shift from product to platform with scott brinker

Podcast Ep. 112: Making the Shift from Product to Platform with Scott Brinker

shift from product to platform with scott brinker
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Episode Description:

In this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by Scott Brinker. Scott is the VP of Platform Ecosystem at Hubspot, the author of the ChiefMartech blog, and the founding program chair of the MarTech Conference.

In their conversation, they explore some topics around approaches with shifting from product to platform, organizational change with distributed agility, and exploring the Flywheel Model at Hubspot. Scott also shares his tips and advice around alignment, distributed authority, and preventing backsliding.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Key Takeaways

  • Hubspot’s shift from a product company to a platform company:
    • Hubspot made the shift in order to move beyond just building within their own organization to being able to open up APIs and extensibilities that would allow other companies and developers to build on top of that foundation (in turn, shifting the value proposition to customers)
    • Expanding from your own teams(s)’ ability to innovate and experiment to empowering team(s) around the world to innovate and experiment
    • They went from focusing on an end-user audience to requiring the product teams to look at another dimension of what they were creating
  • The value in shifting from product to platform:
    • The ability to adapt to change at scale is an invaluable skill
    • This process helps pressure-test your ideas in a variety of different circumstances
  • Tips for shifting from product to platform: 
    • You want a clear top-down strategy and a sense of where you’re going and why, but also the freedom to experiment and create
    • You don’t want to have top-down handcuffs but you do want a strategy so people can align
    • Experimentation is the pathway to greatness and the best way to have a great idea is to have a lot of ideas
    • It is ideal to have a blend of a formal/informal experimental framework
  • Tips regarding alignment:
    • If you’re going to have a product in the ecosystem, you want to make sure it adheres to some basic governance
    • You want to make sure that the experience that customers have with anything in the ecosystem is good
    • You can’t have governance that strangles the teams, but you also don’t want a lack of governance that puts your organization at risk — finding balance is key
  • How distributed authority works plus tips:
    • Distributed authority refers to giving someone the authority to take something and run with it (in turn, creating a tremendous pace for innovation within an organization)
    • To make this successful at scale, you need some scaffolding and governance increasingly over time so they all tie back into a common foundation
    • When it comes to the product to platform, each individual team needs to come to terms with it (almost like a retail approach to change management)
    • Pro: Because you have these highly empowered teams, as soon as they “get it”, their ability to move very quickly and do amazing things is greatly increased
    • Con: It’s not a one-shot thing; you have to invest the time and go team-by-team
    • It may take longer than you think it will, but it leads to strong, genuine change that sticks
  • Tips and advice around backsliding: 
    • Creating alignment between platform and ecosystem as a way to help your team(s) achieve their goals creates a strong bond
    • Things diverge for good reason; usually, it is an indicator that the team needs to adapt or that something is not a good fit and needs to be changed
    • What first might look like backsliding might actually be the discovery of finding a new path or possibility (so don’t squash things too early)
  • What is the Flywheel Model?
    • “The Flywheel is a model adapted by Hubspot to explain the momentum you gain when you align your entire organization around delivering a remarkable customer experience”.
    • “With the flywheel, you use the momentum of your happy customers to drive referrals and repeat sales”.
    • “Other models think of customers as an outcome — nothing more, nothing less”.
    • The most successful companies address all three components of a flywheel: How fast it’s spun, how much friction there is, and how big it is (which determines customers’ attraction, engagement, and delight)

Mentioned in this Episode:

Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar.]

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to the Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach, and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner. I’m your host, Dan Neumann. And today I’m joined by Scott Brinker, who’s the VP of platform ecosystem at HubSpot and he’s the author of the Chief Martec blog. And we’re going to be exploring some topics around, shifting from product to platform, as far as an approach, talking about some challenges around organizational change with distributed agility, and also, um, exploring a flywheel model at HubSpot, which is different than what typically happens with a marketing funnel. So I’m hoping we have time to kind of wander through all three of these and, and talk about the way they help people improve the way they work. So, Scott, thank you very much for joining.

Scott Brinker: [00:59] Thanks for having me. Sounds like we got quite a full agenda for the day.

Dan Neumann: [01:02] I hope so. So that’s my that’s. I like to think of it. Like it’s a backlog and if we don’t get to something, hopefully we’ve gotten to the most important stuff near the top. Um, but yeah, so when we were getting ready, you talked about some of the shifts at HubSpot from shifting from a product company to a platform company. And it sounded really interesting to me because so many times when we’re working with organizations, we’re just trying to shift from project mindset to product mindset, um, where things don’t start up and get torn down. Uh, but they really put a team towards a product. And I’m curious to get your thoughts on that shift, but then what caused you folks to kind of shift or what the, what the value of shifting from product to platform might be?

Scott Brinker: [01:52] It’s a great question. Uh, and I’ll start by answering it in the most immediate context of like what that meant for HubSpot. Uh, but I really like the way you’re sorta honing in on, um, that some of these patterns, you know, you can think of them as external business model patterns. Uh, but I think they are also very applicable to like how internal teams work, particularly when you have more than one team needing to be able to create around some sort of common foundation. Uh, so yeah, in the context of HubSpot, I mean, HubSpot started as a, uh, as a marketing digital marketing product, uh, you know, like 15 odd years ago, um, uh, very successful for that helped pioneer the, uh, inbound marketing movement, uh, and then expanded their product line. Added a, uh, a sales product. Uh, so you then had marketing hub and sales hub. Um, but, uh, around that time started to realize that there’s just so much innovation happening around, you know, not just marketing and sales, but you know, like all the related of, you know, customer service and success, how these things get integrated and check products, you know, how they connect to the back office, uh, and it’s really impossible for one company to build it all. And so it started to really make this shift, you know, uh, initially from like a product perspective of how do we move beyond just building everything ourselves to increasingly being able to open up APIs and extensibility, uh, that would enable other companies and other developers, you know, to build on top of that foundation. And then as part of that is that, you know, that kind of shifts the value proposition, you know, to customers because then you’re no longer just selling them. Oh, okay, well, this is what our great engineering team, you know, created for you it’s, Hey, here’s what our engineering team created, but here’s also now this ecosystem, you know, of hundreds of other companies that are either integrating existing apps to that platform to make them work better together, uh, or even creating net new apps on top of that foundation. Uh, and so yeah, where I sort of see the parallel, you know, often the agile world is, you know, to me, agile has always been such a powerful approach to enabling, uh, iteration innovation, like, you know, uh, really, uh, accelerate, you know, the way in which people can experiment and learn. And to a certain degree, the shift from product to platform is like doing that on a, you know, like a couple of orders of magnitude of saying, okay, well now it’s not just our own teams that are doing that experimentation and learning, but we’re empowering an incredibly distributed set of people around the world to also iterate and experiment and innovate on top of that as well.

Dan Neumann: [04:43]
No, that’s sounds, sounds very cool. And as agile teams or companies shift from maybe using one team focused on a single goal to multiple teams focused on a goal, and now, like you said, a very highly distributed, um, set of organizations contributing to the platform, how, how does alignment get created or does it even matter at that? Does alignment matter with all these external companies? Does the market just sort it out if somebody’s way off on kind of the vision of the platform or its uses, does the market just punish them, nobody gets their thing, or do you guys have a responsibility for keeping alignment somehow?

Scott Brinker: [05:22] Yeah. So I think there’s different levels, like where we see the value of alignment is like, okay, well you certainly, if you’re going to have a product in that ecosystem, you want to make sure it adheres to like, just some certain basic governance of like, okay, this is how the data is managed. This is, you know, um, you know, the protocols for, you know, what the, you know, good use of the API is. So the SLAs, you know, mostly because you just want to make sure that the experience customers have with really anything in the ecosystem is good because right. I mean, they’re going to judge now, I mean, it’s a two-edged sword, right? Yeah. People will appreciate it for all its power, but at the same time, if you have stuff that slips into the ecosystem, that’s just not good, then people lose trust in the entire ecosystem. Um, so I think there’s a real responsibility for any platform company to provide good governance, but when it comes to the actual business ideas of these apps yeah. I’m, I’m much more in the category of yeah. Let it, let it be an open market. Um, because you know, it’s kind of funny, right? This is, again, I think the similar pattern, you know, on the agile thing is like the problem, one of the challenges with any sort of top-down approach to things, is it really, very quickly narrows your view of, Oh, what do you think is right. Um, you know, and there’s a, there’s a place for, you know, that, but I think this, this power of saying, listen, we, we don’t have all the answers. We don’t know what all the possible things are. Um, and to really lean on the creativity of a much more diverse, uh, you know, set of contributors, um, you know, yeah. I’ve definitely seen products, you know, that have been incredible successes that, wow, I, like, I never would have even imagined that, you know, then there’s other times I’m like, wow, we really could use X and X is there. And it’s like, that’s all right. But, you know, so I’ve, I’ve learned the humility that the, the collective ecosystem is much smarter than any one individual or any one team.

Dan Neumann: [07:32]
Yeah, no, I, I agree with that. And as you were talking about it, it sounds like again for, for maybe people who aren’t at at the platform level, if you’re, um, if you’re a company with some governance, you want that to keep the organization safe, right. If you’re, uh, if you’re a medical company, you don’t want to be leaking PII, you don’t want somebody stealing your patient’s data at the same time, you need space for teams to innovate and release frequently. And so you can’t have governance that strangles the teams yet you don’t want a lack of governance that puts your organization at risk. And so I think striking that balance is, is really tough, but super important.

Scott Brinker: [08:14] Yeah. I think that’s, um, uh, yeah, where the parallel between like internal organizations and agile management and yeah. There’s a, you know, external pattern of, uh, yeah. Platforms and ecosystems. Um, uh, you know, when we were chatting a bit, uh, you know, in arranging, uh, you know, this session, um, it’s, it’s funny, I’ve been passionate about both of the, you know, these, uh, phenomenon, um, but it was really in the chat with you then I’m like, wow. You know, there really are a lot of similarities. Like now I know why I love this stuff because the dynamics, it’s a very similar pattern in many ways,

Dan Neumann: [08:50] It’s it, it’s, it’s kind of fun to see different patterns emerge, whether it’s know patterns in nature, showing up in, in architecture patterns of human behavior or products, or, yeah. It’s always fun to see where we’re different themes keep, keep reemerging. You talked about, uh, all the, the distributed nature of the platform specifically in this case, right? HubSpot is the platform. You have contributors globally making things for the platform. Um, I wanted to kind of explore distributed authority from a team’s standpoint. Maybe see if there are any, um, specific nuggets or, or, or suggestions or warnings about, about how distributed authority works with, with agile teams. We want self-organizing teams. We want teams to be able to move quickly and make decisions. Um, but at the same time, sometimes that’s really scary to an organization because it’s completely foreign to what they’ve ever done. They’ve always been top down in handing decisions. Um, and then I think you, you’ve got something to share about, uh, HubSpot’s wanting to make an organization. It doesn’t even have to be HubSpot’s experience, but wanting to change something globally in a distributed authority environment. And that creates some challenges. So I don’t know, long question, but I think that this whole distributed authority thing’s really interesting.

Scott Brinker: [10:16] Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, there’s a lot to mine here. Um, so I would say HubSpot, uh, is, is kind of the opposite of the situation you described where, you know, HubSpot really started as a very distributed, uh, you know, a company, uh, in fact, like if you go to the careers page and, you know, you’re like getting the pitch for, Hey, why you should come work at HubSpot. One of the top three bullets is because, Hey, you will get the authority to take something and run with it. Um, and frankly, I think this is, you know, one of the foundations that has helped HubSpot be so successful, uh, is it just has this, you know, tremendous pace of innovation. Um, you know, now again, like there’s, there’s definitely, you know, to make that successful at scale, you know, you need some scaffolding, you need some governance, uh, you know, increasingly over time the companies put a lot of effort into its own internal platform architecture, so that as teams are going off and, you know, creating, you know, things for their particular opportunities, you know, they are all tying back, you know, into that common foundation that there was a coherence to like data and a UX and things like that. Um, but yeah, it was interesting here in this, you know, shift, uh, from, you know, product to platform is up until the platform shift, you know, product managers, right. It was all about like, Hey, this is what we’re going to build. This is exactly how it’s going to work. This is what we’re going to ship. It was very much an end-user, you know, audience, uh, and maybe there was some thought that, yeah, there’s other things, you know, out in the world, but you know, what really matters is this experience that we’re creating, you know, and in shifting to platform strategy, it really started to require the product teams to, you know, look at another dimension of what they were creating. And it wasn’t just this fixed experience for an end user, but it was also like, okay, where are the places where we could open up APIs or extensibility that would allow other developers outside of HubSpot’s walls, you know, to build on top of this and to create things that maybe we didn’t think of, you know, and that’s, um, you know, this is one of the things that you can explain it in a couple of sentences and, you know, everyone nods their head and gets it. Um, but yeah, when you’re, when you’re actually in the trenches of product design, I mean, it’s a pretty significant shift. Um, and so, yeah, it, um, you know, because of the highly distributed nature of HubSpot, you know, having the CEO stand up and say, all right, we’re becoming a platform company. I mean, don’t get me wrong. That’s, that’s good to set a direction but the actual implementation of it, you know, is something that, uh, yeah. Individual teams kind of had to come to each in their own terms. And so yeah, as we were chatting a bit, you know, before, um, yeah, that is a, uh, it’s, it’s almost like a retail approach to, uh, you know, change management. You kind of have to go team by team. Um, and what’s interesting about that is there’s pros and cons to this, right. I mean, you know, one of the advantages of it is because you’ve got these highly empowered teams, like as soon as they get it, their ability to move very quickly and do amazing things within their space. Um, uh, yeah, it’s just remarkable. Um, but yeah, at the same time, you know, it’s not like a one-shot here, we’ll do this one presentation and it’s all good. It’s very much like, all right, you got to invest the time and going team by team, understanding what the opportunities are for an ecosystem relevant to their specific mission. Um, and so that definitely took longer than I think, you know, perhaps going into what I would have anticipated, but at the same time, I think it, I think it made a stronger change, right. Because, you know, when things change in that organic way, you know, from the bottom up, uh, I really do believe they’re, they’re much more, uh, much more sticky. It’s like, okay, this is, this is genuine change. You know, it takes a little longer, but once it’s absorbed, you know, this isn’t like a flavor of the month.

Dan Neumann: [14:36] Two things you said that I think are related to each other are, it took more time than you thought, which I think, um, I don’t know if I’m the most patient person that was ever put on the planet, but agile changed shifting to an agile mindset, shifting to agile delivery for me always seems to take longer than, than it should. Um, but then the other side of that is once people really understand why they’re doing particular things, if they’re doing the Scrum framework, it’s not just, you know, plan the thing. And then at the end of the Sprint, you, you show somebody a thing and then you plan the next one. It’s, it’s really wanting to shift the mindset towards delivering value, getting an increment, the pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation. And once people get that, then they can use the platform of Scrum much more effectively. Um, but boy, sometimes it just takes time until that light bulb goes off or until there’s buy-in. Um, and I think that’s similar to what you’re describing with your, um, with, with change in a highly distributed authority type of system.

Scott Brinker: [15:42] Yeah. I certainly, you know, if you, if you’ve told me that was going to be the challenge moving into it, I might’ve been like, ah, all right. That’s um, maybe not a plus, but I’ll be honest actually having gone through that, I really appreciate it because one of the things that really forced me and my team to do is like pressure test our ideas and what we saw in a variety of different circumstances and like any other iteration, you know, iteration, you know, of something like an ecosystem, you know, strategy is one of those things that yeah. Doing that, you know, incremental process and experimenting and, you know, pushing on it from so many different angles. Um, yeah, it, I really do think it, it made something stronger than if, you know, someone had said like, okay, well, you can just go in and we’ll do one deck present. It’s all that can only imagine some of the mistakes that wouldn’t have been caught, you know, uh, you know, yeah. Less, uh, less work to actually get there.

Dan Neumann: [16:42] So interesting, so no big waterfall plan for the shift, then I’m assuming, or if there was a waterfall type of play on that maybe quickly got abandoned from a change perspective.

Scott Brinker: [16:53] I think. Yeah, definitely not waterfall. I mean, it’s, you know, that combination, um, that I I’ve always found effective, you know, in agile, uh, certainly in agile marketing related things is that balance of listen, you want, you want a clear top down strategy. You want a sense of like, okay, where are we going? Why, what are the key levers? You know, that play into that. But then a lot of freedom, you know, to experiment and create in like, okay, how do we get there, you know, from here and what do we learn in the process? And that, that might inform that strategy over time. But, um, yeah, I, I, I still run into the case in the marketing world when people first hear about agile marketing. They’re like, so what, we, we just don’t have a plan or strategy or vision. We just make it all up as we go along. No, I would not recommend that

Dan Neumann: [17:45] That’s common as well. Then between software and marketing, the assumption agility means just like, yeah, whatever wild West off we go. But your, your, your point clear top-down strategy. And then lots of freedom to experiment within that. I, uh, actually was talking to one of my colleagues here at AgileThought about, um, Azure DevOps, one of the tools and how to do some backlog refinement visibility in there. And, and he wanted to do some things, which was fun after, after he kind of got it through my thick head, but he was actually trying to set up there and it’s like, yeah, nobody’s done. It sounds interesting. Let’s make sure it doesn’t break something. And then if it works, that’s great. I I’ve never done it that way, but, um, that doesn’t mean it it’s a bad idea. So I’m actually kind of looking forward to seeing what he comes up with. Cause he had so many smart people. You don’t want to have just a top-down, um, uh, handcuffs on people, but you do want the strategy so that people can align.

Scott Brinker: [18:42]
Yup. Yeah. I think the one pattern I’ve seen like again and again, is, um, you know, experimentation is the, the, the, the pathway, the, you know, greatness, what was it, the Linus Pauling quote about, you know, the best way to have a great ideas, to have a lot of ideas. Um, yeah.

Dan Neumann: [19:04]
Have you, uh, tended to apply a formal experimentation framework to that where people get as clear as having a hypothesis. So it’s running an experiment, um, revisiting their conclusions and doing that, or has it been kind of informal from an experimentation standpoint in your, your experience?

Scott Brinker: [19:21] It’s a mix. Uh, and so again, even one of the things across HubSpot is, um, again, the, you know, in delivering a lot of, you know, authority and freedom to teams, uh, you know, different teams will lean into different dynamics of how they run things. Uh, you know, and they certainly some teams at HubSpot that lend themselves very well to a, you know, a well structured, you know, experimentation optimization process. Um, you know, I think, uh, you know, on the ecosystem side because of the time frames in which things play out, um, you know, I would say the, you know, the most accurate experiments are sort of down in the trenches of like individual tactics sort of things, but some of the larger plays, um, yeah, we, we, we ran experiments, but sort of the time to maturity to, you know, learn how that worked, you know, is measured more in, you know, months instead of weeks. And so, uh, um, you know, you adapt accordingly.

Dan Neumann: [20:20] Sure. No, that makes sense. Random trivia of went to Michigan state and apparently Michigan state has the longest running science experiment, uh, known demand at this point. Uh, there was a man named Beil who at one point buried a bunch of seeds in jars, curious how long seeds stay viable. And I don’t know, it’s been an experiment this running for about a hundred years. Um, so, you know, sort of democracy that’s this, as far as I know, the longest experiment humans have been doing anyway. Yay. Alma Mater. Um, but back to agile things in a distributed authority system, are there any tips for preventing backsliding, um, that, that, you know, you you’ve, you’ve got a strategy, there’s this momentum towards that and, and is it a constant pouring in of energy to prevent backsliding once, once the light bulbs go off to people just kind of go keep going. Um, once they’ve got kind of a kind of escape velocity to steal from rocketry here.

Scott Brinker: [21:20]
Yeah. I mean, it depends right. Classic answer to this. Um, I think a lot of it comes down to the fact of, I mean, we’re all creatures of, you know, incentives, um, you know, and the thing about distributed teams is they tend to be very efficient at pursuing what their primary goal is. Um, you know, and so to the degree that you’ve created alignment between like platform and ecosystem as a way to help them achieve their goals, then yeah. Again, that, that, that can be a very strong bond that, you know, you don’t have to check in on, you know, every week. Um, but things do diverge. Uh, and I think it’s, you know, sometimes I write, they diverged for very good reasons, right. I mean, like there’s something happening that that team needs to adapt to, you know, that maybe the, the, the approach we would have considered from the ecosystem actually, isn’t a good fit for that. You know, I think it’s a great opportunity then to, um, I mean, you, you, you want to keep your antenna open for these, but to have the conversation just to understand, okay. Like why is it diverging? Um, you know, and is it something that, you know, should change because maybe it shouldn’t, um, or is it even something that, you know, is it something the ecosystem should be adapting to not just the team trying to adapt to the ecosystem? Um, so yeah, I, I guess, yeah, the whole, it depends thing. So just in a really distributed environment, it’s just hard to say like, Oh yeah, These cases fit into the exact same format every time.

Dan Neumann: [22:57] Well, it sounds like, you know, what might at first look like backsliding could be finding a new path, discovering a new possibility. And so, you know, not squashing some of those things too early, or maybe not squashing them at all and, and expecting them to self correct is a pretty interesting thought. I advertised three topics and I think we’re going to make it. So, um, so, and this one’s, um, I hadn’t seen it before and I stumbled upon it on, uh, S uh, HubSpot’s website and it’s called a flywheel model. And it, it looks like a little circle with the arrows it’s, um, you know, kind of like in, in PowerPoint art, where you’ve got the little arrows that go in a circle and the top ones attract that feeds into engage, and then that arrow feeds into delight, which feeds into attract. So you’ve got to attract, engage and delight, and, um, I don’t want to butcher talking about it. So I want to let you maybe introduce what it is. And then, um, I think there’s an, again, a parallel between this and what we talk about with some of the agile teams.

Scott Brinker: [24:02] Yeah. Well, again, I mentioned that at the beginning, you know, HubSpot started as a marketing product, uh, product for digital marketing. Uh, and, uh, yeah, certainly in the first wave of digital marketing, everybody talked about the funnel, right. We get a whole bunch of weeds and then we like, you know, nurture them and qualify them. And eventually at the bottom of that funnel, you know, things, uh, yeah. Um, and then they, there was a joke inside HubSpot, uh, you know, our, uh, CEO, Brian Halligan, like, I mean, we have whiteboards all over HubSpot and like any whiteboard you could tell Halligan had been there because everything’s a funnel. Um, but what was interesting is, you know, both inside HubSpot, you know, about four years ago, you know, as we had expanded our own suite of products where it wasn’t just marketing, it was marketing and sales and customer success, and trying to, you know, connect a lot of these front office capabilities together. Um, I think HubSpot was becoming much more aware of these customer journeys that aren’t, you know, purely linear, you know, but they have interaction effects. Like they, they feed back in happy customers generate more, you know, happy customers. Um, and that was also something just in the marketing industry in general, you know, the past five years has sort of been a shift of recognition that, um, yeah, a lot of the greatest opportunities aren’t just with like net new leads, but it’s, you know, how do we really get that fly wheels spinning, you know, of harnessing customer delight, you know, as one of the, the, the key engines of our growth. Uh, so that was what, uh, yeah, finally inspired HubSpot to say, okay, well actually all these things fit like that, that model of how companies were increasingly thinking about customer experience and not coincidentally that HubSpot now has a suite of these products that connect together that way, um, that our, our, our CEO banished, the funnel moved to the flywheel. And so now on whiteboards all over HubSpot there’s flywheel each like things including for the ecosystem, right. We think of the, you know, you get developers, they build, you know, the successful apps, customers love them that get more customers attract more developers, you know, and a virtuous cycle ensues.

Dan Neumann: [26:25] Yeah. And that concept of virtuous cycle is kind of tying it back to change management with agile teams and delivery for organizations that are shifting from highly predictive gated, controlled things to agile teams, with some autonomy finding chances to say, Hey, Hey, there’s one. Yeah, it’s a little wheel and is spinning slowly. And there’s a bunch of friction, but there they’ve actually delivered software a couple of times in the last month, that’s maybe a big step for some company or the team has started to self-organize or they’ve found some improvements. And so finding those little bright spots, now I’m mixing metaphors. So we’ll come back to the flywheel, starting to it’s a little weird starting to spin, um, but it’s happening. Uh, and I think that’s really powerful for, um, like you mentioned in marketing, getting people to come into and become, um, really promoters of, of the company and it’s product internally, they can become promoters and, and, uh, help build momentum for, uh, an organizational change.

Scott Brinker: [27:32] Yeah, I think, um, yeah, just understanding that things increasingly in the real world, don’t have a beginning and an end, you know, they, they have these ongoing dynamics and, you know, the more you can recognize that and really play to that. Um, yeah, it, it, it, uh, I think a lot of good things come from it. Yeah. Then, and again, this is another one of these serendipitous connections that you made, uh, you know, chatting with me, which, you know, I’ve been staring at flywheels for like, yeah. Now that you mentioned that this kind of does look like a, you know, the old spring cycle diagrams, I used to be drawing for years.

Dan Neumann: [28:13] I really do think there’s something there where you guys talk about how fast is the wheel spin, how much friction is there, how big is that? And, um, the faster it spins, the less friction there is, and the bigger it gets, the more value I’m assuming then the, the connections, the more value you get out of that flywheel. That’s super cool. Scott, thanks for, uh, exploring topics. We actually got through, you know, talking about product to platform. We touched on distributed agility and then kind of closed it up with some flywheel things. And I wanted to give you the opportunity for any kind of closing, closing thoughts.

Scott Brinker: [28:47]
Cool. Well, kudos on excellent planning poker. Well, I, I really appreciate this discussion, I think, um, uh, again, just sort of driving home that connection. Uh, but you know, I mean, one of the things about agile is, you know, been like empowering teams to be more productive, more creative. Um, but yeah, that really is the same kind of meta dynamic, you know, with platforms and ecosystems. So I just find fascinating that, you know, I mean the more you can empower, you know, a broader and more diverse group of people, uh, to bring their imagination and talents to bear, uh, yeah. The more things that can happen that you never would have been able to plan top down. And so it’s definitely great to see. Yeah, I see this popping up in a variety of circumstances in the world.

Dan Neumann: [29:41] That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Scott, one of the questions we ask folks typically at the end is what are you reading that, that kind of, has you inspired, has taken you along a growth journey of some kind and wanted to offer that opportunity to you as well.

Scott Brinker: [29:55] Yeah, I’m actually rereading a book called anti-fragility, uh, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, uh, the guy who did like a fooled by randomness and Black Swan and some of these terms that we’ve, we’ve, we’ve accepted into our lexicon. Uh, and that’s the short version of anti-fragility is it’s about, you know, instead of structuring systems that tend to break when subjected to change, you know, can you create these systems and these dynamics where change actually makes them stronger. Uh, and I think that’s, I mean, certainly relevant to the agile stuff, incredibly relevant, you know, to the ecosystems, um, that, uh, the ability to like adapt to change at scale. Uh, boy, if you can, you know, it’s not necessarily intuitive, uh, but like as you start to like set those dynamics in place, um, yeah, I think that’s a, I mean, in a world where we know that technology keeps going faster, you know, I mean the, the, the, the changes we’re all wrestling with, or just accelerating, you know, that the more you can turn that, you know, into a net positive force in what you’re doing, instead of like, Oh my God, everything just changed again.

Dan Neumann: [31:13] That’s outstanding. No, thank you. I have not gotten through that one, but I’ll, I’ll look forward to adding that to the list. And then, uh, we’ve talked about a few different things. We’ll put links in the show notes at And I want to appreciate again, Scott for your time and sharing your ideas this morning.

Scott Brinker: [31:31] Thank you so much for having me.

Dan Neumann: [31:34]
Thank you.

Outro: [31:37] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views opinions and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes at

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