The Uncommonwealth Podcast – Wicksell Metellus

WicksellFamily

Here is the transcript from The Uncommonwealth of Kentucky Podcast with Wicksell Metellus.

 

Chad Webb:

Alright, so on today’s podcast we have Wicksell Metellus. Wicksell used to work with Jason and I at AGI back in the day, as most of our podcast guests we have have been people from AGI, people from our past. So Wicksell, man, we appreciate you jumping on today.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, thanks. Thanks guys. Good to see you guys again. Thanks for having me on.

 

Chad Webb:

Yep. Won’t you if you wouldn’t mind, just introduce yourself and maybe tell us a little bit about at least where you grew up? Take us up to AGI in Kentucky where we met. Let’s get up to that point. That’s only a few years. Just go through that.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, sure. Yeah, I’ll give that a shot. Yeah, so my name is Wicksell Metellus. These days, I also go by Wicks for short.

 

Chad Webb:

Do you do all those websites? Is that what you do?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think that’s a different Wicks.

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, okay. Different guy.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

But I’ll take the credit. Some of the sites are okay. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I was there all the way through high school, and after high school I went to art school so growing up I was an artist. My dad was also an artist and musician, so I picked up the art side and then my sister picked up the music side. She played piano, but I was always drawing as a kid, doing illustrations, sketches and things like that.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I always knew I wanted to be an artist in some type of form, so I went to art school and moved to Florida for that, where I attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. This was back in 2000, so I was there for three years, completed that program. More specifically, it was media arts and animation, where I further honed my skills in illustration, motion graphics, 3D as well. I think that was the main thing I was going for. I had decided that I either wanted to work in the movie industry, maybe work for Disney or Pixar doing 3D animation, 3D modeling, or 2D animation as well, or working for a video game company.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

After graduating, I quickly learned that Florida wasn’t the best region or state for that profession. There weren’t tons of animation houses or video game studios down there. I think there was one, maybe Electronic Arts in Orlando at the time, but getting into that industry is just super hard, especially for new graduates, so that didn’t really work out for me. I ended up getting some jobs at a local design agency. One thing Florida does have a presence in is design agencies. The hospitality industry as well. So I worked at a design agency for a little bit where I got to do some 3D, actually, which was great. Some 3D, some 2D graphics, working on flyers for some big brands such as Del Monte, Motorola. Kodak was another one that I worked for, and while there, I was also tasked with doing some web design, and I gained a new interest in a new space, which was web and interface design.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Around that time I decided to go back to the Art Institute for interface and web design, an associates program, and that led me to unpack a new passion in the space of web design and interface design, and I quickly learned that I could meld the two. I remember at this specific design agency, I worked on a website for a construction client, and I remember creating a 3D building, this building in 3D, and I made it interactive using flash for a website, which was pretty cool.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think I was there for about maybe a year or so, or year and a half, and I started interviewing at some point for Affinity Group, for AGI, out in Kentucky. I had a buddy, Pat, that was already there and he told me about a role, which was not anywhere near what I was interested in at the time. It didn’t fall directly in my skillset, but I guess I picked up enough in learning about web, some marketing working at this agency, where it piqued my interest. It was a search marketing role for AGI, and I decided to speak to the hiring managers, and one thing led to another and before you knew it, I was in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

From what I remember, I think I had a choice of either working in California or Bowling Green, but I think the fact that my buddy Pat was already in Bowling Green, it was an easier decision to decide to go there versus going somewhere where I wouldn’t have anyone. So that’s my path to AGI.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s amazing that you picked Pat over California.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, I know.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, the California office was pretty nice. The location.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It was really nice.

 

Jason Heflin:

Pat was cool. Pat was cool though.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. yeah, Pat was cool.

 

Jason Heflin:

Cool dude.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

And I think during the interview process I was able to fly out, so I met a few folks to at the Bowling Green office. Everyone was awesome, which was great.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah we were.

 

Jason Heflin:

I don’t think he’s talking about you, Chad.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think at the time I probably wasn’t well educated in this area, but things like cost of living. I knew even back then, most likely even now, it’s probably more expensive to live in California versus Bowling Green and then looking at cost of living probably factored into my decision as well.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure, and you were making all those decisions and all those choices from Florida to Bowling Green I remember, because we were all dealing with the crash that happened back then.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. Yep.

 

Chad Webb:

Because, you had a house.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Did you keep the place in Florida when you moved back?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, totally. I still have that condo. It’s a pain.

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, do you?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. It’s just like, Florida’s still feeling remnants of that crash, especially in the housing space.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

So this condo that I have, it’s just there. Try to rent it once in a while. Sometimes that goes well. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s still for the most part upside down on the mortgage.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay. That stinks, man.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, it’s terrible. It’s not a good thing.

 

Jason Heflin:

And so where is it? Where is it? Let’s give you a little plug. Where is it located? This fabulous condo.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It is located by a golf course in-

 

Jason Heflin:

I love golf courses.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. Beautiful Fort Lauderdale, about 20 minutes from the beach. It’s a two-two in a gated community.

 

Jason Heflin:

Is it furnished?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It’s not furnished but it does have a balcony.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. Furnished and a balcony. I’m thinking about going down for a little while this winter and renting some place, some furnished place, for a month or so.

 

Chad Webb:

Near a golf course with a balcony?

 

Jason Heflin:

Near a golf course with a balcony.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, yeah. I might know a place.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay, okay. Have to get some furniture, but you know, Rent-A-Center.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly.

 

Jason Heflin:

So, when you came to Affinity Group in Bowling Green, was the option for working in California, was it one of those things where it was the same pay no matter where you went?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. It was on the same pay. Yep.

 

Jason Heflin:

So that helped make the decision pretty quickly.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Totally.

 

Jason Heflin:

I had that option too when I worked there that when I went from Camping World to Affinity Group, they said, “You’re welcome to work out of the California office if you’d like,” and I was like, “That sounds awesome. Love it out there,” but it’s the same pay. I was like, “I’ll stick around.”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, exactly. I’d say the cool thing was while working at AGI, I was able to travel to the California office, which they paid for the travel and car rentals and hotels which was awesome, and meet the folks there and be able to experience the office out there, which like you said earlier was a pretty nice office out there.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and where I usually sat when I was there, you can see the ocean. It was-

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. It’s awesome.

 

Jason Heflin:

Phenomenal. And that office is closed now. I don’t know. Chad, do you know what’s in that building at this time?

 

Chad Webb:

I don’t. I mean, I think last time we were up there we drove up there to look, but I don’t recall.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. You and I were out there a few years ago.

 

Chad Webb:

So Wicksell, what was the extent of the search marketing back then? I just don’t recall. What were you focused on? Was it strictly Google ads, or were you looking at other types of ads as well?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, that’s interesting. I think when I first took the job, initially at least it was focused on organic search and search marketing via Google ads, and then it expanded to … This is one thing I really appreciated about the role. Everyone, all the marketing managers I worked with, trying to remember some other roles. They were open to new ideas and new things, so I was able to pitch them on getting into affiliate marketing and things like that. Both sides of that, so being affiliates themselves for other relevant advertisers, and then reaching out to affiliate networks to expand the reach of their programs, and the vastness was pretty cool. It was across Good Sam, Woodall’s RV, RV.net. We were also able to get into blogging at the time too, where I worked with one of the marketing managers for RV.net to basically book these two RVers that were doing their own thing on the side previously just blogging about their Airstream going around the country to create exclusive content for RV.net.

 

Chad Webb:

Like influencer marketing before that was even a thing.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Yeah, totally. Yeah, that’s a great way to summarize it. So it was really awesome and fun to be able to get into things like that, and everyone was open to it which was great, and I think we saw quite a bit of success by expanding into that type of marketing.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, I’m sure you did. Especially because those things were new and I’m sure the bidding wasn’t as high as it is these days for some of those terms because less people were in it.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Right, yeah. Exactly.

 

Chad Webb:

How long were you at AGI?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

That’s a great question. I think I was there maybe two years, or almost two years.

 

Chad Webb:

Did you leave before Pat, or after Pat, or did you guys leave about the same time?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I left after.

 

Chad Webb:

After Pat.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think I was there maybe several months after he left.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay. Then when you left, you went back to Florida for a little while?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. I went back to Florida. When was this? Was this, 2006 I think?

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think it was 2000. Is that right?

 

Chad Webb:

It’d have been about ten years ago though, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think so. Yeah, so I think I went back to Florida in 2000 … Hmm. I’m trying to remember.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s all a blur.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, it’s all a blur. So many things happened. It might have been 2005 actually.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jason Heflin:

When did you get married and have a child? You got to kind of use that timeline.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. Those are super blurs. I’ll get in trouble for those. But yeah, let’s see. I know I started at Amazon. I know we’ll get to this later, but I know I started at Amazon in the summer of 2015. I was at the previous company for five years or almost six years, so yeah, I think that’s right. I think I moved back around maybe 2005, 2006.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay. What was the job you took back down there?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I went back to work with a startup called SproutLoud, and it was a front end engineering/UI design role where basically I would work on UI design as well as work on the CSS, the HTML, the JavaScript. Just basically front end web design.

 

Chad Webb:

So that might be good to say like, UI/UX. What do those terms mean exactly?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

For that role specifically, and this was interesting because it started off as mostly just UI design which is just defining the elements that make a website or a webpage or an app, and that usually has to do with things like colors, typography, sometimes interactions as well. You might define that in a document, like a design document. That’s pretty much the extent of the role, and usually you’re getting requirements from someone like a product manager. Yeah, a product manager, or a product stakeholder that might give you a series of requirements, and if you’re lucky you might have a design system already established where you can just pull components from, but you’re just putting the pieces together to make this feature request work.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

That role quickly evolved into more of a UX role where it was just thinking more holistically about what we were building, and that was something that I pushed for shortly after I started because I saw a lack of user-centered decisions there. We weren’t using our customers’ insights at all while we were building, and it was creating churn but no one really knew why the churn was there. We would get bugs filed. Customers and users of this product would be calling in about issues they were having and things like that, so I just quickly saw an opportunity to get at the root causes and to get to these root causes we needed to speak to users, and that wasn’t always easy either. Mostly because we didn’t really have access to our users like that, so what we did initially was use our account managers, the folks that spoke to our users on a daily basis about the issues and things like that, to be kind of like a proxy for us to get the information we needed.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I’d say the difference between UI design and UX design is UX design has a broader process which starts with getting a good grasp of the unknowns, the whys. Like, why are we even building this thing? You might even question a feature request, like is this really going to solve a problem? What is the problem? Let’s actually nail that down first is are we solving the right problem, and you might start doing some research to unpack that, and once there’s some alignment there then you start thinking about potential solutions, but then even at that step where you’re thinking about solutions you want to test that as well early on to make sure those assumptions are right.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

So it’s this constant cycle of testing your assumptions, ideally with your users, and using directional data, using directional insights as they emerge to keep iterating until you get to the final product, and then after that process is done you get into refining and maybe doing some more refined wire frames, some high fidelity mock ups, prototypes, and ideally you test there as well because now you’re getting into a more polished product. Some things there may change the perception of users until you launch it, and I’d say UI design while there’s a process there too is probably more truncated. It probably happens more at that later stage of UX where you’re getting to the high fidelity refinement right before launch.

 

Jason Heflin:

You mentioned data. In your role or in your roles, did you get your hands dirty with that. I mean, do you curate that yourself? Do you have to sift through it, oris it given to you like, “Here’s the data. Here’s what we see?” How does that work?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. It actually depends on a couple of issues, and it varies. I’ve been in roles where I’ve worked with a researcher, which is awesome if a UX designer has a research partner. They can actually partner and work with that researcher to get the data they need via different research methods like user interviews, usability studies, and use the outputs from those methods to inform design decisions. In some other cases I’ve been in situations where I didn’t have a research partner and I just basically had to use those same methods that a researcher would usually implement in a project myself, so doing my own studies. My own usability studies, my own user interviews.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

There’s a vast range of methods that you could use, so depending on the timeframe of the projects, depending on constraints that you may have to work within, you’d just pick the best method that would help keep things moving forward. At different companies too, depending on the company, you may have access to quantitative data, so just metrics and analytics that may give you a glimpse of some behavioral user data, so like drop off or the click-through, their journey through an application or their journey through a specific set of tasks that you might be interested in.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, I think for the most part all the companies I’ve worked at at least had that, even at AGI where obviously we use Google Analytics to look at user behavior, to track business goals, signups. How many folks are signing up for Good Sam Club memberships, Woodall’s subscriptions, and then at Amazon we had our own web-based A/B tracker where we would track success of launches against, so basically control versus the new version. Internally we had tools that were similar to Google Analytics to look at user behavior and track some business metrics.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s interesting. I think it’s interesting from a user experience. You’re thinking a lot about, like you said, reaching that goal. What’s the purpose? I mean, on the work we do on a smaller level, much smaller level is thinking through. You know, people come to us and they want to run some Google Ads, they want to run Facebook ads, social media ads, things like that, and they want a lot of them. They just want to send them directly to some random page on the website, and we’re like, “Well, we need to think through a landing page, what that’s going to look like.” Because from our perspective, we want them to be with us for a while, so we want them to have success and see that success and help those people, because it feels a lot better when they’re spending money with us if we’re able to show results.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Totally.

 

Chad Webb:

User experience is often overlooked. People I don’t think think about it as much, and I think a lot of times the reason they don’t think about it is because it’s done well, like with Amazon and with Google and the work you do and things like that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wicksell, do you ever use any prepackaged page design stuff for testing, like Unbounce or any of those where they provide a proven design landing page? Do you ever use those as a inspiration or as a test to run against your test as a control?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, that’s a great question. At AGI and at SproutLoud, the startup I worked at when I moved back to Florida, I actually did that quite a bit. I even wrote a blog post or an article while I was at SproutLoud about the anatomy of a good landing page. I’d say I started getting better at that while at AGI, because obviously we were sending folks to Good Sam landing pages and Woodall’s subscription pages and we wanted to convert those customers. I remember when I first started there were things already in place, so my job was to look at these existing landing pages and figure out ways to make them better. Make them more appealing for people to subscribe, and I just read articles. I just went out there, and I went to resources like Unbounce.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I think there was another one, HubSpot, where they had free resources. Here is how to build a landing page that converts, and from there it was just seeing what would apply to our use cases and testing them out. Working with the engineers to build different versions, working with the marketing partners to see how long we wanted to run the tests for, and going from there. So yeah, I’d say those resources are always super helpful.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and trying to hold back the marketers from trying to test offers at the same time you’re testing design and that sort of thing too.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Like trying to limit the amount of noise you might get in a test, right? Making sure it’s hyper-focused on something.

 

Chad Webb:

Once you left the startup, is that you then jumped into the position at Amazon?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, so after the startup. I was at the startup for almost six years, and in the summer of 2015, July 2015 I started at Amazon. That’s when I also moved to Seattle.

 

Jason Heflin:

Tell us about that. What did you think of, well A, what did you think of the Amazon culture, and B, what did you think of the Seattle? Or had you lived on the west coast at that point?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

No, I hadn’t. I’ve only always visited or heard about it. I have friends out there. I actually think AGI was the company that first brought me out to California, which was awesome. With Amazon, when I first started speaking to them, to the recruiter when their recruiter reached out, I believe the role was supposed to be in Texas. At least it started out as a role that would’ve been in Austin, Texas. There’s an office there, and as the conversations continued, I think throughout the conversations throughout interviewing I think I assumed it would be in Austin, Texas, and then at some point I learned that it would actually be in Seattle.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I didn’t really know much about Seattle. Knew about the Seattle Supersonics and things like that. I’ve heard that it’s always rainy there. So at the time I started thinking about, would I really want to live there? I was also thinking the same about Austin as well. I just wasn’t sure. I also wasn’t really certain I would even get the job. I felt like, let me go through the process. I worked at a startup for six years. I know the scope of Amazon, like the scope they work within, just how big the company is and how it would be a long shot for me, so I was probably just having a little bit of imposter syndrome at the time. I just said to myself, “Let me go through the process just to go through it. We’ll see what happens.”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

But ultimately things ended up working out and I got an offer, and during the process they flew me out for the onsite interview, which was in the summer. I think it was maybe June or late May. I can’t remember, but Seattle in the spring and summer is awesome, so that actually sold me on it. Just being there during that season was just awesome. It was nice and sunny and warm, but it wasn’t humid like Florida. That was one thing I already noticed, and the city was just awesome. The Amazon campus was really cool, and I got to check out downtown Seattle a little bit as well. So that was an interview process, and I think part of it might be maybe they try to get you in there in the summers and the spring to sell you on moving there. I’m not sure, but if that’s part of their strategy it worked.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

From a culture standpoint, I’d say maybe going from a startup like the one I was at in Florida to Amazon, I’d say it didn’t feel like a huge shift. I knew the scope of work was bigger. I knew the impact of things I would work on would be bigger as well.

 

Jason Heflin:

Stakes were higher if you messed up.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly, yeah. Exactly. I knew the stakes were higher, but I’d say maybe the startup prepared me for Amazon in a way because at a startup you’re wearing a lot of hats. You’re taking on a lot. You’re working in a fast paced environment. All the cliché terms that you hear about a startup or that you see in job posts. So I think from a work style perspective, I was probably prepared so I didn’t feel a big shift. I’d say maybe one of the differences I noticed was, this was like a truly UX role where I would no longer be doing the things I liked, like the front end engineering, working on the CSS, HTML, the JavaScript. It definitely felt different in that aspect, in that respect, where I had to be better at strategy and understanding the business side of things, working really closely with product managers, like really closely. I worked with product managers at the startup, but not as closely as I would at Amazon. They’re like your direct partner.

 

Jason Heflin:

Now when you say product manager, do you mean products, Amazon product offerings, or do you mean more like category managers, like categories of the inventory?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

So given a product, like let’s say Amazon Music for example. You may have a product manager that oversees a particular feature or series of features, so that’s the product manager that a designer would be partnered with. Then within that same feature set, you may also have an engineering team or a program manager, just like a series of roles that exist to make sure that things are launched and that that product continues to perform.

 

Jason Heflin:

Got you.

 

Chad Webb:

It’s similar to the marketing manager role for the divisions inside AGI, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Chad Webb:

It’s the owner of the-

 

Wicksell Metellus:

The owner of the thing.

 

Chad Webb:

Right.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, the owner of the thing.

 

Chad Webb:

Or whatever that is, yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Yep. So that’s one of the bigger differences I would say I noticed. From a culture standpoint too, I’d say Amazon is very much data driven. At the startup in Florida, we didn’t really use data the way I would’ve hoped we used it. It just felt like we were just launching things based on requests from our users. Which is fine, right? We want to keep our users happy, but unless I suggested, “Hey, let’s try to speak to the account managers to make sure we build this feature right,” there wasn’t really a sense that we were using as much data as we could. I think for the most part what we ended up doing was just using sales figures like, “Hey, we launched this thing and we made X amount,” or, “We launched this thing and the client didn’t leave us. We were able to keep the client.” Or, “We were able to convince a client to come onboard because we launched this feature,” which is good. Those are wins. Those are successes, but I’d say at Amazon it was great to see that we used numerous data points and metrics to help us make decisions, which was great and it actually to me felt more like the things I liked doing at AGI where I would look at Google Analytics, just like all these different customer behaviors, these different metrics that we would track, just on a bigger scale.

 

Chad Webb:

Do you think some of that was … I mean, I’m assuming the answer is obviously you could, but do you think there was a resource thing there where the startup has less resources at its disposal to even purchase software products that can be used whereas Amazon has a larger bucket that they can jump into to check those things? Just again, my limited experience from the things we did at AGI to what we do at CrowdSouth in terms of like when Jason and I travel, many times we’re in the same room together, where at AGI you each get your own hotel room and I was like, why do we each need our own hotel room?

 

Jason Heflin:

I’ll sleep on a couch.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, for sure. I think that plays a factor in it, and resourcing definitely. The fact that Amazon’s able to internally build their own tools to do what they need to do in terms of getting information they need, the data they need, which takes a lot of resources obviously. If you’re not using third party things like Google Analytics because of data privacy concerns and you’re building your own thing, if you’re able to do that, that’s a big deal and not all companies have the resources to do that, and even if you’re using third party tracking tools you may not have the resources to do the correct instrumentation of your product to properly tag things and track in these third party tools. So for sure, resourcing definitely plays a role I think.

 

Chad Webb:

What was your experience over the last few years with some of the … How was Amazon as a company to work for for you?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It was overall a great experience.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s good.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. For the five years I was there I learned a lot. I work with extremely smart people on a couple different teams while I was there. I was able to stretch myself in different ways too, like picking up new skills. At some point I was able to get back to doing some of the things I like as part of a job, which was doing some coding, more prototyping, learning programming languages. Something that I’m passionate about even as a UX designer is to be able to code. I like coding, but yeah, I’d say it was just a great learning experience and it also felt rewarding to launch products that I know millions of people are using worldwide, making their shopping experiences better or their post purchase experiences better after they buy things. This is working in the consumer space. I’ve met a lot of great people, made tons of friends. I was able to build a very strong network as well. I was able to be mentored by people, I was able to mentor others, and I think all that was due to being able to work at a company like Amazon.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and it’s probably much easier to understand at the Thanksgiving table who you work for and what you do than … Like I know all three of us have worked at several companies where when it comes to your family or just certain people in your life, when you explain what you do they’re like, “What? What do you do?”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, I know what you mean.

 

Jason Heflin:

So you can say, “I work for Amazon. I do the web stuff.” And they say, “Oh, you built the Amazon website?” “Yeah, yeah, sure.”

 

Chad Webb:

You’re like, “Yeah, that’s it. Yeah let’s just … Can we move on?”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, it ends there. They’ll recognize Amazon, but then if I get into my specific role they’re like, “What is that?” Then it usually ends with me just saying, “Yeah, I just build the website,” or something like that, which isn’t exactly true but gets the point across I guess.

 

Jason Heflin:

Which brings us to, you built the Google website too, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep. Google search. I did all of it.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, that design was easy. It’s just a little bar.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Gmail.

 

Jason Heflin:

Gmail, yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, so I guess the next step is you’ve recently made a switch, and I’m sure that’s part of what you had just spoken about with your network growing and things like that. The opportunity to work at a company like Amazon, it does open doors. Just name recognition alone, and it allows you to make a switch to the job you’ve taken in the last couple months, which it sounds like is with Google.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

 

Chad Webb:

What was that like as far as the decision to make a move, and then the process of getting on at a place like Google?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Decision wise I’d say it was a really tough decision. I think it’s always a tough decision when you’re leaving a job, especially if things are great. Things were good. I was on a really good team at Amazon, the last team I was on, the team that I left. So the decision was hard, so I think about a year ago Google reached out to me seeing where I was at career wise but at the time I didn’t feel like I was ready to go there. It was an interesting time, so I was on one team at Amazon and I was speaking to another internal team, the team I actually started with when I first joined, so I was going to boomerang back to that team. They were inviting me to boomerang back, and there was a lot going on at that time family wise and things like that. I just didn’t feel like taking on the burden of doing an intense interview process and I was really intrigued by going back to my original team so I ended up doing that actually, which was a great decision.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It was awesome, so I was there for about a year, and within that year I worked on an awesome project. My first time working on an internal facing project, the non-consumer public facing one, which was great. Learned a lot of new things there, and I’d say around maybe August or July, Google reached out again, and they usually do six-month cycles. They’ll just ping you back to see where you’re at, and this time I decided to speak with them and I think what made the decision easier this time to at least pursue the interview further was knowing that I was at Amazon for over five years and thinking that maybe this was just good timing to challenge myself again. I was starting to feel just a little bit stagnant in the role. I had just done this vision pitch to leaders of the team. That went over well, and we had started getting to the cycle of launching features, and I just felt like, hey, I want to work on something big again. Work on something big, learn something knew, and I thought Google would give me that opportunity, and the interview process, I felt like it went pretty quick.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Usually from what I’ve heard, it could take months to get through the Google interview process depending on the timing that you’re interviewing with them, depending on they do team matching and things like that too, so you may interview well and it goes through but then you’re waiting to find a team to match with. But luckily I felt like everything went pretty smooth. It was still pretty intense. These big tech companies, their interview processes number one could take long, but then it’s a multi-step thing. You do a couple phone screens, and then ultimately you do an onsite full-day, they call it a full-day loop where you do a series of one-on-ones. Well before the one-on-ones you do a portfolio review where you’re speaking to a panel of folks that you may or may not be working with ultimately, presenting your work, going through all your achievements and things like that. Like a portfolio presentation.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

So that was the process. I was able to get through that, and I was able to get team matching fairly quickly and I started on October 12th was my first day.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow. Yeah, so you’re fresh.

 

Chad Webb:

Just like, six weeks ago.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Right. Yeah, I know, and that’s the other thing. I’m already six weeks in. Time just feels like it’s flying, but I’m also still learning everything. I’m specifically working in the Google Cloud space, which is a 100% new space for me. I’m familiar with some of the cloud products, but to have to work on building products in the cloud space is something I’ve never done before so definitely the type of area I want to be in right now, because it’s going to force me to learn and grow just by being in the space.

 

Jason Heflin:

Any particular products that you’re working on that you could talk about?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, at a high level. I’m working on products for folks that sell Google Cloud to businesses, so if you go to Squarespace, if you build a Squarespace site, you’ll notice they kind of show you hey, you could also get G Suite or Gmail, right? So Squarespace would be a customer that uses our products.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. You’ve probably never heard of us because we’ve signed up maybe five G Suite accounts here.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

There you go.

 

Jason Heflin:

Five or six a year. No big deal though.

 

Chad Webb:

We do recommend it. We’ve found it easier.

 

Jason Heflin:

We do. We do.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s what we use.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

It’s funny. We use Google Meet, and when this whole thing started everyone’s using Zoom, and we’re constantly, we’re sending out our little Google Meet invites.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

There you go. Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Everyone’s like, “I don’t know how to use this.” I’m like, “It’s easier than Zoom.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. You don’t have to download anything. You just click the link.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Well, I have to use it. We don’t have a choice.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure. Yeah. Have you since March, I guess these last six weeks, have you seen where you would sit if things were open?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh my gosh. I don’t even think I have a desk. I don’t think anyone that’s getting hired at some of these places even have a desk to sit at, and speaking of that, that probably was one of my biggest concerns is transitioning from a company where I knew people, like I met them face to face. I know these people personally. I was able to build friendships with them. We as so happened transitioned to work from home during that time to leaving and going to a place where I’m going to be 100% remote from the beginning, so one thing I noticed at Amazon was a lot of the meetings started to just be transactional meetings. Like every meeting you set was just about work, right? Just hey, let’s have this meeting to talk about this project or about this deadline or about this deliverable, and we started to think of ways as a team to mitigate that issue. Hey, let’s just do spontaneous meetings to see how you’re doing, to try to replicate that office kitchen chat, right?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

And not knowing if there was anything like that in place at Google or not knowing if I’d be able to get to know someone or my new teammates well enough to become friends with them, right? You build friendships with folks like the way I build friendships with you guys, and we check in on each other once in a while, and now we’re doing a podcast together.

 

Jason Heflin:

And go to lunch. You do all those, yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly, so that was one thing I was concerned about, and I’d say so far it’s been okay. It hasn’t really felt like I’m not getting to know people. I feel like they do a good job at putting things in place that helps mitigate transactional only meetings. We have social team meetings where we just chat about how our week was. We have a getting to know you series within the team too where someone would present something about themselves for 10 to 15 minutes. Might be about this place you visited last year, or the artwork that you do on the side. Things like that.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s a really good idea. I mean, I think that’s a big struggle for … I never thought about it like that, but that is how you can fall into that where it’s like, if I have a meeting right now it’s like, I want it to have a purpose and I want it to get some things done, so that’s interesting.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Right.

 

Chad Webb:

I know that the announcements have come across that a lot of these larger places have said, “We’ll let people work from home from now on.” Have they put any sort of guideline in place for you guys to say, “This is when we think we might come back together?”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Right now it’s next summer or summer 2021. June or July is the timeframe for when they’re thinking we’ll go back to the offices, and then I think the plan is to try to slowly phase back in so it’s not just a flood of people going back at once. I think that’s the plan for most companies is to try to create this plan to get back.

 

Chad Webb:

I like the idea of them being like, “Okay, everybody, come back,” and you’re there with your backpack and your lunchbox and you’re like, “Hey guys.”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep. Exactly.

 

Chad Webb:

“I was the guy hired in the pandemic. Can I borrow your desk?”

 

Jason Heflin:

You guys will bond. There will be a whole group of you guys that were hired during the pandemic, and you’ll get each other.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. Totally. Totally.

 

Chad Webb:

Get the pandemic kids. Send them over there.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Pandemic hires. Yep.

 

Chad Webb:

Another thing I was going to ask is, do you feel like, and again, this is all cliché. You’re the one that actually works at Google. I’m the one that has read articles about it, but what’s funny is, do you feel like you’re missing anything because the office is closed?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

You’re like, “Can I at least walk in and get my free snacks, or play on the ping pong table, or whatever they have?”

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. During one-on-ones I’ve set up with folks just to meet them, I’ve heard from them that I’m missing out on being at the building. All the perks that you’ve seen if you saw the movie, I think The Move with Vince Vaughn.

 

Chad Webb:

Vince Vaughn and the guy with the messed up nose. What his name? Owen Wilson? Yeah.

 

Vince Vaughn:

Listen, I got it. I’ve seen the future and it’s beautiful for us.

 

Owen Wilson:

I don’t know what you got, but I got a job here and I don’t want to lose it. Now can we talk about this later?

 

Vince Vaughn:

No. We can’t talk about it later. The future doesn’t know later.

 

Owen Wilson:

What are you … All the future is is later. That’s literally what the future is. It’s later. What are you talking about?

 

Vince Vaughn:

Google.

 

Owen Wilson:

Google.

 

Vince Vaughn:

Yeah, the place is amazing. They got nap pods. They got massage rooms. They got a volleyball court. They got the whole nine. It’s ranked as the greatest place to work at in America.

 

Owen Wilson:

Yeah, I know. It’s a technology company, a field we know jack squat about.

 

Vince Vaughn:

Look, Google needs us, and Google wants us.

 

Owen Wilson:

They do?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, exactly. Apparently most of that is actually true, where you have all these awesome perks, but then you also have all these cool social areas where you can just hang out with your teammates and things like that, where you could relax. Obviously all the free food and all that stuff, so there is definitely a feeling of missing out and for folks joining now, they’ll just not have that experience at all until we start getting back.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure. Did they do anything from a company perspective, company as a whole or leadership, have they done anything such as sent care packages or do they do anything like that for their teams and things like that?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Nothing that I’ve seen. I know messaging wise, they make it a priority to make sure people are just taking care of themselves, so making sure your-

 

Jason Heflin:

Mental health and your health and-

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Things like that, so like reminders and doing things like that. Sometimes we might get some random reminders like, “Hey, maybe take this day off.”

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, that’s nice.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I’ll just take a day. Yeah, like mental health-

 

Chad Webb:

Mental health day, yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s great.

 

Chad Webb:

That is cool. One thing is, do you feel like, again with Google and Amazon, do you feel … You don’t have to brag on yourself, but do you feel a sense of pride that from where you started, you’ve taken these steps and you’ve gone through some hurdles and things like that to get to this position. Does it feel as, because you’re in it now at Amazon. You did Amazon. You did Google. Does it feel as large as it probably feels, like you were saying, talking to your friends, talking to your family? If I told my dad I worked at Google he’d lose his mind. Right now he just tells everyone I work on computers. That’s what I do. Is there a sense of pride that has come with it? Not a big ego or anything. I just mean are you proud of yourself for what you’ve accomplished during-

 

Jason Heflin:

We’re proud of you, Wicksell.

 

Chad Webb:

I was going to say I’m proud of you, not that it matters.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Thanks. Thanks. Thanks guys.

 

Chad Webb:

Not that Wicksell’s like, “Oh, I can die now. Chad said he’s-“

 

Jason Heflin:

Well when the world comes crashing down we’re going to call Wicksell for a job.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

No, I appreciate that. Yeah, I’d say maybe it’s not so much pride, but maybe just more thankful that I even had the opportunities to work for these companies. Then the fact that we talked through my journey to get here. I don’t take that journey for granted at all, and I think everything happens for a reason, right? So I think my journey was pretty unique, starting with wanting to be a designer or an artist but then getting into web design, and then getting into more marketing, which that merger of web design and marketing I felt like was the catalyst to get me more and more serious about UX design, which I ended up taking to SproutLoud as well, the startup in Florida, to evangelize a more user-centered approach.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Then that in turn helped me get the Amazon role, and if you remember I was saying too, even when interviewing with Amazon I kind of felt like there was some imposter syndrome here. Like, yeah, I’m just going to do this thing. Amazon’s not going to hire me. So when I finally got it it was a feeling. I just felt grateful and just thankful that they saw in me the talent that they’d need, enough talent to hire, and then the same thing with Google as well. The interview process was super awesome. Everyone I met was great, so I guess look at it more as like just a humbled opportunity to share my talent with these companies.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. No, that’s awesome.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, and it’s interesting you mention being humble and trying to be humble and gracious and grateful, because I think that when Chad and I hire people, it’s not a checkbox on the interview form, but it’s something that you look for because you want people who can be happy, who just make happiness around them. I think you’re one of those people.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Thanks.

 

Jason Heflin:

You get in somewhere and you create that.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Thanks.

 

Jason Heflin:

You create that, and so it’s key, and not everybody can do that. Most people honestly can’t.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Thanks. Thanks.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. No, man. You’re always happy. You always had a smile on your face working with you, and nothing really … It probably did, but nothing seemed to bother you.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I’m Pat sometimes.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, maybe Pat. Maybe Pat. Yeah. But yeah, no.

 

Chad Webb:

I want to ask you though about some of the things you’ve done on the side. I know I saw on your Twitter account you were working. Are you working with a buddy on a game, like a board game?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. Yep. Yeah, so still keeping those gaming ambitions alive. I’m working on a tabletop card game with my buddy Cameron Luck, also designer at Amazon as well. Yeah. I’m doing the art for it. He’s done game design in the past, so we learned the game design process for tabletop gaming for card games specifically. We’ve done some testing using Tabletop Game Simulator which was pretty cool, and we’re hoping to see if we could put a Kickstarter together at some point. We’re finalizing art now. We’re going to print some prototypes, do some play tests, and then probably put a Kickstarter together. But yeah, it’s a passion project, but we’re hoping to see people play it whenever it launches.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s fun.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s really cool.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

It’s called Flockade. It’s a sheep and ram and lamb based card game.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Funny looking characters.

 

Jason Heflin:

Awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s cool though. Yeah, that’s cool. I mean, I’ll attempt it.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Sweet. Cool.

 

Chad Webb:

I’ll play it. Yeah. I will donate to that Kickstarter for sure.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

The other thing I was going to ask about was your wife. Is she a designer or an artist as well?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

I feel like I see a lot of her stuff.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, she’s a designer. She’s a brand designer. She’s currently working at T-Mobile and on the side she also does her own … She’s a package designer as well. She does wedding stationery and things like that.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, very cool.

 

Chad Webb:

Cool, and does she have a website?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

She does. Yeah, she does. It’s XtalDesigns.com. XtalDesigns.com.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay, cool. I’m trying to get in my questions before Jason jumps in his. Then I will say that you have a young daughter, and I know that I saw a few Instagram posts where she was taking break dancing classes. Is that right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, she was. Yep.

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, that’s awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

I’m assuming some of that stuff’s been cut off I guess.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, but we still try to get it on at home.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. Because you used to do that too as well, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. Exactly.

 

Jason Heflin:

Throw the cardboard down in the parking lot and go.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep, so she still busts out some moves here and there. I’ll still show her some once in a while.

 

Chad Webb:

How old is she?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

She’s four now. Turned four back in August.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jason Heflin:

As you get older is it hard to do some of the break dancing stuff you used to do?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. I mean, especially if you don’t do it as much and just lose some strength and things like that that you need to perform some of that stuff.

 

Chad Webb:

I could have told you that, Jason. I mean, that’s why I stopped.

 

Jason Heflin:

Right, that’s why you stopped. Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

As I got older.

 

Jason Heflin:

That last headstand you did.

 

Chad Webb:

What’s your favorite song to break dance to, Wicksell? There’s a question.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh, man. There’s so many.

 

Chad Webb:

Just pick one. You got to pick one.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Anything from Beastie Boys.

 

Speaker 6:

(singing)

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, I’d say probably any Beastie Boy record.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. That’s your Brooklyn coming out.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, I was going to say. That’s what that’s from. Yeah.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep.

 

Jason Heflin:

Alright, real quick, I did look up the office we worked at in California, and it is now the Ventura County Credit Union.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Interesting.

 

Jason Heflin:

So not nearly as exciting as-

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Seems pretty big for that.

 

Jason Heflin:

I know. Maybe it’s some sort of corporate headquarters. I had to do the street view to see the sign, and that could be old. Your artwork, Wicksell. Are you still doing just for fun, or do you sell it?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I don’t sell it. I still do it for fun. I mostly do digital paintings or digital illustrations these days, just using my iPad Procreate. You can see some of it on my website, DesignByWicks.com. I have artwork on there if you want to check it out, but yeah, I still try to keep up with it. Try to refine it. Try to learn new things as well. Pixel art is something that I’ve tried to do recently, I’ve been learning recently.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay. Pixel art, is that like 8-bit? Is that what you mean there?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. You can do like 8-bit, 16-bit, high resolution pixel art, pixel art with HDR lighting. The really good pixel artists these days are doing some really interesting things with pixel art, even some of the game studios making some really awesome looking games with pixel art.

 

Jason Heflin:

Chad’s daughter does those. What are those things called where you iron it, Chad? It’s like pixel art.

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, Perler beads. Perler beads.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Hey, that’s cool.

 

Jason Heflin:

She made me a pizza slice.

 

Chad Webb:

And she made me a piece of pie.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh, there you go. Yeah, that’s pixel art right there.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. It’s awesome.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Nice. That’s cool.

 

Jason Heflin:

Another thing I remember when we used to hang out a little bit was, weren’t you into sci-fi stuff too?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. Sci-fi, sci-fi fantasy, sci-fi games, books, shows.

 

Jason Heflin:

There’s a lot of good stuff going on in that genre right now, like the whole Star Wars rebirth and the Dune movie’s going to come out. There’s all sorts of … I’m excited about that stuff.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. I rewatched the original Dune to just prepare for that.

 

Speaker 7:

My name is a killing word.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I need to rewatch, there was a series, like Children of Dune. I don’t know if you remember that. I need to rewatch that too.

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh yeah. Yeah. I never watched it. Was it any good?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, it’s really good. It’s really good miniseries, and I’ve been watching the new Star Trek, the one on CBS, which is pretty good too.

 

Chad Webb:

Is that Picard?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, what do you think about that?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I like it. It feels like the OG Star Wars series with Picard in terms of the stories around exploration and the trouble they get into, the different races or different technologies they discover along the way. The character development is awesome in it as well, and they have some pretty cool Easter eggs too from folks that like the original stuff.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, wow. That’s cool. I might check out that Dune series you’re talking about, because I never watched that.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah, it’s hard to find. Luckily I had an old DVD of it. I can’t find it streaming, but if you still have a DVD player you could buy a DVD off eBay or something like that.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Very cool. He who controls the spice controls the universe, Wicksell.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly.

 

Chad Webb:

You nerds.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Nerds.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well so, you were also kind of a basketball fan too, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I am.

 

Jason Heflin:

And Chad, there you go. So now you guys can nerd out about the NBA bubble and all that.

 

Chad Webb:

Jason, shut up for a while. Stop talking. What did you think? Did you watch the draft last night?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I did. I’m excited about … I’m a Knicks fan. I don’t know if you remember.

 

Chad Webb:

I do remember that, because I think, who went from Kentucky to the Knicks?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Jorts.

 

Chad Webb:

Well, Jorts did, but I’m saying last night. I think someone got traded, right?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh. Quickley.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. Yep.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep, Quickley’s coming to the Knicks. He’s good.

 

Chad Webb:

He is good.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

He’s quick.

 

Chad Webb:

Yep. That’s the word on the street, yes. I think he’s also a high character kid, so I think that’s always good to have someone like that on the team.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I agree.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. So yeah, that’s cool.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yep. I’m happy with that pick. I’m happy with our eighth pick as well, Obi.

 

Chad Webb:

Obi Toppin, yeah. His brother is going to play at UK next year.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, so looking forward to just seeing development of these young guys. Hopefully the Knicks franchise or the front office could do a proper lead build.

 

Chad Webb:

Then where you’re at, I know that between I believe Seattle, Vegas, and sometimes they say Louisville but those are the three that are up if the NBA ever expands again, or if a team gets moved.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yes. I would love that.

 

Chad Webb:

I think Seattle’s actually top, so that’d be awesome for you guys.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I would love that. I don’t know why Brooklyn has a team, or Oklahoma.

 

Chad Webb:

Brooklyn has a team because Jay-Z has money.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Exactly. Exactly.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wicksell, you said your dad was a musician?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. He sings and plays guitar.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay. That’s his career?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

No, it’s not his career. Just I guess growing up he just got really good at it, and he still plays til this day. Now he plays for his grandkids mostly.

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, very cool. What kind of music?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Haitian Creole music. It’s a specific subgenre that he plays. Can’t remember it right now, but it sounds very folksy. Like in our culture it’s maybe like the more folksy songs from Haiti.

 

Jason Heflin:

Okay, very cool.

 

Chad Webb:

That is awesome.

 

Jason Heflin:

And you said your sister picked up on that talent?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Yeah. She doesn’t play piano anymore. Her daughter does. My niece plays piano now, but growing up she played piano. She would take classes and have recitals. Is that what they call them when you-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Wicksell Metellus:

The kids play and you go watch them.

 

Jason Heflin:

We’ll all be doing that soon enough.

 

Chad Webb:

You’ll be going to break dance recitals. It’ll be adorable.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh yeah. I’m looking forward to it.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, those are going to be fun. Do they serve hotdogs there from a hotdog cart?

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. They take everyone out to the parking lot.

 

Jason Heflin:

I only had one other note here and it wasn’t really a question. It was more you mentioned, what was the movie you guys mentioned earlier with Owen Wilson?

 

Chad Webb:

The Interns, isn’t it?

 

Wicksell Metellus:

The Interns. Yes, that’s it.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. I do a pretty good Owen Wilson impersonation.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Oh. Are you going to do it now?

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Of course. Yeah. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s it.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Is that it?

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Chad Webb:

Hold on. Jason, is that you?

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh wow.

 

Chad Webb:

Is that Owen?

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Wow, that sounds just like him.

 

Jason Heflin:

Thanks. Thanks, Wicksell.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

From every movie.

 

Jason Heflin:

I’ve been practicing.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

That was great.

 

Chad Webb:

Well hold on. Let’s interview Owen real quick while he’s here. Owen, when you see fireworks go off in the sky, what does that make you say?

 

Jason Heflin:

Oh, wow.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay, okay. What about if you see a beautiful sunset?

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay, okay.

 

Jason Heflin:

Look at that. Wow.

 

Chad Webb:

I think that’s all the questions I had for you today, Owen. Thanks for joining us.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

That was an awesome surprise.

 

Jason Heflin:

And scene.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Okay, good. There you go. Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well man, it has been … Chad, do you have any more questions?

 

Chad Webb:

No. No. Absolutely not. Do you have any questions for us, Wicksell?

 

Jason Heflin:

Absolutely not. Do you have any questions for us? We don’t have time.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

No. I don’t have any questions, but this was great. I was really happy to see you guys and talk to you.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, man. It’s good to see you, buddy. So next time, the next time you’re in Bowling Green, Kentucky, or Nashville, Tennessee, somewhere close to us, give us a shout, man. We want to hang out, and then vice versa.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I will.

 

Jason Heflin:

We’ll do the same.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Same here. Sounds great. Yeah, let me know.

 

Chad Webb:

I could see you having the opportunity to go to Nashville, so if you ever do have some sort of conference or something in there, just please reach out. It’s only an hour away. We’re happy to come down and meet you.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

I will, definitely.

 

Chad Webb:

And if we go up to Seattle we’re going to force our entire family on having sleep on your couch.

 

Jason Heflin:

There you go.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Hit me up.

 

Chad Webb:

Yep.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Cool.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Cool.

 

Chad Webb:

Well Wicksell, man, we appreciate it. Thanks so much.

 

Wicksell Metellus:

Thank you. This was great.

 

Jason Heflin:

Thanks.

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By Chad Webb

Chad Webb (who is 40) is one of CrowdSouth’s Partners and brings years (not quite 40) of experience managing multi-million dollar website projects to your business. He loves hoodies, puffy vests, jeans and flip flops.

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