EPISODE-5-Michael-Grupp

In this episode Tyson speaks to Michael Grupp, CEO of BRYTER, the leading no-code platform to automate expert knowledge. BRYTER is especially geared towards experts in law, finance, tax and compliance working with complex, conditional and scenario-based content who want to automate recurring and standardizable decision-making processes. They discuss what a day in the life of Michael looks like, what was the tipping point to leave the lawyering life and diving deep into the start-up world. The conversation covers BRYTER’s true north and vision, the biggest challenges in Michael’s role as well as his ‘favourite’ mistakes as an entrepreneur. Detours include the challenges of working remotely, Michael’s hypothetical Ted Talk subject and the importance of detours and failures along the way.

You can find the link to the book: Introduction to Legal Informatics referenced in this podcast here.

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Tyson: All right. Excellent. So, welcome to the next edition of the Legal Dispatch. I’m Tyson Ballard, head of the legal practise consulting for SYKE. Today I’m joined by the amazing Michael Grupp. For those of you who don’t know, founder and CEO of BRYTER and yes, welcome.

So for those who want to follow Michael on Twitter – it’s Micah Group on Twitter. The handle is @MichaGrupp and if you want to find him on LinkedIn it’s pretty easy. You can just do a search on Michael Grupp and you’ll find him. The website for BRYTER amazing tool is bryter.com

So yeah, so welcome, Michael, you’re joining us from Frankfurt today. That sounds like you’ve had a bit of a whirlwind tour in the last 24 hours. Early morning trains.

Michael: Well, it’s the challenge of, you know, European logistics and infrastructure at the end of summer and then the increase of actual face-to-face meetings and that overlaps in a very unfortunate fashion, but I’m happy to make it here with little, little sleep and a lot of delay.

Yeah, yeah, no worries. Excellent. Well, I hope you’ve had a good coffee to, um, wake you up if that’s your poison, but uh maybe we can get that little bit later in terms of the morning habits, but first of all, maybe just it would be great just to get an introduction from yourself. So, tell us what you do, who you work for and maybe just a little bit about BRYTER while we kick-off.

Michael: Sure, Tyson. And so, I’m a lawyer by background. I have to say this just because we’re in this interesting vertical where it’s a lot about domain expertise. I think over the last 10 years I have lost many of the core lawyer traits which as you know trying to sell more of the status quo have a certain level of risk awareness and be a little bit more conservative in maybe your planning strategies. Lawyers are great at thinking about a core problem, but I like to sometimes have a creative idea that you know creativity isn’t exactly an attribute that lawyers would like to use as a compliment. So, I like to have this and being a bit creative I left law 10 years ago, started a start-up company in Frankfurt that got later acquired by one of the customers and then realised that I like building companies. It was kind of this accidental thing that happened that tech kind of pulled me in and then at the time had met my 2 cofounders who were in equal positions. They both had just sold their first companies and looked for a new level 2 adventure and we got together to build BRYTER. So, as the CEO I do the Investor Relations, the fundraising parts and of course the strategic go-to markets. But I’m a lot involved together with Mika Booze who’s running the commercial side of really thinking about product market fit, what products offer, which client segments to serve. I like all the strategic planning part and then you know as a CEO you also do all the administrative things that are considered the more boring parts like HR and the legal parts and all of this in between.

I love my job I really do. I’m very, very fortunate to be able to do this. I think we have been over the last four years by just four years old now like almost by the day. We have been very fortunate like what we’re doing just for those who don’t know BRYTER is we’re having a building platform for the legal engineer we build, we offer a platform that people who want to build applications, workflows, intake tools, with the regulatory content, with some legal functioning, a lot of document automation and workflow decisioning. On one platform. So, it has all the tools that you need to build something that helps people answer legal questions faster, apply legal reasoning faster. Typical use case would be, you know, a freelance track or an intake tool for client intake and triaging. But people also build more complex things. I just heard of a new project that goes back into the eyeball library, papering where the deadline is now approaching, where you really have a decisioning workstream then, you know,  thousands of documents being changed and altered into new ones. So, this is what you can build on the platform. It is something for people who don’t know how to code and who just want to get started but we actually see increasingly that professionals just like yourself so actually do really know how to do this and have a more conceptual understanding of software and architecture are using it as well. So, and are actually more successful on because they know how to leverage it for valuable projects. So, this is the building platform of BRYTER and the challenge here is that the idea is old. It has been around since the 1980s and the 1990s it’s not a new idea to use prebuilt building blocks and rule-based decisioning for legal applications, but to make this user-friendly and easy to use is challenging and we were I think at the right time in the market when the term no code came up. And under the label of no code, so, saying that people who are not developers can still build applications and create digital tools. Under this label no code, we were one of the first platforms to bring this to legal and compliance and that gave us a lot of support and accelerate the business. We receive significant amounts of funding I think until today it’s almost 90 million in total over the last three years. So, we got a lot of acceleration through this and today the companies a bit over 200 people in the US in London and in Paris and Frankfurt. So, but to be honest, we’re actually a London company because most people are living in the London Metropolitan region so, technically it’s a UK company.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, cool. No, it’s a great tool and someone speaking from someone who’s, um, actually done some work in the tool. And I’m not a techie by the way, but I probably do have a good concept of understanding of software and workflow and process and kind of the legal context. And I was even amazed I was able to build an NDA workflow in a matter of hours, which is I guess even for me was just that kind of gave me an experience of kind of what it is what you could be capable of doing if you had more time, more hours and kind of and to take on some of the more complex workflows and processes, But great congratulations! That’s a lot of money. I hope hopefully you’ve you’re not spending it all on sea planes and private islands, but I wish I’m sure you’re not.

But tell me, like what? What does the day in the life of yourself look like? So, you know, what do you do every single day? I mean, I’m sure it’s very different, but maybe give us an example of one day in your life as a CEO.

Michael: Well, there is the truth is really there isn’t really the same kind of day. I could now pick one some of the more ordinary ones or the more foreseeable ones where it’s really. I would be in Frankfurt, get up in the morning, take the bicycle to the office, have the first coffee there, structure the day and then and then after some me and focus time. Then jump into the into the calls that are usually virtual and meetings that are usually virtual and then, work just like any other employee it BRYTER which is a virtual company just wherever you are and then sit there and have a mix of Internal meetings, external meetings, increasingly focused management meetings where you really talk to a smaller group of people internally that work and other teams and also of course relationships with investors, partners, customers. And of course, also I’m very, very fortunate to be able to speak to everyone all the time before I want to. So, if there’s something I want to double click on and I’m curious about, I could reach out to a you know? A partner like SYKE and have a conversation about specific features in the market or developments. I have a fairly interesting everyday life all the time, but a lot of insight behind the curtain what is going on. But this would be a very rare day like this because to be honest, I’m travelling a lot so we have teams in, as I mentioned in Europe and the US. So, I think 2 out of three days I’m somewhere travelling and there it’s really, I went for a run I went for a run in Chelsea Piers, not Central Park in New York last week at 3:30 in the morning because I was on European time zone, and I was not intending to switch because I had to go back in four days. So, I tried to live in European times and went for a run in the morning, at night basically. So, there are these days, right? So, it’s actually hard to really describe the average day, but it’s more like this. The key thing that is happening every day is I actually do need that morning coffee, it’s almost as a ceremony. It’s like not an exception there. And I have this kind of half an hour where I structure the day, reshuffle some calendar entries and move there like this. I think everybody has that and it then turns into a lot of like focused time of maybe an hour. I tried to have this time before work kicks off to really be able to focus on very, very few things, but just think about those. That’s kind of it. And then it’s just – it’s a lot of noise.

Tyson: Opening up to the chaos of the other day. What, what about um so that’s interesting. Like, uh, I think it’s a good tip in terms of and I do the same as well if it’s only New York or LA or San-fran for a few days, there is no point trying to adjust to the, to the time zone there. And yeah, I’ve been in that circumstance a number of times where you go for that run in the run the early morning maybe sometimes slightly frightened for your life if it’s the backstreets of San Francisco or. Certain parts of New York, but um, but uh, yeah.

Michael: Yeah. It’s, it’s especially with the dog parks in Europe currently in in Germany, people, people I think switch off illumination now. So, so running in the US is still fairly okay because this voluptuous street lighting.

Tyson: But yeah exactly. What about, I’m interested kind of turning the clock back a little bit like there’s probably there was probably a conversation in your head or maybe with your partner at the time that happened about where you were going to leave the lawyering and do a start-up like what was that conversation that happened in your head and what was the tipping point and where you were like – look I’m out guys, see you later or was it a gradual one. Oh, but you know there must have been some conversation that said this could have been done better you know talk us through that conversation.

Michael: To be honest it wasn’t that it wasn’t a conversation to decide to basically mic drop and leave, but I remember in fact the very specific moment where the plans got very tangible, where I asked myself why not do it. And I remember that it was on a beach in Tunisia with my then girlfriend and I had a book with me, which was a very old book. It was the 1970’s edition of a very early legal informatics book written by one of the early, let’s say, experts in the field, Professor Hufft. And it was about legal expert systems and at the time I was writing a thesis about this, so it was at the latest stage of because like being a law clerk and then and then basically starting as a lawyer and the thesis was still there. So, I started to basically write about this. And I was on the beach reading this book, and there were drawings in there of how you would conceptually build an expert system and how you could answer simple, repetitive questions for this and that, like, again, this was 1970’s edition. And I was on the beach, and I told her, she was a lawyer as well at the time. So, I’m like, look like there’s this book, it’s dusty, it’s old. I bought it from a library, and it has, it has this concept in here. Why is that not in the market? Why do people not use that? And it’s this kind of finding where you’re so convinced that you’re like this is so possible. And the big difference between the 1970’s, obviously in the year 2000 and I think this episode plays in 2010/11. So, I started then started as a lawyer in 2011/12 and then did this for three years to then build the first company. So, this kind of legal decisioning part I published about it, it kind of was my thing for a while, right. It was kind of my geeky part of being a lawyer there. And it I remember how this was just a jolt of energy where you’re like I found this piece of. Like this works, but it worked. It did not properly work in the commercial side in the 1970s. But how has the world changed so while you read this you’re kind of like oh my god, like. Flight compensation was already becoming a little bit of a thing there, but mostly all the regulatory stuff, automation in in administration, there were so many use cases coming to mind reading this. So, this I remember sitting at the beach with this book in my hand, the surreal scenario telling her that I would have to absolutely do this and then it still took two years before I actually did it or where the kind of the roots of how BRYTER started.

Tyson: So yeah. That’s an amazing story. Um, do you know the name of the book?

Michael: Yeah, I do. I actually I don’t have it here with me now. Yeah, sometimes I wave it in the call. I don’t have it here now, but I I’m happy to send it, and we put in the notes. It’s called Introduction to Legal Informatics – by Fritof Haft  (Haft, 1977) we can add it to the show notes. So, send you the link.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, that would be great. I’m sure some people would like to kind of read that. Um. Tell me, what do you find the most, challenging part of your role?

Michael: But it changes all the time. That’s the biggest challenge. So, you know we were four years old started as a team of three founders and did some very, very early employees and then and then very quickly became venture capital funded and built a team of 20, 30, 50 then went international had the UK market and every quarter at the end of the quarter you prepare for the board meeting. You kind of look into the data, you take this time off to think where we are. We have this, this founder offside then of two days where we kind of. Um well analyse and discuss and plan and in this time then you go to the board meeting and then you come back and then you start your job and realise that your job has changed. And that happens every quarter. So just like when you look into the data and you realise what you want to do more, you realise that what is required, what you have to do, what’s on the agenda is different than before. And with the growing company, with changing needs from the different geos, sometimes you have a quarter that’s just fundraising, right. My job changes all the time and that is bad in the sense that it doesn’t allow me to get really consistently better at a few things all the time because I constantly have to adapt to something new. So maybe my talent is that I can live in that kind of uncertain environment regularly and get used to this without getting too stressed out. But it’s also something that is annoying and challenging because you have to really force yourself to also introduce changes and try to become better and some things, although the world around you changes all the time, it’s hard to find standardisation in your work, you can’t easily say, well, this is how I do it today, this is how I did it half a year ago because half a year ago was very different. That’s hard. So yeah, I think it’s a mid, the biggest challenge.

Tyson: Yeah, I think that was a challenge I mean that’s the, that’s the start up to scale up um kind of slight growing pains and then but would you say that brighter still has a true north in terms of what you’re trying to achieve? But those are maybe not quite distractions on the way, but they’re definitely um just building you know different building blocks to kind of get to that true north. And what is the true north for you guys?

Michael: Yeah, that’s a good question. So, here’s the funny bit. We started with selling into law firms at first where and where and maybe some corporate teams but where the user of BRYTRT was a very clearly defined person it was a domain expert. It was somebody without any coding knowledge who wanted to build applications really fast. So really the North Star was, and everybody was aligned on this was: Enable experts to deliver knowledge – and that sentence had it all and we kept titrating it and people, the company knew it, and everybody was aligned. It was there these people who have this knowledge, and they want to scale their expertise. They want to work faster, easier but they can’t because they can’t code. So, we give them a toolbox to do this. We enable them. That was the vision. And it’s still true. But then the company grew around that core vision and then you also realised that the more successful applications, the bigger ones, also the most valuable ones, require, as you said it conceptual understanding of software architecture. What is an integration? How does a database schema look like? How do you do project management on a bigger scale? That’s actually not coding script coding knowledge, but it’s software development experience and knowledge in the larger sense. And that suddenly made BRYTER a platform that was larger, more complex and closer to no code local platforms in general that we’re building platforms and that suddenly, you know, kind of also made the building persona wider. And suddenly it’s not as clear enabling the expert because you suddenly realise, well, actually there’s a specific type of person building on this that is actually also technically savvy, and we have to build for that. So, the product team, for example, had to learn that the North Star moves away from enabling somebody was zero expertise to building a pretty powerful platform that can do batch processing on loops and manage that and is able to be sucked too compliant which we currently we actually got to phase one and can do the second one at the moment. So these things we never thought about in the beginning that we would have to think about such as compliance . But then suddenly become a thing. So yes, you’re true, you’re right, it’s actually hard to find then the true north in this, in this more heterogenic cluster of possibilities and if you have a building platform that people use to build other tools it sometimes very, very complex to understand what the north is and to make this clear. So we still have it, but it’s increasingly harder to voice it and to explain to people what you know what is this about and who the core personas are.

Tyson: Yeah, and I think speaking from experience and even if the challenge is communicating that true north I think and keeping everyone on the same path and everyone understanding that contribution as you scale up. This is kind of what I feel in our organisation just personally and because you know, as you do, as you do scale up sometimes people bring different skills and expertise into the business that sometimes can then obviously is wonderful contributions and but um have different interpretations sometimes on that on that true north. So it’s an interesting challenge as you scale up from three people to 200 I think and more as you as you grow into the next phase as well. Interesting one.

Michael: Yeah, you learn from you also sometimes learn from the market, the pool in the market, what customers tell you where applications are, where you know, there are things added to the picture that you wouldn’t have drawn yourself. And that’s where it becomes a very colourful picture at the end.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. All right. Well, what about changing output a bit? Let’s say you were offered to do a Ted talk. I mean, I know you did the legal gig talks and things like that, but let’s say it’s elevated up to Ted. What is the topic that you would choose and why? And it has to be outside your main area of expertise.

Michael: Oh. I would actually talk about something that I think I have not heard Ted talk about yet, or someone who voiced it very clearly, and it’s this, this interesting element that actually nobody really has a clue. And most people don’t have a clue, especially in areas where things are innovative and new and actually pretty relevant, and this is an aspect of everyday life that people you know, if you meet politicians sometimes or very senior and sometimes very known leaders of an industry and you know that they’re also trying to figure things out. I don’t want to say that they don’t know what they’re doing. They do, they’re good in it. They’re very successful. But the challenges they’re solving are exactly the same level of – I need to understand this first. I have doubts I don’t quite know, and that also we create an image that humanity knows what works and where the future is. But the truth is we actually don’t. And you see this in some, you know, government scandals. You see this in companies doing the most ridiculous things wrong. You see this in blatant errors sometimes and things happening and yeah, these little, little dents right in the perfect image of the world. And I would love to – I have this funny connection of where how people don’t have a clue actually about where life goes. And the funny thing is that this is opening up for the, you know, the conspiracy theorists, they are the ones who have often – there was this interesting study that they’re not used to be domain experts in a field because being a domain expert means that, you know – scientists are good examples you sometimes don’t know. Like being a scientist means having doubts, having to check things, not knowing certainly. And the truth is then always very complicated and nuanced and there are no easy answers. And the domain experts know this. So if you are in domain expert in one field, you learn that actually it’s hard and it’s especially hard to communicate to people outside your bubble. And the funny thing about conspiracy theories is that they’re often haven’t been such a core domain expert and this is why they always believe that there must be an easy answer to things. They cannot connect it all. And then these weird things come up that actually may make sense in a, you know, parallel universe but actually don’t. And it’s a funny thing that humanity is kind of stumbling forward towards the future, but we actually don’t have a clue. And, it’s a funny. I think it would be funny Ted, talk about this because if you really double down, you could actually find a number of really cool examples to share this.

Tyson: Yeah. I mean, the first thing that I thought came to mind for me, was the whole blockchain cryptocurrency, um, you know, forecasting, forecasting the price of Bitcoin in six months time. No one has a clue. And if you think you’re an expert, you have no idea, like, but like, yeah, I completely agree. And I think kind of putting that on the flipside, it also means that you know, everyone in the room has a great idea, right? Like if that’s the case, like if no one has, if no one has a clue, everyone in the room, even if you’re the janitor or the CEO, you have a great idea. Yeah, maybe sometimes in the context of the domain expertise, but like and you know, I think it’s, it’s an interesting, an interesting topic and yeah, I think maybe the one that you should put forward to Ted. Test it out maybe next week at Legal Geek.

Michael: Yeah I think they would probably disagree if I start to ramble about the world functioning in general, but if you can I think you get no I think you I think people are really entertaining if they speak the truth about what is complex in their work, in their line of work right. If they really understood things and they talk about the truth there it can be extremely entertaining like – dentist talk about what people like do wrong and how this can be so much fun. As soon as you start talking about things you don’t have a clue about, it’s sometimes very grass is always greener on the other side because you actually haven’t thought about the nitty gritty details and then you would become sometimes a bit social and not as fun.

Tyson: Yeah, but it is amazing how many, um, experts there are on social media suddenly about many different topics all the time. That’s quite interesting. But anyways, what about um? Just thinking about maybe some of the mistakes or failures, um, that you’ve made and by failure I mean they could be happy mistakes what? What has been your favourite failure or favourite mistake? Over the time you’ve been an entrepreneur in terms of the two business start-ups that you’ve done and why?

Michael: Oh that’s a tough one. So I think the biggest truth is, like everybody says, everybody fails all the time, which is, which is sort of true because nothing always works immediately, and only in hindsight we know what work, especially in an area where you’re building something. Yeah, so failing really means that you went into the wrong directions. And I think the big, the big failures are the ones where you went into the wrong direction for too long, right? These are like the big the big mistakes because they cost you a lot of resources, time, money, whatever. And so, I think the really big mistakes, luckily we at least in the story of BRYTER in the company before that we didn’t have in the sense that it would actually, I put the company at risk or did something like blatantly bad happened. I mean, they always think you’re missing all these things, but the number one my favourite failure, my #1 error, where I learned maybe most from is 1, where I hired someone quite famous. Um, and that hire made a lot of sense. And everybody was very, very excited about that, person joining. And I met after the interviews, I met him. And we spent some time, we worked together for the first week I did the onboarding of the company and just like when we started to work, like after, after a week I think I realised that I had this gut feeling. And I realised that this would not work. And it wasn’t about skills. It wasn’t really about, you know, not like discovering something that you would not have met, like in the interview process. It was just like that there was, they didn’t connect, it didn’t like work. And it was such an inconceivable thing to do to, to then to turn to someone and say, this is not going to work out after one week, you know, head-hunter fees paid, everybody in the company announced, rolled out. Like, this is the moment where you’re metaphorically live on stage with that person towards the company and then you’re actually. You know, pulling the plug and it was hard. It took me a couple of days to go back and forth. This is the time where you really need your external consultant there you need somebody to talk about this and like am I, am I doing something very wrong? Like can I do this? But then I decided that this would not work. And in hindsight, I’m so happy that I did it so it did not turn into a big failure. But the learning there was that there is this gut feeling and there’s especially as a founder or a builder, you shouldn’t be afraid of the unconceivable truths that there’s a truth that is big, but you don’t want to allow it in your life because it’s so uncomfortable that you don’t want to talk about it. This can be different things. It can also be like we, you know, what we run out of cash or the customers are having an issue with that feature or some parts of the product are not good enough, like this unconceivable truth that you don’t paint over them or think like this will it will sort itself that you are open to them and solve them because you have to. And I think we were lucky that we sorted things out because it was the honest way and it did not turn into a more complicated thing. But at the time it was, it felt really, really bad. And of course it was a mistake because I should have spent more time. Before signing the contract with that person, right?

Tyson: Yeah and I think actually that kind of that gut feeling point kind of transcends just business, right it it’s also applicable to personal your personal life and personal relationships and things like that which is which is a good tip. I think I would 100% agree on the – it’s really hard in an interview process to work out especially for quite you know, senior hires actually for anyone in your business, truly the interview process and recruitment process is always a tough one. But you do, do you find that even in those first interviews you do get a gut feeling that starts to happen or typically it’s something that you need to the rubber needs to hit the road in terms of need to start working with them.

Michael: Well, you know as you probably agree with this like you realise if you like someone pretty immediately and that thing is sorted pretty fast. I think for the more senior the hire is, the longer you want to test if this is true like. So there’s a clear correlation of course, and it’s maybe not just a 20-30 minute zoom call where you’re also a piece in the hiring process, but where you actually want to spend time with that person. But then in addition to this do I like you there’s this thing of do I want to work with you and how do you behave in a team structure and do you believe in the same values so it’s not you know people say often we hire for culture but what does that even mean like how do you test that in the hiring process you can’t just give people a list of touchy-feely glossy words and be like do you believe in trust like you know – it’s not that easy. So you have to find a way to drive the conversation during the hiring process around problems that would show you how this other person thinks about that and reacts to this. And yeah, you would almost argue that you could only find this out by almost having like some test working right like some really like doing an assignment in a special environment. As weird as it sounds, but hire for culture and for values and attitude and how you work is something that you cannot easily find out and yeah, it’s just something where you live with the risk. To be very honest, I learn sometimes a lot from conversations with references. So you know people the more senior the role, the more the more it’s like they did reference called and in these reference code so much about do they do a good job like are they good at what they do. That’s not the point. I mean we wouldn’t have this conversation of course they would pick references that are positive, but then ask about the challenging bit around that and like how they solved that, there I also, I also usually get interesting feedback that even if then we hire the person later on in the journey, help me understand that person better, funnily enough. So I would then remember that what the reference said at the interview like – Oh by the way, this is this the type that this is what they want and I remember this later on, it helps me a little bit.

Tyson: Yeah. Yeah, and I think it’s um, the dynamic is changing a little bit around the, I mean, because what I’m talking about here is kind of the remote working and the virtual way we work nowadays. It’s not like you have that after work culture of um – I’m from Australia right. So even if you didn’t like someone in the office that day you’d go and have a beer with them in the afternoon and tell them what you really thought about them. Once you’re 3 beers in and then it’s all sorted and the next day you’re fine again or you know if you have an altercation or an issue but those virtually that’s tough I think and sometimes can bubble up like SYKE is completely virtual always has been as I think BRYTER has been as well in terms of that. Respect like what are some of the things that you have noticed and try and resolve in terms of you know, creating that cohesive team.

Michael: Well, you said it the, the remoteness is challenging because it just creates so much room for misunderstanding. People, you know, communicate over messages all the time, which are little blobs of text and there’s so much room for misunderstanding. And then you have a big heterogeneity in the team, like people are in different time zones, they’re different teams, levels of education, geos, cultures it’s really especially if you build an international company in that domain when you have the sales people, tech people and domain experts, there’s like a lot of room for misunderstanding. So the key thing that to be honest I have created to give credit to my Co-founder Mick who runs the product team was to establish to come up with the concept of establishing trust. And it sounds fuzzy, and it sounds like it’s not an actual notion, but it’s like finding out what people need to trust other people. And then enable people to often act more intuitively than they act rationally. So if you respond to a message or you want to deal with the problem that you just like, don’t even think that you’re actually responding to a message you don’t overthink. You don’t have to, like, rewrite your message five times because you want to be sure that you tailor it the right way. Or you are like, you know, by that person. So you basically react to this in a slightly different way, but you’re actually immersed in your work and to create an environment where you cannot think about these things left and right, like, am I, where you can be yourself because you trust others. So, there are many ways how you call it, I think the trust piece is nailing it because it actually means that you’re trusting others enough that you kind of let yourself fall. And then the question is how do you build this? And there are many, many, many little puzzle pieces that you can put together, this could be now turn out into a you know, a panel discussion about how to build remote teams and build trust and remodelling. But one of the learnings for example, was that encourage people to give people a kind of as much contact points as possible like share often light-up road messages and slide, like share this little touches. There have been so many studies that people that have a bit of a physical contact are better in a team like you know, just tap on the shoulder rugby like this kind of like the team thing and you have to do this virtually have to recreate this. If somebody does a shout out that you hit the like button, this openness and then you also this, you create this buzzy vibe. So as soon as, for example, the product team has to go into bug fixing and things became really intense and fast, you see that communication gets more frequent but shorter people will go like I think that they got, it let me check into this and looking into this like people would over communicate that this creates this trust level because you constantly sending information, you’re getting information, sending position lights where you are and this creates this vibe of trust. We are on this and we’re becoming a team in solving this and this is one of the things I try to build and make was the one who kind of brought this up at the concept. We rolled it out and I think so far BRYTER is successful because this is one of our pillars.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Really, really good. And I, I think, to be honest, SYKE acts in a very similar way like in terms of that. You know, similar age. I think we’re six years old compared to commit to you guys, but um, yeah, like, uh, I think otherwise if you don’t have that trust, it becomes really hard. And I don’t think that even being in an office solves that virtual but I do think the communication thing is really key when you are virtual, especially we’ve noticed even for some of the younger, younger team members that are. You know, new enrol maybe first job out of university, um, sometimes alone in an apartment somewhere and you know they’re thrust straight into these long working days where everything is virtual. It’s a challenge, and sometimes in terms of mental health and things like that. What about just speaking of youngsters and I don’t think you, I don’t want to give you an insult, but I don’t think you or I are youngsters anymore. What advice would you give to your younger self now if you were kind of to turn back the clock and do it differently?

Michael: It’s funny because people always think that you would kind to try to make things easier, that you’re getting to the goal faster. But I really believe that the detours and the challenges and the struggles and the problems and the failures are all part of the picture and you need to go through them. And if hadn’t I done this, I don’t know, I think we would have been less successful; things would have been different. So I think you need to do them. But the one thing that really I think I would, I would tell my younger self is that you that if you are, if you figure out what you like and you try to be good at it, that you can chill out a little bit about the rest you can. You don’t have to worry so much whether this is enough and you don’t have to look left and right so much. And that also means that you can, you know, take more time for yourself because you know this will end up doing something. This is a little bit simplified version is like do what, do what you love and you’ll be successful. I think there needs to be some level of persistence and there needs to be some things of you. You will not love that at some point, right? It’s hard. Sometimes it’s not easy. Do what you love is like, that’s like set up for stopping stuff. But if you if you know what you’re good at and what you want to do and you just focus on that one thing that will make you successful and you don’t have to worry too much. You don’t have to think about switching going left and right. Just follow that. And in hindsight that has helped me often, like just would I do, I get excited and that’s the, that’s the thing. Like it gets us back to the gut feeling that we talked about for the gut feeling of excitement, and if you have that, you’re fine and if you think you lost it. And just kind of zoom out a little bit and cheque if it’s just the everyday problems, that kind of, uh, blind the lights a little bit and you still have it. And if you have that overall excitement feeling then you’re good because then you have something that many people in their jobs don’t have and if you have that, just continue doing it. You know you’ll love it.

Tyson: Yeah. Reminds me. I’m, I’m I really love this uh philosopher of kind of guru guy Alan Watts. Um, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but he has the – a little talk about if money was no object just and he was asking some of his students in some of the courses that he was doing if money was number object, what would you do? And you know some people would say I would ride horses or I would paint and his reply was just: Just focus on that and um don’t worry about the money. I guess sometimes that’s quite difficult if you’re obviously practical in terms of rent and food and kids and things like that. But it is but it is kind of like a takeaway story that if we’ve only got one life, right and if you don’t do what you love then you’re gonna be unhappy.

Michael: Yeah I so while I agreed with most of what you said and all of the conversation Tyson and this is where I don’t agree because then we will have a world of yoga instructors, right? I think you need to kind of accept the fact that life is complicated, you’ll be suffering. There is no easy way out, and you will not always enjoy it, right. This is, I wouldn’t always say this was like, I don’t what I what you do, what you like doing. I think you should find out where you’re good at and then do that, even if you sometimes don’t like it because you know that’s your biggest lever, you know what I mean? Like because, well, if money was not optional, I generally disagree with the concept that you will be good just because you like doing a yoga structure, by the way? Because you will probably find out that this changes because for a matter of stuff because you don’t get the level of success of money, of that other stuff that actually then motivates you in a different way.

Tyson: So but you know, this is now I’m not disagreeing there because I mean, if that was the case, I would be a singer and I can tell you that I was told by my choir instructor that it’s okay if I mime and could I step to the back? So. Yeah, no, I agree with you there, but I think there’s some kind of, there’s some kind of happy medium in between, right, which is like, you know, if you’re not happy then definitely don’t keep doing what you’re doing.

Michael: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Money can’t pay for that. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Tyson: What about just one final question cause I’m I know we’re running out of time and I did say we would be I’m short but actually that we’ve taken a long time so taken the full hour so thanks for that. What if you had to pick one theme song which is the Michael Grupp theme song for your life – what would that be?

Michael: Oh wow, these are the questions where you like to be prepared, right to write, feel, feel right, one, etcetera. If I’m honest, I think I like energetic things where I I’m an energetic person, I like energetic songs and one ironically I can work really well to hard rock to punk rock, speed rock. So if I would listen to you know, Master of Puppets, Metallica or even the Offspring. The 90’s, that’s the music I can work to actually really well and focus. So I would guess that these would be the songs that would describe me probably well. And if you had to pick one song, what would that be?

Michael: Yeah, let’s take Master of puppets. Here we go. Metallica. That’s it.

Tyson: Okay. Cool. Excellent. Alright, well, um, there you go. There you go. Heard it guys. So, uh, thanks so much. I really appreciate it. And um. And thanks for joining today.

Michael: Thank you very much, Tyson. It was a pleasure. Great conversation with you and have a great rest of the week.

Haft, F. (1977). Einführung in die Rechtsinformatik. München: ANTIQUARIAT.WIEN Fine Books & Prints.

Martin, J. (1981). Application Development Without Programmers.