Episode 0047 · May 30, 2023

The podcast about what to do next.

Succession Finale

Paul Ford: [00:00:00] You ready to get topical, Richard?

Rich Ziade: Let’s get topical.

Paul Ford: Oohf.

Rich Ziade: Topical.

Paul Ford: Oof, so we usually try to keep it kind of evergreen on the show, but there is one television program, I’m Paul Ford.

Rich Ziade: I’m Rich Ziade.

Paul Ford: There’s one TV program we both watched, I don’t watch much TV. You watch a little more than me. You’re not a big TV guy either.

Rich Ziade: Not big, but I watch a little more and I like my Yankee games.

Paul Ford: Yeah, exactly. But Succession had, its, uh, so it, it, it had its finale.

Rich Ziade: Series, finale.

Paul Ford: This, this program talked to me in a lot of different ways as like a New York media guy, and so I think I want to talk about that with you.

Rich Ziade: You struggled with it. I could tell.

Paul Ford: Hated everybody, I wanted them all to die real bad.

Rich Ziade: Many people did.

Paul Ford: So, um, you know, I, I wish we could play the theme right now, but I don’t think we can afford that, cause we’re keeping it on a shoestring here at Ziade Ford Advisors.

Rich Ziade: [laughter], I can hum it if you want.

Paul Ford: No, but now we’re gonna play our theme and, uh, let’s talk about [00:01:00] Succession spoilers, by the way, spoilers are coming, so, you know, now’s the time to stop if you haven’t seen it. Spoilers. Spoilers.

Paul Ford: Alright, let’s get into it. So, Richard, what was that show about? We, okay, so let, let’s just for anyone who’s listening to this who doesn’t care about spoilers, um, it’s about a very wealthy family.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford: There’s a horrible dad who’s kind of a Rupert Murdoch type and-

Rich Ziade: Yeah. Uh, I mean Succession really borrows from a lot of like parallels from real life then

Paul Ford: Rupert Murdoch, yeah. And then-

Rich Ziade: Elections and you know Fox News all of that.

Paul Ford: So it’s um, Logan [00:02:00] Roy and his three crappy spoiled children in their thirties and forties.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, that’s right.

Paul Ford: And one of them wants to run the company, and that’s the whole show.

Rich Ziade: That’s kind of the whole show.

Paul Ford: And they all want run the company, but one of them is always jockeying and then-

Rich Ziade: And then they all wanna run the company. That’s right.

Paul Ford: And in the end, none of them get to run the company.

Rich Ziade: In the end, none of them get to run the company. And, and it’s a, you know, as a, as someone who ran companies, it is, it is fascinating to see how companies at a certain scale actually have their own designs that have very little control is dispersed. Right? You have investors and board members and whatnot. So it’s fascinating to see, you know, the people who feel they should just be descendants of a thing

Paul Ford: Mm-hmm.

Rich Ziade: Just inheriting it, um, lose control because, that’s what big companies, what happens with big companies is you often lose control, um, just because of the dynamics. Uh, founders get fired by boards.

Paul Ford: Right.

Rich Ziade: That happens, uh, and it’s a [00:03:00] wild thing. Um, so that’s a sort of a side observation.

Paul Ford: So, um, I-

Rich Ziade: did you enjoy it, Paul?

Paul Ford: No, I hated every minute of the show.

Rich Ziade: Why’d you watch All four seasons?

Paul Ford: Cause it was like going to work.

Rich Ziade: [laughter].

Paul Ford: Um, the. the, uh, I thought it was interesting. Here’s what I, I always think is interesting, you know, how many movies are made where it’s like, uh, a dad is really distracted and doesn’t come home and has to learn the value of family because, you know, like Elf, the movie Elf, like an elf shows up.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And it’s like, you need to spend more time with your kids. And at the end they’re like, it’s Christmas, I love you, daddy. You know, and it’s, um, I love that because there is no industry that neglects its children more than the filmmaking industry. It’s like everyone making that movie about family and togetherness was completely ignoring their children for months while they made Elf, right?

Rich Ziade: [laughter].

Paul Ford: Like just, and so I, I, it’s always important when you see stories made, like narrative, people [00:04:00] write and create things in order to kind of get a little control in the world, get a little revenge, get a little sense of ownership.

Rich Ziade: resolution of some kind, right?

Paul Ford: And you definitely see like this is the filmmakers and the actors and the screenwriters are analyzing and observing their bosses, essentially like this is a media creation company. An entertainment company.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford: And it, so that part is very appealing, cause it was revenge. It was revenge for them to point up the chain and go, your lives are pointless. You’re stupid and annoying.

Rich Ziade: You’re horrible people.

Paul Ford: And I hate working for you. I hate it.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: And that’s what-

Rich Ziade: So did you get satisfaction out of seeing that?

Paul Ford: Uh, I did actually. I enjoy seeing the venality of it up close because I think they captured some of that. They filmed everything in Hudson Yards, which is our, our like sort of, neo-futurist, New York City playground for, you know, Taiwanese billionaires. Come and get enormous apartments there and never visit them.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, it’s sort of like our piece of [00:05:00] Dubai right here in New York City. Yep, yep.

Paul Ford: Yeah, exactly. So you have this kind of like a built-in bleakness that’s fun to watch. Um, because I, I recognize it.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: Um, but no, for the most part, I looked at all those people and all I could see were clients in, in every aspect I, I’d be like, okay, have I ever met a Roman, have I ever worked for a shiv? I’ve worked for plenty of shivs.

Rich Ziade: Sure.

Paul Ford: Um, Logan’s, I never got close to those, it’s like they just hired McKenzie.

Rich Ziade: I worked for a Logan.

Paul Ford: You did, you worked, you worked for an actual Logan Roy. Like same amount of money [laughter].

Rich Ziade: I actually worked for a media mogul for a couple of years and I actually-

Paul Ford: Who was a lunatic? Like not just-

Rich Ziade: Who was a lunatic. I don’t have a problem sharing who it was, his name was Bob Silerman and he was this incredibly smart, um, alpha male, just sledgehammer that terrified everyone. And, uh, his company, [00:06:00] uh, acquired my little agency and I pretty much became the CTO, CPO, chief product officer. And, and de facto reported to him. He would call me in and, and, and I would watch everyone around him prepare for the me – they’d have meetings to prep for the meeting with him.

Paul Ford: I was advising you and I would be in some of those.

Rich Ziade: And it’s wild and I didn’t understand it. And they’re like, we can’t tell him that. I’m like, but we have to tell him that otherwise we’re gonna look bad in a month. So why don’t we tell him that now? And, I think he sniffed that out about, see, the thing for me was, I, I was done, I, I didn’t want, there was nowhere to get promoted. This was a bizarre, surreal kind of clown show. I got my money, I sold my business. So he was like, oh, you actually don’t care and you don’t have an agenda. Tell me what you think. And I actually built a rapport with him, but I was definitely the exception. He melted everybody. This guy would just grind you to a fine dust.

Paul Ford: Let’s be clear. It was exhausting for you. [00:07:00] Most people were like immobilized.

Rich Ziade: I mean, yeah, I didn’t win here. I bailed. I I, I was like, I went to him and I was like, you don’t need me anymore. I shipped the thing. Can I go home now? And he’s like, yeah, see you later. And that was the end of that [laughter].

Paul Ford: I met this guy once or twice and I mean, it was, it was, it was like sandblasting to your face personality.

Rich Ziade: He was a mean person actually. He was actually, and, and so was Logan Roy, I mean, Logan Roy was a cruel, mean person and I think he was-

Paul Ford: He did have a killer move though. Rest in peace, Bob. But like, he, he was real ill, I had, I sat with him once and he goes like, do you mind if I have my lunch? Of course, he goes, do you mind if I have my lunch? [very deep voice] Cause he had a sort of throat issue and he, he, um, I said, no, of course not. And he went to a closet, pulled out a gurney and, and shoved a like-

Rich Ziade: Catheter.

Paul Ford: Yeah, like a catheter into his stomach, into a hole in his stomach and it, and-

Rich Ziade: While maintaining eye contact with you.

Paul Ford: No discussion, eye contact. Go on [very deep voice].

Rich Ziade: Yeah. It was something.

Paul Ford: And it’s, you know what it is. Uh, the one thing they capture about the [00:08:00] CEO dynamic at the big company where everybody lives in fear and they filmed it this way, it’s like a horror movie throughout Succession, wherever Logan is. Is Logan gonna pop up and eat you?

Rich Ziade: Well, he was this overwhelming presence and, and-

Paul Ford: Which is why actually, and I want to hear when he dies, you can’t kill the monster in the third act or, or the beginning of the third act.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: You kill the monster at the very, very end. And so like, after they killed the monster, you’re just like, oh, well, you know, Darth Vader’s dead.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: And you know-

Rich Ziade: And, and, and I think, and I want to come back to that, um, I look, I think, I think when he d, they refused to, they wanted distance from the end because they didn’t want it to be resolution. Like the whole point of succession is that there is no resolution.

Paul Ford: Even the theme song doesn’t resolve.

Rich Ziade: Nothing resolves. Right, and, and, and I think to me, that is the overarching message of Succession, which I don’t think anyone, I’ve seen all sorts of theories online about what it was about. Why did [00:09:00] it go play out this way? And no one talks about this, which is we today live in an adversarial environment on social media, on television, um, in politics, everything’s a fight and you’re waiting for the ref to raise one arm and say, this guy won, right? And what Succession is effectively doing and saying is, um, we as humans are really terrible with perspective and that we fight and we claw, and then the most powerful among us drop dead in a bathroom, right?

Paul Ford: Mm-hmm.

Rich Ziade: And that message and that signal all the way through the show, right, is very anti-narrative, anti like resolution, anti-plot, you know.

Paul Ford: There is no real narrative here, there’s the sort of the story of different people rising and falling and the endless fight between the kids, and I mean, the [00:10:00] only true moment in the show where you’re like, oh, okay, is Logan dying? Then you’re like, okay, now everything has to change.

Rich Ziade: But even that was just more pieces esentially.

Paul Ford: Oh, the corporate, the corporation doesn’t change.

Rich Ziade: The corporation doesn’t change. That’s right. Corporations die out as well for other reasons, but they’re usually slow, ugly deaths and, and very like unceremonious.

Rich Ziade: We’re very conditioned to resolution. Sometimes a resolution is like a throw down tweet that just like, you know, puts someone in their place. Sometimes a resolution is after five seasons of a show.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: But resolution is how stories work and how justice is served, or how justice is not served. But at least there’s resolution, right? And it turns out, uh, with life, uh, there really isn’t any, even for people who have absolutely incredible success. [00:11:00] You know what, no one ever asks, okay, these people are billionaires. They’re doing great. Why? Why is everybody so unhappy?

Paul Ford: I asked that every minute of watching that show.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah. And, and, but you can, you know what else you can ask? Hey, there’s a school played an elementary school, and this is such a joyous, fun moment in time. Why is everybody at each other’s throats and creating cliques and kind of like sniping at each other? And it turns out humans, do this. And the only thing that knocks them on their asses is when someone is gravely ill or dies suddenly, right? That sort of resets you. But guess what happens? You, you’re reset for like about a week and then you’re back in the game, baby. And what Succession is is a commentary to me on just human folly and our inability to have perspective.

Paul Ford: No, that’s, that’s exactly what it, that’s the whole show.

Rich Ziade: That’s the whole show.

Paul Ford: It’s a comedy sort of masquerading as a [00:12:00] serious entertainment.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah, exactly. There’s only one other show that I can think of, uh, that did this, that wouldn’t give you that satisfaction of like justice is served, this is like the opposite of Charles Bronson, both of these shows, like, you know, you know we’re gonna get-

Paul Ford: For, for anyone under the age of 700 years old, Charles Bronson was in a series of kind of racist, really bad movies called Death Wish.

Rich Ziade: Terrible movies.

Paul Ford: They, like they kill his wife. And You mean they were huge in the seventies? They got remade with Bruce Willis.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, and, and, and so they’re anti resolution and The Wire. The Wire is about grizzly city politic.s

Paul Ford: Okay, sure. But there’s a fundamental difference, The Wire is like, Hey, we’re here doing good police work. We’re, we’re a family. We’re doing our best. Oh, well, life is difficult and we, we make bad choices sometimes as Officer McNulty [00:13:00] and, and then, oh, let’s go look inside of the press and the government. And it’s all really corrupt and it’s all really bad and it’s really sad and it’s really too bad and there’s nothing, nothing that’s gonna change here. And what a shame. But you know what if, if only we could really look it in the eye, we could have a good just world. And I believe in that as the person who watches The Wire now go to Succession. Everything is an infinite void of nothing. All meaning is absolutely fabricated, including politics, and there is no center to anything. It’s just more void. So I think The Wire actually had this kind of moral perspective.

Rich Ziade: It did, but it wouldn’t give you that resolution either.

Paul Ford: It wouldn’t, it wouldn’t let you resolve because it was like, because The Wire kind of turned to you at the end. It was like, and now it’s your turn. Whereas Succession was like, I’m sorry, we couldn’t show the plane crashing into the ocean with all of the minute because that was too expensive. So we had to do it this way instead.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:14:00] Um, And I think, I think for a lot of people who like, you know, they, they spin up theories and, and, and spin up all kinds of stories. It’s funny hearing everyone comment on it because it doesn’t, it’s indistinguishable to me with then someone commenting on like a politician. It’s all exactly the same. It’s just people in power or people who are more visible than others, frankly, it could be a celebrity, it could be a politician, and then everyone else throws their 2 cents in.

Paul Ford: You know, this brings to mind something I wrote a piece years and years ago for New York Magazine, which by the way, has excessive Succession coverage. If you wanna read like seven articles

Rich Ziade: Is that right?

Paul Ford: Well, it’s, it’s for them, it was made for them.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: And, uh, I wrote an article years and years ago, it’s called, um, it was something like “Facebook and the Epiphanator”. And so I, I described the entire media industry as something called the Epiphanator, a machine for generating epiphanies and meaning, right? You pick up the newspaper and every article has a conclusion.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Right? No [00:15:00] matter what, it doesn’t matter. It’s like, well, and you know, but you know, we talked to the government and they said they’re gonna do something, you know, just, and so, And social media didn’t have endings. It was infinite.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: But what I noticed in the last like 10 years is that social media became this incredibly loud yearning for consistent narrative. That’s all anybody begged for and asked for.

Rich Ziade: Well, you joined a camp.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: You followed a set of principles or beliefs that that camp endorses, and then you, you would say, okay, let’s go conquer that hill [chuckles].

Paul Ford: Well, the crime, the crime on social media is consensus, narrative violation.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: Right? You said something that I, the currently, and this is what’s wild with social media, is the belief systems change very quickly and people are like, no, no. We’ve always believed that you don’t believe it, so you have to go home. And as a, as a person, it’s not even a person who’s not aligned. I’m often kind of aligned, but as an older person, I’m like, I’ve seen this cycle [00:16:00] before, you’ll believe something different two months from now. And if I tell you that, you’ll say that I’m a monster.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So I’m not going to participate in any way. I’m just gonna go about my life and so on and so forth. And then they just go at each other’s throats. And so, but like I, what’s wild to me is no matter what you do, they created a mechanism where you could have a transparent cultural exchange using tweets and Facebook wall posts. Humans will generate a situation where unless you fill it with meaning and narrative, they lose their freaking minds.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And so Succession, I give it points for this, I give it points for saying, actually none of it mattered all along. Tom, the most craven garbage human being who you could find is gonna be in charge cause he is a convenient puppet. He’ll get fired in two years after firing everybody else.There’s no loyalty, not even, not even in marriages. And everyone will die.

Rich Ziade: That is the game.

Paul Ford: Yeah, good times. Good times.

Rich Ziade: You know, there, there, look, when I think, when you think about a, a-

Paul Ford: Wait a minute, our lives aren’t that bleak.

Rich Ziade: They’re not.

Paul Ford: We work in media. [00:17:00] We like careers. You know, we used to work in media. I, we don’t anymore.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: You know, we, um, we, we like doing stuff. We’ve met people like that, we’ve been in those offices.

Rich Ziade: Here’s, I think the single biggest message that, you know, let’s turn this to advice, this has all been sort of-

Paul Ford: Yeah, how do you avoid a, you want to be successful? How do you avoid a life-like Succession?

Rich Ziade: Here’s, here’s, here’s the advice I would give, um, I, I think when you are in a position where you can potentially better or harm the lives of others, whether you’re an employer or a manager, or a business owner, or a politician, even a local council member and whatnot, I think that the, the problem with idealism, is that you weaponize it. Humans weaponize idealism. The best politicians, the best managers are the ones that are like, you know what? I’m going to thread the needle here and just get the best possible [00:18:00] outcome here, and that’s gonna require me to like, sort of shake hands with some people I don’t really like very much, but I’m gonna get the best I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do this, at least, I’m gonna just make sure that the streets are swept before the weekend festival. Like, and that’s not the most ambitious, audacious, idealistic thing to get done, but it’s better than not doing it. And that dialing back and that pragmatism feels like you’re selling out, people come at you. Look, if you’re going to seek approval in from any one camp, it’ll paralyze you. And the best people just sort of get stuff done, right? They get stuff done to say, look, I’m not gonna win at everyone’s love, but you know what? The schools all have pencils now.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: No one’s gonna write an article about it, right? And that is grizzly and not huge success. Look, the Martin Luther Kings of the world come once every 300 years. [00:19:00] That’s different, but for most that seem to grind through and get things done, and somehow the courthouse has better internet because of them, that is unceremonious, that that is the advice I would give, which is when you dig in and you hold on to those ideals, you end up in a horrible place no matter what. It’s just impossible because humans, that is you picking a fight to them. It’s not you standing up for those ideals. And I don’t mean this to be political or anything like that cause it can come from any direction, right? But humans love camps, they love to put on a jersey and get into the ring. They just love it. They love the conflict of it. And the ones that are like, you guys go ahead and fight, I’m gonna get us better internet at the courthouse. That is, that person’s probably a little healthier, because they’re not jumping into the ring every time.

Paul Ford: Well, not necessarily if it’s the Brooklyn courthouse, cause the food around there is just-

Rich Ziade: The food around a Brooklyn New York courthouse will [00:20:00] kill you. That’s different.

Paul Ford: It’s a danger zone.

Rich Ziade: Yeah. Um, and you know-

Paul Ford: The average, average life expectancy of a lawyer in Brooklyn is about 22 years.

Rich Ziade: Because of that chicken parm, the three layers of fried chicken [laughter].

Paul Ford: I don’t know, I just, like you were talking about doing jury duty the other day, there’s something about that particular zone in Brooklyn that’ll –

Rich Ziade: It’s rough, it’s rough.

Paul Ford: So just be careful around the Brooklyn courthouse.

Rich Ziade: Look, the middle man, the middle manager who’s utterly optimized to self-promotion in politics and alignment with like power centers doesn’t put out good work. There’s some people who aren’t good at that or they’re just, they’re not wired to it, but actually care about the work they’re putting out. Those people – A, aren’t necessarily gonna do better. That’s the hard reality of it. But, but

Paul Ford: On a sociopaths are the most successful, right? Like, it’s just, it’s that’s –

Rich Ziade: That’s just the, that’s just, that’s the human game that we happen to be in.

Paul Ford: Well, everybody likes to point and be like, see, I told you. And it’s like, no, that’s just like, I don’t know, don’t buy Apple products. Like, I like, what, what do you want to do?

Rich Ziade: That’s right, that’s right. And, and if you’re doing it for the [00:21:00] wrong reasons, you find yourself taking two steps back anyway. So how do you do it? Like what do you do? Well, what do you do is like, can you, and I’m not, I’m not a a, I’m gonna, I’m gonna tie this to Biden.

Paul Ford: I want to hear-

Rich Ziade: I’m not a Biden fanboy, just to be very clear. He’s very old. He makes me nervous when he talks. But I will say this, Paul, I will say this, he has been doing this for a long time, and when the door closes and he’s got opposition in the room, he’s like, we gotta work this out because people are struggling and I I’m not really gonna win any fans, and frankly, neither are you. So how do we grind through it? And that is, that is antithetical to a lot of how we perceive as the heroes of, uh, leaders that we seek out. But that is just someone that just has seen how ugly and gross it all is. And when you have to compromise to push the bill through. That is what good leadership is.

Paul Ford: [00:22:00] You and I are unusual. We give each other a lot of hell, but like we don’t attack each other. If you go into an exec level room where there is like a CEO involved and everybody’s around them, yeah, it is absolute like caveman warfare.

Rich Ziade: It’s, it’s like you ever see like videos of like the, the social dynamics of gorillas.

Paul Ford: Yeah. It’s, It’s really, it’s really shocking.

Rich Ziade: The silverback kind of strolls through and everybody’s kind of trying to be near them. And it’s just like, it’s the same thing.

Paul Ford: When you see C-level people blatantly attack each other and then realize that this is the optimal outcome cause they’re not backstabbing.

Rich Ziade: I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna mislead people to thinking, oh, this is how you can become a better citizen, that’s not what I’m saying, I think, the better way to be happy. I think that’s the thing. Nobody’s happy.

Paul Ford: How are you doing it following this advice? [chuckles]

Rich Ziade: You know, it’s something I’m very aware of, like, I’m very self-aware of, like, am I an [00:23:00] idealist? No, am I satisfied often? No. Do I-

Paul Ford: [laughter]

Rich Ziade: No, no, no, no. It’s real.

Paul Ford: No, I know, I know, everybody, every, everybody knows pause. Oh, let’s see-

Rich Ziade: I will say this Paul. And I can, I can, I can, I can say this with a lot of pride and um, and I think it’s absolutely 100% true. Um, I, we, we built a company together that was apolitical, people tried to inject politics and politics would fester below, but you weren’t gonna win us over with Schmoozing us. Like it wasn’t the game. We didn’t let, when people sort of enclosed doors threw someone else under the bus, we wanted to understand why it was not this hyper political place.

Paul Ford: I love the meetings, we would have the meetings where people be like, I’ll tell you how to fix this company. And it always involved them not doing anything. It was amazing.

Rich Ziade: Well, it was always like, hire more people or fire that person, right?

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And for us it was like, well that sounds extreme. [00:24:00] And so, you know, and I, I think that’s, look, we had the benefit of being at the top and so we were able to sort of deflect and, you know, we would watch clicks of power sort of take hold in a big, you know, the company got pretty big, but for us, It wasn’t how you were gonna get promoted. You couldn’t, you couldn’t say, oh wow, look at him like, sort of kiss an ass and now getting, getting the director job, it didn’t work. It never worked. We saw other people try to do it. They would take others out to lunch and whatnot, but it was a very, it was a place that sort of repulsed that kind of game. And so that I had, you know, that was positive.

Paul Ford: Agencies have too much churn. People come and go too quickly. So your power base is always very unstable.

Rich Ziade: It’s a different animal. That’s right.

Paul Ford: You’re in a, in a larger corporation where there’s long-term stability and people are doing longer careers, politics are actually an advantage, right? You need, you need some because you need there to be a little bit of insularity and you need to be able to trust people and get stuff done, and politics are a side effect of that. In an agency, everybody’s turning through in about [00:25:00] two years.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So you just can’t bu- the people who would come in and try to build a power base would be like, what are you doing? You’re gonna quit in in a year?

Rich Ziade: Or they’re gonna quit the people you’re recruiting into, your little little clique are gonna quit, so nothing is real, right? Um, look, in the end, I, I think there’s two, two things that are worth asking. Like, let’s bring it back to advice and Succession pretty much tells this story. Are you doing something you’re like you have a little bit of pride in and that you’re sad, you know, you feel good about, and B, are you going home happy or is it all just this dark cloud that follows you around.

Paul Ford: This is, this is the message,

Rich Ziade: It’s all it is.

Paul Ford: The message of the show. My, my brother and I, about a year ago, left a corporate a little more two years ago, left a corporate job, um, and went into service oriented, um, works, helping homeless shelters at scale at a big scale.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And, um, is very much a family man, his kids are older. They’re all over at the house once a week. He’s a granddad

Rich Ziade: Mm-hmm.

Paul Ford: He’s older than me. And, uh, those two things, service and family seem to have created a lot of happiness. Like a lot.[00:26:00]

Rich Ziade: Yeah, and, and, and if you think you’re the one, the, the people that chase power, money, position, title, status. I, I can tell you cause I’ve, I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen others go through it. They’re never satisfied. It never, you never arrive. You just don’t.

Paul Ford: No. You’ll never, you’ll never like get to the end game there. I mean, and if you look at Succession, it’s about people who can’t form families, can’t make the family work, and who don’t do anything except in their own interests.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah. And, and to me, when, you know, Succession, we love watching powerful, wealthy people, blah, blah, blah. To me, uh, you could see this at all levels, the advice isn’t for like the uber-successful.

Paul Ford: Oh, it’s happening at the bodega on the corner.

Rich Ziade: It’s happening at the bodega on the corner. Um, so, uh, this turned out to be one very long fortune cookie to a large extent. Um, but this is like probably the most fundamental advice, which I wish I could take more of myself. I’ll be, I’ll be frank. Um-

Paul Ford: Yeah, me too. Me too. [00:27:00]

Rich Ziade: Which is, take that perspective, you know. Um-

Paul Ford: I think you and I we’re doing good on family. We’re like middling on service. I give money away. You give money away, but we don’t, we’re not like hands on as much.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So something to think about and it’s hard for us to let go. That’s it. We just launched a product and it’s not exactly, you can turn away at this moment and relax.

Rich Ziade: No can, can you have a healthy environment where you’re trying to build a business or build anything?

Paul Ford: Yeah, you can.

Rich Ziade: Right, that’s the thing you have to work on.

Paul Ford: You can. Although at a moment like this, you just have to focus on the product. So what’s the name of the product, Rich?

Rich Ziade: It’s called aboard.com. Built by some of the kindest, most well-meaning people-

Paul Ford: Family oriented.

Rich Ziade: In the family-oriented business [laughter]. Check it out, we’re letting beta users in, um, it’s a really, really cool tool that’s evolving quickly and we’re gonna share more about it over time. But essentially it’s a place where you can sort of deal with the web on your, people get things done by using the web all the time, but the web is kind of angry and hostile these days. Um, check it out, [00:28:00] it’s free and we’re waving people in aboard.com.

Paul Ford: All right.

Rich Ziade: And check us out

Paul Ford: At ziadeford and send hello@ziadeford.com and email. We like to get your email.

Rich Ziade: We like mail bags.

Paul Ford: All right, let’s get this one uploaded. It’s topical.

Rich Ziade: Upload it.

Paul Ford: Bye.

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