Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #195

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to the episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Tan from startups dot com. Joined as always by my friend, the founder and CEO of startups dot com. Will Schroeder will. We've kind of made it our life's purpose to teach and help people explore and succeed in entrepreneurship, right? And we've done this with, you know, people of, of all ages, but we continuously on this track of working kind of up funnel, right? We, we were doing this with, with college kids and we started doing some stuff with high school kids. You've taken this a step further now and you're back to middle school buddy.

Wil Schroter: You and I have talked about this for a long time where like entrepreneurship is something that doesn't know an age limit. Yeah. When we think about it in terms of just a career, right? You know, a job, et cetera, I think we get to a point where we think well, that there's got to be college age or something like that or maybe high school, et cetera. But we just ran this experiment. We went, we went all the way. I became a middle school teacher for the last semester and taught partnership at my kids' school with the entire class. Now, here's where it gets interesting. Let me give you a little bit of back story because I think how we got here was pretty fascinating. A few years back when we enrolled our kids in the school, I've got a 10 year old and I've got a six year old. We really, really were obviously passionate about entrepreneurship and the school itself was founded by entrepreneurs, which I thought was really cool. It's a small private school in Ohio and the founder of Compus serve was one of the founders, uh the founder of Wendy's Dave Thomas was one of the founders and they wanted to do like this very forward thinking school, which they have, but they didn't have an entrepreneurship program. And so I pitched the head of school essentially the principal on this idea of what if we taught entrepreneurship from K through 12, the schools, uh K through 12, uh kindergarten through 12th grade, just like we teach math, make it an absolute integral part of how we teach kids. And it's all they knew. They've learned it forever, just like when they pick up a language that's early. But the idea was how much of it is still applicable as we move down the age ranks. And so we tested it in high school. It went extremely well, but we had this thesis that it could be taught at the middle school level and I'm sure we'll do some future episode where it'll be taught at the elementary school level as well. You like kindergarten cop at that point. But whatever,

Ryan Rutan: wait a minute. Are you telling me that people aren't putting headphones on the pregnant bellies and listening to startup therapy podcast in utero? I mean, I feel like it feels like it feels like what should be happening right now. I think we should

Wil Schroter: be there. So anyway, so we go in full on like we always do with this thesis that it could be taught and the way this thing gets kicked off is that at the school every year, the school, the teachers are allowed to teach one topic. Anything they could possibly want to teach. I mean, nothing is off the

Ryan Rutan: table. Give some examples here will because this got way more esoteric than I thought it would. And I was, I remember

Wil Schroter: sending you screenshots.

Ryan Rutan: I was like, wow, you were sending you were, you were given like live updates from the, from the gymnasium where they were doing the pitches of the very classes. I was mind blown. I'm like, I kind of want to go to middle school. It

Wil Schroter: was incredible. So there's 208 kids in the middle school, their middle school is five through eight because there's less kids in the school. They had this thing where at the beginning of the semester, all the kids are sitting Indian style in this giant pile. And there is about 20 teachers that get up there with powerpoint presentations and give their pitch to the students to take their class. And I'm like the last person to pitch. I'm totally unprepared. As is usual. I had no idea. You're supposed to have a whole thing. And I'm the first person to ever come in as an outside teacher, which is also kind of interesting. So, anyway, as I'm watching these presentations and that's what I was kind of live streaming to you. Guy shows up, one of the teachers dressed in full pirate regalia, talking in full pirate in, in his classes. How would it be a pirate pirate? Which was amazing. And he's talking about all of the skills you'll learn and it's really teaching always about an interesting subject. But in an interesting way. So people go nuts over next lady goes up and she's teaching a course in how to create the perfect dungeons and dragons character, which I thought was awesome as a dungeon master myself. It's like an incredible I could have taught. I gotta learn that as a class.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, a class. Imagine, imagine. And

Wil Schroter: that those are some of the shots I was taking to. Anyway, it gets around to me. And my first instinct is this is going to suck because after pirate, pirate

Ryan Rutan: guy, dungeons and dragons, I'm just gonna leave. Why

Wil Schroter: wouldn't you take my class? So I get up there and I'm freestyling the whole thing. And I said, look, here's the deal. Everything that you have in your life from the clothes that you're wearing to the phone in your pocket, to every app on your phone was created by an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs literally create the world and I can teach you how to become one. I said, look, has anybody here seen Shark Tank? And what was interesting is every single kid raised their hand. Yeah, I didn't know kids watch shark. And I said, ok, so it's kind of like Shark Tank but not really. I said we'll come up with ideas and we'll put together what's called a pitch deck, which at this point, I already figured I've lost them and, and we present that to a bunch of judges, shark tank judges who will give you millions of dollars, but not really. And they loved it. Like everyone was like super pumped. But here's what I figure. I figured that that's cool that they got excited. Probably humoring me. That's ok. I'm good with that. And they're all gonna go back and they have to pick their classes that they're gonna

Ryan Rutan: take. I have to say though, I feel like middle schoolers, if there's a population of people on the planet who don't suffer fools, I feel like it's middle schoolers. I remember being you're right about that. They would have let you know they would have let you know they don't have enough decorum at that age to just be nice for the sake of it. That's actually

Wil Schroter: true. So, out of 208 students, this is what blew my mind. I head of school reaches out to me and said, you're not gonna believe this. Out of 208 students, 100 and 47 of them signed up for the class.

Ryan Rutan: Wow, they must have misheard the part about the millions of dollars. They heard millions of dollars. They were like, I think he means it. I think he means

Wil Schroter: it. Here's what I think happened. I think they went home with their class list, they had the stuff they were going to take. Then their parents took a look at it and said, dude, I'm not sending you to school to learn how to be a pirate. And so, so they got conscripted in my class regardless. That's where our story begins. And I think, you know, what we should explore in this isn't really just about how it went with the middle schoolers. I think there's some funny anecdotes but really how entrepreneurship in this childlike thinking is across the board. It's, it's everywhere, it's omnipresent. And I think we learned a lot, not just about, you know, these students and kind of that population how our charter just got a lot bigger, but really how to start thinking like kids. And I think, you know, you had some examples too of where you've been thinking about that as well. Right. A

Ryan Rutan: 100%. I mean, it's funny because I started at the other end of it. I'm like, I have middle brain and like, I want to have young brain again. I want to think like a kid. I realize that there's so many things that were easier back back when I didn't have a whole bunch of reasons stacked up in front of me. That something wasn't possible, right? I know all the reasons this won't work, right? Like I look at my four year old, almost five, my eight year old, my 11 year old they have and there's a spectrum there, right? The youngest one has the least barriers. He also has the least ability to be reasonable. But you know, it is what it is. So they didn't have all these restrictions. I thought, man, I just need to think more like a kid. I need to think more like a kid. So I started practicing, thinking more like a child and just trying to be more flexible if you're trying to solve a big problem, the the idea that you have all of the tools and answers to that relatively small, you gotta be flexible in your thinking. So I was going through these different exercises and practices to think more like a child. And then I realized, you know, I employ three of these full time at my home. Like, why don't I just ask a kid. And so it's fun, but I've started doing that. I've just started asking my kids more like, hey, what do you guys think about this? Like, what would you do? How would you approach? What do you think was just another, like, fun parenting insight that I gained when you ask kids what they know, which is a lot of what they get, you know, kind of through traditional schooling, they're taught stuff and then they're queried on it. Right. We're taught knowledge and then we're queried on it and kids, one, they don't know that much and two, they resist that question a lot. When you ask them what they think, sit back, right, just sit back to what your feeling and you get so much more and it's actually, I've translated that into a lot of other things. So instead of just asking people like a direct question about a topic, so if I'm talking to a founder trying to help them solve a problem, instead of asking them what I asked them what they think. Right. So instead of what's the problem, what do you think the problem is? How are you thinking about the problem? And it just opens up so much more for me, for them. So anyways, yeah, it's been a fun process to, again, to go back to trying to think more like a kid, but to actually involve kids in my thinking, it turned out they were really good teachers at how to think like a kid because it's all they know how to do. I

Wil Schroter: learned a ton. And so, like at the end of my pitch, I said to the kids, I said, look, here's the deal. If you can ever take one course in your life, that will be absolutely like, change shit. Take the dungeons and dragons court. Exactly.

Ryan Rutan: Exactly. What I was about to say, I was gonna, I was gonna interrupt you. I like, I, I hope he's going with dungeons and Dragons here. I mean, a pirate would have been close

Wil Schroter: and, you know, it's funny, I stole that line from an old old trailer from Austin Powers. I think it was the second one. The best tea up. They said this summer if you can see only one movie, see Star Wars, but if you can see two movies.

Ryan Rutan: Yes. Also that's amazing.

Wil Schroter: Um, anyway, so what was interesting was I wanted to go into it with no textbook, so to speak with no visuals, with no, um, handouts. Nothing. The idea was going to be that all we needed to do was just see the ideas and let them go. And I figured after a class or two this might go totally off the rails. But again, exactly what you said and I love the way you put it this childlike thinking or if you just unleash their minds, it's

Ryan Rutan: endless. It does. It is, it just keeps going. We're routinely late. To school because we start having conversations in the car and it just won't shut down. It's Jack, the youngest is typically the culprit for this because he'll just keep asking, he just keeps asking why. Right. Why, why, why, and then he's coming up with his own thoughts. Well, what if, and what if? Right. And it just won't end, right. Which is, you know, problematic from a, from a tardiness standpoint. But it's amazing from an idea, generation and thought generation standpoint, right? If you don't put blocks on this, you don't artificially stop yourself, it'll just keep going.

Wil Schroter: You said something there, we stop asking why we stop asking what if we create patterns for ourselves where we didn't work before. So I guess it can't work again or someone else tried it. So I guess there's no point in me trying it, think of how many ideas were tried and failed and people go, oh, that idea failed with the assumption that that person had the right timing, the right configuration of the idea or they were even the right person to run it. I've got times in my life where I had the right idea at the wrong time. And by that definition, it was a failed idea. I've mentioned this on the pod before, but we did a company called a afford it dot com, which is long since defunct, which is essentially every buy now pay later site right now. We're just 10 years too early

Ryan Rutan: and in the middle of a financial crisis.

Wil Schroter: Oh, yeah. By the way, that too

Ryan Rutan: bad, bad

Wil Schroter: timing. But these kids don't think like that and that's where things started to get really interesting. So, here's how we teed things up. And I thought this is not only interesting for these students but it's also interesting to us as adults the first day of class. What I told them was, I said there's no homework in this class. I said, there's nothing I'm gonna write on the board. All I'm gonna do is ask you questions. And this, the rest is all you and got them really interested. And they said, well, we don't have startup ideas. A couple of them did. I said, yes, you do. Yes, you do. And this is, I think so valuable for any aspiring entrepreneur. I said you all have ideas because y'all got problems, lots of them. And that's where ideas come from. And it was like this magic trick where I said, list all your problems, all the things that bother you. And that's exactly where all these the ideas came from. So I'll give you an example. One of the students Hayden says, I've got these awesome sneakers that I love. It's the total sneaker head, right? He said, but I'm growing and every six months I've got to give away my sneakers because I don't fit into them anymore. Why don't my sneakers grow with me? Oh great question. Right. That's exactly the right question. Why don't your sneakers grow with you? Why can't your sneakers grow with you? And the truth is they probably can. There's probably a way to do it.

Ryan Rutan: Please tell me he's in the middle of launching foot binding for the modern between. I don't know

Wil Schroter: if you've ever seen the movie with a chance of meatballs but Flint Lockwood at the beginning has spray on. Uh I always think of that. Um, what I loved about it, it took him about two seconds to think about that and all he did was look at his feet and it's a really good idea actually, but it was so simple because he wasn't thinking, well, what's really the L LTV of shoe companies going to be if you can grow with your shoes or? That's how I would think about it. Right. I would think, well, Nike's probably thought about it. So it must have been done.

Ryan Rutan: Shoes is a subscription service. Right. I, I subscribe to a particular model and then I just, whatever size I need they'll send me. Right. I would, well, the logistics costs aren't gonna work out or whatever. Yeah. Right.

Wil Schroter: Right. That's exactly how I think about it. And, you know, you could go so far as to say, well, that's the mature way. That's the business way to think about it. Not really every single product that's life changing right now was science fiction until someone said, well, why can't you do that and made it actually happen? And so I think when we as founders, when we start taking that kind of unwashed, thinking off the table, it's dangerous.

Ryan Rutan: So it's super, super dangerous as

Wil Schroter: we were going through the class. You know, over the, the ensuing weeks, I kept thinking about it with you, me and the rest of our team, how many things we stopped asking because maybe they didn't work once before or maybe somebody else did it in a day work. And we keep thinking, well, I guess that's just done or again, like we did it before. It didn't work. So I guess it's just done and I kept thinking if our daughters were running the company right now, they wouldn't have any of our thought processes. Right. They're both super smart but they'd just be thinking, well, why wouldn't you do that?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, exactly. Why haven't we tried it again and again and again. Right. Kids are resilient in that way and that they don't, they don't, they definitely don't view failure in the same way unless they're taught to. Which is a pity. It's interesting because we were having a discussion kind of almost an argument, not within the family. This was, uh, some other local business owners that, that I know here in town and we were talking about mental models and two of them were like, super hyped up on mental models and it was funny because I caught one of them in a bit of a trap. And I said, well, but according to that mental model, you never would have started this new division to your business because it doesn't fit within that. And I said, so this is the danger for me with mental models is that it can trap you into thinking. And they're like, yeah, but they're great shortcuts for stuff like, yeah, if all you're worried about is getting somewhere fast, that's great. Great. But what if you missed like the really cool scenic view that would have made this more enjoyable or made it a better product or made it a product at all? Right? And so I think there's, there's some real dangers. Then I think that as adults, we start to work that direction, we realize how little mental bandwidth we have, how little time we have. And so we start to look for shortcuts, we start to look for ways that make us less childlike and are thinking less exploratory and more deficit, which is great. If what you're seeking is already defined, if it's not super dangerous in terms of blocking you from actual solutions or maybe better solutions, you

Wil Schroter: know, something that's really funny about everything we talk about here is that none of it is new. Everything you're dealing with right now has been done 1000 times before you, which means the answer already exists. You may just not know it, but that's ok. That's kind of what we're here to do. We talk about this stuff on the show, but we actually solve these problems all day long at groups dot startups dot com. So, if any of this sounds familiar, stop guessing about what to do, let us just give you the answers to the test and be done with it. So, here was the next interesting thing that happened. We went on this exploration of problems and they just went off. Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: I'm sure that got diverse and very interesting. Oh God, it got

Wil Schroter: crazy. Right. Initially, what I thought was this is more or less gonna map the same process that we use either for idea validation or for pitch deck creation because ultimately, I wanted them to create a pitch deck to present their idea at the end. But I spent way more time talking to founders about how pitch decks work. I spent zero time explaining anything to them. I noticed the same thing with my daughter, you know, she started a business last year and she wanted to pitch it to the head of the school so that she could have a pop up shop inside the school store for her product. And I told her it'd be a great idea for her pitch to the head of school to be essentially a pitch deck, you know, to have the same structure. And that's when I first noticed and this is almost a year ago. I didn't have to explain much of anything to her. I said on this side, put the problem on this side, put the solution on this side, put, you know, whatever attraction you have, et cetera. And she was like, yep, go and like with founders with adults, I get asked 9000 questions and they're logical questions. But what's interesting is the students hardly asked any questions to your point. I didn't ask them what they knew. I asked them what they thought and it just went crazy and it made me think too, like maybe some of the way we teach or explain these things where we're trying to be very prescriptive, could be turned into more of an exploration. You know, how would you present that or what is in your mind? And what's interesting is that our founders and we help drive this, really want to be on a very prescriptive path here is exactly how to build a pitch deck, uh slide by slide, exactly what to say. And it works because it saves them a lot of mental energy. But at the same time, it prevents them from doing a lot of thinking as well.

Ryan Rutan: That's, it is interesting. And so I was, as you were going through that, I started to think, I wonder what would have happened if instead of prescribing the pitch tech path you had said, and then you'll have 20 minutes to present your ID or 10 minutes to present your ID or five minutes to present your idea or to share your ID, you even call it a presentation and see what they come up with. I'm actually gonna, I'm actually gonna try this sometime in the near future and, and see what comes out of it because I would be curious to see what would happen if you take that pitch deck framework away. How do they present? I mean, we, we hear this all the time, right? Explain it like you're explaining it to a child. But if you really want to do that, you'd have to ask a child how they'd want it to be explained to. Right? Let them figure it out for

Wil Schroter: themselves. One of the things we did, what was interesting is each person got a chance to present their problem to the class. And one of the things I said is, uh when you get your chance to present the problem, you'll understand how this classroom format works here. We don't have classes, we have meetings and I'm gonna show you how to run a meeting. You're at the, the white board, you're the CEO and everybody else here is on your team and people start raising their hands like no, nobody raised their hands, right. CEO will call on you, right? It'll let you know who, who he or she wants to talk to. And so so we do and the kids loved it, but they're up there as the CEO, they present their problem and everybody else had to solve it for them. They weren't allowed to present their solution. Hm.

Ryan Rutan: Super fun. Oh, my God.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. As I'm watching it again, I'm thinking to myself Ryan, when you and I run these types of meetings, either internally or with other folks, people are afraid to talk because they're afraid to be wrong. Exactly. These kids didn't understand what wrong

Ryan Rutan: was. There was nothing writing on the answer. So I think that's a big part of it. Right. It's just, they're just trying to be helpful. There's no consequence in the best of ways, right? Sometimes consequences, they can drive performance. But in a lot of cases, we need to remove the consequential layer. Otherwise we're not really gonna get the real answers.

Wil Schroter: Right. If no one has consequence, then no one has a problem speaking their mind and sometimes the ideas are insane. However, this goes back to what I said a moment ago. All of the most important products we're using right now were once science fiction, they were once insane, right? A microcomputer that would fit in your pocket that like, you know, has the processing power of a data center. Impossible. Right? A network where you can contact the entire world all at once simultaneously. Impossible. And yeah, you don't think twice about

Ryan Rutan: it. Right. Still waiting on my damn flying car. Ah,

Wil Schroter: it's, it's out there. You just don't have one yet. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. What I found was fascinating and again, in watching, kind of how they interacted was the fewer barriers I introduced, the more incredible their ideas became. So instead of saying here's everything you can and cannot do. I just said, here's the objective, the objective is to find a problem. They went crazy. The objective is to come up with as many solutions as possible. I thought this was interesting. They went crazy. I spent the entire class writing just trying to shut them up. And I, I mean, it's in the

Ryan Rutan: nicest way. Yeah, that's, that's sort of the right problem at that stage though.

Wil Schroter: Right? It's incredible. Like, it's not that I didn't respect teachers before, but I have a whole level of respect for them now because at the end of every class I was exhausted. But I gotta tell you, I can't remember the last meeting I came out of that. I was exhausted in that way.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, there was too much happened. There was so much going, right. Generally when we're running meetings, we're trying to pull stuff out of people. Right? It can feel like literally pulling teeth, getting people to open their mouths and, and let, and let it out. Right. It's such a challenge for us. But you said something really interesting there, which is that, you know, the, the less barriers that were put up, the better the ideas were, right. It's not just that you get more, you get better. I think that we've dropped this mentality as we age, as we mature as we have more of these mental models. That what we're trying to do is deliver the distilled version of the thinking in real time, which is as dumb as it sounds right. It's not possible to do if you're coming up with the thinking, you literally cannot. And if you do, if you are distilling it, you're just trimming off what could be some of the most important pieces of it. And you don't really know yet because it hasn't seen the light of day, it's still a thought process. So I think it's a, it's a critical, critical point for us to remember as, as adults and advantages. One, if you're working with people who don't seem to have that problem, don't try to shut them up, don't try to shut them down. Don't make them say less, try to understand and see the thought process and learn from that. Right. It's, it's a fantastic exercise to do with kids but with anybody really and secondarily not to assume that because it's been distilled down that it's necessarily better, right? Less is more, not necessarily right. That, that's really hard to tell because we don't know what we missed out on at that point. The other

Wil Schroter: thing that we miss out on when we're prescriptive or we're just, let's say telling our team, what the answer is, what, what have you is, we lose ownership. And what happened was by the students coming up with the ideas and coming up with solutions, sometimes solutions to other people's ideas. And then we broke them into teams and they'd pick the idea that they wanted to work on as a team the most they had ownership. And I was really interested to see how this works. I think this is one of the most fascinating things about entrepreneurship is the fact that people own their work. They're proud of their work. They treat it like their baby if you will. We've used that analogy a ton of times and it's, it's pretty apt. And I think when I envision a world where we empower more entrepreneurs and more people have ownership of their work product, the world becomes a better place. We have happier people and we have better products like the world creates better things because people take ownership of it, right? But

Ryan Rutan: that permeates down through the organization too. Right? Well, it's not just, I mean, you started off with that kind of point, which is that when we take away the ownership, when we put too many restrictions right now, you were talking about the team specifically, it's a super important point because what at at kind of best case scenario, they tell you what they think you need to hear. Worst case scenario, they tell you what you want to hear, right? And now you're not generating ideas, you've now pigeonholed people in such a way that the only thing that they're going to bring to the table are the things that they think you want to hear. So they're running it, not even through their own mental model, but the mental model they think is gonna work for. You. Imagine the level of trimming that an idea goes through before it gets to that stage and how repressed that thought process is. It's scary to think that we do this to our

Wil Schroter: people. I also think that over time we get so married to an idea of process and outcome, et cetera that like we said earlier, we, we start, we stop asking those questions and then every now and again, someone comes along and asks what they're gonna think is an inane question and we're like, like, you know, why, why haven't we done that or why don't, why don't

Ryan Rutan: we do that? Damn. We haven't ever thought of that before. Yeah, like, yeah.

Wil Schroter: Damn. That's actually true that

Ryan Rutan: that goes back to that agency ownership and fear piece, right? Because then what you'll find because we see this all the time. Will we see this all the time? You ask every once in a while, you know, I'll ask a question like that of a founder and instead of just going oh Yeah, shit, we should have thought about that or we could think about that. Let's go think about that. What do people typically do? They get defensive. Right. This is even far, far more likely to occur within a team than it is with you talking to an external adviser or somebody who's just trying to help you out with your business, you're more likely to be receptive. But if you're somebody sub G on the team, you're junior, right, to whoever is asking the question, the likelihood is they're going to go defensive. Right. They're gonna say, well, we didn't think of that or we did think of that. We didn't do it because, right, because that's not the important piece of this folks that doesn't matter. It's irrelevant. Why you didn't do it before. It's, if you just want to think through it. Right? Why didn't you think about it before? Who cares? Right. Think about it now. Right. Open up to that. It's so, so damn important that we're not shutting things down before they see the light of day.

Wil Schroter: I agree. So, here's what ends up happening. We get to the point where as we're getting into the class, we're putting the teams together and we're having them start to work on this idea. And this fascinating thing happens where these kids start taking ownership of the idea in a way where they feel very defensive of it in the right way again, in the same way, you know, parents defend their kids. It's something that they feel really passionate about. To me. It's one of the most fascinating transformation for people to watch them become attached to something. So personally that, that they have to make it happen in the world, especially

Ryan Rutan: when it doesn't exist yet. Right. They're viscerally connected to this thing. Right. Deeply connected and it doesn't exist yet. It's just an idea and yet they will hold on to it like it's got handles

Wil Schroter: everywhere. And so we're putting the teams together and a couple of weeks go by and this one student, Sammy is very unhappy. You could tell he's very intense about entrepreneurship, like he really, really wants to be there. But he's just the, the look on his face the entire time with his team as they're coming up with the idea and developing the idea is just hilarious. And so finally I pull him aside after a class and I said, Sam, what's going on, man? He's like, I have an idea that needs to happen. This team isn't following it, right? He couldn't sell the team on his idea. And I said, go, what is it? He said, why don't windows wash themselves? No. Ok. Go on. And so he basically had the idea of the equivalent of windshield wipers for

Ryan Rutan: windows for all your windows. He wasn't

Wil Schroter: thinking about it in some like goofy Doctor Seuss version. He had a lot of thought put into this, like a lot of thought put into this. And so I was like, listen, man, if you want to go lone wolf on this, have at it. Do it.

Ryan Rutan: That's the core of entrepreneurship right there. Right. You see a solution to a problem that you want to solve in a way that you want to do it and the rest of the world isn't going that way. This is where entrepreneurship comes from. You're like, well, damn it, I'll just go do it myself. Right. I will take off and do this.

Wil Schroter: So all the, the students put together their decks and at the end of the semester, the idea is that they're gonna pitch to a bunch of founders. So we call a bunch of our founder, group friends and uh and they love this stuff and they show up for the pitches and uh everyone gives their pitches and what I explained to them was to try to tell in the form of a story. So they could be interesting. And I said, start with what the problem is and, you know, give it some character and one of the teams was like, here's the problem you're on a date with your, your whoever girl or boy or whatever you're with and you're at the movies and you forget the popcorn and the candy, but the movie is starting, you don't wanna look like a total idiot. So what do you do? You call the candy drone? And it flies in, it brings your,

Ryan Rutan: oh man, I love the Kennedy Drone. It

Wil Schroter: was awesome to see like them pitch with such intensity and each of them come in and some of them put a lot of time into their decks. It was really cool to see and they only had like three or four minutes to pitch, but it was cool to see. And then the, the founders gave their feedback and stuff and they were awesome. And Katherine from our team was there. Oh, cool. And, uh, it was great. So, last person to go and I didn't think it was prepared was our boy, Sammy. Sammy gets up there and he's kind of a quiet kid. But let me tell you, man, the dude went full Steve jobs. He was so passionate about this window washing idea. He started to go into unit costs and supply chain and all. I was like, whoa,

Ryan Rutan: whoa, slow down homie.

Wil Schroter: And he had, you know, we, we had the judges at the end and vote on what they thought was the most interesting. They gave feedback to everybody and across the board, they voted our boy Sammy Lone Wolf. The dude stole the show. It was so cool to see you whole class cut up and clapped for him. It was awesome. I love it. It was awesome. It was really, really telling how little we had to kind of kick the, the rock to start making a roll down hill. It was

Ryan Rutan: incredible. It's such an awesome process to be part of. Right. I mean, watching these things come alive. I mean, I don't know how it is for you. Actually, I do know how it is for you. This entirely fills my sales with wind, you know, sure, we've got an uncertain future. Financial markets are still a bit of a mess. You know, we might be facing a recession, all these other things about the future uncertain. And one thing I am damn certain about is that lighting entrepreneurial fires as early as we can exposing kids to these ideas and these frameworks or lack of frameworks, just an entrepreneurial way of thinking and, and letting them know that that's ok and that they can maintain this for as long as they want and turn it into a career is something I can be hella excited about.

Wil Schroter: So in addition to all the stuff related to founder groups, you've also got full access to everything on startups dot com that includes all of our education tracks, which will be funding customer acquisition, even how to manage your monthly finances. They're so much stuff in there. All of our software including BIZ plan for putting together detailed business plans and financials launch rock for attracting early customers and of course fund for attracting investment capital. When you log into the startups dot com site, you'll find all of these resources available.

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