Podcast

Stephen Gates from WW on design methodology, design systems, and building trust

Stephen Gates joined Chris Strahl on the podcast for a long talk about team culture, design systems, and more.

Chris:

Hi, and welcome to the Design Systems Podcast, the place where design and development overlap, brought to you by Knapsack. Check us out at knapsack.cloud. Hey everybody. Welcome to the Design Systems Podcast. I'm here with Stephen Gates once again. He's the SVP of Omni-Channel Product Design at WW and also host of The Crazy One. Stephen, welcome back. It's great to have you.


Stephen Gates:

Thanks so much, Chris. It's great to be back. It's so much fun the first time I figured, why not do it again?


Chris:

Yeah. Well, we're excited to talk. Big lengthy episode today, and I'm excited mostly to dive into the conversation we had about trust. So last time you were on, we talked a lot about how fostering trust inside of an organization is a part of adopting this system space viewpoint and being able to get a little deeper into this is our topic today.


Chris:

So diving in, one of the things that you talked about last time was how building trust in the organization is kind of this overarching theme to making organizational change real. When it comes to actually implementing the design system, one of the things that we've talked a lot about is how the way that an organization typically builds new process or builds a new way of thinking or builds a new tool has to be fundamentally rooted in the trust that it creates between team members. Can we just set the stage there again and remind people what we talked about last time?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah, no, it is. And I think this has always been something that I've liked to talk about, it's why we talked about it last time is I think that just because for so many teams dealing with the process, the technical parts of it, the creation, like all of that piece, it's just easier because whenever you get into trust or emotion or people or things like that, that turns into something else entirely.


Stephen Gates:

But this is why for so many teams, I think, look, if you look at any high performing team in business, in sports, in any setting, that's what it comes back to so much is trust. And so I think that was part of my journey through leadership and everything else was realizing there was this sort of intangible thing there that you knew it when you saw it or you felt it, but it just never felt like something we talked about. And I think, especially as we look at design systems, because it just it requires so much collaboration. This isn't just a design thing. It's sort of like design thinking where like, just because it has a design in the name, it's really misleading.


Stephen Gates:

And so you did, you saw, you had to work with so many different people in different things like that. So, yeah. So just it's been a minute. So for those who might've forgotten to recap that there are, there are two different sorts of trust: practical trust and emotional trust. And most teams and most companies deal in practical trust, which is just what it sounds like, is that I trust people to do really practical things, like show up on time or deliver things or just really simple things.


But if you imagine changing that context to like a sports team, if my favorite football player or the person I drafted for fantasy football just shows up and goes through the motions, you're not going to win any games. It just really comes down to the fact that you really know and understand that people can think about themselves and other people because that's really the function of trust is that yes, look out for yourself. But the core part that I think we don't talk about enough is that that's the problem, especially in a business context is trust is long to build and short to break.


Chris:

Absolutely. We always think about this. My favorite sport and metaphor for this is I was a rower in college. And one of the things that you really understand when you're rowing is that you can be pulling as hard as you want on that oar, but if not everybody is pulling in sync, you're not going anywhere very fast. And so it's about that synchronization within the organization that does essentially run on trust. And that ability to all be rowing in the same direction at the same time, you feel it when it happens. And I love that feeling. And a lot of this for people I think is about breaking down traditional organization structures around communication hierarchy.


I forget what LOD is, but it's always talking about this idea that your communication hierarchy basically mirrors your organizational structure. And when you take on a systems based viewpoint, where you have that centralized place where a lot of things are housed, that isn't necessarily owned by one team or by one group or by one executive, it requires a kind of different way of thinking beyond the traditional communication structures in an organization. What's been your experience with that?


Stephen Gates:

It is. And I think just what you said, there is so much about that inherent teamwork and trust that I think the reason why a lot of people struggle is because if you don't have it, it's like, where the hell do I start? Like, I know what needs to be different, but what do I do? And if I try to adopt it and other people don't. Yeah, I think that's been a big piece of it for me because you're right. And I think in my three years of doing consulting at InVision, a 100% of the time when I go in and work with a company, ahead of time, I'd usually ask them for an org chart. And it was so easy because before I even spoke to anybody, if their org chart matched their website navigation or the way their app was structured, I could tell you how siloed they were before the first meeting.


Chris:

Yeah. Isn't that fascinating?


Stephen Gates:

Well, but it is. And I think that's where a lot of us don't think through that like, look, the work is the truth of the organization that creates it, that whatever the silos are, the mistrust there is, it shows up in the work. And it is. And I think that's a lot of the work that I've been doing really since that last episode has been trying to really go beyond that, the practical and emotional trust to start to look at how does that manifest in culture. And I think looking at on the practical trust side, what's sort of known as cognitive culture, which is how does that manifest in how teams and companies and cultures think? And then emotional culture, which is again, how do they really go through? And it's again about how more do they express themselves or how do we, the people feeling expressed? Usually then that sets the foundation of that trust, mistrust, practical, emotional, whatever that is.


Chris:

I love that because that's why we start with principles when we think about design systems is the core of it. And Gina at Forrester did a really great conversation about this, about the idea that the core of understanding how you work together is rooted in those principles. And that's why you start there is because that's where you begin establishing trust, is we all basically say like, we're working from this common foundation, working towards this common set of ideals and as both a leader inside of an organization all the way down to the earliest individual contributor, it is rooted in this idea that these principles are what guide us in this journey towards this new way of thinking, this new way of building.


Stephen Gates:

Right. No, and I think you're exactly right. But I think for me, there is that sort of unspoken part of change management is also making sure that just because you have decided to do it or even you align on the principles, you still are very much subjected to the culture that surrounds you, especially if you're trying to do something for the first time. And so I think that's where like with a lot of different teams, whenever I want to go and talk to them or even the work that we've been doing has really been looking at, like the four dominant sorts of cognitive culture are one, a market culture. And that's the one where this just focuses on results. At the end of the day, that's what they just want to get results. So like if you're in a market culture on a design system, that ability to say this can save us time, this can save us money, that's the narrative that probably works.


Chris:

Right. Faster, better, cheaper.


Stephen Gates:

Right. I think then there is a hierarchy culture, and that's very much about things being structured and process-driven. So there, it's going to be more about, okay, great, we have a structure, a process, this will bring in more of that structure and process to us. So great. That will tend to resonate. I think then you'll get into the two, which are probably more of sort of the culture that a lot of creatives or things like that want to be a part of, first as a create culture. And these are that sort of more entrepreneurial move fast and break things sort of philosophy where, like there's a lot of innovation, there's a lot of growth, but usually the flip side of that is there sometimes isn't the stability and systems that you need.


Chris:

Yeah. The wild experimentation ends up with a lot of dead ends.


Stephen Gates:

Right. Or you end up with a lot of tech debt, a lot of experience debt, a lot of, because everything needs to have something new and how do we unify that? So I think like to create culture, it's about, again, how do we keep that spirit of that culture, but create some level of consistency in what we're doing. And then the last one is that. And again, I think this is the best one to be a part of is that collaborative culture, which is where it's really about teamwork and togetherness, where you want to work with people that feel like family and have fun doing it. And that's the one where historically usually getting somebody like a design system adopted is the easiest, because it really is just an extension of that teamwork and that collaboration.


Chris:

So does every team have elements of all four cultures as a part of them or do you feel like there's a dominant culture that people gravitate towards?


Stephen Gates:

I would say usually, there's some sort of a dominant one. Look, I think that there are some times where there can be a dominant and a secondary, but I think most people, even as they're listening to this show and you go through that, I think immediately gravitated to one thing in their head where they're like, "Look, we are so process-driven, I'm sure that we're a hierarchy culture, or we're so results-driven and that's all we care about that we're a market culture." So usually the dominant one will jump out, but there can be a secondary one underneath that too.


Chris:

Well, we end up talking a lot about market culture in this space, because like, as you see big organizations like WW, like all these other big companies like Salesforce and stuff that are out there that have these design systems that they're implementing, the focus tends to be on the market because that's what is most resonant in the public sphere. And we talk a lot about like this hard ROI design systems, like, how many people does this save me? What's my cost savings? What's my time savings? What are these really concrete market metrics of success for design system? But there's also a lot of these kinds of behind the scenes ideas of ROI about like, what does this mean for my career? What does this mean for my relationship with my employees? What does this mean for things like how fast I onboard new people, how productive people are, how happy people are associated with this new way of working?


Chris:

And I think that's often really overlooked. And a lot of this relates to adoption, where when you think about a new system coming on board, a new tech tool, getting over the hurdle of understanding the tooling is not even really like half the problem. A larger part of it is how do I actually adopt this new way of thinking to the structure, the zeitgeist to the business?


Stephen Gates:

And it is. And I think that's where, the part of it is the organizational maturity, of how mature is an organization to be able to because oftentimes a mature design system is attached to a mature organization who is able to understand the value. And that's why I always joke, like that number one question for so many designers is how do I justify the value of design? And that's why I say like, for all the companies that people want to emulate and copy, the one question those leaders aren't asking is how do they justify the value of design? But it is.


Stephen Gates:

And I think that that's the part of it is also the positioning a design system in a healthy way, because look, I think just like any process, it can be really flexible, it can be really dynamic. It can be something that creates that consistency without stifling creativity. I think that's when it's done really well, but I think there's also that way of doing it, where it can become overly process-driven some point to the point where it just becomes an excuse and the system breaks because everybody's like, "Well, we can't do what we want."


Chris:

Here's the 44 gates to release a component.


Stephen Gates:

Right. And that sort of thing. And it's like six months and 44 gates and all that to do that, but I think that, so there's a lot of that that can become problematic. But I think that, and look, and I think that's on all sides. There are a lot of designers who I talk to who have been a part of that who hate design systems because they accuse it of being scrapbooking, where it's just, this is not my career, this is not what I want to do. But I do think part of it is we talk about people's careers in that is, and I talk to designers about this a lot. I think we have to recognize that there has been an industry shift from visual design to product design.


Chris:

I'm really glad to hear you say that, because that's one of the things that I see as a major driver of the overall systems movement is we had this philosophy of what design was inside of organizations that has been predominant for 10, almost 20 years. And that sea change or step change rather that's happening in the corporate world has been the shift towards product design.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. But I do think that's part of one, for a lot of design teams, they need to reckon with that, that the days of, like you said, this is not a new thing that as we started to build responsive sites and design systems and things like that, like the age of the pixel perfect comp has been dead long ago.


Chris:

For most people.


Stephen Gates:

And I think... Yeah, for most people. I think for some design teams and I think unfortunately for a lot of executives and partners, they still view it as visual design. And I think that's why you get the what's the value of design make it pretty all of that sort of stuff. But I think that's, when you talk about the shift of product design, we start talking about all the tenants of what a design system are, of needing to work with partners, needing to work across, having things and processes that work in multiple different ways, things that are reusable, things that can prioritize consistency, but speed, but still have flexibility.


And I just don't know that we have openly talked about that or acknowledged it because I think even for me, that's a lot of the work that I will do in talking with other design leaders or things like that. And I think even when you watch teams try to evolve, many times, they need to go from the executional, like, we are just producing design to it is more about the experience, the creativity, the thinking, and that they get out of that sort of commoditized space.


Chris:

Well, I even think that even though the term visual design is oftentimes I think a little bit misused when you think about the visual design process and you actually know more about this than I do, but so much of it is about production. So much of it is about like, how do I produce sticker sheets or comps or any of these things that are these detailed artifacts that don't actually represent the thing in reality? And this comes from the print world and all this other stuff like that and the digital transition. And all that happened two decades ago.


Chris:

But the reality is is a lot of that mentality is still very much embedded, especially in the leadership cycles of organizations. There's a lot of individual designers that would really prefer to not design a sticker sheet of buttons or another table layout in their life. But overcoming that inside of an organization is oftentimes more challenging than it seems. As someone that has gone through that a couple of times, what are some from twos that people can really think about when they know that they're either making this transition or have made it? What does that other side look like for these folks?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. And it's a really good question. And I think that's where, so again, I'm seven months into a new role at WW and I think that's where this is the work I'm doing every day, like I'm having a borderline ridiculous amount of fun because like one of the changes we made when I joined is that like the behavioral science team, people with PhDs now they report into the design team, because I think that's what we want to do is to evolve the craft of what design is to bring in service design, to bring in behavioral, to bring in like science and all these other things that, again, five or 10 years ago, that was never a conversation we would have had. But I think to try to simplify that back to, I think, what your question was, was really at the end of the day, it really is about how do you start to position all of this to be viewed as something that is strategic, something that is thought leadership and not something that is just a commoditized execution.


Chris:

Yep. I completely agree with that.


Stephen Gates:

And I think that's the biggest from two that I see is that if your design system is just seen as a way to save money and that, again, it's that simple, like, okay, it's just a commodity and everybody follows this, we tend to get systems that people don't like, because there's no flexibility, there's too much process. There's too much of that because it's just, it's viewed as an output, not a living thing, a strategic advantage. And again, a lot of that comes with organizational maturity.


But I think that for me is just really at its foundation to go back and look at your team and say, look, if you walked up to the average person in the hall or on a Zoom call and say, "Hey, can you describe our team or what we do?" If the answer is executional, you make buttons, you produce process, you do those things, you probably have a problem. I think if it's like, hey, you helped facilitate change and thinking, and that this helps us move faster and focus on the experience and to do all these sorts of things, it's an integral part of the creative process, that's more of the strategic positioning that you really want to get to.


Chris:

It's really interesting comparing that to our customers to have the best luck with Knapsack, the best success. And you tend to see a lot of people that approach design systems from this cost saving standpoint, like, I want to save money, I want to grow the number of digital products I can support without having to hire a bunch more very expensive people that are highly skilled in their field, I want to be able to democratize all this stuff. And that democratization at scale is great, but the people that really make it sing are the ones that also think about it in terms of how it improves their products. And that improvement and that idea of like facilitating that, again, more strategic collaborative set of thinking is where people find, I think, the most success when it's not just about how do I save some money or move faster, support more products, but how do I actually think about how this changes the way that we think about building and really focuses on the quality and the innovation that I'm able to capture into my products?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. And in many ways, I would really encourage people to think about it almost like a design methodology or something like that, because to your point, whenever you look at it and you say, "Oh, like, why do you want a design system?" It's like, oh, it'll make everything pretty. Nope, wrong. Or at the same point, if it's like, why do you want it? It's like, oh, it's only going to save us a ton of money. It's like, okay, those are the bookends.


And I say to think about it like a design methodology, because again, I think if you look at design thinking, design sprints, any of these sorts of things, it's what they facilitate and it's not just going through the motions because in any design methodology or things like that, you don't really get points just for going through the motions. It's really about how does the team come together? How do they trust? How do they build? I think, how do they do a lot of those sort of things?



And so that just is such a different unlock as seeing it as a tool to accomplish something, not just again, that it produces this sort of commoditized output, but that mindset shift sometimes can be a tough one to get around. And so that's why I said to me, like if you approach it almost a bit more like a methodology, and I do think there's a difference in methodology and a process, because the process is you do these steps, you get these exact same results every time, like a recipe is a process. I think a methodology is you're going to require the human factor, the teamwork factor and understanding factor. There's going to be parts where there's not going to be a part of this process that replaces your brain.


Chris:

The spirit of the law versus the letter of the law. In DnD, we'd say, rules as intended versus rules written. So I think that the really interesting factor here for me is like, okay, so you have this idea of changing the culture of an organization, changing the way the organization operates, breaking down a lot of these really traditional hierarchies and existence of communication structure to think about something in a very new way. What does that actually mean if you're that person in the hallway whose job has been execution that you're watching your job change? Like, how do you embrace that? How do you look at how I be a factor for the right side of this? How do I get on board with that culture change? How do I be the change I want to see?


Stephen Gates:

It's such a good question. And I think I wish there was a simple answer for that because it is. And I think in most cases where you see, we want to make a change, we want to do something different, we want to do whatever that is. I think in a lot of cases, when you go and talk to the team, whenever you talk to that person, often their answer is like, we sort of understand what we need to do, I have no idea where to start, like, how do I get traction?


Stephen Gates:

I think there's two predominant options, obviously, how this gets applied. There's a lot of sort of little things in between. I mean, ideally so what you can do is to go find an executive, to go find somebody who will also believe in that, see in it, support it, give you the cover fire, the space, the budget, whatever you need to be able to support it. Generally, that gets the best results. And that sometimes that can be-


Chris:

That's also really hard.


Stephen Gates:

It is. And I think sometimes there's, it requires some level of education or evangelism, or sometimes you need to bring in an outside expert. Sometimes they don't believe in that. Sometimes they, it's like, this is just another expense, because I think especially in many cases, design systems are often so tough because a lot of companies don't necessarily understand investing in infrastructure, especially as it comes to the visual and the experience side, they understand we spend this dollars that gets us this team, that does this work, that again, so this KPI that gets us this result.


Chris:

All those market metrics I was talking about.


Stephen Gates:

Right. So there's a real straight line there. And I think if you sort of say, well, no, we need to invest in these things that everyone will benefit from, but it's harder to get a straight line KPI on, that does require a certain level of thinking and what that is. And so I think on the one hand, if you can do that and find the executive, usually that yields the best results. If not, my recommendation there is, one, just go create the Island of Misfit Toys. Go find, if you're in design, go find somebody else in engineering, go find other people who will agree and see that you need this. And often what I'll tell people to do is to start working on it, but do it on something that nobody cares about because I think so often when people want, like they want to build a design system, it's like, what's the biggest, shiniest most, money-making us thing that we've got? And let's go start there.


Chris:

Yeah. Like let's work on this on homepage on day one.


Stephen Gates:

Right. And so it's like, okay, great. So you're just going to go run into the thing that makes the most profit, has the most attention, has the highest resistance to change and where you're most likely to fail. And I do think that if you're able to say, okay, look, we were going to go the route grouse routes route, but if you start on something that people generally don't care about, usually the team that runs it is incredibly grateful for the attention and the help. And that it shows you two really important things. One, that it is possible in your company. And two, it gets you real results. And I think, I've done that on past teams of like, well, look, I'll run one without a design system and one with. And I can tell you it's 40% faster.


Chris:

Right. Well, and the measurement matters there, right?. We talk a lot about that on the podcast about how like it's very important to baseline and then measure the success of a design system, because that's your justification. And I think also what you said about, we tend to call them insurgencies, go find some people that are just willing to do this for a couple of pizzas usually. And that is a great way to get started because like you said, the way executive buyers think about this stuff is like, what's my KPI? How do I make that KPI 30% over our expectation? And if it's not a top three KPI, usually doesn't get done or it doesn't get attention. And that's what the challenge really is at that executive buyer level is how do I think about alignment on a KPI? And how do I think about getting the design system into that top three priorities so that it actually gets focus, gets attention, gets budget?


Stephen Gates:

And look, and I think this is one of those ones where I wish I could say like, hey, this is the magic KPI, like if you measure this, it all make sense. I think a lot of the times for me, it really is about, and I think this is the difficult part of change management is that the conversation that we really need to have is that what we are working on, and I think this is a similar thing for design is we are working on something that is both an output and an outcome. And I think that in most cases, all we want to focus on is the output. And I think that as we talk about, if you want to bring design in, yes, we can ship better product that will make more money, do those sorts of things. But there's also the outcome of the creativity, the way that we work, the way the teams do things.


Stephen Gates:

And I think design systems are the same thing, there is an output and an outcome. And so I think that part of what it is is to be very clear whenever you are talking to those people, that yes, we will sign up for KPIs or must win battles or sort of whatever that is, because this gets us these things, we will save time, we'll save money, we're not going to have ADA lawsuits, we're not going to, like all those things that we all can rattle down the list on.


Stephen Gates:

But there's a bigger benefit there as well, because I think that's why for me, one of the reasons why I love design methodologies, but also I love design systems is that you can use them to change entire organizations to build trust, to work in totally different ways without touching an org chart, without doing those things of just using let's come in together to work on this, to make this the source of truth that that outcome of what that is is something that I think can't be underestimated. Now, the problem there isn't the hard part of that conversation. For a lot of people that are like, great, how the hell do I measure that?


Chris:

And I think that's what I'm most interested in is that outcome, right? Because we talked to death about like, what KPI alignment looks like with better, faster, cheaper. When it comes to the actual outcomes in the organization, that's how you go from being somebody that is well-represented in your industry to somebody that is leading your industry is because it's back to the earlier point you made, the companies that are best to design in the world don't ask for what's the ROI of design? They just know that good design helps them lead their market. And so the tie into there for me is sure it's soft, but this idea that if I value these things and I value these outcomes, that makes me a better performing company in the market regardless of what KPI or metric I align to.


Stephen Gates:

Sure. Well, I'll give you the trick here. Let's tie it back to what we talked about in the beginning of show. For me, output, practical trust, outcome, emotional trust. And I think that that ability to say that, look, if all we are going to do is to deal in practical things like KPIs and outputs, we cannot then be surprised whenever our work isn't world-class, whenever we aren't achieving the goals that we need, because we're just trying to prioritize very practical things. And that as we talk about that, yes, it is harder and to be able to get to the outcome, the emotional trust side of it, to be able to understand what that is, that we also need to look at the human side, the human capital that is there. And look, the other thing I would say is, I don't know that there's ever been a better time where I feel like I would take a run at having that conversation.


Chris:

Why is that?


Stephen Gates:

Well, because, look, I think what remote did was so 18 months ago, everybody was in an office and then bang, the pandemic happens and we're all working from home. What that did for almost every company was it surfaced all their organizational sin. So all, if you didn't have a process, if you had more managers than leaders, if there was no trust, all of a sudden, that all came running to the surface because we could smooth a lot over by seeing each other in the hall. And I think we're still in that place, but now we have prioritized work-life balance, we prioritized mental health. There's just, there's a lot more issues that are in the conversation than there used to be. So I think in general and candidly, I think for a lot of companies, the managers who are just moving things through and were only purely KPI driven have either moved on or under a very different pressure, because I think as you see across the board, whether it's around gender equality, racial justice, there's a lot of issues that are being discussed at work that were not necessarily being discussed before.


Stephen Gates:

So I think that ability to say, look, it is about how we work, it is about, again, what these outcomes are, that is generally a continuation of probably the conversation that your company has been having for the last year, but it's been around, we have these issues, but it's around how, because we're all now working remote. So I think there's also needs to be that recognition in that last 12 to 18 months, probably for the companies you'd want to be a part of or that they were already doing, this conversation has changed. And so I think also understanding that you can latch into the back of that movement to say, hey, look, this applies to our work to our design system as well is probably an avenue that wasn't available before.


Chris:

No, absolutely. There's so much that's been catalyzed by this big movement to remote work pandemic, all of the issues that you talked about, the realization that private companies have a political opinion whether they want to or not. All of this stuff really does drive at these broader organizational change structures. And I think what you're saying is that design systems become a part of that conversation because it is about that, not just process shift, but organizational shift as well, that changing culture.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. And it is, but I think that's the thing is that I think that's one of the biggest things that has really shifted. And look, this seven months ago, I joined WW because I wanted to be a part of a purpose-driven company. I think you're seeing a lot of people are they're rejecting the big cities because they want to be closer to family, they want to be a part of more purpose-driven companies, they want to know that the work they're doing matters. And I think just it is a generally a rejection of the output culture in favor of the outcome culture.


Stephen Gates:

And so I think that if you are still a part of an output culture, your ability to try to help leadership, to get them to understand that difference, to help educate what that is and do it through the vehicle, maybe a bit like a Trojan Horse to say, hey, look, these are the sort of changes we need to make, this is where we are struggling, these are conversations, like I said, to attach that to a design system conversation is a fundamentally different thing than we probably were able to do even 12 months ago.


Chris:

Yeah. I love the idea that it provides the opportunity, it provides the window for that change because people are starting to think about things a little bit differently. And I think that when it comes to that adoption conversation and that way of thinking about, hey, let's get started on this or like, let's take this insurgency and make it bigger and make it something that we go organization wide with. Like, what has been your personal experience with that either at WW or otherwise that has allowed you to be the leader of these sorts of change movements inside these companies?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. And I do. I think a lot of it comes down to like, look, I mean, one of the driving forces why I joined WW was because I was so blown away by the leadership, I was so blown away by their commitment to because I mean, this is a company that really was affected by what had happened, that if you look at 12 to 18 months ago, again, you would think of that as a brand where you would walk into one of our studios to be able to beat with a coach. COVID happens, you can't do that. The company had to make a huge swing into digital and as a result, reacted to that, bringing in more talent, different things like that. And so I think a big part of it for me was that there is the leadership that was really dedicated to that change.


Chris:

They embraced it.


Stephen Gates:

And look, and I think that is, again, a broader trend. I think this is what is driving this great resignation trend is that people want to be a part of things that matter. They want to be a part of what this, of something that really matters where they are seen as a person and not just as a resource. And so I think that ability to be a part of that for me has always been... Because look, the two general things that everybody wants is to know the work they do tomorrow is better than what they do today and to know that they have that support. So if something goes wrong, we're all going to invest in fixing the problem, not investing and figuring out who's to blame.


Chris:

Can you give me some examples that have existed within WW about you living that? I'm really curious to think about like from a really practical standpoint.


Stephen Gates:

No, no, I think there are some. But look, I think that-


Chris:

I love to hear like the on the ground viewpoint of how this is actually happening where you are.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. I mean, I can tell you like, it was an interesting thing and it's probably not what people would have expected, but I think the number one reason why I joined was whenever I went through the process, they had reached out and said, "Look, we have this VP of Design role or product design and we were interested in having you talk." And I went through the process and met with this Mindy, who was our CEO and everybody else and I came back, I just said, "Look, I have to be honest that I feel like I understand where you want to go and I'm not sure this role is written to do that." And they said, "Well, tell us what do you mean?" And I said, "Well, look, I think it needs to be a level higher, it needs to encompass service design. And we need to pull in behavioral science." And these were not small changes that I was proposing.


Stephen Gates:

And without missing a beat, they said, "You know what? You're absolutely right. We think that's exactly what we need to do." And I was like, "Wait, wait, hold on, wait, what? Like, you agreed with me." And I was like, "Oh wow." So that, okay, now I remember what it's like to be listened to and respected and really understand. I'm like, "Okay, that feels weird." But I do, and I think that's the part of it is that there's that shift of-


Chris:

What is this feeling, validation?


Stephen Gates:

I know it's like, that's, I forgot that's what this was, but it is. So I think that that willingness for leadership to be open to that change, to push power down into the organization, to say, look, we trust you, how do we support you? What is it that you need? Without it being that constant, like just pushing the rock up the hill every day trying to get people to buy in, because I think that's really where we're at is that that's why as you look at WW, we're attracting talent that is coming to us from Netflix and Facebook and Apple, like all these companies where it's like everybody would love to go work, now they're coming, because I think that's the thing is that we are being really serious about what that is about how do you empower those sorts of people to be able to make that change to empower the team?


Stephen Gates:

And that is I think in many cases something that is different and that's been a change in the culture where people, that is something that now is just sort of table stakes. So if you aren't doing that, and I think for a lot of the people, if you're at a company that's not that way, go to your leadership and try to tell them and educate them on that. If they aren't willing to be that enlightened, you are probably about to if you haven't already watched your best talent walk out the door for companies that will be more evolved.


Stephen Gates:

And so, look, I think that's a lot of it for me is just knowing that there is that trust, that support. We may not always agree, but we can always have that discussion that just some of those sorts of basic elements, again, of trust really exists. And I'm such a believer that you can even start to see that in the way you interview with the company.


Chris:

So I love the idea that you have this cross-functional, like very multidisciplinary and honestly pretty wide set of disciplines that exist within the idea of design. And so when you think about this in terms of product design, you can't talk about like cross-functional team without talking about like the democratization word, right? And so how do you guys think about the practical democratization of the work inside of your guys' team now? And like, look, I know you, like you said seven months that you've been there.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah.


Chris:

So maybe this is more visionary than it is practical today because it hasn't been that long, but I am curious, like, what is your vision for this? Like, where is this going with this idea of how design gets thought about and gets done inside of WW?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. So one, I would say like, give me some credit, just I know it's only been seven months. We've come a long way in seven months.


Chris:

No. No. Absolutely. I don't mean to take anything away from that. I'm just saying like, look, seven months is seven months.


Stephen Gates:

No, I get what you mean, though. But look, but I do think that, but I think your question belies the issue that a lot of us feel is that that idea of being able to create real change inside of seven months feels like a bit of a unicorn. But I think that a lot of it for me is that, and it's sometimes I think I do try to be very careful about the words we use, that I think that in many cases, the word design, I think sometimes, and that's some of the things that we've done in inside of WW is just define what that means, because I think that sometimes design can mean design, sometimes it can mean creativity, sometimes it can mean innovations. It can mean a lot of different things. So I think going in and really being clear about this is what we do, this is what our approach is.


Stephen Gates:

But I think that in many cases it isn't necessarily even about the roles because I think too often, it's like, what does design do? What does product do? What does engineering do? I think if you ask most teams, they would already know that. And I think so like some of the work that we've done that's been really impactful has been more like running scenarios with our teams, that it's more in the overlap and how we come together because your teams will struggle and fail if it's just about who's right, like, I have the biggest title, so I am right.


Chris:

Who owns the source of truth is my favorite struggle that actually really doesn't matter and is really a good indicator if you're arguing about that that you're probably not set up the right way.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. So a lot of it for us is more, one, how do we look at the overlaps? So if design comes up with an idea that's out of scope, what do we do? And because I think not only to be able to have the conversations and the overlap, so how does that do, which creates a lot of that trust and works through that, but then also give the teams the tools like that ability that the next time you have a problem, say, okay, the next time this happens, what do we do to be able to do that? I think that drives a lot of organizational maturity, I think that drives. And then you watch the work and everything else really accelerate because we'll keep an eye on my social media and what we're doing with WW as we get closer towards the end of the year, we've got some really exciting stuff in the pipe that is going to be a result of this.


Stephen Gates:

But I think that it's at the end of the day, getting people to sit down, to spend time with each other, to see somebody as a person, not just as a resource, but I think those sorts of investments in prioritizing the human capital part of that and to be able to do that leads to those big differences so that then whenever you want to, because for me, like if you come back to the point where somebody is pointing at a process or what their role is, you're failing.


Chris:

That is the quote of the episode right there.


Stephen Gates:

Oh. Yeah, that's an hour-long discussion right there. But I definitely, but I think that's a big piece of it and that's the part of it for me is that, look, I think you can make that change at any time, you can come from anywhere, you can do those sorts of things. But that's why I said for me, but I think if you can get it to a place of that leadership that sees it, of the teams that are buying in, of you are able to start to get to that and it becomes that more outcome, not output driven, that's really, for me, what to try to focus on. And I think in a lot of cases, it's saying, as a team, this is what we do, this is what we don't do. This is, again, how do we partner with our partners?


Stephen Gates:

But it also really is about, and we've talked about from the beginning, it is also about prioritizing things like trust. And if there are moments when that gets broken, because people aren't perfect all the time, let's come together, let's talk about it, let's talk about what do we do differently, let's talk about, again, how do we, again, build on that and to be able to talk about it, pull it out in the open, don't let it fester. But I think if you're able to do those things, you can start to create a fair amount of change in a pretty short time horizon.


Chris:

I love that most of this conversation has been about the ideas of like, what is practical, empathetic, and really like meaningful leadership and management look like inside of an organization. It's been a lot less about like, what are the tools and what are the exact steps you do, but it's been about like more of a way of thinking. And I think that that's a really insightful, just takeaway from this for me is that you can dive down into the little lady bits of how you get there. But the reality is it's a lot more about this vision for empathetic, well thought out, more outcome-driven way of just building a team.


Stephen Gates:

And it is, because I think that's, look, as somebody who spent a lot of time over his career working with teams at Apple and Google and Facebook and Nike and all the teams that everybody loves, they don't hire people that are somehow that much smarter than everybody else. They don't, like there isn't some Willy Wonka sort of setting there. I think what you see is that they hire smart people and they trust them to do their job. And it sounds so simple, but good grief is it hard to be able to sort of pull off. But I do think that that's the thing is that for too many teams on a design system, if you're just get caught up with going through the steps of doing these things and we aren't looking at, because for me, this all comes down to really understand the difference between documentation and adoption, because I think with any process, with any system, you can have it documented, it can be beautiful. You can have every single thing, but if it's not adopted, doesn't matter.


Chris:

Yeah, let's press on that a little bit more. Yeah. So when we think about that adoption and that documentation side of things, there's a lot of people that as they're thinking about their design system, they're like, "You know what? I have to get my technical data addressed before I take on a design system or I have to make sure that all of this stuff is done before I take on my design system, I have to have all of my interfaces inventoried and everything has to be categorized and all put in its place before I really get on this." I personally view that as a major fault. I think that like really getting into the way of working is a lot more important than the content that resides inside of it. And I'm really curious about your take on this because I get the feeling that we're maybe on the same page on this one.


Stephen Gates:

Oh, we definitely are. And I think, look, for me, it's like making change, adopting something, in a weird way, I think it's like going on vacation. At no point, at any time in my life am I like, "Oh, look, there's two weeks where I don't have a meeting and nothing to do and nothing is important that's going on. That would be a perfect time for me to be gone." It doesn't happen. I think it's the same thing on the adoption thing that at no point are you able to get all your tech debt under control, all your experience debt under control, be able to categorize all your components, all your atoms, all that sort of stuff.


Stephen Gates:

Now I do think that treat it like a product. What is the MVP of us saying like, look, we have to have these, that we do need these basic things, this basic support to get started? But I do think it is about how do we get started and how do we find adoption of it, Because I've seen a lot of companies or a lot of these things where it's like, it sounded like a great idea, it sounded like something that was really good, but at the end of the day, well, it didn't actually happen, we didn't adopt it.


Stephen Gates:

Like, this was part of a recent conversation I had with somebody else that makes me laugh is like, even if you look at like the vaunted Spotify like tribes model, everybody, this is amazing, that tribes, tribes, like everybody for the last five years have been trying to adopt that. The funny part is Spotify never actually really adopted it. The funny part is Spotify never actually really adopted it. It was like basically a white paper that was a good idea, but that was never truly how their culture ran. And everybody ran around and trying to mimic something that was well-documented, but never really adopted.


Chris:

Right. No, I think that's an interesting, that is a funny example. When I think about this also, like there is a note of practicality to that first adoption in a design system landscape as well. We always think about it in terms of a pilot, right? Like, what is the thing that you can do that is like more important than a basic button, but less important than like, let me redesign all of my pages to use components, right? Like, what is the thing that I can put through my process, that I can put through my structure and my system to show what's possible? And yeah, we call it a recipe because it kind of is that, is like, let's create a very simple, like follow these three or four steps and you'll be able to change something meaningful in a very short amount of time, because that shows people what's possible and it shows people that it's not six months of re-engineering or re-architecting my system to get value out of these things.


Chris:

We try really hard to take this like very practical bit and get it in there. And then from there, that's where we start to have the conversation about like, okay, now, what's possible? Where can we go from here? I'm kind of curious on your take on that and if yours is similar or different.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah it is. I think, look, I'm a huge believer in minimum viable process. Like I am, and again, you talk to anybody on my team now, again, they get worn out with me saying freedom in a framework that I think that for me, it really is about, look, there needs to be structure, there needs to be clarity, there needs to be alignment, but there needs to be just enough that it holds everything together and not so much that we start to serve the process and the documentation more than the results because I do think in a lot of product orgs, in a lot of design orgs, we lose the plot that at the end of the day, your customer, sorry to say it, doesn't care how beautiful your documentation is, they don't care what version 2.0 is, all they know is the reality of what is in the product that is in front of them.


Chris:

So one of the things that I've always thought about here too, is like the elegance of the structure, like lots of people architect these really brilliant, really beautiful solutions to a design system problem, but they don't actually get them in front of users fast enough. They have this system that they've spent all this time and all this effort architecting, but they haven't run a pilot. And like the pilot is not about the value of the outcome of the pilot, maybe the product of the pilot. The value is in the learning along the way, because you learn so much when you're actually forced to touch the system for the first time and not the people that are creating it, the people that are ultimately consuming it are the ones that get that value.


Stephen Gates:

Well, but this is a big piece of it is that that's the thing at the end of the day, this is for me, it's the adoption, because that's why I said, look, at the end of the day, there's a cold reality that whether it is the internal stakeholders and people on your team who consume your design system or whether it is the member, the customer who ultimately consumes your product, there is the reality of it gets in front of them and it works or it doesn't, it provides value or it doesn't. And then all the documentation and all the process and all the worlds will not get you around that moment. And it's like, this has no value, but it's beautifully documented.


Chris:

Here's my design system I've spent 400 hours on that is beautiful, but nobody actually knows how to use it.


Stephen Gates:

Right. I mean, it's like way to be a designer cliché, where it's, again, I think that's, too many people in business already think we're like somewhere off wearing big glasses, wearing a braid, doing a watercolor of our spirit animal, doing a bunch of stuff people don't understand. So I think that-


Chris:

I think there's an analog on the engineering side as well, like the idea of like I've created this thing that is remarkable from a technical standpoint, but isn't practical from an implementation standpoint.


Stephen Gates:

Because I think, look, at the end of the day, if you want to create any organizational change, whether it's in how work, whether it's the adoption of a system, whether it's the adoption of a process, the people who use it have to feel empowered in to be a part of it. And they have to feel like that is something that they want to use. If it is something that they are told to use, then again, you'll start to see that in many cases, I think when you see that, usually the biggest offender of the design system not working is usually the design team, because then everything's an exception and everything, because it's just like, well, everything has its own unique snowflake and it's like, no, it's not.


Stephen Gates:

But I think that for me, that ability to have the freedom in a framework, to have the structure, but just have just enough of that structure to give it and to really look at adoption as the metric that drives it as opposed to completion or opposed to some of those other things, because again, I think if you have a really well adopted design system, I would argue it has a much bigger impact than one that is beautifully built or beautifully documented. Again, output versus outcome. If you have a system it's all output, but again, there's not an outcome of it being adopted, it's beautiful, but it has no impact.


Chris:

I completely agree with you. And I think that adoption, at least for us, is the number one metric that we always care about with customers, is it's all about, can you practically use the system? Can you get value out of it? Because adoption is directly linked to value obviously. And now you have this connection between outcome and market metric that everybody views is so important is now you can actually start to measure like what kind of ROI in a really hard sense do I have? And you've gotten that soft ROI benefit upfront along the way as you've begun to build the system.


Stephen Gates:

Right. Well, again, I think this is where think more like a product owner, because again, if you're trying to build a design system, the only thing that's harder than starting a design system is keeping one going that nobody adopts, because I think like you win that first battle and you get the money, great, we can go build it and then if it doesn't go anywhere and you don't actualize the impact, great, you now got something started that you can't keep going.


Chris:

Yeah. You know what was really interesting? Did you read the Sparkbox Survey that was all about the design system adoption stuff?


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. Yeah.


Chris:

Yeah. So one of the things that was the most interesting standout metric in that was that something like 40% of companies are thinking about rebuilding their design system. And I thought that that was a really fascinating metric because that means that like, not quite half of companies that are out there somewhere between a half and a third have basically said, what I built the first time wasn't the right thing. I need to rethink this and come at it from a different angle. And it makes me realize that so much of this DIY mentality and so much of this like, I need to go and do this big project out here that is about delivery of a design system is really a process that is not empathetic towards the consumers that exist inside of the organization. If you design like a product owner and you think about it empathetically, you should hopefully build a minimum system that continues to iterate into your organization in the right way. But hearing that like nearly 40% of people would opt to rebuild their design system, I thought was a fascinating metric.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. I mean, I'll be honest. When I saw it, I was surprised it was that low, because I mean, like I can say, I may or may not as a part of being one of my former employers come in to see that we were going to need to rebuild their fifth design system and that the previous four were all active in their experience. And because that was the weird part is when I got there, I'm like, "Wait, what do you mean we're like four design system?" He's like, "Oh yeah, no, the other ones were done." And I'm like, "Wait, what do you mean done?" And I was like, that just, I couldn't even wrap my head around that, but it is.


Stephen Gates:

And I do think that in many cases, there's that, oh, there's a new marketing launch, there's a new direction, there is a new, and again, I think if you're not getting that adoption, if you're not doing it that way, that's why it's like, oh, we didn't get it right last time, so let's do it again. And there is organizational debt, there is tech debt, creative debt, and I think human sanity debt around, again, just thinking and also telling the organization-


Chris:

And not to mention a lot of money.


Stephen Gates:

Well, there is. But I think also just the damage that it does organizationally to the mentality that something that important is disposable.


Chris:

Or that you couldn't possibly iterate on it to get it to the point that adoption was where you wanted it to be. I think that's that product owner mentality you're talking about, right? Like this idea that this thing is done. Well, is any product ever really done?


Stephen Gates:

But to me, that 40% is a pure adoption number.


Chris:

I agree completely.


Stephen Gates:

Because to me, if you're going to go back and say that we have to rebuild our design system, to me, that purely says that what you built, nobody used. And that you did it and it was interesting intellectual exercise, but it's not having the impact. And so again, I think that does speak to the magnitude of, again, that we're looking at the wrong metric or that again, if we aren't driving to get it adopted, because I think you know that it's something that's atrophied to the point where that can become a discussion of like, let's start over.


Chris:

Yeah. I can't even imagine getting there. Like as the person that's done that as the insurgent, as the people with an executive mandate, as any number of team structures for how you go about creating that system, like the idea that you would take, again, like you said, that amount of work, time, effort, money, heartache, and then sit there and think about getting rid of that or rebuilding it, the impact to the organization is probably traumatic.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. No, it is. And again, I think that's where you have to understand that there is, and again, I think for a lot of people's you talk about, like, what's the impact on somebody's career? I think in many cases, what you see is if you're in those organizations that gets to get to those places, you have to understand that your employees are accumulating debt that will tend to narrow their focus and diminish their enthusiasm.


Stephen Gates:

That's why, again, if you see somebody who's been at a company four, five, 10 years, their focus tends to narrow in just because they're aware of what works and what doesn't, they're aware of, they often tend to be less willing to try those sorts of things, but that there is an impact. And that's why I said, like if you think it's hard to be able to get a design system started, wait till it doesn't get adopted and you have to come back and do it again. And again, I think that's why that ability to have that, and it is, it's a harder conversation to have upfront about the outcome and about a lot of these other things that it's not just going through and like, great, we unified our buttons, that there's a lot more to it.


Chris:

Yeah, we always also talk about the bounce, like 12 to 18 months into a design system adoption cycle when you're starting to branch out to other teams or other products, you also have to go through this again. And we've actually witnessed a lot of design systems stall after that 12 to 24 month period, where people get to a point where they do a really good job with that initial team, they get some additional budget and they start to build outside of what that initial team really wanted. And they lose that focus on that empathy for their consumer. And because what worked for one team may not be able to be abstracted enough to work for lots of teams. And that bounce is actually a place where we see a lot of folks stumble is in that second wave of adoption, if you will. Any strategies or thoughts on how to help mitigate that?


Stephen Gates:

Look, I think just like with any product, just like with any company, the second act is a bit of a trick. And I think for me, to be able to come through that stall, you need to, welcome to the most overused word of this year, two different flywheels, because, look, I think you need to be able to have one that treats it like a product, that just goes in and it's the one that the team can come to and they can come and they have a backlog on the product and they're the ones that are updating the modules, they're the ones that are doing the enhancements. They're just sitting there, again, just moving on and iterating on what's already been built.


Stephen Gates:

And then I think you need another one, which is then more of that forward-looking where are we going? Because for a lot of design systems, that 12 to 18 months, usually you start with visual consistency. Then like, great, how do we get an interaction patterns? How do we get to animation? How do we get into sound, haptics? You can keep going, how does the base and then how do we fracture and take a different look at web versus-


Chris:

Native.


Stephen Gates:

iOS versus Android versus wearable versus digital signage versus all these things. But I think the problem is is that if all I have is the flywheel that's just looking at that refinement, you really tend to stall because once you get through the basic, the foundational pieces in that 12 to 18 months, now we're just sitting there and refining. So it doesn't feel like we have that momentum that of like, where are we going? I think on the other hand, if all you have is the innovation and the roadmap, there's a lot of vision, but it often isn't usable. So again, it's about how do you balance the two?


Chris:

Yeah, I can't believe I'm saying this because I'm not the best user of social media self-admittedly, but I've been seeing a lot of conversations on Twitter about the idea of democratization of contribution to a design system, being the thing that infuses life into that more innovative sector of the design system rather than the more iterative sector of the design system. Do you think about democratization strategies at WW?


Stephen Gates:

We do. And again, I think to me, this comes back to freedom in a framework that I think there have to be just like any system. I think if you look at the system to do branding, you look at a design system, anything that is a design system, brand, visual, language, anything like that, there are parts that are up for debate, that are up for discussion that, again, you can use an interpreter, it's the freedom in the framework. There are other things like our break points, our colors, our, again, our H1, H2, all of those that aren't really up for debate.


Chris:

The basic structures.


Stephen Gates:

And so I think that this is where, and look, and I do think that sometimes the product teams, the design teams get a little bit too caught up in the new that somehow we define innovation by a new button color or just like some really weird metrics sometimes of like, oh, well, oh, there's a new button color. It must be new. And I think that a lot of this for, again, this to me, is that evolution of the visual design to product design, that again, focusing on the experience it creates, focusing on the conversion, focusing on the impact it has.


Stephen Gates:

And again, I think this is a huge part of why we brought behavioral science into design, because whether it's the way we do design thinking to the way it is we design, we are a wellness company that is about shipping habits, not functionality. I would argue most companies should be taking that sort of approach to things that it's not just about putting out a piece of functionality, but what is the impact it has on your customer, your member, whatever it is.


Stephen Gates:

And so I think, yeah, for us, that we try to be really clear on what are those things where this needs to be what it needs to be. But again, that there is a freedom in a framework and how do we bring that to life? How do we work on that to be able to do it so that there is still room to do that? But again, we're really clear on what is the science? Like, what's that outcome we need for a member to be able to get to and that at the end of the day, it can be as beautiful as it wants, it can be as animated as it wants? If it doesn't accomplish that, then we're not where we need to be with the work.


Chris:

I love that democratization story, because that really shows the value of data science in the conversation, because without that, that point of view, you create a product that sure might still be visually appealing, might still be functionally appealing, but doesn't actually meet the outcomes and the expectations of wellness to your user base.


Stephen Gates:

Right. Well, and again, I think that's where I am extremely lucky to be able to work with clinical scientists, to work with a lot of PhDs who say, "Look, this is what, we've tested this, we know that this works, the science is behind it. We know that this is what it is and that this is what it will do." And then it's like, okay, great. Now it's on us to make sure that our experience delivers that and has that sort of impact. So I do think, again, purpose-driven, very clear on the science and some of those sorts things. But look, I think that that's where, when you're able to start to get to that level of clarity, it can start to make a really good difference.


Chris:

Yeah. And this is actually why I really like the democratization word more than I like the contribution word. I mean, I came up in open source, I was a part of numerous open source communities, contributed lots to them. And my contribution was never like lines of code. My contribution was always in other ways. And because I wasn't an engineer, I definitely had to find separate areas where I could democratize my skills into a broader network of people.


Chris:

And when I think about that, that was about project leadership, that was about documentation, that was about innovation of ideas, and all these different places where I wanted to see these communities grow and thrive. And I think that a design system inside of a company is a little bit like that too. And it can't even be from without if it really goes into the public sphere, but the idea that data science's contribution to the WW design system is in that clinical research and in that idea of what matters. It's very apparent when you think about contribution from engineering and design. It's much less apparent when you think about like where the rest of the content comes from and how you validate that content.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. Well, but again, but I think that to me is more of when you talk about single source of truth, I think understanding what that purpose is, understanding what that mission is, understanding, that's why I said I think this is why a lot of people want to be a part of mission-driven companies is because there's just an inherent clarity that comes from that.


Stephen Gates:

And so that's where I think, and again, it's just like any word that I think democratization still is about leadership, it still is about structure, it still is about clarity. Again, like a purpose of, we need to accomplish X, but this is sort of like what I said before, but I think it's understanding that we will all succeed or fail together in the ability to deliver on that and that if one team wins, but the other ones don't, and ultimately the product doesn't reflect that, then, again, this is like that concept of a finite game versus an infinite game, like it cracks me up when people are like, "Oh, if I do this, then I'll win." Like, there is not a concept of winning in design or in business.


Stephen Gates:

This is something that just keeps on going, and either you participate or you drop out, but you don't ever win. And so again, I think taking more of that infinite game mindset and understanding what the impact is, that usually is where I think the teams need to be.


Chris:

Hey, Stephen, I just want to say thank you for taking the time to talk with me today. It's been great to have you back on the program and just really insightful conversation. Really appreciate your style and all your thoughts on leadership. It's been awesome to hear your voice and share.


Stephen Gates:

Yeah. Well, no, thanks so much. It's always, yeah, these conversations are some of my favorites, but I love coming back and doing the show. And I hope we can do it again.


Chris:

That's all for today. This has been another episode of the Design Systems Podcast. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions or a topic you'd like to know more about, find us on Twitter @TheDSPod, we'd love to hear from you show ideas, recommendations, questions or comments. As always, this pod is brought to you by Knapsack. You can check us out at knapsack.cloud. Have a great day.