The problem with the word, “Hypothesis” and the importance of HiPPOs with Nima Yassini

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Richard Joe 0:00
Hey guys, it’s Richard here from the Experiment Nation Podcast. Today I’ve got Nima is senior on the line Nima’s from a Deloitte Digital. He’s one of the partners.

Nima Yassini 0:39
Thanks for having me on. All right, it’s talking about it. So thank you for taking the time to have chat.

Richard Joe 0:44
Yeah, no worries. And I know you’re, you’re busy guys spend a lot of back and forth, but it’s what happens at work. Yeah, we’re finally here.

So look, you’ve got two interesting backgrounds, perhaps you can talk to the audience about, you know, your, your, your background, and how you, your agency, you know, moves into providing CFO and experimentation services.

Nima Yassini 1:11
So we, we got into experimentation. Once I accidentally but out of necessity, we, my background is in user experience design. And I’ve been in the category for over 25 years. So I kind of started when UX started coming into the to the market. And we will talk about user centered design. Because a bunch of us who basically like anything in the internet, we go, oh, yeah, we know that. And we can figure it out as we go. So we got into the early days of user experience design. And the greatest challenge I had, after 20 years of doing UX design was that it was still a subjective category, you know, your opinion on good design versus mine. And the internet, Internet has slowly picked up category norms, but there was still, you know, people making decisions like logo goes on the right hand side. So some of these things, and when you’re working with clients, you know, it’s annoying. So we needed a way of being able to validate what we did, or creating a method in which we neutralize the opinion. And, and we got into a way of guiding a discussion. And I remember, when we first set up new republic, me and my co founder, our greatest challenge was around how do we differentiate? How can we do something that’s different to everybody else, because every man is don’t talk to you user experience design, and fundamentally, the greatest challenge with our categories, T post purchase realization, you realize someone’s good after you pay them, and you work with them. And so people scrutinize the individual rather than the work, right? Because what are you buying, you’re buying the person. And so we needed a way of differentiating, and we needed a way of neutralizing this conversation around what is good design versus bad design. And so experimentation became a platform in which we could use data to guide the decision around what is good design versus bad design. And so, unbeknownst to us, we saw it as a way of kind of proving ourselves right in our design methodology. But it completely changed our business, it changed the way we looked at design it, you know, became this myth busting. It became frustrated, because the things that you thought as a designer of practicing design for 20 years, you would realize, actually, that’s not what users want. And so all this ideology that you had around, I put users at the center, you realize that, you know, I’m fundamentally flawed in my design thinking because I’m taking data or conversations I’ve had with customers. And I’m interpret that back into design. And unless my interpretation is absolutely correct, the designs not going to be right. And so experimentation became this change process, it became a change program for us in which we literally started stop, subjectively making interpretation of these big quantities of data and large, long design projects into fast iterative sprints, where we would release different outcomes in the experience and test if they actually worked. And if they did, we’d then bank that into a bigger design project. And so that was where we started. And that was why we started, unbeknownst to us, we got into a category that was growing, we accidentally found ourselves in a category that was growing funded by Optimizely as a tech partner. And it we were just at the right place at the right time. And that kind of that ideology of integrating experimentation into user experience, completely changed our business. Because as you know, experimentation primarily came out of the media industry, not the UX industry. And so we just took something that was already out there and blended it into what we were doing. And it was at the same time, as you know, big data and everyone was talking about data. So we actually found a way of taking design and data and merging them together to create a beautiful harmonious outcome which you validate design before you actually release and so that that was our four right into experimentation

Richard Joe 5:01
into you like, I mean, there’s like 20 team when you set up your agency. I don’t remember what I don’t remember if the term CRO, was even known that well back then like do you like in your exploration of adopting Optimizely? And being more data driven? And, and that kind of stuff? Did you go on Google and find other experimenters to network with? Did you go to conferences, I had

Nima Yassini 5:32
exposure to it. When I was living in London. I was also working with HSBC. At the time, through an agency, I worked with the quarter WT and there was a technological Maximizer, who provided tech and services. And they will work with HSBC around account opens and so forth. And so I got exposed experimentation that would have been 2007. Well, and so I was exposed to it. And I was working with them at that point. And then when I came to Australia, and we decided, we need to pivot down this pathway. I just reached out to my contacts in Maximizer, and said, Give me the license, given the license, let me set it up in Australia. And so that’s where our journey began. To be really frank, like, in Australia, when we started there was like two other companies that talked about experimentation. One in Melbourne, another one in Brisbane, the guys in Melbourne, I’m not sure where they’re at anymore, but the guys in Brisbane conversion kings, a guy called Matt. Yeah, fantastic lead and incredible. And we are just we were like, you know, three lone people in the, in the sea of Australian. But the great thing was was our conversation was really, we all came about it in different ways. Matt has an incredible and still doesn’t credible process. The lads down in Melbourne, were very much in that media, more kind of marketing style. And we were much more in the UX behavioral sciences side. And we all had a different opinion on how to approach the problem and how to leverage the technology. But we were, there was only three of us. And I remember going on to LinkedIn, there was no CRO expert, or growth hacker or growth or bla bla, bla, bla, they have growth hacking, but growth hacking was growth at all costs, it doesn’t matter what you do wasn’t around, you know, optimization, or experimentation was just growth at all cost. And inside that was the slither called the experimentation. Now you kind of remember, experimentation goes like A B testing goes back way before any of this stuff like Google was the first one to run a test on the page results. That was the first test ever run on the internet record a test run on the internet, run by Google to figure out do we show 1010 listings? Or do we show 30? Listings? What’s the right number? Right? So we were we were in Australia, and now we’re on the US end of the world, we are five years away from what what is claimed as being innovation. So we were the only three people out there and, and there was this technology Optimizely. And these guys would fly in once a quarter Slenderman to fly out. And they would then equip us with stuff to go out to market and sell for them on their behalf or partner up with them to sell tech as at same time services. So it was it was a very much we were crafting the idea. And my business partner who set up with me, Stacy, she had a real thing around, you’re not gonna we’re not going to change the world by staying in Australia and looking at each other, you need to go overseas. So each year we would go overseas, and actually spend time in our competitors offices who actually emailed our competitors, and who would be our competitors. And we would say, can we just spend a week in your office and just learn from you? And being eBay amazed how many people would say yes to that. They were actually open to coming over 100% 100% We didn’t compete in the same market, US stealing each other’s clients. You know, so their revenues were protected. And we just want to learn from that and we shared knowledge back. So we know like this, what we do what we do, and we spend a week we spent a week talking to people we spent a week in and out of that came there was this formation guy called Chris gala who I don’t know if you know him, but

Richard Joe 9:17
why don’t why to funnel fame. Yeah, that’s right. He was right.

Nima Yassini 9:22
Yeah, convert Yeah, boys from conversion. Acquired him. So he and a guy called Andres, from in Germany, they set up a group called Go group digital. And they basically invited one company from every country to represent, you know, go group, and they created this amalgamation. And we all jumped in. And we basically created this forum where we would share and that that really was the pinnacle point around us, becoming a forefront leader around experimentation. So we were able to go overseas and see and see how others in the market do it. What are they doing? What do we need to be in Australia? So in the early days, there was no networking. There weren’t no podcasts, there was just three guys in Australia, looking outside the world to figure out what should we be doing?

Richard Joe 10:15
Was it kind of like, and we’ll go into the specific details or clients was kind of like, in the early days making a lot of mistakes and bumbling your way through because, you know, you don’t even have the luxury of going on. There was no CSL optimizer course there was no logs made. And maybe there was some blogs, but there was no see blog to go on or YouTube.

Nima Yassini 10:39
That the same, the same thing that you’re saying today is what’s what’s about to happen in Australia. Every agency right now says they do CRO, but the majority are self taught. They’re all self, the greater majority of people doing experimentation and self taught. And the only way that they learn is by hacking and learning. It’s a reality of the category we we say what we do, we pretend that we do it, then we actually learn through mistakes. And then we get we perfect it right? Yeah, UX was no different. When when the UX I remember I was selling Search Engine Optimization before the days of Google. And I’d go in and GO GET YOU RANKED ON Alta Vista. And I was like, I can get you ranked on Google. So yeah, you know, I’ve been around this category long enough we we perfect plays a fake it till you make it. Its whole category works on fake it till you make it. And, and experimentation in the early days. That’s what it was, you know, CRO, that’s, that’s what it was. We all we all went through that pattern. Some of us started early. So we’ve got the hindsight of learning and growing from that, and some of us are going to start now wish, you know. And yeah, it’s what I hope is the people who have started learning from the people who have been around. So at least clients are getting burned through the experience. Because when clients get burnt, we all suffer

Richard Joe 11:58
more. You don’t want to. Yeah, I see. What you’re saying is this should be some sort of, I don’t know, mentorship or guidance for people these days are starting now. Compared to the viewer. There was no mentors, you kind of it was a bit more wild. We

Nima Yassini 12:14
went overseas, we spent overseas we invested money, we invested time we went overseas, and we learned from people who are in markets a little bit more advanced than us. Like we were in Europe, when ecommerce wasn’t even a thing in Australia. We’re learning from organizations who are servicing ecommerce businesses because there was no e commerce businesses in Australia. This is the early days, right? And then ecommerce took off around about 2011. Two that’s probably started taking off. Yeah, so we had all this background knowledge because we spend time in Europe, we’ve spent time in the US learning from these people. And the technology vendors always had events like Optimizely had its Opticon events. We always attended those events, we would go to Germany to the growth summit conversion, Eastern Switzerland, London incredible event. So you know, there’s, there’s pockets of these events out there. And they’re great platforms to go and learn. But you’re right. You didn’t learn from people in Australia, you had to go overseas to learn.

Richard Joe 13:07
Yeah, and I mean, what I’ve noticed is for myself, as it’s either North America, or I think it’s the Nordic countries, that are like CROs. You’re huge. You’ve got like the top guns in those areas. But I think Australia’s is still quite a nascent industry even after, let’s say, 10 years, have you been having your agency? Like so? I mean, just waiting to the next question, like, what do you think about the state of the CRO industry in Australia? Do you see it maturing? Is it more awareness of what is happening?

Nima Yassini 13:46
Yeah, I defined the CRO industry, in Australia as a teenager sex life. Everyone’s talking about it, but no one’s really doing it. Right. So like, everyone’s got a product or some type of program. Everyone’s talking about it that I think everyone’s kind of jumped experimentation and going into personalization. And they haven’t realized that the power of these two bring together. And if anyone listens to this podcast, yeah, I would really, I would hope people take one thing away is personalization and experimentation need to live together. Because if personalization is all about context and content, so right message to the right person at the right time. Yeah, it’s its objective is to get a click through on to your website, your app, or whatever a specific page, right? If that page is not optimized, or the funnel is not optimized, you’ve gotten more people to the page or into the funnel, but they’re not converting or by quantums. You’re gonna get people converting better than what you had before, because now you’ve got personalized experiences. But fundamentally, your pipe is only better because you’ve shoved more people in. So how do you optimize that pipe to deliver greater sales, which is what you’re ultimately trying to do with your personalized As your program, right? So we’re experimentation looks at structure flow and conversion, personalization looks at content and context. If you marry these two together to work together as a harmonious offering or harmonious capability, all of a sudden, you’ve got a very different program, you’ve got a fundamentally different delivery of your capability. Most people don’t do that. They keep the funnel the same. Yeah, they focus on personalization, because it’s easy to comprehend and easy to pay. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t show meat dishes. Super simple. So it’s easy to understand, easy to buy experimentation is, you know, go and sit in front of someone and talk about statistical significance, a micro test or a blended macro experiment, there’s so much complexity to it, because in a way, it is a bit of a science to how you run it. And so by being more complex, adoption rates aren’t fast. So Australia’s maturity is, everyone’s talking about it. adoptions slow. And there’s many, there’s not many great practitioners out there. And there’s not much in the way of courses and training to help people. Z Excel is probably one of the only ones I mean, we’ve got our own. But fundamentally, there isn’t enough, there is no, you know, course, there are 1000s. Of course, in UX, they teach it in universities, they don’t teach experimentation. And I can’t think of why a designer would not integrate experimentation in their design process. If design is all about user experience. And experimentation is all about the optimization of experience. How can a designer not use that data to deliver better customer experience in their design? So to me, the category of UX design and experimentation need to blend, we need to bring those two capabilities together. And I think it’s going to take time for us to have best practice as a standard or accepted or standardized practice as a way of working. I don’t think we’re there yet. And I think we’ve got to, we’ve got a long journey, but at least there’s more people talking about it, which is the first step to getting to where we need to.

Richard Joe 17:07
Yeah, I think you’re right, like there’s a lot of agencies or the food service agencies now I’ve seen that, you know, they they’ll work on we do CRO and our website, but you know, I think my experience, it’s kind of that Patchwork, like, how they’ll work. How about do it, like there’s not enough emphasis done on research or psychology, the psychological principles, use for this test, and sort of thing, like, you know, as in a previous job work as we go, when I see it was just saying, oh, you know, changes button color from blah, blah, blah to verse and he always be.

Nima Yassini 17:51
Yeah, damn, Optimizely, for what it’s done. And thank God for Optimizely for what it’s done. But yeah, the early days of button testing, you get this uplift is? I mean, it’s great, because you show the power of what’s possible, right? Yeah. But it’s terrible. Because everyone, when they refer people who don’t know, experimentation, they refer to it as you know, your button tests, and you get like, it’s those experiments, a don’t work in Australia, because we don’t have enough traffic. Yeah. And be it limits the scope of what’s possible. And so it’s a challenge. So it’s, it’s Optimizely did a wonderful thing in setting up this category and investing in this category. They weren’t the first, but they definitely were the most interested and expanded it. But then on the back of that, some of the stuff that they did, even Pete Qubes, who created optimizer said, We should never have promoted that that’s for our own backwards held

Richard Joe 18:36
the market. It means how I explained my job, like, I’ll just say, I’ll do the button test and say, Oh, look, we can change the text on this CTA to this from by now to shop now and then, you know, run 50% of traffic to both variations, like it’s how I sell to people, because it’s visually easy for them to understand so.

Nima Yassini 18:56
So let me challenge you on that. Right. I would love for at the end of this podcast, you stopped calling it CRO and you start calling experimentation. I’ll tell you why we started with a B testing a B testing on its fundamental premise is you’re trying to prove prove, if you go to the scientific method, you’re trying to prove that A is the best possible experience a being controlled. And you prove that by showing that any other experience is not as good. So fundamentally in a BETOs is proving A’s right. So what you’re fundamentally doing is, is an outcome led activity, you’re trying to prove either as good or bad is good, right? So it’s an outcome focus, right? If you look at conversion rate optimization and the language change, to get the market to be interested, what are all marketers interested in growth sales? What’s conversion rate optimisation? So what are we talking about on website metrics, we’re talking about conversions, how many sales that we get, how many signups that we get right. And so the market changed the language to conversion rate optimization, to get marketers to be interested in this conversation because marketers want more conversions, right? Any person who runs an online business wants more conversions, right? So conversion rate optimization is really a sales outcome or a growth outcome. Right? Okay. I want to pose a possible alternative. Yet what if some of the activities you do have nothing to do with growth? What if some of the activities you do are focused on understanding customer and understanding experience? Because if sales is an outcome of really great experience, I a iPhone, ie, Uber, ie all those things that you go, wow, look at that. It’s an incredible experience simple. It has zero friction, whatever it might be. Yeah. Then fundamentally, what you’re talking about is understanding customer behavior. Because if I can serve my customer better than they’ll buy more, right? So sales is an outcome of better experience, right? And customers want experience. They want frictionless, they want it simple. They want intuitive. So what if experimentation could be the term that we use that really focuses on the activity of an AB test at its fundamental layer, fundamental layer? Then all we’re really doing is it’s a research methodology. It’s a quantitative research methodology to understand what our customers preferences in the way I deliver an experience. Right? So I’m trying to augment your experience from having a detractor event occurring, where you exit the page at a really basic level, right? Or you don’t notice something because you’re too cluttered or you’re distracted. And I’m trying to create a promoter event. Now there’s a million ways to do it. And I’m trying to understand how do you want it done? It’s no longer about the conversion. And it’s all about understanding the customer, quantitatively understanding the customer. Once you go down that mindset, experimentation takes a completely different look to you. Because now you’re just trying to learn you’re not trying to create an outcome.

Richard Joe 21:49
I think what you’re getting into in this debate I’ve seen on LinkedIn Oh, yeah. To earn versus test to earn. Do you think test earn can be? If you’re just focusing on test earn? It could be a bit too. Its tactical blinders. Yeah,

Nima Yassini 22:11
it’s tactical, if I’m testing to earn its tactical, I just need to find the method that gets you to buy. Yeah. Okay. So it’s no different to saying if I give someone 50% off? Yeah, they’re gonna buy. Okay, what have you actually learned? Have you learned that you’ve got better customers? Have you learned that your price points too high? Have you learned that you’ve incentivize the really bad behavior? Because once the 50% is gone, you lose those customers? So what what, like, yes, you can insert you can find ways of driving someone to do something, and it’s tactical, can you repeat it? What What have you learned that causes you to understand how to repeat that outcome in a different scenario in a different context. And so I challenge people who think about what we do as a way of understanding how to create an outcome, to really go back to, if you just focus on the customer and understanding the customer. Right, through a quantitative method, such as experimentation, or AV testing, whatever you want to call it, then fundamentally, what you’re doing is servicing the customer better. And by servicing people better. People want to spend their money like guaranteed that people buy shit they don’t need every day, they want to spend their money, right? They want to open up a bank account, they want to buy Nike shoes, they want to buy the latest. We are we are consumers buy it by our very nature they want, but they just want to buy it from people who they have the best possible experience with or to get the best possible value or whatever it might be. So by understanding your customer, you’re able to serve them better, if you’re able to serve them better, you’re able to make more money. If you’re only thinking about making more money, make more money, make more money, then you can’t repeat that activity.

Richard Joe 23:49
As an agency owner, did you feel that that sort of test earn? Which is I guess it’s it’s a more of a long term play? Do you think that that’s the education piece that needs to be?

Nima Yassini 24:02
That’s the maturity piece that we should really think about earlier? Yeah. Because everyone is going to come into the category. Growth is the number one hot topic on everyone’s mouth, right? Yeah, look at retail retailers are expanding their retail stores. Everyone’s talking growth, right? In a downward market, in a climate where everything’s expensive. We’re talking about global recessions. We’re talking about what everyone’s talking growth, right? Yeah. So in a market, we’re taught, we’re talking growth, conversion rate optimization becomes a very sweet conversation because it’s singing to the same song. The challenge that you face is how do you have a mature conversation with an immature customer base? Because a lot of clients out there don’t understand experimentation, the fundamentals of what an experiment is, they look for conversion growth, because they have to deliver a growth in revenue because the organization needs growth. Right. And so how do you have a mature conversation in an immature market? But it’s tempting to go in and just say we can get your sales growth. And I gotta tell you, I’d get tempted by it every day. But if you have an idea of I’m going to have that conversation, but I’m going to bring you on a journey to understand the culture of experimentation. Right, I’m going to show you that what you’re trying to emulate in all your digital transformation is all about being a digital native organization, Google, Amazon, all of these guys are on the internet saying experimentation is how we grow our business, by creating a culture of experimentation by creating environments in which our staff felt safe, in a controlled way to fail fast and fail forward. So our job, yes, we start with conversion rate optimization is the conversation piece, because that’s where our clients are at. But what we try to do is quickly get them to understand what you’re doing is building a culture of experimentation, where you’re empowering your people to test and learn and share their knowledge with others. But fundamentally, they’re testing and learning about what is the best experience of their customers off the back of that you get revenue.

Richard Joe 25:57
I feel like in this, like, particularly what you see in the States, you know, your Google, you got all the big tech companies that really embrace experimentation culture, whereas I don’t think we really have any, I don’t know, maybe Atlassian does that but I don’t know any big tech platforms in Australia that really have that embedded into their, into their culture.

Nima Yassini 26:21
There’s a lot of companies that do it, they just don’t talk about it. And that’s where, what’s what I’m saying to say, teenagers sex life, like, like they are the people out there who is not talking about it. And that’s why we set up the maturity index, which is the study of like, brands and how they’re running experiments was a way to pick up the profile to say, there’s all these companies running experiments, what are the challenges they’re facing? How is your program compared to their program is, it’s a way of being able to help companies compare themselves to actually know that there’s others doing it like the guys that seek run, one of the most sophisticated experimentation programs challenge I have is how do I scale it? So everyone’s at different levels. And there’s five stages of experimentation, maturity, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the stuff we’ve done there. But there’s, there’s a lot of examples out there that you can, you know, we’ve created we put out to the market as a way of helping the market elevate the conversation. And so, you know, there is companies out there doing it, there are companies doing it really smart, there’s a lot of tech companies who’ve got an embedded, you know, the guys that zipped have got it embedded in their product teams, they’re doing more server side testing, rather than, you know, front end augment or augmentation, or, you know, the guys that seek they’ve got an algorithm, they’ve got a full analytics and AI team who run their program for them. So they’re out there and they’re doing, but mainstream Australia brands, you’re right, they’re still trying to figure out how to do it.

Richard Joe 27:48
And they just leads me to ball festival. Um, how can an audience get that? Get that was the mature maturity,

Nima Yassini 27:58
if you go onto the either go on to my LinkedIn, it’s got place you can download or you go to the Deloitte website, and you go to the blog section, you can download from there as well.

Richard Joe 28:07
Okay, cool. Cool. And yeah, like, just just talking about, you know, helping Australian companies mature, like you said, it’s not quite mainstream, mainstream retail or whatnot, like, how do we go from, you know, certain tech platforms and other companies that are really into it to kind of embedding it a bit more into like, you know, the mainstream Australian Business

Nima Yassini 28:35
these dudes like you’ve written guys like you, who know, really, honestly, we need the instigators. But you guys also need to understand the way you run your program. If you started at this level of lipstick, cosmetics as your metrics, bounce rates exists, those things don’t matter to an executive team. So the one one lesson I would say is, the way to do it is to do it in a way that matters to the business, the metrics that matter to the business should be the metrics by which you run your experimentation program. The greatest, the greatest fundamental flaw of this category is the word hypothesis. Truly a hypothesis, sorry, a hypothesis is the worst thing that happened to this category, because people are so focused on finding a hypothesis, ie an idea that they want to test, that they’re not really focusing on the problem. And that problem doesn’t ladder up to what the business is trying to solve for. Right? And so they run off and they do a whole bunch of experiments and look at all these results. And it’s great. The testing is no bad, nothing bad about that. But they’re not testing in a way that when they go to the business and say we need to hire developers, more UX designers, we need more data and less money to the business guess what full well, we’ll try and build out this culture of experimentation, which you but why? What return on investment are we going to get from that? And they’re absolutely right. Because whatever the business does, whatever the legs are doing the head and the body needs to run in a direction, right? So are you running in the right direction is this activity, interesting, but it’s not really affecting us, right. And so the way the way a lot of these programs need to be and the practitioners who are starting them, they really need to understand what matters to the business needs the matter to the program. Otherwise, when you get to that scaling stage of the five step maturity process, you’re not going to be able to scale because you can’t get funds to hire the people, you need to do it. Or you’re not going to be able to enable the teams to take on some of the burden of experimentation to grow their business units, because they haven’t seen the value that actually impacts them. So it’s a it’s a really complex thing to do. But fundamentally, how you begin has huge impacts on how your program or this culture of experimentation, or come to life within the organization.

Richard Joe 30:55
And do you think it’s important for that? CIO, manager or team to be kind of like change agents or evangelists within the organization to try to create the cultural change? Yeah, they re x from this top down sort of thing?

Nima Yassini 31:13
Yeah. So we always say, most people don’t value this, but the most people start and experimentation program running experiments. Right. And I can tell you right now, the first stage of any experimentation program is politics. Yeah, Optimizely made famous called the hippo. And I think they made a mistake saying, don’t listen to the hippo use data. They’re absolutely wrong. The hippo has the money, who can fund the program. So listen to the hippo, you need the hippo on your side, right. And, and this is the problem with experimentation. They are pure by their nature. And it’s all about the purity of the experiment. And it’s all about running experiments. But fundamentally, you’re in an organization, you need to bring people on the journey. And you need to bring the people who can fund your program on the journey. So so don’t avoid the hippo, listen to the hippo. And, and what you need to do is understand the first peak that you will get to in your program is the political peak, you need to bring people on the journey, you need to show the capability, it doesn’t matter what test you run, doesn’t matter how great the test is, it doesn’t matter how valid the test is, what matters is that you test it. And what matters is you showed the results. And what matters is that you promoted that, and the insights and the learnings you’ve got, you know, it’s a very addictive, I can’t think of the last time when I presented that I didn’t go, here’s an example of something we’ve done, go a newbie and you say, what do you think one? And they go? Oh, I think be one. Oh, I think a one you’re like why? Why do you think it was? And they go all because of this? You have the conversation? And then you show the results? And they’re like, oh, wow, I didn’t expect that. Right? Yeah, that’s great, right. So it, it becomes addictive. It’s a fun game to play, because you’re fundamentally playing. It’s like playing in the casino, it’s blackjack row and column Blackjack, you don’t. And so a lot of times when people are trying to get on this road, they really get down into the purity of the program rather than understanding. And this is maturity, they don’t understand where they are and what they need to do in that stage, which is you need to bring, you need to get company by and you need to get those hippos to go, this is fantastic. We need to fund this of all the initiatives that we’ve got to fund, we have to fund this, let’s make sure we put a portion of money aside for this to help it grow. Let’s be interested in what it does, right? Because then, and then bring in other parts of the business to go. How can we bring that into our team? You know, whether it’s the Member Services, or loyalty or CRM, how can I bring some of that in my team? Right? That’s where your culture is. So first part is politics. You got to get the politics right, you got to get the roadshow, the jazz hands. If you don’t have a person in your team jazz hands in, look at what we’ve done. Look at this. It’s amazing. Look at my show, you don’t have that your programs going to die fundamentally will die. Right? You don’t have someone who can play the political game. If programs going to die, it’s not going to ever take off that much. Right? The next stage then becomes about velocity. How do I actually build a program that can scale that can deliver velocity that can deliver value at scale? Right. The next stage after that is how do I democratize experimentation? How does everyone do it? And I don’t need to be involved. I can now walk away and create and be really focused on are we run the right test as an organization we’re doing. Spotify is a great example of a company who has democratized experimentation. They’ve got a squad who don’t run a single test. All they do is look on other people’s there’s a guy you know, John over there’s run that experiment, you guys should talk or, Hey, you guys know that your experiments are going to collide, your audiences are going to go into each other. You guys talked about that. So that all they do is look at the quality of what they’re producing at a mass level in an organization, right? That is a real definition. You know, someone who’s at a very mature stage. But this is the point that I was trying to make you most people don’t know maturity because they don’t know what stages they’re going to go through. We’ve been just doing it for so long and done so much of this and got it wrong so many times that we’ve learned, hey, we’re in the political side of experimentation. Let’s just get by enough people. And now hey, we’re out of that stage. We are now in velocity stage, let’s talk about how we scale this program. Who else can we bring into the program? So we, we’ve learned how to do that. And I think teams are going to do that if you if your client side, you want to learn how to do that properly. First go, you want to learn? Make sure you know what stage you’re out what our game game plan is. Yeah. If your agency side do what we did reach out to other organizations, people will share, I’ll tell you right now, this category will grow by each all of us helping each other grow.

Richard Joe 35:51
Yeah, and if you play got there, right, especially in a small places like Australia, you know, it’s it only makes it only makes sense to, you know, to do that. And, you know, not everyone wants to take a flight to Denmark or Norway or whatever, you know, oh, God, I live in Austin, you know, it’s people locally,

Nima Yassini 36:11
who are willing to teach are willing to talk to you, who are willing to give you counsel and guidance, because fundamentally, if we don’t give us old dogs don’t help the new guard. Yeah, then what’s going to happen is they’re going to burn the market, and it’s all going to become about price and speed. And no one wins in that game, not the client, not the agencies, no one wins in that game.

Richard Joe 36:32
And that’s, it’s very, very good was thanks for that. And look, just lastly, what’s you know, you recently got acquired, you’re, you were like a, would you call yourself a boutique agency at one point and you’re acquired by Deloitte Call me whatever you want. Obviously, at Deloitte Digital was a, I don’t know how many people worldwide 1000s 10s of 1000s a lot.

Nima Yassini 36:57
There’s 10s of 1000s? Yes. What’s,

Richard Joe 37:00
what’s it like? Moving from, you know, a boutique agency, we, you were the CEO to now be, you know, being part of a huge group where you’re now a partner slash employee, so forth.

Nima Yassini 37:14
We are six months in, so I have no idea. I’m still feeling it. It’s different. It’s just different scale, different scale, different size, compensation, different types of programs of work. It’s different. That’s all I can say it is. It’s different, good in the fact that the ability to have you know, the reason why we were it’s time for us to integrate into another larger business was we wanted to take the conversation of experimentation and put on a whole new platform to actually scale the conversation. We were having conversations with some incredible brands, one level, but how do we create this master brand, that starts to kind of emanate, this is the way we run programs, these are the things we need to be considering and helps the category as a whole grow. Yeah, as a small business, that’s very difficult. And the funding that you need to do that is huge. And so with a brand like Deloitte, it gives you far bigger platform and a far bigger voice, you know, the A is a super powerful, powerful product. And you know, Deloitte Digital is probably of all the Big Four is probably the eminent leader in digital services out of the big four. So platform like this gives us such leverage to be able to not only help grow the category, but also help clients understand good versus bad. And there’s there’s incredible agencies out there. And you know, I don’t want this to be, you know, we’re good, we’re big, they’re bad. They’re small, not at all this there’s this clients at every price point, right? Yeah, this about certain price points we can’t work with, right. But there’s certain clients or agencies out there that are coming up with incredible talent, who come with really good knowledge and capability and skill sets. And so by us being out there going, Hey, experimentations of thing, and it’s a big deal. And you need to think about in these contexts, you know, whether it’s a personalization program, or whether you’re doing it as a customer experience, understanding behavior, it has a role to play. And this platform gives us the ability to talk to the Swiss C suite, you know, the day we started new republic, it wasn’t I want to build a business to make money, you know, our partner, and my partner sat there and was like, how do we create something that that fundamentally shifts the lives of our teams, you know, helps organizations get better outcomes for their experience for their customers through experience design, right? That was the fundamental reason why we set up and so we, at one point, I remember in our journey was three years in where we were like, Let’s stop competing with other clients, with other competitors. Like, let’s stop focusing on what are they doing, why are they better than us? And what can we do better? And let’s just focus on building the category. And so ever since I remember that conversation so vividly, like, let’s focus on making this category better, let’s service the category, our business just accelerated and you To be found and to be in have an interested party like Deloitte to acquire, like, they don’t just walk around and go, I’m just gonna buy you to know that they do their due diligence they know who’s going to be the best in market and how to, in how it can help them grow. Right? So, for us, Deloitte was very much a purposeful, the next stage of our growth plan to help this category grow in Australia is we need a bigger platform, we need a bit of bigger microphone that has much more presence and dominance inside those C suite to have those conversations and be able to elevate this conversation. And so we’re in the very early stages of that, like this is this is like, go back to ground zero, and start again, right? How do you how do you bring this topic to life for C suites? How do you get them to understand how important experimentation isn’t? How do you get them to understand how important it is to give your your staff the ability to fail forward, which is a real career limiting ID. And so it’s a new platform, it’s different for us. But everyone from US selling and then buying, everyone has really bought into the idea of how do we bring this concept of a culture of experimentation to corporate Australia, through the range of skill sets that Deloitte has, I’ll tell you one big thing, right, which is what I’m super excited about is, you know, we talk about a culture of experimentation. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it, right? But fundamentally, when they get in, or they do some AV tests, and they might teach the client, right, they might teach the client some stuff. But if you’re talking about a culture of experimentation, you’re talking about failing forward, how does that affect your KPIs? How are you bonused on learning? How are you bonused on failing? How is the organization sharing as an organizational whole what they’ve learned about customers, how which parts of the so there’s this whole change program like actual organizational change program that comes with not only running experiments, but also how your teams are mobilized, and recognized through OKRs agile team structures to run a program. So only a Deloitte can actually start to shape those things and create those practices that the market then picks up and goes, Hey, we can do that, too, and starts to do it as well. Does that make sense?

Richard Joe 42:16
Yeah, yeah. And so you took into talking about change management and correct, right, you know,

Nima Yassini 42:23
change management? Yeah. And you’re talking about taking experimentation further up the pipe around? Hey, how can we take the experiment that we do on a website into an app? How do we take it into server side testing? How do we take it into logistics? You know, delivery management, if you ask me, buying a product online as a given how quickly it gets to your door, how quickly that order is processed and communicated is a huge thing. How do you take experimentation into that part of the ecommerce journey, which matters the most? For a customer satisfaction, right? So it just Deloitte and and how how wide and how deep it is, as an organization just gives us a platform to take this conversation into a whole new era and whole new generation, which I’m super excited about?

Richard Joe 43:08
Well, yeah, it’s, it sounds like you’ve jumped on the bandwagon of a really well known brands and with lots of resources and connections and yes, it’s been all the best few new chapter and in your, in your in your new life as a experimenter. Look, how can people Yeah, reached out to you on the internet and connect with you?

Nima Yassini 43:35
LinkedIn is probably the best one. Or they can all contact you and three people will reach out to you. But yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best platform and and honestly, I put it out there. If there’s anybody that wants to learn how to build their agency, or how to build a teams internally, it benefits us all to be talking about this to building the category. If we can build the category together, then everyone will benefit out of it.

Richard Joe 44:04
Awesome. So the moral of the story is, everyone’s gonna help each other out. And, you know, mentors find mentees, mentees find mentors and how we grow together. Grow the spread in Australia. Awesome. Thanks for being on the show. And thanks

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