Ep. #1152 - Closing the Company-Employee Chasm
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, Lauren Conaway and Amina Moreau, CEO & Co-founder of Radious talk about how to close the company-employee chasm. Hear how Radious provides solutions for the work-from-home vs. remote work problem. Lauren and Amina also share their thoughts on the importance of word choice and great storytelling in becoming a better entrepreneur.
Covered In This Episode
One of the biggest challenges of successful entrepreneurs is resolving the WFH vs. remote work debate. Find out how this top Portland startup Radious helps close the company-employee chasm on this topic.
Listen to Lauren and Amina talk about Amina’s entrepreneurial journey starting from college. Amina explains how her filmmaking background has influenced her and how Radious exists. They discuss the gap between what companies and employees want and how to bring them around. Aside from that, the duo also share their insights on the difference between disruption and innovation.
Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up some valuable insights. Join the conversation in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Amina’s journey so far (1:54)
- Becoming a successful chronic entrepreneur in college (6:14)
- How a background in filmmaking influenced Amina’s view on entrepreneurship (10:13)
- Working on workplace flexibility (15:17)
- Everyone has different work environment preferences (20:01)
- Breaking workplace barriers (22:47)
- Commute is one of the most significant barriers to working in the office (25:55)
- The birth of Radious (29:45)
- Deep sea change (32:28)
- The chasm between what companies want and what employees want (34:35)
- The difference between innovation and disruption (36:00)
- Remote Work vs. Work from Home (37:13)
- How to bring people around to bridge gaps (39:09)
- Learning how to yodel (41:24)
- Reach for the moon, you’ll land amongst the stars (44:06)
I will say that having a background in storytelling is huge as an entrepreneur when you’re telling the story of the company that you’re building, whether it’s in front of investors, or potential customers, people that you’re trying to recruit to your mission in any way. Yeah, storytelling is huge. So just having that experience alone is extremely valuable.– Amina Moreau
I am a Jill of all trades. I’m a master of none. But that plays really well in the entrepreneurial space because you have to wear so many hats, and you have to be able to adjust to new information so quickly. So, it’s not so much that you know everything. It’s that you know how to learn, right? How do you learn? How do you synthesize information? How do you evaluate it? You have to do it all very quickly.– Lauren Conaway
The specific pain of growing and scaling and being reI do believe that the pandemic shone a light on mismanagement. Yeah. And it forced a lot of people into moments of introspection. Maybe for the first time ever, people started asking themselves, what brings me joy? What makes me feel balanced? What brings me fulfillment, not just at work but in life as a whole? And that is tremendously exciting to me. The idea of more people feeling fulfilled in their lives in the long term at scale. That is so tremendously exciting to me, and to be building a platform that accelerates that. Yes, I can’t think of anything more exciting to be working on.– Amina Moreau
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Lauren Conaway 00:00
Hey, and we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHer KC. And I gotta tell you about today’s episode sponsor friends. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, but Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And they have the platform to help you manage that team. Check out the show notes or visit FullScale.io to learn more. All right, friends today we have with us, I don’t even know she knows that I’m going to talk talk about this, but I was so impressed by today’s guest because we have with us today, Amina Moreau. And Amina is CEO and co-founder of Radious. But I have to tell you, I mean, you did something rather lovely this week, you actually reached out to me on LinkedIn. And I’m assuming that you had gotten the email, your host is going to be Lauren Conaway. But you reached out to me on LinkedIn. And I have to tell you, like, that level of, you were so thoughtful. And I just thought that was so kind. And I just wanted to take a moment to honor and acknowledge that, like, that does not happen often, that people connect on the front-end. And I just wanted to thank you for that.
Amina Moreau 01:17
I mean, what better way to develop a relationship and and maybe even the beginnings of a friendship before we even get on this call, right. And LinkedIn is kind of a great way. Yeah, I can connection request.
Lauren Conaway 01:32
Absolutely. But I just I was floored. And I was like, Okay, this is a special founder that we’re going to be talking to. So let’s go ahead, let’s crack on with it. I definitely, I really want to hear your story, because you just said like three words that like relationship friendship, like, Oh, I’m so excited. So I mean, please tell us about your journey.
Amina Moreau 01:54
It is an open ended question, isn’t it? So I will spare you the whole life story. But I will say that entrepreneurship was never in the life plan for me. I came from a family where your trajectory is so somewhat prescribed, you become a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer. And so that was a plan. I was pre med
Lauren Conaway 02:22
Those were all solid plans.
Amina Moreau 02:25
And frankly, like, I was actually pretty excited about it. I am, I am a science aficionado. I appreciate the scientific method. I’m interested in biology. And so I was excited to be going down that track. But then once I started to get into it a little bit more deeply. And also pursuing some hobbies a little bit more. I started asking myself, am I enjoying this to the degree that I would want to do it every day potentially for the rest of my career? Yeah. And I don’t know why I had the wherewithal to ask these questions. While I stood.
Lauren Conaway 03:08
There, that is a deep, deep question. And I find that most people who are kind of entrenched on a journey, they don’t, they don’t poke at the journey that often it was there. Was there kind of a prevailing sense of Doom or like, was it was there like something internally? That was like you? Maybe not so much, were you feeling doubt?
Amina Moreau 03:30
You know, I mean, first of all, let me just say this. I have been a competitive tennis player since I was seven years old. Yeah. So I’ve been trained from a very early age, to create a plan and stick to it. Okay. And, and weather, the storm, the ups and downs, the injuries, the cheaters, the the wins, the losses, all of that stuff. But also, when I was 14, my mom passed away, oh, man, and not to go into a super dramatic story or anything. But that was a really pivotal moment for me, that from a very early age made me recognize that life is really short. And that we should have agency over our futures, we should ask ourselves, what is going to be fulfilling to me in the short term, medium term and long term? And so I had already had, I had been asking somewhat introspective questions already. So by the time I was midway through college, it wasn’t new. You know?
Lauren Conaway 04:36
Yeah. Well, and so first, first of all, you know, please accept my condolences, you know, 14 would be just as simply impossible time to lose a mother for a young girl. And so, you know, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that moment with us that please, you know, I’m so sorry that that happened to you. Sounds like I can’t really think of too many other circumstances. That would introduce instability into an environment that maybe had previously been stable, you know, but like having that the significance of the loss of a parent, particularly at such a vulnerable age. Yeah, one of the things that I think we learn as entrepreneurs is we learn to become very attenuated or dialed in to instability, uncertainty, uncertainty is maybe another way to put it. And so that became kind of one of your formative moments you would say?
Amina Moreau 05:32
and on a dime to because it was somewhat sudden, and it’s exactly how you described it very, very stable, very loving, very reliable childhood. Until gosh screech
Lauren Conaway 05:47
It was, yeah, yeah. Well, you know, circumstances shitty though they, they were, clearly you have some resilience to you, you have. So you had to have been resourceful. And you had to have kind of taken on a little bit of that risk comfort. So yeah, you sure were primed to become an entrepreneur talk about that realization, that moment when you knew.
Amina Moreau 06:14
Yeah, it was in college dorm room. And the guy that I was dating at the time, was pursuing some video work as a hobby, I was pursuing some photo work as a hobby. And we actually wanted to, to break into the documentary world, we wanted to tell meaningful stories about social change, and all of these things that could make the world better. And we realized, well hang on a second, we don’t have any money. We don’t have any gear. We don’t have any experience, life or technical. And, and then we just we realize, okay, maybe we need to slow down. And instead of taking on this huge project, why don’t we take on a series of small, smaller projects, get paid a little bit for them, get some experience, learn how to do this craft, and also get a bit of money, make it sustainable, and buy some equipment. And over time, this little side hustle, ended up turning into a pretty successful company. And this was all before we even graduated from our undergrad. Yeah. And by the time graduation was looming, and we’re thinking about continuing on with our education, we were like, do we really want that when we have this thing that we love that’s working that? Yeah, it’s stressful at times. But, you know, surprise, we’ve got a successful company, how do you not go down that path? And so we thought to ourselves, all right, we’re in a place of privilege, we can always go back to school. So why not take this leap? And we did. And long story short that that company continues to this day, it’s almost 20 years later, it was successful enough to bank roll additional side hustles that turned into real projects that turned into companies, some of which went on to be acquired. And now I’m on my fifth company building Radious.
Lauren Conaway 08:18
So serial entrepreneur, okay.
Amina Moreau 08:21
I mean, it’s, I’m a chronic entrepreneur, there’s a difference. Yes. Okay. Like to choose this over and over and over again, that there has to be something wrong with you.
Lauren Conaway 08:31
Yeah. You know, alright, so really quickly, I’m gonna, I’m going to take us back because something that you said, it really struck me kind of in the face with, it’s awesome. So you were talking about your experiences, you know, building this business around filmmaking. And really quickly, I just, I want to share something. So you mentioned friendship, and I was like, we do need to be friends. Because when I was in college, so so I majored in English Lit and history. And everybody asked me, they were like, Why are you? Do you want to be a teacher? Do you want everybody that I wanted to be a teacher or a lawyer, and I was like, first of all, if I wanted to be a teacher, I would be an early ed or you know, whatever. But I had no interest in being lawyer. What I wanted to do is I wanted to go to grad school, film school, and I wanted to learn how to write documentary scripts. So that piece of the storytelling I loved finding compelling people and learning about them and then just kind of distributing that information. So I wanted to mention that really quickly. You’re awesome. But what I actually what I really really want to ask I want to talk about your lens because as a as a filmmaker, and that kind of being the the seed of your entrepreneurial journey. You have a unique lens, you are accustomed to capturing the moments that might pass other people by the end you have the lens of telling stories and how powerful narrative can be. So talk to me about how that has influenced your entrepreneurial journey aside from the, like the business side of it, you know, the by buying cameras and all that, but talk about how you view story around entrepreneurship.
Amina Moreau 10:13
Yeah. So first of all, I will say that having a background in storytelling is huge as an entrepreneur, when you’re telling the story of the company that you’re building, whether it’s in front of investors, or potential customers, people that you’re trying to recruit to your mission in any way. Yeah, storytelling is huge. So just having that experience alone, is extremely valuable. But the other part of it that I didn’t realize at the time was teaching me so much is the fact that when you’re doing when you’re, especially when you’re like, contracting with companies to tell their stories, because we did documentary filmmaking, but we also did filmmaking to help companies and nonprofits get their message out in more compelling ways. And one, one week, we would be telling the story of, of cancer treatments, and then the next week, it would be something about the the energy grid, and then the following week, it would be about robotics, and then it would be about football. And what that did for me as a person is, first of all, you make a lot of friends when you’re getting to know their personal stories. And that was amazing. I got to make friends for you. Right?
Lauren Conaway 11:36
That instantaneous connection, like because sometimes people are not, they’re either not good at or they’re not accustomed to telling their stories so freely, and so authentically, like, you have to be really vulnerable to tell your story. And so you as as the person who has to, like pull that out of them like that. I mean, that has to be hard at times, but you have to create an instantaneous connection. Right?
Amina Moreau 12:03
And you do that by recognizing it’s a two way street. Yeah, friendship is a two way street. So you can’t expect other people to be vulnerable with you if you’re going to be all, you know, locked up and
Lauren Conaway 12:14
Amina Moreau 12:16
Right. So so so that was a big part of it. And but the second thing, which is, it’s just so critical, on the journey to it of entrepreneurship, was the fact that because every project was in an entirely new industry, I had to parachute in, do a crash course, learn everything that I could, in the shortest amount of time, so that I could become proficient enough to actually tell that story in a meaningful way. And so I got used to over 15 years, being the new guy. Yeah, one that was the least in the room. But doesn’t feel impostor syndrome doesn’t feel like it’s a liability, in fact, feels like it’s an asset. Because I am the outsider, I can see it more objectively, I can come in with a new perspective. But it also taught me that I can learn really quickly, and then feel in uncertain situations, which the entrepreneurial journey is riddled with. It’s something that handling that is something that can be learned, and something that you can thrive that, and I was not amazing at it when I first started. But after almost 20 years of doing it, I feel like I was born for this. I wasn’t born for it. But now it’s like I’ve been training my entire life for this moment.
Lauren Conaway 13:48
Well, I love that so much. And like, incidentally, that is why I wanted to get into documentary filmmaking because like, I, I am the kind of person I like to know everything about everything. Like I’m just naturally very curious, I think. What better way to get deeply entrenched within Get the fuck out around a topic. You know, like, I don’t have to be invested in it to understand it. And like that, oh, man, that appealed to me so much. But I do find and like I think I even say in my LinkedIn profile, like I am a Jill of all trades, I’m a master of none. But that plays really well in the entrepreneurial space, because you have to wear so many hats, and you have to be able to adjust to new information so quickly. So so it’s not so much that you know, everything. It’s that you know how to learn, right? How do you learn? How do you synthesize information? How do you evaluate it? How do you you have to do it all very quickly. And so yeah, like, I love that that is a piece of your journey and you speak about it so so compellingly like, thank you. I can tell that you’re a storyteller. So All right, let’s let’s go ahead and draw the through line, you are an excellent communicator, you are an excellent narrative builder. You’re an excellent entrepreneur. What are you working on right now? Tell us talk to us.
Amina Moreau 15:17
Oh, I’m so excited about Radoius. Listen, this is the biggest and most ambitious thing that I’ve ever done in my career, and maybe I will ever do. And part of that is because of how well-timed it is, and how big the market opportunity is. The other companies that I’ve built up to this point, they were very meaningful, and they were quite successful. But they were in a smaller market. Still a big one, but way smaller than this. With Radious, we are catering to every company on the planet that has working professionals that work in-front of a computer. Yeah, that is massive audience. And we are enabling flexibility in the workplace, which is obviously a huge topic right now practically every, every company around the globe is trying to figure out how to make remote and flexible work sustainable for the next years.
Lauren Conaway 16:18
They’re either scrambling for it, or they are actively working against it. And I think I think it’s because it is a threat. It’s one of those things where it’s like it’s an institutional threat, it is a threat against how we have always done thing. Definitely product quo. Yeah, and there are definitely like, every time I see a CEO come on, and be like, everybody wants to get back to work because they were just not as productive. And I’m like, the data does not at all support. Not only does the data not support what you’re saying. But like, nobody wants that, like, cutting out time spending more time with family and everybody in, maybe not everyone. But it leaves at the very least having that flexibility to be able to choose
Amina Moreau 17:03
to cater to all preferences.
Lauren Conaway 17:07
When I was reading when I was reading about radius like that was the word that kept on really coming through is like flexibility, flexibility, like, they’re absolutely going to be people for whom like being in the office is helpful, and times when that will be strategic. But I love the fact that you’re centered on flexibility.
Amina Moreau 17:26
That’s, that’s right. And also, the office is not the only place to go to mitigate the pain points of working from home. Right, right? And so that’s a whole conversation. But can I pick on something that you said, Oh, it’s a little bit of a pet peeve of mine. And you framed that as CEOs saying this, and I hear this all the time CEOs are saying, oh, we got to get back to work, we got to re call people back to work. And this is a huge frustration of mine. When people say back to work versus back to the office, back to work implies that we have working tails off over the last three years. From wherever we were, we have been working so hard. So to call it return to work is borderline a microaggression.
Lauren Conaway 18:12
I’m gonna give you I have Okay, so did not even realize that I did that. But you’re absolutely right, like, hey, storyteller, word choice matters.
Amina Moreau 18:25
And sometimes I will I mean, of course, sometimes people use and they just, you know, it’s just you’re casually talking about it, and it just slips out in a certain way. But I do believe that there are some companies who have a vested interest, they have so many real estate holdings, so many sunk costs, they are invested. And they are disincentivized to offer location flexibility. And so they choose their wording very carefully. And I do believe that it’s intentional in some circumstances.
Lauren Conaway 18:58
Okay. I so I will tell you that it was not intentional on my part, to play an advocate on the opposite end of the spectrum of like you’re quoting. Like, I do not care. As long as you’re getting the job done. Like I don’t care.
Amina Moreau 19:13
Lauren Conaway 19:13
What you said, like I well, and it’s like you, you put people around you. I mean, I think that we don’t talk about this enough, either. Like, we’re not children, we are we are adults. And you need like if you do not have a team around you that you you do not trust that you need the kind of trust in your team that you know that if you’re not standing over their shoulder, they’re going to be working because the fact is a they are and the data shows us time and time again, productivity, productivity has shot through the roof, since we have allowed flex working environments. And so yeah, like, I don’t understand why we’re having this conversation. But that’s part of the narrative as well, that’s being sought, like, oh, no, people aren’t working hard enough. And it’s like well, all right. That’s not even a little bit true.
Amina Moreau 20:01
And so and that was why Radious exists because everybody has different preferences that working from home has upsides also has some downsides. The traditional office also has some upsides also has some downsides. And what I would, I would like to think is that Radious rings, all of the pros of both the best of both worlds with none of the downsides. So to give you a quick nutshell, overview of what we’re doing, let’s hear is we’re a B2B marketplace, that outfits residential properties with workplace amenities, and offers them up to companies and working professionals to book by the day. So, as an example, we’ll take a home and apartment and ADU in someone’s backyard old guest house, we’ll work with them to make sure it’s outfitted with a big whiteboard and a comfortable sit stand desk, and really fast Wi-Fi, or a meeting table or projector for presentations, we’ll make sure that that property is outfitted really well for meetings, collaborative work days, even solo escapes for those people who might have distractions at home. Yeah. And then you can book either by the day or join on a membership, so your team can book whenever they need it. And the beauty of this is because it’s sort of like the Airbnb model where we’re actually taking homes, it means a, it’s going to be a way more unique experience than booking a hotel conference room
Lauren Conaway 21:31
It is a more comfortable experience as well because
Amina Moreau 21:34
all the office we’d love to say. But the other thing, and this is really huge also for DEIB. Is that because our spaces are residential, it means that they’re in residential areas, it means you’ve got a great catalog of them right in your neighborhood. And so anybody who has barriers to commuting, working, sometimes communities of color, people who need either more flexibility or less time in the car, maybe those barriers are financial, maybe they have to do with time constraints. Yeah, but if we can offer collaborative workspaces that are down the street from your house, sure, when you can meet with other colleagues that might live within a five or 10 minute radius versus commuting an hour, depending on the city you live in. Then all of a sudden, we’re mitigating proximity bias. Yeah. It’s not out of sight, out of mind. You’re getting work life separation, you’re seeing people in person, your work may be more recognized. There’s so many benefits to being able to get out of your house once in a while. I love working from home. Yeah. Like goes I’m an introvert too. I go stir crazy. I gotta get out of there from time to time.
Lauren Conaway 22:47
Yeah, well, and I can’t tell you say you’re solving a lot of problems. And in some cases, there are problems that have come up relatively recently for most of the workforce. Really quickly, I’m gonna I’m gonna bust in. And I’m gonna say if you’re looking for people who can solve problems, finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs, and then see what available developers testers and leaders are ready to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more. Now friends, we are here with Amina Moreau, CEO and co-founder of Radious and we’re talking so we’ve kind of been looking through the industry lens, you know, this is the there’s a huge opportunity here. Really, really quickly though, I have to interrupt myself because I keep forgetting to do this and Jessica, our executive producer, is going to be real mad at me if I don’t. Hey, friends, Amina Moreau who we are talking to right now was a Top Portland Startup for Startup Hustle, congratulations. I forgot to congratulate you at the beginning. But no, we’re just really excited. Definitely keep an eye out for that episode Top Portland Startups is coming up next month. And then also want to let you know that Matt’s guest tomorrow is Paulo Termani an industrial designer and billionaire. So definitely tune back in tomorrow. Okay, now that that housekeeping is out of the way, and I just I got so excited. I mean, I blame you. This is your fault. But I just got so excited to kick off the conversation. And now I’m going to continue. Let’s continue the conversation. And I’m going to ask you, you said something really interesting and something that really resonated with me. Longtime listeners of the show, or particularly of my episodes know that I have a heart for the DEIB, you’re talking about access and you’re talking about barriers. And so just as a for instance, you know, we were talking about like the the proximity opportunity we will So, if you are a person who doesn’t have a car, transportation and time are both barriers for you when it comes to getting to work, right? And so by, by having geographic proximity, just kind of occur through through the Radious model, you’re allowing people who either would have wasted, you know, a couple extra hours on the bus getting to and from work, which contributes to burnout. And it’s really hard and it’s or you would have had somebody who potentially doesn’t have the resources that they need at home, you know, the, the fancy screens, and the whiteboards, and the, you know, video conferencing tools. So you’ve got that situation, you will also have a situation where somebody is going, is gonna have difficulty getting to work on time, you know, like you’re so you’re gonna be dealing with downtime, you’re gonna be dealing with people calling in sick because they missed the bus or the bus is running late, or what have you. And so, so all of these things are converging in one individual and Radious is kind of solving all of them, right?
Amina Moreau 25:55
I’ll that’s what we love. Yeah, we really are. And, you know, we talk to a lot of workplace strategists and, and people at companies who are trying to design more equitable, more flexible, but also more cost effective policies. And we really see ourselves as the trifecta. Recently, I was talking to a head of workplace who was explaining to me that on a daily basis, he has to juggle three competing priorities. executives want people together in person, right? HR wants to offer flexibility, right. And then the CFO wants cost efficiency. And what he was explaining to me is that on any given day, he can only really satisfy two at any time. Yeah. And he gave me an example that if you want to offer in person interaction on a flexible basis, then you have to have an office sitting in the wings largely empty, just in case somebody wants to flexibly use it. And that’s really cost inefficient. What I love about Radious is that it offers that in-person interaction on a flexible basis because you can just book for the days you need. And because of that fact, you’re also only paying for the days that you need. And so for the first time-ever, you can bring all three bubbles have that Venn diagram together and satisfy all three needs. And some companies, they they don’t necessarily recognize that the commute is the biggest barrier to returning to the office right now. This is a huge statistic. Any company that wants to get people back if you’re, if it costs, I mean, I just I was just in San Francisco last week, and I learned that it costs about $500 a month, just to park. If you’re going there for work $500. Just this is what you have to budget. Sorry, that’s so much less the cost of fuel, plus the car maintenance, the wear and tear plus the time. Yeah, right. And so I think companies need to recognize that proximity is a really, really big deal. If you want to get people back together again, you got to start asking yourselves, what is holding people back?
Lauren Conaway 28:23
Right? Yeah, no, I love it. So so I have to ask you a question. And I kind of feel bad asking this question. But I think we have all realized that, you know, the pandemic was horrific, and it deeply impacted folks. Now, you know, I don’t want to say that it was a positive thing. But that being said, I do think that there are some positive things that maybe
Amina Moreau 28:55
We can find find silver linings.
Lauren Conaway 28:56
there, you know, maybe some positive things came out of it. But so so that being said, Do you feel fortunate that you are, you are poised on, like, we are just now having these conversations, I feel like the pandemic kind of threw remote work and accessibility and equity, like all of these things into stark relief, right? Because all of a sudden, you have a large group of people who are struggling, and and so so I almost feel like it’s kind of like the Grave Digger around the plague environment, like, do you feel very lucky that you are just kind of poised at the precipice of this really great economic opportunity? How’s that feel? I need to ask.
Amina Moreau 29:45
At the risk of sounding pompous. It’s not luck. Because it’s not like we were doing this pre-pandemic and then the things happened and then an opportunity opened up. Yeah, it’s sad. This was a pandemic-born idea. So we kind of we saw it in the tea leaves.
Lauren Conaway 30:07
Are you really good at pattern recognition? Like is that well, what this was?
Amina Moreau 30:12
I mean, it maybe maybe it but you know, what I think it really is, is that during the lock downs, I’m the type of person that when things are really, really hard, I get busy, I distract myself, and especially if I can distract myself by doing something that helps others. That’s how I survive hard things. And so when the lock downs happened, before I even thought of the idea for Radious, the first thing that I dove into was creating a platform to help small businesses in my community survive the lock downs, when no one was going to restaurants or small shops, like I just consumed. My like, my entire days with that, when the idea for Radious was born, which was August 2020, I was like, I was just solving a personal pain point. At the time, it was just something for, for me and for my family and for my immediate community. And then we started realizing, hey, working professionals really have a need for this companies. How are companies going to get together in person once they’ve cancelled all their leases, or they’ve hired people all over the world? And they can’t commute anymore? Because they’re everywhere. Right? So how do we mitigate those pain points? And so I wouldn’t say that and like, of course, a lot of entrepreneurship comes down to luck and timing. And I hate to admit that because I like I prefer to be one of those people. Like, I like to think that I have agency over my life.
Lauren Conaway 31:38
So the last week or so. So I’m gonna take it a step back. Because again, word choice matters. Like the last thing that I wanted to do was minimize the the foresight that you had even even approaching the idea. But then, you know, I think entrepreneurs have it like you’re a hard worker entrepreneurs the best, that’s what we do like, and I love entrepreneurs who are just, I think that the most passionate entrepreneurs tend to be those who are solving problems that they themselves have experienced. Right? So please don’t think I was trying to minimize Well, no, I guess I just maybe I feel like do you feel maybe? Do you feel the deep well of possibility like that? Does it feel very hopeful like you are at the the genesis of a very real opportunity?
Amina Moreau 32:26
To movement. This is a, this is a societal inflection point. And to your point about silver linings? I do believe that the pandemic shone a light on mismanagement. Yeah. And it forced a lot of people into moments of introspection. Maybe for the first time ever people started asking themselves, what brings me joy? What makes me feel balanced? What brings me fulfillment, not just at work, but in life as a whole? And that is tremendously exciting to me. The idea of more people feeling fulfilled in their lives in the long term at scale. That is so tremendously exciting to me, and to be building a platform that accelerates that. Yes, I can’t think of anything more exciting to be working on.
Lauren Conaway 33:25
Yeah, I say one of the things that I say periodically on the show is like we right now, I feel like we are at a time of deep sea change, right? Like, we are asking ourselves questions that historically, we have not allowed ourselves to ask, you know, how will I reach fulfillment? How will I entrust the community around me to act with equitable practices? How do I best show up and so that’s why we saw like the great resignation, and we see like the push and pull of the possibilities of remote work and it like, we are asking ourselves a lot of very deep societal questions that speak to some of like, really entrenched institutions around us things that have been built for centuries and continue to compound. And so it’s just it’s a really, it’s a fascinating time to be alive. I imagine that it is a fascinating time to speak to that that flex work remote work, like whatever you want to call it. But really, that accessible, equitable work, is what it comes down to. Right?
Amina Moreau 34:35
Right. Yep. Yep. And another thing that I’ll touch on is that there’s this perceived chasm between what companies want and what employees want right now we’re seeing this huge push pull in the news pretty much every single day. Feels like we’re butting heads so much, and we don’t have to, if only we realized that we actually want the same things. Yeah, we’re just finding misalignment on how to make them happen because at the end of the day, companies do want in-person work. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s every day at this point, I think we can all agree that we only need it once in a while, maybe a few times a week. But the thing is that employees, by and large, even those, like me who love working from home, yeah, still often have some pain points working at home, whether it’s distractions, or wanting to see people in-person from time to time, or even after three years of doing it starting to feel a little bit of burnout because when you’re working from home, you are living at the office, it’s hard to escape and so, so employees want to get out of the house and see people once in a while. Companies want them to get out of the house and see people once in a while, there’s actually a lot of alignment there. Yeah, it’s just not forcing people to commute back to an office, they don’t want to go to infringing on their freedoms by forcing them to do it. Right, that is the problem.
Lauren Conaway 36:00
well, and so what I love lately, so I often talk about the fact that like there’s, there’s a difference between innovation and disruption. Innovation occurs when you take a process that has already been implemented, and you improve it somehow. Disruption is when you completely turn an industry on its head. And it’s you know, innovation is you get a fancy cab. Disruption is Uber, right? And so really what you’re doing, I feel is that what you’re doing is disruptive because you have removed yourself from that push-pull game. You were lightly we were given a binary choice work from home, or work in the office. Yep. But you what you’re saying and what Radious’s, I feel like, Radious’s hypothesis is the fact that like, both of these things are possible. And they can not only live together harmoniously but they can actually create opportunities. Right? And so you have, again, you’ve disrupted. Well, congratulations. But you’ve disrupted by changing the conversation. Like we don’t have to have an either or anymore.
Amina Moreau 37:08
You want to join ourselves. There’s no
Lauren Conaway 37:12
Amina Moreau 37:13
There is no chasm. It’s just finding ways to align and making it work. And you’re so right, it’s too binary, the conversation was way too binary. And for what it’s worth, Radious is not the only other solution out there. There’s so many ways to work in remote settings in-person. And that’s another frustration I have when it comes to talking about terminology is that people sometimes speak as though working remotely and working in-person are mutually exclusive, because they’re confusing remote work with working from home. And when you’re working from home, it’s usually without other people. But remote work is defined as just away from a traditional office. And there are like 1000 different ways to work remotely, many of which could be in-person with other people. And so I think we need to really expand that conversation and be more intentional about our word choice.
Lauren Conaway 38:11
I know I love that. And there’s somebody who loves to write like word choice matters. So I just gave a little piece of advice to our audience where choice matters. And now I want to ask you, and so I’m going to ask you to take it a little bit up to the to like the 10,000 foot view here. This is because not everybody is engaged in the argument about or the debate or whatever you want to call it, about, you know, work from home-return to office. But what you successfully did is you found a way to bridge the gap to close the chasm. And, or to just like emperor has no clothes, like, just point out that it’s not really there. So how, talk us through that, like, I want you to give some advice to our audience. If you, if our audience is engaged in a binary conversation, how do you bring people around to bridge those gaps? Is that or bridge that separation? Does that make sense? Yeah.
Amina Moreau 39:09
Well, no, no, you are and I have some thoughts. And the first one is recognize that the biggest companies with the biggest headlines, they are actually in the minority. So when you hear about the Amazons, the Googles the apples of the world, forcing people back to the office, just remember, they have the largest PR budgets, they have the loudest megaphones. But they are actually the outliers. If you look at the statistics, about 80% of tech companies are offering flexibility. Yeah, so these really big players. They are the exception, not the rule. And that’s partly While I’m very excited for what the future holds, because smaller companies, younger companies are adopting this new way of working. And as they mature, they’re going to solidify a much more flexible and equitable future for everybody. Yeah, that’s tremendously exciting. But the second piece of it is, just recognize that there are so many different ways to work. And that what’s right for you may not be right for the person sitting next to you, or the person sitting next to them. And diversity is a beautiful thing, especially because when you get multiple perspectives, all participating, then rising tides, lifts all boats. And so let’s recognize that there can be a whole spectrum of options.
Lauren Conaway 40:52
All right. Well, I love that. And I thank you for your time. So now, I have one final question for you. I have the human question. And I actually love this question. Somebody else gave it to me. So incidentally, friends, if you ever have any ideas on human questions that I could ask, please send them my way. Sometimes I run low. But I love this one. So I want to know, what is the most useless talent you possess?
Amina Moreau 41:24
Lauren Conaway 41:26
Yeah. So I have I’ll share mine, I have a weird one. I’ll give you a little time to think I’m gonna vamp for you. But so so the first thing that popped into my head was, so I, you can choose to believe me or not, it’s fine. But sometimes I have prophetic dreams where I will, I will have a dream about a situation that later happens in real life. And to the point where I’ve been able to like say to somebody like you were about to say this, weren’t you? And they are like, yeah, and the only reason that is not cool as shit is it is always totally mundane. It’s like nothing, like, my husband. He seen me doing a couple of times. And he’s like, how can you? Why can you not dream of, like, lottery numbers? And I’m just like, I don’t know, it is always the most dumb, like, we’re driving in a car and talking about like, I don’t know, fart smells, or whatever. And, like, that’s what I, I wish it were cooler. It’s not cool at all. It’s completely useless.
Amina Moreau 42:24
I wonder if that’s a skill you can hone and I’m gonna keep tabs on you with the lottery numbers part of it.
Lauren Conaway 42:32
I’ll tell you what, I will make a promise to you right now. If I ever dream about lottery numbers. I’ll let you know.
Lauren Conaway 42:37
I’m your first call.
Lauren Conaway 42:39
That’s right. Tax now. Okay. All right.
Amina Moreau 42:42
Okay, I’ve got one. I can’t say that. It’s necessarily a talent yet. I’m honing it. Okay. I’m teaching myself to yodel.
Lauren Conaway 42:54
Shut the front door. Are you serious?
Amina Moreau 42:56
I love it is the funniest thing ever. It’s like, you know, like a five year old learning how to play the violin like, hey. So, learning how to yodel is a really vulnerable experience. At this point. I only do it in solitude. I only do it in the car.
Lauren Conaway 43:15
What are they gonna ask you? And then I was like, No, you can’t do that to her. That’s so impressive. So I’m not gonna ask you. But that’s incredible. Why yodeling? I need to know.
Amina Moreau 43:28
Ahh. I just I love strange things. I love learning new kinds of obscure things. But also there is something about artists, like, Jewel, for example, who use a very intentional voice cracking to add an additional element to their craft, and learn how to go to like full tilt. Okay, then I could probably use that in normal singing situations. But how fun is it to just learn how to yodel?
Lauren Conaway 44:06
That’s kind of a like reach for the stars. You’ll you’ll learn to reach for the moon, you’ll land amongst the stars kind of thing. Like we’re gonna learn the big thing in the hopes that we can implement in the small. No, I love that. I have to admit, I am having some really, really funny later. Hosen visions in my head right now
Amina Moreau 44:25
Allegedly basically screaming in the car. Like that’s what I’m doing as I’m trying to figure out how to grab my voice. It’s really ridiculous.
Lauren Conaway 44:33
Well, I love it. Very proud. I wish you the best in your yodeling endeavors because that’s awesome. But really what I am is I’m grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. Share some really, really interesting insights. And I love the conversation that we have had. Thank you for that.
Amina Moreau 44:54
Me too. Thank you.
Lauren Conaway 44:55
All right, friends, and we certainly love it. When you listen to us. I’m going to ask you Do what I asked you this on a regular basis. But don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Startup Hustle was founded by founders for founders and part of that means that we want to know what you think. We want to hear about topics. We want to hear about guests. We want to hear ideas for the show because we’re here to serve you. It is your show. We’re just living in it. So, definitely get in contact. You can find us on social media. And we have a Startup Hustle chat on Facebook. You can find us on LinkedIn, Instagram, and pretty much anywhere you can promote podcast consumables because Matt DeCoursey is the bomb diggity. So definitely keep on listening. We are very, very grateful that you do so and we will catch you on the flip side.