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Accelerating the Brand: David Bookspan, Founding Partner of Dreamit Ventures

January 21,2016

Why do some new businesses succeed and others fail? Dreamit Ventures has been ranked as one of the top 10 business accelerators in the world, and David Bookspan, Founding Partner, shares his insight into the role of the brand in growing early stage companies. If you like our podcast, please subscribe and give us a rating!

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Transcription

David Bookspan: Most fabulously successful companies are brands first. I think you have to build your company around the brand. It's never to early to start thinking about it.

Bill Gullan: Greetings, one and all. This is Real-World Branding. I'm Bill Gullan, your host and President of Finch Brands, a premier boutique branding agency. Here we are, January's in full swing. It is freezing on the East Coast, with possible snow coming this weekend. Back to the balmy days in December, when we recorded the interview that we are going to express to all of you today with David Bookspan, who is a lot of different things. Recovering attorney, he'll take you through his career journey. Two important things to note were his role as founder and currently board member of Monetate, as well as a founding partner of DreamIt Ventures, which is an accelerator for early stage concepts that has had a profound impact on the entrepreneurial scene in greater Philadelphia and beyond.

Seems like we've really been focused on start-ups with the last couple of interviews, and One Big Ideas, etc. but at Finch, our business is obviously broader than that. Thinking about brand and as it relates to business concepts, it's so interesting when you think about the start-up community, and there's just so much oxygen around entrepreneurship these days, in higher ed, and certainly well beyond that. We want to make sure that start-ups and idea driven ventures are well represented on the roster of Real-World Branding guests and topics. Enjoy, David Bookspan.

Bill: We are here in the wonderful, chaotic, crazy, innovative, fun, high energy headquarters of DreamIt Ventures, with David Bookspan. Thank you for your time sir.

David: Thank you Bill.

Bill: Our pleasure. What an environment this is. The energy level in this part of Philadelphia, and certainly here in these offices is palpable. Tell us a little bit about, where we're sitting, and what this all about here at DreamIt.

David: We're in the heart of the innovation neighborhood in West Philadelphia, at 3401 Market, on the second floor. Right now, the offices are a bit quiet because we're between sessions. The last session of DreamIt just finished up, and a new one will begin in March. This all came about through the Science Center, Drexel, and DreamIt, coming together to locate an innovation hub and headquarters here. Prior to this, we were located in other offices in the Science Center, for each of our Philadelphia cycles. We also have operations that we run in New York, Austin, Texas, Tel Aviv, and in Baltimore. When we came together with Drexel, we decided to make 3401 our world headquarters.

Bill: Terrific. It's a great boon to this region, and obviously all the entrepreneurs who come through here. Let's move backwards a bit, into what has been an amazing journey of a career for you. Could you tell us a little bit about the major twists and turns that have led us up to today.

David: Sure, and you're kind, thank you. I started out, my professional life, as a lawyer. I was a litigator for 15 years.

Bill: We need more of those.

David: Not according to Shakespeare. I had an idea for a business, that was based upon a need I had in my practice, where there was information, which was obscure but important that I needed in my practice. I looked around, was sure somebody was providing it, but nobody was, and I decided to launch off with my partner, Mark Pankhurst, who was a technology guru. MarketSpan was the fourth company that Mark had founded, and I learned at his side.

Bill: Wow, that's really cool. I think you have indicated you're a recovering attorney in your bio. Bachelor undergrad, typical Liberal Arts guy, or was is more directed?

David: Psychology major, but yeah, pretty typical liberal arts guy. I chose a major that doesn't have a thesis, and I was fine.

Bill: Fair enough. That's sometimes the way to do it. How did you get from there to law school, was it a fairly obvious thing, or did it hit you one day?

David: Yeah, I decided that I was going to embark on a career as a film producer, so I went to law school.

Bill: Perfect, right?

David: Yeah, exactly. Between college and law school, I took a year and a half off. Part of that journey was to Los Angeles. Met with a very famous, and very charming producer, Arthur Hiller. He was the producer of great romantic comedies, like The In-laws, and Outrageous Fortune, Plaza Suite. A whole bunch of great romantic comedies in the 80's and 70's. He was kind enough to meet with me and he said to me when I told him that I thought that I wanted a career producing film, he said, ‘Well, there's two ways to go about it. One is, I can help you get a job in any of the movie houses right now. You'll start in the mail room, cause they want you to know where everybody is and who everyone is. You work your way up after about six months, you'll be a system producer, or associate.’ I forget which one it is. That's basically running coffee.

‘Then you'll take the next step up, which is a little bit more hands on. Then the rest of your career is based upon your own talent and achievement. Or you could do what I did.’ He said he went to law school and he flunked out in his first semester. My take away from that, of course, was that the way to become a very successful producer was to flunk out of law school.

Bill: Sure, so you went to law school. You've got to go first.

David: Yeah, exactly.

Bill: Contrary to the intent, you made it through.

David: Yeah, I had the misfortune of doing well.

Bill: Yeah, right. Darn it!

David: At that point, fairly typical in the 80's, from a middle class background, you follow the path of least resistance. If you do well in law school, at least at that time, the market certainly has changed, at that time you do well in law school, and a lot of law firms are throwing lots of money at you. It's hard to resist.

Bill: From that springboard in law, and a need in your practice, moved you into the entrepreneurship realm. MarketSpan was first. What are some of the stops along the way? Obviously Monetate is one we're going to spend some time on. Could you tell us kind of the steps up to here?

David: Sure. In terms of the personal journey, I started MarketSpan. We released the product commercially on September 1, 1997, and sold the company in June of 2000. If people remember what happened later in 2000, a lot of people think that I was really, really smart, but the truth was I went kicking and screaming to the closing table. I didn't want to sell the company.

It turned out real well. After that, I sat on a bunch of boards, including the company that acquired MarketSpan. Did a bunch of consulting, but really spent a lot of time trying to make up for lost time with my kids. I was at every doctor's appointment, every parent-teacher conference, every sporting event, and just had an absolute blast. Around 2007, I was doing some advising and things along the way, and I had an idea for what turned out to be the germ of Monetate, but no where near what it turned into. Also, Mike Levinson came to me with the idea of DreamIt Ventures.

At that point, my older son was already out of the house, so I went to my younger son, Jesse. What I said to him was, I said, ‘Jess, we know what I'm like when I'm starting a company. I know what I'm like when I have customers. I know what I'm like when I have employees. I can't say it would be any different this time around, than it was previously. I don't have to do either of these, or I could do both of them, or I could do one of them. What do you think?’

Jesse said, ‘Dad, after all these years of all Dad, all the time, I think it's a great idea.’

Bill: That's funny. At what point did the entrepreneurial bug kind of grab you?

David: My friends would say from the very beginning. One of my early entrepreneurial ventures was when I grew up in Westchester County, New York. We had a lot of snow and we did the winters there. I had a business, shoveling walks, shoveling stairs and walkways of the houses in the neighborhood. My friend and I, we would go up, knock on the doors, and we'd have the shovels and the ice choppers, and the salt and everything. Lugging it up the stairs to somebody's house, and ask if they wanted their walk cleared.

After we negotiated the deal, our third friend would come along with a snow blower. That was probably among my earliest entrepreneurial ventures.

Bill: Find a better way, manage more. You were the neighborhood kid, do they exist anymore?

David: Those kids still exist, thank God. Those kids are wonderful. I love them.

Bill: Everything would be clean. Leaves would be strewn all over the place [without them].

David: We have people far more creative than that, who come through DreamIt, and who I have had the privilege of working with in all of my businesses.

Bill: Right. Indeed. You mentioned the germ of the idea for Monetate. For those, the uninitiated, Monetate is an incredible personalization platform for leading brands. Tell us about, the vision for it, the operating thesis, if you will, and how Monetate became what it is today.

David: The vision for it has been consistent throughout, which is helping brands create fantastic experiences for their customers, one experience at a time. The way we evolved to that, was that I had an idea for something, which didn't work out along those lines. David Brussin and I co-founded Monetate, and Lucinda is the one who introduced us. The current CEO of Monetate is the person who introduced David and me. She served as the original, independent board member. She was the third member of the board.

Bill: A referee.

David: Yeah, exactly. After she had introduced us, David and I started kicking around an idea that I had. We killed it off pretty quickly, because it was dependent on large companies. We needed to get access and content from large companies in order to do it. It was all based upon the information that came across in the browser session and what we could do with that information to create a great experience for different brands’ customers. We killed that pretty quickly because we realized that we wouldn't be able to get it to market in any time frame that was acceptable to David and me by working with the big brands.

David came out of a company that had built technology that David had invented, which was truly brilliant, in terms of stopping spam at its source. Before it ever hit the server of the company. At that time, spam was a huge problem. That company was called TurnTide. Lucinda was the CEO of TurnTide.

Bill: All fits, doesn't it?

David: Josh Kopelman was the chairman of TurnTide, and David was the founding CTO of TurnTide.

Bill: I like that name. I always liked the name TurnTide.

David: That was a huge success. They spun it out from another company privacy group, and 6 months later, they had sold the company to Symantec.

Bill: Yeah. It works.

David: Yeah. It worked really well. It's one of the terrific Philadelphia success stories. David's experience in e-mail, led him to think about the germ of what we had been talking about, in terms of how can we use the information coming across in the browser session to create a great experience for different brands’ customers. He thought it would have great application in retail.

We started testing it with various customers. Testing it in concept, not so much in build. We decided that there was something there, and decided to green light it. David and I started working, basically full time on it in October of 2007. We launched the company formally in January of 2008. We built a prototype. Got our early customers. We're fortunate in the Philadelphia community to have great support from early customers, like QVC, PetFoodDirect, and Urban Outfitters. Fantastic early customers, RevZilla. That really launched us forward.

At the time, we probably were a little ahead of the market. We had various detours along the way. Until the market started to catch up with us. And it finally has. Even with all of the great success that Monetate has had, the future is unbelievable, in terms of where the market is catching up to the whole personalization concept.

Going from testing and targeting, which is where we tucked in originally, and had our initial success, but the path all along for Monetate has been personalization. Creating that unique individual experience for every visitor, to any brand’s digital platforms.

Bill: It certainly sounds like the right idea, at the right moment. You mentioned early on, that your exit from MarketSpan was fairly well timed. Now, when Monetate began, little did we know, 9, 10 months later, the world would change. For you all, bubbling through that, was all of a sudden demand choked or not? How did it feel?

David: I love starting companies in bad economic times. Seriously, I do. Largely because if you can navigate your way through that, you're incredibly well positioned when the market strikes. Our biggest challenge then, was to be cash conservative.

We understood and David as CEO, I think made some exceptional decisions, in terms of how to manage us through that. We started slow. We worked really hard on making sure that our customer experience was spectacular. Both in terms of the UI/UX, the user interface, and the user experience for our customers, as well as the impact that it had on our customers’ customers. Then we used the time very effectively to basically nail it.

We kept our burn very low. We worked very closely with the customers we had. Luckily, our customers were able to weather the financial storm of 2008. Then when things started to pick up, we were on the rocket ship.

Bill: That's terrific. In your own career, and sort of moving us back into the name of the podcast, Real-World Branding, in your own career, as well as all the counseling you do with entrepreneurs, what's the right level of thinking about the brand, for early stage companies, or for concepts that are sort of still coalescing?

David: I think that most fabulously successful companies are brands first. I think you have to build your company around the brand. It's never to early to start thinking about it. A brand, it's fundamental, it's the promise of an experience.

Apple, one of my favorite companies, is really a lifestyle brand, it's not a technology company. Obviously, it's a technology company, but the reason that it is so valuable and the reason that people are such fanatics about Apple products, is because of the experience that they deliver. Something like the Nest thermostat also. Everything from packaging, to the presentation, to the experience itself, it's all very brand conscious.

I think that, getting to the subject of the podcast, I don't think it's ever too early to start thinking about brand and to start building it. I don't think you can fake it. It has to be an authentic brand that's built around an authentic experience.

Bill: One of the things you mentioned, PetFoodDirect. We spoke recently with Brock. One of the points he was making is, we're up here near Drexel University, which is obviously involved in this, and teaching folks to think through and understand some of the functional excellence's that drive entrepreneurship and company formation. Brock and I were talking about how we do notice that there are some folks who are kind of white space entrepreneurs. One of the challenges I think that we identify, with some folks, not to paint to broadly, but you have to have a ‘why’ to your point.

Sort of the point of departure for the business has to be some sort of identified righteousness, around ‘this could be better,’ or ‘let's do it this way.’ When you think about the profusion of entrepreneurial education and the systems, and the structures that exist like DreamIt, to help channel and accelerate that in entrepreneurial ventures. What's the difference between intuition, or the role of intuition and depth of feeling on one hand, and sober market analysis and structural business building on the other? That was a meandering question. Did it make any sense?

David: I think I followed it, or at least I can take it in a direction. I think that fundamentally what drives people to create great companies, is a passion for people. You can be looking at anything that goes on during the course of your day, and think, ‘How can I make this better?’ Not necessarily for yourself, but how can I make this experience better for other people.

I don't think intuition plays a particularly large role in that. It might provide the spark for a thought, but the fundamental decisions have to be data driven. I like to quip that I'm the market for zero products. That has served me well because I don't want to hear what people think.

Bill: I love that.

David: I don't want to hear that. I want to see what people do. The first thing I advise entrepreneurs to do, is to sell it before you build it. Take the idea, whatever the concept is. Take it to your customers. See what the reaction is. You don't need a product in order to do that. You can do that with wire frames. You can do that with mock-ups. Now a lot of this is in the tech business, which is where most of my business is. The only time you're not burdened by legacy code, is when you don't have any code.

If you think you know what the market wants, and you're building it without having that validated, you are going to have trouble. Even if you're ultimately very successful, and navigate your way to what the market really wants. You're going to have a tremendous anchor that's going to be holding you back because of all the things that you put a lot into before then.

Fundamentally, find something that you think really will make people's lives better. Understand what that market is, and go talk to that market. Then build quickly, and start the continuous iterative process of launching, learning, and then releasing.

Bill: If you go to someone and say, ‘Wouldn't it be great if you could, or I could, or we could blank.’ If they say, ‘Yeah’, then the process of delivering against that becomes obviously critical. It's critical the whole time, but then it becomes sort of linear and yeah, that makes sense.

David: You found something earlier, Bill, which is you don't want to hear the, ‘Oh, that would be wonderful.’ Cause when you talk to people about an idea that you're thinking about starting a company around, people are just generally very polite. They'll say, ‘Oh, that's wonderful, that's great, of course I would use it. I don't know how I've lived without it.’

If you can really dig down deep, and figure out a way to make it a real experience for somebody then see what they do. One of the things that we advise DreamIt companies to do is, to see how much you can learn for little or no capital.

Spend intellectual capital before you spend financial capital. Can you buy adwords that will validate the underlying theme? For a couple hundred bucks you can see how that theme resonates with a broader audience. You can actually see how many people click. Things like that, where you're not dependent on people, or even a survey, or a focus group, where there's all sorts of other pressures that influence people's behavior.

Bill: Well as a firm, Finch does a lot of sort of structured and formal custom market research. One of the challenges always, to your point, drawing the distinction between sort of reported and observed data that the costs to a focus group participant of saying, ‘Yeah, I'd buy that and spend eight million dollars’, is zero. You're not making them write a check, and so you need to build question constructs, or find a different way to observe the way that people are interacting with ideas. It's fascinating. It makes perfect sense.

Along those lines, we talk about brand, we talk about product development, we talk about the role and the sequence of this. You said earlier, when you were talking about your younger son, the preparation that you gave, that if dad is going to get back to this world, you know how I am. Obviously evoking or expressing something that you're passionate about and the way you behave when you have one of these concerns that are going. What is the role of passion around this? Product development has to be excellent, you have to be a strong marketer and seller, you have to go through, you have to raise money responsibly, and all these different things, control burn. Talk about the role of passion in business success.

David: Yeah. I think passion is critical to any business success. Passion I think is, what gives you the fortitude to persevere when times are bad. In the good times as well, it's got to make you feel good. What you're doing has to be fun. Otherwise, you don't get through those rough patches. I think that passion, as I said earlier, passion for people, I think is essential. Passion for improving people's lives is essential, and then passion for the mission is what motivates you to success.

Bill: When you see entrepreneurs who come through DreamIt here, obviously focused on different categories, with different ideas, different products. Are there common denominators of the kind of barriers and hurdles, some of which may be structured in obvious business building processes? Which maybe emotional or psychological, are there any common threads of experience that you see that maybe the types of hurdles that entrepreneurs through this experience and in general, will need to surmount if they're going to be successful in the way, that perhaps their concept gives them the right to be?

David: Yes. I think that, first of all, I've been very fortunate in my career to be able to work with people who are way smarter than I am, and way more capable than I am.

Bill: Don't believe that David.

David: It's really true Bill. If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

Bill: Right, or you're alone.

David: Exactly. The confidence to be able to surround yourself with people who are better at anything that you set yourself to do, than you are in some aspect of the business, is something which I think does mark a successful entrepreneur. Certainly the successful DreamIt entrepreneurs.

Also, the lack of fear of failure. Nobody wants to fail. Failure can be a great motivator, but it can't control you. I frequently quip that after I sold my first business, I became a whole lot smarter. After I sold MarketSpan, I became a whole lot smarter because I didn't have the fear of getting fired, or the fear of financial impact. Being able to say that I'm making this decision, not because I'm afraid of getting fired, but because it's the right decision for the company, is incredibly liberating. That is a common denominator.

All of the DreamIt entrepreneurs, both academically, as well as in their life – we have had Grammy winners, we've had Olympians, we've had unbelievable successful people – the academic credentials are much better than any that I ever have achieved, or could have achieved. A lot of Ph. D's. Unbelievable talent, unbelievable education, but in terms of the leadership components of what they do, the really successful founders are the one's who are not afraid, who have confidence, but are also humble.

Bill: We’ve spoken to many folks on this podcasts over the past, almost a year, not quite, and there seems to be … when we think about life stage, you are refreshingly atypical of some folks. We talk about Nick Bayer, who is across the hall in Saxbys, he did it early, no kid, maybe even single, no spouse. The cost of failure, set it in quotation marks is different.

Then you see folks who parlay success in something, into something else, but you're somebody who, right in the throat of that career litigating, decided that you wanted to do something else. All of the risks associated with that, all of probably the nights of terror associated with that. Could you speak about perhaps, you had responsibilities along the way, you talked about that? Once you had achieved success with MarketSpan, you were able to go back and make up for lost time with kids, and sort of ride that period. Talk about your own life, as it relates to choices, and fear, and risks, and all of these different things.

David: A lot of people give me way too much credit for, perhaps being brave or courageous, when I don't think of it that way. My decisions may have been naïve, but I certainly don't think they were brave or courageous.

In that, I figured that I had a very marketable skill, and I was a relatively good lawyer.

Bill: You could always go back, right?

David: Yeah. I knew the kids would get fed, they'd get educated, and the mortgage would get paid. It might take me a while to dig myself out of debt if things had gone poorly, but this wasn't courageous. Courage is on the battle field, and for people who overcome much greater obstacles. Perhaps naïve. It wouldn't have been fun if it had failed, but it was not that much risk.

Bill: It's what we would call a ‘first world problem.’

David: Yes, exactly.

Bill: That said, you're humble and thoughtful about this. You talk about path of least resistance, so maybe courage isn't the right word, but the awakening at a certain point when you're on that path, when you're 12 years into a career as a litigator, or progressively successful career that, maybe on some level you knew that wouldn't satisfy you until the end of days. There was a u-turn for you.

David: Yup.

Bill: Whether brave, courageous, may not be right – you're not fighting ISIS, but at the same time that's ... Was there a shock to the system? How ... I sort of asked it a couple different ways, but do you recall the moment where you're like I want to do this, I want to zig instead of zag?

David: Yeah. To a certain extent, it was sort of an opportunity that I didn't feel I had to do. I liked being a lawyer. I really liked my cases. Every case I had, I had to learn a new business. I was working, again, with, the constant in my career has been incredibly smart people. My partners were unbelievably talented and unbelievably smart. That is an incredibly invigorating environment to be in.

I had the support of my ex-wife at the time. I had the support of my kids, in going ahead and starting MarketSpan. It was really just sort of thinking it would be fun.

Also, going back to my partner, Mark Pankhurst. He was one of the greatest guys I've ever met. He's my best friend today. Just the ability to be able to learn with somebody like that, seems like it would be fun.

Bill: It certainly has been. Baseball guy, right? You a baseball guy?

David: I have a bit of a baseball problem.

Bill: Do you? Where are your loyalties, if I may ask?

David: Now I'm going to get in trouble. I grew up as a Red Sox fan, and I still am.

Bill: From Westchester?

David: I lived 10 miles from Yankee Stadium, as a Red Sox fan.

Bill: I was going to say. That's tough.

David: I could only afford bleacher seats when I would go to the games. Of course I would go to Yankee stadium for the games. Wearing my Red Sox cap in the bleachers of Yankee Stadium, was an early test of character.

Bill: It's where you learned to box. Right?

David: I learned to run. The most humiliating experience I had was opening day of the 1979 season.

Bill: Bucky f'ing Dent.

David: You got it. I was sitting in the bleachers. The Red Sox were opening against the Yankees, in Yankee Stadium that season. This really beautiful woman about 3 rows ahead of me, turned around at one point and just showed me her t-shirt, which said, ‘And Yaz popped up.’ That was it. For people who don't remember how that game ended, that play-off game ended with Jim Rice on third base, and Yaz at the plate. Yaz popped up to third, Greg Nettles squeezed the ball in foul territory and that was it.

Bill: That was it. You couldn't ask her out after that. That's a shaming.

David: Yeah.

Bill: The Sox are spending a lot of cash here, if they want to. They seem to have this horribly surprising last play situation, write some checks, and then they're back the next year. I wish the Phil's were. Optimistic for the men of summer?

David: I wish I could be more optimistic. I think that the Phillies still have a lot more to do.

Bill: Here they do, certainly.

David: I'm impressed with what Dombrowski has done, in terms of the Red Sox's team. I'm not a big fan of spending that kind of money.

Bill: That's true. The price is high. It's not your money but still.

David: It's 7 years. Even for somebody as great as David Price, who I think is fabulous, to spend that kind of money is ... I'll be singing a different tune, when they're playing in October but as of right now, looking at it from the business side of it, you need a hell of a return in order to get that.

Bill: Great new first base coach, right?

David: Great new first base coach. Unbelievable.

Bill: Hey, it's history. I want to get down and wear the uniform.

David: Although I'm a Sox fan, I have season tickets to the Phillies.

Bill: Good seats available.

David: Yeah. Now there's really good seats available. It's one of those wonderful things, where our seats have been too good to give them up. Which is why we continue to be, my syndicate continues to be season ticket holders.

Bill: Even while a losing baseball season, that is obviously a losing season, gets pretty boring after July, if there's young players out there. Just the overall experience, particularly here in Philadelphia, with the stadium and the food. Summer without baseball, no matter how bad the team is, I can't even imagine.

David: The first game of the season for anybody, whatever your individual first game is, just walking into the ballpark, and seeing the green expanse of the field is to me, a transformative moment every year.

Bill: Yeah. No, same here. Growing up as a Phillies fan with ... I was 7 in 1980, which was great, and 10 in '83, but then there was the meaningful kind of gap. Then in '93, out of no where ... Makes you think, if you walk in and everyone's 0 and 0, you never know.

As we wrap, and this has been terrific, and thank you so much for your time and insight, and all the things you've learned, and how deeply you feel, all of this is palpable. Any other words of wisdom for those who've been inspired by your path, maybe that we haven't hit on. Things that are either important to the curriculum here at DreamIt, or just important to you as a business person.

David: Yeah. I would hark it back to make other people's lives better. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, who are better than you at what you do. It's like that thing, inverse of that Saturday Night Live skit that use to be on the affirmations. ‘No, I'm good enough.’ ‘I'm smart enough.’

Or another take on that is Will Smith's commentary about when he was on the Tavis Smiley Show. Which I do use many times when I talk with people about innovation and entrepreneurship.

Bill: Local guy as well.

David: Terrific local guy.

Bill: Doesn't get back probably too much.

David: Here and there.

Bill: Got a part in the Sixers, right? Small part.

David: Yeah. I understand he owns somethings around Philly as well. He said there's two things that will happen. He said, ‘You may be smarter than I am, you may be better looking than I am, you may be sexier than I am, but there are two things. If we get on a treadmill, you're getting off first, or I'm going to die.’

Bill: Perfect. It's true. Everyone has what one has, but you can control the amount that you work, and how much you care, how hard it is. David Bookspan, very inspirational. Grateful, for obviously all you're doing for this region, and to nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as what you share with our listeners today. Thank you so much.

David: My pleasure, Bill. Thank you.

Bill: Many thanks to David. What a passionate, interesting, obviously smart person, who is a great asset and resource for entrepreneurs in this region and beyond. His thoughts about the role of the brand, and the passion in business building as driving forces, as people figure out things about product and channels and everything else are tremendously valuable. Thanks to David for his time and insight, and for all the work he does to help nurture the entrepreneurial community in this region and well beyond.

Three ways, as always to support us at Real-World Branding. We'd love a review, if we earned it in the app store of your choice, we'd love it if you'd click subscribe, so you don't miss a one of these. Every two weeks, we do an interview with a brand and business builder. On the intervening weeks, we do what we call, One Big Idea, which is more of a focus topic, shorter form. We really enjoy all the time we spent with various folks, and helping us think through some of the lessons of their careers, as well as, our ability to think through some of the things we're seeing, as we're serving clients, and helping them accelerate profitable growth, and activate the full potential of their brands.

The third way to help us is to keep the dialog going here. We would love to hear, and we've so enjoyed hearing from listeners, primarily via Twitter @BillGullan or @FinchBrands. Ideas for future guests, future topics, questions to ask those guests, as well as just general feedback. We're not quite a year into this. Our skin is thick. We're trying to provide as much value as we can, and we're having a heck of a good time doing it, so we appreciate feedback of all types. We want this to be as valuable as it can be. Signing off. Huddling down for warmth, with snow on the way. All best from the Cradle of Liberty.

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