Will Bachman 00:01
Hey, welcome to Unleashed the show that explores how to thrive as an independent professional. I’m your host Will Bachman and today I’m excited to have a good friend of mine on the show Umbrex member Kai Han Crippen Dorf, who has quickly pulled together an amazing summit to raise funds for people that are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. And without any further intro, Kai Han, welcome to the show. Tell us a little bit what you’ve got going on.
Awesome. Thank you all for having me here. Yeah, we have been able to really, it was a surprise to us how quickly this came together. But we’re we’ve organized a summit of some of the world’s leading thought leaders in strategy and innovation transformation. They’re donating one hour of their time to delete deliver a one hour zoom presentation. So picture two days, packed with 22 of 10, one hour zoom presentations. And all of the proceeds go to support nonprofits are helping people deal with COVID-19. But I mean, what was really remarkable was the the outpouring of support from these thought leaders we have, for example, Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times. Writer, Roger Martin, who was rated the number one thought leader in the world by thinker’s 50, a good friend of mine and others, I think that listen to this podcast is Rita McGrath, she was ranked the number one thought leader in strategy, and she’s a Columbia professor and I could go on, but these kinds of people that you know, otherwise are in really high demand that they are agreeing to volunteer their time to be part of the summit.
Will Bachman 01:55
Great. So while we talk about it, let’s first just get the name of the summit out there and where people can go and find about it online and the dates of it. So as we discuss it, if people want to be checking the website, where can people go?
Great. So it’s called the out thinker, 2020 virtual summit out thinker with two T’s. The the website name is a little bit of a mouthful summit dot out thinker, roundtables.com. But I think if you just Google out thinker, 2020 summit, it should pop up.
Will Bachman 02:28
Okay, great. And we’ll include that link in the show notes. So and, and when is it again?
April 6, and seventh. Okay, fantastic. Danna Tuesday. Yeah. So we thought we needed we should move quickly. The while COVID is really an issue. We want to raise money quickly while people need it. And no, knock on wood. Hopefully, we’re all praying that this will not be a prolonged crisis, although it might be. But we know people need help now. So we worked hard to move very quickly on this.
Will Bachman 03:04
Yeah, this is incredible. And I took a look at your website. And it looks like something that’s been in planning for months. So I was blown away when I saw it yesterday, that you know how quickly it pulled this thing together, I want to talk about a few different things on the show, Kai. And I’d like to number one, go through the story of how you pulled this specific one together, and just how you went about reaching out to folks and, and doing that. Number two, I’d love to go through for someone who’s listening to the show and wants to do something similar. Maybe you want to organize a summit for your industry or on some functional topic, or, you know, whatever topic, what are some of the tools that you have used to pull this together in terms of you know, how people will actually be presenting how the technology used to, you know, collect funds, just all the different technology tools if someone wants to set up a summit on their own. And then number three, maybe we can get in a little bit more into the content of what people will see if they attend your summit, and what some of the topics will be and maybe hear about a few more of the speakers. Sure. Yes. So let’s let’s jump into that first one. Just tell us how the idea came about. And how did you pull it all together?
I’ll be honest, it’s so quite uncut characteristic of me. I’m kind of a planner. And we decided so my team and I, Zack and I two of us, we decided to move so I was reading a book on luck. And in this book, she kind of breaks down what are the scientific aspects of luck. And one of them was story that she tells is a being trying to catch a train. She’s on the upper platform, the trains arriving it’s leaving in one minute she tries to go down but the escalator is going the wrong way. And she has to go all the way around to the other side. In order to get down to the other other stairs, and at first she thinks, Oh, forget it, there’s no way I’ll get the next train. But then she thought, you know what, I’m lucky. And so she moved and she ran across and got down and she got her train. And like kind of messages. If you don’t think you’re lucky, it becomes a little bit of a self fulfilling prophecy, right? Because you there are opportunities that you don’t move on, or you don’t move on quickly enough. Whereas if you’re lucky, you think, Oh, well, this will work. And so kind of with that thought in mind, Zack and I were in our, in our, in our office, little kind of block half from my house, leaning back and thinking, Okay, what are we going to do all of my speaking? schedule is like, everything’s getting canceled and postponed. We’re supposed to go to Malaysia, we’re supposed to go to London, I had all these speaking engagements lined up all not happening. And we’re like, Okay, well, what are we gonna do with this time? And I thought of that story. And I thought, okay, what’s the train? And what it occurred to us is that other speakers also in the similar situation, that their calendars is suddenly empty. There are people in need of understanding what what to do about the chaos, and really our brand promises, step into the future execute with clarity, clarity from the future. And those two things came together as saying, hey, let’s just reach out to some of our speakers that we know and say, Hey, would you be willing to do this summit? And so we started reaching out, we reached out first to Rita McGrath I mentioned earlier. And because I have a good relationship with her, she’s been very supportive. She said, Sure. Now once we had her that we could reach out to others that were less close to Whitney Johnson, Liz Weissman. These are all people who’ve been think on the thinker’s 50 list. And they started saying yes. And it sort of just snowballed from there. So I would say that was the moment right where we thought, okay, the trains leaving? Are we going to try to catch that train? Are we going to sit here and bemoan the fact that we are going to miss the train?
Will Bachman 07:00
Yeah, brilliant idea to start with someone that you know, who can be an anchor, kind of to the event, and then be credibility building when you reach out to others? Let’s just pause for a minute. You know, I didn’t really do an intro. We we’ve known each other for years, and you have always amazed me with your, you know, productivity and how much awesome content you’ve been creating. You have what four books now tell us a little bit about your,
your bio, your bio, one of them’s a rewrite of another one, but technically five books.
Will Bachman 07:35
And just tell us a little bit about your your normal practice. You mentioned, you’re doing speaking gigs. So tell us about what what you guys do it out thinker.
Yeah. So, you know, I was on the path of building a consulting firm. And I, you know, former McKinsey, and I wrote a book, and I left the firm and started kind of doing consulting based on my book. And I wrote a book on strategy. And it got me there later, I got my doctorate on this kind of theory of how people think strategically, or where strategic ideas come from. And I wrote another book on innovation and another book on strategy again, and now a new book on innovation. And so that’s my area of strategy and innovation. And we pivoted the model last year away from consulting towards speaking, because the economics are very attractive, and I really love doing it, you know, you kind of get paid for one hour speech, if you were well known, you get paid what you would get paid in four days of consulting. And it’s one hour, right? And it’s, if you’ve got the marketing, right, it’s a pretty quick sales cycle. And I just love it, doing it. That turned out to be a little bit of a Achilles heel, because while consulting maybe is, is you’re certainly depressed due to the COVID crisis. Speaking This is completely, you know, not happening. So that’s what I do. I we primarily do speak, we primarily look at run my speaking business. And we have a peer group of Chief Strategy officers have been called the out thinker strategy network, that’s kind of a paid membership group that proves has proven to be really important to us strategically, maybe less so financially, but having a peer group of kind of a niche function that is underserved. And serving them has been kind of a an important, like, foundation for us.
Will Bachman 09:36
Great. And I know in addition to your speaking to larger groups, at least until Lisa, as of last year, you were also doing kind of seminars on the out thinker process to companies to strategy groups. Is that still still part of your business?
It is Yes, it is. So yeah, my speeches are kind of like one hour versions of a one day workshop that we’ve kind of packaged. And we have as a very systematic workshop with a workbook and a book, and an agenda that’s been vetted and tested that, and we have other people now that can deliver that as well.
Will Bachman 10:16
Okay, cool. So it’s like,
it’s not a big part of our business, to be honest with you. Okay,
Will Bachman 10:21
cool. So that gives people a little background that you’re, you know, you built the speaking business. And so you have relationships with other speakers and so forth. Let’s get back to the story of how you pulled this together. So you, you came up with the idea. Then you reached out to Rita McGrath got her on board, which began reaching out to other speakers? And then tell us about some of the people so people say yes, now tell us about some of the technology and how you actually, if someone wants to do this themselves create a summit for for their niche, their people that they know, what are some of the tools and practical tips that you have for for setting something like this up?
Yeah, well, the The first thing to think about is what platform you’re going to use to deliver it. And there are a whole number of you know, there’s GoToWebinar, and there are newer platforms and the platforms that are built for virtual summits. However, we use zoom, zoom is easy for people to log on to we rarely have any kind of like firewall problems, people know how to use it, don’t have to download an app, and they can support up to 10,000 users, participants. So, you know, most summit, certainly ours will fit within that, although we would love to try to break that. So that’s one like that’s one component, the other component is taking payment. And what was interesting is that the way that people want to pay depending on geography is different. So in the United States, a stripe is very easy to use. However, in Europe, they prefer PayPal. So you want to be able to take payments from different forms just to make it easy for people to get to figure that out. And that’s next thing is how are you going to enable affiliates. So an important part of the marketing plan for us is that we partner with these non nonprofits, mostly Business School alumni clubs that are also hurting and trying to help members who are hurting, we basically have an affiliate program with them where either they get a discount, and or they get an affiliate, or share, like a percentage of tickets sold that go to the nonprofit. And so you need to be able to enable that the event right does allow that they’re, they’re a great, it’s a great platform to consider. So you don’t have to put so many pieces in place. So I think those are like the three primary systems, if you will, I guess another thing that really helped. And, and we got this from an article that we found on how to organize and a virtual summit, which I’ll give you the link of and you can share is just using doodle to, to schedule your speakers, because going back and forth between the speakers and asking them to can you do Tuesday at three over someone else to do to say three and having to go back and forth that can turn into a nightmare, we sent out a doodle, and people could just in 30 seconds, just pick and you see the calendar fill up. What’s also neat about that was you can set up the doodle so that when someone logs on to choose their spot, they see the names of the other speakers who have already logged on. And I think it sort of enhances their excitement about being part of this. They feel like they’re not just one speaker. They’re part of a group of speakers. And these are speakers that they want to be associated with. So this is a this is the for the for technology, choices that we made, that maybe they’re better choices, but those worked or working for us.
Will Bachman 14:13
And you also pulled together pretty quickly a dedicated web page for this. Is this your normal website tool. Do you guys use WordPress or something else?
We usually use we don’t know how to do use WordPress well, so we’re building this off of a site that we built on on Squarespace. It’s a site that we could do is we have two websites where we have the out thinker.com website, which is WordPress every time we want to make a change to that we need to ask our web designer person to do it. And then we have another website that we launched a year ago on Squarespace that is out thinker roundtable calm that’s for our membership group, and that we can easily we can easily manipulate, right? So, so we’re building it off of that website that said, there is a, I’m sorry, I’ll include a link to what we used in order to create this particular page because we partnered with a group called innovators. I nn, O v numeral eight R. S. They run conferences on innovation, and they’ve run virtual conferences before. They run their own brand at conferences. But I reached out to the CEO who I knew. And I said, Hey, would you consider helping us with this conference? And we’ll kind of just pay for your time. And because it’s for good cause, he was willing to do that and do it at a bit of a discount. So he also knows how to set up these these kinds of pages. So I’ll find out which tool he used to create the page and then transport it into, into Squarespace. Alright, cool, long answer. I’m sorry.
Will Bachman 16:04
No, it was great and great, detailed answers. So. So using zoom to actually deliver the event. And so how does it work? So people sign up on Eventbrite. And then they can, with when they’re in event, right, they can either pay using PayPal or stripe. And then like, somehow, and I’ve used Eventbrite, too, it’s what we use for Umbrex events. And so that allows you to have different kind of discount codes, that would either, you know, give people a discount, or if it’s an affiliate, you know, give them a slight discount, and then you know, how much to pay, you know, or how much tissue revenue share with that club that, that sent it out to their members. And then once people sign up with the event bright, how do they then get access to the zoom? Is there like a login? Or how does that part work?
Yeah, so they get a ticket code. And that’s a unique ticket code to them, and they can use that to register. So they’re going to get an email closer to the date and say, Hey, we’re only a few days out, make sure you register and see the calendar. We haven’t created that yet, because we don’t have the calendar yet defined. And, sorry, I want to make a correction. There is we we started using event right but instead we decided to use something called ticket Taylor. gic. KTT a i l. o R. There are a lot of alternatives to Eventbrite. Eventbrite, is the most well known event, right? Despite it’s a little bit more costly in terms of the percentage that they keep. And they give you your money after the three days after the event. And so ticket Taylor’s less costly. So we ended up using this this different platform to detail a bit of essentially, it works the same way that event Brite does that you get you get a ticket code. And then a few days before the event, you get an email saying, register and then you’ll get you’ll you’ll, you’ll be able to access the zoom, you’ll get the zoom information. Now what we’re thinking of doing is just having one Zoom Room open for 10 hours each day. For 10 hours each day. Sorry, as we’re recording this, as most people are working from home and there was some background noise. No, no. That’s podcast very Tay. So that’s okay. That’s part of the whole crowd. So the so so so what we’re going to do is just have one Zoom Room open to kind of like make it feel like a real event, as opposed to different webinars that you can sign up for. So we’d like to be that you could just be there and sit there the whole time. We’ll go 15 minutes, and then a 10 minute changeover and then 15 minutes another 10 minute changeover and just do that 10 hours, day one and 10 hours day two, so they just need one zoom registration in order to in order to do that, and that makes it easier. And yeah,
Will Bachman 19:19
let’s talk now. Okay, so they get a unique registration code, which is cool. I haven’t seen Eventbrite, but I suppose event Brite can do that. I haven’t tried that aspect before. So you get a unique code as an email and then you would use that to go register at zoom. I guess people go would then go and register.
Yeah, two things. One is, as I said, we we decided not to use Eventbrite. We decided to use ticket Taylor instead of event. Right, right. Right. Right. And and, and the second thing is there are two different versions of zoom. There’s zoom meetings and their zoom webinars. Yeah. So we have to use the Zoom webinar version. The Zoom webinar version allows for registrations so that you No people can have unique registrations and you can control who has access to the event.
Will Bachman 20:09
That’s very cool. That makes sense. Yeah. Awesome.
Okay, we’re also going to record all of them and give people access to them afterwards, that’s turned out to be a really important selling point for thinking of putting on an online summit, the idea that you’re going to get to view the content on demand, as opposed to live is a big selling point. In fact, we’re talking too fast company about a partnership where they might promote the summit. And they’ve told us when they’ve done things like this 80% of the revenue has come afterwards, through the on demand offering versus a live offering.
Will Bachman 20:48
Oh, that’s, that’s amazing. So they would, and then how are you going to just practically do that as it save each one as a one hour video? And then put it on YouTube as like a private link? Or how would you practically make give people access? Have you figured that out?
We’ll stay treated as we go. I love it. You know, but it’s probably I think it’s probably gonna be Vimeo. Because we want to make sure that only people who are registered allowed to access it, because the speakers don’t want us to. They want to make the content available to participants, but they’re not giving us content to just broadcast for free. Right,
Will Bachman 21:30
that makes sense. No, it does, does. Okay. Um, okay, so that’s, and then, so that allows people who says, Oh, well, geez, I can’t take two full days to watch it. They said, Okay, I can still log in and see see it on demand, or see the speakers that I particularly wanted to watch. When I want. Yeah,
I’ve read that best practice, which I don’t know, if we’re going to have the resources and time to do it is to give them the video. But then also give them a summary. Like, have someone listened to it and write up some kind of notes. And also, other documents, like the handouts or the workbook or something like that, you can put all those things together. That makes it much more, much more valuable.
Will Bachman 22:14
Yeah, I mean, I don’t know all the time to do that, though. At a minimum, you get a transcript of each one done. Yeah. Yeah, let’s say rev.com, or some other transcripts, source, maybe someone to clean that. What is that? What do you use for I use, I use rev.com rev.com. And all my podcast episodes, there’s a transcript available for download for people that aren’t listening to me. And it’s, there’s two versions of rev, you can get the artificial intelligence version, which is super cheap, it’s like five, six cents a minute, something really low on or maybe seven or eight cents a minute, but very, very cheap. And it’s also fast. For something like this, I would recommend I go with the, the the the human, the human transcript, which is $1 per minute. And then a human actually does it. So it’s, you know, it’s pretty good. If you do the AI version, you get it back and maybe 15 minutes or 20 minutes, if it’s an hour long. If you use the human, it’s depending on how long your recording is, if it’s an hour long, it might take them up to 24 hours. If it’s shorter, you usually get it in less time. And it’s very good quality. If you have speaker names or unusual terms that you want to make sure it gets spelled correctly, then you can put in those terms that you know are those names. But otherwise, they do a pretty good job. And so I recommend rev.com. I’m sure there’s other ones out there, but it’s quite noisy. And then they just fall out to something great. Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about why. Oh, and then how are you thinking of, you know, in addition to watching the videos, will there be chances for listeners to use the chat feature and ask questions or connect with one another? Or what are you thinking beyond listening to the speakers? Any other features?
Yeah, we think that an important part of the value proposition that’s unique is that you get to interact with the speakers, not just listen to them, because like, you can kind of pick any of these speakers and find a YouTube video of them speaking. So we thought it was important to enable people to ask questions. So the way we’re going to do that in two ways. We’re using something that I think you’re familiar with, called mentimeter. Yeah, which is a really beautiful online polling tool. You typically use it standing in front of a room with a screen in front of you, but I’ve used it on your desktop at zoom you share your desktop, and people can you know, enter you can see live these things popping up. So our plan is to start off with the first five minutes asking people to shift ask to share what is their number one question about this topic and the answers will just pop up and slide up in tiles on the screen. And the that’ll inform what the speaker speaks about, then we’re going to go about 20 to 25 minutes with the speaker speaking. I’ve asked them to keep their, their their comments shorter so that we have at least 10 minutes, preferably 15 minutes after that, to have q&a. Now for q&a. It often takes a while for people to warm up that we already have a list of questions. But often those questions change after people hear the presentation because they understand what thought leaders expertise or point of view is. So they want to ask different questions. Now, it takes a little time for people to warm up and ask questions. So what we’re going to do is we’ve we’ve come up with three standard questions. One of them will certainly be something around COVID. Like, how do you see if you’re a leadership expert? How do you see leadership changing in the future because of the COVID crisis? For an economist? How do you feel the economy will look differently? Because of the COVID crisis? Right, so we’ll ask that question. And then one other question that’s common across all the speakers? And I’ll tell you why we’re going to have one common question because all the speakers, and then we’ve also asked the speakers ahead of time, what are two or three questions you would like us to ask you? So that, you know, we can neatly jump the questions, and then people will type in questions into the chat function of, of zoom. And we’re going to have a facilitator for each person to speakers really would like a facilitator because for them to be all on their own trying to set up and present and talk and also read the questions. And new people and unmute people. It’s too much. Right. So we want a co pilot, you know, so that person will read the questions, select them and, and read selected questions to the to the thought leader.
Will Bachman 26:49
Now that’s great. Having a facilitator to curate make makes a ton of sense. Yeah. So that sounds amazing. And so just maybe as we getting close to the end here, tell us you mentioned two or three in the beginning, mentioned Paul Krugman, read Rita McGrath, who are some of the other folks that I’m sure you’re all who are some of the other folks that are going to be Yeah,
I mean, I won’t give you the whole list. But I you know, I don’t know how not to be with all this. But Ming Zang. He’s the chief strategy officer, he wasn’t Chief Strategy Officer of Alibaba, kind of, you know, there as the company grew from zero to 70 billion or whatever it was. Amy Webb, she’s a futurist NYU professor. She’s the author of some some great books on artificial intelligence and, and how it might affect humanity. Whitney Johnson, She is the author of disrupt yourself. And she has this podcast that I highly recommend called disrupt yourself. And she interviews some amazing thinkers on innovation. Staci Bacall, he’s based in New York, he ex McKinsey McKinsey guy became anyway, he wrote a book called loon shots, which was rated as the number one book of the Book of the Year by the Financial Times last year. A couple more Liz Weissman. She’s the author of a book called multipliers, also called rookie smarts with a multipliers book is highly influential and she was rated by thinker’s 50 as the number one thought leader in leadership. Anyway, I could go on, but those are some of some of the speakers now that we’re going to have.
Will Bachman 28:34
That sounds amazing. Chi hand for listeners of this show? Do you have a discount code available for them?
Yes, we do. So for anyone listen to the show, if you use Unleashed 30 that will give you a 30% discount on the tickets. So u n, l EA, s h d numeral three numeral zero.
Will Bachman 29:00
That is awesome. Thank you, for that Kai Han. So Unleashed 30. And again, you know, I had mentioned he’s giving several different options for affiliate. So in this case, this one’s not a revenue share. It’s a complete discount to you. I hope us It sounds like an amazing event, I plan to sign up. And it sounds very cool to hear all these thinkers on what is going to happen next and how they would suggest reacting to COVID. So kind of what you’re doing, I think is entrepreneurial and not surprised that you would think of something like this, but it’s a great example of how while we’re all stuck at home, we can still go out there and create value. And congratulations to you for pulling this together.
No, thank you and thank you for having me on and spreading the word. Remember every ever all the ticket sales, whatever you do, you know, pay for the ticket after the discount that that goes to nonprofits, doing self good and doing the world good.
Will Bachman 29:54
So that all goes to nonprofits that are helping victims of the pandemic and other organizations fighting against it, Diane. But thank you so much for being on the show. Thank you