Ryan Roch  01:58

Well, do you want to go ahead and jump in?

Adam Avramescu  02:00

Yeah, I’ll jump in and then you can you can round it off at the end. Okay, so Dave earlier was talking about roguelikes so we’ve kind of established what that Roblox it’s the idea that sorry, yeah, Dave. Dave was talking about

Dave Derington  02:18

that, too. It’s actually really fun. Yeah,

Adam Avramescu  02:20

I don’t maybe I should make you know, you’re talking about rogue rogue lakes. And a roguelike. Game, again, is one where generally you’re going to be going through some sort of Dungeon. And you’re going to be like, battling or fighting your way through a series of levels. And you’re going to get killed a lot. And every time you get killed, you essentially get reset. Right? So and you might lose a bunch of stuff that you had when you went through the dungeon. So one game that got me through the pandemic, in a lot of ways was a game called Hades, which is also a roguelike game Hades. Yeah.

Dave Derington  02:57

Devi by God. Yes. It’s it’s, it’s it’s silky, smooth. Cool. Fun. I love it. And it’s any learn

Adam Avramescu  03:04

stuff you smooth.

Dave Derington  03:07

Love, and you learn Greek history?

Adam Avramescu  03:11

Oh, that’s true. Yeah. So I mean, it is it’s based in Greek mythology. And it is silky smooth. So you are playing as Zagar? Yes. Who is this like minor God who is a son of Hades, and he is trying to battle his way out from the underworld to see his mother Persephone, who he doesn’t know if she’s there, if she’s not where he’s gonna find her. And, like you said, Dave, it’s a silky smooth game, the art is phenomenal. The Voice acting has so much character. Even just the level design and the way that the characters are animated and the way that Sagittarius is animated. It’s just it’s a beautiful game to look at and to listen to. So you’re gonna want to play with your, your sound on and your eyes open. But deal breaker. Yeah, okay, sorry. Yeah. Yeah, well,

Dee Kapila  04:05

it’s a visual game.

Adam Avramescu  04:05

That’s it. It’s a very, very visual game. So you don’t want to be playing Candy Crush while you orbit. It. But you also need to reflexes right? Because there’s a lot of battling. So it’s not necessarily something like slay the spire where you’ve got a deck and you’ve got a lot of time to think about what you know what cards are going to play next. Here, the enemies are coming at you where you are in the room, and what attacks and what movies you’re using and how you’re dodging matters a lot. So it’s a very physical game, your reflexes matter. And maybe the other thing that’s different from something like slay the spire is that unlike that game, where you’ve got like a series of different heroes with different abilities that you can play as, but none of them really have much personality they’ve unless I know unless that happens further into the

Dave Derington  04:53

game now that they’re all personality less, pretty much. Yeah, they’re

Adam Avramescu  04:57

all They’re all just like basically like empty vessels. Free to Play as right. So Zachary has has a personality, right. And the way that the game changes is not because you have different characters to play with, the way the game changes is intimately related to the way that Sagittarius changes as the plot moves forward. So as you gain new abilities, as you play with different weapons, you’re also going through the story. So it’s deeply engaging, because you’re essentially going through the story of Zacchaeus, learning to mature and go on his own journey and kind of the relationship that he has with his mother and with his father. And with other gods. At some point, there’s all these weird little like side games where there’s like, it becomes a decorating game, it becomes a dating sim, there’s like a lot of other stuff that happens in the plot around the roguelike. So originally, before day one, I might have made this point about like failure, and kind of like grinding your way through it. But I actually think like one of the more interesting things about this game beyond that, that fact is how the failure and how the repetition of the game is not actually treated as a liability, the fact that you’re doing the same thing over and over as your skill building. And as you’re going through the different levels and trying to get well not deeper and deeper, you’re trying to get higher and higher, because going to the surface. That’s actually intimately tied into the plot, and in some ways gives you the motivation to keep mastering the game. Oh, cool. Yeah,

Dave Derington  06:22

that’s a plus. Plus, oh, my god, like the learning that goes on in that. Have you ever listened to the podcast? I know. It’s kind of for kids. But I actually like it. It’s called creaking out. No, I don’t remember who makes it. It might be. I don’t know. But regardless, it’s really well done. And it’s kind of Kitty, but I’ve learned a whole lot of stuff off of it, like remembering my Greek mythology. But this game does an exceptional job of interweaving Greek mythology into the storyline. And I mean, I think that’s really great. Accurate, right for them. Yeah, pretty much as far as I know. But then, you know, you hear like, all these different kinds of gods that are kind of outside of that, you know, pantheon of the Greek of gods and thanks, do you like chaos is in there? I don’t know. There’s some weird stuff in here. It’s super cool. Super cool.

Adam Avramescu  07:13

And it’s inclusive, because chaos is like a gender neutral. Yeah. Oh, cool. Yeah, chaos is like, Yeah, that’s cool.

Dave Derington  07:21

It’s it’s super desire is neutral.

Ryan Roch  07:23

Yeah.

Dave Derington  07:24

Hey, why don’t you stop playing? Have you stopped playing? Or have you gone back? Have you felt? Have you finished the game?

Adam Avramescu  07:30

Me? Yeah, so I finished in fact, I’ve I that’s up as far as it can be finished at all goodness. So like, kind of the way it’s structured is your first goal. And I’m going to try to say this without spoilers for anyone who’s listening who has played it and or people who are in room appreciate it is like, the first thing you’re doing is just trying to get to the end, like you’re trying to like break free of the dungeon. And you’re gonna spend many, many, many cycles many hours just trying to do that. As you’re doing that, though, it’s not like a normal roguelike, where you’re just playing the same game over and over, you’re collecting what’s called is called, like darkness points or something like that, where you’re filling the mirror of nicks. And the mirror of Nick’s gives you different abilities that will help make your subsequent playthroughs a little bit easier, because now you can have an ability that you might not have had before. You also might start playing with different weapons as time goes on. So you can play with different playstyles. And in fact, that makes it almost a different game, every time because it goes from being like a hack and slash to being more of a shooter depending on which weapon you’re playing with. And then the last thing that changes every time is you get boons from the different Olympian gods who are not there with you, but they’re like your extended family. So you’re actually building relationships with them in a lot of ways.

Dave Derington  08:50

Like Dionysus. Yeah. Yeah. Like he goes, Hey, boy, it looks like you need to have more fun and he gives you like, this boon of wine and bread. I don’t know. But yeah, exactly.

Adam Avramescu  09:01

Or like, yeah, they all have very distinct biologies, like you get like, a

Dave Derington  09:06

God, you’ve got to be cautious with that, because the gods, you know, may not have have looked upon you lightly if you, for instance, like take something from one of the other gods or goddesses. And then like, all of a sudden, Athena is helping you out. And then you know, Dionysus, like, Well, screw you, Man, I hate her and, and then you get things taken away. It’s well, it’s family.

Ryan Roch  09:31

Keeping with the politics of the Greek gods,

Adam Avramescu  09:34

yeah, I want it’s and it’s and, uh, you know, in some ways, maybe we can draw an analogy here to like, the politics of different departments and you want to make sure that, yeah, you’re not you’re not trying to appease marketing at the expense of support or something like that.

Ryan Roch  09:47

If you’re solving every problem with a customer with with the sales group, you know, is the product group gonna listen to you? Yeah. You just want to do whatever the sales group wants to do.

Adam Avramescu  09:56

Yeah, yeah, that’s a really good point. And yet, you actually need their powers combined in some ways, because you’re not going to make it through to the end with just one God, you actually are going to need multiple gods complementing each other. It says kind of the same thing, right like, like, if you are trying to solve problems with sales and with marketing, and with product and a little bit with support or something like that, that might be your build, to get to the end, customer education,

Dave Derington  10:24

customer education, the card building game, all right,

Adam Avramescu  10:27

I have 100% of it, they don’t they don’t track it, like as such. But like I was saying, and I’ll come back to the I’m gonna come back to the Olympian gods in a moment, your first goal is going to be just to like get out. Once you get out, you get sent back to the beginning. And you’re going to keep, you’re going to have to keep beating it and keeping it and keep beating it to progress the story. So just beating at once, and just getting out once does not end things by any means. And then once you play it a certain number of times, you get kind of like more of an ending that like resolves a lot of the main story, but there’s still a lot to do afterwards. So I’ve kind of I’ve 100% in all of that. But then what they do is they start adding difficulty levels to like make the game harder and harder for yourself and you earn more rewards and get more powerful. So I’ve kind of like 100% of all of that, too. And I’ve done all the like decorating and all the datings. And that’s cool. So

Dee Kapila  11:24

it’s like a mild maduras mask vibe here with this.

Ryan Roch  11:27

I asked the question about playing through to 100%. Because do you often do that? In other games?

Adam Avramescu  11:33

I’m a completionist. So if I care about the game, like what once there’s the point where I’m committed, I will try to 100% it

Dee Kapila  11:40

get this one on account on your academy.

Adam Avramescu  11:44

Only only if I’m invested in what you’re teaching. Yeah,

Ryan Roch  11:48

I think I was just thinking about that. Because there’s something in that to customer education, where they’re making you do the same thing over and over and over and over again. Yeah, just like

Adam Avramescu  11:58

work? Yes, yes. But they’re getting

Ryan Roch  12:01

you through making it more challenging and more repetitive keys to make it less challenging, even though you’re taking bigger bites. And that is kind of the key to like making people stay.

Adam Avramescu  12:15

So you hit on exactly what I wanted to talk about, about the repetition within a roguelike. And this brings me back to the point I wanted to make about the boons that the each of the Greek gods have, because each time you’re gonna play with a different build, and it totally changes the way that you play the game. So even before you get any new weapons, new powers, new anything, just playing with a different combination of powers from different gods, gives you a different experience every time. So like, that’s what I wonder it’s like, without trying to like overly gamify things. Can we create ways within customer education, which is inherently a repetitive experience? Because you’re like taking courses, you’re reading articles, you’re like, you’re doing the same type of stuff over and over as you try to learn a product? Like, is there a way to make each time you revisit that experience, like, a little bit different or a little bit unique? In a way that gives you the motivation to keep doing that repetitive thing over? I

Dave Derington  13:07

had an idea on that besides just like take course earn badge take course, you know, you know, one of the things that and this is probably wholly impractical. But one of the things about game design, we were actually talking about this a long time back when we were kind of doing a game jam for Gainsight. And we’re like, Okay, let’s take an admin role. When you start out an administrative role it like, at least in that application, it’s very tactical, there’s so much complexity to it. And it’s overwhelming. And one of the problems we had in educating that market was like, Where the heck do we start? Right? Like, it’s too much, it’s too much for me, it was too much for me as an educator. So we had like, start paring it back. And one of the great ideas that I thought one of my teammates had was, why don’t we somehow go talk with product about limiting the acid limiting what our customers have, have visibility to off the cuff, not exclude them from it, they can immediately toggle that, but start to layer in more complexity into the UI into the experience, so that we can educate and in part it off. So you don’t get this massive thing. In Gainsight, that would have been like a limited toolkit, you know. And at first you get this once you start once you earn that badge or whatever that says, Okay, I’m a basic, you know, admin level one, boom and unlocks the next series. And now I can progress through that. Because I think a lot of this is like the Metroidvania aspect, right? The the best games, what we learned in game design, is to not overwhelm that don’t don’t provide all that cognitive load. It’s the same as an education, where if we have to have too much cognitive load, you’re going to turn in games, you’re going to quit the game. And the best games are the ones that get you over that, like, you know, when

Adam Avramescu  14:43

and they do that through scaffold scaffold. We haven’t really talked a lot about scaffold we like we’ve described it several times without really defining the concept. And so like, what’s what’s the quintessential example is like Mario level one one, right? Like that’s a scaffolding experience. Because if you just got your Nintendo And it’s 1985. And you don’t know how these games work, you’ve got your controller, you don’t know what Mario is going to do. So you what do you do you like pressed up and like watch him jump you Button Mash? Then you’re going to run forward, because you finally figure out how to do that. And the first thing you see is the Goomba. Well, what are you gonna do, you’re gonna run into the goombay, you’re going to die, reset. Now you’re going to learn that you have to like jump over the goon binary jump on the Goomba. Okay, then you move forward, then you get the one up mushroom and right, all of that, right, like, so it’s teaching you

Dee Kapila  15:27

later and gives you Hey, you catch up on this one. Exactly. Right. And

Adam Avramescu  15:31

then right, then there’s like pits where before there weren’t. So like, essentially what they’re doing is they’re like adding elements one at a time to get you really good at the thing that you’re already good at. Yeah. Now, Hades has that too, right? Like you start with the sword, you’re gonna play with the sword until you’re ready to play with something else. You start with a more limited set of boons that you can get access to before other gods start showing up and helping you. So it’s like very similar in terms of that, like, scaffolding or like some might call that sort of like progressive disclosure. Yeah. And that’s, that’s really key for customer education, too. You don’t want to throw it all out there at once.

Dee Kapila  16:05

That’s interesting, because it makes me think to like when we’re thinking about our products, like use cases, kind of map on to what you’re saying lightly, right? Because there are going to be some use cases that are super straightforward. And so it’s like having a weapon of some kind, right? Like, okay, like, let’s say, sword is easier for me to use. And this use case is a little bit more straightforward. Like an example in mirrors, like meetings or workshops, well, scratch workshops, that can be complex, but meetings, it’s a little bit more straightforward. And then to your point, it’s like, you’re kind of now going to use size, like a pair of size. Okay, well, that is workshops, because it’s kind of multipronged it’s a little bit more complex. And so it’s like almost like educating. Within that use case. Could maybe I’m trying to stretch into that, right. And like one of the things that it’s the thing that I think you guys have talked about in this podcast before, too, and that we you know, all talk about, it’s like, don’t teach you the features, but teach that value, right? It’s like adding value within that having that case study like what really is your customer trying to do within your product, as opposed to like, yes, this

Adam Avramescu  17:05

panel, well, I’m like pushing back on customers in some ways, because like, they want to see the end state and wanting to see the end state is not the same as wanting to teach the end state. So like, I want to see your product fully decked out, I want to see the Ardo possible, I want to see them doing everything. And then you like, have a conversation with them about what’s the training plan going to be. And like for slack, for instance, it’s I want to see all of these, like lines of business use cases fully built out all the integrations in there, and then we have to, like kind of push back on the customer and be like, okay, like, are people working in channels? Are they just DMing each other? Are they like reading and conversations? So it’s like, you have to like, really meet the customer where they are, and not just like, throw all the fancy stuff in front of them and overwhelm them? Yeah, you have

Ryan Roch  17:43

to build a vocabulary and a shared language with them. And what you’re talking about with the Mario thing is a perfect example. You’re letting them drive the action. But it’s still linear track. We actually stole that approach of of limiting access to specific parts of the product in this in this company that I left recently. Because users were overwhelmed. Yeah, because it’s just too much stuff. And it’s all in our language. Yeah. So they would see it, and they’d go, nope. And go. And then so we found out what roles we service the most. And we started serving experiences based on that. Yeah, you can only if you log in, and you’ve been assigned this user role, this is what you see. And then of course, what would happen is, they would see something else that somebody else can do, and they will come and ask you a question. And then you can take them a little journey. And that’s how we build.

Adam Avramescu  18:38

Yeah, yeah, it’s like helping develop the customer’s schema. Or like, schema is kind of a fancy word like like, the Heath brothers. If you read Made to Stick, they talk about it as like, the curse of knowledge. Right? Like you have the curse of knowledge about your own product. Cuz you know, all the nuance. You can see all the peaks and valleys in the customer can’t, right? They’re like, sitting there looking at this like flat landscape, and they can’t tell where they’re supposed to walk or where there might be enemies hiding behind walls or whatever. And

Ryan Roch  19:06

they walk around and there’s nothing to do and they go. Yeah,

Dee Kapila  19:10

that’s right naturally, do we do it all the time. And we even have that issue in, you know, the two episode podcasts that we’ve started, which is like, right, we’ll start saying something about Marvel. And I’ll be like, hold on for people who like, you know, have just seen the movies, this thing you’re talking about is from the comic books from the 80s. Like, that has not been read. It like still exists like can you go back even musing retcon right now probably not great right

Adam Avramescu  19:32

retroactive continuity when you later in a series that is serial in nature, they go back and change something about the past that was supposed to have been true the whole time.

Dee Kapila  19:42

Yeah, yeah. Thank you. Beautiful.

Dave Derington  19:45

Yeah, read.

Adam Avramescu  19:46

David. I have to do this too. Right. Like what like we’ll be talking about like someone we talked to on the podcast like a year and a half ago, right and like will reference that episode and is like, Oh, wait, like, we value 70 episodes now. Not everyone’s gonna listen to all So we have to like, go back and explain like, Oh, that was Maria man chat. And she leaves the education services practice at Tsia, which is the technology services industry association. Yeah. And she was talking about the fee to free spectrum anyway. Yeah. So it’s like to go back and like, meet your orders where they are. Yeah.

Ryan Roch  20:18

Well, all of these topics lead into the thing that I am here to talk about. And I cheated. No. So I cheated, because I’m talking about a series that encompasses books, television,

Dave Derington  20:33

and yeah. Oh, yeah. Amazing. So

Ryan Roch  20:36

I thought about a few different things we could talk about. I was gonna do a game to just one specific game like the Metroid games, but he’s doing and honestly, I kind of thought we keep it current. So

Dee Kapila  20:48

I told him not to go to games. Right, pick something

Ryan Roch  20:57

like everything else. I still found myself. I still found my way to games. So I picked the Witcher see, oh, yeah, an original series of novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish author started coming out in the in the 90s.

Adam Avramescu  21:10

Is that what came first the novels convert? Okay, the novels game.

Ryan Roch  21:13

And then video games started coming out PC games. And then the TV show? Well, there were actually some European versions of the show, like some TV movies. But you know, we haven’t seen those.

Adam Avramescu  21:26

Yeah, they don’t count.

Dave Derington  21:30

Americans.

Ryan Roch  21:31

But it’s funny, because the first, the first thing that I ever did was I tried the third game. And my experience was not optimal. And I came back to it through the investment that I generated in the TV show. And in the novels, I gained a certain appreciation, and commitment and investment in these characters in the story that caused me to go back and give the game another try on its terms, that there’s a, there’s a statement that a friend of mine made recently, which is Witcher three is the best game with the most caveats you you can ever give somebody. Okay, so hey, this is an excellent game. The first 10 hours are garbage. They’re not but

Dave Derington  22:19

they’re hard. It’s really hard.

Ryan Roch  22:22

And, and there’s a few lessons that kind of tie into what we do. And so the first thing that got me into the series was this, this element of the so the character Geralt of Rivia is the main character. There’s a cast of a few different people. Geralt is what’s called the Witcher. He’s a tradesman. He kills monsters. And he takes money to do that from villagers that he has to occasionally interview. And

Adam Avramescu  22:51

now No, I haven’t seen anything of this series, but my understanding is you are supposed to toss a coin to him

Dave Derington  22:58

to do it that is that that song was so amazing. It’s an ear worm. Oh my god.

Ryan Roch  23:09

Yeah. Yeah, I It’s an official kingdom. It’s sort of medieval fantasy, which is not really my go to Tolkien and all that. But I, I gained an appreciation for this because I liked it. It’s just not a tradesman. It’s about a guy who’s highly specialized, highly skilled in his lane. And so that becomes a blessing and a curse. Because when you apply it tradesmen to epic fantasy with destiny, and all encompassing all it takes this

Adam Avramescu  23:40

register. It’s not like a chosen one narrative where like, he was like, the special person all the time. It’s like he’s just like showing up and doing Yeah,

Ryan Roch  23:47

yeah, he’s tied to the chosen one. And the prophecy as prophecies often are, is very vague. It could mean a number of things so she could destroy the world. She could save the world. But he’s tied to destiny. He becomes her adopted father after her kingdom is wiped out. And he has to help and rescue her. And he falls in love as well. So it’s this winter. Now to be clear, other people. Yeah, she’s a girl. She’s a little girl. So

Dave Derington  24:13

we’re talking series it series then yen dress. Yeah,

Ryan Roch  24:18

he has a lot of tourists, ladies. But so what I connected to was the fact that it was a tradesman who’s involved in these larger things. And what made me want to talk about is the fact that that high level of specialization will get you very far. And you told me about a book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There?

Adam Avramescu  24:40

Oh, I thought you were gonna say range. Oh, I

Dee Kapila  24:42

actually thought you were gonna say what was that other one that that’s about the generalists sort of like come back is that range? I thought you’re gonna Yeah.

Ryan Roch  24:52

Well, so you know, being an expert swordsman and being able to cast little magical science might be great when you’re fighting and I could Morrow but it’s not great when you’re Having to deal with mages who might throw your friends in jail, because you’ve offended the king and resistance to damage, which is what happens when you mutate a witch or it becomes resistant to damage. Because features are sterile witches are sterile, they can’t have kids, but they’re highly resistant to magic. They can’t be, you know, affected by mind spells or poisons or anything like that. And they’re highly efficient fillers. So resistance to damage is great, because you need a thick skin to be in customer, customer experience customer success. But it can also cause you to take on a whole lot more work, and think that you’re the person to solve every problem. So a lot of early stage Customer Success organization, everything on one customer success, person onboarding,

Dave Derington  25:51

side quests.

Dee Kapila  25:57

Training,

Dave Derington  25:59

training God,

Ryan Roch  26:01

which training is great,

Adam Avramescu  26:02

it’s not just a side quest, it’s its own skillful, you’re talking

Dave Derington  26:05

people training all these trainers training one to one or one to many not on demand, right?

Ryan Roch  26:13

So let’s say that you have a destined, you know, Destiny’s Child,

Adam Avramescu  26:18

for it’s okay, okay,

Ryan Roch  26:21

so you have a child surprise, and this child is bound to you by destiny, and you have to rear it, and give it shelter and training and help it become the best shot of destiny that it can be? Well, you’re not going to be able to do that if you’re very distracted by, you know, keeping it alive in a hostile environment that you brought it to, you know, you have to create the right conditions. But you should also maybe not take all of that on yourself, you have your own job, you got to go make money, you got to do the things that you’re judged on, you got to meet your own KPIs. So he turned to other experts, the people that you work with, who are specialized in that. So you go and ask a mage, or a priestess, to go teach her about science or this and that. And, you know, I’m kind of meandering a little bit. But what I wanted to get into with this is, it’s all about it’s all about creating the vision of safety for this girl, but the vision or the mission changes after he takes her on. So he’s no longer really very good at raising a child because he was never trained for that. And just keeping her safe isn’t really enough for her. So she wants to pursue her own destiny and learn new things.

Dee Kapila  27:37

Sounds like a customer

Adam Avramescu  27:39

it does sound like although You are making me regret not having brought in a Destiny’s Child album.

Ryan Roch  27:49

Well, so that’ll brought me to the the investments of the characters, which brought me back to the game, which has to teach you to play it on its own terms.

Adam Avramescu  27:59

So so is the relationship here maybe like you’ve got, you’ve got a game, you’ve got books, you’ve got a TV show, like, this sounds to me like having a customer education portfolio and a product that encompasses many modalities, right? You’ve got like in product education, then you’re going to go out, you’re going to look at the docs, and you’re gonna come back to the the product. And then you might go take a course take another course get your badge, come back to the product like that, you’ve got to have an ecosystem that kind of acknowledges the rest of the ecosystem.

Ryan Roch  28:29

Yeah, and the problem is I like to walk into a room or product and I like to break it. You can’t do that with Witcher three. You walk in, you walk off the path, and the first ant you meet is gonna kill you. You’re horribly underleveled you’re not prepared for anything. You say you’re dead.

Dave Derington  28:49

But let me give you my example of this. So Ryan, I agree. I agree with you that. So when I started playing Witcher and I hard bounced off this game, I never regret it, like one of my main playlists, I need to get back to it. Because it was fun. But my experience was I started like learning the things but the thing about it, is it these open worlds are so hard. I mean, I could talk about cyberpunk two, which has got the same kind of conflict Come Come over. It’s so you’ve got an open world. Well, a lot of our software is an open world. And in fact, we talked about this a little bit before. You know Gainsight was a great great example of this from a technical point of view. There’s so many things you can do. You can do anything when you can do everything what what are you going to do? Well, you need to go do something else. So the first experience I had is I I was around the first part of the world the map I started doing some stuff I got killed, the guy killed the guy kill the guy killed. I started frustrated. I didn’t I and then I got to the point where I’m doing okay, and I found myself in another area where it was so underpowered and so over leveled. And then I came back to the game and I was lost. I didn’t know where it was and I quit. And and like, but that was my fault as the customer as a user of the game. No, I was I wasn’t reading everything. I wasn’t spending the appropriate amount of time like figuring out like, Well, how do I get better? I was just trying to enjoy the game like I normally would like another game. And that was my like, that’s one of the things for customers that we need to help them counteract. Because I think there’s other people like me out there, we’re like, I’m just going to jump in, I’m going to be fine. Okay, I’ve done that with Miro, just as a recent example. And mostly I’m fine, I get it. But there’s so many things I can learn. And I’m like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put the blinders on, I’m gonna focus on a track, I’m gonna learn this thing, and then extend, extend, extend. So that’s like something we actually need to educate our customers about to like, give them like hazard like say, Hey, this is there’s a lot, let’s pare back focus on this.

Adam Avramescu  30:46

Yeah, but it’s like, sort of like, like, they need to go. What’s what’s the right example here? Like, go watch the TV show or something like that and get like, on the TV show before emotional cashback and like, try it? Yeah, exactly. Like without that investment, like, you’re not going to necessarily take a course on neuro or on Slack or something like that, right? Because the feeling is, if this doesn’t already just fit into what I’m doing in my day to day like, I don’t necessarily care about your product.

Dave Derington  31:11

But you’re impoverished, it might not

Dee Kapila  31:13

be that that’s even a moment for education, right? Like the thing that that you were just describing is more about like, Okay, now it’s like an opportunity for you to detect the struggle like struggle, the tension server thing in the moment, that might be all they need. They don’t need to go take a course they don’t need to go to a webinar, they don’t need to go to the Help Center. There’s literally one thing in there, and it could be your fault, right? Like, fix it for them by detecting something like that. But that is also customer.

Adam Avramescu  31:38

Yeah, that’s that’s like more of an opportunity for like proactive education and proactive support, which I’m hoping that we’ll get Filburn on in an episode next year to talk about how intercom does that because he’s super cool. And they’re super cool. One last thing that like occurs to me like Ryan, when you were talking about the idea of learning to play a game on its own terms. I’m going to completely bastardize this because I haven’t played the games, but I watched a really good video essay on YouTube about the games. Is the soul sizes. Anyone

Dave Derington  32:09

could Lord Yeah, you talk about a hard churn. I hard churn. Yeah, I gave up. I’m like, this is like fun for me.

Adam Avramescu  32:18

Okay, so what so what this series was talking about, and y’all will know more than I will. So I’m gonna, like, give you the outline of it. And maybe you could fill it in is like, they made many games in this series. And if you started playing them, starting with the first game, the game was actually teaching you to play it the wrong way, because it wasn’t giving you the right options to play it on the developers terms, right? What they were doing is they were giving you like a big shield. And you could like play the whole game behind the shield. And so you’re like playing it really slowly. And you were just kind of like peeking up behind the shield and like, you know, kind of like, yeah, putting your spear on the enemy or whatever. So finally, they released a game in the series, I think maybe it was Dark Souls where like, you don’t get the shield. And so that game actually forced you to like go and like time your hits, and like play a little bit more riskier, play a little bit more quickly. And if that was your first game, and you went back to the other games afterwards, that was already how you’re playing the game, you would never think to play with the shield because Dark Souls or whatever game this was like had taught you to play it a little bit more riskily and that’s like kind of the way you’re supposed to play it but there’s risk like when you tie that back to the idea of customer education and like kind of like teaching your customers to use your product the wrong way oh my god that’s a good because maybe you just like throw all the

Dave Derington  33:35

features that’s such a good point out I’m because what you’re talking about is something I think that many people in the space might do like go back to kitchen sink thinking go back to you know, a stage into somebody that you get into a customer education role and there’s like blood right and because you know it you have the curse of knowledge and you start to teach somebody with what you know, you may be giving them the wrong the wrong starting place there you may be wait two or three steps down the road like your what you’re saying is we talked about all of it. Yeah, before you taught them how to like make games. That’s what infuriated me about that the Soul series I tried to play it and I’m just like, I just I feel defeated before and I find

Ryan Roch  34:18

one until I decided I was going to try and get into it and I got the remake of demons. And I played it for about two hours of pure rage. And I just threw it down there done my like

Dee Kapila  34:32

lots of villagers.

Ryan Roch  34:36

If only there were villagers, you have to go and talk to other warriors who are dead. And they’re boring. They got no quests, they just want to buy things or sell things. Give me Give me Give me somebody who at least in wisher thing. It teaches you how to play it because they tell you from the beginning. Follow the path. gather feedback I understand pain of the villages. Yeah. customer problems with integrity, like if somebody pays you to do something, and then they’re like, actually, I just need you to kill Steven, he saw

Dave Derington  35:15

on your team

Ryan Roch  35:19

your problem and hold people accountable. So you know, if somebody hires you to go kill a griffin, and then really they were just trying to use you to cover up crimes against other villagers hold them accountable. Yeah, hey, I know I won’t get the 500 oranges that you promised me. But I will get to watch you suffer while the other village is tearing you apart. So that’s good enough for me. Maybe they’ll be

Dee Kapila  35:47

brutal, this life of a witch.

Adam Avramescu  35:52

Witch in ain’t easy.

Ryan Roch  35:54

But it really is about following the path you have. If you stay on that one little area, and you follow the appropriate missions that are at your level, it’ll teach you how to play the game, it’ll teach you how to play the game for a couple hours. And then you still can’t be Skyrim you can’t walk over the mountain and kill a dragon. It’s gonna kill you. But eventually,

Dee Kapila  36:15

you will get there. I like what you’re saying about pulling in that posse to bring to bear other expertise as a part of that path and journey are taking so important.

Ryan Roch  36:24

In the show. We just wanted to say the season that came out, he knows that he can really spend the time or

Dee Kapila  36:33

he can’t train her on everything to make her the best that she can be his to bring in people for potions, versus like fighting which he can handle?

Dave Derington  36:41

That’s an instructional design, isn’t it? You know, isn’t it? Well, there’s,

Adam Avramescu  36:46

there’s a couple of things in there, right? It’s like number one is bringing in a variety of experts from your company and kind of like giving them personalities. Like if you’re going to do an academy, I always find it very engaging when you’re learning from people who have expertise in the different areas. And it’s not just the same Narrator The whole time, you’re kind of like mixing up people based on their specialties. And in fact, that might be the answer to what we talked about earlier, which is like how do you get that like, hey, these different boons effect, it might actually be by having different experts or different facilitators with different styles kind of teach you in their own way that might be a way in. But you know, there might also be something here about the way that we work with our product teams, like when we, when we talk to our product teams, and we’re talking about onboarding tour is like, they typically want to like expose people to as much of the product as possible, but they have the curse of knowledge. And like, we typically want to keep people on rails and essentially give them Clippy. And that is like the the fundamental tension between customer education and product a lot of the time once you’re actually sitting down to design something half the time that the problem is actually like talking to your product team. Like, maybe there’s something there to be mined in the conversations you have with your product team. And I am thinking about the day of the last podcast we released with Christy Hollingshead from HIPAA, and she was talking about building these relationships with your product team. I wonder if there’s something to be said there like Like, could the product somehow be gamified during the onboarding Tour, where it’s like, if you the customer do try to like wander off from the starting area? Let them but maybe give them like the appropriate warning about what’s gonna happen like like, Here Be Dragons.

Dave Derington  38:20

Wait, wait, but this is you’re welcome to do it. Here we go. Dangerous to go it alone. Take this. Yeah, you know that. But this is that there’s actually a book that I’m gonna recommend folks read. Like I showed this earlier. It’s the the art of game design. And I use this for the video game design course that I taught Jesse Schell wrote this and actually talked to him at one point is really cool guy. Shell games is the company how used to be an imagineer at Disney. But the reason I like this book actually don’t have the deck with me. But there’s a deck of cards. And sometimes when I’m developing content, there’s this is called the Book of lenses. So for example, lens, number one I pulled this up earlier is the lens of the essential experience. So use this lunch, you stopped thinking about your game, let’s say you stop thinking about your customer education program, and start thinking about the experience of the person using your software. Right, I’m changing the wording here. Ask yourself these questions. What experience do I want to have my customer to have? What experience does the customer want to have? What’s essential of that experience? How can my experience capture the needs that they have? Right? Like these are the kinds of things game design, and I feel like I’ve gravitated to this industry? Because there’s these elements of game design. And we haven’t talked about that explicitly. But I think fundamentals of game design are what can squish product and customer education together. Because what we’re really doing is telling a story, we’re helping to narrate the experience. And what you’re talking about here is that next level that I think customer education aspires to be where we’re integrated with product and we’re using I’m gonna say a telemetry product allometry like a pig I mean, a video game does is it shows your like, I was playing some I was playing a robotics game Roblox game with my Son, and I went out of balance and it started killing me. And I’m like, Great, okay, cool, I’m gonna die fortnight does this, you know it can it decreases the zone. But that we don’t want to limit the players experience at the same time we want to nudge them. And if the Holy Grail for us is if we can in product outside of product, whatever, like I can be moving along in the product, it’s a hey, you know what, you’re not quite ready for that? How do we say that? Did you know I bet you did know that if you went to this part of the application, you could achieve this outcome, oh, this is a one minute video, or I get an email the next day. And now these are these happen. I don’t know if you’ve gotten these, but I’ve been I will do something and all of a sudden, I’ll get an email from somebody that might have been on a website. And it’ll say, Hey, did you know blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, like, Okay, well, this is spooky. But I know that the product, the game, the platform is coaxing me down a path. And I think this is where we don’t have an air. Like, we don’t have strong connective tissue with product. I think education is part of the product. I mean, we should be abstract, we should be flowing through the whole company, we should think like game designers. And we should think about, we’re building an experience. And if we’re not really using everything, all the tools in our toolkit, I think commonly a lot of people in education, the first thing they do is go, Hey, I’m getting on a webinar. All right, great, go have fun. But we’ve got all these tools we can we can build into product, we could do micro learning, we could do whatever. And they’re all valid, yeah.

Dee Kapila  41:26

Whether they’re in the product or not, like important to have that relationship with your product team. Like I have a team that’s embedded within our product team. Actually, the last three jobs I’ve had in customer education, I insisted on starting those teams. And that’s probably because I started in product, right. So I have a clear sort of like, understanding of how those two things work together because it was in product management education. So I’ve never seen the two is separate, right. But then I kind of came into the industry formally, and they never talked to each other. But I think the tough thing is is it, that’s a harder thing it takes time to build and so much of when like a new team is starting up. Like you’re sort of told make impact quickly, well, that’s not going to be your quickest impact, right? So then you have to have these other things that you’re sort of rolling up while you’re playing that long game. With that in product kind of, you know, embedded.

Adam Avramescu  42:17

Yeah, and like depending on like how how your product team operates, or how close you are in the org, or how much your incentives aligned, like you might not be able to have some of those conversations where you can get more opinionated together about the experience that you’re offering, like, you might not be able to scaffold in the way that we’re talking about immediately

Dee Kapila  42:34

on, you know, just like very simply to It’s now three teams that are deciding alongside several, you know, priorities, what’s going to come out when, whereas in customer education doing a webinar or a chorus, it’s just you, yeah, you’ve got you can

Adam Avramescu  42:47

do it. But you got to in some ways, you got to be able to like stand up and say, like, hey, we do this together, right? Like Christie said this in the same episode, we’re talking about like, go slow to go fast, right, you’re gonna get more results, if you do it together. And you do it with intention, versus just like continually trying stuff that is easy to just throw out there. And then you’re probably gonna have to like roll back at some other points, or like trade in the card from your deck.

Dave Derington  43:10

I’ll say one thing about that, like, while we say all of this, it’s really hard, particularly if you’re moving really fast and growing really fast. I’ve had leaders tell me, like, No, you should be able to figure this out on yourself. You don’t need to talk to anybody. You don’t need subject you all you become subject matter experts. And I’m like, Bs, it’s never gonna happen. We have to, we have to be mashed that that works with everybody. But with intentionality, like you were saying D like, why are we talking to product? We’re not any different from product? Why are we talking to customer success? Hey, they interface with the customer every single day, if we’re not doing that, and product doesn’t in the same way. And then you’ve got all these other teams. So we’re an array of like, what

Adam Avramescu  43:48

do you have to get like really comfortable, like getting, getting opinionated and kind of like flexing that muscle of saying like, well, yes, we can do that. Here are the trade offs if we do that.

Dee Kapila  44:00

And also just understand, like, impact versus like, you know, like in real life anatomy. And I’ve been talking about this a lot recently, like in your personal life, when you’re trying to be quote, unquote, successful. You’re doing small things every day to make sure that you can hit those goals, right, like eating healthy, but you’re not just eating healthy on Sundays, like you’re eating healthy, you know, all the time, we all days a week or an 8020 model. You’re trying to exercise or move your body in some way you’re trying to I don’t know, meditate, whatever it is read anything that that you need to do, but at work somehow we tend to be a little more short sighted. And we’re like, let’s do this, like super impact thing immediately. Let’s do this thing. Ooh, quarterly OKRs are here like what can we push into those are like dopamine hit right and also like to be able to prove value and play the political game and all of that, but really, it’s like, you just need a structure to be able to sort of say, alright, what quick hits Can I have while I’m building this huge thing that’s going to have a payoff and what’s that medium thing? And you know, it’s sort of like big rocks medium little Yeah,

Adam Avramescu  44:58

like you’re not gonna build like sustain Will customer education roadmap or product strategy based purely off of like skimming yourself,

Dee Kapila  45:04

you’re not and you’re not going to get great input from your customers if you only talk to them every now and then like you have to talk to customers every single week because a lot of that like case study value that you can bring to them comes with consistent conversations where that nuance is visible to you week over

Adam Avramescu  45:18

Yeah, you heard it here first, folks, you might not like it, but talk to the villagers.

Dave Derington  45:23

Hey, that’s coming from me, oh my god, we’re using that in the show regularly, call it talk, talk to the villagers.

Ryan Roch  45:29

It’s that consistency in talking to the villagers, I’m sorry, this is just that consistency is how you stay aligned on outcomes and customer success. So I spent all of my time thinking about outcomes mutually agreed upon defined based on KPIs, you know, I made a joke to her earlier like, girl finds a child by the law of surprise. That’s awesome for guiding destiny but it’s it’s not any way to guide the customer success outcome. It’s not any way to depend. define success is basically what I’m saying. Like it’s a great way to guide your your destiny, but not your outcomes with your customers. Customers not gonna be happy if one of the KPIs they find out later is their unborn child.

Dave Derington  46:19

So much mesh now it’s getting messy. Hope is not

Adam Avramescu  46:21

a strategy analogy. And hope is not a strategy. Yeah. All right. So perhaps we should move on to our grab bag. How does the grab bag work?

Dee Kapila  46:33

Okay, so we’re just going to be short with the grab bag, like just do a quick like two or three minute pitch on a thing that you love that you would like everybody else here to watch, read, play, whatever it is.

Ryan Roch  46:49

I’ll get it started. Okay, go for it. Grab Bag item. December 3, the new album by 90s underrated band failure dropped. And it’s like 20 minutes shorter than any of their other albums. It’s just, they jammed for three months, boiled down hours and hours and hours and hours of music to 45 minutes. And it’s a quick hit. It’s lush, dense. It sounds amazing. And I love it.

Dee Kapila  47:18

Nice. Vinyl. Not so much.

Ryan Roch  47:23

Digital Downloads. Go to the Bandcamp don’t give Apple or Spotify money. Go to their Bandcamp right, drop 20 bucks.

Dave Derington  47:30

I got a new one. Have any of you heard of ring of pain? No, no. Okay, it’s new roguelike it came out on Game Pass. So if you have Microsoft, it’s everywhere. It’s platformer. Oh my, if you like slay the spire, this is one up from that. It’s basically really dark you’ve got How do you describe it, it’s kind of a card game. But instead of a traditional card game now you’re collecting like kinda like boons, assets, potions, things like that they, they are an array below your thing. So basically have a ring so you can move left or right. And you could pass enemies or treasure and you have to get to an exit. So every level is like a rotating ring. And as you kill the things a ring can get smaller. And it is it’s just a joy to play. It’s just it’s like really smooth. I wouldn’t call it silky it’s harder. But the game mechanics are just so much fun and interesting. And it just you feel good about it. And even when you die you want to play again it’s just a really nice fun game everybody should play if you like work lights likes things like that

Dee Kapila  48:46

although the show mine is only mirrors in the building, the other thing that was good so cute. Aesthetics, yeah, Steve Martin Short. And then Selena Gomez. Oh, and I love when people do like intergenerational friendships on a show like it’s just like such a delightful topic. So they’re in a New York fabulous like apartment building condo building and a murder happens. And they’re solving it and they’re also doing a podcast while they solve it because like true crime con podcasts have this like huge thing. And the vibe and the aesthetics and the the person who composes this just like hits it’s so I mean, I listened to it. Like for fun while getting ready to work. In fact, Adam was over for dinner like a month ago and my playlist on Spotify ran out and automatically started playing that he’s like, is this Hulu? Actually it is it’s a soundtrack it’s great. If you love kind of mysteries, but you also love when people hold it back and they don’t do like gratuitous violence and Lundblad This is amazing. I highly recommend it.

Adam Avramescu  49:57

It’s a little like that show search party but instead of it being like entitled millennial aesthetic. It’s like the New Yorker aesthetic.

Dee Kapila  50:04

And classic like this will stand the test of time.

Adam Avramescu  50:07

Yeah, search party is also good. Okay. I’m going to do a TV show. But before I do a TV show, I do want to give a quick like 15 Second plug for an album because I’ve been listening to it recently. And it’s really it’s really just struck me. The album is called fatigue. And it’s by an artist called Lorraine who has been popular lately. This is L apostrophe rain, like the thing that falls on you. Yeah. That’s like the the alias of this person. Her name is Tanya cheek. And I think she’s in Brooklyn. But the album itself is this like, really, like unsettling experimental, multi genre like multi instrumental, I think she’s playing most of the instruments on the album. And so like the moment you turn it on, it’s like completely unsettling. It’s like hitting you with little like blips of noise. And as the album goes on, it kind of like coalesces, which has got all these little like Song fragments in there. But in some ways it makes when you get to, like the longer form songs, almost more cathartic. And the best song on there, in my opinion, it’s also I think, for most popular songs, so maybe I’m just basic like that. But it’s called to face and it’s this like, almost like, Afro Caribbean, like Latin jazz inflected songs. So it’s like, a very personal album, but she’s also kind of like talking about her experience as a black American in there. Anyway, listen to it really good. No, that’s it. Maybe that maybe that should just be my recommendation.

Dave Derington  51:43

There you go. No, I’m

Dee Kapila  51:44

intrigued. He’s awesome. You

Ryan Roch  51:45

felt the need to give the name of the album? I didn’t need to do that.

Adam Avramescu  51:51

I don’t know. It was it was you know, it was because I looked it up recently. And like, i less than less I know what the names of any albums are. Because you

Ryan Roch  51:58

put them on? You didn’t mention it. I forgot to mention the name of mine.

Adam Avramescu  52:02

What is the name of it, you know, is wild. Okay.

Dee Kapila  52:07

So we’ve got some good stuff now for the holiday season. Yeah, to go through. Awesome.

Adam Avramescu  52:14

I won’t I won’t say I won’t describe my other one. But I will say, Nathan, for you. I will I will talk about this at length at some other point. It’s a show. I think it just made it to HBO Max. It’s a Comedy Central show. And a lot of a lot of people who know me know that I love this show. And in fact, I think like the worst burn that you could get against me is loving Nathan for you is not a personality. So all I’ll say is like Go Go watch Nathan for you.

Dave Derington  52:41

Fair. All right. All right, friends. This is lovely. Thank you all for having us. Let’s do our outro

Adam Avramescu  52:48

yeah, thanks for coming on. Are you saying Andy sang with us?

Dee Kapila  52:51

Yeah, we’re gonna have to have you guys come on next time to start thinking of like a big thing that you want to argue about, like a hot take and some pop culture thing.

Adam Avramescu  52:59

I’m bringing Nathan for you to your show.

Dee Kapila  53:01

I’m gonna do that one and do it.

Adam Avramescu  53:03

What are you bringing? Dave?

Dave Derington  53:04

I don’t know yet. I’ll surprise you.

Adam Avramescu  53:06

Okay, well, surprises. Well, if you listener love surprises, we have a podcast website with remarkably few surprises, but a lot of great content at customer dot education. There you can find show notes and other surprises. And if you found value in this podcast, we would love it if you could share it with your friends, your peers and your network to help us find the others. Where are we all on Twitter? I’m at MSU

Ryan Roch  53:33

Ryan rock’n’roll.

Dee Kapila  53:35

I’m looking mine up. I’m on Twitter all the time, but I changed my name a lot. So give me one second here I’m at decomp Isla de Capella All right

Dave Derington  53:41

now I met Dave Derington Special thanks to Alan Coda are amazing musician who’s providing our theme music. And we know many of you are subscribed right now the last thing we’ll ask are the most important thing we’ll ask is that if you’d like this, if you have fun with us you enjoy the spontaneity and the cool ideas. Hey, give us a five star review. We appreciate it makes the algorithms really happy. And to our audience thanks for joining us get out there educate, experiment and most important just like we did today, find your people

Adam Avramescu  54:16

find find he’ll he said he said on on Apple podcasts. Find your items find your Dave’s find your keys and find your DS thanks everyone. Cheers

54:25

Bye!

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