Mack Brothers, CEO available for hire at Arcanium

Bryon Harris

Meet Mack Brothers, CEO available for hire at Arcanium.

In the dynamic realm of start-ups, having the proper guidance and expertise is essential for achieving success. A seasoned professional, Mack Brothers offers invaluable support tailored to address start-ups' unique needs and challenges. From crafting effective go-to-market strategies to optimizing operational efficiency, Mack Brothers has a proven track record of delivering results. This article delves into the critical areas of expertise that make Mack Brothers an invaluable asset for start-ups seeking guidance and mentorship.

Arcanium gives founders access to the greatest minds and top talent from product, engineering, marketing, operations, and more.

From hourly mentorship to fully-managed, multi-team initiatives, building a company has never been easier.

See what Arcanium can do for your start-up: https://www.arcanium.vc/

Transcripts (the following transcripts are auto-generated and may have typos or inaccuracies):

there we go we're on yeah I had to hit record because we were just already starting to have an awesome conversationand um Matthew great to have you on the show thanks thanks for coming around and uh telling us a little bit about yourum your advisory and executive um services and and your backgrounds can be exciting to learn learn more aboutyour history thanks um no so we were just talking we werejust talking about um about a little bit about my background and and and and the race that I've beenon so to speak so I'm happy to discuss more yeah I mean I love this concept we were just saying how you know it's um wewere talking about the startup life cycle and saying yeah this startup journey and then it's actually it's a raceum yeah and and you're so right I mean there's so many different aspects of it that feel that way I thinkum there's this feeling of um you know competition is evolving andthings are moving quickly there's also this feeling of like hey AI is out there and blockchain is out there and allthese other Tech Trends happening that people are going to move extremely fast with and so you're always like kind ofon your toes for like what's the flavor of the month that could transform my businessum and then there's the race around um just the internal one of YK being aFounder takes a ton of time and energy and you know how far into this you knowhow many of these Journeys can I do so I got to make this one work right yeah so I'm curious yeah like I said you knowwhen people when people use the word journey to me it just conjures this concept ofum traveling along stopping at the scenic overview having a picnic um yeah you know um and that's not whatwe're doing here this is a race it may not be a Sprint all the time but it is a race and much like every race you'veever seen other than the Sprints um there's a level of adaptability to all of it and that's what we have to doto help people be successful and particularly this environment where technology is moving pretty damn quickso you've been um an executive across companies of a vast range of size and and kind ofdifferent types of roles um would you mind just kind of sharing a little bit about your background andsome of those early roles and how they um you know shaped your your view into businessyeah well thanks miles um I started my studies I wasum thinking I was going to be a doctor um everything that I was doing up until I was 22 years of age I was headedtowards medical school um even to the point where I umI went did medical research for about a year and a half uh at Duke and loved itloved every aspect of it but what I found is that I didn't like the medical part of it what I liked is themethodology the science the ability to analyze and synthesize and find those interrelations between these thesecomplex organisms and and interfaces so for me how do I apply that in a worldsituation I had the opportunity to either continue my studies maybe in the in thepsychology area particularly in Duke where behavioral economics was really starting to pop up pretty stronglyor business school and honestly business school pay me more soum it's funny how how life decisions can be made in these kind of almost seemingly random ways but then again itwas the market kind of pushing you in the right direction it sounds likeum yeah so the um and even beyond that it was kind ofinteresting is I really couldn't even afford to go to business school and the director of the graduate programs foundme a job on campus this was at the which is now called the sheller College ofBusiness at Georgia Tech uh found me a job working 30 hours a week at the oncampus high-tech business incubator called the advanced technology Development Center wow that's what acool job to start oh you get exposed to all these different entrepreneurial and innovative ideasyeah so think about it you go to class in the morning and you learn and then you go to work in the afternoon and youapply and I could not have found a better education for me it was incredibleum and I got to work with all these incredible startups and it infected me and um I've had that virus in me eversince so it's a great that started my own thing we've interacted with GeorgiaTech a bit and found that the the startup ecosystem at Georgia Tech is still vibrant we we see a coupleFounders coming out of there and some some pretty cool programs yeah well I found myself full cycle sonow I sit on The Advisory Board of the of the cellar College itselfyeah and so I get to see the full cycle of it which is fascinating to me and I just wish that people would understandthat it's not just the learning but it's the it's the application and getting your hands dirty is where you set froman experience level the real learning of most of the things that we do so uh so uh you know I got out of thereI had a lot of um experience I decided my wife ended up getting a pH into a PhD program in NewEngland we left we left Georgia um and I hung out of shingle and Istarted providing marketing services to startupsone of them hired me I actually wrote the business plan to get them into a new business anduh and they're like hey this is great why don't you come in and do it I'm like well wait a minute I'm a consultant Idon't do um I would have made those goals a loteasier if I knew I was going to have to do it um and uh that started me this was astartup in their second phase called Cambridge Energy Research Associates one of the leading research data analyticsfirms in the energy space and that started me into really nowapplying and learning about the B2B world and how to help these B2Bcompanies find their right uh commercial growth and that's where I've been focused almost entirely ever since yeahwhen I look at your career there's such an interesting Arc where it's like you came into thisthis startup um on the analytics side and then youwork in different companies in different sectors but there is this Arc from you know Forester and uh key point and allthat where um market research and analytics is a heavy component of the kind of companiesyou choose to work with and the areas you choose to work so you're on this marketing and growth side but it soundslike you've been really close to the metal on the data and analytics side as well would you mind speaking to thatjourney in that experience well the data analytics side is the coreof any good business I mean if you think about journalism and Reporting which isgreat but if you can start structuring that information uh into data and thenyou clean it making sure that it's complete making sure it's consistent you can take that data you can then analyzeit and create knowledge and insight once you've taken that insight and applied it you actually create wisdom that helpscompanies make decisions um so it starts with data they really you can't I don't think you can actuallybe a professional services provider anymore these days without getting deepinto Data um and then with the the explosion ofdata analytics um you I don't think you can actually create that level of insight andultimately wisdom for people unless you are then just um bathed in the data analytic datascience world now back in the day that was all the kind of metricsright right the data scientists of the world were the people who knew how to build economic models and algorithms nowwe've taken it Beyond with you know a lot of the machine learning a lot of even the advanced intelligence andartificial intelligence that's coming in to be able to do a lot more with different types of data but yeah at theat the at the core of it that's where it all starts right that from there you can do the research from there you cancreate the insights from there you can put the comparative and synthesis together and ultimately help people makebetter faster decisions on their changing markets yeah I love that and I think I think you're absolutely rightthat there's kind of with our capabilities in compute and storage and you know just data meshes and that theability to ask computers more and more complex questions um on the data and business intelligenceside we do see a kind of a trend from macro to micro I don't know that I've ever thought about it that way but umyou see that happening in trading too where people use you know a lot of times you're looking at fundamentals and nowyou can look at every single tweet related to an equity and you're just going into this smaller and smallerlevel and trying to Bubble up some insights um right so it's very fascinating and Ithink what you what you're saying just reminds me of the business that we're trying to create in Arcadium this idea of likeyou know we said we looked out at the talent market and we said why is everybody just helping people get a jobthey're not sticking around and seeing what happens after and that's where the magic is it's like you're not gettingthe data um and every platform was kind of doing that and we said well what if you knowum we introduced startups to people like yourselves like great um Executives but in part of that likethere's a handoff that needs to happen there so what if we built some you know embedded Integrations brought in kpidashboarding and analytics and we're able to kind of Auto generate like a standardized data room to pass to thatperson to onboard them um once that per that startup was integrated with us we'd be able to sayokay you met with mac and you did this strategy that he put together how didyour kpis change over time and of course that isn't very interesting for it'sstill interesting to me but for one or two companies but it gets really interesting if you do it for like 300companies right so that's right well I mean if you find a little bit of growth across 300 different companies you'reright you're actually starting to have some profound impact oh yeah particularly when 30 of those 300 aregoing to experience some pretty significant growth rates just because they're catching markets at the righttime so yeah no I'm uh the other thing is the ubiquity of the data it's justeverywhere now and the computers have the ability and the technology has the ability to gather it in a way that wasdifficult um or or impossible to gather in the past I mean the the iPhone right the the thesmartphone is 16 years old rightright you know uh before then we didn't have this mobile tracker we didn't havethe ability to to search for much less find you know things while we were outin the world and then also now to be able to be effectively tracked with that so it's uh it's been a quite quite agame changer here in the last part of my career awesome yeah and it's moving so fast so maybe um now I knowum this question is often hard for me to answer because of how many ndas we end up under but maybe um is there a casestudy that comes to mind that you can share around just um it doesn't have tonecessarily about be about the data side but just about how you get involved with the company like one of the problems you you helped or challenges oropportunities you helped to um to solve yeah um but I'll I'll give you one on themaybe on the data side um typically right now I'm I'm hired to doMarket due diligence strategy due diligence to come in and Mentor Executivesum to help them really with the people leadership and just overall overall leadership kind of uhstructures and capabilities a lot of it can be trained a lot of it is people think leaders are born naturally but I Iactually believe that you can you can create good leaders as well but on the the data side you know therewas a startup that wanted to get into this is a very random as a I don't workwith the b2c world all that often I've had a few that have been very interesting but one of them was acompany that wanted to break into the the diaper Market or the nappy markum and you know when they looked at their marketing mix models when they looked at understandingum how many two-year-olds there were how many one-year-olds there were how many three-year-olds they thought they had every input of information and data theywould ever need to to analyze and assess their market and they found out that they were just wrong they couldn'tunderstand what was really happening and when you really started doing the analysis and digging intoyou know the the boys that's coming out of their models you're able to kind of cut down very quickly and understandthat there was actually an economic driver embedded in that noiseum and what was interesting to me is we were able to I was able to help them kind of really quickly come tounderstand that um the unemployment rate oh yeah a random economic metric of thethousands of different you know things that you could measure even at the micro or at the macro level it was one thingat the macro level that actually really mattered and they didn't it didn't make sense at first why was unemployment ratehas an impact on diaper sales it does um higher the unemployment rate thefewer diapers people will buy they will buy a lower end diaper they will theywill use less of them on a daily basis they will stretch out their use Etc when you multiply that across a saya Western European market it's it adds upall the little things that are out there that that you can find to help peopleum technographic so Forester was known for inventing the the term technographicand inventing the technographic which is how people use and adopt uh and even theadopt technology um and so as you really kind of dig into and what we built really deeply at theenforcedure around the data side was that you're getting to the micro levelreally quickly actually matters more than the macro so it's not just how theyuse it it's what they're using it for when and why yeah context and everythingright so it's not yeah it's not just um like these these the segments you haveand how they behave it can be very Dynamic like people don't just no youknow I think I remember um this is quads are related but I remember looking at how spotify'salgorithm when they realized like oh you know it's it's not just that there's onemorning playlist per person like there's a chance you wake up and you want reallyhardcore rap and then there's a chance that you wake up and you want classical music and like that can still be youum so even within segments I'd imagine there's there's a lot of that's exactlyright like there's a lot of complexity and a lot of noise um and I remember seeing case studiesthat related to this one um I think it was a department store orsomething was looking at seasonality um but then realized that it wasn't just seasonality it had to do with like likethe amount of rain or something um that became a little more predictablebecause seasonality is like okay well we have fall spring whatever through these transitions of Seasons then they realizeactually we know when it's going to rain more or less a couple days ahead of time and then we can use that in our modelsit's interesting I mean even we have I I was able to help a battery manufacturer you know battery sales Spike beforemajor storms but how do you predict that um and uh we were actually able to findthe right level of data to be able to help predict now this was their their main goal was actually from a supplychain perspective they needed to understand how their production profile needed to fit the seasonality so itwasn't kind of where do we stock up a week ahead of time that was left to themerchant merchandising and the retail side this was one on the production side but we able to actually find the rightlevel of data and help them understand how many kilowatt hours were going to be lost over the course of several weekperiods at certain times very predictably over the course of the Year by almost a zip code yeah it'sincredible so yeah yeah it's incredible it really it's amazing that what what you can do and and you know people havebeen doing this for 20 plus years it's not new it's justit's super powered now it's got no warranty with it now and the data is so much more accessible and easier todo things with the cost of computers almost nothing the data is always way more available so you were um CPO atForester which gives you this incredible insight into the data side that a lot ofcompanies probably but also on the product side internally at Forester you've also been the chief executiveofficer um at Key Point intelligence um so I think we were talking about yourbackground from a marketing perspective is important for people to realize the breadth going from product to CEO canyou speak to um some of you know how your perspective changes inthose different roles and and maybe what it was like in the chief product position because that's that's a goesWay Beyond market so give me the thing that's consistent throughout my careers I have found that of the three main waysyou can go to market you can go through developing a better product you can gothrough developing a better process or you can go through focusing on your customers uh I have found that the waytechnology is evolving and as quickly as it is is that you have to be customerfocused in order to to survive these days so let's break those out those werethose are awesome so you can you can build a better product you can build a better process like so uh give a roughexample right hamburgers fast food hamburgers McDonald's it's all about process if you wantthe world's best french fries for less than a buck and a clean bathroom you can go to any McDonald's in the world andhave that exact same experience yep it's a process they've got the process they got the line they got the way they manufacture it's doneum if you want the product if you want the best tasting hamburger the freshest that I it's a Wendy's modelright um if you want the customer obsessed model from a hamburger perspective it'sBurger King it's have it your way yeah and it's there are you know one million 485 you know five thousand whatdifferent ways to order a Whopper um now that you have to be good at theother two I'm not saying you can only be focused on one but those were primarily for years you could look atum Freight forwarding look at FedEx versus uh UPS versus tiger Freight rightprocess product and client uh you can look at any number of of Industries butif you look over the last 15 years those that have started to focus more and more and more on the customer are the onesthat are starting to pull in yeah and that makes sense I mean at least the way I think about itum uh product is so informed by customer so I'm wondering like what who it is now itis now yeah that's the important thing I will say not everywhere I've worked with plenty of startups who have theVisionary CEO um kind of Steve Jobs inspired who's like not that I don't I think Steve Jobsreally did understand this customer but um this kind of myopic CEO who wants to make everydecision and and it's it's really the product is coming from the heart you know and I've probably been in thatposition as well and had to learn the hard way you know it's it's it's a very attractive position and everybody wantsto be Steve Jobs but let's be honest you're probably they're not just anything jobs yeah yeah exactlyum so you know you're better bet your better bet is to understand the customerand to have and go through the series of micro failures that a consistent product management methodology requires let meask you you've inspired me to ask ask a question so we've gotum I often think about the line between um kind of iteration with a customer andcustomer Discovery and product discovery which I put on a pretty high pedestal like I think this is really important stuffum and then I think about uh table Stakes like doing your market research and of course you you you have a deepexpertise on that side market research like what are the competitors doing currently what do we think the Baselineis and then looking at a startup and putting that in context around okay you've only got so much money you've gotto build an MVP do you build all the table Stakes or do you like ideally you're just iterating on that one thingthat makes you special but like where do you put table Stakes if we can call them that like in the approach for earlystage companies but I think that that's an area that I've always I've always found could use a little more clarityyou know that you you've hit on the two major approaches that I have used over the course of my career and I got totell you it's kind of horses for courses so to speak depending on on what the market is and what the product is youspend all your time and effort on the product um and then spend your money and gettingthat product into a market and having that market interface with it or you spend a significant amount of time justgetting the product in the market an MVP and getting people using it and thengoing on that that Journey if you look at the kind of the modern uhuh plg models that you would see it's focused on getting the product outlearning from how people use it learning from the different use cases the different personas learn from thedifferent um uh connections that you have within different parts of your customer base uhand evolve it and basically let your Market let your customers be the thetest bed for your product development um you know a lot of that leads to afreemium type Market which is hard for a startup I mean it means you're going to be living off other people's cash for along time um as opposed to kind of you know spending all your your money your investors youryour investment rounds on developing an incredible product getting it into the market and then getting Revenue starting to flowum I don't know I've been very successful in the bootstrap kind of methodology over the course of my careerbut I've also had investors that were you know that were comfortable with withuh spending some time to get into Market correctly soum you know it's a it's a hard kind of construct I would actually say right nowdepending on the the product particularly if it's a technology product that's going to be sold on a subscription basisyou should um you should go through the MVP processfirst and learn from your beta users learnfrom your first clients hear from them and explore with themdon't do it through focus groups don't do it through market research do it through direct interaction with theclient and learning having the product itself tell you where the where the customers are are using it and where itinterfaces yeah I think that's brilliant that's definitely um for the early stage startups just so important to talk toyour customers I um you know we we started out on theservice side like pure service side and they're still making that transition um and it's interesting because servicewas actually great customer service uh customer Discovery and product Discovery for us because we were right there withthe customer the whole time and meeting with them and solving real problems that they were willing to pay us forum which showed us okay we're doing something valuable now let's think about tech enablement let's think aboutproduct start to ask more of those questions but um I think there was kind of aum a reluctance among many startups to to engage in service because they know that investors arelooking for scalability and they're they're more excited about SAS generally but I think we're going to see a swingaround for two reasons I think one reason is that um the market got kind of shooken Awayby okay you had the crypto downfall you had interest rates go too high inflation come up PCS closed their theircheckbooks a little bit and um and a refocusing on companies thatum have revenue and or were even profitable became more that traction is becoming more important it's just amarket cycle thing and then I think on the other side what we're seeing is that the Technologiesfor automation of services have become so Advanced that the lines get a littleblurred when you look at a um a service and say like could that scale traditionally the answer was no now itis maybe that's an area for Arbitrage for certain investors that want to see thattraction but you know think maybe actually this is more scalable than meets the eye under your traditional well I'll challenge you a little bit tothink this in my view every product is a service well I love that yeahthey buy the thing the product solves the help the greater Revenue growth thecost management the efficiency gain um help them do their job better fasterwhatever you want to say uh that's a service that's the that's where the value lies and so to me starting at aServices model moving into a product model is a natural path people who start on the product side one of the I wouldsay eight levers that they can pull to find growth for their company and there might be nine I think there'sa debate here but one of those eight is to build a Services organization and and actually solve the singular problem theclient have with a singular solution so um yeah it's a it's a fascinatingdichotomy that you've got to find that balance in um and if you can do it and find your growth and Delight your customers andmake sure that they continue to stay loyal to you and enrich andadvocate for you and renew then you're you're in good shape well I love that and I would definitely love toum have an I could talk to you for hours I'm uh already talking to my board about we need to hire our own Services becauseI'm meeting so many incredible people I'm like we need to hire this guy right away um but yeah incredible conversation Iwould love to dig into all eight or nine of those um areas you just mentionedum I guess Before Before I Let You Go is is there any um uh startup or sector oror um area that you particularly want to work that Founders who are listening maybe should reach out to work with youabout is there any any Target customer for you um you know it's interesting mybackground I focused in kind of four key industry verticals uh energy verticalthe technology vertical the transportation trade and transportation vertical andum I mean even interestingly the Aerospace and defense vertical so anything that is a technology play inany of those I'm happy to help I've done some work on the b2c sideum I would tell you my strength is in uh in the B2B world if you're looking for somebody who is the uh to help the toMentor in a coach the CEO on the financial aspects of it there's probably going to be a lot better people than meI can do it I know how to do it but um my my core what I really like doingis help people find growth um um and help people become better leadersand what's the earliest um in a company's Journey that you would get involved so when I hear growth Ithink like okay they're maybe series a or do you look even lower uh smaller uhso I've helped across the range um and I've I tell you I've had fun andsuccess across the range I've helped literally an entrepreneur sitting across a dinner table with uh you know at youknow I think I've heard it before at the dinner in Atkins yeah awesome you knowuh but you know they had this idea because they're natural optimists they tend to be product oriented and my jobis to kind of help them be outside oriented to come outside in rather than inside yeah get out of the buildingright that's the classic that's exactly right you cannot build a product in a ina conference room with white boards you can't do it I just well maybe you canbut you should you will run out of money faster yeah that's itum all the way to you know people who are looking even to the exit sideum again I'm not the financial person but I've been part of those exits um enough including myselfum part of management buyouts and are part of bringing in kind of that next either strategic buyer or private Equitybuyer um to help people with that transition so um all stages of growth because thereare like I said there are different levels of levers you can pull at different times um and different kind of different waysof leveraging the the operational data that you should be focusing on to seewhere you can continue to drive the efficiencies to get to whatever goal you have so amazing soum if there's any Founders listening or startups out there who may be at the napkin stage or at the growth stageum if you want to up your game on process on product and customer and getthe Holy Trinity going and build your business um then reach out you'll see a link inthe description below um and Mac Brothers thank you so much for your time that was an incredibleconversation absolutely have a good one take careyeah have a good one