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Michael Meyers: On Work Ethic, Startup Burnout, & Making Change At Acquia & Tag1


44 min 04 sec
Published on July 1, 2023
Michael Meyers
Michael Meyers
Managing Director at Tag1 Consulting
Michael is the Managing Director of Tag1 Consulting, a global team specializing in crisis management and prevention, scalability, high availability and security, infrastructure design and management, and full-stack development for web applications.
Piyush Poddar
Piyush Poddar
VP Sales and Partnerships, Axelerant
With over 15 years of sales experience in digital services and having hosted exclusive Agency Leaders Dinners for CEOs globally, Piyush has taken his penchant for engaging digital change-makers online with “Humans Behind Digital Experiences (DX),” an Axelerant Podcast. His goal is to host an uncommon conversation that goes deeper than the platforms big organizations run on today, to a level that’s more personal—more human.


I interact with people all the time. And I deal with myself. You know, I think that if I could go back Piyush, and do some things over again, I think I would have gone to school for psychology.

Piyush 0:15
Hello, I'm Piyush Poddar. And you're listening to Humans Behind DX Podcast, where I talk to leaders from Digital agencies and organizations delivering awesome digital experiences. And today, I'm going to talk to Michael Meyers, Managing Director at Tag1 Consulting. Welcome, Michael.

Michael 0:37
Hi, Piyush. Thank you so much for having me.

Piyush 0:39
So why don't you tell us who you are?

Michael 0:41
Wow, that's a... (laughs.) Start from the beginning, I guess. I grew up on Long Island in New York, just about 30 or 40 minutes outside New York City. My parents and a lot of people in my family are educators or teachers. I have an older sister, who is amazing and has really helped me, you know, get to where I am, you know, with a lot of support. And she has two amazing daughters that I love. Really great nieces. I recently got married, I had a pandemic wedding, we had to, you know, cancel our actual wedding plans, but have a really unique story, you know, we got Zoom-married. So, you know, trying to make the most of a difficult time, but, you know, I think we're doing okay. And recently, I spent most of my life in New York City and had the opportunity to live in many cities around the world, but spent over 20 years in New York City, and recently moved to the Southern Berkshire mountains, the Southwest corner of Massachusetts, and we live in the woods, and it's just serene and beautiful. I never thought I would live outside New York City, and certainly didn't think I'd be living in the woods. But we fell in love and, you know, are excited to make this our long term home.

Piyush 2:12
Awesome, that's lovely. And you know, if anything, at least, one good thing that this pandemic has done for a few people is bring them closer to nature.

Michael 2:21

Piyush 2:22
Now, let's look a bit about, look at your professional career. I know you have, you know, worked with some great companies, you know, and well done amazing products and developer teams and stuff like that. But I would really like to hear out from you in terms of how, you know, maybe start with, you know, post-graduation, you know, your first job, and then, you know, which were the main pivot points, and how did you reach here, where you are today.

Michael 2:58
I want to go back just a little bit further real quick. I've always been really motivated and driven. I think that some people work to live. And, you know, for whatever reason, I have always lived to work. It's been a very fulfilling and exciting part of my life. You know, even in high school, I had a job, I ended up working for the school district and system. And I would install closed circuit and cable TV systems throughout the various different buildings. And, you know, I was making almost $15 an hour and this was, I don't want to date myself, but well over 20 years ago. And, you know, I mean, I was, you know, two floors up in a genie, you know, like a platform that goes up and down with a hammer drill longer than my leg, you know, going through brick walls, totally unsupervised breaking, I've imagined a large number of child labour laws. And, you know, so I, you know, I really, I really enjoyed that and, you know, got more interested in in television, and ended up going to school for television and radio and you know, the same thing, you know, in school, every summer I had a job. My first summer I worked in New York City for this guy Judson Rosebush, and he was you know, one of the early computer graphics pioneers. His previous company you know, did Tron and pretty much every major computer graphics and effects in the 80s. And, you know, was a paid job, you know, got to work on. This is like the CD ROM days. I even on a three quarter inch floppy disk for CBS, the broadcasting company did like an interactive schedule. And, you know, during semesters, I went to Ithaca College and they had these great programmes where you could go to Los Angeles for a semester, and they helped you get connected with companies and where everybody was doing internships, I got a job for a company called iNSCAPE, a video game company, a startup, and was helping them product manage Tales from the Crypt CD ROM, this is like the missed days where you could like, you know, advance to a place kind of spin around in a circle and then advanced somewhere else. So by the time I graduated college, I had, you know, years of experience, you know, more experience than most people had, you know, three, four years out of college. And so, you know, it was really, you know, it gave me, you know, great opportunities. Michael 5:35 The first company I worked for, was called eXtraActive. And they had another company called, what was the name, it was a hosting company, I can't believe I can't remember the name of it, but they, you know, the reason I wanted to work for them is because I graduated in '98. And, you know, almost every webpage out there was static brochure where that that really did nothing, it was very, very simple. And I did tonnes of searching, and they were building interactive applications, like an intranet for like a major financial company. Whereas like a client, you could download, you know, perspectives, information, you know, things that today are, like, you know, dead simple and common. And we were building on top of Lotus Notes. And we were like, the first Lotus, you know, Notes, whatever five thing to write. And they, you know, they knew what they were doing, you know, they from day one, they were building a framework on top of Lotus Notes to cut out applications for customers, as opposed to building each application from scratch. And, you know, we worked really hard, crazy long hours, and at night, you know, they would play with their own startup ideas. I had my own startup ideas that I was playing with. And eventually they said, you know, clients suck, they're so difficult to deal with. And they, they took one of their ideas, and they said, we're gonna, we're gonna do a startup company, and they let everybody go, that they didn't think was a top performer, they kept a small group of people. And they launched a company called Afternic, which is still around today, I believe it's owned by GoDaddy. And we pioneered the market, the secondary market for domain names, you know, the idea that you can sell a domain name to somebody, and the original concept for the company was to create an, you know, an auction platform for intangible goods. And the first product and what we ended up only doing was domain names, you know, what is it worth, you know, it's, you know, it's very abstract. And I was a project manager, and I managed the development team, I did a little development. I remember, Christmas, one year, I implemented a chat application, like a chat room. I mean, they were, you know, they really indoctrinated me into the philosophy that, like, carried me through the rest of my life, which you could summarize is work your ass off. I remember, you know, staying in the office one night, because I, you know, I only live like three, four blocks away. But I was so exhausted that I literally rolled myself up in carpet insulation, because it was freezing, and slept on the floor. They were the embodiment of, you know, the startup culture. And it was this amazing experience, you know, just absolutely brilliant, wonderful people, you know, that push each other so hard. And in 18 months went from idea to acquisition by register.com, which at the time was the second largest domain name registrar, had just gone public and was flush with cash. And they acquired us and it was, you know, this this amazing moment in my life, where I said, Oh, my God, like, I want to do this. You know, and, you know, the hubris of youth, you know, believing that you could do anything, I went out and started my own company. And it was called NowPublic.com. I co-founded it with a friend from the, you know, that that startup I mentioned, and, you know, the idea was citizen journalism, you know, we pioneered the concept of crowdsourcing user generated content. And, and citizen journalism. The idea was that, you know, you could take a camera phone go out and broadcast the news live from the scene of the event, we wanted to disintermediate the the media industry, news industry. To give you a perspective, the only camera phone available in the States at this time was like a little Sony phone, and you had to like get the camera separate, and attach it to the bottom. You know, and so, you know, these are really early days. And I remember, you know, I remember pitching investors saying, you know, we're gonna build a billion dollar company, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna be the next CNN and I believe this with every fibre of my being And I think you have to, you know, I think you have to, you know, really believe in yourself and push yourself. And we, we ended up starting this on Drupal. And, you know, the reason we picked Drupal was because there were a lot of modules out there, you know, I went to friends, and no one would give us money, because they said, you know, we're not going to invest in an idea. So come back to us with a prototype. You know, you know, so we went off, we leveraged Drupal, we built a prototype site in three months and launched it. And, you know, because of all the modules and capabilities of Drupal, you know, we were able to take camera phone photos in and all these things. And I went back to these angels, and they were blown away, you know, they just couldn't believe what we were able to achieve in such a short period of time. And, you know, now, this is like, commonplace, but, you know, back then it was, you know, it was revolutionary, we ended up raising, you know, over $12 million, grew it to a top 500 website, sold it, you know, for a profit to the clarity Media Group, which owned Examiner.com. And I took over a CTO of Examiner.com. And we rebuilt it on Drupal, and grew it to a top 50 website, you know, it was bigger than the New York Times, you know, as far as news is concerned, from a traffic standpoint. And then I took a little bit of time off, you know, I was really, I was really burnt out. And, you know, the acquisition was not an easy experience, and we hadn't earned out and you know, the the acquirers made it extremely difficult to achieve that earnout. So it was a very adversarial relationship. You know, I was caught between my investors, you know, who said, you know, you don't, you know, make us more money, we're, you know, we're gonna make sure you never do another startup again, you know, we'll never give you a reference. You know, and on the other side, were, you know, these, these, you know, executives that acquired us, who said, you know, we're gonna play a shell game and constantly changing the rules, you know, try and make it impossible for you to be, you know, successful on that front. And so, you know, is a really, really stressful time. You know, and at the end, I, I decided to take some time off and try and figure out where I wanted to go, because, you know, you nothing tasted as good anymore. Like, I loved building applications. I, you know, but I had been through to successful startups, I built the top 50 website, I was like, What the hell else is there to build? Like I, you know, I was, you know, I'm a problem solver. You know, I want to sink my teeth into something I want to take on a really hard problem to solve. And I just felt like, you know, what is there that I haven't done on the web front? And, you know, Dries approached me and because, you know, he was an advisor to not public and, you know, we made major contributions to Drupal. You know, Examiner launched on Drupal 7, six months before the release, you know. Nathaniel Catchpole, catchword for us. He was the number one contributor to Drupal 7, we contributed probably, you know, 25-30% of Drupal7, you know, and Acquia, probably, you know, another 20%, you know, define the model by which 7 was released that 8 and 9 have followed. So, he approached me and he said, Look, you know, Drupal 7, has really, you know, seen a lot of enterprise adoption. But there's this problem, you know, that he's talked about many times the tragedy of the commons that people just download and use Drupal, and they don't contribute back. And so, he said, how are we going to get companies to make an investment in Drupal, and he said, you know, I want you to come on board at Acquia should work for me, and I want you to solve this problem. And I was like, holy crap, I have no idea how to do this... (laughs.) And, and he was like, I don't even know if this is a solvable problem. And, and that, you know, really energized me, you know, I, you know, the idea that, you know, that this might not be solvable, the idea that no one had solved it, you know, and the opportunity to do so, you know, energized me again, and came on board and, and we created large scale Drupal, which was an initiative to engage, you know, executives, technology executives, that our clients and, you know, really tried to engage executives at technology companies in, you know, working with each other, you know, we tried to show we created like it, you know, executive forums and conferences in the hopes that, you know, if we could foster collaborations with each other, you know, they would be willing to form you know, basically an informal strategic alliance and we had some success, you know, We got companies like NBC Universal and Disney Interactive, you know, who are competitors to come together and make strategic investments in, you know, things like content, staging, you know, the ability to preview content on a different set of servers and environment and push, you know, different scenarios live at different times. But, you know, we, you know, we raised millions of dollars, but But we, we looked at the problem, and we said, in order for this to be successful, we need to raise 10s of millions of dollars, and I, you know, I didn't see a path to reaching that order of magnitude, you know, certainly not in the timeframe that we needed. And so, we, we pivoted, you know, we turned large scale Drupal into the customer advisory board at Acquia, you know, you know, these relationships with these executives, to help us with our products, you know, and to better help them. And, you know, Acquia at the time, you know, their success has been selling to the C suite, you know, to executives, and, you know, I think competitors, like Pantheon have done an amazing job of winning the hearts and minds of developers. And, you know, so, you know, Acquia was losing deals, you know, in certain scenarios, because of that, and, you know, they wanted to, to address that. And so we started, you know, a developer, you know, relations programme, for the first time, we launched a development products group, did developer marketing. And so I took all that over and worked there for a while, five years. Time flies, and, and then, you know, took a little time off, and that's a theme in my life, you know, I work really, really hard to the point of burnout and, and then need to take like, a year to recover. And it was great. You know, I did, I put together a list of things and did everything on it and play golf with my dad every day, pick my nieces up from school. It was it was a really wonderful time, and enabled me to kind of do some of the things that I had long neglected, and get a little healthier. And I put a lot of weight running around the world for Acquia and working such crazy hours.

Piyush 17:07
Right? Yeah.

Michael 17:08
And, you know, I was kind of back where I started, you know, I didn't you know, for the first time in my life, I didn't know what I wanted to do. And then you know, that I always knew what I wanted to do. It was never, you know, and, you know, maybe it was the start of the midlife crisis. I don't know, I'm in my 40s. But you know, I really had to step back and say, like, what do I want to be? Where do I want to go? Do I want to stay in technology anymore? Is there something left for me to do? You know, I've held so many different roles. But, you know, I did a lot of marketing and sales at Acquia. And thought, you know, look, I my heart is in startups. I want to go back to, you know, doing startups at some point. And, you know, I went up the, you know, I was the CTO of a top 50 website. But you know, what, if I wanted to be the CEO of my next startup, you know, I need to have a lot more sales experience. And so, yeah, I, I just called around to different friends to get advice and say, you know, what, gosh, what do I do with myself? You know, where do I go from here. And Jeremy Andrews, and I, the founder of Tag1, Jeremy and I had long been friends, I hired him at NowPublic and Examiner, brought him in Acquia. You know, many of my former employees worked with him. And he said, What do you mean, what you should do? You should come work with me. It's a no brainer. And I got off the phone. And I was like, Man, you know, and at that time, I had like one or two other opportunities. And I was, you know, trying to figure out, like, should I take any of them and I called another friend, my best friend, and I was talking to him, and he's like, he heard what I was saying. He's like, you know, oh, Jeremy is such a good friend. I love everybody on the team. I learned from them. They're so brilliant and amazing. He's like, you realize what you're saying? Right? Like, like, listen to yourself. Like, the choice is obvious if you could hear yourself. And I was like, wow, yeah. And so I went, I went to work with Jeremy and the team. And it's been, you know, two or three years, you know, it's very different to be on the agency side when I was at, you know, Examiner, you know, my phone was ringing off the hook, everybody wanted us to buy something from them, you know, everybody wanted to work with us. You know, then you go to the sales side, and I saw this at Acquia. And, you know, nobody picks up the phone. Nobody wants to take it. And it was, it was a little psychologically rough at first, but you know, you get used to it. And, yeah, it's been great. You know, I just, I just love the people Tag1. They're, they're so brilliant. You know, we get to work on really interesting projects, and they've, you know, reinvigorated my love of applications.

Piyush 19:48
Lovely. No, that's, that's, you know, really a very interesting story. I mean, you know, you can easily see all colors of that, but what really shines is that you're really a solver, a maker kind of guy. Rather than, you know, go out, you know, work job, make money. And I mean, obviously you need those things for, you know, to continue, but at the same time, and I was actually going through your profile, Michael and you know, something interesting. A recommendation and you know, this really speaks of you know who you are. And this guy said that when a developer dreams of a boss, he dreams of Michael. This is amazing, right?

Michael 20:34
Yeah, especially who that's coming from? You know, yeah, of course, a really amazing individual. So that meant a lot to me. Yeah, I had the good fortune of working with amazing people, you know, so that, you know, just I don't know, if it's just been timing or what. But, you know, and, you know, that's again, why, you know, Tag1, I surround yourself with amazing, interesting people. And you'll learn and you'll have fun, and you'll, you'll enjoy your time. And that's what you want work to be, you know, we spend, I spend more time with, with my work family and colleagues than I do with my wife and daughter, and, you know, so it's, you know, you have to, you know, I can't do anything that I'm not extremely passionate about, which is a blessing and a curse. Because when I start to lose interest, I lose motivation. You know, I have to, I have to be passionate about something because of the, the effort, it takes the toll it takes.

Piyush 21:35
Okay, so now let's, let's switch gears, and let's look into the current. So this was kind of a past, looking into the past, and you know, the journey that you've travelled. And now let's look at the current images. Tell me tell me about you know, something you are working on this year, you know, any major goal anything big you try to accomplish this year? Or maybe, you know, a crucial challenge that you are faced with and you try to solve it? Because I see that you are really a maker, a solver, a closer. Do you want to share something about, you know, maybe a challenge or something big that you are something crucial that you are working on?

Michael 22:22
Yeah, I'm a problem solver. I love to solve problems and love things apart and see how they work. It drives my wife crazy. She'll, like she'll say something like, Oh, you know, like, you know, she's, you know, just in the course of the day saying, Oh, you know, this happened or what? And like, I just immediately jump into problem solving mode. She's like, what's wrong with you? Like, I just just shut up and listen, like, I just, you know, I'm from what my friends tell me, not uncommon for us to do with our spouses. You know, we want to help.

Piyush 22:56
Yeah. Yeah, the problems are fine the way they are. Yeah.

Michael 23:05
I love her to death. She Yeah, she's amazing. But my, my biggest challenge this year, Tag1 has grown to where it is, because of its reputation in the Drupal community. Almost all of the work that comes to Tag1 comes to Tag1, you know, they don't, you know, they've never had a sales team, they've never done any marketing, right. And they've grown, they know, they grew to 50 people over, you know, over a decade, just by, you know, their expertise and people saying, oh, Tag1, helped me, you know, you should go to them or, you know, people interested in using a technology that see our open source contributions and comes to us because of those. And, you know, we do a lot of emergency support work, you know, the last election, you know, when Trump was first elected, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU, well, they were DDoS by money, you know, they, they, you know, people were donating to them millions of dollars in hours, you know, they raised you know, in a few days more than they did historically per year. You know, and they pick up, you know, their certs, everything went down their CRM, you know, their payment gateways, you know, and so you know, that they called us and say, you know, hey, you know, we're literally losing millions of dollars right now, you know, we need to get back online, and that's great. And that's exciting, but that's really unpredictable. And at least, you know, and, you know, the Tag1 team thrives off of that, but from my standpoint, that is not how I want to run and grow a business. You know, emergencies coming in. It's exciting to be a part of them, but they can be a distraction from you know, existing big projects because they require some of your best resources and you know, sometimes working, you know, two days straight without sleeping. They need to recover. So, you know, there's a huge toll in working on those kinds of projects, and you don't know when they're going to happen. And while it's, you know, everybody wishes that business came to them. Again, it's not, you know, it's not that scalable, it's not that predictable. And so how do I grow a business, you know, in a smart and sustainable way, because, you know, Tag1's number one asset is its relationship and reputation. You know, so if we grow too quickly, and we screw up work, you know, that that's the worst thing that we can happen. And you know, as an agency, that's one of your biggest challenges, right? It's really hard to scale, you know, and a great agency can fall down and trip, because of challenges like that. So how do we responsibly scale? How do we grow the business through, you know, sales and marketing and outreach? And, and how do we do it in a way that's true to what Jeremy and his partners want to do and be. You know, they want to build very specific types of applications and work with very specific types of customers. And so, you know, how do you align all of those goals and interests to scale the company? And then that's what I've been focusing on this year.

Piyush 26:21
And yeah, you know, this is like, you know, one question that every, every company, I would say, face at one stage where they need to decide whether it's the scale in, in, in numbers, or whether it's, you know, the quality or, you know, the culture, where, where do they want to invest next, and, you know, which is, which is really gonna decide how they look at the next frontier kind of growth strategy. So, so totally... And I know, Jeremy, you know, great guy again, and really glad that, you know, you guys are in the Drupal ecosystem, and happy that we are talking about this, and, you know, sharing this story with our listeners, now, how about talking a bit about, you know, sharing some advice for, let's say, a 22 years old, who's just starting their career?

Michael 27:18
I think it comes down to a really small number of things, you know, because what worked for me, you know, may not work for you, you know, what, what worked for other people, you know, isn't necessarily going to work for you. And so, you know, I don't, I can't necessarily, like do this or do that. But, but there are, I would say, you know, some things that that everybody can do that I think will work for them, you know, one, you know, work your ass off. If you're serious about being successful, it comes down to one thing, how hard are you willing to work? And how much are you willing to sacrifice to get there? And I really struggle with that, because I you know, it, it destroyed relationships, you know, it just keeps me from friends and family, you know, it right, you know, physically damaged my body. So, you know, but I, I don't think I would do it differently. But I really do believe that that is the number one important factor. You know, another, you know, thing I mentioned, it's who you surround yourself with, you know, I am so fortunate to learn from amazing people, things that I never would have come up with or thought on my own. You know, so whether it's, you know, mentors, or, you know, the organizations and people that you that you work with, that's a really critical and important factor. Another thing, don't be an asshole. You know, I think I think the world is a difficult and challenging place as it is. And, you know, I, you know, I, I, you know, I want to choose who I work with, you know, be it be a good person, you know, try and, you know, do some good in what you do, and just, you know, be good in how you do it, you know, people will want to spend more time around you people are going to be more likely to help you. And, you know, I see a lot of people who are successful at the expense of others, you know, or who make a lot of money in startups, but don't share that with their team. And, you know, I was really fortunate that, you know, the people that I work with, didn't do that, and it makes all the difference in the world, you know, 20 something years later, I'm still really close with them. I still really admire them. And, you know, I want to be able to replicate that.

Piyush 29:50
Yeah. And you know, you brought up this thought of, you know, who you are, who you surround yourself with, and reminds me I have this famous saying which said, You're the average of 10 people you spend time with.

Michael 30:05
That's great.

Piyush 30:07
So yeah, I totally agree with you, I totally agree with you. And hopefully we are, we are on the right track, at least you're in the current organisation I am. And we have surrounded us with real amazing people, I'm sure. Overall Drupal community is, is a great community, and people in this community are great. So the ecosystem is definitely great.

Michael 30:31
It's, it's such a great community be a part of it, it's, I've had the opportunity to travel the world to meet people around the world, you know, to build friendships. So it's, it's changed my view, it's, you know, I feel more connected to the planet. You know, when I travel, I know people in most places, it's really, you know, it's opened my eyes, and it's, you know, helped me become a better person who'd be more connected with with with the planet, and I and I love that. The last thing I would say is, you know, and this is a double-edged sword, you know, do what you're passionate about, you know, if you didn't have to work, you know, what would you do, if, you know, you could turn a hobby into a job, you know, you know, it's a double-edged sword, because of like, intrinsic versus extrinsic psychology, you know, like, if I love to play video games, you know, and that's what I do in my free time, as you know, an outlet, you know, getting paid to play video games, flip things around, right now, you know, money's in play, and you know, you have to do something. And so, you know, if you can turn something, you know, that you're passionate about into your job, that's wonderful. But be careful that you don't destroy a passion by turning it into work at the same time.

Piyush 31:45
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I remember, you know, just sharing a bit of my thing. I have been a quarter earlier, a developer still into IT, for close to 19 and a half years. Very, very similar to your career as well. And I do remember Afternick, I remember, you know, those were the days when I used to book domain names, we are company called Network Solution.

Michael 32:09
Oh, yeah.

Piyush 32:10
We used to charge $70-$75 or something like that back in those days. But yeah, what I was saying was, totally agree with you totally agree with you, you know, when you say that. Now 2021, interesting year for all of us. Flash forward into, you know, 2021, because post 2020, like, everyone wants to forget about 2020. And what came after 2019 is 2021. So, based on your experience, and the way you have seen, you know, the technology landscape evolve, the content management, the enterprise content management, space evolve, and overall, digital experiences evolve, are you seeing any trends? Or where do you see this all is heading? What is your vision of tech, in this space in 2021?

Michael 33:09
A big part of what I see is increased collaboration, you know, collaboration is, is how we get things done, you know, when people were working in offices, you know, it was, like, physically and in person, and now that most people, you know, in our world are working online, you know, how do they collaborate, and, you know, there's a spectrum of collaboration, you know, real time chat systems, you know, that can be synchronous, or asynchronous, you know, to Zoom and I think what I'm most excited about is seeing more collaboration become components of applications. And I think that to date, it's been really challenging because implementing real time collaborative systems is complex and gnarly. There are now frameworks and libraries out there, we've been investing in and working with the founder of yjs. And it abstracts all of that complexity. And it enables you to make any application collaborative. So for example, like, you know, something that I think everybody knows, you know, Google Docs, we, for a top fortune 500 company, implemented collaboration into their intranet, much like Google Docs, you know, Google drawings so that their employees can work together in real time in creating content, and, you know, I think that CMS has have always lagged behind the way that users work with respect to content creation. Back in the day, you know, you used to, you'd write in Microsoft Word and you'd cut and paste. No, but it would look terrible. So we created editors, you know, like ck editor to make the you know, the content creation experience so much better. But now I create everything in Google Docs, you know, and cut and paste into into my CMS. And so, you know, they're always going to be great tools out there. And you don't have to do everything in a CMS. But I think CMSs need to catch up in that area. And so I'm hopeful. And it's one of the coolest and exciting things I've seen in over a decade, it's really great technology. And I'm hopeful that more applications will implement it. It reduces friction. Another quick example is like Trello, or, you know, any of these project management systems, like, I make a change, and then it updates on your computer. But you don't see me make that change until it happens, you know, I start to edit a file, you don't know, I'm editing it, we step on each other, you know, so having real-time collaborations, these presence and awareness capabilities, reduces the friction in these applications and makes them more, more usable, a better experience, don't step on each other's toes. And so, you know, I'm hopeful that that will be key to what we see in the next few years. Piyush 36:16 Interesting. I still remember the backend days, when I started using worldstar, there was a software called worldstar, worldstar. for editing, it was on dos only. You really have to remember those shortcuts. It's like, you know, drafting content on vim, obviously, you know, a totally different ballgame or two.

Michael 36:42
Days of command line content creation.

Piyush 36:45
Now, how about looking at some of the resources that you recommend or, you know, maybe, maybe books or authors that you, you love to read or something that you'd like to share with the listeners here? Any favourite books, you know, that had had maybe huge impact on the way you work or live?

Michael 37:08
I'll give you a book and a podcast.

Piyush 37:12

Michael 37:12
My favorite podcast is Acquired. It's about startups or IPOs. And they go, you know, back to the origin of the founder or founders, like how they grew up, you know, they're, you know, to, you know, their successes and failures along the way. You know, so, for example, they did one about a Tesla, you know, and to hear, you know, Elon Musk's, you know, repeated failures getting kicked out of companies. You know, you know, that, you know, these companies ended up being successful, like PayPal. Yeah, you know, but, but, you know, when you, there's a mythology to people, right, and there's like a marketing, you know, you market yourself and people have this, this, you know, picture of you, you know, but that's not reality. And, you know, it's, you know, it's sort of like the image of, of women in magazines, it really, you know, messes you up, because that's not you know, what people are, and so, to kind of peel back, you know, and, and get to see, you know, he is a person, he has had, you know, many failures, he struggled along the way, you know, and here are some of the things that made him successful that you can learn from, you know, plus, you know, they go into the financials and other aspects. And, you know, my heart is in startups. So, I absolutely love Acquired, you know, if you're interested in business, you know, running a business, the economics of businesses, you know, to, you know, these origin stories of startups, I highly recommend you check it out. And then outside of technology, because, you know, you can't you got to get outside your world, you know, and I, I spend so much time doing what I do, I have so little free time these days, and it goes to like, you know, chores around the house, you know, making dinner, you know, you know, my hobbies have, you know, people like oh, what are your hobbies? I'm like, cooking dinner, I don't know. Michael 39:12 Because Because I got to cook dinner some nights. You know, but you know, you want to be a whole person. Michael 39:18 I think one of my favorite books is Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. He was a psychologist. I don't know if you're familiar with me as a psychology as to, you know, the Nazi concentration camps. And, yeah, he writes about, you know, you can't have a life without suffering. You know, you can't avoid suffering. But you can overcome suffering. You can choose how you deal with suffering. And it's it's really, it's, it's, you know, it's it's an amazing story to hear, you know, the atrocities that he lived through, you know, and ability to cope with them and how that read to, you know, lead to, you know, and in, you know, a psychological philosophy, you know, logotherapy that has had an impact on the psychological world, you know, and how patients are treated and you know, it's, it's, it's a it's a really wonderful and eye-opening read. Piyush 40:18 Yeah, I mean, I've heard that name, you know, many times, Man's Search for Meaning. And obviously, Viktor Frankl, well my daughter has just started her college here. And she has taken psychology. So so so you know, names like Viktor Frankl and Carl Jung, and, you know, you keep hearing them on and off these days here in this episode. But obviously, we don't get to talk much about it. But we are this book. I mean, yeah, great, great suggestion. Micahel 40:45 You know, if I could go back to you, and do some things over again, I think I would have gone to school for psychology. I certainly don't work in television or film. You know, no one's ever asked me, you know, in my 30 year career if I've ever gone to college, but I interact with people all the time, and I deal with myself, you know, it's I think that, you know, I would have gone, you know, to school for that, because I think it would have really benefited me personally and with my interactions professionally with others helping, you know, understand people in the world.

Piyush 41:24
Performly. Yeah, that's such a such a beautiful thought there. Right. And, you know, when you mentioned that, you know, sufferings, you can't escape them, but it's about how you manage how you handle them, is what makes a man, I would say a man. Love your thought there, Michael. I love it. Absolutely love it. And we are, we will make sure that we mentioned these names in our show notes. And with that, my last question, and you know, this is kind of my favourite, supposed COVID when the world is back to normal, where would you like to travel, or do anything exciting that you'd like to share with us?

Michael 42:10
My honeymoon. I would have liked to have gone on my honeymoon. That would have been nice. I, you know, both my wife and I, you know, she she just loves animals. It's crazy. And like animals just like, she's like the animal whisperer. It's, you know, it's it's wild. But both of us have always dreamed of, you know, going on safari in Africa. And so that was our plan, you know, was to do that. And, you know, my bachelor party was to hike to Machu Picchu via one of the harder routes. And I didn't get to do that. But I think if I had to pick one thing, it would be the African safari with my wife. And, you know, I'm confident that someday we'll we'll get the opportunity to do that.

Piyush 42:58
Very nice. Yeah. All the best for, you know, reaching Sahara for your Safari. And so yeah, where can listeners find you? Where can listeners learn more about you, Michael?

Michael 43:11
I'm michaelemeyers on pretty much every site and system- Slack, Skype, Drupal, LinkedIn. So yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn. Michael E. Meyers, you can you know reach out to me the letter m@tag1.com

Piyush 43:31
Alright, so you know this brings us to the end of the episode. Thank you, Michael, for your time and for sharing your amazing story. And you know, some great thoughts there. Really loved talking to you. And yeah, hope to get you back in you know, one of our future roundup episodes again, maybe.

Michael 43:53
Awesome. Thank you so much. This was great fun. I really enjoyed being with you here today. And thank you for inviting me and would love to come back in the future.

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