CXOctober 1, 2021

Connected, by mParticle Episode 2: Winning the streaming wars with Danny Joseph of Discovery

In the second episode of the podcast we interview Danny Joseph, VP of Product, DTC at Discovery. Danny shares best practices around building strong customer relationships, working across the organization to build better products and much more.

In the second episode of “Connected, by mParticle” we host Danny Joseph, VP of Product, DTC at Discovery Inc. Danny talks about how his natural desire to “make things better” led him into a career in product management (although he didn’t initially know product management was a thing!). Today, Danny is helping Discovery navigate the “streaming wars” that the industry currently finds itself, focusing on leveraging all of the new capabilities and data available to DTC brands to build strong relationships with consumers and seamless product experiences.

Through his time at Discovery, and also from previous roles at NBCUniversal, Danny has become an expert at building media and entertainment products that customers love. In this conversation, we get Danny’s expertise on:

  • How the proliferation of screens and development of OTT platforms has created new opportunities (and challenges) for connected experiences
  • How to work with other parts of the organization to drive better product decisions
  • How the “streaming wars” have given the power to the consumers, and where the media & entertainment industry is headed

And much, much more. If you enjoy this conversation, you can subscribe to “Connected, by mParticle” on any major podcast player. To get more content like this, you can subscribe to our monthly newsletter, mPulse, right here.

Transcript: 

Abhi Seeth: Mr. Danny, Joseph, can't thank you enough for making the time to, to jp on the pop. 

Danny Joseph: You make it the end of day on a Friday. It's a, I don't know whether to love it or hate it, but good, good, good to be here. 

Abhi Seeth: Yeah. I don't know if that's a, I don't know if that's my persistence annoyance, you know, the fact that we're we're buds now, but either way I will, I will take what I can get.

Danny Joseph: Thank you, sir. Sure. Sadly, this seems to be the only free time I have anymore. So a it's good, good use of it. Let's go.

Abhi Seeth: Awesome. Awesome. So I, Yeah, I think let's start out with, with just telling the audience a little bit about yourself. What do you do? Where'd you come from? I'll let you take it wherever you want.

Danny Joseph: Yeah, I mean, listen, I've been in product for a while. Currently a work in product management, on the marketing side of things for discovery, focused a lot on discovery plus, our, our new flagship, but, spent a lot of time in entertainment. Pretty much. Most of my career has been in entertainment and sports and, a variety of fields. I was a baseball player growing up. Wanted to do that in college, didn't quite work out how I had, had how I had planned, but, you know, knew it was what I was passionate about. Ended up, starting my career, major league baseball on the, TV production side. , I spent a bunch of years there creating documentaries, you name it. Any moving image, a baseball with a great group of folks over there. , and then why don't we just do something different? , ended up going back to grad school and, was really interested in consulting and really my whole career has been around solving problems. And, I sort of stumbled into product management, not really knowing what it was, which is actually not an uncommon story, for a lot of folks that I've met in product where it, we really just want to make things better and, you know, Things that don't work as well as they could. You know, they paid me to my core. And, one day when I was, on a consulting project, working in digital, actually at an entertainment client, my boss at the time said, you know, that's called product management. Right? I didn't and, I've been in product ever since. And so it's a good area. I've seen a lot of different sides of the business, but the last, you know, five to seven years have been focused really around customer intelligence, user profiling, and personalization. And all the marketing aspects that go into a lot of those areas. So really just trying to find new and innovative ways to offer better experiences and more value to the customers. and the customers in turn will offer more value to the business.

Abhi Seeth: Yeah. That's definitely not an uncommon story with product. I feel like in a lot of ways that industry, what the heck a product manager does from organization to organization, industry, to industry. I mean, it's kind of a bit up in the air. So Danny, that this is interesting because like, the question I want to ask you is, you know, I'm old enough to remember, like, when I think about media and entertainment, before, like there were the days where, you got content through a TV cable provider, like that was kind of your. Worldview into entertainment, anything. I mean, that's from sports to your favorite sitcoms. I'm not old enough for this, but before that, it was stuff like radio. , and, and now kind of fast forwarding into today, you hear about this term, like the streaming wars, right. And it, to me, it felt like it started with like a Netflix, but then, you know, that's proliferated into, it feels. Almost every single organization, whether a meteor streaming customer or a media streaming business are not offering some kind of streaming content, some kind of D to C service. Could you walk me through that?Like, could you talk me through, from your perspective, like what led us to this proliferation of streaming services and you know, where is this heading? Like, how do you think this is. 

Danny Joseph: Yeah, man. I mean, going back to the creative days, we were spitting out DVDs back then. I mean, these things have come a long way really quickly. And everybody, frankly, a lot of folks don't realize that Netflix was a DVD business for a long time, which definitely makes me feel a lot older than I may be. But, I, you know, the streaming wars have been interesting because. It really is. It comes down to convenience and I think it was the first real time that customers started to take back some of the power from the conglomerates. You think about the radio, you think about broadcast, even cable, to a certain extent, you didn't have a lot of options. You got what you got and you could pay more for a little bit more, but you really didn't as a conser, you didn't have. Much you could do. , and I think the introduction of streaming started to shift and dare, I use the word disrupt that sort of power balance, where it started to level the playing field. And I think you saw a lot of companies really leaning into that early on. The challenge with that is there were major investments that needed to happen early on, to be competitive. And I think even more so now you've seen a lot of fast followers come in and realize that that direct relationship with the customer is actually really valuable for a lot of reasons. You know, the old adage content is king, it's still kind of true. And I think a lot of the sort of proliferation of all these services came from. You know, you needed one tentpole and you could launch a service on it. And what happened after that? Well, we'll figure that out later and I think early on a lot of companies didn't figure that out later and you know, that's why we've started to see the streaming industry contract a bit and a contract even more so. And so I think it really just comes down to, from a customer standpoint. Having some level, some increasing level of control in your overall experience. But on the flip side, I think businesses and smart businesses have recognized that a streaming product and a direct consumer product is. Probably the best way to understand what your customers want, what they do, and really start to build a direct relationship with them. The cable companies, you know, don't get me wrong. I mean, they made a ton of money. They were super successful. No, nothing wrong with their business model, for sure. But who's watching it? You know, you look at the old Nielsen ratings. Nielsen was an incredibly innovative company and probably still is, but you were taking surveys and figuring out who was watching, what on the aggregate. Now you have a one-to-one. You know, 24 7 direct connection with your actual customers on a granular level, not even at the household level. A lot of times, you know, mom, dad, kid, one kid to who they are, what devices they're using, how their preferences differ. And it's come a long way. And I think a lot of the successful and more altruistic companies see it as relationship building and not necessarily. Pure capitalization of somebody's time or a means to make money. So I think a lot of it comes back to shifting the power from corporate to individual. And along with that building, that, that underlying relationship. 

Abhi Seeth: Yeah. That's , I guess I didn't even really think of about it from that context. It's like, Dataset your relationship from like, you know, quite literally the content producer, right? The person putting out, like I see, you know, companies like Netflix, you know, you, you mentioned discovery all, all, all the big players right now in the market. There's another end of this, which is like, there, it's not just a distribution channel. It's not just a technology. I mean, shows are being developed based on some of this new information that's available, right. In terms of preferences and geographically specific content maybe and that was stuff that just wasn't available. 

Danny Joseph: Yeah, a short while ago. Yeah. I mean, definitely, you know, a lot of content is being acquired and developed based on all the data and insights that, you know, trends and behaviors and preferences that, that a lot of these companies have learned over the years, but it goes well beyond content and content is one product, a relationship with a customer. And a good relationship can go a long way. When you start to look at some of these larger companies, whether they're content and experience and physical, good and utility, you start to understand that a good relationship is going to lead to more experiences and more opportunities to monetize in different ways. So. Can I translate somebody's streaming behavior into a theme park experience, probably can I influence, you know, what their next vacation is maybe? And it starts to go. Content is just one product that serves as a sort of a stepping stone to start a relationship and understand. Can I add value? And I think really the really good companies that are going to survive for a long time are looking at it that way, that this is one, this is one piece of value I'm able to offer my customers. Are there others? And are there things they don't want from me? And I should stay away from those rather than try and force them, be everything to everyone. What, what can I do, how can I add more value? And it really comes back to that. It may not just be in. It may be in other extensions of digital products, physical goods, experiences, you name it. I mean, there, the possibilities are really endless. Once you've established that relationship and understand what do my customers want? What do they want from me? And what problem can I solve for them? 

Abhi Seeth: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That's hundred percent aligned. Yeah. It's almost like, you know, this it's, it's just a way to communicate. With your end user customer in a way that wasn't possible before. And it's, you know, I think communication is a key word there. It's not a one-way street anymore. It really, yeah. 

Danny Joseph: There are so many signals that, you know, whether explicit or implicit, that customers are sending likes, dislikes, preferences, wants, needs. I, if you open up those channels and just start to listen. , you can learn anything you want. It's just about do people trust you and are they comfortable sharing that information with you for a lot of companies? The answer's yes. 

Abhi Seeth: That's that's interesting. And look at it, segues into, another question I had, I couldn't be on a podcast called connected and not, not ask you this, Danny. , but one of the things that I think would be interesting for the audience. You know, we always talk a lot about how data and technology come together to drive exceptional CX. And I think we hit on some of this, right. We're, we're kind of we're, we're, we're poking around this topic, but I wanted to get a little more specific there into the media and industry media and entertainment industry. You know, in the vein of the actual data , different technologies coming together. What are some of the opportunities and maybe even headaches that like OTT platforms, the Roku's of the world, the fire TV is the world. How those create opportunities and headaches , to create a seamless user experience. And then, yeah, more generally, what do you think about orchestrating, not only data from OTT devices, but all of that customer data to deliver a differentiated experience to an end user.

Danny Joseph: Yeah. I mean, it's a very timely question because the proliferation of those platforms has been incredible. And, you know, I remember my first project. I was sort of advising you should, you should probably develop a thing for this little platform called a Roku. Like I think, I think they're onto something here. This, you may want to get on this earlier, rather than later. And now, I mean, look at them. They're massive organizations. Fire TV, no different. I mean, there, those devices are all over the place. Apple TV definitely has its place in the market. You know, smart TVs, everything is becoming smart and connected.

And so I think the really interesting piece about OTT specifically is the size of the screen and the way people interact. And what I mean by that is you, you don't have the same level of physical engagement like you do with a mobile or a web device. You have a remote and it's, you know, the actual content is much further away. Why does that matter? There are so many more distractions that get in between you, the user and your content, for example. How do you try to close that gap? A lot of people looked at second screen experiences. So how do I engage an OTT device with a mobile or web device and keep that connected? How do I add more value in that? And I think. Listen, the traditional TV experience isn't going away. If anything, it's growing and folks are watching more content on bigger screens. And, you know, I saw 300 something on screen, called the wall or something like that, the other day, which, that's, that's a Samsung thing, right? It might be, yeah.I saw something. It's just a whole wall of screen and you, listen, I think you're going to start to see more and more of that. And these screens are integrated into. Experiences a whole, you know, the window shade pulling down and actually being, you know, whatever view you want with your weather and your news headlines. And we're not that far away from those things. And so the OTT piece is it's so interesting how behaviors change for OTT devices versus mobile and web and. It's much less diverse. You don't necessarily have to go to your Roku to get on Facebook. You don't necessarily go to your Roku to, you know, read the news. You don't have those sorts of experiences and you have to respect that. Nobody wants to read, you know, a news article on a 65 inch TV screen. 15 feet away. It just doesn't make sense. Don't try and force it that way, but how do you integrate those experiences? And I think there's a lot to be said and even more to be done about how do you actually stop looking at platforms individually and start looking at experiences holistically and how do. Pick up one experience on one platform to the next, how do I translate and understand context where I can't sit on the couch anymore, but I'm not done with my show. How can I pick that up? And, you know, there are continuing watching and my list and all of these things, but is that enough? And how integrated can those be? I think there's definitely a world where a second screen makes sense. I don't necessarily know. Anyone's really figured that that out quite yet, but, it's just, it's so interesting because you don't have the same behaviors that lean back experience very unique from, you know, what you can sort of gather from a mobile device and how the, the level of focus shifts, because when the TV's on. Most people are on, on their phone to begin with while they're watching stuff. And you know, they've got kids, they've got family, they're watching with other people. They're, you know, having conversations, they're getting up and leaving and not hitting pause. There's all this context around in OTT experience that frankly we're, we're blind to. And, it makes it a much bigger challenge to try and understand. What does a customer need from me during this experience? Do they want anything else? Am I giving them everything they need? If I am great, but there are so many opportunities and so much untapped potential to understand what else could I be doing? What, what value could I be adding to your life that you're not getting simply by just leaning back and streaming some content on a TV? , it's really hard to tie that together. 

Abhi Seeth: Yeah. I mean, I can't underline that. I think it's because it feels like whenever you see this proliferation of technologies, like these new kinds of frontier. From, and I would imagine this from like a product manager that's exciting, right? There's new data points to collect. There's new ways. You can engage your users. There's new things. There's new potential to do good if you will but there's always the flip side associated with that, which is like, how do I integrate that with something I've been working with? And no for years or decades, like how do you layer that on, in a way that's actually where one plus one equals three and it's not like you're being annoying by blasting someone with a push notification or something, if they pause there, you know, 

Danny Joseph: And to be honest, I think it goes back to that shift in power where consumers actually have a lot of power in the streaming industry and not just from a content standpoint, but from an app standpoint in general, I think. Delete I can close. I, if you try to force me to do something that I don't want to do, I don't have to engage with you. And there are very few services that there isn't an alternative to. And ultimately, I think it's a good thing for all of us as customers and consumers , that that power is balanced. I won't say it's shifted, but it's gotten closer to balance because. You can't abuse people. You can't take advantage of them. You have to find these mutually beneficial situations where we agree on a value exchange and it's transparent. It's not this secret shadow. I don't know what's happening in the, in the background or what data you're collecting. It's this, I trust you. You trust me. I can offer you something you want. You can offer me something I want. And it is that one. Plus one equals three. When you get it right. , and I think there's a lot of people who have learned the hard way that if you don't have that mentality, your longevity is going to be much shorter. And, you know, there are a lot of, there are a lot of examples of companies that push consumers too far and they're, they're not in business anymore. And I do think that balance and power, it forces us to be better. We have to strive to find it. These mutually beneficial situations where my customer is happy that I'm offering them more content or new content or different features in our product that make things easier, more effective for them. It is that one plus one equals three that we have to strive for because there are a lot of options out there and even more so just the overall development economy. It's so much easier and quicker to develop competing products. Now. Sure. There are people poking at any gap in any industry right now, looking for an opportunity. And it's not that hard once they find one to fill that gap. And so the advantage to, you know, working at a lot of sort of very well known, you know, long history, Very valuable, conser evocative brands is it's a lot harder to come in and sort of disrupt the space that we're in. Anyone who starts making missteps. There are hundreds of people waiting to seize that opportunity. And so, again, it's, you've got to constantly strive to, I'll keep saying it, it comes back to the relationship with your customers and that trust. If you violate that trust even accidentally, it's hard to, it's hard. You have to work to repair that, and it really comes down to relationships with your customers in that mutual value. 

Abhi Seeth: Yup. Yup. Now, I mean this whole, it just reinforces, I think what you said a little earlier, which is it, if you don't listen, like you're, you're setting yourself up to fail. Right. And for all the reasons you just provided the fact that. If you're not listening, somebody else is going to be ready to come in and listen and eat your lunch. You know, and it's like infrastructural advantages that maybe the old, you know, broadcast networks and stuff had don't exist anymore. It doesn't even matter if you're. A multi-billion funded organization anymore, you know, the barrier of entry combined with the fact that people have choice, you know, I think, listen, it's, in some ways, that that stress, I think about you or I'm putting myself in your shoes that, that stresses me out. Cause you hit the end of the day. I have to, you know, get that right. Like there's 

Danny Joseph: Absolutely. 

Abhi Seeth: You know, but, man, I think that's what's exciting too about. Where you are right now where that industry is right now. And, you know, maybe where, where it could head potentially. 

Danny Joseph: Yeah. I mean, listen, my calendar is as crazy as it is because we don't have the opportunity to be lazy. I mean, there is so much going on. In this industry in general and in, you know, product and digital sheet, you name it. You're exactly right. There is always somebody waiting to eat your lunch. And you know, we've got a pretty tasty lunch here. So, you know, we want to protect that by being better. We don't want to protect that by, you know, any other means. We want to, we want our customers to be here because they want to, and it's on us to offer an experience. Meet that expectation and hopefully exceed it. 

Abhi Seeth: Awesome. Okay. I'm going to change. So we're going to stick to the theme of connectivity for one more question. I'm going to segue into a bit more of a topic. Like we've been talking about data and technology and all this, and that's of course, it's the world we live in. It's it's, you know, it's our industry, but , Danny. I know this because you know, I've, I've had the pleasure of, of, getting to know you working with you and I don't even think this is like media and entertainment or industry specific. What I've realized is like, there's very little that I think you can accomplish by yourself. And I think it really does take this like an interesting collaboration between. People and organizations that are seemingly doing completely, you know, desperate or unrelated things or right at somebody in marketing and somebody in engineering and somebody in product. And I think, you know, we think of those functions in silos, but tying this back to customer experience, and connectivity, can you speak to, and you can take this wherever you want, but speak to the value of working. People partners teams outside of your core function to drive better outcomes. And then, yeah, any examples of that, you know, recent or in the past where, where, you know, a conversation or a collab across, you know, maybe seemingly unrelated groups has led to something, something special. 

Danny Joseph: I mean, if I'm doing anything myself, it's probably not going to be super successful. So, I mean, it's the standard. I mean, the people I work with daily are oftentimes less from product and more from, you know, six to eight different business units. And really, I think one of the most fun aspects of the product is it's our goal to tie all that together. We need our customers. Aren't just, you know, external users of our products that our customers are our internal business leaders to just as much. And so they have needs that we have to satisfy. And I, what I like even more in the role that I'm in and being able to work across so many different groups is. The way people attack problems is often so different. It's fascinating. And I think in the product, we have like a very strategic mindset customer first. Like, how am I going to solve this problem? Make an experience better. Finance attacks a problem with, you know, where's the money coming from? Can we be more efficient, you know, the financial aspects and don't even get started on tax and accounting and forget it. You know, and then you get into marketing. It's all about again, building relationships, you know, educating customers, exciting them about, you know, what you're offering. And so at the end of the day, the core. Underlying thing that unites us all is really our customers and a desire to keep doing better. And There's a, there's everything I do comes out of the work that I do with these other teams. And, you know, it's very rarely me doing something myself. It's all about synthesizing different perspectives from different business groups, from external groups, from our customers directly. You know, we talked a lot. Creating those communication channels and listening to our customers. I mean, they are telling us all the time what they want, what they don't want. And so I think the fun part about my role is being able to synthesize all of those and try to find solutions that strategically solve as many of those, you know, problems or issues as possible, and really doing it in an efficient manner. Is repeatable. You know, if we find success, we want to continue to do the things that made us successful. And so a lot of it goes into testing. A lot of it goes into listening and, you know, it's. I can't even pick one example because literally everything we do every day, it comes out of these, these sort of collaborations. There is no silo. I, it is, we are sort of the arbiters of everyone's perspective and our goal is to synthesize all of that. Come up with an opportunity. It takes all of that into account and optimizes whatever comes out of it. So it's fascinating, but I just love the way that people approach and attack problems. It's a, it's a, it's a fascinating thing to watch. And, I'm surprised every day because you know, different people think in different ways and it's not necessarily right or wrong. It's, how do we, how do we find the best? , and it's, it's almost always a collaboration of different perspectives, different opinions, different ways of thinking.

Abhi Seeth: Yeah. Yeah. And, Danny, I mean, listen, baby, you probably rolled your eyes at me now, come on badge. Like you, you know this, but, and that's true. But I think like if I'm, if I'm thinking about the folks that are, you know, our listeners, folks that are listening to this. You live, breathe and eat that ethos. And it 's so clearly reflected in your answer where you're like, of course, like isn't, you know, this is how things work kid. It's funny because I think that's my premise. My whole hypothesis on this is I think that's what makes you and the organizations you work for, like incredibly , effective, I would say. And, you know, I've, I've seen it work the other way. Like I. Like oil and gas, right? Like my first job out of, out of college, like I was doing AutoCAD sketches of like a design. And it was like, look at this like, encyclopedia of like the different tolerances for like a drill bit, design it, not OCAD and throw it over the fence. Right. Like, it was never like talking to the sales guy and figure out what the heck they're trying to do, or go talk to manufacturing and, you know, talk about maybe there's another steel, right? That's available. That's cheaper than accomplishing the same thing. It's not an ad. It's like, you know, you're, you're almost like a horse, like a racehorse with your blinders on. And it's interesting. Cause you know, I, I want my premise on this is I think it's, it's not really industry specific. It's like people and culture specific, but there's definitely. Places I've worked for folks that I've worked with, where this isn't the case. Where it's very, absolutely normal for like a CRM marketer or a marketing manager. It's like, these are the three things I do. Like I don't care how I get the data. Like, I don't care that there's this product person on the other end, like get me this it's all JIRA tickets. And you know, something's going to get spit out. So, you know, if I had to say one thing to my audience, the folks listening, I mean, it's, you know, to take a page out of Danny's book, because I think you hit it right there.It's like, it's the ideas, it's like recognizing the blind spots. You and a silo. Like there's no way I feel like you can account for all the financial particulars of like, why it's, it's better to structure or monetize a product this way or not. Like that might not even come into the conversation. If you didn't go talk to your finance folks and 

Danny Joseph: them. And just even thinking about how, I mean, that's a good example. Because it gets so complex. Like how are we monetizing this? How are we recognizing revenue? Like does a, you know, If we're thinking about a promotion or, you know, some sort of holiday gift, you know, whatever it is, all of these factors where you're like, oh man, I hadn't even thought about that. Like, yeah, that's a really interesting point. I guess if they're not paying us until this point, we can't recognize the revenue. And I, you know, I believe me, I, I leave that to, a team that's much better at all of that who, who come in and collaborate and by. I mean, going back to my very first job, it was, yeah, I had started at major league baseball there, in their film and TV wing. And the first gig was to date myself a little bit, but after every baseball game, they would overnight a videotape of the game to the office. We would be waiting there, you know, midnight 1:00 AM. And we would literally scrub through the entire game and pick out the. The analog time codes for when big plays happen. And we would literally sit there at a tape deck for hours on end going through these games and saying, you know, so-and-so hit a home run. So, and so double play, you know, at, from one hour, 13 minutes, 45 seconds to whatever. And I turned it into a game for myself, where I wanted to see how fast I could get through it, how quick I could scrub. But after a while I was sorta like, I don't know if I'm cut out for this. This might not be a, I thought this was a dream job. This might not be my thing. And then I started getting into projects where I was working with editors and audio mixers and graphic designers and producers and writers and all of those different perspectives coming together. To put together something as creative as, you know, a documentary it's just fascinating to be on the other side, because at the same time, everybody has their one thing that they need to deliver. Sure. But at the same time, it's always informed. At least the good ones are always informed by everyone else doing their one thing. And so. You have your task, you know, the audio engineer isn't going to come over and do some of the, you know, graphic design, but they need to match up and even like sound design, trying to pair with the, you know, the feeling of the, of the graphics. It's like. Who thinks of this stuff. And, you know, I was fortunate at, at a very early stage in my career to work with a lot of really exceptional people. And frankly, I've been fortunate because I still am working with a lot of really exceptional people. But just being able to sit down and just ask somebody, like, what how'd you come up with that solution? Like, what was your thought process? Why did you do things this way? And to be honest, it's. It's not even a work thing. It's a, you know, it extends to a lot of different aspects of life and, you know, we talk, diversity's a really important topic. , and certainly cultural gender, you name it, but diversity of opinion is, you know , A really important thing too. And, you know, just because people look the same doesn't necessarily mean they think the same way. And you know, people who look completely different can think the exact same way too. So, you know, it cuts both ways and, it's just, a really, really important thing to, to actually make meaningful change, is to have those different perspectives and an openness to. That's a better way of doing what I was doing.

I respect, like I'm going to start, I'm going to learn from you. And I'm going to start doing things a little differently. And you know, it's a very virtuous cycle because when you start doing that, people, people start wondering how you do things too. And, we all get better. 

Abhi Seeth: Awesome. All right. That was good. That was heavy. You know, this was real me, yeah. And Danny I've, I've had you on now for, you know, you've been really gracious with your time. Two more questions. Well, one's a series of rapid fire questions. We'll get to that. But before we do, I couldn't let you go on a podcast, but I will tell you about connectivity and customer experience without asking you. As a conser. , what's your favorite brand or experience and why, or one of your favorite brands or experiences? 

Danny Joseph: Yeah, that's a tough one. , let me think, let me think. I'll give you one. That's probably not that unique and one that maybe is a little bit more, I'm, much. I'm a big fan of Reddit. I love the idea of the sort of metadata aggregation, slicing and dicing of different topics and the way they present information. I think it's really smart and it sort of fits the way my brain works. Things having a commonality and we're going to sort of display it together. Yeah. I get lost down that rabbit hole far, far more often than I would expect. so I think they do a really nice job of structuring their information in a way that is flexible for consumers and chaining experiences together. I think it's, it's really, really smart. Obviously they have a huge user base, so they've figured it out. And a lot of people probably think the same way, but, it's, it's one where I find myself spending more time than I usually plan to. The other one that constantly surprises me is actually sort of a utility one, but, Charles Schwab, I, I have found their digital products to be so thoughtful.Their customer service is the best in the business and the way they have sort of balanced being a utility, but inserting themselves in helpful ways into your life without being. Interruptive or, you know, constantly selling you things I think is a really smart long-term approach. And I started off as a poor kid making minimum wage, using them as a digital bank, because it was the best fees, the most convenient and.Now you start to get into investing in their tools and they, it's just a, it's a really thoughtful way to add value to somebody's life, where it could just be a very generic utility experience. And I give them a lot of credit for sort of crossing that chasm where it's, yeah, it could just be a bank and it shows you your account and you can deposit, withdraw and send money and that's it.

And they've taken a very thoughtful approach, at least in my opinion, to. What else can we do for you? And it's that same relationship building foundation that I think most good products are built on. , and for them, it'd be very easy for people to only use them when they need to. And I find myself just popping into the news and see what's going on way more often than I ever thought I would. again, it comes back to that relationship. I feel like I can trust them and they're gonna sort of add value to my life. And, you know, I, it's a, it's a weird one, but, I, I think they've done a really nice job.

Abhi Seeth: Like, I don't think that's weird at all to read it. I haven't. I don't think. And maybe, maybe fortunate for me, I haven't opened that Pandora's box yet. You know, heard it's highly addictive for it 

Danny Joseph: is a hundred percent and it has a connotation and there's, I'm sure there's plenty of weird stuff on there, but even just going in for like news and sort of a popular newsfeed, like it's a, it's a smart way. They've sort of laid out their data, their data architecture. From what I can see from the outside, looking in it's right. Finding related topics. And I just think it's a really smart way that they utilize data to make connections between seemingly unrelated things. 

Abhi Seeth: There, there we go. , that's fasting, but no, I'll, I, I w I wanted to say, like, we share that passion about all 12. Like, I mean, I got, I joined a little later. You know, as you were saying that I was thinking through it, I'm like, you're right. This is like, even going back to what we were talking about earlier. Adding value without being pushy. Like I think they do a great job of embodying that through like every touch point. Even when you're on a Holt, right. Like one of them, they're always telling you about how the DJ is performing and you know, like some just quick bits that you might care about as exactly like an investment minded person and you're right. Like even when you pop up in their app, they have that in, yeah, so I started with like their free checking account or whatever, just cause it's no ATM fees. It's a 

Danny Joseph: great deal. Aye. Aye. This is not a sponsored podcast. I love their service man. So Schwab wants to give me something, hit me up. 

Abhi Seeth: Shout out to Schwab, but you're right. You're right. That's that's fascinating. All right, man, I'm going to let you go, you know, last, and this is kind of a more rapid fire. I'm going to ask you five questions. They are, four of them are yes or no. And the last, one's just kind of a, you know, a fun curiosity. Let's get into it. Okay. First one, I'm going to preface by assing gluten-free crust.

Danny Joseph: , you know, me too. 

Abhi Seeth: Well, yeah. Pie pineapple on pizza. , 

Danny Joseph: I'm going to get a lot of hate mail for this one, but I, I, I'm into it. I'm into it. I don't do the ham, like ham weirds me out. I don't know why I grew up vegetarian. I've started eating meat later in life, but ham, I still haven't come around, but I'm into pineapple with some pepperoni.

Abhi Seeth: All right. Okay. , winter or smer sports.

Danny Joseph: It's both an answer. , I mean, I would say, well, 

Abhi Seeth: you're 

Danny Joseph: the baseball player. I mean, I love a good ski trip, but, you know, I grew up, I grew up in the Midwest and I decided I was done with winter, when I graduated high school. , so I may have to, I may have to give it to somebody. Okay. All right. I do love a good ski trip though. If anybody, if anybody has one. 

Abhi Seeth: Gotcha. Alright. Okay. Close. But you know, you'd give the edge to, to smer, very close. This is sort of selfish. Daddy, you know, should have, should have asked you, I, I wish I'd picked two of the baseball grades to compare in this conversation, but, I'm a huge basketball guy. I want to know LeBron around. 

Danny Joseph: Oh, MJ, no question. 

Abhi Seeth: Okay. All right. We can, we can keep talking. We could, we could 

Danny Joseph: be Fred said. Yeah. I will say LeBron is very, as a very smart business mind, he is, I, I give him a lot of. Off the court. , he is, he has a very, very impressive business portfolio. , so he's, he's a much smarter guy than I think a lot of people give them credit for, but, sorry, Bron. I know you're listening, but I got to give it to M J 

Abhi Seeth: there we go. , okay.  fro-yo or. 

Danny Joseph: Oh, I'm gonna, I gotta go fro you. Gimme that. Gimme that tart. 

Abhi Seeth: Okay. All right. , and then final question, before we let you go. , favorite restaurant in, in New York city. 

Danny Joseph: Oh man. That's tough. 

Abhi Seeth: I'm a huge foodie. So like me, every guest gets this.

Danny Joseph: You know, I did have a little local secret, a secret spot that actually closed during COVID. It was a very, very sad day. , so I won't go with that one. You know, that's tough. I, there's a little Italian spot. Our office just moved we're we're down near your office. Now. I. Particularly excited. Hopefully it's still around , Rez, Dora. I don't know if you've been, but, I've had many wonderful meals there. I mean, it's New York though. There's so many, there's so many. If I had to, if I had to give it to one off the top of my head, I am down to go to any, any, any meal any day? 

Abhi Seeth: There we go. All right. That's a, that's a wrap. You heard it here for a shout out to Schwab. Shout out to Reddit, 

Danny Joseph: shout out, shout out to, Armenia upper east side. It's no longer there, but , if you guys ever, if you open a new location, holler at your boy.

Abhi Seeth: Awesome. Awesome. Danny can't can't thank you enough, man, for making the time, yeah, really, really looking forward to getting this out into the world and, yeah, can can thank you enough. 

Danny Joseph: Appreciate you having me.

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