A Guest Fit for the 100th Episode, w/ Justin Mannhardt

Rob Collie

Founder and CEO Connect with Rob on LinkedIn

Justin Mannhardt

Chief Customer Officer Connect with Justin on LinkedIn

A Guest Fit for the 100th Episode, w/ Justin Mannhardt

On today’s episode, we sit down with P3 Adaptive’s own Justin Mannhardt to get the inside scoop on delivering results and backing into data infrastructure, aka the origin story of P3 Adaptive’s Solutions Architect Team and the impact it can have on an analytics project. Justin explains the expanded focus to fulfill analytics needs through a more holistic approach to drive adoption and deliver results. With his own experience, he explains how results must sometimes come first as a proof of concept but once results are verified, more support is often needed to ensure a smooth functioning process. Rob often refers to this as the faucet first analogy, and it has the power to convince the exec team that analytics can be fruitful for businesses of all sizes.

We don’t just talk shop, though, we also learn how Justin discovered his affinity for data after an educational background in music. And, for fun, you get to hear Justin’s P3 Adaptive Diabolical Assessment story and how he increased his data skills and learned Power BI because he wanted to work for P3 Adaptive. He gets brutally honest about his interview and shares how he exited the process the first time only to come back and ace the process to become one of P3’s finest solution architects!

Additionally, you can hear about the recent P3 Adaptive employee retreat in Miami where many of our team met face to face for the first time and, to sound a little cheesy, it was a lot like coming home. Family pranks and tacos by the pool makes a great feel-good story as we come into the holiday season.

Finally, if you enjoyed hearing Justin’s story, be sure to catch him next week presenting at the PASS Data Community Summit. Justin will be on site with the P3 Adaptive team sharing his knowledge and presenting a session on snapshotting your CRM data with Azure Synapse. Be sure to catch him live or on the hybrid video feed. If you are in Seattle, stop by the booth and tell him Mullet Man sent you. He’ll know what you mean!

Also on this episode:

Why was Ronald McDonald cancelled?

Faucets v Plumbing blog

Bugs Bunny left turn at Albuquerque

Mel Brooks – Space Balls

Did Cortez burn his ships in the harbor?

P3 Adaptive Advanced DAX training


This is Pop Abba episode

Def Leppard – Pyromania

Rob P3 Fantasy Football gloat video

Meatloaf – Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Episode Transcript

Rob Collie (00:00:00): Hello friends, and welcome to the 100th episode of Raw Data by P3 Adaptive. It seems really like we just started the other day, but yeah, we did the math. It's 100, and on a special occasion like this, it only makes sense to have a very special guest. Today, we're welcoming Justin Mannhardt, director of solution architecture here at P3. Now, I was thinking about what to say in the intro here and suddenly unbidden, something pops into my head from the classic of cinema, Predator 2, in which the late Great Bill Paxton makes a crude joke, something along the lines of, "I'm at the doctor the other day and they say, 'Hey, I need a stool, semen, and urine sample,' and he goes, 'Hey Doc, I'm kind of in a hurry. Can I just leave my underwear?" Now, I did warn you that it was a crude joke and it's probably not what you were expecting.

(00:00:49): I don't even know why I remember that joke. It's the only thing I remember from the whole movie apparently. Well, in this metaphor, Justin, is the underwear. If someone came to me and said, "Hey, I need you to explain to me sort of like everything that you're about at P3." What are you trying to do as a company? Who do you hire? What makes you different? What makes you special as a company? What are the differences in attitude and approach that you bring to problems relative to traditional firms in your space? Now, I'm not one to avoid answering that question. In fact, I'll talk your ear off, but if I happen to be in a hurry, I might want to say, "I'm kind of out of time for this. But hey, do you know Justin? Because if you know Justin, you know all of those things." Which is to say that I think Justin is a perfect embodiment of who we are and what we're trying to do at P3.

(00:01:34): This is one of the ways that you know as an organization that you're doing well, which is you can point to people on the team who are very much the encapsulation of the total spirit and methodology of what you're trying to do. You've heard so many stories on this podcast now of people accidentally backing into this citizen developer space, like with the Power Platform specifically. Those stories usually end up being something like authentic and savvy human being becomes technical enough with things like DAX and Power Query to become ludicrously effective in the world of business data. Now, Justin's story is very much an example of that, except that he ended up in a place that is not just technically competent enough. He way overshot that, and now today, nothing is over his head. He does not know every last corner of every single tech stack, but he can pick it up very quickly when he needs to and he can certainly understand from the outside in a hurry what any new piece of technology is meant to do and how. He is the director of solution architecture for us, for crying out loud.

(00:02:40): He is another one of our accidental techies. One of the coolest little twists in his story is that unlike most people who come to P3, who basically discover DAX and Power Query and Power BI, and then decide that we're the ideal place to work. He did it in reverse. He decided that he wanted to work at P3, and as a result went and learned DAX. Now for me, personally, this is like achievement unlocked. Someone as cool as Justin decides that this is the place he wants to work and then goes and acquires the skills to work there. I can call it a life, right? I don't need to do anything else. I'm satisfied. Anyway, we're long overdue getting him on the show, perfect timing that he could be the 100th episode. Thanks for being along for the journey, 100 episodes in, and right here let's watch the counter flip over from 99 to 100 when we get into it.

Announcer (00:03:33): Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please?

Announcer (00:03:38): This is the Raw Data by P3 Adaptive Podcast with your host Rob Collie and your co-host Thomas LaRock. Find out what the experts at P3 Adaptive can do for your business. Just go to p3adaptive.com. Raw Data by P3 Adaptive is data with the human element. Welcome to the show or is it welcome back to the show, Justin Mannhardt, you've been on kind of, right?

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:09): I'm an Easter egg I think.

Rob Collie (00:04:11): Have we not had an episode that was just you?

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:13): No, I was stand-in on the episode with Finland. I think I have maybe a word count of 14.

Rob Collie (00:04:22): Like sub LaRock levels?

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:24): Oh yeah.

Rob Collie (00:04:25): Sub LaRock sounds cool when you say it.

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:27): Sub LaRock.

Rob Collie (00:04:30): It's like the top sub LaRock. What is it, 7%? That's the LaRock line?

Thomas LaRock (00:04:36): Like a Mendoza line, but way better.

Rob Collie (00:04:39): Yeah, it's like anything below 7% is sub LaRock.

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:41): Which is disappointing because I think I was a LaRock sub on this episode because he couldn't make it for some reason.

Rob Collie (00:04:48): For LaRock and yet we're sub LaRock.

Thomas LaRock (00:04:50): See, it's hard to do what I do.

Justin Mannhardt (00:04:52): Is anybody available today in an hour? I was, "Sure I'll do it."

Rob Collie (00:04:57): Yeah, this is the high standards that we bring on this show. Anyone will do. They just need to be available. Warm body.

Thomas LaRock (00:05:06): That's pretty much what you asked of me.

Rob Collie (00:05:08): That's true. You've nailed it.

Thomas LaRock (00:05:10): I have. I'd like to think so.

Rob Collie (00:05:11): A++, five out of five. All right, Justin, who are you? Tell the audience a little bit about who you are, what you do. I'll tell you what audience. This is an interesting fellow. Now you have to live up to that, Justin.

Justin Mannhardt (00:05:25): Fair enough. I'm Justin Mannhardt, director of solution architecture here at P3 Adaptive. I'm based in our, what we call affectionately the northern regional office in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rob Collie (00:05:38): Yes.

Justin Mannhardt (00:05:38): A few other colleagues up here. One time we were the undisputed headcount lead and now I think we're tied with four other states.

Rob Collie (00:05:46): As a city goes, aren't you still the runaway center of mass?

Justin Mannhardt (00:05:51): If we defined city as metro area, yes.

Rob Collie (00:05:54): Yeah, and I do.

Justin Mannhardt (00:05:56): Without question.

Rob Collie (00:05:57): In the same way that I live in Indianapolis, even though I live in a suburb, check it out. We've had a cat. He's up on top of this acoustic screen behind me. Darm near vertical. He just completely scaled it. It's six feet tall. He's my podcast buddy now. Can't keep him locked out of the podcast layer.

Justin Mannhardt (00:06:16): Podcast layer is perfect for cats though.

Rob Collie (00:06:17): I know. Unless you lock them in there and leave them overnight, which would never happen.

Justin Mannhardt (00:06:24): This is not the voice of experience I know.

Rob Collie (00:06:27): No, that wouldn't happen. Who needs LaRock when you've got the cat? I'm just continuing with the joke from earlier. I truly don't believe that.

Thomas LaRock (00:06:35): You're just diving right in on me.

Rob Collie (00:06:36): Tom can't climb this acoustic barrier.

Thomas LaRock (00:06:39): You've never given me the opportunity, nor did you give me the opportunity to attend the company retreat. Maybe we should talk about that.

Rob Collie (00:06:46): That's true. Yeah. It's not like everyone that was there was an FTE, right?

Thomas LaRock (00:06:52): Right. Yeah, that's what Luke was telling me all about it. He's like, "Sorry you couldn't make it."

Rob Collie (00:06:57): It was awesome. You really missed something special, Tom.

Thomas LaRock (00:07:01): Yeah. I saw the photos on Facebook.

Rob Collie (00:07:04): We have ex-employees, one in particular who weighed in like, "I am so insanely jealous right now." And [inaudible 00:07:11] said, "Well man, you know there was a way to be here." I know we're interrupting Justin's fascinating tale. Let's set the scene here. If my voice sounds a little off, it's because it is. But yeah, 2022 edition of the P3 team retreat.

Justin Mannhardt (00:07:31): Was epic.

Rob Collie (00:07:31): We did this in 2019 when we were a much smaller company. We planned to do it every year, but then something happened in 2020, I forget what it was. Something interrupted the flow and then in 2021 we were building back up from whatever it was that happened in 2020. I forget what it was. In 2020, it wasn't that bad really for our company. It just stalled our growth for a year. We didn't go backwards, we just didn't go forward.

Justin Mannhardt (00:07:59): Rob, what's the name of the taco joint in Indianapolis that we ate at? Do you remember?

Rob Collie (00:08:04): God, I don't know. It's the place across the street from Innovatemap. 50% of the times I've been to that place you've been with me.

Justin Mannhardt (00:08:09): Wow, that's great. That feels really good. I don't know if you remember this, after the 2019 retreat, I think it was February 2020, I was in Indy. We're out at dinner and you look across the table at me and you're like, "Dude, this COVID thing is going to just annihilate us." You were all into the numbers and the day and I'm all naive. I'm like, "I don't know Rob, are you sure?" Two weeks later I was supposed to go to Los Angeles and I would just called you and I was like, "I ain't going anywhere."

Rob Collie (00:08:42): Yeah, you were like, "I'm not going anywhere even if you order me to." Yeah, this is one of those rare cases where I called a shot and it was right and it didn't annihilate us because we adapted to remote client work. We were always mostly remote client work. 90% of the work we were doing for clients was already remote. We were typically starting relationships on site and that was the thing that I wasn't sure how's that going to go if we transitioned to starting relationships remotely?

Justin Mannhardt (00:09:15): Right.

Rob Collie (00:09:16): The answer is, probably not well if we didn't make some changes to how we approached it. Again, that word adapt, we proved that our name was well chosen. We did, we changed a lot of things about how we approach virtual engagements. It went really well.

Thomas LaRock (00:09:30): Rob, the question I have for you about that is when you were worried and wondering about what you had to adapt to, did you also consider that everybody had to adapt? You were worried about your company adapting to having to do virtual engagements. The people you have to engage with were also locked in like, "How are we going to adapt to only being able to do the virtual engagements?" Any thoughts on that or you were just more paranoid about yourself?

Rob Collie (00:09:54): Other people aren't going to spend a lot of time worrying about you. You have a responsibility to worry about you disproportionately. We like to also worry about others. Yeah, for sure I was mostly thinking about us initially and it did make a mark. People's willingness, perspective clients, they were not willing, I think for good reason to make new relationships, make new partners, bring on new vendors.

Thomas LaRock (00:10:22): Right.

Rob Collie (00:10:23): There was a six month stretch where the advertising for new clients and all that, that just all dried up. There wasn't anything coming in. However, the people we'd already proven ourselves to, now they had to adapt so much to their new reality that they needed us more. That is why we ended up still up 7% in revenue year over year 2020 versus 2019 because our existing clients really doubled down on us. I love that story. Right.

(00:10:54): New world, all of your old tribal maps for how to get around the world, they're all worthless now. You need new maps.

Thomas LaRock (00:11:01): Right.

Rob Collie (00:11:02): Yeah, change is very good for data and analytics and all that kind of stuff, but it's bad to be other people's vendor. What's the first move when crisis hits? It's just shut down all non unnecessary spending.

Thomas LaRock (00:11:13): Find the budget and lock it in a vault.

Rob Collie (00:11:17): You can't afford really, as a large organization in particular, to be terribly discerning about what constitutes good spending versus bad spending in terms of vendors. Make it simple for everybody, just shut it all down. That was the thing that I was really afraid of and it didn't actually come to pass with our existing clients, but it absolutely did happen with respect to new clients.

Thomas LaRock (00:11:36): It ended up working out.

Rob Collie (00:11:38): I was having a meeting with our branding firm, Innovatemap, right across the street. It might have even been that same day. One of our contacts, she was flying to Texas for a wedding and I just looked at both of them and said, "Last weekend for air travel for a long time." They looked at me like I was a weirdo, which I am, definitely a weirdo. She didn't even get to fly back. She had to rent a car to drive back. I was like Nostradamus at that point. My reputation was sealed.

Justin Mannhardt (00:12:11): That's an awkward, I told you so moment.

Rob Collie (00:12:13): Wasn't for me. We take that victory lap. We got off on that tangent because of the retreat that Tom didn't get to come to.

Justin Mannhardt (00:12:23): It's true.

Rob Collie (00:12:25): It's a party that essentially I threw. I don't really get to... I don't know, it's a little inappropriate for me to hype my own thing. Why don't you tell us a little bit about it and try to make Tom even more jealous. Give him more FOMO.

Justin Mannhardt (00:12:40): Okay, that shouldn't be too hard. We went to Miami, South Beach whole team, which is great for us because we've grown so much since 2019. For me as an employee to the extent where I used to interface with almost everybody that works at P3 Adaptive. I worked with everybody on some level and now that's certainly not the case. We're too big. Just to see people in person and spend time with them is an amazing thing regardless of where you go. South Beach was amazing. We averted a crisis on the first day because everybody's going to Miami and there was a massive storm in Miami. Flights coming to Miami from everywhere were canceled or delayed. I'm still shocked that everybody got there.

Rob Collie (00:13:25): Everybody made it. Everybody made it, including changing airports. People were driving from their original departure airport to a different airport or flying into a different airport and catching a ride from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. People again, they adapted on the fly.

Justin Mannhardt (00:13:40): Now, one of the guys on my team lives in New York State, out in the middle of nowhere. I don't know the exact details. He left from the airport that was the actual set of the show, Wings. That was his departure airport.

Rob Collie (00:13:53): The float plan will be arriving momentarily.

Justin Mannhardt (00:13:56): He had to go from there to somewhere to Pittsburgh to somewhere else. He eventually got to the hotel at midnight or something and we were all like, "Everybody let's go to the lobby." We had this huge hurrah.

Rob Collie (00:14:08): An amazing scene, right? Okay, there's 50 people roughly, not the entire team could make it. There was a handful of us who couldn't quite make it, but we still had 50 plus people there. I just did the math, by the way. Most people had never met each other in person. Roughly 1,200 new introductions happened, face to face introductions out of 50 people, right? 50 choose 2. It's a combination. Do the math.

Thomas LaRock (00:14:33): Yeah, I'm checking your math on this. That's not right.

Rob Collie (00:14:36): It's 50 factorial over 48 factorial, 2 factorial. Yes it is.

Thomas LaRock (00:14:41): That's not how social interactions work.

Rob Collie (00:14:43): You think they're directional? You think it's more like 20,000?

Thomas LaRock (00:14:46): These people enter a room and there was only ever two people at once introducing each other.

Rob Collie (00:14:52): I'm just saying of pairs of people that had never met in person before. We had 1,200 ish such pairs that have now met in person.

Thomas LaRock (00:14:59): Okay.

Rob Collie (00:15:00): That's just the way of pumping up the numbers. Dan is arriving at midnight and we've all had dinner. There's been entertainment. There's been live illustrations being done. We've taken over multiple areas of the hotel, the pool and everything. It's a really, really cool place. Justin has the idea that we should clap Dan in the front door as he walks in the front door of the hotel, we should all just be standing around and applaud as he walks in. This was a goosebumps moment for me. This was so good. This guy who's never met any of us before.

Justin Mannhardt (00:15:38): He's relatively new. A few months, yeah.

Rob Collie (00:15:43): He opens the door to this hotel and it's like the whole event is for him. Oh, it's so good. The look of confusion but awesomeness on his face at the same time. It was so great.

Justin Mannhardt (00:16:00): That was a highlight. We obviously had a great time. The hotel's awesome. People just kicking it everywhere. We had planned activities like Rob mentioned, we had dinner, we went out on a boat cruise. One of the things I appreciated about it most is, and I think our team really embraced this unexpectedly for some of them. There's no business on the retreat. There's no grand reveal of the 2023 plan or some grand announcement of so and so is now chief magical officer and hooray, right? It's just people spending time with people. I don't know how many people came up to me and said something to the effect of I didn't feel awkward like my old company's event. There's not anybody here that I didn't like spending time with. I think my favorite moment other than the Dan Welcome was when we decided to order 100 tacos next to the pool, Grubhub or whatever it was just. It's like-

Rob Collie (00:16:55): No, 100 tacos. So we ordered 100 tacos, Grubhub. Who did we put in charge of this? Did we make Bergs do it? I forget who we-

Justin Mannhardt (00:17:03): Yeah, we made Bergs do it.

Rob Collie (00:17:04): Okay. You had this idea. I said it's a good idea but I'm not going to do it. You said, "I don't want to do it." We both turn and look and there's Ryan lounging there by the pool and we're like, "Ryan will do it."

Justin Mannhardt (00:17:18): That's the inner team dynamic magic though. Good idea.

Rob Collie (00:17:23): It takes a village.

Justin Mannhardt (00:17:24): Two people think it's a good idea. All right, now somebody execute.

Rob Collie (00:17:30): Those were some good tacos except for the crickets. The cricket tacos, they need to work on this insect protein thing. Can we make it taste not like pure salt? We're working on it. It was amazing. It was one of those things, it's like the blog, right? For many years I was writing the blog and putting tremendous amounts of energy into it and not knowing if someone asked me like, "What are you doing this for?" There was no way I could give any specific answer to that question, but I could just tell vaguely this was going to help someday. Even though I knew that the world needed a new style of consulting firm, I didn't know that I was going to be the one that started it, right? The same thing with this retreat. You start to understand why other companies do retreats the way that they do them. When you start to plan one, it's when you start to understand why things work the way that they do everywhere else. I know a lot of companies that retreat to someplace tropical is the reward for 1% of the company.

Justin Mannhardt (00:18:21): Right. The president's Club.

Rob Collie (00:18:22): The President's Club. Exactly, right?

Justin Mannhardt (00:18:28): The Diamond Elite status.

Rob Collie (00:18:29): They're the diamond dogs. Or it's just for a chosen few executive to go have a golf boondoggle. How many companies take the entire company to something like this? Okay. There are some companies that do that, and they're all software companies because they're just super, super, super high leverage companies. Professional services company. If you think about it in terms of the cost of the company, the number one cost is just taking everybody off the line. Two plus days, we're not making any revenue. As the company gets bigger, it's not like suddenly this becomes more affordable. If you double in size, you're taking twice as many people off of revenue, buying twice as many plane tickets, you're buying twice as many dinners, hotels, et cetera, right? This tension in me, on the one hand, my intuition that doing something like this is good for the business. It's an intuition. Can't be specific like the blog. Also, my desire as a human being to do this. We've got to get this crew together. The epic, you know?

Justin Mannhardt (00:19:25): Yeah.

Rob Collie (00:19:26): Then there's the devil sitting on my other shoulder. That's the voice of business going like, "Really? Basically this is going to cost you something like 2% of total revenue for the year. You're just going to do that? Really Rob?" Yeah. Shut up.

Justin Mannhardt (00:19:39): I'm glad we don't listen to that version of Rob on the shoulder. Listen, we've got a great group and I think when everybody realizes that they're part of a great group and people you would genuinely want just kick it with. How many times can you say like, "I really just wanted to kick it with my boss and my colleagues?"

Rob Collie (00:19:57): When I was at Microsoft, really awesome people, there'd be some sort of morale event. I would invariably stay home.

Justin Mannhardt (00:20:03): Like, "Oh, I'm sorry. I can't make it."

Rob Collie (00:20:06): I get some time off, I do not want to go spend it with people I see more than everybody else anyway.

Justin Mannhardt (00:20:11): Yeah.

Rob Collie (00:20:11): This is different.

Justin Mannhardt (00:20:14): Yeah. I think it's like an investment and people want to continue to be a part of it. It's a good thing.

Thomas LaRock (00:20:20): Rob, since you mentioned mostly software companies do this. It just made me think, my wife, she helps out with a friend who is in real estate and was a broker with Keller Williams. It reminded me that Keller Williams actually does a thing called family reunion and it always boggle my mind. I'm like, "All the agents nationwide in Keller Williams go to this thing." I don't know if all the agents go, but essentially I gave you a link. It's like a big conference. They have speakers and agenda and things. It's like going to a conference, but it really is for Keller Williams real estate agents and I had to think about it. I go, "Well, that makes sense." They could actually take two or three days off and you're not worried about widgets not being made or stuff like that, but you could still make your calls. It was interesting though. How many companies really do this type of thing where they have essentially what's a retreat. I always think about the companies I've worked for, like you had at Microsoft, the morale boosting event. It's common for us because we're in the biz.

Rob Collie (00:21:21): Another thing that's interesting about us is only reflections through the lens of planning this retreat and having this devil sitting on my shoulder. This is a good thing, is that we don't have people at our company that are of lesser importance. Let's say McDonald's. McDonald's could do a giant retreat, but they're not going to take the people who are taking orders.

Thomas LaRock (00:21:43): You're saying that the fry guy isn't as important as [inaudible 00:21:48]

Rob Collie (00:21:48): Are we talking about the actual characters? Didn't they retire Ronald? They retired Ronald McDonald, didn't they?

Justin Mannhardt (00:21:53): Did he get canceled?

Rob Collie (00:21:55): I think he got canceled. I think Ronald McDonald is no longer a thing.

Justin Mannhardt (00:21:58): I have to verify this.

Rob Collie (00:22:01): Yeah no, in some sense the people making and serving the food at the restaurants and running the cashiers, they're everything, but you know that if McDonald's was going to do some sort of corporate family reunion, they're not going to take all those people. Everyone that came to our retreat is intrinsically important to all of the operation.

Thomas LaRock (00:22:20): I understand your example, but it's a poor choice because McDonald's doesn't have those people's employees. They all work for some local regional person that operates three McDonald's. But yes, I get what you're saying.

Rob Collie (00:22:32): Yeah, that's a semantic distinction that I would expect from my 20-year old son. I appreciate you bringing that here.

Thomas LaRock (00:22:39): I'm just saying I flipped a burger too and I've worked the Fry Station and you know what? I never got invited to those retreats either.

Rob Collie (00:22:46): Yeah, it's not like I used Uber as an example where none of those drivers are clearly employees.

Thomas LaRock (00:22:53): They are not. They're not bonded, they're nothing.

Rob Collie (00:22:58): Yeah. All right. We've talked about a lot of things, we still haven't talked about Justin.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:02): Yeah, I know. How about Justin's origin story? Can you fix that?

Rob Collie (00:23:05): Yeah, let's get to that. What does it mean to be director of solution architecture at P3? Origin story or what does it mean to be the DSA?

Justin Mannhardt (00:23:13): This is the christening of the DSA acronym. Put it in the dictionary folks.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:17): You should be chief DSA though.

Justin Mannhardt (00:23:20): Somebody get the business glossary out.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:22): Oh wait, I have that.

Rob Collie (00:23:24): He has something. What does he have? Dictionary of business terms.

Justin Mannhardt (00:23:29): Business terms.

Rob Collie (00:23:30): Business terms. How big is that book? Jesus, that book was ginormous.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:37): Barron's Business Guide, 1987.

Rob Collie (00:23:41): This is a book I would never open except as a lampoon.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:44): Yes.

Justin Mannhardt (00:23:45): I'm happy to say that I am one year older than that book.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:51): I'm looking up computer now. You know what's not in here? Power Pivot.

Rob Collie (00:23:55): Just open to some random page and read us one definition, Tom.

Thomas LaRock (00:23:58): I'm looking for Sequel.

Rob Collie (00:23:59): No, just something random. Sequel's not a business term. It would never have that in there. Especially not in 1987.

Thomas LaRock (00:24:07): I want to find something that's...

Justin Mannhardt (00:24:09): Tom will find a good one. We'll circle back to it.

Rob Collie (00:24:11): All right. Yeah, back to Justin.

Thomas LaRock (00:24:13): Oh, how about this?

Rob Collie (00:24:13): We're never going to get to Justin.

Thomas LaRock (00:24:16): I'll find something. Go on Justin.

Justin Mannhardt (00:24:17): All right. Are we going with DSA? I think we can make this decision.

Rob Collie (00:24:21): It sounds like an unnecessary move.

Justin Mannhardt (00:24:24): All right, director of solution architecture at P3. What does that mean? Tell the medium version of the story. For most of our company's history, we've been primarily at Power BI shop.

Rob Collie (00:24:36): That's right.

Justin Mannhardt (00:24:36): As we've grown and deepened relationships with clients, other things come up like power apps or ETL or data warehouses, lakehouses, beach houses, whatever you want to call it, right?

Rob Collie (00:24:54): Data fabrics, data cashmere.

Justin Mannhardt (00:24:54): The data mesh, yeah, all these ridiculous buzzwords that just mean storage. I think we saw the opportunity where we can help clients with these things, but do it our way. Effectively we've now got a team of solution architects and Azure data engineers. My group specifically focuses on things like doing ETL in Azure Data factory or Synapse or setting up a data lake to support what we're doing with the Power BI side of the equation. In addition to that, clients need help sometimes with the bigger picture and the bigger outcome. We're not just surgically focused on this analytics need, we're talking more holistically about things like, "How do I drive adoption effectively, right? Our solution architects really help with that. I like to think of us as really the supporting cast behind our principal consultants that are out driving activity with clients and when they need a specialization resource to come in and help out. That's what we do.

(00:25:51): We've made a lot of rapid progress on the team to take it back to when you could say, "Well, we're just a Power BI shop." That's also an oversimplification because we've got great people that can do those types of things, and we were doing those things-

Rob Collie (00:26:06): Like you for instance?

Justin Mannhardt (00:26:06): ... for our clients, right? Yeah, like me for instance. There's a number of other people on our team. I think we just grew to a point where we said we need to take this to the next level. We need to make it more official and more standardized. That's the general gist of what it means to be me.

Rob Collie (00:26:21): I think in terms of data, probably, and this is going to sound like a pun, is not. It's an accident. The need for dashboards essentially and I mean that lowercase D dashboard, not capital D, Power BI dashboard, the most messed up, poorly chosen noun of all time. The need for dashboards is probably the most visible thing in an organization in terms of data. It's the thing that they know they needs the most obvious. There's a lot of stuff that happens upstream from the dashboard and there's also things that you want to happen downstream from the dashboard. The dashboards not the end of the story. You want improvement. How do you turn this into action? Sometimes that's 100% human. There's no systems integration that's going to help it, but other times there is, right? Even if someone comes to us with that most visible need, Power BI is still the center of mass, for instance, that they're looking for that they know that they need. Not all the time, but some of the time the needs radiate out upstream and/or downstream.

(00:27:20): Even if you just view it with 100% dashboard lens for a moment. You want to feed that dashboard more efficiently at a higher quality and you want the impact of the dashboard to flow through the organization more readily. I'd still say that most of the projects we're involved in where we're doing these other sorts of things, there's still dashboards involved. Not always. At any point in time like you mentioned, dashboards might be all you need for a while. It's almost like at that point you're on the initiative rather than reacting to problems, you're like, "Oh, let's go get it." That's when things start to get fun in terms of impact. Having all of that organized and also going out of our way to hire specifically for other skill sets other than Power BI as opposed to our old approach years ago of just hiring for Power BI and accidentally getting a bunch of skills sometimes with it. When we hired you, I don't want to step on your origins, but you famously had to go learn Power BI because you wanted to work for us, right?

Justin Mannhardt (00:28:15): That's true.

Rob Collie (00:28:17): Listen up Tom.

Justin Mannhardt (00:28:18): Yeah, that's a good one.

Rob Collie (00:28:21): This is how Tom can come to the 2023 retreat.

Thomas LaRock (00:28:24): I got news for you. If you invite me, I ain't showing up because I'm a spiteful motherfucker.

Justin Mannhardt (00:28:29): Fighting words.

Thomas LaRock (00:28:30): Invite me if you want.

Rob Collie (00:28:31): Tom's like, "Look, I'll burn down my own house as long as it singes your eyebrows. Tom LaRock.

Justin Mannhardt (00:28:38): Just taking a quick note here, Tom not coming next year.

Rob Collie (00:28:41): Yeah. Come hell or high water.

Thomas LaRock (00:28:43): I'm already busy.

Rob Collie (00:28:44): I'm going to invite him publicly on Twitter.

Justin Mannhardt (00:28:49): Well, if we're going to do origin story all the way to the point of needing to learn Power BI so I could work at P3, we've got to go back ways.

Rob Collie (00:28:58): Let's get in that way back machine. Yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (00:29:00): Let's go for a ride. I grew up in a small town in Iowa. I hated school. The only thing I liked was music. When it was time to go to college, I didn't want to go get a degree in business or computer science or any of that stuff. I just wanted to be a rock 'n' roll star. That's all I wanted to do. I ended up going to music college. College degree is actually in audio engineering. The shortest version of this story is that it's really hard to make money running a soundboard. I gagged around for a little bit and I was like, "This isn't working out." I had moved back to Minnesota. I was back in Iowa for a little while, moved back to Minnesota and I called up a company that I used to work for while I was in school. I used to run forklifts in the warehouse and package boxes for shipping. I call him, "Say I'm moving back to Twin Cities. You got anything in the plant?" Like, "No, but we got a job in customer service. Why don't you apply for that?" I'm like, "Cool." Apply for this job in customer service. My job was answer emails, answer phone calls, take orders, do that kind of stuff, and if you were good, you would also be able to help with reports.

Rob Collie (00:30:08): It's how they get you. For 15 out of 16 people, this is a punishment. This is the thing that if you're good at what you're doing, this is the Peter Principle, quote, unquote, "Promotion." It's going to be awful for most people.

Justin Mannhardt (00:30:20): What this would equate to is you log into some system, run some type of report, it dumps it into an Excel spreadsheet, which I had never seen Excel ever up until this point. I'm like, "Oh, okay, whatever. I make this row green and delete this row." True grunge work, and then you send it out to your sales rep like, "Here's your report for yesterday's orders." If you were good at that, then you could get the advanced reports, which involved things like doing the LOOKUPs or pivot tables. I'll never forget this. I had an account that was assigned to me. It was a second tier airline would be the best way to describe it. We were going through account negotiations with them and repricing all of the products we supplied to them. There was this big spreadsheet that looked at the cost of the items and the volume of usage and all of these things to try and figure out our profitability and how we'd reprice it. That was the first time I was exposed to like, "Wait a minute, you can connect one spreadsheet to a different one." I was just like, "This is amazing."

Rob Collie (00:31:24): It's like the scene in Lord of the Rings where he goes, "It comes in points."

Justin Mannhardt (00:31:28): Yeah, I was like, "Whoa." I was just hooked. I was all into the playing around with the data and the numbers and I was like, "Look, I figured I had to reduce all of the prices, but make us more profitable all at the same time." Like, "Wow."

Rob Collie (00:31:41): Phenomenal cosmic power.

Justin Mannhardt (00:31:46): This continues on. I remember our business ran off an AS/400 system. We used a tool, I think it was called Microsoft Query.

Rob Collie (00:31:55): Query. Oh, yes.

Justin Mannhardt (00:31:57): There was this sequely thing in there. I was like, "Ooh, what's that? That's great code." I remember getting the dictionary of the AS/400 system that said the table called BX94TY is the orders table. I advanced to this point where I was doing all this crazy stuff in Excel. All the things you hear about, I got to that point. One day, I had these big workbooks, the type of stuff where you'd have the auto calculate off.

Rob Collie (00:32:23): Oh yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (00:32:23): You turn it on and it would spin CPU cycles for an hour. I had to submit a CapEx request to get a desktop computer for my office so that I could continue to send emails while the Excel reports were running on the other computer.

Rob Collie (00:32:41): Because Excel's like, "That CPU, it's mine."

Justin Mannhardt (00:32:45): It's mine. I need it all. I reached that typical tipping point where I was like, "I feel like I'm doing something wrong." Excel can no longer support what I want to support.

Rob Collie (00:32:55): There has got to be a better way.

Justin Mannhardt (00:32:57): Yeah.

Rob Collie (00:32:58): Another one of those hallmarks of our kind, if you will. Right? Most people, first of all wouldn't make it as far as you had at this point, but if they'd been given this spreadsheet and been told to do this over and over again, they would just accept that's how it is.

Justin Mannhardt (00:33:12): Right.

Rob Collie (00:33:13): This is just the fastest Excel can go. This computer is as fast as it can go. They're not going to try to tunnel around this obstacle, but oh no, not Justin.

Justin Mannhardt (00:33:21): Yeah, unfortunately I turned left instead of turning right.

Rob Collie (00:33:24): Bugs Bunny did the same thing at Albuquerque.

Justin Mannhardt (00:33:28): It's true.

Rob Collie (00:33:28): We got a lot of funny shit out of that. It wasn't a waste.

Justin Mannhardt (00:33:31): No, not a waste. I took a left turn into things like, "I need to learn how databases work." I feel like this is a database thing. That's in my career where I started picking up SQL Server, and I took an even more left turn. I worked for a company that was using the SAP stack for their BIs as objects, the Universe, Lumira was a thing.

Rob Collie (00:33:51): Very sad. This is the Dark Ages.

Justin Mannhardt (00:33:54): I take a couple jumps through different companies, different roles. I had always ended up doing what I would just generally categorize like advanced things with data. Even though I was never in IT or analytics. I was like, "Oh yeah, Justin can do the fancy things with the data."

Rob Collie (00:34:09): Captain Fancy Data.

Justin Mannhardt (00:34:10): I always resisted it. I was like, "Why do I have to do these? Isn't there someone in an ivory tower in IT that should be doing this? If I can do it in a spreadsheet, why can't the big machine do it?"

Rob Collie (00:34:19): It's probably the outfit that made you not want to be Captain Fancy Data.

Justin Mannhardt (00:34:25): Yeah, you have to wear this, "Nope, I'm out."

Rob Collie (00:34:27): All right. Captain Fancy Data is a reluctant hero in our story.

Justin Mannhardt (00:34:36): Not into it. It's about this time where I very loosely discovered Power Query and Power Pivot. Oh like, "These things are in Excel. Oh, they seem kind of cool." I did some stuff, very toes in the water type stuff. I started to take a really strong interest in Power Query. It was like, "This is amazing. Why didn't I learn about this sooner?" That's one of the things I always say, especially when I teach classes, "A career doing this stuff is just a long series of wishing you learned about something sooner." That's all it is.

Rob Collie (00:35:09): Again, another movie reference. When Mel Brooks gets his head transported on backwards in Spaceballs. He looks down and goes, "Why didn't anybody ever tell me my is this big?"

Justin Mannhardt (00:35:18): Right, exactly. This is where things really start picking up steam for me. I ended up back in a different company here in the Twin Cities. To give some context, this company, it prints signage and material for retail operations. Think of a coffee shop, quick serve restaurant, big box store, right? All the things in their store that tell you what you can buy. How much it is. What the promotions are. We would manufacture and distribute all of those things. It's actually a really complex process, because if you think of something like a gas station for instance, that has thousands of locations across the US, no two of them are exactly the same. They are different sizes. They have different capabilities of where things can be put. They're in different markets and demographics. Some restaurants sell Coke and others sell Pepsi, right?

(00:36:08): What would happen is our customers, they would literally send us tons of spreadsheets, tried to communicate. Here's where all of our locations are. Here's what we want to make. Here's who should or shouldn't get what based on criteria. Then we would need to make sense out of it so we could actually get the right things to the right place. There was approximately 60 people that would figure that out manually, however, they thought best.

Rob Collie (00:36:31): Sounds reasonable to me.

Justin Mannhardt (00:36:32): Yeah. Imagine all the Coca-Cola stores get the Pepsi signs because somebody put a one in the wrong cell in the spreadsheet. Big problems, expensive problems. Again, I'm wearing my fancy dataman outfit and they're like...

Rob Collie (00:36:47): Captain Fancy Data. You can't even say it. He's so embarrassed.

Justin Mannhardt (00:36:51): Captain... What is it? Captain Fancy Data.

Rob Collie (00:36:54): You couldn't even get the word captain out of your mouth right. It's just so awkward. Captain Fancy Data.

Justin Mannhardt (00:36:59): Captain Fancy Data got called into a meeting because one of these types of mistakes had happened. I was brought in as the objective party of like, "How do we do this differently?" I don't know why, but it was at that moment I just realized we're no longer going to have 60 people do this manually. I stood up in the meeting and I looked at my boss and said, "We're going to do all of this data munging work with Power Query and we're going to start tomorrow."

Rob Collie (00:37:25): Damn, Cortez burned his ships in the harbor to motivate the soldiers.

Justin Mannhardt (00:37:31): We had to prove it out, right? I was so convinced that this was the way, and it's sort of an obscure use for the tool, especially when you read about Power BI. It's like, "Oh yeah, ETL engine for Power BI."

Rob Collie (00:37:40): Yeah. You feed it to the data model, right?

Justin Mannhardt (00:37:42): I was pure on like, "This is the best way for us to manage these processes."

Rob Collie (00:37:46): Yeah, this is an operational data problem. Nothing to do with BI.

Justin Mannhardt (00:37:50): Yeah. We picked a couple of our customers and we used them as a beta. It was amazing for me because we took things that would take someone literally seven days to work from start to finish just to get information ready to go into manufacturing down to a couple hours. There's now a team of four or five people that are doing all of that work. It's a function now. There's a team at a company that all they do every day is grind in Power Query to take what they get from customers and make it look the way it needs to look to feed their operational procedures.

Rob Collie (00:38:26): Someday, one of them is going to go, "Oh my God, there's got to be a better way."

Thomas LaRock (00:38:30): Oh my God, my ass is so fat.

Justin Mannhardt (00:38:32): Yeah, exactly.

Rob Collie (00:38:34): I got to ask the question. Originally were 60 people working for weeks to do this and now we're down to a team of five. Did they bury the other 55 outback? What happened to them?

Justin Mannhardt (00:38:44): Well, they still have a whole bunch of other things to do. They're project managers.

Rob Collie (00:38:48): They had other jobs, right?

Justin Mannhardt (00:38:49): Exactly.

Rob Collie (00:38:50): This was not 60 people full-time job. This was the thing that they were saddled with on top of their actual job.

Justin Mannhardt (00:38:56): Without a doubt. We matured to a point where we had databases running some of these things more automatically and we were like, "We made a ton of improvements." It was really exciting. Personally, I got to the point where I was like, "I love all of these tools. I want to just do this stuff all the time." Because it was a fraction of my job as well. I managed a large team of customer service people and other planning professions. I'd been a lurker status on the P3 blog. I saw, I think it was the original post Rob, probably the area you would hire people like Chrissie and Burke's, "Hey, we're hiring." I was like, "Oh, this sounds great. I'm in." Not to give too much away about our process, when you apply, you get some prompts. The initial one is a screening gate. Do you understand this problem? I was like, "Not really, but I'm going to say that I do."

Rob Collie (00:39:47): Once again, Cortez burns the ships. Of course I understand that.

Justin Mannhardt (00:39:51): Of course, I'm going to say yes.

Rob Collie (00:39:54): All right, ask me the questions gatekeeper. I am not afraid.

Justin Mannhardt (00:39:58): Then I get the interview of doom, the test. I saw the problem that we present in the interview, I looked right at it and I said, "I know exactly how to do this in Power Query. I know exactly how to do this by writing sequel. I have no idea how to do this with DAX." Nobody does. Of course, I tried. I was like, "I'm resourceful. I bet I could figure it out." Right? No, I ended up exiting the interview process. I threw in the towel. I said, "If I'm going to be able to work for a company like this, I'm going to have to close this gap." I did. I spent the next year learning and eventually ended up in a Power Pivot pro advanced DAX public class in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Rob Collie (00:40:42): I remember meeting you. I didn't know I was ever going to see you again. Someone dragged me over to introduce me to you. I forget. Was Ryan teaching that class?

Justin Mannhardt (00:40:50): What's fun about this... The backstory is before this class, I had actually solicited P3 as a potential customer. You and I actually spoke on the phone about me trying to buy training from you.

Rob Collie (00:41:03): Oh, back in the Dark Ages when I would be involved on a...

Justin Mannhardt (00:41:06): How full circle we've come on that one?

Rob Collie (00:41:08): Oh my God. For people who don't understand what I'm hinting at, I am a true believer both in this tool set and in this company and our people. I've got unshakeable faith and I don't have unshakeable faith in hardly anything. I don't believe anything, but I believe this. Yet, when it comes time to talk to someone on the phone about why they should spend money on us, I'm not very effective at it. Even though I believe it, I'm all thumbs. I'm glad that this is no longer a role. There's a negative, there's an inverse correlation between my involvement in an initial sales engagement and the success of everything. Whether they sign on, whether it goes well, everything. Just keep me away from it.

Justin Mannhardt (00:41:48): That's a fun ironic thought.

Rob Collie (00:41:50): Yeah. By the way, did you end up hiring P3 at that company to come in and do training?

Justin Mannhardt (00:41:55): No, I didn't.

Rob Collie (00:41:56): Oh, what a shock. What a shock that a sales call with me led to no sale.

Justin Mannhardt (00:42:01): Let's blame that one on me though.

Thomas LaRock (00:42:02): Keeping your record perfect.

Rob Collie (00:42:06): Yeah. I mean, no.

Justin Mannhardt (00:42:06): Can take that one off. We'll make an asterisk there. I went to my boss and like, "No, I don't think we're going to do that." I was like, "All right. Well, they're coming to Minneapolis. I want to go to the public class." They're like, "Okay."

Rob Collie (00:42:19): We'll authorize that.

Justin Mannhardt (00:42:20): Yeah, the AP clerk went to the locked cabinet, opened it up. This is so crazy. Got the Amex card out, like it's in an envelope in the cabinet.

Rob Collie (00:42:29): I imagine on a tray.

Justin Mannhardt (00:42:31): They come over to my desk. I got the signup page and punched in the number. I was like, "Yes." Yeah, I took advance the class and Bergs did teach. I remember just watching him teach and learning, some things really cleared up for me that day personally. Just being like, "I want to do what he's doing." This is the moment. He and I, we just were shooting the breeze after the class and I think you came over because you guys are all probably trying to get dinner or something. We chatted for a little while, but I left that class like, "I'm taking that test again." The rest is kind of history. I got over the hump, here we are. Last transpired since that fateful day. That's about four years ago. Right?

Rob Collie (00:43:12): Yeah. I'm very glad you went through all of that. Yet another example in the unintentional accidental stumbled into. You didn't discover Excel. You were aware of this product that existed. You'd seen the icon or anything, but you'd never actually encountered it?

Justin Mannhardt (00:43:31): Right?

Rob Collie (00:43:31): Until what year?

Justin Mannhardt (00:43:33): Probably 2007-2008.

Rob Collie (00:43:35): Yeah. Okay. I know 15 years is a long time and all. You rewind 15 years and you hadn't even seen Excel. Now, director of solution architecture for what I think of as an incredibly cutting edge data firm. There are a lot of people listening right now who are somewhere on their similar version of that story. I think one of the reasons why we're harkening back to the retreat, why everyone got along so well is because it's like 50 people with very similar origin stories. The details are wildly different.

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:12): Right.

Rob Collie (00:44:13): My version of it is that I tried to be a software engineer. It wasn't really that into it. I was okay at it.

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:20): Turns out the thing I wanted to do is not the thing I want to do.

Rob Collie (00:44:24): That's right. You started out by saying, "I didn't even like school."

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:27): Right.

Rob Collie (00:44:28): Of course, you didn't. The only reason I liked it is because I was good at it.

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:32): Right.

Rob Collie (00:44:33): It was part of my identity, being like Andrew Luck. You're really good at football, but you're just like, "Yeah, I don't want to do this anymore." Right? It's like that, right? I was good at school, but there's a point at which you could not make me go back.

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:48): Yeah.

Rob Collie (00:44:48): I've come full circle. The people who didn't like school, oftentimes that's just a sign of natural wisdom.

Justin Mannhardt (00:44:54): I could get in to... Not AP, was that what we called it?

Rob Collie (00:44:57): AP, yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (00:45:00): AP math. I would say something like, "Why the hell would I ever need to know how to solve a quadratic?"

Rob Collie (00:45:04): Rob, if we were the same age and I've been sitting in your classroom, I'd have been looking at you and sneering. You're only saying that because you know how to do it. By saying, when are we going to have to do this in real life? You were invalidating me.

Justin Mannhardt (00:45:16): Right?

Rob Collie (00:45:17): I would have to turn around and tennis swat that ball back at you, but twice as hard. You were right. I've never solved a fucking quadratic.

Justin Mannhardt (00:45:28): In my day to day, ooh, let me go over my checking account.

Rob Collie (00:45:32): Yeah. I mean-

Justin Mannhardt (00:45:33): Was it an inside, outside? How does this work?

Rob Collie (00:45:34): Integration by part, the trig substitution or... No, no, no and no. Then I get to college and they show me Mathematica that was able to do symbolic. This is in 1992, mind you, right? Mathematica in 1992 on 486 computers was able to do symbolic calculus. You could type in a formula like an equation and it would integrate it or take the derivative in algebraic terms, not numerical simulation. It would just do all of the shit that I had been doing in AP calculus and I was like, "God damn it." There was a time when you had to learn logarithm and a slide rule to do certain kinds of math because we didn't have calculators. I'm sure that the people who knew how to use slide rules fought it, fought the transition to calculators, right? Oh, you can just press the square root button. What are you going to do when your calculator runs out of batteries? Plug it in? I don't know. What am I going to do?

Justin Mannhardt (00:46:29): That's true today, right. I think it's why people that have similar stories to mine or other people on our team, if you've got an intrinsic desire to solve problems and make things better, the software is going to continue getting better. The techy things... It was only obscure because it was written for an IT audience, weird names and properties. That's all starting to fade.

Rob Collie (00:46:53): It's a cliche, but it's true. Yeah, that our educational system, the public education system in high school and stuff like that is still a leftover from the 1920s or something, right? That system was created and at the time it was created, it basically took a snapshot of what its curriculum should be. Maybe it wasn't even good at the time, but it didn't change.

Thomas LaRock (00:47:14): I'm not even sure it's from the '20s. I think it's older.

Rob Collie (00:47:16): Yeah. I don't know, but it's a long time ago.

Thomas LaRock (00:47:20): Yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (00:47:20): Yeah.

Thomas LaRock (00:47:21): No, you're right.

Rob Collie (00:47:22): There's no teaching how to think. Even the people who learned calculus and retained it and still use it in daily life, even they are using MATLAB or Mathematica or something to do most of their calculations. They're not sitting down and doing manual like Fourier transforms and stuff like that. They're using a computer to perform that. Now, their domain knowledge and their expertise and their familiarity allows them to spot check things. If there's something going bad in their inputs or something like that, they're going to eventually figure it out. Someone who's not trained in calculus, won't.

Justin Mannhardt (00:47:51): Yeah, there's value in knowing practical application.

Rob Collie (00:47:54): It's the same thing with us, right? Yeah, that's right. I don't know what the actual order of operations under the hood is in terms of the evaluation of the FILTER function. I know at a high level, well, I was able to precompute, I don't know the ones in zeros, but I'm close enough to it. I can debug it, troubleshoot it, and most importantly be thinking about the customer problem, which is itself an intricate, a nuanced beast. Screw calculus, screw trig. You're my people.

Justin Mannhardt (00:48:22): You don't need any of that stuff. That's the TLDR.

Rob Collie (00:48:26): I apologize to everyone like you that I was mean to in high school.

Justin Mannhardt (00:48:31): We're good. We're all friends now, Rob. It's all good because we talk about this within our company a lot. The concept of imposter syndrome. You join a firm that is full of elite people in what we do and you immediately question your own capabilities and worth, right? I'll pull that out all the time when I'm talking to people. I say, "Listen, I had to try the test two times. I barely skated by the second time." Trust me, you're here-

Rob Collie (00:48:57): Justin Chumbawamba Mannhardt, he gets knocked down but he gets up again.

Justin Mannhardt (00:49:03): That's a classic. That's one of my wife's favorite songs.

Rob Collie (00:49:05): I think it's a great song. I read one time, there's this myth that pop music is generally bad. You look down through history, almost everything that was popular was actually really good. There was something really good about it. Sometimes an artist can accidentally hit things just right and they might not ever capture that magic again. I don't know much about Chumbawamba deeper catalog, but I do believe that that one song is damn near perfect.

Justin Mannhardt (00:49:35): When I was in music college, I studied recording, music production, right. I forget how we got onto this. We were in a lecture session with one of our professors and somebody made a comment of how someone like Britney Spears for example, can't actually sing and is not actually a good musician.

Rob Collie (00:49:51): Oh, I see where this is going.

Justin Mannhardt (00:49:52): Right? We're talking about things like auto tune, right? The professor, he just laid into us, he got up, he had the PowerPoint ready and he had all the scientific explanation of how all this stuff works and he was like, "If Britney Spears couldn't sing, her voice would sound like T-Pain all the time." Really debunking, sure there's a lot of post production that goes into making some of these records and cleaning up little idiosyncrasies, but you can't just be horrible. That doesn't get through the cut.

Thomas LaRock (00:50:24): Have either of you seen This is Pop on Netflix?

Justin Mannhardt (00:50:27): No, I have not.

Thomas LaRock (00:50:28): Okay, you and anybody listening, if you aren't aware of this, because you guys are having this conversation about what makes a hit song a hit and they may only do it once and things like that. You go watch, This is Pop. It's a series on Netflix. Go watch the episode about ABBA, just soak in the episode. I'm not going to spoil it for you or anybody else, but you are going to come away just amazed as to how pop songs actually hit or happen.

Rob Collie (00:50:54): Yeah, I bet Justin won't be surprised at all. I will be without getting into the episode. ABBA, often a punchline to a joke, right? Amazing.

Justin Mannhardt (00:51:03): Yeah, my mom loved ABBA.

Rob Collie (00:51:04): They are amazing.

Thomas LaRock (00:51:06): They're really good.

Rob Collie (00:51:07): I haven't voluntarily played an ABBA song like ever probably, but at the same time, absolute masters of the form.

Justin Mannhardt (00:51:15): That was on repeat in our household. My mom loved ABBA.

Rob Collie (00:51:18): Shortly before the time you were born, Justin, there was a band called Def Leppard, who with the release of albums like Pyromania, they were perfecting what I think of as a very uniquely '80s sound, which is, it sounds like an entire party singing together in unison.

Justin Mannhardt (00:51:38): Right.

Rob Collie (00:51:38): Def Leppard, Pyromania is just like the signature of that. It is so amazing. There's this thing about the '80s where still this unity thing left over from the '70s, but it was like a cocaine fueled unity. We've never heard its kind since. But yeah, the soaring chorus that you can't make out any individual voice and it just sounds like the entire crew is all singing. It's a hell of an effect and we know that they weren't just doing that. There was a lot of production involved.

Justin Mannhardt (00:52:08): I loved all that stuff. I have no regrets on going to school for what I did because I basically recorded music all day every day for that time. I haven't had a true audio engineering gig for, I don't know, a couple years now, Rob. You might have been my last customer.

Rob Collie (00:52:23): I've given you some difficult work. We're only a few short months away from the next episode, Justin. It looks like it's going to happen.

Justin Mannhardt (00:52:32): The context on the inside joke is Rob's very good at fantasy football and he tends to win the P3 league and he then tortures us by producing a music video announcing his victory to everybody. I reluctantly agreed to autotune his vocals for one of his videos.

Rob Collie (00:52:50): Unfortunately, I chose a very easy vocalist to try to emulate Freddie Mercury. Not talented at all.

Justin Mannhardt (00:52:58): Not at all. There's these great screenshots floating around. Maybe we dig one up for the website when you are using the auto-tune software, it shows you the note that is supposed to be sung on one graphical line and the note that Rob's actually singing on a different line. It was a pretty difficult job to even make it passible.

Rob Collie (00:53:15): If you did the linear regression on where the dot is versus where it's supposed to be. Our value of .5 or...

Justin Mannhardt (00:53:23): Very low Z-score.

Thomas LaRock (00:53:25): Yeah.

Rob Collie (00:53:27): It's indistinguishable from noise.

Justin Mannhardt (00:53:29): Pretty rough. I don't think I'll be doing that again.

Rob Collie (00:53:31): It was Meat Loaf.

Justin Mannhardt (00:53:33): Oh, that's right. It was Meat Loaf.

Rob Collie (00:53:33): It was Meat Loaf, which also turns out to be... You don't think about Meat Loaf's vocal capabilities until you sit down and try to sing and then you're like, "Oh my god, professional and a master at that."

Justin Mannhardt (00:53:48): This video, it's a good exhibit in the argument of autotune just can't make you sound amazing. You actually have to kind of...

Rob Collie (00:53:55): It just sounds like a terrible singer being auto tuned is what it comes out like. Yeah, I went with MC Hammer the next year so that we won't require that, and even that was difficult. Super difficult, like 20 takes difficult. The best way to gain newfound respect for one of your musical stars is to just try to sing or rap or whatever and record it. Suddenly you realize you're not nearly as good as what you sound like you think you sound in the car or whatever. It's awful. I have a very intuitive nature, that's neither good nor bad. I'm not trying to say intuitive like, "Oh, everything's just so easy. Just comes to me." It's not like that. Right? What I mean is that it's oftentimes thoughts and directions come to me that I can't express the why in words, at least not immediately.

(00:54:42): Because it's such a personal thing, it's really hard for me to know how much they resonate. One of the ways in which I do get some feedback on whether something is good or not is whether others start to repeat it or magnify it. One of the things I've been talking about for a long time is this whole faucets first approach. You have a data problem, and if you go higher, basically any firm other than ours, there are some other exceptions, it basically rounds to us or not this way. You hire a traditional firm, they say, "Yes, you're thirsty. First thing we need to do is we need to build some plumbing." You end up building plumbing, plumbing, plumbing, plumbing, plumbing. The idea just wait, someday we're going to make some faucets. It's just like the last icing on the cake, right? Then you're going to get some water.

(00:55:28): It takes long enough almost by design that the plumbing becomes the goal.

Justin Mannhardt (00:55:34): Right.

Rob Collie (00:55:34): When it's actually time for faucets, you'll discover, first of all, you waited a lot longer for the faucet than you expected and where you need the drink... You can just hear me getting bitter now, right? You go to put the faucet on and there's no pipe there. You've installed hundreds of miles of twisted piping and there's no faucet where you need it. It won't actually give you the thing that you need because no one was ever testing it. The software technology in the data space used to insist that you worked plumbing first.

Justin Mannhardt (00:56:01): Right.

Rob Collie (00:56:02): The new software allows us to work from faucet backwards. You end up with a drink of water sometimes within the first week. You have just enough plumbing to run it and you might need to improve that plumbing over time. When you do improve that plumbing, you're not over-engineering it. I've been saying this long enough to start to even experience some self doubt about it. The concept, there's no doubt about it. The way to work is the way we work. Start with trying to deliver results and move backwards from there. If the software had always been like this, this would be the only way the world ever worked. This methodology doesn't really owe some justification to the world as to why it's better than the other one. It has just as much claim to being valid as the other stupid way, right?

(00:56:47): It turns out, when you put them both into practice, one of them really works and one of them really doesn't. End of argument as far as I'm concerned. However, the whole faucets first labeling is one that I'm like, "Ah, I don't know. Maybe this is bad." You've seem to really run with this lately. Talk me out of...

Justin Mannhardt (00:57:02): Talk you off your self-doubt?

Rob Collie (00:57:03): Yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (00:57:04): I left this out of the origin story. It's worth going back to. My first exposure to you was somehow I stumbled upon a YouTube recording of the 10 things talk you gave it [inaudible 00:57:16] or some big conference.

Rob Collie (00:57:18): My favorite talk.

Justin Mannhardt (00:57:20): It's not a technical talk at all. There's nothing like explicitly faucets first in this specific talk, but it's dripping with this philosophical thing, right?

Rob Collie (00:57:29): Dripping. I got that too.

Justin Mannhardt (00:57:30): Yeah. I was like, "Yes, more of this." Right? For me, it's interesting, because if you think about it, you just explain faucets first, I manage a team that primarily does plumbing.

Rob Collie (00:57:43): Yeah,

Justin Mannhardt (00:57:43): Of course, other things. However, plumbing is important. Let's not get it wrong. Good plumbing matters. However, the plumbing to nowhere is the problem. It's the approach that really is important. When we're working with clients, we're really trying to understand is this idea even a hot fuse? I use the term hot fuse. Is this analytical idea a hot fuse? Is it going to do something for us? If it is, we should figure that out as fast as possible. That might involve doing things that are counterintuitive to an IT audience like, "Yeah no, we're not going to build a database yet. We're just going to get some files and we're going to dump them into SharePoint." That's going to be good enough for now. Until the people that are actually going to act on a business problem, or until we get that positive feedback loop that says, "Yes, this is it for us." Right? In a very visceral way, then we can say, "Okay, now it's worth it to spend lots of money on expensive services that make the water flow really fast with the exact precision of pH.

Rob Collie (00:58:49): I want to modify something you said there. I'm not saying that you're wrong. Now we're going to go spend lots of money on expensive services. Yeah, we're going to spend a lot less though.

Justin Mannhardt (00:58:57): Sure. Of course.

Rob Collie (00:58:58): The plumbing first approach, choose up all kinds of real estate in the most expensive space. Again, I think by design, it's not objected to by the people who are doing the work, right? This is the whole business model of the traditional data stack firm, right? The most, quote, unquote, "Expensive things." You're going to be laser focused and only doing what actually is necessary. That's a big deal.

Justin Mannhardt (00:59:22): Huge deal. There are a lot of services that are quite affordable as well. There's also the less extreme viewpoint on the faucets first. Well, sometimes when you'll be practical about it like this, a little plumbing is required. The means of accessing the data is not super friendly, right? There are tools out there today where we can still get to that rapid results perspective without spinning up all kinds of stuff. It drives me nuts to be honest. We'll be working on a project and before we've even gotten to the business application, someone's asking questions about will it scale? Will it perform? Is it durable, reliable. We don't need to answer those questions right now because a lot of times, especially with these tools, you'll build the thing and you realize, "Great, we don't need to do anything else."

(01:00:10): It's working perfectly fine. It's funny, we talked about the taco place in Indy when I was working with Bar Keepers Friend, there's a similar experience. When we were at the beginning of that project, there was this belief that we needed to take the data from their ERP and move it to an Azure SQL database. I said, "Well, why don't we just set up the ODBC connection today?" We get through the end of this project and everything refreshes in a few minutes and it's great. We're like, "Today, we really don't need to do anything else."

Rob Collie (01:00:36): Do that, which is necessary and not one thing more.

Justin Mannhardt (01:00:40): Right.

Rob Collie (01:00:40): The other thing that I'll tell people when I'm really on my game, which is not always, usually I get wrapped up in the fight too quickly, but if I end up talking to an ETL professional, this is how they've made their living forever. I'm out here saying, "No, don't start there, all that kind of stuff." they naturally feel threatened in the same way that high school aged Rob felt threatened by you saying, "When am I ever going to need a quadratic formula?" What I should say to them is that imagine a world where you never have to fight to justify yourself. Everybody intrinsically at some level in business knows that these long data warehousing projects that run forever are a waste. They can't say how. They can't say why. They don't have the experience or the terminology to formulate the objection in some sort of crisp, clear manner. Right?

(01:01:30): Everyone's got the intuition that this is bad, right? If you're an ETL professional, you're running into this headwind all the time. You're constantly having to justify your craft. When you go to a conference and you run into me saying this is the last straw for you. It's like there's this guy that past put on stage of all places, saying, "Nah." That's when you draw the line. Right. That's the Alamo for you, the ETL professional, and you come after me. Now, what I should say is, "No, you're going to be just as busy as ever if you buy-in to this approach because now every single project you do... You'll be doing a lot of projects. Instead of one project that runs forever and never finishes. You'll be doing multiple projects simultaneously. They're all going to be like high ROI, high impact. Everyone's going to be thrilled with you all the time. You're never going to have to justify your existence ever again. You need to change your business model, but you're going to be happier. That's the right answer I should give in those situations. I never do. Instead, I just say, "No, you're wrong."

Justin Mannhardt (01:02:32): You like to dig in on this one.

Rob Collie (01:02:34): I have the microphone. I'm standing on an elevated platform.

Justin Mannhardt (01:02:39): It resonates in the real world too, because one of the things that I'll do quite often at P3 and my team as well is we'll get invited into a customer and they'll say, "Hey, we feel stuck, or we feel like we're not making progress. Can you take a look at what we have and what's going on?" When you look at what types of reports and dashboards exist in Power BI, you'll see a lot of what I would call the Swiss Army knife where it's got almost everything you could think of, every possible way to slice and dice it and it's awesome. There's no direct connection to the business problem or the actions that are to be a result of it. That's where people feel deflated because they spent all this time getting to this point. Unless you're an analyst and your job is to hunt around and look for something, it's not that useful to a large group of people. Executives don't roll up to these things and spend all their time hunting around. They're like, "Shortcut me to the problem." That's the plumbing I want to work on, is the plumbing that shortcuts to the thing. The faucet's now amazing.

Rob Collie (01:03:41): Backstage, we were laughing about something where I said, "Sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth." Tom wanted me to explain this. What does it mean habits, yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (01:03:53): I'll ask Rob.

Rob Collie (01:03:55): All right. First of all, it sounds shady. It's not shady. However, it absolutely could be shady in the wrong hands, okay? This is one of those things where you have to check yourself if you're going to be a practitioner of this sort of thing. First of all, this isn't really related, it's just of a similar form and I think it's awesome. In Breaking Bad, Tuco rips off Walt and Walt goes into Tuco's lair with a handful of explosive crystal and calls his bluff. Tuco starts laughing and says, "His hair blown back, literally. Says, "Fine. I'll give your money." He's like this ultra villain, Tuco, actually feels at that moment, he needs to justify himself. There's a really interesting twist. It's really a writing flourish that I thought was really awesome. He doesn't seem insecure.

(01:04:47): He not on his heels. He's still very confident. He says something to the effect of, "Hey, sometimes you got to steal just to keep what's yours." In his line of business, everyone's trying to steal from everyone. If you were going to just be the upstanding citizen of the drug world, he wouldn't survive. You've got to be a predator. There's no such thing as being impervious. That's just funny. I've always loved that. I've accused others in business of operating this way from time to time. That's not how we operate. Here's some examples. No one really watches the news anymore, but go turn on a news broadcast and listen to the way that people are talking. Listen to the way that the anchor is speaking. You're so used to it. You're so accustomed to it, you don't even notice it, it is the weirdest thing ever, the way these people talk. They are talking in a way that if someone talked to you like this face to face in a restaurant, you'd be like, "What are you?"

Justin Mannhardt (01:05:44): Rob, tonight at 5:00 PM, you and I are going to go out for dinner. Would you like to go get tacos or sandwiches?

Rob Collie (01:05:49): Exactly. You're doing it as a joke. People aren't doing this as a joke.

Thomas LaRock (01:05:53): We're outside the restaurant right now. They entered 10 minutes ago, they ordered 100 tacos.

Rob Collie (01:05:58): No, it's even worse than that. It's even worse than that. I've gone to speaking coaches that Microsoft paid lots and lots of money to try to teach me how to talk like these people. I learned some important things from it. It is an artificial unnatural way of speaking. Absolutely. Right? If you don't use it, people don't hear you. It's the same thing as the old argument back before we learned apparently some brand new things that makes it all okay now. Back the arguments like, "Oh no, you can't have a black background for your dashboard." That's a mortal sin, right? It's a mortal sin. Okay, nevermind the fact that it gets 10 times the engagement from the user audience as the white background dashboards, right? That's part of the funnel, isn't it? As you know, I was always really angry about that. Well, now we've learned that there's lots of good reasons to have a dark background. Now, it's okay. It's been validated by the scientists in the space because they lost, right?

(01:06:52): They needed to change their theory. Anyway, it's like that. Then the last example I'm going to give is stage makeup. The makeup that someone puts on to go out on a stage to do a play. It looks fine from stage, but you see them in the back room, what they're wearing, they like a clown. Even in the course of trying to get across a truth, you have to sometimes package it in ways that people can understand. When you first learn about the atom, which again is not something that you actually really need to know about, turns out no one really cares. Right? There's-

Justin Mannhardt (01:07:24): That another mark there.

Rob Collie (01:07:25): [inaudible 01:07:25] never going to need this. They first teach you that it's just a bunch of particles jammed together in a big mush, right? Then a few years later they tell you, "Okay, now it's circling in like a planetary model, like an orbiting solar system." That's basically where everyone leaves off because the very next concept is just mind blowing. We don't even know where these particles are. It's like there's a 30% chance it's here. What that really means though is that 30% of it is there, don't even bother, right? You don't need to know any of that to do chemistry, it turns out. The planetary model is sufficient for chemistry. That's where we leave off. We could teach you chemistry with the other thing that you're never going to use.

Justin Mannhardt (01:08:03): Unless you're a chemical engineer.

Rob Collie (01:08:06): Unless you're a chemical engineer.

Justin Mannhardt (01:08:07): Need a few of those.

Rob Collie (01:08:08): That's right. We do need some of those for sure. I know a few of them actually. Very smart people, very dedicated. A lot of discipline because they had to take all that chemistry.

Justin Mannhardt (01:08:20): They had the endurance to stick it out when I was just like, "Why am I going to ever need to know how water is made."

Rob Collie (01:08:26): Even I like after being math and science person in high school, I didn't take another science in college. Not one. I said, "I'm hanging up my coat."

Justin Mannhardt (01:08:35): Yeah.

Rob Collie (01:08:38): Another way to say it is that you should always be honest, but honesty in communication isn't the goal, communication is the goal. The replication of a thought or an idea in the other person's head is the primary goal. Don't be dishonest, but don't be confused and think that honesty is the number one goal, because if honesty is the number one goal, you're going to tell them everything, like you're standing there talking to a seven-year old trying to explain the probability cloud model of the atom. You missed the whole point of the exercise, which was to teach them that there was an indivisible unit of matter, which again, is probably not useful to them.

Justin Mannhardt (01:09:12): Sometimes you got to lie to tell the truth. That's [inaudible 01:09:14]

Rob Collie (01:09:15): Yeah. An exaggerated version of that would be me saying like, "Screw it, you never need plumbing." That's a lie, right? You do need plumbing, but sometimes you don't.

Justin Mannhardt (01:09:24): People they want to know at the beginning, what do we really need here? Admittedly, you'll go to the extremes, you probably don't need anything because if you can get them to the faucet and they see the thing that has actual business impact and business value, the ROI aren't buying anything else to make that run is much easier. You try and do it all on the front end, everybody's like, "Whoa, money. What?"

Rob Collie (01:09:47): Actually, here's the perfect example of lying to tell the truth. Someone asks you, "Hey, P3, you do big data?" We know, right? There's a version of that question. Do you do it on the scale of Google? We don't. For a long time big data was just the placeholder which is another term people used interchangeably with BI. We're a lot more capable in that space today than we were eight years ago when I was fueling this question over and over again. Even then, eight years ago, when all we had was Power Pivot, oftentimes the right answer was yes, because they didn't know what they were talking about. There's like the poster child for lying to tell the truth.

Justin Mannhardt (01:10:26): Big data. Do you mean distributed file systems or a million rows?

Rob Collie (01:10:31): They're like 40,000 rows. That's pretty big, right? That was very often we were running into when someone said do you do big data? We're like...

Justin Mannhardt (01:10:41): Approximately how many compute nodes do you need for your big data? What's a computer node?

Rob Collie (01:10:45): Are you bogging down on map or reduce?

Justin Mannhardt (01:10:52): I don't need a map. I need a chart. Okay.

Rob Collie (01:10:56): Right. Yeah. Well, I've thoroughly enjoyed this, long overdue.

Justin Mannhardt (01:11:01): It's been fun.

Rob Collie (01:11:02): Having the J Man on the show. What do you think, Tom?

Thomas LaRock (01:11:07): About the J Man?

Rob Collie (01:11:08): Does he pass as a one time last minute replacement for you?

Thomas LaRock (01:11:13): Well, no. That's just impossible. You're never going to find somebody to step in...

Rob Collie (01:11:18): No one. Yeah, I agree.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:19): You're just not...

Rob Collie (01:11:20): That's true.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:20): You're not.

Rob Collie (01:11:20): That's true.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:22): I say no. I like him. He's a nice guy. Seems all right.

Rob Collie (01:11:26): Yeah. He's not going to bring that Barton Fink experience.

Justin Mannhardt (01:11:30): Here's two things I can close with some certainty that I've learned.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:35): Well.

Rob Collie (01:11:35): Listen up future guests.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:36): Okay.

Justin Mannhardt (01:11:37): That I've learned from my experience with Rob, and I'm speaking primarily to my colleagues and friends at P3 Adaptive. If Rob asks you to join the podcast on short notice, you don't need to do that.

Rob Collie (01:11:50): Okay.

Justin Mannhardt (01:11:51): He'll be fine all by himself.

Rob Collie (01:11:53): That's true. We've learned this.

Justin Mannhardt (01:11:55): We've learned that.

Thomas LaRock (01:11:56): I feel that's a comment about me and less about Rob.

Rob Collie (01:11:59): Well, I was going to say, Tom, what we discovered is that we just can't replace you. If you're not available, we just plow ahead.

Justin Mannhardt (01:12:04): The second thing is, despite whatever non-data talents you may have, should Rob solicit your services in those areas, just probably say no. For example, if you are a video producer and he wants you to help him with his fantasy football video, you should probably say no.

Rob Collie (01:12:24): Listen, no one can help me with the video because I'm an artist, right? When it comes to the timing of visuals and all that kind of stuff, boy, you won't believe how much time went into synchronizing the baseline of You Can't Touch This with the trophy wagging back and forth on the table. Right? That's hard. Turns out two hours of my life went into that three second sequence. It's like producing a-

Justin Mannhardt (01:12:48): This is important. Right here, you're explaining the difficulty of someone. There's somebody out there in the world that goes, "Rob, that's not difficult." Whoever that is, don't tell him the first time-

Rob Collie (01:12:59): First time you do it. We're also not going to disparage their profession, Justin, and say that what they do is easy. No, it's hard. It is hard work. Why would you be so dismissive?

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:09): I rest my case.

Rob Collie (01:13:12): Don't attempt to fix my singing voice. Don't even try. I think you actually volunteered for that. I think you were a little bit more eager going into that process than what you're letting on. I don't recall having to twist your arm.

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:23): No, I was game. I thought it would be fun.

Rob Collie (01:13:26): Now you're seeing with new eyes. You're hearing with new ears.

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:29): First time I got that track, I was like, "Oh, he's really bad."

Rob Collie (01:13:33): Oh yeah. Really bad, indeed.

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:36): [inaudible 01:13:37] all bad.

Rob Collie (01:13:36): Yeah, the song was... You know Meat Loaf's Two Out of Three Ain't Bad? I redid it as three out of three ain't bad.

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:45): I think I was regular season champ that year too. It was like this extra punishment for being so unequipped in the playoffs.

Rob Collie (01:13:52): So close. Yeah, you're like Billy Bean, your shit doesn't work in the playoffs.

Justin Mannhardt (01:13:56): Yeah, exactly.

Rob Collie (01:13:57): I'm built to peak at playoff time. I'm also built to really need that first round by, it turns out that really helps. We really baller, Justin, if you and I actually performed a trade this week. I improved your team in advance of playing against me. That's how confident...

Justin Mannhardt (01:14:13): That'd be dope, because I traded for Michael Carter-

Rob Collie (01:14:17): Then James Robinson.

Justin Mannhardt (01:14:19): Then in the real world, they changed for Jay [inaudible 01:14:22] and immediately this is not as useful of a move.

Rob Collie (01:14:27): I actually had that trade wrong. I thought it was the reverse. I think you fleeced him at the time.

Justin Mannhardt (01:14:32): Yeah.

Rob Collie (01:14:32): Who wants [inaudible 01:14:33] anymore? I don't.

Thomas LaRock (01:14:34): Had the draft first in our draft, which I'm gathering data to show that when you draft first in the snake draft, your season's just fucked. I get Jonathan Taylor, I grab him because I got to grab somebody first. Jonathan Taylor, not bad. Anyway, he gets hurt. He goes out the first time a couple weeks ago. I managed to get his backup because he always wanted the backup. Anyway, I grab him, I go, "Great Let's start him." Second play, guys out with a concussion. That's my fantasy season in a nutshell. You're talking about the trade and all that. I'm like, how about just my star player drafted first, not just being out, but then having his backup get knocked out of the game early. I'm like, "That's it. What more can I do."

Rob Collie (01:15:21): You can be resilient by design, but yeah, it's hard from the one spot.

Thomas LaRock (01:15:24): It's hard from the one spot.

Rob Collie (01:15:25): It is hard from the one spot. I agree. With hindsight, the number one pick is always by far the most valuable. There's the drop off curve in value each year is usually so sharp, you'd have to know who the number one pick would be in advance.

Thomas LaRock (01:15:37): Okay, but having number one, and then following it up with number, in this case, 16, the value of those... Okay, number one should be valuable, but now if they're hurt and injured, I'm basically starting with a third round pick.

Rob Collie (01:15:53): If we went now and redrafted last year's teams with perfect knowledge of how it turned out, you want to pick first even with the snake draft you want to pick first. It's overwhelmingly the most valuable. But yeah, it leads to hyper fragility, having that first pick. Hey, thanks again man. Thanks for taking the hours. It was good to see you down in Miami Beach. Holy cow. Those look delicious.

Justin Mannhardt (01:16:15): Yeah, those look like good chicken wings.

Rob Collie (01:16:17): Damn it. I could eat all of those in one sitting. No trouble.

Justin Mannhardt (01:16:21): No doubt. I think when we wrap this up, I'm going to go directly to the grocery store and buy chicken wings and put them on the smoker.

Thomas LaRock (01:16:30): I may not be able to go to your fancy parties, but y'all not going to put your mouth on those wings.

Rob Collie (01:16:36): That's right. Yeah.

Justin Mannhardt (01:16:37): Fair enough.

Rob Collie (01:16:38): Justin, thank you so much. It's a pleasure.

Justin Mannhardt (01:16:41): Happy to be here, man. Good to see you.

Rob Collie (01:16:42): Thanks for listening to the Raw Data by P3 Adaptive Podcast. Let the experts at P3 Adaptive help your business. Just go to p3adaptive.com. Have a day-to-day.

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