August 5, 2019
Patrick: So I’m here with my good buddy, Marshall from Vestigo. Marshall, thank you for coming here.
Marshall: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Patrick: No problem. If you can’t tell, I’ve started growing a little bit of a beard in honor of you cause you’re one of the most manly men that I know and see all these great adventures-
Marshall: My beard has a long way to come. It’s pretty sad right now. I think yours is much better actually.
Patrick: I appreciate it. But you have all these great Instagrams. You’re one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram, honestly.
Marshall: Well, you’re one of my favorite people to follow on LinkedIn, so it’s perfect.
Patrick: I appreciate that, Marshall. Thank you. But some of the adventures that I see you in the van that you have and all of that other stuff really inspired me for this interview, honestly to grow out my beard. So I could be a little bit more manly like you.
Marshall: We should have done this interview on top of a mountain or something with like some snow in the background.
Patrick: Could we have done it hang gliding?
Patrick: That would have been awesome.
Marshall: The audio might have been tough, but yeah we could do it next time.
Patrick: So in all seriousness though, I really love what you guys do at Vestigo and trying to incorporate company culture and do you know, outdoor adventures. So you know, one of the things that I’m really just kind of curious is how did you guys come up with the idea of Vestigo and the purpose behind it?
Marshall: Yeah, that’s a great question. Well like most start-ups, we’ve morphed a lot along the way, multiple pivots.
Marshall: Pivot, right exactly. It’s gone through several iterations, but ultimately when we started working with companies which originally we were working with consumers-
Mashall: I like to say we came up with the Airbnb experiences model before Airbnb. That was what we did for the first two years.
Patrick: I like it, I like it man.
Marshall: For the second two years, when we were working with companies it was all about using these kinds of adventure experiences to help build culture and innovation in teams. Ultimately by putting people outside of their comfort zone, navigating unknown environments together with the people they work with in order to be more adaptive in the workplace. And ultimately, the goal was to create a culture of innovation. Obviously, innovation is sort of this buzzword-
Patrick: Oh, cool!
Marshall: A lot of people use pretty often. But ultimately, the goal is to help people communicate more effectively, trust each other on a deeper level, and come together through experiences that psychologically create deep human connections. A lot of research that goes into what creates deep human connection, but for sure things like baseball games and happy hours don’t do that.
Patrick: Gotcha. Interesting. Ok.
Marshall: Of course, they’re great to just like blow off steam and just have like a relaxing day out of the office, but they don’t really form powerful human connections. And that’s all about what we’re trying to do is create experiences that build that culture of innovation and get teams a little bit closer, a little bit more efficient in how they work together. But ultimately, help people to navigate and adapt to unknown environments which is sort of the key components for innovation.
Patrick: Huh, that’s cool. So yeah, we’re always talking about connecting here and also what type of experience people have in office space. But basically, what you’re saying is to truly get that deep meaningful connection you need to be outside your comfort zone or doing something different. Is that kind of along those lines of what you’re saying?
Marshall: Yeah, that’s one of the core pieces of the environment that is most effective at creating connection. Of course, there’s all kind of environments that you could put your team in. Some are more effective than others.
Marshall: A lot of the research we base what we do off of shows that when you put your team together in an unknown and often times uncomfortable environment-
Marshall: And be vulnerable about the fact that it is challenging. It is difficult. Especially, if that vulnerability comes from leadership, from the CEO.
Marshall: Then the team can come together in a way that really builds trust and bonding on a level that is much more accelerated than you might get from just kind of surface level conversations.
Patrick: Interesting. So give me an example. Like I know that we went on a repelling trip, and we actually took one of our clients. And it was great. I mean, the questions that you guys asked and diving into fears and how to overcome fears like that was really powerful. But give me an example like- are we taking a department out there? Are we taking the C-level people out there? And then once you do do that, how do you kind of create that connection that then ultimately improves the culture?
Marshall: Yeah, that’s a great question. Well obviously, the experience is at the core of the impact, but the program that we’re creating now is more of a recurring program that has three different components to it. Just like going to the gym. If you go once a year on your birthday, you’re not going to expect too much of a result other than maybe free entry because it’s your birthday. You have to constantly challenge yourself and that is also the case for what we’re doing as well.
Marshall: So what we’re doing now is we’re creating this annual program where we’ll do something like you know quarterly or every other month real experiences. And I say real because I’m not going to say virtual experiences, but we’ll get people out of the office doing stuff like what you did.
Marshall: And then on a monthly basis, we’ll come back into the office and check in with the people who went through that experience, and how they’re taking the mindset and the lessons they learned that we talk about in the facilitation and the debrief afterwards and apply that back into their job and their role at the company-
Marshall: to reconnect the dots. And we’ll bring in some virtual reality headsets like what we’re going to do in a little bit.
Patrick: Yeah what we’re going to do in a little bit, looking forward to that.
Marshall: And to use that as a way to give people a chance who haven’t had the real experience a way to understand the mindset that we’re trying to help share-
Marshall: And participate in that conversation. And to kick off the whole program, we’ll have someone that’s a famous adventure speaker come in to talk about how they- like Alex Honnold from Free Solo, how they did some remarkable things and how often times mindset is the most important factor for that.
Marshall: We’ll have this incredible person come in, get everyone excited then do these series of out of office and in office experiences to connect the dots.
Marshall: And ultimately create the impact that we want to create.
Patrick: It’s interesting. I like the fact that you said consistent. Cause I mean I’m a big believer in consistency. It’s the little things, you know. And we talk about here- prepare, connect, consistent. And it’s got to be over and over and over again. So to hear you guys say that’s what you’re morphing into, it’s a really positive thing. Last question for ya, I mean you’re big into social media. And again, it’s one of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. You and Garrett Gravesen. You know Garrett?
Marshall: Oh yeah, he’s about to go to Africa right now.
Patrick: That’s right. Those are my two favorite to- Right? I mean- guys crazy.
Marshall: Him and Clay Humphries together. That’s probably the best Instagram pair, actually.
Patrick: It’s very true.
Marshall: Oh it is.
Patrick: So how do you get in the mindset of doing that? Cause you do record yourself doing a lot of stuff. So how did you get into the initial mindset of getting started and doing that?
Marshall: Yeah well at the core of what we’re doing with Vestigo, it’s about helping people to get outside of their comfort zone and take that next step personally with their own mindset. And you can’t really understand kind of what- everything is relative to our own experiences. So sharing all these different things that I love to do personally is a really great way to help people understand you know, just what’s possible, what’s out there and use that as a tool for inspiration to help people want to have the mindset that we’re trying to help teach through these experiences-
Patrick: Yeah, yeah.
Marshall: Through Vestigo. And ultimately, our goal and thing I’m passionate about is tell people to take that first step. To do something maybe they never thought they could do and have that be a stepping stone to do another thing that maybe they never thought they could do and have that compound upon itself.
Patrick: Yep, yep. Keep growing.
Marshall: And social media is a great way to share and to kind of portray some of those things. And I just love the combination of adventure and technology and just love videography and film. So it’s kind of a combination of all those things.
Patrick: I will say when you are showering yourself off, I’m glad when you look down you actually have a bathing suit on. I’ve been kind of freaked out like where are we going? Marshall! Marshall! No!
Marshall: Just to clarify, I don’t take Instagram videos while I’m in the shower. But you mentioned my adventure van and you can’t be an adventure lover without a cool adventure van. And in promoting the van, it does have an outdoor shower so I do like to use my first perspective snap chat glasses and show off how you can take a shower after mountain biking. But I always- it is an outdoor shower.
Patrick: It is an outdoor shower, right. I should have said that first. I should have actually given that. But anyway.
Marshall: Don’t want to get too personal with Instagram stories.
Patrick: Well, good. Well we’re going to go and put on the VR headset right now.
Marshall: It’s right here.
Patrick: So we’ll videotape that and then let everyone see what it looks like. So Marshall, thanks for coming in dude.
Patrick: I appreciate it.
Marshall: It’s good to be here.