EP 297 – Jay Tye – COO at Echo-MR – People That Know How To Use AI Are Going to Take Your Job

by | Oct 11, 2023

In this episode of the Asia Tech Podcast, we are joined by ⁠Jay Tye⁠, the COO of ⁠Echo-MR⁠. Our conversation with Jay delves into the changing landscape of market research and the role of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping its future.

Some of the topics that Jay discussed in detail:

  • The Role of Market Research in Decision-Making
  • The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Market Research
  • The Zen of Riding a Motorcycle and its connection to Market Research
  • Embracing Risk and Innovation
  • How the next generation will be the catalyst for driving innovation

Some other titles we considered for this episode, but ultimately rejected:

  1. You’ve Just Gotta Trust the Universe
  2. You Have to Slow Down to Speed Up
  3. Speed Creates Focus
  4. AI Is a Really Good Co-Pilot
  5. Motorcycles Are Just Bikes With Engines
Read the best-effort transcript

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:06
Okay, we are on. Hi, this is Michael Waitze. And welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. We are joined today by Jay Tye, the COO at Echo-MR. That MR for market research. We’ll get to that in a second. Did I say your name right?

Jay Tye 0:21
You did? Yep. Yep. Jay Tye.

Michael Waitze 0:23
Awesome. Jay, thank you so much for coming on the show. How are you doing by the way?

Jay Tye 0:28
I’m doing great, man. I’m doing great. It’s it’s been it’s it’s, you know, we’re getting into the busy season of our year. Oh, really? Work? Yeah, companies are looking to spend their marketing budgets by the you know, before the end of the year, so that they can get a get a get it re upped for the next year. So this is a busy time for us. But I love it when it’s busy.

Michael Waitze 0:50
So this is actually an interesting concept, right? Something that I didn’t understand. And that is if you have a budget, let’s say I’m gonna make up a budget number, right? If you have $100,000 budget, and you feel like you’re doing a really good job, and you spend 75 grand, so you’ve been a little bit frugal, but you’ve had all the impact you want it I think most people feel like that’s a good thing. But is it not the case that it’s reversed? If you don’t use that money? I don’t get it next year.

Jay Tye 1:14
Yeah, you don’t know what you get next year is what you spent this year. So if you only spent if you get 100k budget, and you only spend 75, your budget next year is 75, maybe even 65. If they want to tighten their belt a little bit the next year, then yeah, they bring it down even lower. So, you know, companies, they just like to burn through their remaining budget in q4. So you know, it’s a fresh Hurry up. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 1:39
we’ve been actually pretty busy ourselves. I was telling you this before we started recording, I was in Singapore. And now I’m gonna violate the one thing I said to people, we’re all good and date myself. I was asking for for the f1. And I’d never done an f1 race before I’d never been there. And I will say that I thought it was pretty incredible, right? And I think you and I met in September. I mean, you and I met in Singapore in April, at a market research conference. And I remember listening to you speak and I thought, Okay, I gotta get this guy on the show. And before we dig deeper into this thing, maybe you can start with a definition, right for people maybe that aren’t adjacent to the market research industry. Talk to me what it is and what it’s trying to accomplish.

Jay Tye 2:20
Yeah, so market research is something that companies and brands do to find out what their audience thinks about a concept or an idea. Or sometimes a company or brand is looking to get feedback on something that may not be doing so well in the market. So they want to talk to their customers and find out why. Or their potential customers find out why it’s not working. Or, you know, like I said earlier, if they if they have a new concept, they need to find out what people think about it. And if there’s going to be an appetite for it before they invest millions of dollars, and just assuming people are going to like it and put it out there, right. So they conduct market research, and they hire companies like ours to do it. And the reason why I said the reason why they most most big brands hire outside partners like us to do the market research is so that they don’t get biased feedback. Right, right. So if, for example, if I work for Nike, and I come to you and say, Hey, what do you think about this new shoe idea? You’re not going to tell me to my face that it sucks. But if I tell you, Hey, I’m not I’m not I don’t work for Nike, so you’re not going to hurt my feelings? What do you think of this shoe concept? You’re gonna tell me if you hate it?

Michael Waitze 3:38
Can we talk a little bit about artificial intelligence, I’m remembering now that when we went to that conference, it was a really big topic. And I’ll tell you this, too, in the interim, in the interim, we’ve actually my my media company, and my tech team have actually built our own AI platform. Right? So I use it every single day. Right? And I remember talking about it on stage there. And I’m curious if in the six months, it’s been six months, approximately, since we were there. If your opinions or your attitudes, were the people to whom you speak, their attitudes have changed about this, or if they’ve accelerated or decelerated. I’m super curious about this.

Jay Tye 4:11
Oh, man, it’s it’s accelerated. I mean, it is really like pedal to the metal. In our industry, there’s so many tools coming out that are, you know, leveraging generative AI, you know, the, the speed that it allows you to do, you know, analysis of large sets of data to extract insights and themes. It’s just huge. And, you know, part of the thing, particularly in market research is, you know, a lot of companies they need their insights quickly, right? Yeah. And, you know, they, they’ve got their tight budgets. So being able to leverage AI shaves the time down significantly on delivering those insights and, you know, being able to synthesize the findings and then put them into a report. So it’s a real Good co-pilot for anyone in our industry, you know, to put together research reports for clients. So it’s everyone’s using it. And it’s just getting started, you know, the next wave is what I think I’m really excited about, which is interactive AI. So now you have generative AI, but the next wave is interactive AI.

Michael Waitze 5:20
So I love this idea of CO piloting, right? Because I remember standing on stage, and there was like, this palpable fear in the audience of people wondering like, is it gonna replace me? And I said very explicitly, I don’t think it replaces people that are great at their job. I think it makes them even better at it. And it’s co pilot is the perfect way to explain that, right? Because if you’re good at something, yeah. And you want to, like I look at everything in a way, like it’s a scientific method. I have a hypothesis, right? So I think something is true. I test it. If I’m right, if I have to do it myself, it’s really time consuming. But what I found for the stuff that I do is that the AI processes that I use, allow me to test hundreds of hypotheses, and find the one that works best you finding the same thing as well.

Jay Tye 6:01
Absolutely, man. Absolutely. And I think you, you nailed it. You know, when you said it’s not, AI is not going to take people’s jobs. It’s the people that know how to use AI are gonna take your jobs. That’s a that’s a truth. No, it’s It’s a copilot, you know, and that’s the way to look at it. Because it’s only it’s only as good as the human input going into it. Right. And, you know, prompt engineering is a skill in general that that you develop and get really good at, but if you have, if you have, you know, shitty prompt engineering, then you’re gonna get shitty output from the AI. So it really does take that human input. And so you know, it’s it’s intended, I think, and works best when it is a co pilot.

Michael Waitze 6:49
I completely agree. So I told you that I was traveling in Singapore. Have you been traveling recently as well?

Jay Tye 6:55
I have. I have this this whole year, man, I’ve been all over the globe. Just recently got back from from Europe. And one of the cool things about traveling for work though, is every country that I go to, I rent a motorcycle, right? I’m an avid motorcyclists, and there’s no better way to explore a new place than on two wheel.

Michael Waitze 7:17
What do you what do you ride at home? Or do you have multiple bikes?

Jay Tye 7:21
Yeah, I have multiple bikes here at home. I’ve got a Yamaha MT. 10, which is a 1000 cc. Beast. Yeah. And I have a BMW 850 GS, which is a dual sport adventure bike that is on or off road. And that thing is, you know, that you could you could ride anywhere in the world on that thing. So my my, my Yamaha is my hooligan bike. And, and my my GS is whenever Yeah, my GS is is when I want to go get dirty, and just go off some beaten paths, man.

Michael Waitze 7:57
So where are you based? For the audience?

Jay Tye 7:59
I am based in Austin, Texas. So I have been here for a few a few years now.

Michael Waitze 8:04
What is it like riding a motorcycle around Austin?

Jay Tye 8:07
It’s cool. So Austin is really the only area in Texas that actually has hills. Right? Most of Texas is flat. But Austin is in a part of Texas known as hill country. So there are lots of hills and you know, there’s lots of lakes and you know, Austin is just a real happening place right now. You know, it’s really the new Silicon Valley. I mean, people are moving from California in droves. Tesla is five opened up this giant giga factory. Five minutes from my house really. But yeah, big brands are moving here and they call it the Texas because people are leaving California for Texas because it’s a business friendly state, you know, from a tax standpoint and all that so yeah, it’s it’s a really, there’s a lot of economically exciting things happening here. But but the writing the writing is fantastic.

Michael Waitze 9:05
I like the fact that you rent a motorcycle everywhere you go and you said that the best way to see stuff is to wheels I used to say that the best way to do this was by bicycle right? But bicycle kind of like on so far on a bike Yeah, that’s the point is just restricts your distance. Right? I’m curious what it’s like riding a bike around Europe. Can you kind of park it anywhere? Because that’s the thing with a bicycle ride. You just leave it somewhere. What’s it like riding around Europe?

Jay Tye 9:29
Oh man, so of course and Europe you know, the thing is that they’re very bicycle and to wheel friendly places. Right? So Amsterdam for example. Amsterdam has more bicycles than people which was something that that I found out there’s like something like 80 million people there and like 210 million bikes. Most people have two bikes there. But so in Amsterdam, for example, there are bikes everywhere and motorcycles are just bikes with engines. So Have plenty of parking. You can really just pull them right up on the sidewalk and I found that to be true in many places in Europe not not so much London. But everywhere else that I’ve been Romania Transylvania. pillared people are just really bike friendly out there, motorbike friendly.

Michael Waitze 10:18
I want to ask you, it’s gonna sound like a strange question, though. Sure. Motorcycles themselves a very technical machines, and highly engineered, but they really are the read. So for me, like, if you asked me, Do I like to watch sport? Yeah, I’ll definitely say yes. If you ask me which sport it is, and I’m gonna get like 90% of the world mad at me. But like the difference between American football, which stops and starts, and European football, which is just a free flowing, it’s a flowing game, right? It’s like water inside of this beautiful thing is that it turns out that American football ends up being very technical. So for me, it’s not the violence that I love, or the scoring. It’s just the little adjustments and the little technicalities around this. And I found that the reason why I loved riding my bike, when I was in Tokyo was kind of the technical part of it. I’m curious for you, besides the writing and the convenience? What is it about the bike that makes you love it so much?

Jay Tye 11:18
The Zen man, because I find that whenever I am in this deep state of focus, right? Because when you’re on a motorcycle, and you’re going at high speeds, right? It’s there’s obviously, you know, you’re confronting mortality, right? You’re thinking about, you know, just how one little error can can end not so well. So you tend to be razor focused on a motorcycle. And whenever I’m razor focused, I tend to be in a zen like state. Some of my best ideas come to me whenever I’m out on on two wheels. They call it two wheel therapy for a reason. And, yeah, I love the Zen that I get from it. It’s, it’s, you know, equal parts exhilarating. And just Zen inducing. I love that.

Michael Waitze 12:08
We talked about this before we started recording, and I wrote it down, you have to read this book, then. Because the whole idea about this book of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is this complete and sort of intense focus on if this little thing on the bike goes wrong? How do I fix it? How do I stay focused on it? How do I get into like the micro engineering around it?

Jay Tye 12:29
It’s on my I told you I own the book. I know, but I have not yet read it. And I know it’s a classic man. And you would think that that being the voracious reader that I am, I would have read it 10 times by now. But as I said, I’m really into the psychological thrillers. And so those tend to move further up my list. I think that that riding a motorcycle is, you know, something that just gives me this sense of freedom and this sense of adventure in in something as mundane as going from point A to point B. So whenever I’m, you know, in another country, instead of traveling by bus or by train, or by car, being out there on two wheels and exploring you just feel more at one with the place around you, I believe. No, I love it. It’s immersion.

Michael Waitze 13:24
Do you think that you ride before? So you travel a lot? Right? We talked about this already? Yeah. And when I met you, you were at a conference? And do you find that it’s better to ride before to free your mind so that when you do that presentation, which by the way, you are phenomenal at that. That’s why we walked over to talk to you right? To free or do you want to do it afterwards after the adrenaline kind of goes away? Do you know what I mean? Because the bike then reinvigorates that adrenaline I want to spend some time talking about speed as well. Because I think there’s a relationship between that feeling of I’m going full throttle. Yeah. Because I love that feeling of speed. But you do that at work, too. I want to find out the intersection of these two things.

Jay Tye 14:05
Yeah, so to answer your first question for me writing anytime writing before writing after you know, it’s it’s like a pregame and postgame for me. You know, I don’t I don’t drink alcohol. So for me celebrating is, you know, going out for a ride Yeah, after after a busy day, something like that instead of going to a bar for a drink, you know? But no, you know, speed is on a motorcycle for me anyway, it’s a fascinating thing, because, you know, when you get going up to high speeds, and I’m not going to say how fast that I go, but I own a Yamaha MT. 10. And if you know that bike, it’s a beast. But the thing about speed is that time slows down. It’s weird, right? Whenever you’re going fast like that, you know, you get even more fun focused in more than a zone. And so you know, if I’m going 100 miles per hour, or, or for faster time and things around me and things in my mind slowed down, and I’m just in a deeper state of Zen, it’s a really fascinating thing, but your heart rate is up, right? But but your mind is just like, you know, just the glassy, just water, just calm and tranquil. It’s an interesting thing. I wanted

Michael Waitze 15:33
to tell you a little bit of a story. I used to have this client when I was at Goldman Sachs, right. And if you know how the stock market works, at least in Japan, it opens at nine o’clock in the morning. And if you miss the open, you miss word like somewhere between 13 and 17% of the daily volume trade. So if you’re trying to trade in line with volume during the day, and you miss the open, you’ve got a real problem. And normally fund managers will say, I want to meet the value weighted average price, the volume weighted average price was called V whap. Right. And if you missed the open, there’s no way you’re gonna make it, you may be way better than it or may worse than way worse than it but you won’t be on it. And I had this plan, he used to call me literally like two minutes or one minute before the open freaking out. Right, and this is that glassy thing you’re talking about because he was going full speed. I needed to calm down and stayed, as you said, laser focused. And and I think the equivalency to the way, because otherwise, I would have messed up and remember, if he’s running 1000 miles an hour, and so am I, one of us is going to trip. Yeah. Yeah. And I didn’t want to be me. And I think this is really cool. The way you talk about speed creates focus. Because again, if you hit a pebble, right, or make a wrong turn, you got problems. And I felt the same thing when I was working. And I knew when I saw the phone ring, like, you know, eight 50 million in 20 seconds who was making the call? Yeah, and I’m just wondering if you find that same equivalency that sometimes when you’re at work, and the pace is slow, you try to speed things up, whether it’s with your clients, or with yourself to create that calm, and also create that focus. Do you know what I mean?

Jay Tye 17:20
Yeah, for sure. And to create rhythm, you know, I, I really believe in in, you know, our minds, you know, rhythm and the rhythm of the day, you know, there’s circadian rhythm, right, which is how our body, you know, kind of acclimates to time and sleep and all of that. And I think that the same is true in the workday, you know, you find a rhythm and you over time, you know, you know, what works. Sometimes whenever you’re just too slow, and you don’t have anything to do things just get, you know, the ideas aren’t, you know, the pistons don’t aren’t all firing. So the ideas aren’t coming to you. But whenever you find that perfect, and sometimes also going too fast, and rushing through things, you know, you create more margin of error, right? Because you’re rushing. And that’s where that that whole phrase, you got to slow down to speed up kind of comes from Yep. So I think it’s about finding that balance. And I think that it’s different for everyone. So you know, I don’t like to go 100 miles an hour, at every day at work. I also don’t like to go 30 miles an hour, every day at work. I like to go about 75

Michael Waitze 18:38
How comfortable are you with risk? And the reason why I ask is because if you’re taking your What did you call it an MT 10. I don’t know the name of the Yamaha MT. 10. While I was pretty good, I remembered. But if you’re taking that mt 10, up to top speed, I’ll put you this way I was once in my car and I went I think it was 250 kilometers an hour was pretty fast. And like you said, it creates real focus. But the reason why I was comfortable doing it was because every day My job was about taking and managing risk. And it creates a different mindset. And I’m curious that with somebody who rides a lot, rides everywhere they go, you must be comfortable with risk. And if you are, again, how does it translate into the type of feedback that you’re going to give your clients and customers and also the people with whom you work and how do you encourage them to take the risk to say the thing they should say, and not the thing that they think somebody wants them to say? Do you know what I mean? Yeah.

Jay Tye 19:35
Oh, man, that’s a great question. You know, I have two trains of thought on on risk and my life anyway. I am generally a low risk person. Can you say that if you’re taking your bike I know I know. Right? It’s a paradox. But but it’s true. I’m I am more of a I do like to take risks in terms of experimentation and coloring outside the lines. But when it comes to taking risks on things that I have experienced before, that have not had a good impact, my risk is very low. So, you know, for example, if a client wants me to do something, or asks me to take on a project, and I’ve done something similarly before, yeah, and, and, you know, I, it didn’t turn out so well, I am, I’m gonna be very low risk, even if it’s a blue chip client that I really want to make happy, based on my previous experience, right? It’s about learning. It’s about learning from your experiences, right. So but I, you know, I don’t gamble, for example, gamble, very low risk with my money,

Michael Waitze 20:43
you have a gambling, let’s be, let’s be clear, it’s called gambling for a reason. Right? And the odds if you know anything about gambling and stacked against you always, right, you don’t make the odds. So if you were making the odds, if you’re like, I think, you know, pick a team, I don’t care, the Houston Texans are going to beat the Indianapolis Colts, and I’ll give you 102. I’ll take 100 to one odds. Maybe you’ll make that bet. But going to a casino and gambling that’s not. It’s against you, no matter what your your odds of winning or zero really, or very low. Yeah.

Jay Tye 21:15
Yeah, yeah. Well, they say Las Vegas was was built on losers. Yeah, exactly. It really was people, they just lose all their money.

Michael Waitze 21:23
But But I think risk is a completely different thing, right? Because if you’re managing risk, and you’re doing really good risk management, you should win. And frankly, as long as you win 51% of the time, you’re winning. And that’s what I think people really need to learn. Maybe you can talk a little bit about this, too, because you brought up the echo stuff. Is there a maybe just in general terms? Can you talk about something that echo that you did? The thought was a little bit different? And that worked? Do you know what I mean? And where you and the client are both like, wow, it’s kind of cool.

Jay Tye 21:52
Yeah. Yeah. So something that we that we recently did so and market research, you know, people recruit audiences to take part in market research studies, like focus groups, right? People who traditionally have recruited through databases that have been built over the years, and they just tap into these databases of people that joined. And there’s only one way for them to earn money people in these databases. And that’s to take part in a market research study, right? So what we decided to do was, that was that was interesting and just unorthodox in our industry. We said, You know what, let’s turn the database on its head. Let’s turn it into a, let’s think about it, like a gig economy, right? Like a gig economy platform. So like your Deliveroo TaskRabbit, Uber, because what occurred to us is that if you look at the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, market research focus groups, they’re classified as a gig as gig work. So market research has always been a gig, we just, we didn’t really know it. So we decided to turn our data, turn the database model into more of a gig ecosystem, where we can provide multiple ways for people that have signed up as gig workers for our gig Ecosystm, they can sign up and opt in for multiple ways to engage in our industry and earn money. So whether that’s participating in a focus group, or referring somebody to a focus group, they get paid for that. If they want to, you know, go out and do and do intercept interviews at a sports event, or even a concert that can intercept people and conduct surveys in the parking lot or inside the venue. So we’ve we’ve basically created all of these market research related tasks that anybody can do and earn money. So when we, when we announced that we were doing this, a lot of people in our industry are like, wait, what, what your Wait, that’s not how databases work? And we’re like, Well, yes, and it kind of always has been, you guys just haven’t been thinking about it. And this is kind of a way that that better reflects the world around us today, in formal work, especially where you’re at in Asia is huge, huge parts of the population are in the informal workspace, where they have more opportunities, not traditional nine to five. So we just kind of said, Hey, let’s let’s kind of bring things up to modern times. Right? And so yeah, so that’s something that we did it everyone in the industry, their jaws just dropped like Wait, what are you doing?

Michael Waitze 24:38
Did you find that the reaction to that was different by country or by region? Don’t you mean because you said out here in particular, like if you go to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, wherever it is, Singapore is different, right? Because I always say Singapore is more like a misplaced Boston, right? Because the GDP per capita is kind of the same there. It’s a very wealthy place. Yeah, but the rest of the region is emerging. Right. So it’s coming up Did you find that it was the reaction to this was different there than it was? Like, let’s say in Chicago?

Jay Tye 25:06
No, not really. I think because well, and and maybe it would be, maybe it would be different for for, you know, the people that are signing up to be gig workers, for us. But in terms of the audience, right, our audience, our clients, and and, you know, our industry peers, I think that they were all equally surprised, regardless of, you know, what part of the world they were in, because, you know, the every, every market research company around the world is operated the same way for decades and decades, you know, and it’s just been the same thing over and over again, like build a database, build a panel. And here we are coming in and saying now, you know, we’re not, we’re not doing that we’re building a gig ecosystem. And they’re like, wait, what?

Michael Waitze 25:53
So did everybody follow you as well?

Jay Tye 25:56
People generally follow us, we, you know, we’ve heard so many times that we’re five years ahead of what everybody else is doing in our industry. Interesting. So I imagine that there are going to be some people doing similar things to us, you know, in the next few years, but, you know, we’re kind of first to market with a lot of the things that we do, how do you give us the edge?

Michael Waitze 26:19
Sorry, how do you create that culture? Right inside of this industry, and inside of this company, where people are comfortable doing things that like, never been done before? You’re right, right? If the if the industry has been doing the same thing for 40 or 50 years, and someone comes in and says, let’s flip it on its head, you gotta get buy in from a lot of people inside as well. Right? So yeah, I’m always curious about how, look, we started hiring different people in the trading desk, once we started getting like, really fast real time data. Because we needed guys and gals that understood how tech worked inside the market. It wasn’t just about trading anymore. And I have to presume it’s the same thing. In market research. It’s not just understanding, like how market research work works. It’s understanding how all the tools work, right? And all the tools that you need to use. We talked about AI earlier, but I’m sure there are hundreds of them that you didn’t have 15 years ago, you have today. It’s a it’s a kind of a lot of different questions over like, do you hire different people? And then how do you maintain that culture of, hey, look, we’ve never done this before. But we need to try it.

Jay Tye 27:21
Yeah. Oh, man. So So you, you, you went down the exact path that I was going on? So it starts at the hiring at the hiring point, right, like, where you are vetting people to join the team. And I think, you know, for us culture has is, you know, a priority of ours. And you got because, you know, you can train people how to use tools, you can train people on market research techniques, but you can’t train them how to be a culture fit, you know, you either are or you aren’t. And so, whenever we’re, we’re interviewing people, even in the early stages, the first thing that we’re looking for is, you know, are they an outside of the box thinker? Are they, you know, the type of person that prefers to do tried and true, and they want to stay? You know, they have red tape, and all around everything that they like to stay inside the lines? Or are they people that like to get a little weird? And because that’s, that’s who we are right? Like, what

Michael Waitze 28:18
do you how do you test that? How do you ask that? And again, let me give you some context. Yeah. When guys and gals wanted to come join the trading desk, and I’ll give you an example. This is a real thing that really happened. I kind of didn’t care about anything else except their risk profile. Because you’re right, using the tools, anybody I could teach them that. And I would always ask them the same question I asked you, what’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in your life? And I want to tell you what one guy said to me who I definitely thought should not be on the trading desk, because culture fit was wrong. So I asked him that in the interview, and he said to me when I was nine years old, no, when I was eight years old, he said, My Mom, let me play hockey with the 11 year olds. He was 35 years old when he answered this question. So the biggest risk you’ve ever taken was 27 years ago, and it was because his mom told him to do it. And I was like, This dude’s gonna die on the trading desk. Literally, like five weeks after he joined because everybody else thought he was okay. Five weeks after he joined. He was like, he quit. Yeah, because he couldn’t take the risk taking anyway. So I’m just curious, like, how you find out if there’s a culture fit?

Jay Tye 29:23
Yeah. So you know, I don’t show up to an interview with him, especially for the first interview with a candidate I don’t show up with a list of canned questions. Fair enough. You know, I generally like to just kind of an informal chat, like as if I just met you at a public place, and it’s like, how’s it going? You know, tell me a little about you. And, you know, I just kind of get them talking and I, you know, try to tap into, you know, what, what they’re interested in what they’re excited about what jazz is them, you know, just to get a sense of of who they are and I feel Like, I’ve always been a pretty good judge of character, and get a good read on people from the jump. So I tend to just feel them out as a human and that first conversation, you know, if I walk away from that conversation feeling like, okay, you know, they seem like, you know, they’re, they have a zest for life. Yeah. And, you know, some, maybe some things that they said, kind of led me to believe that, you know, they’re kind of outside of the box thinkers, they have an imagination, that’s something that I that I look for is just how imaginative that they are. And you can kind of get a gauge on that by how they articulate themselves and how they answer questions and think on their feet. Right? Because there’s some imaginative chemicals pumping in your brain whenever you’re pivoting with your answers. Yeah, so I generally just feel them out who aren’t they as a person. And then if they pass that, then they make it to next rounds of interviewing, where we can then kind of drill down into, you know, some of the ways that they think and how they would approach certain situations, what their thoughts are on the state of the industry, what’s, what are some things that they would improve about the industry? What are they? Where do they see the industry in the next five years is something we like to ask people in those later interviews? because it lets us know kind of, are they a forward thinker? Because we pride ourselves in and thinking ahead, right? Yeah. So So yeah, I think that there, there are definitely things that you can do, but it really does all start at the at the very beginning. Right from the jump whenever you meet them.

Michael Waitze 31:38
If somebody walks into an interview with you, or like, let’s say you meet them in a public place, like at a coffee shop, and you either a see them get off a motorcycle or be there carrying a helmet. Does it change the way you think about them right away?

Jay Tye 31:52
Yeah, well, you know, it’s very similar with books, right? Like, if I see somebody, if I see somebody reading a book, it’s like a brotherhood, you know, you’re like, yeah, he’s a reader. The reader. Yeah, you know, because there’s not a lot of those these days. So you see science, it’s just that connection that you have mentally, right? Like, ah, another reader. That’s cool. And it’s the same thing with a motorcycle. It’s like, ah, rider, you know, so we kind of have that same, we’re on that same wavelength, at least in in a certain part of our lives, right? So yeah, you do you do think of them, you know, a little bit of you feel kind of an instant bond, I guess you could say, yeah, without even saying anything.

Michael Waitze 32:34
I try to do that. When I meet people, I try to find some common ground, and then explore that common ground and see if it’s even more common than I thought. Does that make sense? Right. So like I said, if I see somebody kind of helmet or reading a book that I’ve already read, and if I can identify that thing, you know what I mean, it’s so much easier to then find out who they are, and why they believe the things that they believe in, again, how innovative or how creative?

Jay Tye 32:56
Oh, totally, totally. And that’s something else that I do too. Before I interview somebody, I look at their LinkedIn profile, I look at their activity on LinkedIn to see what they’re talking about. I try to get, you know, just kind of a baseline read on who they are. Same thing with, with clients, you know, before I hop on a new client call, I’ll look at their website, I’ll read their bios, I read, you know, things and to try to find that that thread, right, that I can use in the conversation, like, Hey, I read that case study that you guys did, brilliant, what you did with this or that or, you know, so I do try to find, you know, just some some data points that that can, you know, help make that connection with them. Right, right off the bat, do you

Michael Waitze 33:42
feel like in the market research area with the implementation of not just artificial intelligence technology, but just all this other tech around that as well, the companies like yours have had to rethink the way they use, not did the databases of names, but just the data that they get from all the stuff that they’ve done over time, and maybe rebuild that data into a way that’s it’s probably unstructured at some level, but then use that to inform what you do going forward, if that makes sense.

Jay Tye 34:07
Oh, 100% man want to and that’s one of the powerful things about this generative AI like, chat GPT recently announced their code interpreter. And I don’t know if you’ve taken a look at that. But essentially, you can drop in an Excel sheet of just massive datasets, and then ask it questions, you know, ask it questions, and it’ll find the stories and all of that data, it’ll slice it, like within seconds. It’s mind blowing, what’s happening now, but you can have the AI search across just massive data sets and you know, kind of give you good starting points for you know, directions that you want to pursue. I could have it look at my my customer data from QuickBooks, or my prospect data from QuickBooks, and I can ask get, you know to analyze that, and then give me some directions on my clients that did less than a million dollars of revenue with us. And you know what percentage they are of, I can do all that without having to just comb through a spreadsheet that I hate looking at spreadsheets, not my jam.

Michael Waitze 35:20
I spent my whole life looking, looking, I

Jay Tye 35:22
know I can imagine. I hate spreadsheets, death of the spreadsheet, I think AI is going to do that for us.

Michael Waitze 35:30
So one more thing, and then I’ll let you go. You talked about asking people like what their five year prognosis was for the industry. And if you just kind of lean on all the experience that you’ve had over time, when you look out five years, three years, whatever it is, right, and think, how is this going to be different? What are you looking at? What do you want it to be me is maybe more important? And also what do you think it’s going to be?

Jay Tye 35:55
I’m looking at the next generation, I’m looking at the younger people coming into our industry, I think that you know, they are not only digital natives, but they are, you know, very tapped into. They’re just, they’re just dialed in differently. And they’re more progressive, they have more empathy. I think that they’re just coming in with some really fresh thinking. And I think that the next generation, they are going to be the catalyst that drives our industry and drives the innovation. And, you know, at some of the conferences, one of the conferences that I was recently at, they actually had some students get on stage, and each of them had 60 seconds to pitch an idea for a research methodology, Shark Tank style. And there was even a timer a countdown, right. And so these young kids are getting up there and just pitching their ideas. And they were all just completely outside of the box. And then at the end of it, everyone in the audience got to vote on which one they found the most compelling. And that kid got to give their whole presentation at the next day at a conference. And I just thought this is this is where the industry is going. And this is what’s exciting to me,

Michael Waitze 37:13
as the next generation right comes to life. And they join the industry. It their view on the world itself is very different, for sure than mine, just because of their lived experience has been different. Sure. Does that mean that the output that they create, as well, that the the output of that market research that they do? Because it has to be different, right? Because the inputs are going to be different? The way they look at it, the way they ask about it, the way they inquire has to be different the way they use the new tech in ways that you see it. Maybe. And maybe I see it in a way where it’s like, I want to do the things that I’ve done before with the tech that’s new, but maybe they see it and think I’ve never done anything before. And if I have that I can do this unbelievable thing. Do you see that happening as well?

Jay Tye 38:01
Yeah, it’s the whole you know, if you do things the way you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve already been. Yeah, you know, and I think that it’s just evolution, you know, and you’ve just got to let it happen. It’s just the natural way that the chips fall, right. So I think that yeah, the output is going to be different, the inputs going to be different because of the way that they see the world. But that’s just evolution. And you’ve just got to trust the universe, and let it let it happen. Right? Because, you know, it’s the way that it’s got to be man. It’s the way that it always has been.

Michael Waitze 38:37
I think that’s going to be the title of this episode. You’ve just got to trust the universe. Jay Tye, the COO at Echo-MR. You got to come back. Seriously. You have an open invitation to come on the show anytime you want. Anytime you have an issue that you want to address or discuss or put out there. You can come back and just let me know. Thanks for that.

Jay Tye 38:55
I love that man. I love that Michael. It’s always a great, great time to talk to you and thanks for having me on. And we’re gonna do this again. Absolutely.


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