The Secret To Loving Your Work with Bruce Daisley | E66 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "The Secret To Loving Your Work with Bruce Daisley | E66".
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You were the VP of Twitter. Obviously Donald Trump has just been booted off Twitter permanently. What do you think about that? There's a 70 year long study out of Yale University looking at what the the secret of longevity and happiness is. And the secret of longevity and happiness is... Work. The thing we spend the majority of our lives doing. Today's guest is an expert on exactly that. How can you be an expert on work? Bruce Dasely spent the last five to ten years studying what makes work joyous or makes it miserable, how we get burnt out, and what matters the most when it comes to work. He's been named one of the most influential Londoners in the UK. He's been named as one of the most influential Britons in the United Kingdom. Bruce Dasely's book, The Joy of Work, became the best selling business hardback book in 2019. He has his own podcast, so he's one hell of a talker as well. And as the world has transitioned over the last ten months to this zoom centric remote working lifestyle, I think now is a great time to ask ourselves the question. What makes work enjoyable? How can we get the most out of work? How do we avoid burnout? And how do we maximise our motivation? Bruce has the answers. So without further ado, my name is Stephen Bartlett, and this is the Diaries CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this to yourself. Bruce, you wrote a... I feel like that's an understatement. You wrote a smash hit book about work called The Joy of Work. And I've seen this book absolutely everywhere. It's been an absolute phenomenon. So considering the fact that the world has fundamentally shifted over the last nine, ten months because of this pandemic and the way we work has changed so much, I wanted to get your view of this remote working zoom sort of working culture that has now been forced upon us. Just before I let you answer, I'm going to give a little sentence around my take on it.
Discussion On Work Culture, Creativity, Social Media And Personal Growth
Your take on this new remote working culture? (01:52)
I hate it. And when in March, when we were forced out as a CEO for Business to tell my employees that we're going to be working from home, and we have this amazing office which gives us all this community, I know that about 50% of my workforce liked the idea, but I 100% hate it for a number of reasons. What's your take? So I think at the outset, I shared some of your reservations. Bernie Brown talks about this thing which is collective effervescence, and it's a good way. She's coined a term for something you see quite like in social science that even the introverts amongst us actually quite like being around people in some scenarios. And we get far more of our energy from the tribe we're in and the people we're surrounded with than we'd probably admit. And so when it first happened, look, the defining thing about Work for Me is laughing every day. If I laugh every day and in the organizations I've been in, they've been at times incredibly stressful. We've had at times when I was at Twitter, there was just for good reason, there was big headlines demanding stressful scenarios. But either the dark humour that you find in those moments or the moment of levity that you can just get if you're around people that you trust. Soldiers talk about this, firefighters talk about this, you can find humour, and I used to love that. So the idea of shifting to a world where somehow we're plugging into the matrix and we were losing that comradery, that kinship that we get from being around other people. I wasn't necessarily the biggest advocate of it. I think what's clear though is that we've fundamentally moved into a different world. And some of those preconceptions that we might have had might have been partly ill judged. So working through those things, the number one thing we know, 91% of people say they want to continue working in some capacity. When you look at the numbers of that, people say, broadly say they want to work at home three or four days a week. So there's some firm saying we're going to let people work one day a week or two days a week at home. People, workers want to work more than that. So there's going to be some degree of balance and we're going to achieve an equilibrium. So that's the demand side of it. And in fact, when you look at all age groups, young or old, there is a slight difference. So younger workers have said that they were happy at home, but it's close to how happy they were in the office. And we can partly understand that. A lot of young workers don't have home offices. They don't have nice desks. They're sitting on their bed or they're sitting on the table that sits at the end of their bed. So they're working in slightly different scenarios. But even they report they're more productive and happier than they were in a big open plan office. So that's the first thing. Older workers are significantly happier. If you've got a bit of space, it seems to correlate with you feeling really happy. So broadly, all of the evidence suggests actually the experience of it has been at least unbalanced positive. So then you look at the other side and I guess it's firms. And it's really growing evidence that firms are recognizing that something has fundamentally changed. Bloomberg did something interesting. The business people, they did an analysis of all the earnings calls. So all these transcripts of big bosses reporting to shareholders what they think is going to happen. And Bloomberg say that already about one in eight firms are talking about making their offices smaller. The FT did something where they said about half of British firms are already talking about their offices being smaller. So whether it's that demand side or whether it's that supply side, almost certainly we're going into something that's going to look and feel a bit different to what we were used to before. If you had to guess, I completely resonate with that. I think even for our organization, we realized how much money, I'll be honest, how much money we could save by not having an office because it's not just the rent, it's the cleaning, the electricity, it's the food and the cupboards, the maintenance of what was a 20,000 square foot office in Manchester. And you stripped back those costs and it was that you were forced to realize that it is possible for there to be another way. And I think at first we were skeptical that our business could run in it completely remotely. Then we realized it could. And then we moved into phase three, which was like, okay, but what have we lost now? And it was definitely a phase three thing, because in phase two, we're like, oh, everything's fine. In phase three, we're like, now we've got a problem because we've lost the sense of community that our company was giving to our employees. And for a company like ours, community was a huge part of our value add. We are the stereotypical millennial office with the slides and the little bit and the freedom and a real sense of strong community where pretty much everyone lives together. And so in phase three of this sort of mental journey, what we saw, and I actually resigned just after in about September time, what we saw was a bit of an exodus of our employees, because now they're sad at home, they're looking at their to-do lists, and they're now thinking the remuneration or the value I'm getting from this job is this amount of money, and I'm doing these set of tasks. So now I think I can get more money down the street at that place that has no working culture, whilst I'm still going to be sad at home, and it will be a similar set of tasks. And it was astonishing. It was astonishing how many people being completely honest, because I have no reason not to be honest. We almost never lost good people. The month just before and after I left, we lost our largest number of employees we've ever lost. And by a fact of 10. Yeah. And it's fascinating. So let's look into that, because you're exactly you spot on these the big themes that are emerging now. Firstly, how can you make people feel like the part of something when the old way they felt part of something was the energy they had when they're around people, right? There is some buzz and it's not an exaggeration. I've chatted to some of the world's leading experts, and they say good workplaces do have a buzz to them. They have almost like this tangible energy. And I think that's one of the challenges we've got now. If you've got a situation where people on video calls back to back and it might be not with a big boss, it might be with clients they're dealing with, or it might be with customers they've got to keep happy. But if they're on back to back meetings with those people, then they can just feel, well, look, that's going to be exactly the same wherever I go. We're not going to have same energy. And there's far more evidence that when people feel part of something bigger than themselves, it's transformational. So I've been, I'm sort of writing something about resilience at the moment, a book about resilience. And what you discover is that actually what you hear about resilience is that people tell you all these myths about resilience, that it's this individual strength, or it's this, it's this trait that we can develop. And what you discover about resilience is it's normally a collective thing. It's because you feel part of a resilient community. You feel like you've got the strength of others to draw upon. You feel like you can tap into something. One person in some of the research I was reading said, you can't be resilient on your own. And there's so much truth in that. Now, what does that mean for the way we're working right now? Well, if you've got someone in a bed seat or a studio flat or a flat chair, and they're sitting on their own all day, and they feel lonely, it's almost certain that those reserves of resilience are being tapped. And you know, there's one thing that psychologists talk about all the time, it's this notion of affect. It's sort of, it's a fancy way of saying mood, it's a psychologist way of saying mood. And what you discover about affect is that the mood we're in is really influential and a lot of other things on our experience of life, on the creativity, on our sense of collaboration. So scientists talk about positive affect and negative affect and positive affect. Best way I can sort of frame positive affect, it suggests that like the mood we're in transforms some of the decisions we make. And the best way I can frame that is that when you're a kid growing up, whether your main care is a grandparent or a parent or a guardian, but you knew from the age of four or five, you knew that it was a good time to ask for something and a bad time to ask for something. You knew based on the mood that your carer was in, that there was a good time to ask for something and a bad time affect. The mood we're in affects decisions. Well, the situation we're all going through right now is not positive affect, it's a negative affect. Loads of people are feeling burnt out. Average person during lockdown has been working about an extra 45 minutes a day. That's on the back of the average working day has gone up by two hours in the last 10 years. So people are finding themselves in this lonely, unaffiliated, disconnected sense of exhausted burnout. So it's no wonder people are quitting their jobs because they just don't feel like the good version of them that they used to feel like. You know, the contrast as well. So this idea of contrast where you can remember how your job used to be. And if your job used to be a 10 and now because it's because a central part of what made it a 10, say the community or the culture in the office or you know that sense of camaraderie or that sense that you know you were a group of people working together towards a goal. Now you're kind of sat in your bed set on your own on the end of your bed doing a to-do list. If your company was a 10 because of that culture and it's now dropped down to a six something in my mind makes me think that those companies will actually hurt more versus the companies that were like an eight before in an hour, a six. And that's part of what I think with our company social chain because culture was such a big thing that people must be thinking, Oh my God, what the hell is this being sat alone? And we try, I think, no, I can't speak to the company now because I'm no longer there. But I know there was ample efforts as with all companies to do these like Zoom bingo things and that lasted a month before everyone got sick, sick to death of that. But you mentioned the word burnout there, a very popular phrase, a topic of much mystique as well, I think.
What causes burn out? (12:11)
I saw your Ted talk about the topic of burnout and I saw your thoughts there. I guess my question is what caused his burnout in your view? Yeah, there was a really interesting book that just came out last year and it was based on a successful article that had sort of blown up on BuzzFeed by a woman called Anne Helen Peterson. And she talked about she the premise of her article, really good article worth searching for is that the millennials of the burnout. You remember that one? You shared it. Right. It was always matchy. And what she said is she said, she'd encountered it as a journalist. She's thinking, I'm feeling something. I wonder if I could capture it. And she was thinking, is there such thing as errant paralysis? So what she means by that is that she was getting to the end of like these productive working days and then she would get back to her flat and she would she would open a bill or she had she had something she needed to do. And she just didn't have the energy. This high performing, really successful person didn't have the energy to get those things done. And so she was thinking on her head, is this some sort of weird, duality that you can be really accomplished at one set of things, but you can't and others. She started looking into it and she realized it's not that you're avoiding one thing. You just exhausted. And her lesson was that any time we teach, we treat our energy as infinite, that's when burnout comes. And we so often do it. We treat the idea that we can work all the time. In the best examples I can give you are the ones where we actually check in on ourselves. So I used to find myself, day job working at Twitter, worked at Twitter for eight years. I used to, when I was especially guilty of these, I used to have backed about meetings on Monday. What's the consequence of backed about meetings? Your inboxes is exploding. It's absolutely overloaded. And so I used to get home on a Monday night, get myself a cup of tea, deal with all my domestic responsibilities. And I would sit there and work and do emails for about four hours and just try and catch up with what I was doing. And I quite often I would check myself and about nine o'clock I'd be spending as much time changing the music as a word, doing emails or one long email that's like a two-pager who sends these emails, these criminal sending long emails. But I'd find myself reading this, you know, that feeling where you read it, I'll just read that again and then read it again. And what you discover, this science for this, it's called ego depletion. And the people who look into this say that our brains are sort of far more finite, far more limited than we might imagine. Our brains are far closer, if you want a metaphor for it. Our brains are far closer to the batteries on our phone than the infinite broadband that we normally deal with. So your brain's sort of got a certain amount of charge in it. And when you use it, and so the way you'll witness this is maybe you walk into a situation and someone asks you a question at the end of a long day or whatever and you're like, hang on, can you just give me a minute? Just give me a minute. Someone asks you something really complicated just as you're about, okay, hang on, can I just give you, and effectively our brains are sort of far more finite. Once you recognise that, you start thinking, okay, I wonder if that should influence the way I think about doing my job. And of course burnout is one of the things where we don't treat our energy as finite. It is finite, but we don't treat it like that. And the end result is then we just feel like we're running on empty, we're running on vapours. And so when you look into it, the World Health Organisation recognised burnout as a real phenomenon, and they say that burnout is all about when our energy feels spent, when we feel emotionally exhausted. They talk about this other thing called depersonalisation, where when you really burnt out, you don't necessarily construe other people as full and empathetic individuals. But sometimes you're a bit sort of dismissive of other people or you're a bit reductive of their motives or you start seeing people around you as an annoyance. So in the old days, if you ever found that the person you sat next to, their chewing or their tapping was driving you crazy, that can be a little bit of an example of depersonalisation. So it's a real phenomenon. I think to my mind, it makes you rethink the way you work. So if you knew, okay, the most I can do every day is eight productive hours of work. And you can, there are evidence to suggest you can do more than that. But if you started treating it like that, and so maybe actually, if I'm honest, it's not a really high intensity productive hours, but maybe it's five or six really good hours. And then, you know, other stuff is dealing with email or dealing with phone calls. I suspect it would change the way you made decisions. And you see evidence that this Barack Obama used to have someone who followed him round, who Barack Obama never chose his lunch in eight years, because this person just made all these decisions for him. And you see Albert Einstein said something similar. Einstein used to wear that same outfit every day. And it was because he knew when he got to his lab, when he got to the place he was making decisions, he knew that if he went there and he hadn't cluttered his brain with all these little micro decisions, he just felt a bit more imaginative, inventive, creative. So we see evidence of it in other people's behaviour. But normally, when it comes to us, we don't treat our brains like that. We don't treat it like something we need to protect our energy to protect. We tend to treat our energy as infinite. But that's why burnout comes. Does the type of work, you know, you talk there about eight hours or five hours, whatever it might be, does the type of work you're doing and the amount of intrinsic motivation you have or joy you get from it impact your likelihood of being burnt out? Yeah. Because that's what I suspected in my life, because the people that I've seen that get burnt out, and this is all anecdotal and there's no scientific evidence really to support these assertions. But people that I've seen get burnt out the most are typically, typically, especially during the lockdown, working alone often, often freelance, often doing a repetitive task, usually doing things that aren't that enjoyable. And I had a friend actually come here and sort of say for a talk about, I think in the last week's podcast, and he basically told me that he was feeling a bit burnt out. And he was struggling to get out of bed and go and do the go and do his work in the morning. He's a he's a freelance freelancer working on his own in his house. He used to work within teams during pre pandemic. And I was saying to him, like, think about the things that make your work enjoyable. And what are the, you know, what are the things about work that are intrinsically and motivating to you? All those things have gone right now. So now you're just left with waking up alone, sitting in front of a computer, and maybe because you're intrinsic motivations or the intrinsic joy of your work has been stripped. Maybe you're now encountering burnout. I think that resonates with me as well to some degree. Like, if I've ever got close to feeling unmotivated or quote unquote burnt out, it was when I was doing things alone, pre social chain, on my own, just for money. There's a couple of things there. So two things. So like this, I think is all related to resilience. So there's two things there. The first thing is that the evidence we have is that when we feel an absence of control, we generally feel more burnt out. So let's think of examples. And the research on this, some of the best research on this is about nurses. So very timely for the moment we're in right now. When nurses choose to work extra hours, or you might have known friends when you were doing jobs before your career, where, you know, I used to work in fast food. And some of those dudes used to work 14 hour shifts. And you're like, wow, where did they get the energy? But they were electing to do it. And the evidence we have is that when people choose to do those things, it often impacts them less. They feel like they've got control over it. So you know, I these guys who used to work with Burger King at me with me, and they were doing 100 hour weeks. But because they were choosing to do it, because it was really important for them to afford a car to do things. They were what you discover is that when you're electing to do it does seem to give you some degree of protection. So control is a really important part. The more control we feel over our lives. So why might you now be feeling burnt out? Because imagine if your company has you on 40 hours of Zoom calls a week, or your inbox is always full, or you've got a difficult person you have to deal with a client relationship who's phoning you all the time, you might be feeling the absence of control, or your friend who's the freelancer, might be feeling like I'm just, I'm not in control of things. But there's a couple of other really important parts. And they're about our identity and about the, the sense of community. And you get really good evidence of how when we feel part of something bigger than us, and feeling that connection being around people is a really important part of that. It tends to enrich us. It tends to, to protect us. And you see really good evidence of this. You see when people go to hospital, if they have like a heart operation, or they have something serious, when they come out of hospital, the people who reported that they were part of groups before, their chance of survival, their chance of avoiding depression is massively higher than those who live in isolation. And look, that's the experiment we're going through right now, that you might have wonderful friends that are at the end of a Zoom line, or a messenger link, or a WhatsApp. But if you're not around them, and to some extent, some of the energy we get from them is dissipating. And I think that's the challenge that a lot of us are in right now. It's just a very lonely existence we've got now. All of the things that we found nourishing and riching, life affirming, a lot of them have been taken away from us. Now the challenge gone. I was just going to say, I was going to say, actually, there's a lady that sat in your chair yesterday, Anna Hemings, and she's an 11 time world gold medal, world champion, amazing Olympian, et cetera, et cetera. And she was speaking to the fact that at one point in her career, when she was training in London to be a kayaker, so she's like an 11 time world champion kayaker, right? And then at one point in her career, they decided that they wanted her to go to the Olympics, so she had to learn sprint kayaking. The coach was in Florida. So they took her away from her team in London, and she had to basically train on her own via using an email that her coach in Florida was sending her. And after doing that for a couple of months, she got chronic fatigue syndrome. So she was out for two years. She said she couldn't lift her hands and shampoo her hair. And the thing that brought her back was the realization that taking away her from her team, as someone who was a bit of an extravert and got her energy from people, had set off a bunch of alarm bells in her body. So the reason that she managed to recover and come back and win more world titles after two years of literally having this chronic fatigue syndrome was by realizing that and putting her back with her teams and changing her training, which I just... Wow, what a metaphor for what we're going through, right? And it shows how the mind is so intrinsically connected to the body. People don't think that loneliness or removing you from your tribe can disable your body or your energy. But although there's remarkable amounts of evidence on that, so there's a woman in the US called Julian Holt-Lunchdad, who's done like a colossal survey. And she appropriates, she said loneliness is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So it has this big impact on us. And loneliness is a bigger than obesity in terms of the health impact it has on you. And that's what we're going through right now. And for all of these things that we've tried to sort of create these artificial alternatives, Zoom quizzes, and all manner of things like that, they just don't have the same connection of feeling surrounded with someone. There's some evidence, as soon as you start looking into these things, it's extraordinary what an impact people have on each other. So these one piece of evidence went up to Oxford to meet the woman who did this research. And she took groups of rowers, similar to the kayaker, took groups of rows. First, and there are Oxford University rows, you've seen them, the colossal, the monsters. She put the first group individually on rowing machines. Second group, she said, "Okay, I want you to be on a made up boat. You're going to sit on your own machines, but you've got to be in stroke with each other." And she wanted to see, firstly, what was the different experience? What she noticed was that firstly, they did about the same amount of exercise. It wasn't like some had worked harder than others, but she measured the endorphine levels. You do that by, you put these arm cuffs on people, you sort of, you subject them to pain, and you see how much pain they can take. And the endorphine levels of the people who'd rowed together was twice as high as the people who'd rowed alone. And you see this with choirs, people who sing in choirs, you can grab strangers off the street, get them to sing some abbasongs together. And you say to them at the end of it, "How do you feel?" They say, "I feel utterly elated." Now, that's not because singing abbasongs on its own does it, because when you feel some connection with other people, even strangers, it seems to be transformation, it seems to sort of elevate our mood, and all of that has been stripped from us. So, you know, if you've got, I guess you can try to do some approximations of it, but all of that has been stripped from us. And I think that's why it's inevitable that we are feeling flat energy-less. It doesn't feel the same right now. How do we fix that, though? And this is, I think, going back to the start of the conversation, why I hate it. I hate the lack of connection. I hate the lack of community, I think. Are you an extrovert, would you say? Oh, God, I really don't know. I think on one hand, I'm a massive introvert. Yeah. I'm people know me. I don't like to do, I don't like small talk. I like to sit alone for weeks on end. I went off to the jungle for four weeks in September alone, went off to the Costa Rican jungle alone. So, I like that, although I have this kind of like, you know, public speaking, social media brand. So, I actually don't know. A lot of introverts like that ability to switch on the public speaking side. But I think actually, the more you look into the introvert extrovert thing, it's sort of a compartmentalization that doesn't necessarily, the vast majority of people sit somewhere in your own exact list. I'm the same as you. No, but these, I think, look, the point you raised is, there's no easy substitute, but there is some evidence, I saw an amazing piece of research, and it looked at couples who lived distance relationships. So, you know, in the UK, distance relationship means you half an hour, and hours drive from someone. In the US, it means you're like a three hour flight. So, they did a piece of research, 40,000 couples living distant relationships, and they wanted to know, so these were unmarried. So, they wanted to know, the ones who made it through a year, what was the thing that made it through a year? And this research was done three or four years ago. So, it's not from a different era of technology, but the ones who stayed with each other for the long term phoned each other every day, and when they were asked what you talked about, they said, "Oh, we just talked about trivial things." So, I think so many of us have got into this frame of mind of thinking, "Well, I liked her photo, and I sent a quick WhatsApp, playing, I sent a voice note, horrific use to take longer than they said." But, you know, we think somehow we've serviced the relationship by doing these things, and actually when you come down to it, and maybe future generations will be different, but it's often quite analogue. It's that sense of feeling seen and appreciated. So, I suspect FaceTime might work the same way, but so many of us are overwhelmed with these performative Zoom calls right now. We're sitting there with a celebrity squares, a blankity blank array of faces in front of you, and I wonder if it's that sense of being seen and being heard that probably connects and cuts through a bit more. Yeah, I think so. I just think work is just so much more than the work, right? I think, especially in the world, in the world we live in at the moment, where we're getting lonelier as a society. I was looking at the stats when I was writing my book about, you know, when they ask Americans, for example, how many people they can turn to at a time of crisis. It used to be three people a couple of decades ago. Now, the medium answer is zero. Yeah. And I think it was Theresa May that I pointed ahead of loneliness or loneliness as are for the UK. And I've seen the stats. So I think work is one of the few sort of, I don't know, institutions where it still binds us together. And we're not between four white walls tapping glass to order food and alone speaking to our man through a piece of glass. So it's a shame that that that community, that part of community is gone. But anyway, moving on, creativity, something you've talked about at length.
What kills and causes creativity (29:03)
And for me, I've always believed that I'm least creative in the office. I've always thought I'm more creative in the gym and in the shower than I am when I'm sat in a boardroom with a bunch of people. And I know this is something you've spoken about. So I wanted to get your take on where we're most creative, what kills and causes creativity. Yeah. I mean, look, firstly, all I ever feel in all of these situations is that I feel like I am a vessel that's passing on other people's knowledge. So I found myself being consumed with all these things and interested in their learning. So look, let me tell you what I've discovered that neurosciences really intriguing. The most compelling thing about neurosciences when you look into it, neuroscientists used to work on experimenting on animals. I'm not keen on that. I was like, I was in a protest group of animal experimentation when I was younger. And they used to look at brain injuries. So that used to be the main way that neuroscience worked. And it's only the last 20 years that brain scans have had any degree of sophistication. But what they've discovered in like the time that they've had brain scanners is some of the things that they presumed about the way our brain works aren't necessarily right. So let me give you one example. When they used to put people in these brand new brain scanners and they would watch what the brains did. They'd give them a puzzle, they'd give them a Rubik's Cube. Their brains would light up in these sort of different places. And then they'd notice what happened when people stopped playing on the puzzle. And their brains would light up in loads of places as well. And so it was baffling what's going on right now, they'd say to these people, they'd say, "Oh right, sorry, I was a million miles away. I was daydreaming." So, okay, that's interesting. Your brain's lighting up when you're not thinking about something, when you sort of switched off. And so the way that neuroscientists categorize this broadly, they say these three systems of cognition. First one is like, when you're doing that Rubik's Cube, or when you're typing an email, it's called the Executive Attention Network. So, the main thing you're focusing on. And then you'll know, while your Executive Attention Network is watching Netflix or while you're writing an email, you can also be aware of like the room you're in. That's called the Salience Network. And the third one, the third, so these three of these systems, the third one is that one when you're daydreaming, the one where you're a million miles away, the one when you're in the shower, which is called the default network. But what we discover is that people generally report having their best creative ideas, not when they're frowning into their laptop screen, but when they're in these default mode situations. So, you might have it in the old days, if you're on a train somewhere, or on a plane somewhere, loads of people, I've got a friend who says she has all her best ideas staring out the windows of planes. And so, you know, if that was you, then this year has been an uncreative year. But my favourite example of it, is a really famous screenwriter called Aaron Sorkin. He's written the West Wing. He wrote, there was a film he had on Netflix just for Christmas called the Chicago 7. He's written all these big things, very famous for Zingy Dialogues. He wrote the social network film, things like that. Really, what's better than a million a billion, like he's written all these Zingy lines. And he's realised that he has all his best ideas, exactly like you in the shower. He said he had, he told Hollywood Report magazine, he had a shower installed in the corner of his office, and he has eight showers a day. And he was asked by them, he was asked by them, handgun. Is this like some weird OCD thing? He said, not at all. I find that when I, you know, start a procedure, thinking of something, trying to come up with an idea, which only when I disengage my brain, something comes to me, an idea comes to me. And so what you described is exactly what a lot of these people whose job it is to be creative, have recognised. And as soon as you know that, you start thinking, wow, okay, I need to think differently about being creative, because creativity can then be, right, I'm sitting at my desk, I'm sort of taking all these inspiration in, stimulation ideas. But then it's about disengaging, going for a walk, going for a cycle ride, going to do a workout might be the moment where the idea hits you. And I don't think necessarily we think about that enough. You know, if you go back to this idea that your brain is a bit like your phone battery, then some of those moments that effectively can recharge your battery can be the moments where creativity hits you and inspiration hits you. So I think sort of rethinking the way that we treat a productive week of work, of, you know, these blocks of work, but then moments where, you know, it might be your personal routine, you go for a walk every lunchtime, that can be far more creative and productive than you might imagine. Well, how do we make our work environments more conducive with creativity then? Is there a way or do we just resign to the fact that that's not going to be the best place for our creativity? And if we're going to reach our creative potential, it's probably going to be away from the office. I think it's about recognizing that it's a yin yang, there's a balance of work and imagination. So I always love the example of Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens obviously got incredibly productive. I think he wrote 15 novels, 200 short stories, he edited a weekly magazine about a mile from here, you know, sort of incredibly productive. We didn't work afternoons. And so Charles Dickens would sit down at his desk at eight in the morning, he'd write for about four or five hours and then he'd go and walk and he'd walk 10 miles every afternoon. And that was like him lost in his thoughts, you know, striding through East London, probably sort of imagination popping when he sat down the next day, he had loads of ideas. And I think some of us have eliminated that sort of the brain fermenting ideas. We've eliminated that a bit. So, you know, it might be that your way to do this yourself is to make sure you've just got some downtime or you've just got some time where, you know, you put music on but you turn podcasts off, or you just you try and get a bit more balance in how you're using your energy. So let's conclude this point about work and creativity. Say that I today made you the CEO of a company that had 100 employees. And you could design from scratch the working environment, how often people worked and some of the sort of key sort of principles and foundations of that working environment. What kind of things would be important to you based on all you know? So let's look into what happened in lockdown. The first part of lockdown, most people reported that their engagement went up. And why did their engagement went up? Their engagement went up because they were solving problems, right? We'd never worked like this before. Everyone was, you know, the first moment you're getting on a Zoom call or a Google Hangout or you're getting on these things, these like, you know, even though you're in this crazy situation, there's a degree of excitement. It's fight or flight almost. Right. And so what do we know about that? We know that people felt that they were involved in first day a bit of team collaboration, but secondly, they were helping solve problems. And so, you know, the whole organization's computer sales have gone through the roof. The whole organization's that had no laptop computers. So they had to arm their teams with kit. And so people felt really engaged by the fact that they, back to what we talked about earlier, had some control, they had a bit of influence. So number one thing that we discover is the more that people feel that they can have an impact in their job. And it might be something similar, simple. They're just responsible for a couple of things themselves. The more that they feel that they've got some agency, some control themselves, they feel motivated in their jobs. When do we feel unmotivated in our jobs when our boss tells us what to do, but we don't get any input into it, we don't necessarily think it's the best thing to do. We're doing repetitive things that don't feel very rewarding. So the best thing that any of us can do is think, well, how can I make teams feel small and teams feel like they've got a shared sense of accomplishment and pride in what they're doing? So that's what I would be saying. What you discover is 100 is a really nice size, actually. Anytime a company goes over 100, what you discover is you lose a bit of some of that camaraderie. You better almost, there's a few organizations that do this. When you go over 100, split it into two teams. Because that sort of cohesion you get works really well when we've got a familiarity with each other. And what happens is when you go over that, you start losing it and you think, we want it to feel like it used to feel. It's never going to feel like that. Humans don't work like that. So far better to say, we've got two teams that love each other, but we're working on separate goals. So keeping things small is really critical. And there's lots of evidence of the smaller you can keep things. You almost get the economies of engagement compared to the economies of scale. That when people feel they're part of something that they're having an input into, their engagement is higher, they work more effectively. So I would say that would be the defining part, making people feel like they've got things that they're responsible for. Generally, all of those things encourage active engagement. What you find, when you look into some of the stats, they're terrifying. So when you globally, this an organization gallop to this workforce survey, a pinion pole company, and they do this workforce survey, and they say that globally, 13% of people are engaged in their jobs. When they look into it, what they mean by that is that there's almost as many people, there's about 22% of people who would actively disengage their jobs. So by actively disengaged, they hate their organization and they want to bring the downfall of their organization. So anytime you meet someone on the tuber in the street, they're almost twice as likely to want to destroy their company as make it succeed. But then the vast majority of everyone else, over 50% of people are just disengaged. They're not actively disengaged, they're just passively disengaged. So work for most of us is something that sort of feels arduous. We don't necessarily enjoy it. We don't necessarily value the decisions. And you'll know, as someone who's run a company where culture is the defining thing, you'll know that when you get it right, it can be the superpower where you're on high-octane fuel compared to the energy can feel low otherwise. And so just getting those things generally is far more about people feeling a personal connection with the people that are around feeling like they're contributing something. These things play a really big part. We talked a lot about the joy of work. Obviously, the I guess the antithesis of the joy of work is the misery of work. And at some point, when work feels miserable, people are faced with this quite confounding question, which is, how do I know when to quit? And we talk, I think there's so much written about how to start and when to start and starting being the thing. But obviously, the thing that comes before starting usually is knowing the right moment to quit. People don't quit sometimes and they spend many decades in a miserable job. And then their fear of quitting almost becomes stronger because they're getting more comfortable and more entrenched. So I've not seen you talk about anything about quitting before, but I just wondered if you had a take on when the right moment to quit a job was. I know it's an incredibly personal nuance thing, but people, I was thinking then, I was thinking, what are some of the things people really want to know right now? One of them, I'm sure, is like, I hate my job. I don't have control. My boss is an asshole. Do I quit? I'm going to tell you a secret. For the past five years while building social chain into a 700 person global social media powerhouse, I've been using a service that I've never really mentioned. Some of you might know that service. It's called Fiver, F-I-V-E-R-R. It's my little secret. If I've ever had a project where I've needed affordable skilled freelancers to help me, whether it's building a social media application that made my company 3 million pounds, or just a video I needed editing, or help making a logo, or making a website, I've used Fiver. Now that my secret's at the bag, here's what I'm going to do for you. If there's a freelance service you need or a project you need help with, a logo, a website, a voiceover, video you need made, anything at all, go to Fiver.com/CEO. I'll put the link in the description. That's Fiver.com/CEO. Message me, the service you want from the website, and every single week I'll personally send you the credit to your Fiver account so that you can get that project done. Thank you to Fiver for the sponsorship and for supporting entrepreneurs and freelancers around the world. I'm looking forward to all of your messages. I've been working my way through these Heul nutrition bars this week. As you know, I love the ready to drink Heul flavors, but Heul have also got these salted caramel bars, and I'm a big salted caramel nut, which I've been having. And if you're someone that does like to chew, not just drink your food, then I really highly recommend the salted caramel flavor. There's also another flavor called the raspberry and white chocolate flavor, which I've been very addicted to over the last couple of weeks. But again, just like Heul, it's nutritionally complete. You get all of your proteins, you get essential fats, you get gluten-free as well, and you get 26 vitamins and minerals from these bars. Tastes amazing. And I'm a big salted caramel fan. Give it a go. If you do, send me a screenshot on Instagram or Twitter or LinkedIn and let me know what you think. Again, it's someone that skips meals. This is an absolute lifesaver. I was thinking, what are some of the things people really want to know right now?
How do I know when to quit? (42:43)
And one of them, I'm sure, is like, I hate my job. I don't have control. My boss is an asshole. Do I quit? Yeah, look, you know, big question. You probably could tell us more than that. Well, I've just got my thoughts. Yeah, I think, you know, the critical thing about that is, is probably checking in with yourself and asking, you know, do I feel any sense of reward from my job? Obviously, it's not a great time for anyone right now to be debating doing something that makes them economically precarious. So you don't necessarily want to risk something that is going to put you in a difficult situation. But I think, you know, evaluating our jobs, generally, when you look into the research, when you say to people, have you had a good day at work, it generally comes down to whether people feel pride in their organization and whether they feel like they've made meaningful progress in something they've been working on. So meaningful progress actually can be difficult right now. If your job feels like you're the expert in emailing and video calls, you sometimes feel like you've made no progress for weeks. You haven't done anything for weeks. And also, if your organization is struggling, this is a really interesting phenomenon because some organizations pre-COVID were growing. So naturally, when you're an employee in those organizations, you're dragged up with it, you're getting promotions and pay rises. And there's the cash to fund that. Now, organizations are in decline, or a lot of them are hanging on. And so you're not getting a promotion, your pay's been frozen. You might be on a pay cut, you might be furloughed. And it feels like suddenly you've gone into decline in your career, because the organization you're in is in decline. And I think that also causes a lot of people to start to think, well, my whole life up until this point has been about progress and climbing the ladder, why am I going down the ladder? I didn't do anything different or wrong. It's a really interesting philosophical thing about that, because the whole idea of the career, a career, is the invention of the last 40 years. Ancestors, our grandparents, our great grandparents, never had the idea of a career where I was going to be accomplishing something and developing and changing. The job you were going to be doing next year was the job you were doing last year. Well done. And the job that your kids were going to do was going to be the job that you did. And this idea, and it brings with it a degree of insecurity, this idea that we will be on this developmental path is a construct. Look, and it's a construct that suits the economic system we live in, because it makes us all we strive to be accomplishing more than we did last year and to be earning more than we did last year. But it's a construct of the last few years, whether it's the origin of happiness, I'm not 100% sure. If I was going to put two things alongside, some of the things that you've talked about, that sense of feeling part of something, feeling connected to other people, I think he's a more robust route to happiness than feeling like I'm on a career trajectory, even though that can, the illusion of that can be incredibly powerful. Interesting, because there's this thing called like gold medal depression, where like Michael Phelps, he set these targets.
Childhood trauma in the elite (45:53)
One thing I investigated in my book is the idea that we think stability, we think chaos, we think we live in chaos and in search of stability. But the moment we find stability, i.e. completed goals and roof over our heads and everything's normal, we actually descend into chaos. So in fact, we're meant to keep, this is a philosophical idea, I guess, but we're meant to keep our lives in forward motion and that chaos, because when you look at people that have achieved all their goals and they have nothing left to accomplish, they so often fall into some kind of depression and lack of purpose and meaning. I think Jordan Peterson talks about it and Adventure Pierce said a lot about it, that much of, I was looking at the stats around life expectancy in the UK and the US and over the last two years it's declined for the first time ever. And they say, why is that? They say, because of the opioid crisis, and say, why is there an opioid crisis? And they say, well, because there's a lack of meaning. And so I began to realize that in my own life, I think I'm meant to keep myself, my goals way out in front of me, almost unattainable, and keep myself striving. And I've even seen it in my person, which I've talked about a little bit on this podcast, the days where someone came along and said, here's 50 million more by your company, or we're going to go to the stock market, you're going to be a millionaire, were the most confusing days of my life, because I immediately didn't know what my point was anymore. I wonder, there's something really fascinating. So there's a study of Olympic medalist, a British study, really fascinating piece of work. It's called the Great British Medalist Study. And it was commissioned by the British Olympic Association. So they wanted to know what was the creation of a champion. And they did this fascinating thing. They gathered 20, what they called super elite athletes. So these are athletes. You'll know them, all of them are household names. They don't name them in the study, but it's people like Kelly Holmes, it's people like big iconic names. And these were people that every time they went to a championship, they would win gold, or they would win. They would be writing contention. And they took a second group and they called these elite athletes, super elite elite. And these were people who went to championships, but kind of didn't medal, or if they medaled, they medaled third. Biggest difference between them, these ones had all received significant childhood trauma. The elite ones. The best ones had achieved significant childhood trauma. Let's start counting the cases. So Kelly Holmes, she was bullied at school. She was the only child of mixed race, ethnicity in her village. She said she experienced continual racism. Tom Daly, his father died when he was from his training. Yeah. You look at countless examples of these things. Andy Murray was a great British tennis player, maybe a great British sports person. He was at the dumb plane shooting, the only mass shooting in British history. So all of these people have experienced significant childhood trauma. And what happens is they tend to direct their energy based on what we know. They direct their fortunate, there was a coincidence that they were gifted supreme talent. And what you discover is childhood trauma normally correlates with addiction. So if it correlates with anything, it correlates with obsessive behavior. But both of them have something in common, you're trying to fill that void. And so these people are fortunate that they've been gifted with this super elite talent that they can fill the void with striving for something. And the people who ends up at addicts with the same challenge don't, but they're still striving to fill that void. And so there is something in, it's almost inevitable that these people who are striving for the elite accomplishment, hoping to fill these hole that sits inside them. Of course, when they get there, they realize it was all an illusion. It's like a mirage in the desert. But there is something in what you say. I mean, completely. I sit here and speak to people that are tremendously successful. And the one thing that I've seen common with all of them, actually, think I said it to Joe Wicks when he was sat here two weeks ago, was they all seem to have some real severe childhood trauma that no one else has experienced. And even in my, I said to Joe, I said, you know, I've got a friend who's a billionaire. He's not happy, but he has had this deep obsession since he was a kid because of some things that happened with his father. And his father making him feel that he just wasn't enough or he wasn't adequate enough, which has made him obsessive about success to the point where it's unhealthy. And he's a got there now. He's a billionaire, but he's not happy at all. He's, you know, he's tremendously unfulfilled the same with Eddie Han. Eddie Han was on his podcast a couple of weeks ago as well. And he is the most relentlessly obsessed person I've met. Just nonstop. Each the point where he'll say to his kids, like he'll tell his wife and kids that they are second priority to being a boxing promoter. You ask him where that's come from. He said, you know, my dad, my dad always made me feel like I wasn't enough. It's really interesting though, because it depends. I'm intrigued then how these people pay it forward because Andre Agassi, Supreme tennis player, great tennis player, marriage to the greatest, the up there equal greatest tennis players for all time. He's married to Stephie Graff. And, and he says that his dad bullied him constantly. He liked his dad was never happy. He's the only place his dad who was a Persian, Iranian cab driver could afford to own a tennis court was in Las Vegas. So they moved to Las Vegas and his dad bullied him into becoming a tennis player. And Andre Agassi, fantastic autobiography wrote about how much he hates tennis, hates it with every single bit, every fiber in his body. And he says, I will never do to my kids what my dad did to me. And so it's like this really interesting origin of success is the thing that propels you this driving force that propels these people, which is keep going relentlessly. Is it something missing rather than something extra? And I think that's the interesting conundrum. I don't think it's predictable. And this is the thing, because I think you think, okay, well, if someone has trauma, they're going to become a successful or they're going to become an addict. Or if someone has a, a bringing that lack of empathy from their parents, then they'll become an asshole or a serial killer. But in the case of Joe X, he was, he talked about how he had, you know, he looked at the doors in his house and they all had fist holes in them. His dad was an addict, his mom had these problems. And, and he is the single most empathetic person I've ever met. You know, when they announced the third lockdown, he does a live stream crying his eyes up because not because of him. He's fine. He's saying, I can, I'm feeling the pain of people losing their jobs right now. And you think, well, if your dad was, you know, you grew up in a home full of domestic abuse, weight and violence, how can you become the most empathetic person that I've ever encountered? Genuinely, genuinely empathetic, this guy. Like I've never seen, you know, you know, because everyone says about, you know, pee with Joe, and they all like send him the memes every time there's a lockdown of him, like putting his shoes back on or whatever. But the guy gets really down, really, really, really down because he knows that other people are hurting. I've never seen anything like it. However, here's my question. So we talked about childhoods, making people very interesting.
The Trump Twitter ban (52:54)
There's one guy in particular who is notoriously had a very interesting childhood, which made him a certain way, Donald Trump and his father. You know, the story of Donald Trump and his father being, you know, you were the VP of EMEA of Twitter. Obviously, Donald Trump has just been booted off Twitter permanently. What do you think about that? But also wanted to ask you, well, if you were Jack Dorsey and Matt at that time, would you have made the same decision? Number one, it's so incredibly hard. And I think the, I mean, I always felt like I worked four years at YouTube before Twitter. And the time that I worked at YouTube, there was a lot of mass shootings. And there's always mass shootings in the US. But there's a lot of mass shootings. And the phenomenon at the time was that a lot of the mass shootings, it was being discovered that the people had YouTube channels. And so I remember sitting in a meeting with lawyers in the San Bruno headquarters of YouTube, watching them debate what the right moral thing to do was in these fascinating to watch things that were being invented challenges that no one had conceived of five years before. Now you've got these things. So you're watching all these things going on. And so, you know, when Twitter was invented, when Twitter was invented, it was away 15 years ago. It was a way to text all of your mates at once. And so there was a short code, and it was a way, it took like your MSN messenger status, and it sent it to text messages. That was the idea before everyone had internet connection on their phone. So that it feels like a different lifetime now, but just an illustration. To be 15 years on from that, debating whether you deplatform the most powerful, most well known, is he the most famous person in the world, maybe the most famous person in the world, to deplatform that person is such a journey to be on. And I know the people, I mean, I know Jack, I know the other person who made the decision, and I know that they don't make any of those decisions lightly, you know, it's like, it's really weighs on them. But to my mind, it was a singular situation where firstly, I saw some people on social media saying that this was an illustration that the employees of tech firms were woke. And it's just really interesting equivalent, because six people died in that event. And if you watch back all the footage of what led to it, then it doesn't take a huge leap of logic to say, I can see why that created that. So six people died. And I think it was at the end of a long period where increasing numbers of the tweets by the president and the people associated were being labeled with, this isn't true. And you do reach a point where a lot of critics were saying, where does your responsibility kick in here? Do you have no responsibility for what your platform is being used for? I think knowing the people concerned that that was the last thing they wanted to be to be in the position where they were making a decision, Angela Merkel has come out saying she feels uncomfortable with it. And I can definitely imagine that everyone in Twitter felt uncomfortable with it. It was one of those difficult things. Every way you went for the whole Trump presidency, people would say, what are you doing? Why are you not taking this down? And of course, the first thing you've got to say is, irrespective of anyone's opinion, and that's the only way you can look at this, this is an elected leader of a country. And so, irrespective of anything else, for a private company to be saying that we take an opinion which transcends the election result is a really uncomfortable one. So I know that it would have been a really careful decision, I think a really deliberate decision. Jack's been on podcasts and in places, I'm Joe Rogan talking about, he believes that Bannon shouldn't be forever. So who's to say that there wouldn't be a route back on these things? But I do know that the decision was probably made carefully, reluctantly. I think it's the right decision. I think it's the right decision. And I think the timing of it was probably right. I would be, it felt at the moment it took place, it felt like the intensity of dialogue and the toxicity of dialogue was reaching such a stage that six people already dead is just like this could escalate even further. And I have to say, since it's happened, it does feel to me like a bit of the stress in the room has gone. Someone said something about, I think President-elect Biden said, that a natural order of things, you don't think about your leaders every day. You kind of know they're there, you've got context that they have an awareness. But this sense of peril, where you're thinking about your leader and what might happen every day just contributes to bad mental health. It's not a healthy place for us to live in. So I would guess that there would always be a route back for people, even if they've had a permanent ban. Jack said that. But I do think it was the right decision. I'm really not sure. I consider myself to someone that's on the left, I guess, to some degree or maybe left to center left. But it doesn't make me feel a little bit uncomfortable because you're right. It sets a bit of a precedence for the future in terms of how we deal with opinions we don't like, things that might be considered to be inciting violence. What would you have done in this case? I think I would have suspended his account temporarily. Like the Facebook approach? Yes. I think that was probably a better approach, all things considered. I think because Trump is a very unique, very powerful individual, I would have also had someone, I'm not sure if this happened, but someone from Twitter contact his team and really have a dialogue about it and lay out that we can't allow our platform to be a place where we're like denying the election results and therefore inciting these kinds of things. I would have used this suspension period to have that conversation. I think the removal sets a bit of a strange precedence. I did wonder before this moment, social media is very left. It's a very like a liberal place. I think if you were to just look at social media, you would think that the Labour Party is always going to win. Typically as well, because I think so. I think that's more a reflection of who you follow than because... I definitely think these plenty of pockets of people who are huge Brexit supporters. Clearly, I mean, the numbers say that there's more of them. Yeah. But it's just I think the Brexit and the Conservative narrative is less akin to the virtue signaling that you're rewarded for on social media. If I say child, a lunchbox is for all, everyone's here. But if I was to... I might even lose my job or be cancelled or be criticized, if I said, "Oh, no, we don't need to give as much money to the NHS or something." So it just seems like the liberal, the sort of left-talking points are a little bit more acceptable on social media and the right ones might make you lose your job or get you cancelled. You know what I mean? I think it's about tonality rather than perspective. I mean, look, absolutely, it's not going to play well if you're in the market for likes to say that I think we need a tighter fiscal policy and less benefits for people. It's going to play differently. I wouldn't necessarily agree that the platforms have a specific bias though. I think, of course... It's my echo chamber. Yeah, generally, I've witnessed plenty of strong opinion on both sides. Like this, it was my job to try and ensure there was a degree of good conversation in those things. And I've probably not seen that because I've only seen my own little echo chamber and I'm young. I'm surrounded by very left people in my organization and stuff, so I probably surrounded myself with that narrative a bit more. But I've always felt that. Where does social media go from here?
Where does social media go from here? (01:01:34)
I mean, it feels like it's a really pivotal moment. We've got this big case with Facebook at the moment in the US where they're considering breaking up Facebook and we've got Trump being banned from Twitter. We've got parlaying pulled from the App Store and Amazon Web Services. It feels like we're in a bit of a... I don't know. Maybe we've always been in this constant debate of what social media is and where the lines are. But what are some of the big changes you see coming to... Look, I think it's pretty clear that regulation is coming in some capacity. I think, to be honest, I think most of the big organizations would welcome it. When it comes to choosing to deplatform people, whether they're the president or whether they're troublemakers, having some rules that are agreed by an independent authority would be welcome for most of those platforms. I think it's really uncomfortable when organizations are losing sleep. Being on the inside is really uncomfortable. When you're losing sleep about, "Should we be doing this? Can we be doing this? How do we account for doing this?" Jack Dorsy did a series of tweets a couple of nights ago trying to... He's formidable, I think, trying to demystify how decisions are made. So no win. Almost everyone who reads it will be critical of it. But he's trying to say, "Look, this is how we reach that decision." I think there'll be degree of regulation. I think that's probably a good thing. I suspect some of the big groups will be broken up. Facebook and Google will probably be broken up and the question will be whether they are willing to embrace that and do it and all of the shareholders and all of the users and all of the people who work their benefit or if they resist it. The lessons of Microsoft, Bill Gates and Steve Belmer will say, "We lost 10 years of our company because we spent 10 years resisting regulation, resisting control." Had they just given up to that, they'd probably... Microsoft's in a good place again, I think, big is coming in the world again. But they would have been in a better place to avoid those things. I think regulation's probably coming. I think it's probably a good thing. Do you think they're going to break up Facebook? Yeah. You think they will? Yeah, in the next five years. Really? So you think they'll force Facebook to sell WhatsApp or Instagram or something? Yeah, or both. Yeah, or both. Really? Almost certainly. I would guess YouTube will be sold from Google as well. Really? Blimey, that's crazy. I'm going to go somewhere. But is it better for a consumer? So number one, if you own any of those shares, every time that these breakups, all of the value of the firms is worth more than the constituent parts. So from shareholder point of view, it's a really good idea to pick the right moment but break yourself up. And it's good from a consumer point of view. I often sit there, big YouTube consumer. If you're a YouTube consumer, you said, "Go, go hang on." This used to be the big daddy of video. They've missed TikTok. They've missed Twitch. They've missed all of these big opportunities that YouTube was right in the box seat for. They've missed all of them. Why? Because big firms generally are slow and don't innovate. And so it's better for everyone if you've got people experimenting, doing new things. If you've got a layer of regulation over the top of that, saying these degrees of norms, of behavior that you expect, it's much better for everyone. And it's really exciting, I think. In the case of Facebook, Mark would respond to that and say, "We've got 10 years," or 15 years, whatever it is now, of experience moderating terrorist content and really horrific types of content. We've built AI systems, which are the best in the world. And we're removing, we're spotting 90% of posts before they're reported. And this has taken us decades and billions of dollars of investment to get to this point. If you take Instagram and put it in the hands of an, I don't know, an Adobe, they don't have that experience. They don't have that data, that they don't have the AI systems. And so it's not going to help for misinformation. It's misdirection, though, isn't it? I mean, that specifically, if someone is saying, "We have developed machine learning that can do these things," that sounds like a marketable product. That sounds like something that shouldn't be the point of difference. That shouldn't be your differentiator, that you've got better capacity to deal with those things. But rather, that should be something that some entrepreneur avails to other firms. And I think sometimes we can get locked into an idea of thinking, "Oh, the narrative that we're being given is the right one here." But rather more than thinking, "Actually, if someone could put a layer of safety over the internet that used that machine learning to spot things that were really heinous, that used that learning to make sure that no one had a bad experience." Wow, Pinterest could use that. LinkedIn could use that. TikTok could use that. It should be something that everyone could plug into their product. And then you immediately start saying, "Wow, there could be gaps in the market for new products here. Maybe there's a version of Twitter that's mega-safe. Maybe there's a version of Instagram that just has a different aspect to it." So my view would be, "Absolutely, we've learned these things." But the notion that somehow that safety of experience should be a proprietary benefit rather than something that is afforded to everyone is just, I think, a bit of deception, a bit of misdirection. The other talking point, Mark Zuckerberg, would rebuttal you, mate, is here because I've looked at his arguments for not breaking up Facebook. He says, "Well, what have we got a monopoly in? We're not as big as iMessage in messaging. We're not as big as this platform." He roules through the platforms and says, "What are we bigger than what are we the monopoly on?" And he says, "There's tons of competition. We've got TikTok out of our heels, Pinterest, Twitter, Google, these platforms." So he says, "Where is the monopoly here?" And I have found that kind of compelling. I know again, it's a bit of misdirection, but I can't tell you what Facebook have the monopoly on. Yeah, well, firstly, monopolies don't have to be more than 70%. I think by the rules for monopoly in the UK, it's more than 20%, 30% of a market. So to be monopolistic, you don't have to be dominant. But when you've got three of the top five apps, you start questioning where there is a degree of undue influence. I've got no dog in the fight. My view personally is that I suspect these firms will be broken up. And the question then becomes, do you serve your employees better? Do you serve the people who use your apps better? Do you serve the state of society better by just going with that and saying, "Well, let's do it, but let's do it joyfully, get on with it." And I suspect, personally, I think some of these organizations are going to be presented with the challenge. Some of them will go, "Okay, I'll break ourselves up." And others will say, "Actually, we're going to persist with this." And just the lesson of Microsoft is you lose 10 years of your life by resisting. Talk a lot about the joy of work. We've talked a lot about your past experiences at YouTube and Twitter.
Whats next for you to keep joy in your work? (01:08:44)
What is next for you? When you're thinking about what's going to give you joy from work in the future, what are you thinking about? I'm writing a book about resilience. You made us tell us the title? Yeah, I mean, the title is a big ongoing discussion. Okay. I'm not at that stage. Which is just about all about the things we've talked about, how resilience is actually a collective thing rather than an individual thing. I've really enjoyed doing things like that. I'm doing a couple of things on climate change, so I worked with an organization last year. So I'm working with Al Gore's Climate Reality now, but I did something with an organization last year that's trying to reduce our plastic footprint. So there's a few things like that. And I really enjoy those things because I think they're non-linear. I think what success looks like is really hard to judge, and it's all about trying to achieve things. So I did something through October where I presented into about 170 different companies, I presented climate change into 70 different organizations. And connections have started from that. So Al Gore's Climate Reality, Al Gore did that film and in convenience, he was about 15 years ago, probably saw it in school. My dad made me watch it. Right. Sat me down and said, "Tom, my brother and sister, you've got to watch this." And he's turned, he's worked on that into an organization. And it used to be, you had to pay $7,000 to go and be trained in Las Vegas. Now he's in the era of Zoom. He said, "Anyone could be trained on it for free." So I trained. The only commitment you have to do is you have to commit to spread the word. So I did about all these presentations getting out and spreading the word. And that's really energizing. Because I think a lot of us feel a certain way towards climate, but feel powerless about what can we do. So I've done a bit of that. Hopefully I've got a few more things coming along on that. So will you ever get back into the world of social networking? I really want to avoid doing that. So that's why I'm working hard on podcast and writing. Because if you can pay the bills doing that, full-time jobs are really demanding. And my social media consumption remains. I'm a huge user of Twitter. I'm a huge user of TikTok. And so my social media consumption is still there. I just don't want to work in those organizations again. They're really exhausting. You work really hard. I had so much fun working at Twitter and YouTube before. But you do long days, especially working with California, up in the morning, and you're working late at night. So I don't want to really go and work in a big company again. I'm going to conclude this podcast by just asking you for you and from everything you know about the joy of work and what makes work joyful and fulfilling.
Ideas To Enhance Workplace Enjoyment
Whats the one thing you'd do to make work enjoyable for everyone? (01:11:32)
If you had to just focus on one thing, that was the most important factor for you in work. What would that be? There's a 70 year long study out of Yale University looking at what the secret of longevity and happiness is. And the secret of it studied these guys for like the whole of their lives. And the secret of longevity and happiness is love and friendship. And I think work is far closer to that than we might imagine. When we feel a connection with the people we work with, it makes everything worthwhile. And I think hidden in all the chat about productivity and strategy and market fear and US peace, we lose the fact that when we feel most motivated by work, it's when we feel like we're doing it with other people. And so that's it for me. I used to, a great network was when I laughed 12 times. And it was almost, it felt trivial to mention that. It felt like, "Oh, why'd you love your job?" To mention that I just love these people, I love being around these people, I'm energized by these people. Feels really embarrassing to admit. But I think that's the secret of it. When we feel part of something, our jobs can feel defining, they can feel part of our identity. Bruce, thank you. That loop's perfectly round to the start of the podcast and my expression that I think remote work is hell. But also, it's something that I've come to learn over the last nine months. And I'm sure a lot of other people have. Thank you so much for all the work you've done on work generally, because I think it's a conversation not a lot of people are having or breaking through with. And some of the ideas you deliver in your book and just generally in your content across YouTube and your social channels linked in your articles on there, I think really are helping to dismantle a conventional and sometimes toxic framework for how work has to be. So on behalf of someone that works and has teams, I want to thank you for that, because it's a value that the world needs. But also, thank you for the conversation today. It's an absolute pleasure. Thank you.