In this episode, Mike and Chris review the state of Arizona’s brand in 2019, looking at last year’s events from the news and then review last year’s guests and what they had to say.

Contact: Mike mike@resoundcreative.com or Chris chris@resoundcreative.com

Discuss at https://www.facebook.com/azbrandcast/

AZ Brandcast is graciously sponsored by Conscious Capitalism Arizona – the global movement inspiring businesses to do good…because it’s just good business. Find out more about Conscious Capitalism and the many companies transforming our world for the better on their website: consciouscapitalismaz.com

And our show is produced by Phoenix Business RadioX and recorded at the enviable MAC6 coworking space in ever-sunny Tempe, Arizona (the 48th – and best state of them all).

Show Transcript

Speaker 1: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Phoenix, Arizona, it’s time for Phoenix Business Radio, spotlighting the city’s best businesses and the people who lead them.

Chris Stadler: What’s up, Mike?

Mike Jones: Hey, Chris. Yeah, we didn’t talk about who’s doing the intro, so…

Chris Stadler: Nope.

Mike Jones: I’ll do it.

Chris Stadler: Go for it.

Mike Jones: Welcome to AZ Brandcast, where we talk to all sorts of awesome people about the power of brand and how to build great brands in our remarkable state of Arizona.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: We’re your hosts, Mike Jones and…

Chris Stadler: Chris Stadler.

Mike Jones: Today, we’re not actually going to talk to anyone awesome, unless we’re considering ourselves awesome.

Chris Stadler: You’re awesome, Mike.

Mike Jones: You’re awesome too, Chris.

Chris Stadler: Our sound engineer’s awesome.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Kendra’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: I guess we are talking about some people, but we don’t have a special guest on today because… What are we going to be doing, Chris?

Chris Stadler: We’re going to be talking about the state of the brand, kind of like the State of the Union address, only for the state of Arizona’s brand.

Mike Jones: That’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: We’re going to try to figure that out a little bit, like maybe kind of draw some conclusion from the year’s efforts, right?

Mike Jones: Yeah, so we’re going to take a little look at what’s been going on in Arizona and think through some of the guests that we’ve had on and the insights we’ve gathered from them about the brand of Arizona, and maybe come to some conclusions maybe, make some hypotheses.

Chris Stadler: Haphazardly and with reckless abandon draw conclusions.

Mike Jones: Yeah, because it’s the end of the year, and now is the time to just let everything hang out, right?

Chris Stadler: Let it all hang out.

Mike Jones: Let it all hang out before 2020 rolls around and smacks us back into reality.

Chris Stadler: Do you want me to do the CCAZ?

Mike Jones: Always.

Chris Stadler: Always. Okay, cool. So as everybody probably knows, we’re sponsored by Conscious Capitalism Arizona. Conscious Capitalism Arizona is the local version of the worldwide Conscious Capitalism CCI, right?

Mike Jones: Yep. The movement of Conscious Capitalism.

Chris Stadler: Words are hard. Yes, thank you.

Mike Jones: The movement.

Chris Stadler: So this local chapter of Conscious Capitalism Incorporated has tons of local events and provides resources for business leaders to instill a higher purpose in their company and engage all their stakeholders. All the stakeholders, not just employees, not just shareholders, but it makes a big system out of it, a big like… Yeah.

Mike Jones: Systemic pie.

Chris Stadler: Mutually benef… Yes, exactly. So you want to be conscious but don’t know how? Get in touch, consciouscapitalismaz.com. That’s consciouscapitalism with a little az at the end, dot com.

Mike Jones: Or if that’s too long, ccarizona.org will also get you to the exact same website.

Chris Stadler: That’s even easier.

Mike Jones: It’s less letters, which means less keystrokes, which means less room for error and less calories burned. So if you’re looking to save some energy before the big festivities in the next few weeks, now’s the time to plug in ccarizona.org and save a few calories.

Chris Stadler: Because we all want to eat a whole bunch of food and burn fewer calories.

Mike Jones: It’s like a website domain, but the light version.

Chris Stadler: So if you want to lose weight, consciouscapitalismaz.com. But if you want to save energy, ccarizona.org.

Mike Jones: Dot org.

Chris Stadler: Awesome, awesome.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Love it.

Mike Jones: And there’s some cool events coming up. Conscious Capitalism Arizona is hosting one actually tonight in the Better Business Bureau at 5:30.

Chris Stadler: Can people still sign up?

Mike Jones: For all those listening live, yeah, you can sign up, or you can even just show up. And then there are at least three events coming up in January. There are Conscious Business chats that roll around every second Friday of the month from 9:00 to 10:00, and they’re in all different locations across the Valley and even in Tucson. Maybe one day we’ll have one in Flagstaff too. And if people weren’t aware, I’m saying we because I actually am on the board for Conscious Capitalism Arizona.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, you are. Quick quest about that.

Mike Jones: Yeah, quick ans.

Chris Stadler: Can people go there and actually talk about, all right, how do I actually do conscious capitalism?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Will people get ideas? Will there be conversations?

Mike Jones: I hope so. They better.

Chris Stadler: Will people be willing to talk about it?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: It’s not just like this networking event, right?

Mike Jones: No, no, no.

Chris Stadler: It’s like you go and you talk about real-

Mike Jones: Yeah. For example, tonight’s event is all about social accounting. So how can you create a culture of accounting for not just your financials, but also your social interactions and your relationships for all of your stakeholders within your business, which is a real interesting concept? And then also our Conscious Business chats, right now, those are smaller groups of people within your kind of neighborhood, your area, where you can dig in on the Conscious Business Audit. So you can even kind of pre-self-assess yourself in your business. Or if you’re working with clients and you want to help them live out their business more consciously, have them go through it, or maybe you assess it for them and then rap them on the knuckles with a ruler at the end of it.

Chris Stadler: No, that’s not conscious. That sounds like parochial school.

Mike Jones: Yeah, it sounds a little bit more like parochial school.

Chris Stadler: You know what I almost said but I didn’t?

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: So yeah, and that’s what the chats are right now. It’s like, hey, let’s get together. Let’s meet up in a smaller group. Let’s talk about what’s working and not working in our business from a Conscious Business, Conscious Capitalism standpoint. Maybe hone in on a specific attribute from that audit and hash it out. How do we do that practically? What are the how-tos? What’s working and what’s not working? Yeah, we’re really trying to make this as practical as possible.

Chris Stadler: Love it. You know me, I love practical.

Mike Jones: I know you. I know you, Chris. I know you love practical.

Chris Stadler: Do you want to jump into… Oh, shoot, I didn’t think of my answer for the icebreaker.

Mike Jones: That’s great. Throw it at me first, so I can stumble my way through it.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, I’m just trying to think of my favorite thing. Okay, what’s something good that happened in 2019? Something good?

Mike Jones: Well, let me go through my regular list. Did I have any children born in 2019? No.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, better clear that list first.

Mike Jones: Oh, I know. Easy. This is super easy. So on the Resound side… So we’ll go there, Resound. We added a new partner and team member. His name is Sam Pagel from Pelican Media. He actually merged his business in with ours because he’s so amazingly awesome that he wanted to join forces with us. So I’ve been stoked. I know you’ve been stoked, Chris.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: We talk about it like 24/7.

Chris Stadler: I work with him every day, and yes.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: So Sam is now our Chief Creative Officer. He leads all of our creative efforts, which is why he’s not in this room, because he is working his butt off on all the amazing projects we’re finishing up for clients before the end of the year.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And he does video production and graphic design and all sorts of really… He’s a really super-talented, creative dude, so…

Chris Stadler: He’s a superstar.

Mike Jones: He just took us to the next level. I hate that phrase, but it makes a lot of [crosstalk 00:06:54].

Chris Stadler: I know, but it’s true with him.

Mike Jones: It is true.

Chris Stadler: Okay, so you want mine?

Mike Jones: Yeah, I want yours, and you can’t use Sam. I claimed that one.

Chris Stadler: Okay, okay. I love Sam, but that won’t be my one. I did have my 20th anniversary, wedding anniversary, this year.

Mike Jones: Dude, that’s a big deal!

Chris Stadler: Yeah, it’s a big deal. It’s good.

Mike Jones: Twenty years.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: Shawna’s a pretty amazing person.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, for putting… Yeah. You’re putting the credit where it belongs.

Mike Jones: I know how it works.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, yes, it does work that way.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: So yeah, so that was probably the big thing there.

Mike Jones: That’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, 2019. Yep, a good year.

Mike Jones: When was… That was…

Chris Stadler: August 27th.

Mike Jones: Yeah, August.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: For a second, I thought you said yesterday, and I was freaking out. Like holy crap, how did I totally miss that?

Chris Stadler: No, we went to Sedona with the kids and everything.

Mike Jones: That’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: Saw red rocks and…

Mike Jones: You incorporated the children into your 20th anniversary? How 20th anniversary of you!

Chris Stadler: You know.

Mike Jones: I mean, when you have kids and-

Chris Stadler: It’s a story for another podcast.

Mike Jones: That’s a whole different podcast.

Chris Stadler: Yes.

Mike Jones: No, that’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: So given our limited time, let us go into our topic. The topic… The sound engineer is commenting, but I can’t hear what she’s saying because she’s not in the mike.

Mike Jones: Ooh, Kendra, you’ve been called out.

Chris Stadler: Eat the microphone, Kendra. So we talked about it, and we thought, “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. Three headlines from the year that we think would be… that would show us a little bit about what’s going on in Arizona, maybe provide some backdrop, maybe the fodder for analysis, right? And then talk through our guests.”

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Go through our guests, maybe some rounds what they talked about, and then pull out a couple of things that we just…

Mike Jones: Yeah. I mean, it’s going to be a bummer because most of these are lame, so lame. No, the complete opposite!

Chris Stadler: I know.

Mike Jones: We’ve had some amazing guests this year.

Chris Stadler: I know. I’m looking at it, and I’m just like, “How did… Wow! How?”

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: I don’t know. That Sam Pagel guy, though. I can’t believe we let him on the podcast.

Chris Stadler: Well, let’s just get into that. So Thomas Barr, an easy first, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: He talked about local, buying local. We challenged him a little bit, just like I’m not going to buy an IFO made in, I don’t know, Sierra Vista or…

Mike Jones: Are there any?

Chris Stadler: … Douglas. Yeah. So we challenged him a little bit on that. He challenged us to just think more about more opportunities to do that. What else?

Mike Jones: Yeah, that one was cool because it was this, I think, cool conversation around like, okay, even being conscious in your purchasing and finding what do you care about? What are your core values, and how does that drive your purchasing behavior? For some, it’s like, “Hey, I want to buy local because I want to support people who live here locally and who are starting a business here or have a business here locally.” And for some, it’s like, “No, I have this deep appreciation for things that are grown locally, right?”

Mike Jones: I think a lot of people that purchase locally, especially when they’re looking at food, they’re like, “No, I want stuff that’s farm-to-table. It’s safer, more ecologically sound,” whatever. And then for some product purchases, it’s like your core value is still going to be savings, right? So I think that was a really good conversation and discussion. It was good to get some different viewpoints and stuff on that.

Chris Stadler: That was good. Who’s next on the list?

Mike Jones: Oh, geez. Yeah, let’s talk about Phoenix Startup Week.

Chris Stadler: What’s Startup Week about?

Mike Jones: Yeah, Phoenix Startup Week.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: Hopefully, we didn’t talk about me too much, but, yeah, we talked about Phoenix Startup Week, which, interestingly enough, is coming back around in February.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Oh, yeah, and that was on the site, so it must have been February we talked to Mike Jones.

Mike Jones: Probably, yeah.

Chris Stadler: Can you do me a favor? Can you talk about him in the third person?

Mike Jones: Yeah. So Mike Jones came on and talked about Phoenix Startup Week and got really passionate about startups.

Chris Stadler: Tell us, what’s Startup Week about, real quick?

Mike Jones: Yeah. As Mike Jones informed us, Startup Week…

Chris Stadler: As you may recall, yes.

Mike Jones: As you may recall, he came on and talked about it. How many times can I refer to myself in the third person?

Chris Stadler: Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?

Mike Jones: That’s a drinking game. Yeah, so Phoenix Startup Week is Arizona’s largest entrepreneurial event, and we draw almost 2,000 people each year to a really cool six-day conference. We draw speakers from all over the state as well as outside of the state to come and give startups and founders, investors, and anyone really who’s supporting or servicing a startup or early-stage business advice.

Chris Stadler: What are three of your favorite sessions or rooms, because I think that would give people an example of what…

Mike Jones: I mean, the variety is insane. We do a lot of tracks around technologies like blockchain or fintech, so financial technologies, which was a big deal this last year with the FinTech Sandbox that the state set up that allows businesses that are working in finance and technologies around finance to be able to test out their technology without having to get all of the full licensing that you might need in another state. Yeah, so you can kind of beta test. That was a really big deal.

Chris Stadler: Interesting.

Mike Jones: Yeah, that was really cool.

Chris Stadler: Is that unique to Arizona?

Mike Jones: At the moment. Yeah, we were the first state to roll one out. I think other states are starting to do that too, so it’s really cool. So those were our two big ones on the technology side. There was a really interesting track last year around the e-gaming industry. There’s this massively growing industry around the entertainment of gaming, watching people game or game competitively. Like video games, like playing video games competitively. In fact, it’s the fastest-growing segment of gaming, I think, in the world right now, and it’s got potential to be just massive, partially because it’s worldwide, and it’s really easily accessible. You can watch somebody game halfway around the world, like on a platform like Twitch, which is a live streaming service to watch people game. And there’s events that are being stood up all over the world, big tournaments. And these tournaments have huge… I think one of them had like a million-dollar prize. Like, they’re legit.

Chris Stadler: Wow!

Mike Jones: There’s a whole industry that’s starting to blossom around that. And how do you build teams? How do you market teams? How do you create revenue streams within the gaming world? This idea of not just gaming as a hobby or a pastime, but gaming as an actual profession.

Chris Stadler: A professional sport.

Mike Jones: It’s a professional sport.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: And it’s very nascent, so we’re seeing… I think basketball is 120 years old. The late 1800s, 1890s, it was created by Mr. Naismith. That’s the kind of culture. This idea of a game doesn’t even have all of its rules yet, right? It doesn’t have formal teams yet. It doesn’t have formal leagues even, and in the last 10 years, all of that is starting to happen within e-gaming. That was a really cool session.

Chris Stadler: That’s interesting. And then you also had… One thing that I remember is an executive kind of like one-on-one thing, where you can sign up to…

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Tell me about that one.

Mike Jones: So there’s mentoring. We’re going to see what that looks like this year, but in past years, we’ve had one-on-one mentoring, where we bring in a roster of successful founders, successful executives. And if you sign up for the program, you’ll get matched up with one, and you get, I think, 30 to 45 minutes to just sit and chat with them. Bring a specific problem if you want to hash that out. And then some of those actually turn into… in an informal way, turn into longer-term mentoring. As people kind of make a connection, we go, “Oh, this was a great conversation. The mentor felt really good about it. The mentee felt good.” And they’re like, “Yeah, we want to keep that going.”

Mike Jones: This next year is going to look a little different because we’re going to try to actually bring in an outside organization to help us execute that, and we’re still working on defining that. But I’m excited for that too. That’s always a big, I think, like kind of a secret… It’s a hidden gem of Phoenix Startup Week. It doesn’t get as much attention, but it’s really cool. And then there’s tons of happy hours and opportunity to connect and meet people. I know last year, there were two people that met at Startup Week. They were talking and realized, “Oh, wow, we’re working on the same product, building the same product. Why don’t we just join forces and do it together?”

Chris Stadler: Wow!

Mike Jones: So they’ve spent this last year working on their product jointly.

Chris Stadler: That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: That’s the kind of collaborative kind of cool connections that you can make at Phoenix Startup Week.

Chris Stadler: I’m so glad we had Mike on for that.

Mike Jones: I am so glad that he came on, although I’ll be honest, I’d be fine if he never came back…

Chris Stadler: You’re being generous.

Mike Jones: … as a guest. As a guest.

Chris Stadler: As a guest, yeah. It’s confusing, right?

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: It’s just confusing. What about Brian Mohr? So Brian Mohr was… Back then, he was still the… Was he president of Conscious Capitalism back then?

Mike Jones: Yep. So president of Conscious Capitalism. They were ramping up for their international conference of Conscious Capitalism, and it was coming to Arizona. That was a really big deal. Doug Ducey, our governor, spoke at the conference. I know Brian was kind of working on pitching and getting companies involved and getting people to go. I actually got an opportunity to attend, and that was a really cool conference. Some great speakers: John Mackey, the Motley Fool, one of the co-founders of the Motley Fool was there. I believe Raj Sisodia spoke too. Yeah, I think he speaks every year. And then a whole host of other really cool kind of case studies of companies that are incorporating Conscious Capitalism into their business and how it’s having a major impact on all their employees, on their community, on their customers. They have some really cool, feel-good stories of people being impacted in a positive way in their life, while at the same time people making money, people seeing success through that. So that was cool.

Chris Stadler: That was a fun conference.

Mike Jones: It was. You were there. Why am I talking about it?

Chris Stadler: I thought we were going to just talk in the third person the whole time.

Mike Jones: Oh, okay.

Chris Stadler: Chris was there.

Mike Jones: Chris was there.

Chris Stadler: There was a party. And our buddies at MAC6 were there.

Mike Jones: Yeah, they were

Chris Stadler: Sam was there.

Mike Jones: Sam was there.

Chris Stadler: That was awesome with him. It was a pretty fun time.

Mike Jones: It was a fun conference.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Hey, remember that time when one of the speakers got done, and I went up and just criticized him?

Mike Jones: Yeah. How’d that go down?

Chris Stadler: Yeah, no, it was good. He was just like… It was awkward. But whatever.

Mike Jones: You had the guts to tell him what I couldn’t tell him the year before, so I appreciate that.

Chris Stadler: Well, we were both talking about… I’m just going to go ask him. How do you handle the situation? Give him the benefit of the doubt and see if you get an answer. And you didn’t, so I was like, “All right.”

Mike Jones: Oh, that’s a bummer.

Chris Stadler: Or at least-

Mike Jones: Well, at least you-

Chris Stadler: He may have an answer that was too long for that, but then would have been good for beers or something.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: But that was a fun… That was a good conference. It was successful.

Mike Jones: It was great having Brian on. He had his book launch this year. I know that was a big deal right around that time, and it was really cool. I think Brian’s got a great perspective, especially on HR and culture building and had a really good conversation around that.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, he’s seen a lot of stuff too. He has a lot of experience. Sam.

Mike Jones: Then we had Sam on.

Chris Stadler: Sam Pagel. We talked about video.

Mike Jones: Yep. Video’s cool. I like video.

Chris Stadler: Well, yeah. And I think we talked about just the ability of video to tell a story. And it can convey brand too. I mean, you get to package so much information in a short period of time. So someone is engaged. They’re looking at a screen. You’re telling that story. You have music. You have all these cues to tell people how to feel. And when it’s done right and comes together well, that’s a huge tool for brands.

Mike Jones: Yep. Absolutely. It’s huge.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: Then we had Brandon Clarke on, and we talked a lot about culture, and we talked about some interesting, unique things that are happening in Arizona from a demographic standpoint. We talked a little bit about how we’re this kind of confluence of Southwestern cultures, right? We have Midwest transplants and California, and we’ve got this Mexico influence, a lot of Hispanic culture here, and it’s all kind of melding together in a really unique way. And what he was mentioning, what I thought was really insightful, was that when you project out demographics and cultural nuances of the United States in 15, 20, or even 30 years, it’s that mixture.

Chris Stadler: We have that here.

Mike Jones: We already have-

Chris Stadler: We already are.

Mike Jones: We already are the mixture of cultures that are going to be kind of normalized across the United States over the coming decades.

Chris Stadler: We’re a glimpse into the future.

Mike Jones: Ooh, I like that.

Chris Stadler: It’s like if you need to go… Like, if you made a mistake in the past, Mike, you can go somewhere else back in time and then change that maybe.

Mike Jones: And then come back here?

Chris Stadler: Depending on your theory of time travel. But yes.

Mike Jones: Why don’t you test that out?

Chris Stadler: So the demographics.

Mike Jones: If you make a mistake, and then go and then come back.

Chris Stadler: I ain’t going to Oregon. So, you know.

Mike Jones: But I think what you need to do actually… total tangent here… So relativity would say that does work as long as you travel at the speed of light while you’re coming back. No, that doesn’t work. I have to travel at the speed of light.

Chris Stadler: Does Allegiant travel at the speed of light?

Mike Jones: Somebody has to speed-

Chris Stadler: Allegiant would have to do that in order for that to work.

Mike Jones: I don’t think Allegiant comes even close to the speed of light. I mean, they struggle just getting off the ground, don’t they?

Chris Stadler: On time.

Mike Jones: Oh, at least on time.

Chris Stadler: Not like Southwest, which is in Arizona. Here it’s headquartered, right? I mean, this is the easy brain test.

Mike Jones: No, they’re not. They’re not headquartered here.

Chris Stadler: No? Oh, they have a big presence here.

Mike Jones: Which is disappointing.

Chris Stadler: I know.

Mike Jones: With a brand like that. Not only like Southwest, right? I mean, I personally feel like Phoenix is the Southwest.

Chris Stadler: The Southwest.

Mike Jones: Anywhere else is not the Southwest. Sorry, New Mexico. Go deal with it.

Chris Stadler: So I guess our message would be, if you’re Southwest, do the right thing.

Mike Jones: Yeah, re-locate.

Chris Stadler: Do the right thing.

Mike Jones: Do the right thing. Yeah, that’s right. Plus they have a great brand. I love their culture and their values.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, totally. That’s-

Mike Jones: And that should be here.

Chris Stadler: It should be here.

Mike Jones: They should bring that here.

Chris Stadler: It belongs here.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, so Brandon Clarke, he also brought his partner in that event. So, they had that event here, where they had kids from different countries even… from Mexico actually, just Mexico maybe…

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: So they visited, and they did a bunch of workshops. Cartoon Network was involved.

Mike Jones: Yeah, so they bring in brands and connect them with youth essentially and basically created an event that allows brands to kind of see and get feedback on what youth are experiencing from a cultural standpoint that they can then use in their own advertising, marketing, and culture building within their own companies, kind of understanding what is this next generation of talent or this next generation of consumers going to want? What are the cultural contexts that they find themselves in?

Chris Stadler: And it’s a conference that was totally not creepy.

Mike Jones: No, not creepy at all. And it’s kind of run and executed by the kids, which is really cool.

Chris Stadler: Yep. Yeah, by all accounts, it’s an awesome event.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Then we had Chris Ronzio from Trainual.

Chris Stadler: Chris Ronzio. It’s so fun to say it. I feel like Chris Ronzio could go up to a jukebox that wasn’t working, and he’d just kind of like bang it with his elbow, and it would start working. He’s The Ronz.

Mike Jones: The Ronz. Oh.

Chris Stadler: Ronzie.

Mike Jones: It totally jumps the shark.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, we should… Sorry, Chris Ronzio, if we’re being disrespectful. Just having fun.

Mike Jones: Yeah, we’re having fun.

Chris Stadler: Don’t mean to mangle your name, but it is kind of cool.

Mike Jones: You know what just happened to Chris Ronzio and Trainual?

Chris Stadler: No, what?

Mike Jones: They just locked down $6.7 million in a series A funding.

Chris Stadler: Wow! Cool.

Mike Jones: Yeah, that’s a big deal for them.

Chris Stadler: So he’s not under any pressure right now, right, at all?

Mike Jones: So he is not listening to our podcast right now. That’s really what that means.

Chris Stadler: Okay.

Mike Jones: He has no pressure, and he is not busy.

Chris Stadler: So I can call him The Ronz now?

Mike Jones: You can call him The Ronz because he just got $6.75 million in series A funding.

Chris Stadler: That’s awesome.

Mike Jones: That’s like… Congrats, man. Congrats from us.

Chris Stadler: That’s better than having jukebox skills.

Mike Jones: I would argue I would rather have that skill than the jukebox bump skill.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Is that what we’re going to call it? Jukebox bump?

Chris Stadler: Bump skill. It seems like we should just go for an acronym for that one. But for the next podcast, the next one, the next time.

Mike Jones: JBB?

Chris Stadler: There you go. Anyway.

Mike Jones: Yeah, we talked to Chris about Trainual and his startup that he’s founded here in Arizona. I really enjoyed his perspective on scaling. It’s interesting. As I’ve talked with lots of startup founders here in Arizona, his perspective, his like, hey, doing it at your own speed, your own way. He’s very locally focused with trying to find talent here. That’s not exclusively here, and that’s not indicative of every startup founder in Arizona, but there’s definitely this kind of underlying theme I hear a lot of founders who are like, “I don’t necessarily want to do it the Silicon Valley way,” which maybe when I hear that is often posed as like the burnout culture. Like, just drive people into the ground. Look for shortcuts. Go find the cheapest talent all over the world, even though the quality is going to suck, right, and kind of just go for broke. It’s like how fast can I get from zero to 60, but I’m going to crash in the process?

Chris Stadler: It’s like maybe a hustle-gone-wrong kind of thing.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, kind of hustle culture, versus like I think there’s more of a sustainable value amongst a lot of startup founders in Arizona. I could be wrong.

Chris Stadler: Okay, interesting. I like that.

Mike Jones: I don’t know. I want to test that theory.

Chris Stadler: We’ve heard that since we’ve started this podcast, right? I’m thinking of way back… Who am I thinking of? I’m pointing a direction, like that’s going to know what that means.

Mike Jones: Yeah, to the north? The south?

Chris Stadler: To the north.

Mike Jones: East or west?

Chris Stadler: To the north.

Mike Jones: Okay.

Chris Stadler: He’s always on Twitter, man.

Mike Jones: On Twitter?

Chris Stadler: He’s an account planner. Why is his name not coming to me? It’s right there in my head?

Mike Jones: Oh, Adam Pierno.

Chris Stadler: Yes, Adam Pierno, of course. Yeah.

Mike Jones: He’s a little more than an account planner now.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, but I mean, that’s like his core-

Mike Jones: He’s VP of Advertising at ASU, man.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. But I mean, that’s, that’s-

Mike Jones: At least, the last time I checked his bio.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Well, that’s how I connect. That’s how I reference him. But coming from New York, talking about coming here and how he said it’s slower but different, not worse or better. And I was kind of thinking like when I first heard that-

Mike Jones: We’re not slow in a bad way.

Chris Stadler: Right, but when I first heard that, I was like, “But what do we mean? Like, slow but we can’t… “

Mike Jones: I think sustainable.

Chris Stadler: All right, so it’s not fast, but it’s somehow still good, but we’re not saying anything… You know what I mean?

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Like, when you hear, “Oh, it’s not as fast, but it’s still good,” it’s like but why?

Mike Jones: Is it measured?

Chris Stadler: So this is, I think, part of that, where that starts to make sense when you start talking about culture. With Trainual having to deal with people, and it’s like you’re training. You’re not building technology and you don’t have to think about people.

Mike Jones: Yep. Yep. And obviously, Chris, Trainual have a great product too. That made that conversation fun. So they’ve got a cool software platform for building out all of your training documentation and processes and automating that and making onboarding really easy.

Chris Stadler: So sidebar: I wonder if we should make kind of a working hypothesis for next year, including something like, “Hey, is this true? Is it true that… In what sense is it true and in what sense does Arizona kind of foster this culture of… ” You know, in hindsight, right? I mean-

Mike Jones: Yeah. What’s the opposite of hyper-hustle?

Chris Stadler: Yeah. And what’s Arizona’s version? And then maybe we might even arrive at some ideas about what causes Arizona… For what kinds of companies would Arizona be a good incubator? Interesting, Mike, interesting. After Chris Ronzio, we had-

Mike Jones: Mike.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, Mike Spangenberg of State Forty Eight, which is super exciting because you can’t drive down the freeway and not see State Forty Eight stickers on vehicles.

Mike Jones: Oh, dude. Yeah. Or walk around and see somebody wearing a T-shirt. If you go on Instagram and you follow them, they’re like… Man, they pump out more Instagram stories than anyone in my feed. And every one of them is like, “Check out somebody wearing one of our shirts.” And it’s like, “Dude, does anyone in the state of Arizona not own one of your shirts? Because it feels like everyone does, and I feel like everyone should.”

Chris Stadler: Yeah. So they’re kind of giving… It’s companies like that. If you have enough companies like that representing Arizona, then you’re going to get a point-of-view that develops, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: And I think that’s where you see that creativity coming out. It’s like the more people… Everybody’s like, “Oh, but there’s already an Arizona T-shirt brand.” Well, why aren’t there more?

Mike Jones: Yeah. Why can’t there be a take on it from every… Like, what’s your viewpoint on Arizona? Create a T-shirt for it.

Chris Stadler: Totally.

Mike Jones: And I love their brand and the way that he’s trying to combine it with, hey, let’s go find iconic Arizona-based brands, like the Cardinals and the Suns, and even like he’s working with one of the credit unions and some other business brands, and saying, “Hey, let’s do something that celebrates Arizona together in a T-shirt design that incorporates the State Forty Eight logo and something they’re doing.” He’s done a collaboration with Local First Arizona, with Thomas Barr.

Chris Stadler: And some of the sports teams.

Mike Jones: Yeah, sports teams, tons of sports teams.

Chris Stadler: Like you were talking about. Specifically, they’ve done it. They’re not just talking about it.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And each one of those shirts almost celebrates one aspect of Arizona.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. That, and then there’s that other angle too, where now, all of a sudden too, our NBA team or whoever they’re working with is not now just like, oh, an NBA team that happens to be in Arizona, but now it’s more connected, right? Every single time that happens, now there’s more of a connection.

Mike Jones: Yep. And it will help them win that championship.

Chris Stadler: I have no doubt in my mind.

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: It better.

Mike Jones: Not this year. I had high hopes. We had a great start. We’ve come back down to Earth a little bit with the Suns.

Chris Stadler: Well, and then a couple of injuries, right?

Mike Jones: We had a couple… Well, one, if you want to call it an injury. Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Do we get into that, or is that another… Is that the next podcast?

Mike Jones: That’s…

Chris Stadler: The next podcast is code for like let’s not talk about that ever again.

Mike Jones: Another podcast. Yeah, we’re not going to talk about it.

Chris Stadler: All right.

Mike Jones: Just go Google Ayton suspension, 25-game suspension.

Chris Stadler: Oh. Oh, oh, yeah. Okay, we’ve talked about this.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, we’ve talked about it.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: All right, and then after Mike, we had Ryan Quinn.

Mike Jones: Yeah, we had Ryan Quinn from BrightGuest.

Chris Stadler: That guy was deep, man.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: I liked talking to him. I felt like we could add a couple more podcasts if we had more time.

Mike Jones: Yep. Yeah, super-interesting perspective. Ryan’s got a great perspective on the startup culture and the support systems and community for startups here in the Valley.

Chris Stadler: He pivoted, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: So BrightGuest was a restaurant reservation kind of system, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Found out that that wasn’t the right place for it and then pivoted, right?

Mike Jones: Yeah, so they pivoted to non-profits and the same technology. Like, the base of their technology was text messaging, right, like being able to text message your guests when their…

Chris Stadler: When their table is ready.

Mike Jones: When their table is ready. And I think there were some other pieces of that, but finding that he could actually leverage that, and it was very effective for non-profits who want to text message their donors and run campaigns that help create awareness for donors around an opportunity to give and be a part of what the non-profit is doing. So they’ve completely pivoted, and they’re doing that now, and they’re having some really good success as they move into that market. So that was a really cool story of how an idea you start with can change, right, and being kind of flexible. Like, wait, who is attracted to what we’re doing? And I think there’s probably a follow-up conversation in there, I don’t know if it’s with Ryan or not, but maybe we can have around how do you deal with that as a brand, right? So if your brand is focused all… I mean, their brand is actually kind of a case study of this. Their name BrightGuest implies something related to restaurants, right, the guest experience, and that doesn’t translate to non-profits.

Chris Stadler: Right.

Mike Jones: So what do you do with that? How do you deal with that? And I know they actually are going through a rebranding process to deal with that. But I think that’s something interesting we could dig into. What do you do when you brand around an audience and find out, oh, this audience isn’t the right audience for us anymore? Do you have to pivot the whole brand? Could you have done it different? I don’t know. Those are interesting questions.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, and Chris would be… Sorry, not Chris Ronzio. Ryan would be good to talk about with that. He seems like the kind of guy who, whatever he’s been through, he would understand it, not just have been knocked around by the situation and kind of happened out on the other side. But he would have really understood it. And then we had for Design Week, we had AIGA.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Phoenix Design Week, we had a couple of people from AIGA. We had Karen, and we had Mike. I believe it was Mike from the executive team that was putting on Phoenix Design Week.

Chris Stadler: And then Kathy.

Mike Jones: I’m sorry. Not Karen. Kathy.

Chris Stadler: Oh, yeah, right.

Mike Jones: I don’t know why I said Karen. Kathy. That was a great conversation just around design.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: I think they have a great perspective on what’s going on in the design community here in Arizona, so that was really cool.

Chris Stadler: I’m kind of curious just to see how the design aesthetic forks. There’s always going to be a little bit of… Wherever you are, there’s always going to be a tendency… Even though there might be a style that goes on, you can’t help… Nationally and across the world, there’s like… The antlers were huge for so long. Just the antler illustrations and things like that.

Mike Jones: Yep. Or like the anti-logos of the hipster kind of culture, and all these logos that are not really iconic. They’re just very… like everyday objects in an X pattern.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, and there’s an X in every single one of them.

Mike Jones: Yes.

Chris Stadler: Probably a campfire.

Mike Jones: Yes, a campfire. Yep.

Chris Stadler: Maybe an arrow. Yeah, they even had a hipster logo generator online, I think.

Mike Jones: Yeah, I remember seeing that.

Chris Stadler: But it’s interesting to think about how Arizona could inform and kind of give back to the larger community. What point of view do we take? How does our culture inform, our region inform? Or are we just… Because the way Arizona is going to differentiate itself and become something meaningful is if we don’t just go somewhere else and then try to say, “We’re the next Silicon Valley, or we’re going to be the next this, or we’re Arizona’s version of something that really belongs somewhere else.”

Mike Jones: Hipster Portland?

Chris Stadler: Exactly. Yeah, totally.

Mike Jones: We should do that. We should just borrow Hipster Portland. Chris, you would love it. We’ll bring the weather down too.

Chris Stadler: Instead of a campfire, it would just be like cacti on fire, like a saguaro.

Mike Jones: Isn’t that illegal? I think that’s illegal to go kill saguaros.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. So you’d have a hipster chopping down a saguaro. I don’t know, man. Yeah.

Mike Jones: Yeah, I would love to see…

Chris Stadler: Scorpion-based… A lot of scorpion-based design.

Mike Jones: Scorpion-based design.

Chris Stadler: Rattlesnake elements.

Mike Jones: Yeah, unfortunately, I feel like that’s what a lot of people would think.

Chris Stadler: Lots of broken thermometers because they just got overloaded.

Mike Jones: Oh, geez. It’s like everything that people think about Arizona from a visual standpoint who don’t live here, and then we all go, “Oh, but it’s not that. It’s not cowboy boots and scorpions and hot temperatures.”

Chris Stadler: But the question is what is it, though, right? That’s the positive. Like, what’s the substance of Arizona and how does that inform, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Not what are the tropes, what are the stereotypes? We need to fight those stereotypes. Well, you fight the stereotypes by finding out what you are about, right?

Mike Jones: Yep. One of the best state flag designs in the United States, that’s what we’re about.

Chris Stadler: One of?

Mike Jones: Yeah, we’re near the top.

Chris Stadler: Our sound engineer gave us a fist pump.

Mike Jones: A fist pump.

Chris Stadler: A fist pump.

Mike Jones: A fist pump. A fist pump.

Chris Stadler: That was good. Either that or she’s a trucker, and she’s going, “Honk, honk.”

Mike Jones: Yeah. We are right outside…

Chris Stadler: Either way.

Mike Jones: There’s this nice street.

Chris Stadler: Either way, it seems like a vote of confidence.

Mike Jones: Yep, a vote of confidence. No, we do. We actually got called out on a great design-centered podcast called 99% Visible. He did a whole episode on flag design, the design of flags. And Arizona got called out as a great example of a state flag or just a flag design in general. But amongst the 50 states, we have one of the best from a pure design standpoint, because it’s simple. It’s iconic. It’s easy to understand. It’s influenced by kind of what you see here, like sunsets. And it was cool.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. It really does capture it.

Mike Jones: Yep. But don’t put it on everything.

Chris Stadler: Right.

Mike Jones: Because then you lose the magic.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s like Santa Claus. Like, I wish I still believed. I don’t know if that’s just seasonal or just random or…

Mike Jones: Yeah. I feel like you’re going through something right now.

Chris Stadler: I am. I have regrets. Why did I have to get up in the middle of the night that time as a kid?

Mike Jones: That’s funny.

Chris Stadler: And then Dad was drinking the milk and the cookies.

Mike Jones: Who did we have on next, Chris?

Chris Stadler: We had Americans for Prosperity.

Mike Jones: Yeah, we had Steve Shadegg on.

Chris Stadler: Steve Shadegg.

Mike Jones: Yep. That was a really fun conversation.

Chris Stadler: That was really interesting. He was another Ryan Quinn level conversation. He knew a lot of history about Arizona, which is something I’d like to see more of, if we can get more of that conversation going on the podcast, because so much of that informs… It can inform the design community. It can inform… I mean, he talked about cowboy poetry. Dude, we need a cowboy poet on this show.

Mike Jones: We totally do. I’m writing it down. Cowboy poet. How do you spell cow? I know how to spell poet.

Chris Stadler: You’re making us look bad, Mike. We’re in Arizona, an Arizona pod…

Mike Jones: But I’m from…

Chris Stadler: You’ve smelled your share of cows before driving down the freeway.

Mike Jones: But I’m from the big city, all right, Chris.

Chris Stadler: The big city.

Mike Jones: And I don’t live in Cow Patch Town.

Chris Stadler: Mesa is the third largest city, right? Isn’t it the…

Mike Jones: It is second or third largest, I believe.

Chris Stadler: No, someone was saying… I don’t know if it’s true or not, but they were saying first is Phoenix, second is…

Mike Jones: Tucson?

Chris Stadler: Tucson. Third is…

Mike Jones: Mesa?

Chris Stadler: Mesa.

Mike Jones: Okay. I couldn’t remember if we were bigger or smaller than Tucson.

Chris Stadler: Oh, it wasn’t here, but yeah, I heard that. Yep.

Mike Jones: Yep. No, Mesa’s pretty big.

Chris Stadler: It’s big.

Mike Jones: There’s a lot of people in Mesa.

Chris Stadler: No cows, though. But you know.

Mike Jones: Not around my house. No, no. Actually, we… That’s not true. I was going to say something that wasn’t true.

Chris Stadler: I live in Queen Creek, and so I get to… I smell the cows, but then I’m rewarded because I drive by San Tan Flat, if anybody knows what that is, which is one of the coolest cowboy bars, and they make the best steak.

Mike Jones: All right, so you can smell the steak.

Chris Stadler: So I drive by there, and you can smell the smoke and the steak, and you’re just like-

Mike Jones: So you’re getting the double cow smell.

Chris Stadler: I’m getting the worst…

Mike Jones: The worst and the best.

Chris Stadler: The worst end and the best of the cow. Americans for Prosperity, yeah. I want to have him on again. I mean, they could talk about so much, education. They have Boaz Witbeck, who is just an education wonk, I guess. He just understands it so well. And then just a lot to say about where… They bring a point of view about where… maybe a legitimate point of view of where Arizona could be going. And then one of our strengths, which is we’re not super regulated in Arizona. So there’s a good and a bad side of that, and they have a lot of optimism about how good that could be.

Mike Jones: Yep. Well, and I mean, just full transparency, the libertarian movement has a strong influence here. So I think it was really good to have them on and have Steve on, in particular, and kind of get a little bit of that perspective of Arizona and not necessarily politics per se, but ideology, right? Like, kind of a perspective on freedom and liberty, and what does that look like when it plays out in government?

Chris Stadler: Yeah. And then do we see that as a strength in Arizona, so do we embrace it, or do we… It’s almost like it’d be fun to see Arizona choose a direction and… And that goes directly to the AZ brand, right? What’s Arizona’s brand? After that…

Mike Jones: Yeah. Then we had David Cosand and Jeff Watson come on and talk about the book that the two of them and I are writing about branding.

Chris Stadler: Yes, switch to third person. So we had on Mike.

Mike Jones: We’re going to do that again?

Chris Stadler: I was the host of this one. We had Mike and we had… And we’re lucky enough to have Mike join us right now today. Welcome, Mike. Yeah, so you guys are writing a book.

Mike Jones: Yeah, we’re writing a book about branding.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, tell me about it.

Mike Jones: Yeah. We’ve had this philosophy since day one with Resound of like, hey, people are remarkable, right? They’re intrinsically remarkable. So why can’t the organizations that they form… Organizations are just people getting together, a common set of values, a common purpose, a common vision, trying to execute on that together. Why can’t that also be remarkable? And that was kind of the genesis of our idea of why brand matters, right? There’s a whole bunch of, I think, practical business reasons why brand matters, but I think there’s also a philosophical reason that brand matters because it’s about identity. It’s about who you are and expressing your true… the real you, the real set of values and perspective, beliefs, history, context that forms who you are both as an individual, so individual kind of identity, and then corporate identity, right? Corporately, how do we express our identity together as an organization on a mission?

Mike Jones: And that was kind of the genesis of Resound. That’s why we do what we do. So we’ve talked a lot about it over the last almost 11 years. We’ve written about it a lot in blog posts, and a lot of those are just buried and scattered throughout our blog. And this last year, we were like, “Hey, let’s finally, finally put it all together into one complete package.” So that’s what the genesis of the book was. Been working on it. It’s been a really interesting process writing our first book together and learning how to do that. I think that’s been really cool and intriguing and obviously slower than I want it to be. But from what I hear, that’s just what it takes to write a book. It always takes longer than you think it will.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. And I got to interview you guys for going through the chapters and generating some of the content, and I thought it was really interesting. And I think that the world needs you as you are, and that remains one of my favorite things about Resound because we live that out every day, and we believe that about everyone around us. Kendra’s remarkable. Did you know that, Kendra?

Mike Jones: She should. It’s on my T-shirt.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, and she’s been given a T-shirt too.

Mike Jones: She will be given a T-shirt. I’ve made a verbal contract that I will get her a T-shirt, but I have not fulfilled on that contract yet.

Chris Stadler: He’s good for it. It’s one of our brand values.

Mike Jones: She knows where I work. So it was a good conversation. Any time we have David and Jeff on, I think, is great because one of the things I appreciate about them is just the kind of depth at which they want to think about just business and brand and marketing and advertising, and I think all these things that, at one level, it’s like, oh, it’s just about selling products, right? And that can be both superficial and can put you, I think, in a really bad place. You can do some really terrible things in the process of trying to sell stuff. But when you think about it more in the context of like, “No, we’re an organization on a mission. We have a purpose. We have a set of values. We have an identity that we want to be true to, and we want to serve people well through that identity,” now, all of a sudden, there’s a reason for being beyond making a buck or just making sure product gets shipped or making sure that everyone’s busy this quarter.

Chris Stadler: Well, yeah. I mean, let’s say you go downtown or something, and you can tell people with… If they seem focused, they dress a certain way, they treat people a certain way, you can tell a lot about people. And those are external things, right? These are external things that help you understand their brand. It’s almost like everybody has kind of a brand and a reputation.

Mike Jones: You have a brand whether you realize it or not.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Yep. Whether you’re working on it or not, so… That was a good conversation. I’m excited for the book. It’s coming out sometime Q1 maybe, March.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. And I just want to say one more thing. Every single chapter in that book has a point, and it’s really… It’s going to be a solid read.

Mike Jones: That’s why there’s only seven chapters, because we just really don’t have eight points. But it does have a point, but not eight points.

Chris Stadler: Yes. Yep. Those are the guests. Do we want to talk about a couple of headlines?

Mike Jones: Yeah, let’s talk about some headlines this year.

Chris Stadler: And these are just things that we noticed. They’re not necessarily the three top headlines, but they’re three things that we just kind of noticed. And one of them was, according to Inc Magazine, we are the…

Mike Jones: The authority on everything.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, so you know this is true. We are the number ninth US cities for starting a business.

Mike Jones: Right. So we’re at number nine.

Chris Stadler: Ninth best. Ninth best.

Mike Jones: That’s really interesting. Yep. I mean, that means we cracked the top 10. So if you were like, “I’m going to start a business. Where should I do that?” we would probably show up on the Google search.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: You’d be on the first page.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. I mean, if Inc Magazine has any influence at all.

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: I mean, San Jose is after us.

Mike Jones: That’s kind of a big deal.

Chris Stadler: Seattle is after us. Boston is after us.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Take that, Boston.

Chris Stadler: LA, of course.

Mike Jones: A bunch of Celtics.

Chris Stadler: Madison, of course. Orlando, of course.

Mike Jones: Everything is an NBA reference, Chris.

Chris Stadler: Tampa, of course. Sorry.

Mike Jones: You’re like, “I’m ignoring you,” as you should.

Chris Stadler: No, I’m just looking at all these rad cities that we’re in front of.

Mike Jones: I know. That’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: I don’t know Palm Bay.

Mike Jones: Who did we not beat out, though? That’s what really matters. Who’s our competition?

Chris Stadler: Are we ready?

Mike Jones: I’m going to write down our competition. Let’s do this.

Chris Stadler: Hey, Portland is down-

Mike Jones: Yeah, get them off the list.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Boo.

Mike Jones: Boo, Portland.

Chris Stadler: Just kidding. I have roots and a lot of friends in Portland.

Mike Jones: No, we have friends in Portland.

Chris Stadler: Yes. Portland’s nice.

Mike Jones: Portland’s cool.

Chris Stadler: It is cool.

Mike Jones: It’s a great place to visit. Just don’t start your business there.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Just believe what you see on Portlandia. Don’t be surprised.

Mike Jones: People think it’s a comedy. It’s a documentary. It is a documentary.

Chris Stadler: Okay. San Diego.

Mike Jones: Somebody should do a Phoenician show.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Dude.

Chris Stadler: Phoenixia.

Mike Jones: Phoenicia.

Chris Stadler: There you go. I like it. I’m nodding in agreement. Yes. He’s writing it down. Coming your way.

Mike Jones: It’s simple.

Chris Stadler: On Netflix.

Mike Jones: We’ve just got to find a producer with deep pockets and no sense of logic.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. I said Netflix.

Mike Jones: You said Netflix. They are desperate right now. They’re going to get killed.

Chris Stadler: Are they?

Mike Jones: Yeah, that’s my prediction. Maybe we should do some predictions, but…

Chris Stadler: Maybe we should market it to Disney Plus. San Diego beat us.

Mike Jones: San Diego. It’s tough to beat surfer culture. Like, when you can have your startup and surf right from the back patio of your superly well-funded startup.

Chris Stadler: All right, call me a skeptic, but every single time I hear people talk about how, “Oh, yeah, I just have my office, and then I’m like a block from the beach,” I’m like… You hear that enough, you’re like… You start doing the math, and you’re thinking like, “How much can exist within a block of the beach?” after all the times I’ve heard that. So I’m just wondering if maybe there’s a little exaggeration sometimes with the whole San Diego thing.

Mike Jones: So I did know a guy who had moved from Phoenix to San Diego and had an office. He lived and had an office, because I think he kind of figured out an office in his living space, that was three blocks from the beach. Like, he could walk. I remember meeting up with him when we were on vacation over there, and we happened to be staying in the same… basically the same beach area. And I was like, “Dude, Greg, I’m here. Let’s hang out.” And we just met up while I was hanging around the beach with my family, and I was like, “Yeah, what’s it like?” He’s like, “It’s good. It’s definitely not like what you think it is. It’s not like you’re out surfing every single day.” He’s like, “There’s a lot of work to do.” And some days, he’s like, “I actually don’t like having… Like, knowing the beach is right there.” He’s like, “It makes sometimes the work depressing.” So there’s a downside to, I think, that kind of aspect.

Mike Jones: And then we were just talking with somebody today who was mentioning… And of course, this is anecdotal, so let’s go run an actual survey, a quantifiable survey. But was saying anecdotally there’s a lack of getting stuff done in San Diego, and maybe there’s a little too much surf culture.

Chris Stadler: Well, if you can’t get anything done there, you might move to Charleston.

Mike Jones: Oh, Charleston. I liked year segue.

Chris Stadler: Where funding takes a back seat to founding, according to Inc.

Mike Jones: Okay, so that just means there’s no money. Okay, cool.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, it makes the list despite the lack of money. Well, they have little numbers here. The number one net business creation.

Mike Jones: Okay. Okay. People are starting… Like, they’re creating businesses.

Chris Stadler: And number 10 in job creation.

Mike Jones: Okay.

Chris Stadler: So it’s not like these businesses are starting and then not doing anything. And then San Francisco is number five.

Mike Jones: Yeah. We knew that one was coming.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, and it says… I laughed because it’s second in wage growth. It’s like, yeah, but it’s first in expense… like, cost of living.

Mike Jones: Yeah. It’s like your wage growth can’t meet your living-cost growth, so who cares? The only reason you have wage growth is because it can’t keep up with the real estate.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Well, and if that’s expensive, you can always move to Boise, because that’s next on the list, and it says… Oh, that’s a brilliant segue because you can buy four houses in Boise for the price of one in San Francisco according to this.

Mike Jones: Geez.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: But let’s be brutal here. It’s Boise.

Chris Stadler: It’s Boise. Yeah. Roger that. Yeah.

Mike Jones: But… That’s their tag line. But it’s Boise.

Chris Stadler: It’s still Boise. That’s a biggie to stay in San Francisco. Denver.

Mike Jones: Denver is cool.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Dang it, Denver.

Chris Stadler: It says it’s like San Francisco and Palo Alto, but with [inaudible 00:52:23]. Deep, cutting analysis on that one. Durham, South Carolina, if you want a more southern twist again, going back to our friends in the south.

Mike Jones: Durham, South Carolina? Did I get that wrong before? I must have.

Chris Stadler: Durham?

Mike Jones: Yeah. For some reason, I thought it was North Carolina.

Chris Stadler: It’s a Carolina. I don’t know which one.

Mike Jones: It’s all good.

Chris Stadler: Salt Lake City is number two.

Mike Jones: Yep, Salt Lake, they’re hopping right now.

Chris Stadler: It’s the number one in high-growth company density. Number one in job creation, and then number three in population growth. That’s the best they can do? Population growth number three? Come on! We all know who’s in Salt Lake City, and why isn’t the population growing faster? What religion?

Mike Jones: Was that a wink? Was that a double-eye wink?

Chris Stadler: That was a wink to let you know there’s something in this, what I’m saying. You need to pick it up.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Population growth, that’s not from outside the state.

Chris Stadler: All right, I’m just saying…

Mike Jones: They’re having a lot of babies.

Chris Stadler: They believe in babies.

Mike Jones: They believe in babies.

Chris Stadler: They believe in… Yeah, and so I just expect more, is all I’m saying. And then number one… Are you guys ready for number one, if you haven’t looked it up already…

Mike Jones: I’m ready. Bring it on, Chris.

Chris Stadler: … because it’s easily available on the internet? Austin.

Mike Jones: Yeah, Austin.

Chris Stadler: And I really think that-

Mike Jones: They’ve got great music, though.

Chris Stadler: I think it’s the barbecue. I think it’s the barbecue. I think they bribed Inc Magazine with barbecue.

Mike Jones: Just shipped them a whole bunch of Texas barbecue.

Chris Stadler: Shipped them? Flew them out.

Mike Jones: Flew them out for the barbecue.

Chris Stadler: Took them to the best barbecue places.

Mike Jones: And then they went to Austin City Limits and they listened to some amazing live music.

Chris Stadler: They probably got Willie.

Mike Jones: And they were just like-

Chris Stadler: They probably got Willie to meet them and-

Mike Jones: It’s all over. It’s not even a contest.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: They’re head and shoulders above everyone else because of these things. What was their business excuse for making them number one?

Chris Stadler: Yeah, what I want to know is they’re third in population growth, but I thought Salt Lake City had that distinction. Three in population growth. Three in population growth. Yeah, so I don’t know what that’s all about. 27th net business creation.

Mike Jones: Maybe they tied.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, maybe tied for three. And then number four in early-stage funding deals, which is not super surprising, right?

Mike Jones: Yeah, they’re high in funding deals. Interesting.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: But we’re in the top 10.

Chris Stadler: All right, so you want to know-

Mike Jones: And we beat out San Jose.

Chris Stadler: We did. You want to know what we’re good at?

Mike Jones: What are we good at?

Chris Stadler: According to Inc?

Mike Jones: No, I want to know. What did they say?

Chris Stadler: You’re not going to like this.

Mike Jones: All right, never will.

Chris Stadler: Lost cost.

Mike Jones: I know.

Chris Stadler: But and low regulations…

Mike Jones: Oh, that’s interesting.

Chris Stadler: … help this desert flower blossom. Number two in net business creation, right? We’ve talked about that on this podcast before, how easy it is, right?

Mike Jones: Yep.

Chris Stadler: Number seven, population growth. And then number nine in job creation.

Mike Jones: It’s pretty good.

Chris Stadler: Not bad, Phoenix. And part of the analysis is that Phoenix benefits from the high cost of living in other places: New York City, San Francisco.

Mike Jones: Yeah, especially, I think, it’s interesting that of that list, what are major metro areas that would compete at the same kind of scale of size? Denver maybe, Denver major metro, on that top 10 list. San Francisco obviously, the Bay Area. But Charleston, Durham, even Salt Lake, these are really not massively huge metro areas. So in some sense, it’s like actually if you kind of re-sorted this and you sectioned it out and said, no, we’re not looking at smaller suburban or tangential… Even an Austin is not like a major metro area.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, and I’m not sure of their methodology. What did they say? 100,000 people in the city or more? I didn’t get that deep in the article, but…

Mike Jones: Yeah. No, I’d love to dig in on this and kind of do that analysis and be like, “Okay, these cities, how much is their total major metro area population? What’s their major metro geographical size?” Obviously, we kind of kill on that because we’re very sprawling, and you have both population and size.

Chris Stadler: Well, going back to the whole first biggest city, Phoenix. And number two is Tucson, but then number three comes back to the Phoenix-

Mike Jones: Major metro area.

Chris Stadler: Greater Phoenix area, which is Mesa.

Mike Jones: Yeah, with Mesa.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: Yep. So I don’t know. It’d be interesting to kind of think through that a little bit more, but I’m just glad we cracked the top 10.

Chris Stadler: Yeah, totally.

Mike Jones: It’s pretty cool. And I would say if you’re thinking about starting a business, Phoenix is a really cool place to do that, not least because I think we’re at this really cool nexus. We’ve talked about that a little bit already with our conversation back… what was that… six months ago with Brandon Clarke. Like, this really interesting nexus of cultures. And you could argue San Diego’s got a really interesting nexus of culture, but I don’t know. I think there’s something really interesting about where we are and kind of who’s here and-

Chris Stadler: And I would love to talk about some of our other articles, because one of them had Doug Ducey being pretty proactive in bringing vetted immigrants. Like, basically saying, “We’ll take them,” kind of thing. And then we had another article look at… We’re out of time.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Real quick, what was that?

Chris Stadler: Yes. So Doug Ducey… The headline is… Oh, that’s the McSally one, where she brought a bunch of defense spending in. Okay, let’s switch to Doug Ducey. So, “Dems Praise Governor Doug Ducey for Welcoming Refugees to Arizona.” And these are, these aren’t… I don’t think it’s any comers. I think it’s what the article said. “Arizona Governor Doug Ducey was cheered from both sides of the political aisle after telling President Donald Trump’s administration the state will keep welcoming refugees vetted by US agencies for resettlement in the United States.”

Mike Jones: Yeah, I know. That’s interesting, because I think there’s a larger piece to that. Maybe we can, as we’re looking at 2020 and, I think, you and I are working on some of our strategy for what do we want to really dig in on and what is Arizona all about, what’s the unique identity here? One thing I always hear is how welcoming Arizona is to just people not from Arizona, right? So whether you’re coming from the Midwest or you’re coming from California or back East or even refugees coming from other countries, there’s a sense… And I’m sure you could talk to people and say, “Oh, it could be better,” right?

Chris Stadler: Sure.

Mike Jones: But in general, I hear from so many people, they’re like, “Oh, no, it was super easy to get integrated and get to know people and kind of find my community and find people that resonate with me or at least are interested in similar things to me.” I hear that all the time in all sorts of different contexts that I’m in across the Valley. So that might be something interesting: welcoming.

Chris Stadler: Yeah.

Mike Jones: And that story kind of fits with that. That’s interesting.

Chris Stadler: Do we have three hypotheses to test now?

Mike Jones: I wrote a couple down.

Chris Stadler: Sweet.

Mike Jones: I don’t know if I came to three. So we had some sense of like measured or sustainable… like, a value of measured, sustainable growth, versus hyper-hustle.

Chris Stadler: Yeah. Yep.

Mike Jones: That was my antithesis. And then another one… We didn’t specifically talk about it today, but it’s come up a lot on the show, is bootstrapping, this sense of do it yourself, right? Make it happen.

Chris Stadler: Okay. So we might want to ask that question a little more, maybe see if we can get people to talk about that.

Mike Jones: Yeah. And I wonder if there’s a link there with when we talk about lack of regulation and the sense of independence. Maybe that regulation is actually a response to something that’s already here, which is this desire like, “No, I’m going to get it done. I don’t need you to tell me how to do it. I’m going to do it.”

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: And then we talked about welcoming. Like, “Hey, you’re from somewhere else. Yeah, let’s figure it out.”

Chris Stadler: Those are three wonderful hypo… They’re not hypotheses yet, but…

Mike Jones: No, they’re-

Chris Stadler: You can quickly turn them into them.

Mike Jones: Is Arizona these three things? Is there something else that is more indicative?

Chris Stadler: Yes, Arizona is these three things. Prove or disprove.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: So is that it?

Mike Jones: I think that’s it.

Chris Stadler: Is this a wrap? This was a good year.

Mike Jones: This is a wrap.

Chris Stadler: This was a good year.

Mike Jones: This was a really good year.

Chris Stadler: So this is it for another episode of AZ Brandcast and another year of AZ Brandcasts. Woo!

Mike Jones: Woo!

Chris Stadler: Crowd noise. That’s our crowd. That’s not a track. Where we delve into the makings of remarkable brands here in the state of Arizona. Mike, Kendra, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for joining us this year.

Mike Jones: Yeah.

Chris Stadler: I’m joining me and I’m joining you.

Mike Jones: Yeah. Thank you, Chris.

Chris Stadler: You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. So if you’d like more of AZ Brandcasts, you can subscribe to all our episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you prefer to get your podcast. To contact Mike or I or just find out more about the AZ Brandcast, check out our website at azbrandcast.com. There, you can also get on our newsletter list and make sure that you never miss another episode or update from us. A special thank-you to our producer and Kendra of Phoenix Business RadioX and our gracious host here at MAC6 Conscious Workspace.

Mike Jones: I also want to give a special shout-out to Karen Nowicki of Phoenix Business RadioX. She has been our main producer. Kendra’s been stepping in the last few episodes, but our main producer this year through our collaboration with Conscious Capitalism Arizona. It’s been a fantastic experience having them produce the show and put it out on their network. And we are both excited and sad. It’s bittersweet. We are going to be taking our show in a little different direction, which means, from a production standpoint, we’re actually going to be pulling it in house, and Sam’s going to be helping us produce each of our episodes each month as we look at 2020. Karen will be freed up to go take on some even more amazing shows on Phoenix Business RadioX, because she’s awesome.

Chris Stadler: That’s right.

Mike Jones: And she’s got a great program here. And I’m going to do a little plug for Phoenix business RadioX because I’ve gotten a lot of value out of it. It’s been awesome, I think.

Chris Stadler: Are you tearing up, Mike? It’s okay.

Mike Jones: I’m not going to tear up. I don’t tear up.

Chris Stadler: It’s not like we’re never going to see Kendra again.

Mike Jones: No, we’ll see Kendra, and we’ll see Karen. They’re here, and we’ll be around. But here’s what I’m going to say. For anyone out there listening…

Chris Stadler: Can you give him a Kleenex?

Mike Jones: … who either is starting a podcast or thinking about starting a podcast and you want to leverage your podcast to meet people and make really meaningful connections either for yourself or your business or your organization, I highly, highly recommend checking out Phoenix Business RadioX. This is a great, great platform to make that process really easy, right? That’s, I think, been the benefit for us being on the network.

Chris Stadler: Yep.

Mike Jones: So I would highly recommend checking it out. You can obviously find them on our live cast here, or if you’re not on the live cast, just Google Phoenix Business RadioX, and you will find their website. You can get in touch with Karen if you want to find out more about what it means to host a show on her network and how to make that happen. So I just want to encourage people to think about that as they’re looking at what you’re doing for 2020.

Chris Stadler: That’s right. And don’t forget, as we go into the new year and as Mike’s shirt says and as Kendra’s shirt is about to say, “You are remarkable.”

Mike Jones: You are remarkable.