Daniel Priestley, a repeat guest, is founder of Dent Global and ScoreApp. Daniel has been been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year, written half a dozen business books, founded multiple 7 and 8 figure ventures and is on a mission to help develop entrepreneurs who stand out, scale up and make a dent. His latest book is called, “Scorecard Marketing: The four-step playbook for getting better leads and bigger profits.” In this conversation, we discuss his entrepreneurial roots, his journey from Australia to England, the state of entrepreneurs today, the role and importance of tech for any startups or business, the pendulum swings of purpose, politics and business transformation. We also unpack ScoreApp and how and why it can help your business. The future of X (Twitter) and look at mental health issues among entrepreneurs.
Please send me your questions — as an audio file if you’d like — to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to rate it here.
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Music credit: The jingle at the beginning of the show is courtesy of my friend, Pierre Journel, author of the Guitar Channel. And, the new sign-off music is “A Convinced Man,” a song I co-wrote and recorded with Stephanie Singer back in the late 1980s (please excuse the quality of the sound!).
Full transcript via Otter.ai
SUMMARY KEYWORDS: people, scorecard, ai, talk, entrepreneur, talent pool, entrepreneurial, companies, sorts, employee, world, customer, minter, create, book, Elon, model, idea, humans, business
SPEAKERS: Minter Dial, Daniel Priestley
Minter Dial 00:06
Hello, welcome to Minter Dialogue, episode number 544. My name is Minter Dial and I’m your host for this podcast, a most proud member of the Evergreen Podcast Network. For more information or to check out other shows on this network, go visit evergreenpodcasts.com. So, this week’s interview is with my old friend Daniel Priestley. Daniel’s a repeat guest. And as founder of dent global and score up. He’s been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year written half a dozen business books, founded multiple seven and eight figure ventures, theirs on a mission to help develop entrepreneurs who stand out, scale up and make a dent. In this conversation with Dan, we discuss his entrepreneurial roots, his journey from Australia to England, state of entrepreneurs today, the role and importance of tech especially AI for any startups or business, the pendulum swings of purpose, politics and business transformation. We also unpack score app, and how and why you can help your business. We talk about the future of x, formerly known as Twitter, and look at mental health issues among entrepreneurs, a stirring conversation, you’ll find all the show notes on minter.com. And if you have a wheel moment, go over and drop in a rating and review. And don’t forget, subscribe to catch all the future episodes. Now for the show. Daniel Priestley how great to have you back on my show you were on my show back in 2017. A few things have changed since then. I also had your co-author Jody cook on for your co-written book of the entrepreneurial kids. And you’ve just come out with another blooming book, you crazy man, the scorecard marketing the four-step playbook for getting better leads and bigger profits. For those who don’t know you, Dan, who are you?
Daniel Priestley 02:05
I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve got a group of companies that I started and acquired. So, there’s businesses in there that I’ve started, which are tech companies. And I’ve got another business that I run, which is an entrepreneur accelerator where we work with entrepreneurs who have fast growth companies in kind of a venture studio type model. And I’ve got a group of services companies that we acquired. So, entrepreneurial, I’m a father of three, I like guitars, the same as you. I’m an Australian living in London, and I’m an author I’ve written I don’t know how many something like six books, like that.
Minter Dial 02:40
You know, the funny thing, when people asked me that, I said, Well, I’ve written how many books? Well, because you know, you have the small ebooks or first or second editions…
Daniel Priestley 02:52
Yeah, exactly. The second editions, the co-authors. Yeah, all that sort of stuff.
Minter Dial 02:59
Well, what we both can say is we have entered the world of being bona fide authors afterwards, the numbers we can dig around on those. So, Daniel, your entrepreneurial beginnings, I know that they are of interest. And I’d love for you to just remind us how you got to become an entrepreneur down under. And that brought you all the way up top?
Daniel Priestley 03:20
Yeah, well, it was a stroke of very good luck. I was entrepreneurial as a teenager, I did things like nightclub parties that I ran and selling flowers door to door and all sorts of little entrepreneurial ventures. But my big moment was when I dropped out of university, and I went and worked for this guy called John. And he was starting a new business, I was going to be employee number three, he was a great mentor. And I had the experience of going from zero to 60 employees in two years, and basically going from around the kitchen table to 60 employees in an inner city, Melbourne office. So, I had this wonderful experience of starting a business and being up close to the action for two years. At the end of two years. John says to me, oh, sorry, I’m helping John pack his car. And I say to John, hey, I’d really like to have shares in a bit in the business. And he says, If you want shares in a business, you should think about going and starting your own, which was his kind of swept me away moment. But with that comment, he didn’t realize he was talking to an idiot, 21-year-old, who took him literally and I quit my job and went and started my own business. So, at 21, I started my own company. I applied the lessons that I learned and it took off very, very rapidly. So, we went zero to a million in year one and then up to 10 million in year three. So, it’s a very fast growth business in Australia. I got out of that business and came to the UK in 2006. And then since then, I’ve been an entrepreneur here based in London, but we’ve built businesses globally. We’ve got people we’ve got probably, I don’t know, 50 to 100 people dotted around the world at the moment.
Minter Dial 05:04
And you married! Three kids.
Daniel Priestley 05:06
Yeah, yeah. And I was meant to come to London for like two years. But a wife, three kids, a cat, a house in Wimbledon later, we are very much every roots down in London.
Minter Dial 05:19
And Britain is the better for it. So, the last time I had you on my show, we’ve we know each other fairly well, for quite a long time now than we was 2017. And a lot has happened since then. I was wondering how Daniel Priestly characterizes where we are today, in terms of evolution?
Daniel Priestley 05:41
Oh, wow. So, zooming out, I would say this, this is the moment where if you want to be really dramatic, it’s the moment where man discovers fire. If you want to be less dramatic, it’s probably where humans have come up with the tractor. And the Agricultural Age is just ended in the industrial age has just begun. So, we’re in a moment like that, in terms of, if you were to ask someone in the Agricultural Age, whatever I’m going to do, and how’s life gonna look, they wouldn’t be able to, they have no template whatsoever as to how humanity organizes itself in the industrial age, especially advanced industrial age. So, you know, buildings and digital and all those cities, cities. Yeah, exactly. So, the idea was like, in the Agricultural Age, we had. So, there are some interesting parallels, right. So, in the Agricultural Age, we had a lot of automation, and we called automation soil, we call it land. And basically, you just put a piece of seed a prompt into the soil, and, and that prompt, creates wheat stalk, and you then harvest that and, and make something with it. And essentially, most of humanity, most of human’s job was to sit back while land did the work. And we, you know, we call that God, or natural intelligence. So, where we are today is we have created some digital soil where you plant a little seed and outcomes, something of much greater value called artificial intelligence. So, if Yeah, so the idea here is like the Agricultural Age is where the way to become wealthy and successful is own all the land. And then and then have vast amounts of land. And then the way to become wealthy in the industrial age is own a factory, where you can organize labor and lots of humans. And our Gross Domestic Produce is like how much can you organize humans into a factory and produce stuff. And then where we are now is going into this digital AI revolution that we’re heading barreling into. And, and this is where, you know, we’re going to need a new way of talking about economics and a new way of talking about value creation and something new for humans to do at scale. All of those sorts of things.
Minter Dial 08:07
Wow, what a great story. I was listening to you, Dan. And as we know, stories beget stories. And as I was thinking, I was like, people, there’s a light story in there, like, Let there be light was the beginning. Then there was light in the form of electricity. And now let us be light, hold ideas lightly. Do not own property! Let’s be light of foot. And, and be agile to take advantage of the next steps. That’s my ripost.
Daniel Priestley 08:43
I love that. I love that because, you know, I’ve been talking about this idea of moving from functionality to vitality. So, like functionality is doing tasks, and performing tasks reliably. Vitality is living life and vitality is a life force and energy. It’s an irreplaceable life force. Essentially, the definition is irreplaceable life force. Humans have to re-learn vitality.
Minter Dial 09:10
Yeah, well, I mean, and would you not also think that the pandemic has, let’s say, put a Bunsen burner underneath this idea of fatality and what is life?
Daniel Priestley 09:21
Yeah, I think the pandemic drew a line and it really just accelerated everything into this digital world. So, all the trends that were kind of meandering their way towards digital and remote working in cities being less relevant and you know, different ways of organizing ideas and people and businesses. Then suddenly the pandemic said, no, no, you’ve got to do this now. Like you’re actually if you want to stay in business, you have to do it this month or next month, otherwise it’s too late. So, it kind of like totally transformed you know, even at a very small scale restaurants took them in us on Light, and they had digital ways of paying. And they started using QR codes and things like that. And those subtle things have actually transpired into the beginnings of total digital transformation in the way that they, you know, every restaurant now delivers and, and those sorts of things. And then at a very big scale, people started delivering their consulting and wealth management and coaching services online. And, you know, that was unthinkable prior to the pandemic, that someone would pay high end consultants to work remotely. And then, you know, suddenly it became unthinkable to meet people face to face.
Minter Dial 10:40
It was remarkable how, “well, we don’t need digital.” When I was at L’Oréal back in 2008/2009, and I was head of tech, at least, it was a sort of some sort of proxy CDO for my division, but it was only one of eight different functions I held. And the idea of digital was sort of some almost American anecdote, at the time. And then, you know, working remotely, none are much better to be face to face. And yet, we’ve come out the other side of the pandemic. And while much of that is now, let’s say anchored in, for example, ecommerce, and the idea of remote work, it does feel like there’s a bunch of angst as to how to manage flexible working, you may or may not come in selection freedom. Course, for as an entrepreneur, it’s a little bit different. Because it’s usually a smaller team. But how do you see I mean, in big companies, I see a lot of hand wringing and struggling to figure out what is the flexible The Empathic approach to optioning, remote or at work? How does it fly for entrepreneurs?
Daniel Priestley 11:55
Well, the new model of managing teams, I think the whole, I think there will have to be a brand new model for managing teams. And I know it’s an overused example, but I’ll use the example anyway. And it’s the Uber model. So, if you take Uber, there’s a labor pool, and each person is rated as far as what they’re reliable, you know, their vehicle and their driving skills and attitude and politeness. So, all of those things are rated things. And then there are missions, there are missions that have to be completed. And those missions, oh, we’ve got a person who wants to go from Wimbledon to London City. So, there’s a mission, who would be the best person for that mission, oh, there’s someone who’s just down the road. So, let’s assign that mission to that particular type person. So, if you imagine that an organization is imagine that the company itself has no people, and it has an origin story, and it has a vision in the future, and in the middle of the origin story in the vision, lots of tangled up wires called missions, and those missions string between the past and the future. And ultimately, each little wire that has to be completed is a little mission. And we have a talent pool that sits separately. And that talent pool has to be associate has to be organized around the mission, they complete the mission, they dropped back into the talent pool, they complete, the mission dropped back into the talent pool. So, if we think about Uber, an Uber driver complete submission, and then drops back into the talent pool, and then is assigned a new mission and drops back into the talent pool. Now imagine that an Uber journey required seven or eight people, and that we had to find seven or eight people who were the perfect people, bring them together, complete the mission, and then drop them back into the talent pool, and essentially do that. So, the old model of labor was a hierarchy, that you start at the bottom and you work your way up. And the longer you’re around, and the more seniority and skills, you end up being automatically assigned to different roles. I think the new model is going to be the image that you might have in your mind is point A is the past the values, the origin stories, the history, the legacy, point B in the future is the is what we want to achieve and our vision and our inspiring purpose. And then the thread that holds those together is what has to be done and the talent pool sits and jumps up, complete stuff jumps back into the pool jumps up complete stuff jumps back into the book, that kind of mental model, to me is far more of what you would be looking for now, you can’t do that without tech. Right? Uber doesn’t function without a without sophisticated technology. So, that model if anyone who’s listening is struggling with the model and go but how would that work? Well, the way that that would work only exists in a world of technology where the technology can tell you based upon the mission, who are the best people to be working together? Who has the most cohesion, the right skills, the right scope of skills to complete that mission? fastest, cheapest, bestest. And then it requires technology that understands people. So, in some sort of sort of rating system to then throw them at something, disassemble them, and then throw them at the next thing. So, that kind of model is where I think we’re headed.
Minter Dial 15:33
Fascinating, I wonder than when you’re doing that kind of work where you have a mission, you associate certain talents into it, bring them in, bring them out? What of the curation or a selection of those people? Because to the extent that let’s say you’re not talking about employees, but freelancers are in trying to remain agile, one of the things that I find more complicated is finding a harmony in terms of the shared spirit, the shared attitudes, shared values. And it’s a difficult thing to gauge, you know, oh, well, we believe in family, or what do you mean by family? Because there are a whole lot of different types of families out there. Yeah. And so, when you’re working in a corporation, where you have standard 1000s of employees, let’s just hope that you’ve got that part of your recruitment process. And you spend time you interview six people six times long decision-making process, but in this agile entrepreneurial mode, where you’re quickly bringing on ad hoc employees, or people to do work, the idea of alignment is not as easy. How do you how do you route rumble with that problem as an entrepreneur?
Daniel Priestley 16:55
I don’t think the employment model is going to survive in its current form. The idea that you just simply are an empire, I think there will definitely be senior teams. But what we’ve seen over the last 15-20 years is that senior teams are disproportionately rewarded, you know, their pay is going up, up, up, up, while workers values going down, down and down. So, there’s something about technology that is sort of like solidifying the value of an executive, but diminishing the value of a worker. So, essentially, if we take something like Hollywood, where you know, people come together for movies, and you have a casting director, so I think the casting director will be tack, it’ll look at things like your LinkedIn profiles, look at your personal brand, the projects you’ve worked on, it’ll also look at things like personality profiling. And those sorts of things. The challenge that you talked about with alignment, I think the pendulum personally, and this is just purely speculation, opinion based, I think the pendulum is gonna swing back the opposite direction to what it has been for the last 1015 years, where companies having deeper purposes, has actually blown up in their face more often than not. So, that they, they have found that when they try to take a stand for something, other than having a great product, it worked for a while, but a lot of them are discovering that actually now, you know, even when it’s carefully done, it can very much blow up in your face. And there’s also this kind of new attitude that I’m noticing, where people kind of want to have their own beliefs and values that they’ve got, and they don’t want to have to align all of those things into the company. So, you know, if we go back in time, it wasn’t that long ago, that you go to work because you’re aligned around making money and delivering value and being part of a team and you got your community needs met from church and you got your health and wellness needs met from hospital and you got your the doctor and you got your family needs met by family and, and those things didn’t have to go together. You didn’t have to have total alignment. And then we went to this thing where work is everything and that you need it all. It has to be your church, your friendship group, your you know, your family, and all of this. And I personally think that’s blowing up in a lot of people’s faces. It’s not necessarily healthy for workers, and it’s not necessarily healthy for companies. So, I think the pendulum pendulums tend to swing back to the center. And I mean, they all they tend to swing right and so they tend to swing too far one way and then do far the other way. I think we’ve gone too far in terms of companies having to have grand purposes. That kind of encompass absolutely everyone and everything and you know, you The irony is that it’s very, very hard to be actually inclusive. Because you can be inclusive one way, and the more you are including one type of person, the less you’re including someone else who has different values. So, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a tricky one. So, you can, you can say we want to include people who have conservative, Muslim or Islamic beliefs. And we also want to include, you know, people with radical LGBTQ plus identities, not a marriage made in heaven. Yeah, these two, these two groups don’t want to be included together necessarily, or in many cases, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of values conflict in having inclusion that includes all of that. So, what do you end up getting back to, you get back to let’s make a great product that helps people, let’s create a great service that that people can rely upon. We can all agree on that while we’re working together.
Minter Dial 21:02
In quite radical a statement, then it’s blowing up. Do you have any examples of, of companies that you feel like it? That’s an example of how the purpose the big purpose statement has blown up in their faces?
Daniel Priestley 21:17
Yeah, well, I mean, there’s, well, you go to ground zero for the culture wars, which is the USA, and you just seeing this week in week out. So, you know, the big one this year was, you know, Bud Light, you know, signing a trans person as their face of their beer. And that going deeply against the values of a lot of their conservative beer drinking, Bud Light, kind of people who don’t want to identify, as you know, earlier with a tractor affiliated, you know, it certainly doesn’t speak to them in terms of that. And there’s also, you know, they’re, they’re having issues with how that trans identity fits within their broader family identity, school identity, all these sorts of things. So, something that they thought was fairly innocuous, like drink drinking, like beer, suddenly became a political statement, where there had to be either taking a stand for being pro trans, which includes trans people in sports and all sorts of things. So, suddenly, it connects something as simple as a beer to having a beer to much wider issues, and, you know, drops off a cliff. You know, there’s a similar thing, target did one where they had, you know, clothing for trans kids. And, and then suddenly shopping at Target became, you know, a statement. So, look, it’s, it’s delicate, and its hot buttons, and all these sorts of things. And that, look, I picked two there that are trans orientated. But there’s plenty of other examples where it can be, you know, a bit of a tightrope. So, for example, Apple releases a video about Mother Nature coming into the office and talking about, you know, whether they’re doing a good job or not, and suddenly, it starts to tiptoe on the grounds of, if you’re using Apple products, then you’re pro W E. F, World Economic Forum policy to control the world and have a climate agenda that pins people down to 15 minute cities, and it’s like, Whoa, I just want to buy a phone. So, so these things are these things are difficult issues in in the modern world,
Minter Dial 23:33
is as great viewpoint and because it’s true. When I think of what those examples, I think of Miss reading your stakeholders. And if for me, it’s more misinterpretation or poor way of going about your purpose, I certainly feel the same type of issue around inclusivity. I mean, if you include everybody at some level that’s saying you’re nobody, and you don’t exist. And yet when you’re an entrepreneur and you want to hire somebody can is it not likely that your political viewpoints will come out at some level? I mean, I have always argued that we are political beings, we are by nature, political beings, and every business has a political stake. It can be a, you know, an issue through some regulation that may or may not be around some way of controlling or establishing your P&L or taxes and mean so these are things that are inevitably impacted by lawmakers. So, you as an entrepreneur will need to take pay attention to political movements. political issues. And so let’s say in that when you are hiring people, and let’s say you stand for, as you always say, it’s important to stand up stand for something, then you, you, you have you can’t shy away from certain political opinions, or kind of you don’t you would, I would say it sounds like you would probably it desire to stand up for something that might be political. And is that not something that you need to look at when you select employees.
Daniel Priestley 25:28
I think a business should have a purpose beyond making money. And I think it should have a narrow focus around that, it should have a focus around that. So, it should have something beyond making money that it does stand for that it’s happy to stand for and happy to lose people on whether that’s political or not. I don’t know whether that needs to be the realm of business. And I think that’s going to become more and more dangerous. Recently, there was an entrepreneur, who has spent the last 15 years building a tech conference in Ireland, a guy called Paddy Cosgrave. The Web Summit, right? Yeah. So, 15 years’ worth of his life’s work has gone into building one of the premier Web Summit technology events in Europe. And he has, you know, up until a couple of weeks ago, he has this incredible network, and he’s super well connected. And he can get on the phone with Elon, you can get on the phone with Google, and you know, all of these sorts of things. And on his Twitter, he took a stance around Israel and Palestine. And he took a pro Palestine lean, I wouldn’t say it was a stance, it was a lean, he publicly went public with his views, that he was leaning towards pro-Palestinian rhetoric. And immediately, he is completely dumped by the entire tech industry. And his name is mud and tech. And it’s yet to be decided, but that that business may be over. He’s had a mass exodus of his funding partners and all that sort of stuff. So, this, this, this being political thing, I think there’s going to be mounting evidence that companies should just stay the hell away from it. Now, that’s not a new idea. You know, my, you know, I remember having chats with my grandfather, not that long ago, he worked in a, in a factory, where, you know, you had union left leaning union members on the factory floor. And then you had right-leaning conservative management and white collar workers on the executive. And, you know, everyone had different political opinions, but you packed up to the side, and you get on with manufacturing, copper cabling, and we, you know, we just you can discuss a little bit of politics. But look there, you know, for a very long time, you just don’t talk sex or politics, or religion and religion at the dinner table, and you keep that. So, that wisdom must have, we must have been through this cycle in the past at some point, because we came up with that rule. And it became a very ironclad rule at one point. So, they must have, it must not be the first rodeo for us to go through this as a humanity to learn the lesson of pendulum. Let’s get all of that out in the open and we only align if we agree on all of that stuff. pendulum swings the other way, let’s not talk about sex, politics or religion. And we can stay completely aligned if we don’t talk about that stuff.
Minter Dial 28:34
So, around the widget, yeah, on the surface. It’s amazing in what you just talked about them. We’ve gone from talking about sexuality, the trans we talked about religion, Palestine, we talked about politics. And yeah, and each one of them has created a problem. Anyway, that’s a fascinating viewpoint, Dan. We’re toward the end of 2023, when this will go live recording it in the beginning of November of 2023. But how would you characterize the state of entrepreneurship? What? What are what are people who are out there now trying to build businesses doing? How’s it going for them? Is there any way for you to generalize?
Daniel Priestley 29:15
Yeah, well, I would say, for starters, it is definitely the greatest time in history to be an entrepreneur, there’s more money than ever before, the definition of inflation is too much money looking for too few goods and services. So, that is, if that’s not a billboard that should attract entrepreneurs, then you know what else is? So there’s more money than ever before. There’s more talent available than ever before, if you go online, so it used to be that your talent pool was a five-mile radius from your office and now we have a talent pool in South Africa. We have a talent pool in the Philippines. We have a talent pool in India, we have a talent pool, available in the Nordic countries. So, if I want to throw together an incredible team who are passionate about a particular thing, I could have my technologists So who are building the widget? In one place? I could have my customer success team in the Philippines, I could have my design team in Norway, right. So, you know, this is now available to any startup, without any barriers. This, this was the stuff of legends, you know, the most advanced companies on the planets could consider, you know, if we went back to the early 2000s, it would only be the Nikes of the world that could have a design team in Norway, and a customer success team in the Philippines. That stuff was That was insane. Now, that’s just any startup. So, we’re living in that time, we’re also we’ve had a huge disruption with AI, every single product or service needs electrification. And everything’s up for grabs. And when I say electrification, I’m using the analogy of the electricity being invented, and then every device becoming electric. So, you know, there was at one point hand, washing machines, hand movement, washing machines, and then they had to electrify washing machines. So, whoever was the leader at creating washing machines that you use with a hand got disrupted by whoever was the leader in electrification of washing machines. So, we’re going through this time where everything every business model is going to go go AI, furcation, intelligent, you know, electric electrification through artificial intelligence. So, you know, pick any industry that you like, and say, Well, you just add IR to that industry and become the, you know, become the disruptive force in that. And suddenly, everything’s up for grabs. We’re also in a world where the geographical borders have been completely lifted. And if you imagine what it must be, like, if you had these, like boxes containing water, and then you lift the, you know, lift the walls out of those, and the water just goes everywhere. That’s kind of like what’s going on at the moment that in every local environment, there are these all these businesses that mostly exist because of geography. And then we’ve just taken the geographical limitation away, and suddenly, it’s like, oh, okay, so you’re an accountant in Wimbledon. Sorry, we now have an accountant in Bangalore, that does a better job than you. For those for less. Yeah, and, and better. So. So, it’s like, boom, so this world of disruption is happening here, and then take the way of organizing efficiently. You know, the Industrial Revolution kind of yardstick is that if you organize a labor pool, you should see something like 100,000 to a million of revenue per employee, right. So, you should be able to say something like a six figures of revenue per employee is the natural order of things. But if you reorganize a labor pool, that you only use them when you need them, and that you have a very flexible, agile labor pool, and all those sorts of things. There’s really no reason, especially with technology that you shouldn’t be seeing one to 10 million revenue per employee, maybe 10 to 100 million revenue per employee would be some outlier edge cases. But, you know, certainly there are going to be companies that have 10 million revenue per employee, that disrupt industries that were hundreds of 1000s per employee, I’ll give you a classic example, which is I think Kodak had something like 13,000 people working on, you know, effectively people wanting to share their family photos. And then Instagram comes along with 12 people, 13 people, and, you know, and basically gives people a way of sharing family photos with different ways of developing those photos. And boom, Kodak’s out Instagrams in 13 people replace 13,000 people. So, we’re gonna see a lot of Kodak Instagram moments in the future. So, that’s all driven by entrepreneurs. I think everyone needs to learn the entrepreneurial skill set. So, regardless of whether you think you’ve got a stable job, I think learning things like pitching skills, creating partnerships, product ideation, you know, building your brand, yeah, all of those things, but um, you know, those are the ones that that everyone kind of has to has to learn now.
Minter Dial 34:18
So, in listening to you, I’m thinking of the pitch that often is happening where to private equity or venture capitalists and my AI strategy and it almost becomes a buzzword and if you don’t have AI, then you’re you know, you’re multiple drops by lots. I used to work in the hairdressing industry, which is nominally a manual business where you cut people’s hair, you apply color to various strands, and then you shampoo and while the Japan is trying to create machines to do all that it’s still a very manual job yet Is there a place for AI at L’Oréal and others? So, when you are working? I mean, I assume you’re still hands on and very much on the deck when it comes to KPI key persons of influence our program I know well, and with great success, to what extent do you sort of mandate the ones who succeed to have a tech component, even if they’re selling shampoos?
Daniel Priestley 35:26
Well, phase one is role modeling it. So, all of our businesses have gone AI enabled in the last 12 months. And we brought on AI, Chief AI officers into the business and those sorts of things. So, role modeling, and then next year, it’s really kind of pushing it as a major agenda that people have to do that I’ve been running events all this year, really pushing entrepreneurs to get with the program. But you talk about hairdressing business, there’s, there’s like 100 ways you could be using AI. So, at the point of sale you could be having, you could be having filters that show people different hairstyles, and what they might look like with different colors and, and different styles. So, people can make better decisions immediately by looking and seeing, you know, what’s going on behind the scenes, the supply chain definitely could be improved and optimized with AI, AI is going to pick up things that have been sitting around for too long and need to be moved and put on sale. In the marketing and communications, there’s 100 different ways to use AI to create hyper personalized marketing. So, taking basic bits of data and, you know, enriching that data, and then going for hyper personalization. You know, dear Daniel, you know, it’s normally about every 37 days that you get a haircut, we haven’t seen you for 60 days, we just wanted to extend you know, an offer for you to come back and see one of our stylists as those sorts of things, or Daniel, we, you know, we noticed that you’ve been doing a lot of speaking but you know, we checked out your Instagram, and we saw that you’re doing a lot of speaking public speaking, we’d love to talk to you about your onstage style, you know, those are, those are certain things that are not that hard to, you know, hyper personalization is not that hard for a decent sized company to put in place. So, you know, the one size fits all marketing message is definitely going to die. And big companies are famous for trying to come up with the one size fits all marketing message. But with AI, why not have an interactive conversation that never ends with each customer. As though it’s a single as though the company is a person and the customer is a person? And the level of communicate? If you imagine, if you imagine you go into your Whatsapp, and there is a ongoing WhatsApp conversation that you’re having with John Lewis. And it’s essentially mostly an automated conversation, but it’s a bit it’s, it has the feeling of almost a Whatsapp conversation, where John Lewis kind of has a sense as to how old the kids are and what the family life is like, and what the holidays are, and all of those sorts of things. And it’s just connected with you as an individual. And at first seems weird to be connected in that way. But very rapidly, it feels like a massive value add. You know, but as that as an analogy, the way that it feels to pick up a conversation with a friend on WhatsApp that you haven’t spoken to for a while. Could be what it’s like talking to a brand.
Minter Dial 38:47
Well, certainly I be have been exploring this whole area. I mean, thinking about the medical industry, also a very manual thing, you go and get checked up for your heartbeat or whatever. With machines, of course, but there’s a diagnostic component. And in the medical industry, there’s a whole lot of places for automation, and AI as yet, we still are relying on doctors to do surgeries. But we can also do things from a distance. So, there are indeed lots of different ways. And I assume that in your scorecard, you have something that looks at the tech, technological infusion, is that something that is actually in there?
Daniel Priestley 39:28
So in our score app, once people answer a scorecard, they start getting very automated and personalized emails from you guys, I’d say we’ll know from our customers. So, is it any of our customers who subscribe to the score app, if one of their customers fills in a scorecard? Let’s say you now know 15 Things about that customer. We just immediately start generating emails that are completely personalized to that particular customer and we build email journeys based on that it all just happens automatically. We also build scorecards using AI. So, what used to take six hours, plus take six minutes to produce a version one of an amazing scorecard concept, just using AI and then the AI codes that offers a landing page and a questionnaire series and dynamic results page. So, it just goes and builds version, a decent version one ready for customer facing in a matter of minutes. So, you can create these campaigns on the fly and where you where you would have gotten to in a week, you’ve probably been in an hour or two.
Minter Dial 40:35
So, if I’m correct, and the ScoreApp is some sort of white-labeled CRM?
Daniel Priestley 40:40
Yeah, it’s at a really crude way of describing it would be quiz generator, that you create quizzes, but quizzes, quizzes, if you kind of get into what is a quiz, it’s asking customers a series of questions, then giving you their answers for those questions, and then treating them as a unique individual based on that quiz. So, I mean, if you sit down with a general practitioner, and they hand you a clipboard, and they asked you a bunch of questions, are you pregnant? Are you taking heart medication, blah, blah, blah, they’re gonna then treat you differently based on how you answered those quiz questions. Right? So. So, when we think of any brand, if a brand has the ability to ask you some scorecard questions and quiz questions, and then it knows things about you that are relevant. So, I’ll give you an example. Imagine a scorecard that says, are you ready to run the London Marathon? Alright, have you run a marathon before? Have you got a training partner? Have you got the right shoes and equipment? Have you got a diet plan? Have you got a time in mind? Are you training based on best practices? Blah, blah, blah, have you read these books? Have you consumed this content? So it’s asked you these questions and then you go through. So, very rapidly, within a minute or two, the system now understands whether you’re a beginner running your first marathon or an experienced marathon runner who just travels around the world running marathons all the time. And you’re going to have a very, very rapid, very different conversation with those two people. So, the faster you can get on track with having those nuanced conversations, you know, the better the ultimate example of this is, is the movie “Her”. I don’t know if you’ve seen “Her”?
Of course, I have. Amazing movie, right? Of course.
Yeah. So, you know, we’re Scarlett Johansson immediately starts responding with the tone of voice, the types of conversations to completely enroll the human in a personalized, intimate relationship that they want to be enrolled in that they want to be taught having that they want to have that personal conversation. And the upshot at the end is where he says, Are you talking to other people right now? And she goes, yeah. And he says, how many people you’re talking to you right now? I mean, she’s like, well, about 4 million, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not having a great conversation with you, and he can’t get his head around the fact that she’s cheating on him with 3.999 million other people. And, you know, and this is this is essentially, what our software does is a very rapidly gets to the ability to have those personalized and intimate conversations with people by asking them to fill in a quiz, or, or what we call a scorecard.
Minter Dial 43:30
At the beginning, so how does someone get this program?
Daniel Priestley 43:36
ScoreApp is its name. So, our goal is to make it as simple and easy as Instagram, right? So data analytics and AI as easy as Instagram. So, you go to score app.com, you create a free account, and then you touch a button called credit scorecard. It’ll, the AI will ask you two or three questions about who you are and what you’re trying to achieve and what type of customer you’ve got. And then it’ll just start suggesting concepts. What about this? What about this, and then you choose a concept that you like, and then it’ll write the quiz questions. And then you will then say, Yeah, I like that. And you say, create scorecard and then AI whips into gear, write 2000 words, codes it all up for you in about three minutes. Or, well, not even 13 seconds. And then you go in and play right. So, you say okay, well, I want to add my logo or want to change the colors. So, like, like a baker who’s going to ice the cake the way that he wants that or she wants that cake iced. So, you’re gonna go in and ice the cake the way you want to ice the cake and make some adjustments. Take out that question. I didn’t like that in the end or put in a question that I didn’t think of at the time. So, you go in there and play around with that. And then probably 2030 minutes later, you’re ready to just post on LinkedIn and say, Hey, I just created an interesting scorecard about how artificial empathy are you an empathetic leader. Take the scorecard find out your empathy score, and Get ready, get content that’s relevant for my new book. So, very quickly, you can start engaging people around the concept. And you know, all the words are written and it’s ready to ready to rock and roll.
Minter Dial 45:14
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, very sexy, very sexy data at the heart of this and everything you’re talking about as far as using AI is the need for data. And in order to get that data is a need for trust. Where do you think we lie as a society and as with entrepreneurs in forging a trustworthiness sufficient for you to hand over details vulnerabilities about your empathic levels to a stranger like Minter?
Daniel Priestley 45:50
Well, this is, this is the thing to a stranger like Minter? I’d question that. So, the first people who are going to the first people who are going to take that scorecard are the people who already know you and like you and trust you. So, so people who already have a personal brand are gonna have a massive advantage for that reason. And then, let’s say that the average person will happily answer about 10 Questions about themselves in order to get some information. So, how do we learn to trust people or things? Well, we trust them in a kind of quid pro quo way that we, you know, like, if I was meeting you, for the first time, I might have a short conversation with you at a conference, and that went well. So, why don’t we sit down and have a longer conversation, let’s meet up for coffee, let’s have a lunch or a dinner is maybe the next thing, maybe let’s get our families together and start having some chats. So, it kind of it would very rarely be a situation where you just jump straight from meeting someone to let’s get our family’s talk, you know, come around to my place for dinner and all that sort of stuff. Maybe in Arabic cultures, you would don’t you just invite people straight into the home. You know, which is one of the most delightful things about that culture. But so this, you kind of have these little mini exchanges go well, and then you they lead to bigger exchanges. So, in companies, you know, you want to create something that is a short sharp questionnaire quiz, and it delivers immediate value. It’s like, wow, okay, that was cool. I spent, you know, 30 seconds answering some questions. And then I got is all this relevant content that was about me and helped me on my journey. So, yeah, I want to have a phone call and talk to someone on the team. So, you know, that that essentially, like, you know, I was talking to someone yesterday, they created a quiz called, are you ready to sell your business for the for the maximum amount of money? And you answer a series of questions, and it gives you an overall score as to how ready you are to sell your business. And because it’s very insightful, straight away. You go, oh, well, that was great. I wouldn’t mind having a chat with the person who created this. So, I want to, I want to take that further. Like, I immediately learn something. So, I want to, I want to, I don’t want that to be the end of the journey, I want that to be the beginning.
Minter Dial 48:14
It seems like you need to be upfront with the value, you’re going to propose the value exchange and then immediately show that value through the insights that you can provide right up front.
Daniel Priestley 48:25
Yeah, it’s got to be, there’s only a very small number of things that get cut through in a noisy marketplace. So, the brain is brilliant at filtering things out. You know, so we have this limbic system that when it’s fully functioning, you can walk down Oxford Street, and I can stop you at the other end. And say, How many people do you reckon you walk past? Or do you remember anything about anyone that you walked past, and the functioning brain actually filtered it all out and deleted it. And even though you are getting copious signals of information, you just turned everyone into blobs, walked around them and didn’t crash into anyone but didn’t remember passing anyone either. Right? So that’s a healthy functioning brain. But at the same time, one of the most incredible things happens, which is you spot if I spotted you on the other side of the street, I would go as if by magic, my brain goes being mentored dials there, and alerts me to and I crossed the street. Hey, Minter, how you going? You know, good to see it. Right. So, we’re now having this conversation. And it’s like that all that information was hitting the senses, the brain was filtering out everything, but then somehow knew to filter you in. And it wasn’t a conscious thing. It was an unconscious thing. This is what we’re up against when we’re trying to take a business to market we’re trying to get through those filters. So, the only things that get through those filters, it’s a very narrow set of things, but one of them is is value like delivering value quickly. We I call this gifting, gifting something of value giving value before you receive anything just by putting the value reversing the value equation of rather than you give me something I’ll give you something of value Are you it’s like, I’ll give you something of value upfront. And companies that are very good at gifting cut through that limbic system very well. So, that’s only one of like, there’s only five things really that get through and like, you’ve got things that are very sexy. So, we pay attention to sexiness, things that are very strange, like, randomly out of the ordinary things that are dangerous, you know, threatening. So, there’s, there’s a very limited number of things that will get through that filter.
Minter Dial 50:33
I love it. That is, I recall quite a piece of your “Oversubscribe” book!
Daniel Priestley 50:38
It is a bit of that. Yeah, that is, yeah.
Minter Dial 50:41
Well, so listen. We’ve got a little bit of time, but just wanna ask you two questions. One’s a little bit heavier than the other but just quickly, Twitter, the movement X, Elon and everything. What’s your viewpoint? Is it going? Is all the work that we’ve created to have followers? If we say goodbye to them, or what, what do you think about that?
Daniel Priestley 51:00
I think I think there comes a point where you have to be very naive to bet against Elon. Elon is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. He’s, he’s someone who constantly keeps you on your toes as to will it work? Well, it won’t work is easy, easy, crazy, easy, a genius. I think he his personality is very much living on that knife edge. But somehow as if by magic, he tends to drop it in, drop it into the into the goal. So, I can’t I just can’t bring myself to bet against Elon, I mean, obviously, you and I as as people who have experienced in marketing, would never flush away brand equity like Twitter. You know, that would just be insanity. And especially if it’s something as crass as X, as you know, ridiculous. But, you know, once again, do you bet against Elon or I don’t, I don’t know that I’m brave enough to bet against Elon. I think that I think that I wouldn’t necessarily throw away your Twitter account or your Twitter handle just yet.
Minter Dial 52:10
While at the same time, if you want to be seen on Twitter, you’re gonna have to pay?
Daniel Priestley 52:15
Well, I do tend to agree with what he’s saying, which is that in an AI world, there are so many bots, that you need some form of filter that if a company wants to create a million bot accounts, to just surround you, it can do that. But it doesn’t necessarily want to pay eight bucks a month for each of them. Because now we’re talking 8 million a month to maintain those bots. So, having a filter of like that, for me that few dollars a month means that we’re tipping the platforms in the direction of We are the customer versus the advertiser. I think that’s worth investing in. And I can see that you’re not probably not a bot, because you pay that’s worth investing in. So, he is making a valid point. And in changing times, I don’t think you’ll get everything right. But he is making a very valid point. You know, if you’re not paying for something, you’re the product, you’re not the customer free. Yeah. You know, why do we Why do we distrust Facebook? We don’t like Facebook, because we get the overarching sense. That the where the where the chicken marks the farmer, and it’s like, oh, wait a second. Why is he giving me chicken feed every day? Right? Well, I’m not quite sure. Like, why is this relationship? How does this relationship work? Oh, wait a second, I’m being sold. Okay, I’m not the I’m not the I’m not the client. Here. I’m the I’m the product for the client.
Minter Dial 53:55
And then another space is conventions or conferences, when it’s free tickets.
Daniel Priestley 54:00
You get expected results? You’re being sold to. Yeah, exactly.
Minter Dial 54:02
Well, that was great. So, we’re gonna watch this space, watch space in general with X, Space X. Last question was really, if you have enough time to I want to talk to you about mental health. I was doing a podcast yesterday with an entrepreneur who went down and saw the deepest dark side of a difficult business, we’ve had some things family and a mental health in entrepreneurial world. It’s a very can be a very lonely place to be, I was wondering what your advice is with regard to mental health in today’s world, is it? Is it something that is a preoccupation, and or is there a strong way to get through and keep your sanity as you go through the other entrepreneurial journey that you talk about? It’s so predictable?
Daniel Priestley 54:52
Yeah, I think. I think there’s a real disconnect between the world that we’re taught to be part of the world that is, so our mental models don’t match to reality at the moment. And that’s, and that’s probably causing a lot of underlying angst. So, the mental model of having a safe, secure job and having a safe, secure income, and all of those sorts of things doesn’t match with the world that we’re living in, and the mental model of being able to afford a home. So, you know, we’ve dismantled some pretty fundamental things that kind of kept people’s mental health in check. So, for example, affordable housing. I don’t think it can be overstated how important it is for humans to feel that they are in some way securing their residency, that they have a plan in place to have a home. And what that does to mental health, you know, when you don’t know how, at some point, you know, you’re gonna get old, and that you don’t have any plan whatsoever to be able to afford housing. At that point, there’s a psychological tension, and then add to that the removal of church and community. So, you know, the mental, the mental health model of sitting with people in your local community and being in communion with them. You know, I’ve, I’ve kind of had to go to church in the last few years just because of, you know, school and, you know, my kids go to church, school, and church attendance is something that is expected. And so someone who didn’t go to church for a very long time and doesn’t really think deeply about, you know, the Bible, and all those sorts of things. But I tell you what, there is absolutely something about sitting in those chairs with people, and breathing together and having a moment of peace together and a moment of reflection together. That’s very, very powerful, and it’s very human. And we don’t have many ways of doing that, especially with local environment. It used to be that you couldn’t be a mouthy keyboard warrior, because you had to sit next to people in church who are different to you, and who had different opinions, you had to curb your views towards a shared identity. So, that, you know, we’ve dismantled that we’ve dismantled the work environment, we’ve dismantled, affordable housing, all of those sorts of things. So, our mental models that include those things are no longer being cared for. And I think the affordable housing one is probably the leading thing, the fact that the VA, if you were born, if you’re born after 1975, you are totally fucked when it comes to housing you there is no like, you can go as you can go into Chelsea Kensington and have a look at what will put house prices in the 1970s they were 60- or 70,000 pounds, when household income was 25-30,000 pounds in Kensington, you know, now that same house is going to be a million pounds, and incomes haven’t risen that much. Right? So you’ve got this whole cohort of people who have absolutely no idea how they’re going to keep a roof over their head. You know, we’ve turned housing into a status symbol, we’ve turned housing into a investment vehicle, when originally it was just a like, the most basic thing in the world was you just need a place to sleep every night. And you need a place to start a family and how’s your family. So, so anyway, those things, I think having a big, big impact. On the entrepreneurial side, you have to be very, very careful not to be lulled into the false sense of security that sharing your mental health journey, publicly is a good idea. Because there’s a lot of people who are saying, share your mental health journey publicly. And the truth is that the vast majority of people who are customers, partners, friends, employees will nod and smile and then move as far away from you as possible. You got to be really careful that you pick a few trusted individuals who can help you bounce, reflect and do all of those sorts of things. I’m gonna say something that’s very unpopular to say. But for most people, you got to put on a you got to have a bit of stiff upper lip and put on a brave face for the big wide world. If you’re an entrepreneur. The truth is that your employees, your customers, your partners, your investors, want to see that you’re completely straight and narrow, eye on the prize, and unfazed, ready to rock and roll. That’s what they want to see. Behind the Scenes might be a bit of a different story. You need some people to talk to you about that who are safe players, safe actors around you. You could play that role for them because we all we all go in and out of having, you know varying degrees of being in a good place or not. But I’ve seen it end terribly when people start sharing too much in a public environment hoping that people love them, care for them. One Help them and actually people distance. So, we got to be careful. It’s still a very human need for people to feel safe that their boss their investment. Their partner is it is solid is solid. Yeah.
Minter Dial 1:00:21
Well, I appreciate the candor, Dan, and I frankly agree. We talk about resilience a lot. But for me that’s a code word for a stiff upper lip. The idea being resilient and just get on with it. And, and yet, of course, there’s a place to talk about it and all that just like you say, so really great words, Dan, I could have gone on I think you can imagine we could have gone on, we didn’t even talk about rethink press and the books and so forth. Already. But you know, time went time is important. Dan, how can someone follow you get your new book, The marketing, scorecard marketing, and or check out your writings and such?
Daniel Priestley 1:01:01
Yeah, so follow me on LinkedIn, I’m putting more and more stuff on LinkedIn. And I’d love to connect. And then the scorecard marketing book, we give away for free with every free with every free account on score app. So, if anyone wants to try Score App, you create a free account. And then somewhere in there, either we email you or there’s a little pop up that says would you like a free copy of the book, and we send you a free copy of the book, Scorecard Marketing, which explains the whole strategy. But realistically, you can shortcut all of that by talking to my customer success team or, you know, join one of our little workshops that we run for customers. It’s a fun journey. It’s really cool. You know, we’ve got a lot of big brands that are starting to use this approach and they’re loving it.
Minter Dial 1:01:48
Congratulations, Dan. Great to have you on my show, and I look to communing with you. Maybe not on Oxford Street, but somewhere close nearby soon.
Daniel Priestley 1:01:57
Minter Dial 1:02:01
So, a really heartfelt thanks for listening to this episode of The Minter Dialogue podcast. If you liked the show, please remember to subscribe on your favourite podcast service. As ever, rating and reviews are the real currency of podcasts. And if you’re really inspired, I’m accepting donations on www.patreon.com/Minterdial. You’ll find the show notes with over 2100 blog posts on minterdial.com on topics ranging from leadership to branding, tech and marketing tips. Check out my documentary film and books including my last one, the second edition of “Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence” that came out in April 2023. And to finish here’s a song I wrote with Stephanie Singer, “A Convinced Man.”
I like the feel of a stranger
Tucked around me
Precipitating the danger
To feel free
Trust is the reason
Still I won’t toe the line.
I sit here passively
Hope for your respect
Anticipating the thrill of your intellect
Maybe I tell myself
There’s no use in me lying.
I’m a convinced man,
Building an urge
A convinced man,
To live and die submerged.
A convinced man,
In the arms of a woman
I’m a convinced man
Challenge my fate
I’m a convinced man
A convinced man
In the arms of a woman.
And struggle to see
Live for the challenge
So life’s not incomplete
What’s wrong with challenge
I know soon we all die
I’m a convinced man
Practicing my lines
I’m a convinced man
Here in these confines
A convinced man
In the arms of a woman.
I’m a convinced man
Put me to the test
I’m a convinced man
I’m ready for an arrest
I’m a convinced man
In the arms of a woman.
I’m a convinced man… so convinced
You convince me, yeah baby,
I’m a convinced man
In the arms of a woman…
Minter Dial is an international professional speaker, author & consultant on Leadership, Branding and Transformation. After a successful international career at L’Oréal, Minter Dial returned to his entrepreneurial roots and has spent the last twelve years helping senior management teams and Boards to adapt to the new exigencies of the digitally enhanced marketplace. He has worked with world-class organisations to help activate their brand strategies, and figure out how best to integrate new technologies, digital tools, devices and platforms. Above all, Minter works to catalyse a change in mindset and dial up transformation. Minter received his BA in Trilingual Literature from Yale University (1987) and gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1993). He’s author of four award-winning books, including Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence (2nd edition) (2023); You Lead, How Being Yourself Makes You A Better Leader (Kogan Page 2021); co-author of Futureproof, How To Get Your Business Ready For The Next Disruption (Pearson 2017); and author of The Last Ring Home (Myndset Press 2016), a book and documentary film, both of which have won awards and critical acclaim.
👉🏼 It’s easy to inquire about booking Minter Dial here.