🚀 Breathe.



“You can’t manage everyone the same way. Some people need a lot more structure, and Asana boards or Jira, or whatever you’re using. Other people don’t want a structure, you want them to roam free and just have goals. So, really understanding who you have, and managing the way they want to be managed versus how you want to manage them.”

In this episode

In episode #44, Joe tells us why hiring athletes, not quarterbacks, will help scale your marketing teams. 

Joe Martin is the VP of Marketing and Strategy at CloudApp – an instant video and image sharing platform.

In this episode, Joe talks about the importance of one-on-one meetings… and explains how quarterly development conversations can be a better approach than yearly performance reviews.

We also talk about Joe’s tips to write resumes that stand out… and the idea of “asynchronous weeks” – something that Joe and his team at CloudApp tried recently.

Tune in to hear Joe’s insight on what it means to be a good manager and why transparency from above is important.

Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


Show that you care


Breaking up the annual performance review


From big corporate to agile startup


Looking for athletes


A hiring framework backed by company values


Avoiding groupthink when hiring


CloudApp’s asynchronous communication


A hybrid office experience


Removing all meetings


Joe’s favourite meeting


Managing is like parenting



Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  00:09

Joe, welcome to the show. 

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  02:21

Hey, thanks, Aydin. 

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  02:22

Yeah, glad to have you on. Joe, you are a very interesting character in the sense that you’ve had a diverse background, you’ve spent a lot of time in leadership roles at larger companies like Adobe, and of course startups. And today you’re at CloudApp, so there’s a lot of really fun things I want to dig in on and especially given CloudApp, how it helps teams work remotely better and asynchronous communication. And so there’s a lot to talk about. But I wanted to start off by asking you about your experience of all the companies that you’ve worked at, who has been a memorable boss, that you have a story that you could tell us about?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  03:07

Yeah, absolutely. Um, I’ve definitely been lucky to have a lot of really good managers along the way. And I still keep in touch with most of them, they’ve been helpful with career decisions I’ve made and also just, you know, problems I have when I’m working through marketing things. So it’s, it’s really great when you’re able to kind of build a relationship with your manager, I would say, you know, my, my second manager at Adobe, the one who hired me left, maybe five or six months after I started. So that was kind of a bummer. But I still stay in touch with him. But the one who took over for our team. Her name is Tamara Gaffney. And she was really helpful in that she recognize our strengths, and really focused on those. So I remember there was a time that I was kind of getting frustrated with this analysis that we were doing. And I’m not a data scientist by any means. But I was doing these analyses, and I can do very, you know, sometimes advanced things, but far from modeling. And I wasn’t able to kind of figure out this problem. So she kind of guided me through that, you know, told me to ask some other people for help. And then she also just put me on other things that she knew I was really good at. So she kind of let some other people do the modeling and the data science piece of things. And then she used me with what I was good at, which was developing the story, tying the pieces together, and really working on launching the campaign. So she was really good at kind of discovering those strengths that each of us had, and the weaknesses and really diving in on each of those.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  04:52

Yeah, that’s awesome. You know, one of the things that you just said was for a lot of your managers you still keep in touch. And that’s definitely a sign that they were good managers or you thought of them very favorably? I’m curious, what are the things you think that they did to just make it so that you have that kind of relationship or if people, of course, nobody, nobody ever leaves CloudApp, but say that if they did that, you know, those team members would then continue to stay in touch with you. 

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  05:24

Ultimately, I think it’s just showing that you care, it’s the same case with even VPS. at Adobe, there were some who I do skip-level meetings with, and they’d showed a lot of care. Like, they really wanted to help me guide me mentor my career, and then others just didn’t seem to care so much. It was kind of like, checking the box for them, you know, people recognize when you actually care and know you have a conversation, and then they follow up with you. Like, hey, you know, how did such and such situation you’re working on go in, and you know, they don’t have to do that type of thing. One thing I try and do, that I’ve learned from my managers is, is my one on ones weekly one on ones are pretty sacred. on my calendar, I had a few bosses who would move those all the time, or be like, Oh, we don’t, we don’t really need anything, or we don’t need to talk about anything this week. Even if I have nothing to talk about, I like to have those meetings for five minutes and just connect with people on my team and have that time where they can I call it their time. So it’s like you create the agenda. You tell me what you want to talk about, and I’m here to remove barriers or, you know, help develop you in some way, whatever it might be.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  06:42

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think there is a really big difference between checking the box and being like, truly authentically interested in someone and I’m curious with these managers that you’ve had, is it often you reaching out? Or are they reaching out? Or is it both ways? How does that work?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  07:00

So Adobe actually structured it really well. And I brought this into Cloud App.  Managers at Adobe would say, hey, put a weekly one-on-one on my calendar, and just have at the same time, same day, same, you know, start time, start on time and on time, really clean agenda. Here’s what we’re going to talk about. And then also, let’s do a quarterly check-in where we talk purely about development. So the weekly one on ones were really tactical, and, you know, in the weeds, and then the quarterly check-ins where it was more like, let’s not worry about any projects, let’s use this hour that we have, and maybe we go to lunch or whatever it might be. And let’s talk about No. Are you happy with your role? Are there other things I can give you that kind of break up the monotony of your day-to-day, eventually, when I was on the team teams long enough? I would have managers actually say like, Are there other teams you’re interested in? Know Adobe is such a big company that it’s like, in your interactions? Have you thought about going to product or communications? Or you know, what, where would you like to go in an Adobe next? So is kind of like an unselfish construction of like, hey, what would you really like to develop into? And so that’s kind of been helpful to me, where the one on ones weekly or tactical, and then the quarterly is are really developmental.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  08:31

Alright, super interesting. And so those are not, say performance review type discussions, right?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  08:37

I’ve had to have, lower-performing hard conversations in those types of things. But for the most part, I’ve been lucky enough to have really good team members as well on my teams, but they can be they’re kind of set up to like, break up the annual review into four smaller conversations. So it’s not like you go into, you know, the end of the year, just getting stressed and crushed, and why you’re what you’re going to expect. So it’s cutting them goes up a little bit more.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  09:09

Yeah, I like that a lot to weekly one on ones, but then also having quarterly things so that you can actually make some time where it’s a sacred space, and you’re going to talk about development. adjustments. Yeah, so I think that’s a really good flow. And, and I think like, there’s the undertone of, you know, not being selfish, almost going back to that authenticity that we talked about earlier. So if someone asking them about, like other roles and things that they might be interested in. I think that’s, that’s really cool. So one of the things that I did want to ask you about is so you worked at Adobe for about seven years, and then you transitioned into the startup world. What was it? Like, from a cultural shift perspective? Like, what were the major things that that you noticed?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  09:59

Yeah, it’s it it was a shock and a half for sure so I was opening the utah office so as I was the first hire as maybe like the fifth hire at the company so we were you know really young I went to a really young startup from my like we work style office I could still see the adobe building out my window and I purposely set it up that way of like I chose this I you know reminding myself of maybe some of the things that are frustrating with the big company, but the story I always like to tell is day one I’m on slack with the CEO and he’s based in the Bay Area so we’re unable to meet and I said hey I think our website could use a lot of love like first of all I’m not I don’t really love our headline, I thought it was too obscure versus really prescriptive of like what we actually were and I threw out some ideas and he’s like okay well I like you know this one and I said okay so when should we launch that and he’s like okay, alright, I  changed it. And you know something like that at a big company is just like it blew my mind because first of all I wasn’t even on the website team so you know stay in your lane bro if you’re making website suggestions but even if I was on the website team changing the h1 on the website would go through probably eight different channels and then be you know six-month process so it was pretty huge experience to have that and also with that you know we move really fast and so there’s a lot of things that that aren’t so great with a startup and that you don’t really have time to develop this you know beautiful campaign over a three month period and vet it with you know 1020 other really smart marketers that work at your company it’s you on an island kind of developing this thing and it needs to be launched tomorrow type thing so it’s there’s kind of some good and bad but that’s the experience i like sure

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  12:16

yeah that’s interesting and i think it forces almost self-reliance because I guess like at a larger company there might be experts in almost everything but then when it’s all on you it’s just developing that and so it’s it’s interesting so one of the questions then i had was like going into this environment I mean you were basically the first marketer and so you grew the user base to more than 3 million what were you looking for in that type of environment like how did you figure out who to hire next

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  12:48

yeah so there were some really good pieces in place when i when i joined which is i’d been consulting with CloudApp for a little bit so i already kind of knew some of the data and some of the inside and so really resource constrained at a startup i focused on the things we were really good at first so there were some good organic traffic pieces already in place and so i scaled those and we went from you know 10 seo pages to 100 seo pages really quickly we like five to 10x the amount of organic pages we had rolling we added a blog that brings in a lot of great traffic and allows opportunities for retargeting the other piece was we have so many signups coming in each day as a free product that’s kind of the nature of the beast but i wanted onboarding to be really airtight as well so i hired a head of automation to help with onboarding and also he runs email and then i also with his skill set i i’ve kind of been grooming him for like demand generation campaigns so those were kind of the two first hires i made was was content and automation because i saw those as really important pieces

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  14:14

So that’s really interesting so it sounds like you got in and you did a deep dive you were already consulting you kind of had a view of things how quickly after you started did you hire the other people

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  14:26

Yeah, so we’re in the middle of a fundraise when i, when i was hired so it was that, was actually kind of nice because I had 60 days even two and a half months before the money hit the bank to kind of scheme and transition from that massive company to you know the smaller one so it was around two and a half months or so before I made those hires.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  14:55

When you made those hires, what kind of people were you looking for, It sounds like you knew that you needed someone to work on the content and another on automation. But were you looking for, you know, people who were, say, had a certain skill set? Or were you looking for experts who were better than you in those areas? Like, what kind of characters? Were you looking for it?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  15:19

Yeah, I think at a startup space, you’re looking for it to bring in a sports analogy, you’re looking for athletes. Now, if you look at college recruiting, you have quarterbacks and running backs. And then they’ll put athletes, which is like, hey, this person runs really fast, they can jump high, they can do defense and offense, let’s figure out who they are when we bring them onto the team. So I was looking for definitely some experience in those areas. So the content lead had some experience in SEO. But I was five years out of school. So still pretty Junior. And I kind of saw her blossoming into SEO initially, and then content lead content strategist, and then maybe even owning social and PPC, and then the automation guy, another five years out of school person, I saw him blossoming from you know, he had the email background. So let’s move the email to automation. And then automation can move into demand Gen. So I kind of knew their skill sets, and then just built out my plan for them. And they’ve, it’s kind of stayed pretty well in place of what we both imagined. But yeah, I kind of hired the athlete versus, you know, the person who’s been only an email for 10, straight years.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  16:50

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think like understanding that context. And understanding what kind of person would succeed at that at a startup is a really good kind of base framework to have. And I love that analogy of hiring athletes versus a quarterback. So that’s really cool. You know you have some really interesting read resume tips in general, for folks out there, I would love for you to tell us about some of those resume tips. But also tell us about like, what is hiring look like at CloudApp in general? 

Joe Martin (CloudApp)   17:22

Yeah, I mean, first, first of all, everything on your resume needs to be quantifiable, not just was a piece of this project should not be a bullet point. But you know, what was your impact? What did that project lead to, you know, revenue, more visits, what was kind of the outcome? So in everyone will say that everything should be quantifiable. Second of all, if you’re really young, no trying, try and only put things that are relevant, like if you’re applying for if you’re right out of school, and you’re applying for a social media manager, or not a manager, but like maybe an analyst or coordinator, or PR coordinator, whatever the junior role is at a company, don’t put you were like a busser at no Applebee’s on your resume, that’s great. But it’s not super relevant to the role, either include school projects that related to the role or give yourself the experience in the first place. So create a blog, run socials, for that blog. Now everyone wants to be an influencer in the young kind of generation. So start kind of developing those skills, if you want to be in marketing, and then you can point to like, you know, I develop this blog, and I run Google Analytics on the blog. And I make data decisions on what content to produce because of what people look at. So you know, give yourself the skills. As far as hiring at CloudApp. We definitely go through a series of interviews. So it’s usually we don’t have the initial screening interviews. Since we don’t, we’re not big enough to necessarily have an HR team. So usually go straight into me as like a hiring manager for my team. And then I’ll have them interview with my team. And then after that, I’ll have them interview usually with some someone in sales or product or engineering, sometimes the CEO, and we all kind of come together and we have a score based on ego team player, skill set, attitude, but we have five kinds of factors. And then we rate that one to five. And then it’s basically like blind, you know, everyone does their scores blind. And then we take the average and then we all kind of, you know, this person got the highest rating Do we all kind of feel good about that person. And then we, you know, kind of make the decision. And it’s worked out pretty well. We also do like typical, we require two references. Generally, that just, I mean, everyone’s gonna put good references on their resume, but it at least gives you a chance to make them do some extra work and find people that want to say good things about them. But that’s kind of worked out pretty well.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:26

Yeah. So that’s interesting. So the five things that you rate people on? Are those just the company values?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  20:33

Yeah, they relate back to our company values.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:36

From a company values perspective like you guys have a question bank, where you just, you know, the interview questions that you’re going to ask to rate them for those things? Or does everybody just hear the candidate and then they make their own judgments? Or how do you elicit, you know, a conversation that would allow for you to rate for those things?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  20:58

I think we like to have a balance of seasoned interviewers. So like the executive team, who has 10 to 15 years experience, kind of interviewing and hiring, you know, we’re training the people that are brand new to, like, be a part of the interview process, don’t necessarily have a question bank. So like, it’s kind of funny that, like, I’ll go in, in their interview, and I’ll have like, a case study that’s like, Hey, here’s, here’s a situation, tell me how you think about it. And it could be something general like, No, you own a retail website, and traffic went down by 10% month over month, you know, what do you look at? Or why don’t help me understand why that may have happened. And then they, you know, talk through the situation. And then the junior people are very much more like, Where do you see yourself in five years? And, you know, tell me about yourself, and what do you like to do? You know, it’s the typical, like, interview bank questions. So we don’t have a little bit of a sink or swim, for sure, where people kind of like, the interviewers almost more nervous than the interviewee. But we all know like, in the end, it’s going to come down to the rating, and then our values our customer, first, no egos collaboration, and then check before you ship. So those are four values. And then the five kinds of factors relate back to those.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  22:27

Do you ever get into a situation where like, is it purely score-based? I’m curious, have you ever run into a situation where someone didn’t get the high score, but you decided to make a decision and hire them anyway?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  22:40

Um, I haven’t on my team, I’m sure it’s probably happened within the company. I mean, I haven’t, we’ve definitely hired a lot more engineers, and we have anyone else. And I haven’t been a lot in a lot of those interviews. So I’m sure it’s happened. But so far, it’s been a pretty, pretty good indicator of if you have three or four really solid candidates kind of like trying to figure out a way to bring the cream to the top, but also take in different perspectives on how they saw people.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  23:13

Yeah, you know, what I like about this approach is that it turns it into a framework. So if you didn’t have a framework to make a decision like that like you said, If you bring in force all candidates, there are problems, right? So whoever might be really good at convincing, everybody else might sway the opinion of the interview group or the decision-making group to choose their candidate. But when you have a framework, and you know, the other thing that you said, which was really interesting, was everybody kind of does that blind, and then you come together, and then you discuss it. I think that approach is very interesting. And it’s nice because it just avoids groupthink. And you really care about, you know, just like this very numerical approach to hiring. And I suppose, after the fact, I don’t know if you keep track of this stuff, but in theory, you could actually figure it out over the course of time as you hire hundreds of people, like how effective are these rating systems versus like candidates who are amazing?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  24:17

Yeah, and I kind of, well, when we were kind of scheming on this two years ago. I mean, the executive team, I brought up an example at Adobe, where I walked up to this guy’s desk that I was friends went there, and it was an intern season, and he had this stack of probably like 40 resumes for this role. And he had just kind of come back from San Jose and was had interviewed a bunch of them, and he’s like, I have no idea what to do. He’s like, these are all like, Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, cow, like Top Tier Business Schools. They all have like 750 GMAC scores. They’ve all done these great, you know, bad rounds. He’s like, I don’t know, I don’t know what to do. He’s like maybe 10 of them I could narrow down to. And that was something where it’s like, there’s got to be a scientific way we can. I mean, I didn’t expect us to get that quality of candidates. But there’s got to be a scientific way that we can come together on how to hire these people that that takes away from, hey, these are all really great candidates. How do we choose, you know, that type of thing?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  25:29

[AD BREAK] Hey, there. Just a quick note, before we move on to the next part, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably already doing one on one meetings. But here’s the thing, we all know that one on one meetings are the most powerful, but at the same time, the most misunderstood concept in practice and management. That’s why we’ve spent over a year compiling the best information, the best expert advice into this beautifully designed 90 Plus page ebook. Now, don’t worry, it’s not single-spaced font, you know, lots of text. There’s a lot of pictures. It’s nice, easily consumable information, we spent so much time building it. And the great news is that it’s completely free. So head on over to fellow dot app slash blog to download the definitive guide on one on ones. It’s there for you. We hope you enjoy it. And let us know what you think. And with that said, let’s go back to the interview. [AD BREAK OVER]  So Joe, one of the things that I’m very curious to learn about is just asynchronous communication. I mean, this is something that, you know, you and your team really evangelize certainly, like very core to the way I mean, the way of work that CloudApp preaches it tell us about asynchronous communication, how does it How does that work within your team, your company? What are some ways that you incorporate async?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  26:55

Yeah, so CloudApp, obviously, is an asynchronous tool that allows you to take screen recordings, screenshots, and GIFs. And then immediately have a link you can share, we’ve slowly been bringing it to every single order based on a lot on based on how our customers have been using it. So customer support is one of our largest personas, and our customer support customers use CloudApp videos to close tickets faster, and usually get 50 to 100% higher satisfaction rates, then, you know, pushing someone to an FAQ page or having these massively long exchanges with text and back and forth emails. So we started doing that with like one line of text. And here’s a video or here’s a screenshot in the cases where it needed it. And we saw, you know, similar things. Sales, we did the same thing, instead of these long emails that none of us read. Our sales, people started sending one line, and I made a video and that video is kind of animated in the email. So it can kind of you can see movement, and that like text, our conversion rates for sales. And then with internal comms, it kind of cuts out. We don’t have a ton of meetings in the first place, especially compared to like a large organization like Adobe, but it cuts out the need for it. So an example is we have this weekly like email automation review. And it’s just part of like we QA, everything we QA, we have to QA is on every email, every product release every blog post. And so our head of email automation had me and Scott, our CEO on this call. And after a few weeks, we kind of got the feel of the process. We said, hey, let’s just make this a video. And so he now just sends a video every two weeks when we do that meeting, and includes a couple of bullets if he needs to, or just sends the video sometimes, and then ask for feedback. And he usually just send screenshots of his emails, like, Hey, I sent you a test email. But, you know, here’s a screenshot as well. So that helps that we just eliminate long emails, we eliminate meetings, and really creates an environment where you have people, you know, doing actual work and not just being kind of talking heads all day long.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  29:31

Yeah, that’s really interesting. So this is, you know, for a QA-type meeting, I think that makes all the sense in the world. What about status updates? Do you ever do just video-based status updates? I think that’s one of the meetings everybody thinks is the first that that should go

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  29:47

So, our team meetings, my marketing team meetings, we actually have done just videos for updates. Recently, a couple of times when I just wasn’t able to make the meeting. And just said, hey, let’s just do videos this week. But in this kind of remote world, that’s also a time that I’ve felt is good for us to disconnect. So its status, but it’s also like, thankfully, we have some time to create a little bit of team culture before things started shutting down. And so you know, we can kind of joke around with each other, we can kind of talk about the campaign’s coming up. So I, I hold those kinds of team meetings a little bit sacred as well, like the one on ones, but just trying to make them effective use of time. And for the most part I and 30 minutes early, like we get it done a lot quicker than the time that we have set aside for

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  30:45

Your right. I mean, there is a lot more value than just getting a status update. So you brought up an interesting point, which is, you know, obviously, you might want to do things slightly differently if everybody is remote. So you were just telling me before we started recording that, you have now been going back to the office, and I know that the whole world is trying to figure out what hybrid actually looks like. So would love to tell you to tell us about your experience? How does it work? How does it feel to go back to the office? Yeah,

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  31:19

it’s, it’s really nice, actually. So I have three kids under the age of eight, two of them are in school, for at least part of the day, my wife stays home. So I’m lucky in that case, that there’s at least an adult that can full-time kind of help out and watches them. If there’s like utter chaos going downstairs, you know, with kids fighting with my wife, then I kind of like dad hat pops on when I’m in the meeting. And I’m like, Okay, I gotta go, like help out, I’m not gonna just let her know, suffer through these kids doing crazy things. And so at home, I’m kind of like, I have dad hat on half the time. And then I have no CMO hat on half the time. And so it’s hard to separate the two. So it’s been nice to go to the office to separate those a little bit, they usually don’t go the full day when I go in. It’s usually like nine to two or so and then I’ll finish at home. But honestly, kind of the hybrid is, its been nice to have that choice, I think, which is what the future looks like where it’s, you know, maybe you wake up and you put a long day at the office the day before, and you feel like you haven’t seen your family or you just feel like you just need to be home. And this is not really me. But you want to like stay in your sweats all day, then you can have that choice. Like we’ve all kind of built that muscle to do this remote life and do things over zoom and slack. And whatever tools we’re using, I think that’s kind of what it comes down to is you’ll see a lot of people that are like, Hey, I don’t want to face this hour-long commute, if you’re in the Bay Area each way. So I’m going to come in, you know, three times a week, but Mondays and Fridays, I’m going to be working from home, or I’ll come in Tuesday for this important meeting each week. But you know, the rest of the day is I’m going to stay at home. And it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re being productive at home or not to so it’s not like it’s going to lead to extra slacking or product productivity decline. Because you’ll pretty easily be able to see if that’s working or not.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  33:36

Yeah, so that’s really interesting. One of the questions I had and I’m curious if you have any thoughts on this, you can’t ever replace in-person interaction, that that’s a pretty special thing. I wonder for your team, I guess it might make sense to say if you have your team meeting on a Tuesday, and that’s an important time, then everybody should kind of synchronize and make sure that one of the days that you’re going to come into the office should be on Tuesday.

Joe Martin (CloudApp) 34:03

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think a piece of Everyone misses those interactions. Even just being around other people. You know, I, I mentioned, I have people in my home. But there’s a lot of people that are in empty apartments all day and don’t have interaction with people at all, except virtually. And you know, that has to be challenging something it’s good to create that human energy. And it feels like you probably have more connection with people for retention as well. I’ve no data on that. But I’m sure you’ll see a lot of people moving around because of this remote work stuff and that they feel less connected to their company to their co-workers. And maybe that leads people to you know, wanting to search for something different.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  34:50

Yeah, that’s interesting. So one question that I did have was that since we’ve gone remote, and now you’re going back, I’m curious if you’ve changed any way of working any processes, like any way that you set goals, for example, has anything changed? Or were you able to Did you have really good processes in place? At the beginning and those kinds of carried through? I mean, specifically like for goal setting and like gathering, like basically rallying people around? projects? How does that work?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  35:22

Yeah, I mean, I think I, initially, I did a really good job of connecting our team, we did a lot of, you know, virtual kind of activities and got together. And then as we all kind of settled in, you know, I’ve definitely let that drop. So I think it is easier to like set up team connection points outside of, you know, just all project base. When you can meet in personal goal setting, we kind of run an OKR system. So we all kind of know, the OKRs we need to hit, and then we just review those a lot. So we have a scoreboard and kind of everyone understands their role and how it feeds into those. So we kind of started pretty foundational with goals to begin with.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  36:16

Yeah, so that’s an interesting thing because one of the things that we hear often is, your people write these goals down, and then they don’t really look at it until you know, at the end of the quarter whenever they’re due. So you say you actually succeed at looking at these goals a lot. And so where did they get reviewed? Is it in your one on ones? Is it in the team meetings? Like how do you make sure that you’re surfacing them often, both actually? 

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  36:42

So our team meetings, our weekly one on ones, and then also our all-hands every two weeks, one of the things I really appreciated from a couple of my managers that Adobe is they’re really transparent. So they would share like pass downs, I’m sure they filtered some stuff, but they shared were like pretty in-depth pass downs, like with the CMO or whoever was their boss. So that was always something that I’ve carried on like, Hey, here’s from our executive team meeting, you know, here are some things the head of sales mentioned, here are some things the CEO mentioned. So I’m sure more I hope my team appreciates that. But those things kind of help build the trust and kind of help us know that we’re all reaching for the same goals. And it’s, it’s for the most part for around two years now, it’s helped us kind of really exceed our goals almost every quarter. 

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  37:38

Cool, and I like that, that the concept of the past down in the sense of it’s not just, I mean, it is a really important thing to do. And it does promote transparency, but it’s also a duty. So it should be a thing that, you know, every manager going into a one on one, it is your responsibility to make sure that all the meetings that you get to attend, you know, with great responsibility, I mean, power comes responsibility. If you go to these meetings, and you’re spending the time, it’s also important to communicate that stuff out. So on the topic of meetings, is there a meeting that you have that you think delivers a lot of value at the organization are you think is like a super valuable way to spend your time?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  38:25

Working at the company I do, we really don’t like we did that we did an async week, and it was kind of removing all meetings. And as I looked at my calendar as like, Hey, I actually don’t have a lot of meetings like it was, it was pretty funny to kind of see that just because we communicate so frequently with video and just on slack. I think that has eliminated a lot of the fluff meetings. honestly one of my favorite meetings, that doesn’t happen very often, because we only do it once we kind of do these projects, campaigns once a quarter is Product Marketing. So we do a tier-one kind of release every quarter. That’s where we do basically everything you can imagine for the kind of releasing our product. And so that those are really fun to me because we bring in the engineers we bring in the designers, we bring the product people marketing has a seat sales knows what’s going on support like it really is the only kind of company-wide campaign that we do. So those are kind of the ones that I I really enjoy. As far as like weekly. It’s definitely just the team meetings that we do. Like I I like, I like our exec team meeting. Not always for the updates, but just I just enjoy the people I work with. And then the one on ones are a great time to kind of check-in with people and see how everyone’s doing. So yeah, I think they’re all pretty good. So we don’t have access. I couldn’t necessarily say that at a big company.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  39:56

Yeah, so let’s dive into the product marketing one that you enjoy the most like, What? What is the agenda look like?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  40:03

Yeah, so we document everything. So we kind of know what a tier-one release looks like that we have a kickoff meeting. So it kind of helps us create this, this work-back schedule. So it’s like a work-back schedule would be like, Hey, we need to have the blog post. by this date, we need to have the creative by date. And we all kind of know what to expect. It’s just kind of cool to show see so many different teams working together. And the agenda is basically like, Hey, here’s our date, April 20, we’re going to release this product. And now this is what I need from the product, this is what I need from sales and support. Everyone kind of knows what their role is. And then we all get to kind of relish in the release, which is always, you know, pretty fun. The day of a release to tab everybody on board and excited because they all kind of contributed a piece to it. That’s amazing. And so what do you do to celebrate a release? and not enough? We are not great at celebrating, oh, we know, posted in our Slack channel. And we talked about it in our all-hands, kind of the results of it. But we could definitely do a much better job at celebrating.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  41:22

I’m sure that you are very good at reacting to emojis though. Yeah, Joe, this has been awesome. We started off the conversation talking about authenticity, like really building relationships, where you’re not just checking a box. We talked about asynchronous communication, we were wowed by the fact that you don’t have any flour fluff meetings, which, which is always great. There’s a lot of insights, one of the questions that we like to leave our guests with is for all the managers and leaders out there looking to get better at their craft of managing leading teams, are there any tips, resources, tricks, or words of wisdom that you’d want to leave them with?

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  42:04

I mean, everything I’ve become is because of great managers and leaders before me, I think though, the weekly one-on-one is sacred using tools like Fellow are great for kind of managing everything. So hold that time sacred and make sure there’s an agenda. And that person who’s running the meeting, whoever’s on your team is, knows what to kind of be prepared with. So the weekly one on ones is sacred. I love the check-in every quarter, it is less, less of a surprise. So every party knows that it’s going to be a conversation about job role responsibilities. It’s been a salary conversation. And you know, someone’s been with us for a long time, we all kind of go into it prepared versus like, someone’s, you know if you’re stressing about going into a weekly one on one with your manager, and you want to talk about, Hey, I’m not really loving my job, you know, it catches both people off guard. So it’s nice to have that meeting prepared, knowing what you’re going to talk about. It’s like being a parent, you can’t manage everyone the same way. Some people need a lot more structure, and Asana boards or JIRA, or whatever you’re using other people, you don’t want a structure, you want them to roam free and just have goals. So, really understanding who you have, and managing the way they want to be managed versus how you want to manage them.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  43:34

Great place to end it. Thanks, Joe, for doing this. 

Joe Martin (CloudApp)  43:36


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