manager for her, was the only employee of the campaign for a while. And then eventually we ended up hiring a full team. And so it was kind of, you know, campaigns are in some ways like a startup with a very different product, obviously. And then I got recruited in to run a startup within a public company.
We acquired a brand that was very well known but was failing. And it was called Hooked on Phonics, which you probably heard of. And we relaunched it as a retail product and that went well. And then I left that four years later to start to you. So I did have some time between standard events and to you I needed to do something entirely different. And the campaign was a wonderful way for me to really just jump full headfirst into something that I cared about passionately, which was getting Barbara Mikulski re-elected.
So it was a really good departure for me. But I would tell you that most entrepreneurs don't make it work on the first go. You know, you read about the Mark Zuckerberg and that's that's incredible. What what what people like Mark or Elon Musk or some of the some of the big names. But many entrepreneurs don't make it work on their foot. First go. And, you know, there's also a bit of the sort of narrative of the 20 year old founder, the young founder, you know, with a with a new startup.
And most founders are actually in their 30s, 40s and 50s, the average age of venture back founders, closer to 40 than most people want to want to talk about. That's right. It doesn't fit the narrative as well. But so little tread on the tires, a little experience out there in the world. You know, I think what for people coming right out of school, I actually think it's much better to go work someplace and cut your teeth at a larger company to study the sort of discipline and the way they do things and learn and then jump into the startup world.
I started to you when I was thirty eight with two kids and fortunately had a wife that would support us with her income. And so, you know, unfortunately this one worked and continues to bring an incredible amount of joy to me and to many people.
So my advice to the entrepreneurs listening is you just got to go for it. There's never the right time. There's always a reason to sort of push it off. But if you've been bitten by that bug, you kind of got to scratch that at some point. I love that. And the other direction I wanted to explore with you is that I think you've gone about building to you in a rather unconventional way. And an example might be, I believe when you IPO the company, there were only around eight or so clients.
Correct me if I'm wrong here. I think the standard wisdom might advocate for, oh, you have to get this many clients or that many clients. But this might be a testament to how deep the partnerships you're building are. I don't know if you can comment on that at all, but walk us through some of the unconventional things you feel that to us done as a company.
Well, we did IPO. We did a little under one hundred million. So one hundred million is normally the number. We were at eighty, eighty ish, I think eighty four. And we had a reasonably small list of clients. But the way the business model worked is we invest heavily in each one and we felt like the company was ready for it. We felt like we had the right team in place to do it. We did think and still strongly believe that being a public company is a much better place for our partners to believe in the company, that you're kind of in control of your own narrative and your own mission as a public company.
And our partners in general are very happy with the way our employees approach. The schools, and I think that starts with my board and my management team creating the right culture, and so, you know, in the end, could we have waited a year? Sure. But we felt like we were ready and we went for it and it worked out pretty well.
Yeah, it really did. And with the pandemic and everything now, I feel like you had such a track record that you were really well positioned to continue to lead during this time, where I'm sure a lot of the messages that you're getting now from potential partners or people in the industry are kind of themed along the lines of like, well, what do I do now? So, yeah, I would be curious to know what type of messages are you getting from the higher education community and what are some of those conversations like?
Well, there's no doubt that higher ed is going through one of the biggest crises in the history of higher education and online education has gone from a bit of a sideshow to core in a matter of months.
So we're seeing the kind of conversations across our entire portfolio that we've really never seen before.
I think our scale and our ability to run these programs successfully is even more important to our partners right now, given that they have some challenges on campus and we're working on a whole variety of new opportunities to help them grow in the online world.
So we are certainly in real demand.
Would you go about building culture, revitalizing it, keeping it fresh inside to you? What are some things that you're doing during this age of remote work to keep people close together?
So we do one thing that seems to be working for us pretty well. That is is a little complicated, but it's called the Daily Dose of Team Time. It's 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time every day, specifically put at 11:00 a.m. so that our team on the West Coast, that it's not too early, but for our team in Cape Town, that it's not too late. And so it's it's 15 minutes. It's optional and every day is different. So you've got some days I bring on a students, some days I bring on a faculty member.
This morning on this morning's edition, we we saluted all of the folks that had the highest number of lifetime students that they've served. And so everyone is slightly different. Sometimes it's some have a little bit of a fun appeal. Some are motivational. So we normally get like this morning we had about four hundred people on Zoome. I hosted it. So it's alive and it's, you know, it's just an optional time for us to come together and remember that we are a community and they've been pretty popular.
So people like knowing even if they don't come every day, they like knowing that we're doing it. We normally get between one hundred and three hundred people each day. We had Valerie Jarrett on our board and we had like a thousand. Right. So there are some that we have more people on. But I think it's a really great way for the company to stay connected to the mission, for the people to stay connected. The at times just have a little bit of fun.
So every other Friday, the 11:00 a.m. is a dance party. You kind of have to see it to believe it, right. Randomly. One of our one of our admissions counselors is also on the side, a great DJ. And she keeps and she she comes on and really just blows everybody away. So, you know, you got to keep it real.
That's really fun. And yeah, I would I would love to see that. And then also, if you have any joke writers from the old days of standard dance, it might be fun to kind of incorporate them however you can if you could write educational jokes. Wow. You're you're a talented joke writer.
Yeah. Yeah. I think the writing staff was really good, taking a subject like calculus and making it approachable, smart, but had a bunch of people that were in the standard shows have become really big deal. So it was the it was the first show of Mike Birbiglia or Silicon Valley. And then the biggest celebrity was Carrie Washington. Oh, well, Senator Evans kind of was the first start or some pretty famous people. So we were probably doing something right.
So cool. And education focus question. I would love to jump into a lightning round where we can kind of unpack a little bit about who you are and maybe talk a little dolphins'. I don't know if we have enough time. We'll see. Last education question. So according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this is on July 10th. They said that about sixty two percent of colleges and universities are welcoming students back to campus. Twenty one percent are planning a hybrid model, and only eight percent of institutions will start the fall online only.
So this is still it's not just early days in terms of shifting to a hybrid model or online learning. It hasn't even really started yet. Does it feel that way for you? And where are we at in this kind of genesis of education being real world only to being a hybrid or online model?
I think you're seeing the full hybridization of fire overnight and it doesn't go away once you create this kind of access for people. I think this is going to fundamentally change the way every school delivers its products. It's a matter of how. So we found the schools that fully embrace it are really going to win. Our simmons' partnership, which we announced a couple of months ago, is off to a great start in the fall. It's just been fascinating that in the fall their numbers are looking really good and we think it's because they fully embrace that they're prepared, they're leading instead of following.
And it makes me very proud to see. So I do think that that this is going to create fundamental change.
I couldn't agree more. So when it comes to sports, are you a football player or you just enjoy watching the game?
Oh, it's funny.
It's funny you say that yesterday we were at a friend's house and played to and touch in their yard. Me, my son's this this friend of mine from college and his his son's. It was super fun, but it reminded me how woeful I am at actually playing. I love it. But my my 19 year old or 18 year old just schooled me.
So but I love I love it because you didn't have cleats. Let's be honest. I didn't have to. But it's the best I. I'm a huge fan.
I attend as many Dolphins home games as I possibly can. I fly in for most of them if I can go. I have great seats. It's certainly part of who I am. So unfortunately, the Dolphins have been very good for a long time, but. But I still love it.
So favorite dolphin years was a seventy two. Seventy three. Or were there a couple seasons that you think are underrated that more people need to know about.
Eighty four for me. So seventy two. I was two years old actually one year old so I was too little.
Gotcha. So what was so special about the eighty four season. Was it just like when you were coming into football you got the world on fire.
Set the touchdown record with forty eight touchdowns. Put that in perspective. That was back when you could, you could just pummel the quarterback, pummel the receivers. There was basically no pass interference. You had to really mug somebody for it to be pass interference. So is a very different era of football and no one had ever seen anything like Marino. I mean, Marino in his heyday right now would throw six plus touchdowns. So so eight ninety four, which is the for me now, unfortunately, we go to the Super Bowl in eighty in eighty four and we lose to the forty Niners.
So still today I have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder about the forty Niners.
All good. Chip, when it comes to learning that you're doing on your own, you're a graduate of an MBA program, but what about nontraditional things? Is it books, podcasts, talking to other smart people? How do you try to structure some of your self directed learning now?
I think actually I can find Twitter. I know people love to to jump on Twitter, but I find that I'm able to stay very up to date on what is happening in my industry and things that I care about by being particular about who I'm following. There are some great followers on Twitter and then, you know, pretty voracious reader of of business and trade publications just to stay up to date. And then at night I try to I try to read a completely unrelated novel to not focus on work for a little time period.
And so I'm not the best sleeper. So I find that if I if I read a novel in the wee hours, I can also read myself back to sleep. So right now, I'm not sure if this is the best choice.
I'm reading Stand O Stephen King. Pretty dark, but happens to be about a global pandemic. Right. So I'm really enjoying it, but maybe maybe a little closer to home. Sure.
When it comes to other novels or business books. Do any come to mind that have really inspired you throughout the years?
Yeah, I just read you dog. I really liked it. The story of Phil Knight, I oh, it's a great book. It's like a page turner right now. If you haven't read Bad Blood or if there some reads like a page turner. And then my favorite book probably ever is Watership Down The Rabbits.
And I've never felt more connection to the The Down.
How wacky is it that it's about rabbits? But yeah, it's great. So I like fantasy, science fiction, that kind of stuff and of the world stuff. Apocalyptic stuff. I enjoy reading. Yeah.
Shout out Watership Down. Thanks for bringing that up. I remember in the moments crying as a child, but that's fun stuff for sure, Chip. When it comes to final pieces of business wisdom or life advice, what advice do you think is really applicable right now? Maybe you learned it from a mentor or it's just something that's top of mind. Any final thoughts that you want to share with our listeners to help keep people motivated and focused on what's really important?
I mean, right now is a great time to start a business. I know it sounds crazy because the economy's rough, but like we started in twenty and the world was in a pretty rough spot and so ultimately may have been the best time to start the company. We obviously didn't know it at the time. But so I think if you've got a great idea, if you've got an idea you love and you're passionate about, you really got to go for it.
I have a very close friend of mine right now starting a company. It's very early stage and it's been fun to advise him to help him figure out how to put the pieces together. There's nothing quite like it. And then on a personal note, I would say that my favorite my favorite tag line personally is every day is a holiday. It reveals a feast. Unfortunately, we tend to only care about this kind of stuff when we've had a tragedy of some kind to remind us how special life is.
And every day that we're able to continue on in this crazy world is a special day. You just kind of have to figure out how to remember that when you wake up in the morning, it's hard to do because life gets to you. But if you can remember it, you're a better colleague, you're a better father, you're a better spouse. So I always try to keep it front and center.
So every day is a holiday of these powerful words. Thank you so much for being generous with your time and everyone listening. We'll see you next time.
No problem. Jen, great being here with you. I'm Sophia Bush, and you've been listening to Hidden in Plain Sight from Mission Egg. This podcast is sponsored by our friends at Splunk, the Data to Everything platform. In today's data driven world, every company, big or small newworld, is sitting on terabytes of unused, untapped and unknown data. Splunk helps turn all that data into action. Using cutting edge AI and machine learning, Splunk delivers Real-Time predictive insights that will help you on your mission to change the world.
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