Brands cannot achieve everything alone, so their external agency partners are essential. And agencies could provide brands with more creativity, better design, decisive leadership, technical capabilities, etc.
But for a successful partnership between a brand and an agency, both parties must have mutual understanding and trust. This is why companies are increasingly moving towards smaller, independent agencies. Thus, companies with different experts establish a solid and open relationship.
In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, our host Daniel Weiner welcomes Jason Schulweis, former EVP, Brand Partnerships & Creative Studio at Morning Brew. Jason and Daniel discuss the importance of working in small and large companies and gathering knowledge for business growth. They discuss the creator economy, partnerships, and how to build a strong relationship within a partnership.
💡 Name: Jason Schulweis
💡 What he does: Jason is the former EVP, Brand Partnerships & Creative Studio at Morning Brew
💡 Noteworthy: Jason is an experienced advertising revenue executive. He advises media and content brands focusing on revenue growth through advertising, brand/agency partnerships, sales strategy, branded content, and B2B/integrated marketing. Until recently, Jason was the EVP, Brand Partnerships and Creative Studio at Morning Brew. He joined them in July 2019 and has been self-employed since October.
💡 Where to find Jason: Linkedin
⚡ The concept of making good in partnership. A partnership is a relationship between two or more people engaged in trade or business, and there are many advantages to a partnership. First, two heads (or more) are better than one. Your business is easy to set up, and start-up costs are low. And finally, more capital is available for business. As Jason notes, a performance partnership model should exist in a partnership world. "It would be amazing if, one day, that concept of making good could work both ways. And what I mean by that is that, so often on the publisher or vendor side, if we under-deliver or if something doesn't go perfectly right, we often have to make good or make back up the media or spend in some way. I think it would be super cool down the road — if publishers or vendors over-delivered and really go above and beyond — that the reverse ends up being true and that we would end up getting more money by default."
⚡ The creator economy is changing. Creators are people who have real influence and followers, real communities, audiences, and reach. According to Jason, the creator economy has been changing, there has been a democratization of creation, and it will change again soon. "It's been an amazing shift, and it's been awesome for the larger content and media industry getting more people involved and really opening up business lines and a whole new economy for a lot of the industry and a lot of creators, but I do think that some of that's going to start to course correct a little bit back to not necessarily where it was, but I have a belief that it's easier to turn celebrities into creators than creators into celebrities."
⚡ The inbox is the new homepage. People are increasingly giving importance to creating daily content on social networks. And since that content is often very intimate, the inbox is where they want peace. As Jason points out, Morning Brew data shows that, in most cases, the first thing we open in the morning is our inbox; it has become a ritual. "The inbox is the most intimate environment. It is the new homepage. That is your life’s homepage; it's the first thing that you open when you wake up. [...] Morning Brew also has the data where I think it was 92% of the Morning Brew community views Morning Brew as a daily ritual."
[00:00:00] Get out of your comfort zone and, like, go meet people, like, go have experiences, like, go do things that may feel really, like, odd or different or whatever because it may seem like really extra odd and weird at the time. But, like, so many times I get inspired by, like, random things or someone who I met happens to know someone else and that, like, that leads to another conversation and another opportunity.
[00:01:04] Daniel Weiner: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the YouShouldTalkTo podcast. I am Daniel Wiener, your host, and this podcast is currently brought to you by myself, as well as YouShouldTalkTo, until we get our first sponsor. YouShouldTalkTo pairs brand and marketers for free with vetted agencies and/or freelancers for virtually any marketing or technique.
[00:01:24] Because finding great agencies is an enormous pain in the ass. Super excited to be joined today by Jason Schulweis, the former EVP of Brand Partnerships & Creative Studio at a little-known company called Morning Brew. Jason, thank you so much for joining.
[00:01:39] Jason Schulweis: Daniel, thank you so much for having me. Very excited to be here and chatting with you today.
[00:01:44] Daniel Weiner: I would feel remiss to not mention to my millions of viewers that this is round two, which round one prompted me to buy an entire new computer, reevaluate my podcasting career and send Jason 27 different apologies for wasting his time on round one. But we are back.
[00:01:59] Jason Schulweis: I was giving you an out by not saying, "Great speaking to you again."
[00:02:03] We are, we're all about, we are all about transparency on this podcast. You know? I never wanna sugarcoat the life of the podcast world. So, yeah, that was a very interesting experience. Full body sweat for me. And we're back with a Mac mini. Shout out Apple, in the Apple store.
[00:02:19] Jason Schulweis: Awesome.
[00:02:21] Daniel Weiner: Well, let's dive back in, again.
[00:02:23] Let's start with a little bit of controversy. What is a hot take of yours or an unpopular opinion that you have in the marketing or partnerships world?
[00:02:33] Can I give you two, one that is a little bit more real than the other?
[00:02:38] Daniel Weiner: You can gimme three if you want, Jason.
[00:02:39] Jason Schulweis: Oh, wow. I'll stop at two. So, the first one, as we get warmed up, is that, I think it would be amazing if, one day that the concept of a make good could work both ways. And what I mean by that is that so often on, you know, the publisher or vendor side, if we underdeliver or if something, you know, doesn't go perfectly right, we're, we often have to make good or, you know, make back up the media or spend in some way. Think it would be super cool, down the road, if publishers or vendors, like, over-delivered and really go above and beyond, that the reverse ends up being true and that, you know, it'd be just, we would end up just getting, you know, more money by, by default. I think that'd be that would just be super.
[00:03:26] Daniel Weiner: Performance partnership model of sorts.
[00:03:30] Jason Schulweis: There you go. Maybe, you see, maybe it already exists, and I'm just, I was just doing the wrong thing.
[00:03:34] Daniel Weiner: I.
[00:03:35] Well, I think brands would sweat if they're hearing that. They're like, "Don't tell agency partners that." If they over, over exceed our expectations, we owe 'em more money. That should just be what happens every time.
[00:03:44] Jason Schulweis: Yeah, it'd be great. And then the other one that is, you know, I think a bit more, call it prescient and timely is that I think the creator economy is about to undergo quite a large shift. I think their, the pendulum of what that has been has swung so far into the, everyone is a creator, the full democratization of creating.
[00:04:14] And I think the mid and long tail of that has gotten enormous. And so, my, I guess hot take, I don't even know if it's a hot take, but that is gonna start swinging back to kind of like, you know, the mid and short, back to premium, in a meaningful way, over the next year.
[00:04:34] Daniel Weiner: Interesting. So, you think like the Joe Schmo creator, things are gonna lean back to, like, quote-unquote, real creators, or where do you think, which, which way is it, it swinging?
[00:04:44] Jason Schulweis: Yes. Back to, and it's even, like, it's interesting with, like, real creators, it's creators, people who have, like, real influence, people who have, you know, real followings, real communities. The things that maybe cannot necessarily be as easily commoditized or bought, um, you know, such as audience and reach and things like that.
[00:05:11] So, you know, I think it's been an amazing shift, and it's been, I think, awesome for the larger content and media industry. Getting more people involved and, you know, open, really opening up, I would say, you know, business lines and a whole new economy, you know, for a lot of the industry and a lot of creators. But I do think some of that's gonna start to course correct a little bit back to, not necessarily where it was, but I have a belief that it's kind of, you know, easier to turn like, almost like celebrities into creators than creators into celebrities.
[00:05:53] Daniel Weiner: No, I agree. I mean, I think you see that with, like, Mr. Beast and stuff like that, for example, who opens up, who knows if it's even good a burger shop, and has, you know, sells out an entire mall and stuff like that. I saw David Dober actually open his pizza shop over the weekend.
[00:06:08] Jason Schulweis: Dough Brick or Dough Bricks?
[00:06:11] Daniel Weiner: He walked right into that, right into that name as somebody with the last name Wiener, you know, I'm always like a punny last name of a play on words. But, yeah, I mean, even that, like, I actually heard the pizza was pretty good, but I, I have no clue. But, yeah, like, you know, these creators, like, open up any sort of business, and it's somewhat an overnight success, to your point. So, it's wild.
[00:06:29] Jason Schulweis: It. Right. And it is because they, they have already, I mean, those two, in particular, have already reached and well surpassed a threshold where they are celebrity. Like, they have an insane community around them that will do anything that they say. And so, once, you know, once you get to that point, then you unlock the ability to create brands and commerce and, you know, all of these other really interesting things.
[00:06:59] But that, those things are not necessarily available to, you know, the early stage creators because they haven't built all of those, you know, things yet. You can't just say like, "I'm going to launch a brand, a food brand, a clothing brand." And expect that people follow suit. You need real influence in a real community in order to do that.
[00:07:18] Daniel Weiner: Sure. We touched on a, a very important word there in community for most, I presume, most of my audience has heard of Morning Brewers and avid reader. But for the few who have not, who, how would you describe it? You know, community, media empire, I would probably lean towards and stuff like that, how do you typically, like, even explain what Morning Brews, If you had to in, in one or two sentences?
[00:07:39] Jason Schulweis: Media empire I like, let's just go, it's a media empire, period.
[00:07:42] Daniel Weiner: Move on. Yeah.
[00:07:43] Media empire.
[00:07:44] Jason Schulweis: No, it's, um, it's a collective of brands that simplify subjects that matter using insight levity and wit. Now, that, you know, that is the mission statement that we help, that we had developed over the last few months. And what that means is if you break that apart, right, collective of brands, all of those brands are actually built for communities of people and have unlocked this word of community. Like, we don't, we didn't talk about audience because audience is a very kind of, like, one-way type of relationship and conversation.
[00:08:18] Whereas, you know, we are, we have built, you know, and I say I'm gonna just continue to say Weave, and though I'm no longer at Morning Brew, you know, we have built this structure where there is an education arm where students and professionals are learning together around the brand, where there's a Marketing Brew Summit, a Retail Brew Summit.
[00:08:40] Where, you know, the people who are, who even subscribe to Morning, BrewMarketing Brew and Retail Brew Summit are all getting together, like, around the brand and around the content. And there's a lot of, you know, subscriber-to-subscriber kind of at-scale interaction, not just this, you know, Morning Brew to audience, you know, type of thing.
[00:09:02] And so, that's the kind of There's a lot of times that are all doing something, simplifying subjects that matter. That is probably, you know, half of Morning Brew's Superpower is the ability to take very complex, complicated things and make them uncomplicated. That was how Morning Brew was started from day one.
[00:09:23] You know, Alex and Austin at University of Michigan, which was the business world and finance is like, there's a lot of shit that's going on every single day. How do you, how do you, like, make that conversational and simple, you know, in a 5 to 10-minute read. And then, the second part of the, you know, the superpower is the insight levity and wit piece, which is the, you know, if you read Morning Brew and you compare it to anything else, like, you know, what's Morning Brew because of the tone and the voice.
[00:09:51] Jason Schulweis: And so, that insight, levity, and wit was a way to describe and define what the tone and voice both was and it is.
[00:10:00] Daniel Weiner: Sure. I think one of the most impressive things I think of, like, you know, I don't necessarily, I guess, I wouldn't consider myself a creator. I, I consider myself someone who creates content, however. But just the thought of, like, a, the inbox is ever-growing a more sacred place where people do not want noise and to have a daily piece of content that has grown so significantly, and it's truthfully like an intimate thing.
[00:10:27] I think we talked about it on our first recording, like, you know, most people are starting their day with it, presumably. I don't know if you guys had data or have data on, like, when people are, you know, spending the most time with it, but I'm typically reading it in bed.
[00:10:38] It's, like, the first thing every morning, it's become ritual. Like, the thought of having something every, to create something every single day, which I do typically, like, for LinkedIn, but I know people are gonna come and go. They may see it in a week and stuff like that, like timely stuff. Just the engine and the machine that it takes to produce something like that so relevant is just, it's astonishing and impressive.
[00:10:58] Jason Schulweis: Thank you. And there is data around it. But, you know, even before then, it really started with more of even a consumer or personal insight, which is that the inbox is, to your point, it's like the most intimate environment that exists right now. It is, it is the new homepage, right? Like, that is your life homepage, as you said.
[00:11:20] It's like the first thing that you open when you wake up. I think for me, it was like I would always have that, like, I would either open, like, that immediately or my time up immediately. And, like, those were, those are like the two things that, you know, like, I would open right away when I wake up. And the word that you used also in ritual, Morning Brew, also has the data where, you know, I think it was 92% of the Morning Brew, community views Morning Brew as a daily ritual, right?
[00:11:46] Like, so, everyone does see Morning Brew as that habit. And it's a very powerful canvas. Um, you know, and, and opportunity for, you know, content delivery, but also, you know, brands and, you know, and the agency partners that we work with who are working with brands, to see that as an opportunity to own a certain part of everybody's morning, you know, it's a pretty powerful thing.
[00:12:11] Daniel Weiner: Sure. And how early on it's been you at Morning Brew?
[00:12:14] Jason Schulweis: I joined in the middle of 2019.
[00:12:17] Daniel Weiner: Wow. And when did it officially start?
[00:12:20] Jason Schulweis: The, I would say, 2017 is kind of the launch of.
[00:12:25] Daniel Weiner: What?
[00:12:25] Jason Schulweis: In its current.
[00:12:27] Daniel Weiner: Or...
[00:12:28] Jason Schulweis: No, I was gonna say in its kind of, like, current form. You know, a little bit before that it was also a, you know, a PDF that was called something else that Alex was, like, sending out to, you know, a couple hundred, a couple thousand people, University of Michigan.
[00:12:39] But, you know, 2017, I think, is the, the, the current, most current iteration of what you see. And then, I would say, like, 2015 is the real genesis.
[00:12:54] Daniel Weiner: Sure. What are some of the, you know, your greatest accomplishments and things you're most proud of during your tenure there?
[00:13:02] There's just too many to, I, you know. Um.
[00:13:06] Daniel Weiner: To forming a media empire, you know?
[00:13:08] Jason Schulweis: Right. Exactly. That's, no, that's, that's, that's the easy part. No, there, there are a few things there. Obviously the, you know, our ability to create something that, you know, we were able to help, you know, sell the, the company in and of itself to Insider and Axel Springer.
[00:13:23] You know, that, the exit isn't the thing that I think I'm proud of. It is the, like, to be able to create something so incredible and valuable that you get on the radar of these, you know, industry behemoths and say, and they see like, "Oh, wow. We need, you know, we need this thing because they've created the future of something."
[00:13:43] And that's a really interesting signal, you know, to me, I think. The headcount growth being at Morning Brew when we were 15 people, when I left, we were a little over 300 people. And really, you know, on the revenue side, helping grow a company over 20X in three and a half years. Those are all, you know, numbers-driven things that I am very proud of.
[00:14:06] But the thing that I, think I'm, I am most proud of, and I like, I like PDFd it because it, it brings me tears of joy when I read it. But, you know, when I was leaving, I posted on Twitter and LinkedIn about just kind of, like, the journey and what's next. And, you know, the number of people who had reached out to me on that platform and on text and email to let them know that, you know, outside of the professional leadership that, you know, I, I had made an impact on their lives and, you know, they want to take a lot of the learnings and things and, you know, apply that to their careers and their lives like that.
[00:14:49] Jason Schulweis: There's something very special about that when you can, you know, make an impact on people both inside of the, you know, the workplace and outside.
[00:15:00] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. And you often don't realize it until you're, like, out of the, the thick of it or, you know, make, you know, an exit of some sort, whether that's, uh, selling or new job and stuff like that. To that end, like you talked about being there when there it's been 15 employees, you know, leading up to over 300 and stuff, over the course of your career, you've worked at some, I would say, behemoths, everything is relative, but some large scale companies, I presume.
[00:15:24] Lots of bureaucracy and red tape and stuff like that. What's your overall opinion of working at, quote-unquote, big companies or even just like visible companies versus smaller companies, and if you had to give, you know, advice to say someone coming outta college or something, what would you say the pros and cons are?
[00:15:41] I'll work backwards. 'Cause I think I have a pretty clear answer to that second question, is that someone coming out of school, and, again, this is based on an experience of one. But starting smaller, I think the company that I started at, it was an agency in New York called Deep Focus that, you know, was one of, like, the first social engagement agencies. It was...
[00:16:06] Daniel Weiner: You're gonna have to get deep focus to give us a sponsorship now for that free plug you just gave them.
[00:16:12] Well, the agency was, like, bought by engine, like, a while ago and...
[00:16:16] Daniel Weiner: All right. They're off the hook. But it was, you know, small, integrated, I think it was like 60 or 70 people when I joined. But because it was small, I got exposed, I was on the media team, and I got exposure to the account team and the creative team, and the comms team.
[00:16:34] Jason Schulweis: Because everyone was sitting pretty close by to each other. And, you, you understand how what you are doing fits into, like, a larger thing. And that, for me, was really, really valuable, as was the ability to kind of stretch and own more aspects of what I was doing. And so, you know, when I was there, it also gave me more opportunity to work with a lot of the publisher partners and vendors that, you know, the agency was working with on behalf of our clients.
[00:17:08] And ultimately, a lot of those opportunities and relationships are largely responsible for the rest of my career. Now, that said, it is, it can be very exhausting, I think, at a small company because you are expected to and required to wear a lot of hats. You know, you need to want to do that, and you have to do that.
[00:17:34] And so, when you're at a larger company, you get more resources, you have more focus, you have more structure, you have, you know, the ability to get really, really good, you know, at a few specific things. And so, long-winded way of answering your, your questions. The, you know, the first being like I'm an advocate of starting small and then from, you know, from there getting some good experience and then starting to build up more specific types of experience along the way.
[00:18:05] And then, as it pertains to the two, you know, if you look at my, like, my career and resume, I kind of like, I jumped back and forth a little bit. And, for me, that was really valuable because there was so much that you can learn at each, that can apply to the other. Like, you should never go in and say like, "I know how to do this because I've done something somewhere else and I'm gonna apply it right away."
[00:18:29] Jason Schulweis: But you get to learn something new, and then you start to realize all of the things that you had learned previously and how those things apply to the new, you know, to the, to the new role, to the new company. And in my experience, there's a lot of times where big companies are trying to figure out how to move more quickly, be more innovative, and act more like smaller companies. And smaller companies are constantly figuring out, "How do we scale, how do we process size, how do we do a lot of those things, which you learn at a bigger company?" And so, there is so much knowledge and experience that can apply to each. It would be my biggest recommendation in the world as like, you know, early-ish in your career to try to have both of those kinds of experiences so that, like, you can really understand how businesses grow.
[00:19:29] At the end of the day, that is like literally all we're all trying to do is either grow our own business or grow someone else's business. Like, business and revenue growth is that, that's it, right? And so, if you can really understand how businesses at different sizes operate and see growth, I think that puts you in a, kind of an accelerated career path.
[00:19:54] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. I think the biggest thing outta what you just said that I agree with is exposure to as much as humanly possible as early on. And I kind of had the only, well, I've only had one, I would say, big company, a publicly traded automotive retailer, was my very first, like, normal job, after college. And it was just so slow.
[00:20:12] Like, it took such long periods of time to make any decisions that I like. At the beginning, I was like, "Oh, this is the norm. Like, everywhere is like this." And then I went to a startup agency and was like, "Oh, that is just not the case." Like, everything moves past air. And I quickly learned, like, you know, I joke, at the age of 22, I was like, "Oh, I can't work in corporate America for the next 30 years."
[00:20:33] I know everybody has probably said that at some point in their life, but I was like, "I can't work like this." Like, I knew smaller and stuff like that. Just, I think it's important to have both as well to know what you like better and stuff like that. There's pros and cons to all of it, but to your point, I think the biggest thing is exposure to as much as you possibly can.
[00:20:51] Wherever you are as early as possible, is super important to your own success.
[00:20:55] Jason Schulweis: Yeah. And I think, I mean the, the, that, it changes a little bit as you get older and more experienced, but the concept that, like, I talk about a lot is, like, this concept of collecting dots, so that you can connect them later. It's not something that I've coined. I know, like, Steve Jobs has like...
[00:21:12] Daniel Weiner: You should. That's good.
[00:21:14] I've got, I, I attempted a whole, like, LinkedIn thought leadership series called Collecting Dots, but it's the concept is that, like, you should always be having new experiences, meeting new people, like collecting all of that kind of stuff because at a certain point your brain is going to be put in a position or you'll be put in a position where then you can connect those things, those experiences and those people and all of that kind of stuff.
[00:21:42] Jason Schulweis: And it can be in different ways and in ways that might be entirely unexpected. But if you don't have those experiences and people, your view is ultimately like a lot more myopic than you think. And so, that is like as maybe like a cap to the, you know, advice thing is, you know, for anyone listening and starting their career or, you know, looking for a career renaissance or pivot even, it's like, "Get out of your comfort zone and, like, go meet people, like, go have experiences, like, go do things that may feel really, like, odd or different or whatever." Because it may seem like really extra odd and weird at the time, but, like, so many times I get inspired by, like, random things or someone who I met happens to know someone else, and that, like, that leads to another conversation and another opportunity.
[00:22:43] It's, I don't know, the world ends up being, I think, a lot more interconnected than we give it credit for.
[00:22:49] Daniel Weiner: No, I think the collecting dots thing is something that you should coin. Truthfully, like when people ask, like, how I started YouShouldTalkTo, I joke that I was unintentionally building it for, like, a decade, but your, I was more so doing what you're talking about. I've just always been very open to conversation, and you collect all these dots, and then one day, you're like, "Oh shit."
[00:23:10] Like, "I, I have a business." Or like, "I've, I'm doing this now." And you can, sometimes you collect so many dots, you can't even backtrack like, "How did we even get here?" And stuff like that. But, yeah, I think being open to, within reason, like, just even when people ask me like, "Hey, I'm looking for a job." My initial thing is, "Stop applying to jobs and have as many conversations as humanly possible until you are exhausted by it."
[00:23:31] Like, 'cause that's how everybody gets everything done in this world.
[00:23:35] Jason Schulweis: A hundred percent. I mean the, how I'm here today is through Alan McGee, who we both know. But even how I got connected to Alan originally was, I was in Atlanta at the same time as my wife, and Alan was my wife's client, and I joined her, like, when she went to go meet him, just kind of like randomly, Alan and I met, became friends and this is like, I don't know, seven years ago, years ago.
[00:24:04] But it's just like all things like that that you don't necessarily always even see what the result is until 5, 8, 10 years down the road. It's just very cool when that, that's the, you can kind of like you, when you can trace some of it back, I think it's very cool.
[00:24:21] Daniel Weiner: It sounds, I know, you've built your career on it, but it sounds like you've built, or your, at least your last stop, but it sounds like you built your personal, you know, outlook on partnerships, as well. What do you think makes up a strong partnership? I'd say YouSHouldTalkTo is essentially a giant partner program too, so I'm always looking for tips as well.
[00:24:37] Like, to me, if, when I answer that question, it's enablement. I, so many people ask me like, "Oh, how've you built this? And people think like, "Oh, you put, like, agreements in place, and then, like, things just start happening." I'm like, "Nah, that's step one. Then you gotta still talk to these people, like, every 12 seconds to remind them you exist." So, uh, what do you think?
[00:24:56] That, yes. So, like, I don't know if it's like camaraderie, presence, like it's a relat, the relationship piece. I think, you know, relationship is essential for any good partnership, and that comes from, that stems from, like, time and effort and, you know, and repetition and being helpful, and not necessarily always expecting something back.
[00:25:23] Jason Schulweis: Like, I think there are a lot of things that ultimately, like, ladder up to relationship. And so, let's say like, you know, relationship is a pillar one. Trust, I think that's, like, a good second pillar. And that is, you know, being, I mean being honest and, you know, especially when you, there are transactional
[00:25:46] parts of the partnership, it's, you know, it can be very easy to only have like your best interests in mind. And that can mislead, you know, your partner or, you know, you may not ultimately get them what they need to succeed, as well. And is, you know, trust is one of those things that takes a really long time to build. But that's lost in a second. Um, so I would say, like, you know, relationship, trust, and then, you know, the third thing is results. You know, I think you need all three of those things in order to make a partnership really, really strong. And the, 'cause if you have those first two, but everything that you're trying to do together doesn't work, you know, a lot of the times, it ultimately comes down to the fact that, like, you know, we are in business and people need to show success to their company, to their boss, to, they need to make money. They, you know, there are so many things that ultimately do need to happen at the end of the day. And so, I think those pillars are probably the biggest ones, and I, I will add to the second one, trust piece in just like accountability as a sub pillar to that, is something that I cannot say with more conviction really how important that is. And being able to, like, own up to a mistake and being able to say you're gonna do something when you do something. Like, that all, to me, ladders up to trust, but I think is really, really important.
[00:27:28] Daniel Weiner: I'd say under that too, like from what I see, whether it's partnerships or even just like referral relationships, expectations and time, I would put under that bucket of trust, as well of like, I just see so many people go in with, like, misaligned expectations. You know, typically in the context of agency and brand or even if they've talked about it a little bit, like agency has one thing in mind, brand has another thing in mind.
[00:27:50] And then, also just time in general, like I think it's, but the narrative on LinkedIn a lot around, like, salespeople is, "Oh, like, these terrible sales outreaches." And stuff like that. In the context of time, I think it's impossible to not do what they're doing when goals are short-term goals and stuff like that, which is, you know, most sales orgs and stuff like that.
[00:28:10] Daniel Weiner: But in the context of partnerships, I think you have to a, have the right expectations and aligned there, but also, like, give it enough time. I see a lot of people have the expectation that, like, "Oh, we did this thing. We put this out in the world." And like, "It's day four. Like, where's all this stuff? Where's the gold?" which is generally not the case. And I find usually, the biggest successes are like the long-term partnerships.
[00:28:32] Jason Schulweis: Absolutely.
[00:28:34] Daniel Weiner: What do you think of agencies, in general? I've seen a big cataclysmic shift, especially since Covid, a little before actually, 'cause I was at a small agency. I've seen a big shift, especially since then, though, of big brands, big name companies kind of shifting towards smaller, independent agencies that specialize and call it one to two or maybe three services.
[00:28:55] Have you seen that, and what do you think of that?
[00:28:58] Well, I think there, there is something very interesting about the, like, these smaller agency, not because it's a smaller agency, but I think it's more about the drawing, pulling ex, you know, experts from wherever they are, having different subject matter or experts, like, actually sitting together.
[00:29:16] And I think it comes down to the de-siloization. And so, you know, smaller agencies do that kind of just by default. They are smaller agencies, but I think you also see a lot of the bigger agencies creating these groups or these, like, specialized sub or mini agencies, you know, that can service specific brands, that can service you know, functions or whatever it is.
[00:29:43] Jason Schulweis: So, I think that trend is likely to continue. But I don't necessarily think it is unique to the size of the total agency, but it's more of just kind of, like, a focus, you know, for them. 'Cause even you can make a large agency smaller. And so, I think there, a lot of those larger agencies do see the opportunity to create something like custom and unique and that is cross-disciplinary to service, you know, to service brands.
[00:30:13] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I think it's a lot around optics, truthfully, like, and I think Covid kind of democratized a little. Like, I used to see bigger brands just, you know, based on every, everything is based on your previous experience, but, uh, not being as open to talking to a, quote-unquote, smaller agency because they didn't think that they had, call it the breadth or just the capability to handle, in their minds, a large project or a large account and stuff like that.
[00:30:38] And Covid kind of showed, like, there's a lot of talent everywhere. Like, there's a lot of talented agencies out there, all over the country, not necessarily, you know, um, you know, in major Metropolitans and stuff like that. So, I think it more just opened people's eyes, especially at bigger brands to the possibility of working with, you know, smaller, more specialized shops.
[00:30:59] Jason Schulweis: Definitely, I mean, the, you know, the last couple years has been the great equalizer and for a lot of things. And I think the, I like seeing a more kind of like, you know, e equal playing field on that end. And I think, you know, at times, some of the larger agencies definitely had a leg up when, you know, I feel like, for all new pitches, I kept seeing articles in the, you know, in the trades and on Twitter and everything, everything ultimately came down to procurement.
[00:31:30] Daniel Weiner: Yep.
[00:31:31] You know, and the largest agencies ultimately have more buying power and, you know, are able to get media and other things for less money. And so, you know, if it ultimately came down to procurement, then the smaller agencies were kind of starting from behind a little bit.
[00:31:49] But to your point, I think there has been and will continue to be a shift that levels that, that playing field a little bit, which is great to see.
[00:31:58] Daniel Weiner: I hope so. Can you think of a really great either partnership or agency experience that you've had in the past, whether you were a participant of it or, you know, you've seen it elsewhere, and what made it so great?
[00:32:09] Jason Schulweis: Yeah. There is one. You know, when I was at Morning Brew and we created a, you know, fully custom branded podcast, with a brand and you know, the agency took a chance on us, you know, on behalf of the brand. And it was the start of something really special. 'Cause we hadn't done, like, this particular thing before, but we had done really good work and they, you know, we beat out much, much bigger publishers and players in the space.
[00:32:41] And, you know, we developed just a really, really good, you know, honest, transparent type of relationship. And part of, part of what makes it so good is not that it was successful and, you know, we, we, it's been on season three of, you know, of that custom podcast. But it was the adversity, which actually, you know, there, there were challenging times when you're dealing with, you know, talent and the video and audio recording and all those kinds of things.
[00:33:11] Jason Schulweis: But the adversity really came from a different pitch, where we were talking to this agency about a launch of a new vertical. And, you know, for a number of reasons, the launch sponsorship went to a different client and agency. And the difficult, and I mean when I say difficult is like the worst, hardest, like, you know, emails and conversations that I've had to have like ever.
[00:33:47] That experience sucked, but strengthened the relationship between us and the agency, us and the brand, me and, you know, the investment leads on the agency side so much, in going through that relationship. And the biggest takeaway is that, like, if your, if your relationship with a partner is only based on good experiences, it's kind of, like, incomplete.
[00:34:21] And it's not, it's not tested.
[00:34:23] Daniel Weiner: It's not a real partnership, I would say.
[00:34:24] Jason Schulweis: 'Cause It's not a real part, right, exactly. Yeah. It's, you know, it's like you need to go through some shit, and that matters. And it sucks. And so, I guess like, you know, the biggest piece of advice stemming from that is to, "Don't shy away from those types of conversations."
[00:34:42] And when that type of challenge happens, like, you know, "Go into it, you know, take ownership and accountability. Yes, absolutely. And work through it. Don't expect, like, an immediate resolve. But, like, you will get there if you stay the course. And that relationship after the fact will be even stronger, you know, than it was before."
[00:35:06] And those types of things are, I don't know, that's like, you know, that's like partnership goals right there.
[00:35:12] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, no, I totally agree. Most of the agencies that I still work with, two years into this, are from day one. And, truthfully, the, to your point, like delivering negative feedback that I've gotten from a brand about an agency or telling 'em that they've lost and stuff like that and winning together and losing together is, truthfully, what has strengthened it a hundred percent and not sugarcoating. 'Cause, to your point, like trust and transparency and, yeah, if, you know, for anybody, not just me, if me delivering bad news that I had no control over, you know, tarnishes our relationship, then a, a relationship, it was not, in the first place to begin with, I would say. So.
[00:35:47] Totally agree there. Can you think of, we'll talk some shit now, can you think of a bad partnership that you've seen been a part of or agency experience in the past and what, what made it so bad or negative?
[00:35:59] I can, there.
[00:36:03] Daniel Weiner: Don't, I didn't wanna trigger you. I hope.
[00:36:04] Jason Schulweis: No, no, no, no, no. It's right. I'm just gonna, like, blank stare at you.
[00:36:07] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, yeah. I can, oh, you wanna hear about it?
[00:36:11] No, I, I won't give, you know, specifics, but.
[00:36:15] Daniel Weiner: Sure. Yeah. We don't, we don't shame anybody here.
[00:36:18] Jason Schulweis: No, I mean it's like, you know, it is kind of like the inverse of the, you know, what we were just talking about, which is like the, you know, there, this has happened at, you know, a few, a few different times where, you know, we would get opportunity, and we put so much time and effort into making sure we got all the details right.
[00:36:41] Making sure that just, like, the idea is, like, is perfect and an answer is, like, every single thing that was in the brief or the RFP. And, you know, we'll send it in and crickets.
[00:36:56] Daniel Weiner: The worst.
[00:36:57] Jason Schulweis: You know, we ask her, crickets. And then, ultimately, when, you know, when we find out we didn't win, it's just a, "No." Like, no feedback, no, no nothing.
[00:37:10] And it's hard because, you know, you get your hopes up a little bit. You get really excited. Like, you know, we care. You know, we put, like, a lot of time we, like, we think this stuff is, like, actually cool, and we understand that if we put together good idea, it's actually good for, you know, the brand and the agency too.
[00:37:29] And I don't, I mean, I, this happened pre-pandemic also, but I think it, it got worse.
[00:37:37] Daniel Weiner: This is in the context of Morning Brew as well, correct?
[00:37:40] Jason Schulweis: Yeah. I mean, it's been Morning Brew, but it's, I mean, this is how this.
[00:37:42] Daniel Weiner: I'm just saying for anybody listening out there, if Morning Brew is getting ghosted and you are, I mean, it should, I mean truthfully, like, give you a little bit of solace like that you're not the only one experiencing this.
[00:37:51] Jason Schulweis: Yeah, no. It happens like it happened when I, at Morning Brew, it happened when I was at Live Nation. It happened when I was at Thrills. It happened when I was at Yahoo. Like, you know, and, like, when I was at Yahoo, you know, over a decade ago, it's like, you know, one of the biggest companies on Earth. And it's like the fact that we would still get, like, you know, either ghosted or we were last-minute consideration. Like, there was, like, one time at Yahoo where I got an email from a partner, and I was like, "Hey, we want you to participate in this RFP. It's due at 2:00 PM." It was sent at, like, 12.
[00:38:25] Daniel Weiner: Sure. What else did you...?
[00:38:26] Jason Schulweis: And I was, I was just like, I was just like, so actually, like, we didn't end up responding, but I printed it out and put it on my wall, and I was just like, "This is, whatever, this is like a wall of fame or wall of shame or something."
[00:38:38] But, like, "I don't know what it is, but this has to go up here." So, the, like, the idea of the, like the ghosting or, you know, the general disrespect or whatever it is, a lot of that, I think, happens and has gotten worse over the last couple of years because relationships and also, sorry, I don't know if you can hear my daughter.
[00:38:57] Daniel Weiner: Bring 'em on the, bring 'em on the podcast.
[00:38:59] The, because a lot of the relationships have shifted to almost more transactional and more email, and it's like you don't know the person on the other side. And it's like, it becomes less because it's just like less of a real relationship. And, you know, and I think the, you're gonna see, I know we talked about, you know, pendulum shifts at the beginning of the episode, but to bring that full circle also, I think the importance of, you know, IRL and real FaceTime and real relationships is going to, I think it already has been a little bit, but I think it's going to continue to make a very meaningful comeback.
[00:39:44] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. And I think, to your point, like that's such an easy, low-hanging fruit way to collect more dots and, like, not be a total shithead on either side of just communicating and as simple as a quick like, "Hey, we went another direction." And one line of feedback is really all it takes, I think.
[00:40:01] Jason Schulweis: That's a good takeaway. Don't be a shithead. That's...
[00:40:03] Daniel Weiner: It really is.
[00:40:04] I'm not kidding. That's the title of the book, if I ever write one, is Don't It's, I'm not kidding. It's funny, like, in the context of agency world, Kristin Cavallo, who's the head of the Martin Agency, talks a lot about like how to treat, how brands and agencies, like, should be treating each other and stuff like that.
[00:40:18] And it is one of the, you know, the rules of engagement for me. I'm putting my name behind these things. I'm introducing you to partners. And I still, like, it's less in the context of me 'cause they have to ghost agencies and me. So, usually, like, at least, I'm getting feedback and stuff like that, but it is just mind-boggling to me.
[00:40:33] I oftentimes do get asked by brands like, "Hey." You know, they'll hire one of my agencies, and then they're gonna tell, like, two others, "No." Like, "Should we tell them?" I'm like, "Yeah." Like, "The answer is never no to that question. Of course, you should tell them." Like, they're like, they're like, "Are they gonna freak out?"
[00:40:47] I'm like, "I hope not. But, like, you know, see how it goes. Just tell 'em no." You know? It's insane, the amount of that still goes on. I guess I'm less, there's a certain point where I think, you know, it's the wrong thing, truthfully. Like, if you're having, like, a general call with someone, you know, and you don't wanna move into the next round, I think that's one thing.
[00:41:03] But, like, if you know that people have taken the time to put together, like, a data-driven proposal and stuff like that, and pulled in multiple team members, like, it's a bad, it's a bad look to not provide feedback and give, give the no that everyone's so, I think it would also get rid of a lot of the bad sales practice we see out there. 'Cause just give 'em a no, and they will stop.
[00:41:23] Jason Schulweis: Yeah. It's like a lot of the time, it doesn't necessarily need to be good news. We just need closure.
[00:41:28] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. I'm with you.
[00:41:29] Jason Schulweis: And to un, you know, to understand that we can kind of move on. Because even, like, you know, within sales organizations, at every level of management and leadership, there's always, like, you know, a, a roll-up and looking at pipeline and a need to just understand because if something's not gonna work, then that, you know, that sales team needs to figure out something else that will.
[00:41:47] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, you know, to hit quotas and all that kind of stuff.
[00:41:49] Jason Schulweis: 'Cause at the, you know, and that's a pretty important. You know, measurement tool at the end of the day.
[00:41:55] Daniel Weiner: Do you think once an agency or partnership experience has soured or, like, that seed of doubt has been planted or, like, a deadline has been missed, do you think it's salvageable or kind of once you cross that, that bridge there's no turning back?
[00:42:08] No. I think if there's, like a, a reason, if there is a solution and if there's accountability for it, you can absolutely get a second chance. If it happens, like, two or three times, then it's, I think, a little bit more of a thing. But I think with the right, like, attitude and solutions to, you know, issues or challenges happening once I, I think that's actually fine. But, again, it's like being solutions-oriented and taking accountability for it. You know, making up for it. But it, you know, if it's something that does continue to happen, then that's a little harder to, to save because then there's clearly, like, a larger, there's a larger issue.
[00:42:54] Daniel Weiner: I think you get, I think you get one small one and one big one. And it's better if they happen early on. Yeah, it happens further in; you should probably know better at that point. But.
[00:43:02] Jason Schulweis: Agreed.
[00:43:04] Daniel Weiner: Yeah. Um, you just talked about in real-life stuff, events and all that. We've got NFTs, we had some shocking news in the crypto world the past couple days, and stuff like that.
[00:43:14] What are you most bullish on and pumped about just in marketing and technology, in general, these days?
[00:43:20] I am intrigued to see that, like, the creator economy pendulum shift that we talked about earlier. I am intrigued by, like, the right kind of tokenization that may not necessarily be like NFTs. But what it can do for, like, loyalty and, like, you know, customer data and how brands can actually better communicate with their communities and turn them into, like, actual communities becomes very interesting to me. The, yeah, I mean, and the IRL components too, like their conferences and events and all that kind of stuff. It's just, like, you know, ways, there are ways to collect more dots. Right.
[00:44:07] Jason Schulweis: So, that's, I'm, I remain bullish on that.
[00:44:10] Daniel Weiner: Besides your child who was crying a moment ago, what keeps you up at night? Mostly from a business standpoint?
[00:44:16] Jason Schulweis: Well, I mean, knock on wood, she's actually, she's a pretty good sleeper.
[00:44:19] Daniel Weiner: That's good.
[00:44:19] Jason Schulweis: Um, I mean, the things that keep me up at night is like, well, the ad market. And, you know, if that's able to turn a corner or not. Just because I think it's, that is such a, an awesome thing when it's working well, when, you know, it enables content to be free.
[00:44:37] You know, there's, and good advertising, good creative is awesome. Like, that was something I think Morning Brew, you know, did and does extremely well, you know, is the creative and advertising. So, that, you know, some of that stuff kind of keeps me up at night. And then, every, like, the politics of the world, the, like, the larger things happening do, however, I try very hard to focus on the things that I can control and not, so that I can sleep at night. 'Cause sleep is, I've heard is a pretty important thing.
[00:45:15] Daniel Weiner: Yeah, I'm with you. If you think about everything going on in the world, it's very, very overwhelming, sense of just ridiculousness. So, yeah, focus on what you can is good advice, I would say.
[00:45:25] Uh, final work-related question. Then I get a couple fun ones for you. What's next for you? And you may not know the answer to that question.
[00:45:31] It is something I am, I'm still, you know, I'm planning it out. I'm figuring it out right now. It's, this time that I have post Morning Brew, but it's just been really great to actually spend a bit more time with my daughter and take her to classes.
[00:45:43] Daniel Weiner: Hopefully, you're sleeping a little bit better, at the moment, at least.
[00:45:46] Jason Schulweis: I am sleeping a little bit better, and I'm having a lot of really great conversations with industry friends and, you know, folks at agencies and brands and publishers.
[00:45:54] And, you know, I think for me what's next is, you know, again, on that kind of like creator side of things, I'm just kind of fascinated by what the future of that is. And so, you know, maybe I'll look to, to dabble a little bit in, in that world more than I had previously.
[00:46:13] Daniel Weiner: Nice. Well, if there's anything we can do to help here, we're, we're happy to help. But the final few questions we've got for you. What was your very, very, very first job?
[00:46:21] Jason Schulweis: Ooh, very, very, very first job was, I was a, uh, lacrosse camp counselor.
[00:46:28] Daniel Weiner: Lacrosse camp counselor. I was gonna say, does that, did that prepare you for what you're, the world you're in these days? I would presume maybe management and coaching, in general.
[00:46:36] Jason Schulweis: Trying to wrangle lots of people and, you know, especially if you go into a startup as someone who's a bit more, I don't know, seasoned or experienced than a lot of, you know, than a lot of others, it's a, I think helpful.
[00:46:49] Jason Schulweis: But definitely less applicable than other, other jobs that I've had. That one was just a lot of fun 'cause I, I loved playing lacrosse when I was younger.
[00:46:59] Daniel Weiner: Sure. What would your final meal be?
[00:47:01] Jason Schulweis: Mm. This is tough. My final meal would be a steakhouse meal. And the starter, do I get a starter and a meal?
[00:47:12] Daniel Weiner: You get a whole, you get the whole meal. I'm curious if it's a specific steakhouse.
[00:47:15] No. I mean, there, there are a couple good ones like go-tos that I have, but I would say to, you know, to start shrimp cocktail, oysters, and a very, very dry vodka martini with a twist. And then...
[00:47:27] Daniel Weiner: You can go for the, you can opt for the seafood tower if you want to...
[00:47:30] Jason Schulweis: Oh, then seafood tower. Absolutely. Yeah. Right. Last meal, seafood tower. With a great martini to start.
[00:47:35] And then, the main would be a, either, you know, probably a porterhouse, medium rare, which is just a really nice, you know, medium to full. Not like full heavy cab, but, you know, something in that family, maybe just a touch lighter. And some cream spinach, naturally.
[00:47:57] Daniel Weiner: Naturally, that would be presumably either that, that type of meal, or sushi would be my final, my final meal. It would be, it would be a toss-up.
[00:48:05] Jason Schulweis: I like that. I mean, you go for, like, the most epic Oma Casa meal of all time.
[00:48:09] Daniel Weiner: Ever. Uh, and then, my final question for you, who is somebody who inspires you, either personally, professionally, or both? And why?
[00:48:17] Jason Schulweis: Ooh. Someone who inspires me personally, professionally or, or both? I don't know. I, that's, that's a really, that is a really tough one and a really good question. There's, I always looked up to John Stewart
[00:48:32] Daniel Weiner: I love John.
[00:48:34] Jason Schulweis: That was, like, a very religious, not, I mean not like a religious experience, but it was like a religious experience in that, like, every night it was a habit. Like, I was, you know, I was watching the Daily Show, and the way that his personality came out in a way that was funny, and he was so smart and able to interview people really well.
[00:48:53] Like, he was interesting by being interested and asking like really amazing questions and, like, people, it looked like everyone was having a really good time, you know, on that. And I think that has guided a lot of my thinking in terms of how I, you know, get information and how I communicate with people and trying to, you know, ask really good questions, as well.
[00:49:18] But, yeah, I think that just that his combination of intelligence and humor and eloquence was just something I think that made a really big impact on me growing up.
[00:49:28] Daniel Weiner: And I would say now more than ever, just his utter lack of giving a shit in terms of, like, telling the truth and transparency and, like, cutting, cutting through the BS. And, uh, you know, whatever ramifications occur, it happens, which I very much appreciate about his newest pieces of content, as well.
[00:49:44] Jason Schulweis: Me too.
[00:49:46] Daniel Weiner: But thank you very much for joining, Jason. This was awesome. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am that we made it through without any technical difficulties, as far as I know. Hopefully, all the footage was captured. It appears it has, but if anybody wanted to find you, I presume LinkedIn would be the best, most non-intrusive way of getting in touch with you.
[00:50:04] And, yeah, I look forward to seeing what's next for you and keeping in touch as well.
[00:50:08] Jason Schulweis: Amazing. Me too. And thank you so much. This was great.