EP 18. Antoinette Curtin, Director of International Growth Marketing at New Relic, Inc.

In this Key Moments Episode, Antoinette Curtin, Director of International Growth Marketing at New Relic, Inc. discusses the role of emotions in decision-making, the importance of storytelling in B2B marketing, and her career journey from academia to marketing. She emphasizes the value of experience and a breadth of skills in the marketing field.

In this conversation, Antoinette Curtin discusses the value of experience and a breadth of skills in the marketing field. Antoinette also shares her personal failure of leaving academia and highlights the unpredictability of career paths.

Check out the episode below.


Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

In this episode, Antoinette Curtin, Director of International Growth Marketing at New Relic, Inc., explores the intricate role of emotions in decision-making and the power of storytelling in B2B marketing. Transitioning from academia to marketing, Antoinette underscores the value of a diverse skill set and broad experience. She shares her personal failure of leaving academia, highlighting the unpredictability of career paths and the importrance of being open to unexpected opportunities. Antoinette recommends the book Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes, which explores different perspectives.

Antoinette speaks about the importance of cultural sensitivity and the need to challenge assumptions, statiing that embracing different perspectives can lead to growth and innovation. She discusses the value of learning from failure and the role of luck and timing in career decisions. Emphasizing the importance of having difficult conversations, Antoinette advocates for creating a culture of openness and continuous learning. Antoinette also touches on balancing passion with career and finding joy in creative hobbies, which contribute to personal fulfillment and happiness.

Throughout the conversation, Antoinette emphasizes that there is no perfect path in life. She encourages thinking if failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, while also recognizing the impact of luck and timing. By challenging assumptions and being open to new ideas, individuals can foster innovation and personal development. Antoinette concludes by discussing New Relic's Grok AI and upcoming observability report, which offer valuable insights and solutions for businesses, underscoring the continuous evolution and importance of adaptability in the marketing field.


  • Emotions play a significant role in decision-making, even in seemingly rational and objective contexts like marketing.
  • Storytelling is becoming increasingly important in B2B marketing, challenging the perception that it is solely factual and boring.
  • Having a breadth of experience in different organizations and roles can be valuable in developing a well-rounded skill set.
  • Recognizable companies on a CV can be advantageous, but hands-on experience and the ability to execute are equally important.
  • There is no perfect path in life, and it's important to be open to unexpected opportunities and changes in direction. Cultural sensitivity and embracing different perspectives are crucial in today's diverse world.
  • Challenging assumptions and being open to new ideas can lead to growth and innovation.
  • Failure should be embraced as an opportunity to learn and improve.
  • Luck and timing play a significant role in career decisions.
  • Having difficult conversations and creating a culture of openness and learning are essential for personal and professional growth.
  • Balancing passion and career can lead to fulfillment and happiness.
  • Creative hobbies can provide a sense of joy and relaxation.
  • New Relic's Grok AI and observability report offer valuable insights and solutions for businesses.



Yeah, so leaving academia definitely felt like a failure.

I I got my pH.

D and then I like got like 1 publication and I didn't apply for any postdocs.

After I finished, my Pi was kind of working part time, doing some teaching and I was tired.


Like the pH.

D had been so retarded than I expected.

But it was a real kind of road to damask this moment where I knew, I really knew that I did not want to stay in academia.

Antoinette, welcome to the show.

Hi Kareem, thanks so much for having me.

Lovely to see you.

If there is one thing, let me ask you this.


What is 1 belief that you know to be true, that most people would probably disagree with you on?

I think as a marketer that most people think that they're very rational and most people think that they like to make very objective decisions.

Whereas I think that people, you know, that we all make our decisions based on, you know, very specific influences and things and that we're actually all quite easy to and if you like, in ways that we wouldn't like to admit.


And so where you know, if you're in a meeting where you're talking to a friend and you feel like you've a really data-driven reason for your point of view, the true causes for how you form that are probably a lot more emotional and kind of impulsive than most of us would would like to acknowledge.


Yeah, I think it's the same in sales as well.

It's like people make decisions emotionally.

And by the way, news flash, not for for folks listening.

It's not just B to C, it's B to B.

You're still dealing with humans and then they justify it logically after the fact.

They're like, Oh yeah, the reason why this made sense is because, well, I guess you know, this, this and this.


So yeah, that's interesting, isn't it?

I It's interesting to know that that happens in marketing as well On your point of view, absolutely.

And I, you know, I think that it's kind of become a somewhat of a trend in recent years.

You know the cliches that B to B, marketing is boring and you know, super factual but kind of storytelling and emotional coming back in.


But you know, I've sat in rooms, it's particularly because new relics audiences, developers with people who say, oh, marketing doesn't work.

I mean marketing works in everybody.

They just, you know, just sometimes marketing is more sophisticated and less obvious than others.



And I mean that that that is so true, isn't it?

Like I think it's it's kind of like people saying oh you know this this channel is our audience is not on that Channel and it's like well if your if your audience is human, chances are you know there there's a percentage of them that's at least engaging with a with a certain channel and so on.


So we touched on New New Relic super briefly there.

Do you want to tell us a bit more about what you're currently doing?

And then we'll and then we'll start rewinding the tape after that For sure, For sure.

So I've been at New Relic for approaching 3 1/2 years now, which is quite a long time in tech, but it's been a great 3 1/2 years.


And so my my current title is Director of International Growth Marketing.

And so I I wear two hats.

I've wore in two hats for a little while now where I've managed the AMIA Demangen team and then I also have global responsibility for that relationship between sales and marketing.


So I'm involved in helping develop campaigns or what we call sales plays that are run by the field and that marketing supports.

Yeah, that's awesome.

And I know that like you've had a pretty atypical journey, I think, to like most people in the sense that even earlier on in your career.


I'm not trying to steal your Thunder.

I'm sure you're going to tell us the story yourself.

But you know you you started off at smaller companies before going to larger companies, whereas I think a lot of marketing leaders sometimes they they would start off with larger companies and kind of go go to smaller companies.


So maybe walk us through that journey?

Yeah, absolutely.

So, I mean, I think my current circumstances, my current career, isn't something that I would ever have imagined for myself.

I grew up as a very kind of bookish child.


I read loads and I always had kind of arty interests.

And when I was a teenager, I was pretty rebellious And I I thought, oh, I'm going to drop out of school and be a guitarist.

Or so I went to school to, I went to Trinity.

But I studied drama.


And the whole time I was there, I was like, yeah, I'm just going to write a book one of these days or, you know, I'll be an actress.

And kind of had a very daydreamy life.

That led me into doing a PhD in English literature, which I didn't take it all seriously.


I I thought, oh, you know, I I'll just use the funding to write a book.

And by the time I finish, I'll be a famous novelist and I'll never have a job.

And so Needless to say that the PhD was harder than I expected and academia was actually quite a serious place.


And I knew that academia wasn't for me.

So when I finished my PhD, I was I wouldn't.

It was kind of 29 and looking around and I saw a role with a startup that I'd never heard of before.

It was called like a Social media and Content Manager.


Content Marketing Manager and social media was still pretty new then.

Definitely for business purposes and content marketing I had never heard of.

So I I went for the interview and I heard about marketing for the first time and I was like, this is kind of cool.


So I took that.


Kind of artsy, yeah.

The way I I mean the founder, Jonathan ran, who was a very accomplished marketer and a very good salesman and he certainly sold me and I'm glad he did because yeah, I mean I I liked it pretty quickly, you know, writing copy for websites, all of the things that startups do.


So I guess what I'm saying is, where I was at the start of my career, I had no qualifications and no understanding of business.

So I'm not sure which multinational, large organization would have given me a job at that point if I'd known even where to find them.


And then, you know, once I got into the the startup world, I started going to meetups and you know all of these events and thought it was really exciting.

And I did want to get kind of one of those big organizations on my CV, cuz I knew that people talk about these companies that they worked for and.


The blue chips, yeah, the blue chips, yeah.

You know, whenever somebody started a new role, it's and they've been at XY inside.

So I was like, I need something that is recognizable on my CV as well.

So that's how I find myself, find myself an IBM and.


You know, just a question on that and when it like given the fact that like you've almost like reversed role, like obviously you're you're a marketing leader right now and you're almost like looking like it.

For folks who are listening, who are looking to build their marketing career right now.

What, what role does having a quote UN quote recognizable company on your CV play today versus like before where so.


So to give you 2 kind of like contrasting examples, let's say someone.

Has has genuinely earned their stripes and and and really built great experience but the companies are not companies that maybe you and I would have heard of whereas someone else has just like a an ex you know an ex blue chip company on their profile.


They're like, oh, you know, I like you already kind of thing like maybe help me think about like how how you think about that and how folks think about that in general as a potential hiring manager.

To be honest, I don't really categorize that much.


I mean, I do think it depends on the skill set.

And for me, having come from a start of background, I know that those rules are a lot more hands on and you tend to get a breadth of experience that you don't get in large organizations and you're 100% allowed to do things that you would never be allowed to do as a super junior person.


Like I mean I can't imagine IBM having a library to log directly into the CMS like update copy as I go there.

So for me and I I think early in your career I would I would encourage seeking out a breath of experience.


So like, you know, I I change job once a year for the first few years of my career, and that can be something that people can perceive negatively.

But at that point, I knew that I needed to learn how different organizations do things, and I needed to be exposed to like leaders with different backgrounds.



And you need to know what you like as well, absolutely.

And that's the thing like particularly in marketing, marketing is so broad, you know like from the data analytical side to design and everything in between you know from brands to demands and there are thousand different shades of marketing.


So I I do frequently talk to people who are starting their career.

The other thing I also encourage them to think about our agencies, agencies you you can get a bit of both because often they're quite small but they usually have at least a few huge clients.

So you can say that you worked with your, you know Coca Cola's and whoever you're doing campaigns for and you're instantly exposed to 10 to tons of different business models.


I think it's yeah the blue chip experience I think kind of becomes more important as you got kind of mid senior and I think you know kind of the the more leadership you want, positions you want to get to.

I think it probably is harder to break into a bigger tech company without having something recognizable in your track record, you know depending on the.


But the other thing is word of mouth just absolutely becomes so important as well your network referrals particularly in a market like today.

And that is an advantage also that I suppose of joining kind of slightly bigger organizations and moving out about a little bit as you do expand your network and you do work with more people there, alert you to opportunities later.


Yeah, I guess just to build on that like I've.

I I've worked at like LinkedIn before in a hotspot before which are like recognizable brunts and I feel like I I've had that unfair advantage to be honest whenever I well, I didn't apply for a job after hotspot because I set up job cast with my with my brother four years ago.


But I mean I imagine like that you know when I I think I definitely had an advantage when I was applying to hotspot where I was saying hey I I come from this company that you may have heard of it's called you know LinkedIn and so on.

I think that was definitely like.


An unfair advantage in the sense of just like just getting your foot in the door, just having someone's attention maybe for like a couple more you know, seconds or something like that.

But I also am comforted by what you said in the sense that folks who've kind of been on both side of both sides of the fence in terms of like startup world and corporate world, I feel like when when they join, regardless where they end up, if if you're dealing with someone who appreciates.


How doubt and dirty you get in in a startup environment, how much you learn and how quickly your learning is accelerated.

I'm comforted by the fact that they will actually recognize that in candidates.

And yeah, basically basically recognize that, hey, although I haven't necessarily heard of this particular startup because there's so many.


I recognize that, you know, it's not necessarily easy to do work in a smaller company where you have to wear more hats and so on, Absolutely.

And to be honest, again as a potential hiring manager, you know who has, who has hired people.

I would especially for junior roles, I would have a question mark over somebody who's only worked in a very large organization because you know tech today more than ever is super fast.


And if there's one thing you have to be in a startup, it's agile, you know, and you have to change on a dime.

And so I think, you know, I think probably nobody has this luxury anymore.

But certainly when I joined IBMI was brought in as like a first wave of kind of digital content marketers.


And our book being there was somewhat disruptive as in was to cut through you know, the kind of bureaucracy that true nobody's fault is essential, but they had like 350,000 employees at the time, like it was huge.

And so you know there is a pace that you you usually are exposed in a startup I think always because you know you need to make things happen so quickly.


And so I think good to have a little kind of a balance of that, of that kind of mindset And but at the end of the day, you know it's about the talent and it's about the skill set and it's about the experience.

And again like I think from a marketing perspective the advantages of a startup is the Handson experience can be invaluable.


You know Marketo or Salesforce or whatever, you know MailChimp etc.

You know, people who can actually execute rather than, you know, in in other organizations who might have peaked.

You do that for you, which is nothing.


I have a team that does that.



For another calibrate with you.

No, that's true and thank thank you for for sharing that for any, for any folks who are listening who are looking to build their marketing career, I think this is this is great advice that that you've shared and now let's let's kind of jump into the the key moments segment so.


I guess from kind of like from your childhood going into like your early care going into like your early career into where you are today.

Maybe this could almost like set the stage for the key moments.

And I'm curious what is 1 failure you can share?

Yeah, so leaving academia definitely felt like a failure.


So I was I was a very academic.

But you.

But you got a PhD.

I I got my PhD and then I I I like got like 1 publication and I didn't apply for any postdoc.

I actually wrote a after I finished my PhD, I was kind of working part time, doing some teaching and I was tired, like the PhD had been so attired than I expected and I was, but it was a real kind of road to Damascus moment where I knew I really knew that I did not want to stay in academia.


But admitting that to other people felt like failure.

You know, because I had this brand.

You know, whatever.

They were expecting you to carry on perhaps yet.

Well, you know, it would like at the market.

So it was like it was a recession when I finished my PhD.


And you know, there really wasn't much full time work around and it's very hard to get a full time position at India.

So I was working part time doing some teaching, you know, doing invigilating all these different little jobs you pick up when you're in that position.


And you know, it was the first time in my life that, you know, I had family asked me what are you doing?

You know, what's your job And you know, you're having to answer all those questions was was difficult and as well as particularly because I really had no idea what I was going to do.


And, you know, I wrote my play and I sent it to the Abbey and they read it And, you know, I actually got long listed for a prize.

But it was also 29.

And I was like, okay, I can't live off writing bits of plays that I get bits of positive feedback on, but is nowhere near actually anywhere near anything you would call a job.


So that's when I started like just looking at every job ad and going to like every kind of job interview.

But yeah, so and even in my early first year in marketing, I kind of felt like I was old as well.


I was like, Oh my God, I'm at the bottom of the ladder.

I'm 29 years old.

I'm like working with these 2223 year olds, like you were amazing, have business degrees, etc.

So you know, there was a few years there where thankfully, you know, I was humble and I didn't feel, I didn't feel diminished by any of that.


Like I was okay.

I was like, yeah, okay, I accept.

I'm 29.

I'm at the bottom of the ladder.

You know, I've left this other world and stuff, but I think it could, it could have been tougher and it's still still was tough.

You know what?

You try to explain myself.

And could you, could you, could you envision a an alternate sort of reality where you've actually continued like poster PhD and kind of continued on path A, as it were?


No, absolutely not.


No, no.

So I I was never an academic.

That's one thing I know, you know, like.

So there is this seriousness and a rigor to the work that I always laughed.

So I was more creative.

You know, I didn't really like being super scientific and cite my face so good by sources and all of that kind of stuff that is essential to being a good academic.


I just kind of went into it blindly, to be perfectly honest, which is one thing I would heavily advise against.

I, I, you know, I just said it like, oh, I have funding.

I'll just do it.

You know, not really thinking ahead.

Do I have regrets about not committing to trying to be a creative person?


No either because I have friends who are very, very accomplished artists and writers and wonderful things.

And that's also a tough path.

And I just, I didn't have that.

I think it's like having a startup.

You know, you have to take that leap.

And I actually just like having a job, having a career bad that I like that security.


So you know, I just.

And it's crazy because, like, sometimes you.

I mean right now, right, like it's hindsight 2020 but sometimes you just have to go through that to to learn the the lesson to be learned if that makes sense.

Like my my very like out of college I I had done an exchange semester in I I started here in in Ireland where where you and I are based.


But I've done US an exchange semester in Canada and I was just infatuated with Canada.

Still AM, and I really wanted to just go back.

I built my connections and I had the coffees and everything and I was really counting on getting at least an internship after college and they all politely like declined.


And so I basically did a kind of like a restaurant marketing startup, which really, like failed catastrophically.

Like after after one year I had a team with me and they all quit on me.

And rightfully so, it's because they haven't, they haven't been getting paid.


They were all graciously working part time on the project.

I've learned so much from them.

I was the youngest among them.

And I I remember feeling not bitter but like you know kind of like victim.

I'm like hey, what?

Why me?


I'm I'm trying to I'm trying to you know create jobs potentially.


I'm trying to do this down the other why is this?

Why is it so tough and so on.

And I and that's where I really got my first real job, Speaking of of real jobs and that was at at LinkedIn and at LinkedIn is that that was really my first, that this was really where school started for me in terms of like.


Here's why that startup failed here.

Here's why.

You could have been a better, you know, people, people leader, or just someone leading any type of initiative.

And you kind of realize that if if I didn't have that failed startup experience in the start, I would not have paid attention to the lessons or or picked up on them.


I would not have noticed what a great example of a manager looks like.

For example at Lincoln, or what to do, or what not to do and so on SO.

Sometimes when you go through something, you become a lot more sensitive or like, attuned to it, if that makes sense because you've went through it and so you're alert to it right now as opposed to like, Oh yeah, that's good to know.


Absolutely, absolutely.

Like I think another kind of wake up moment for me, I'll call it or a moment of understanding that one.

There is no perfect path in life.

There is no right.

The right decision changes depending how you look at it is like as a child.


You know, because I did well academically, you know, people would tell my parents, oh, and so I should study medicine.


Or, you know, and so I should go into computer.

Like nobody knew what that meant.

But I was like, well then when I I did a H dip and data analytics a few years into my marketing career when I was like just starting out because I wanted to have confidence in the quantitative side.


Because I'd always been this art artsy person, and in that data analytics class there were so many really talented engineers who had also been through redundancies because they had taken the sensible path in verticomas and they had, you know, become programmers and the languages that they had excelled and were suddenly less in demand.


And so they were also reskilling.

And so I saw that, you know, anybody really can.

There are skills that can suddenly be less than demand.

We kind of have to pivot and and so, you know, that also gives me, you know, in today's world of tech companies going through so many layoffs, I don't, I don't none of us are in as much control as we'd like to be.


So, you know, I think we, we make the best of where we are.

We try to make, you know, the next decision that looks right.

But you know, you have to kind of deal with the ups and downs that are inevitably going to hit the snakes and ladders, the snakes and ladders, what is one book?


This is so funny because we just said the word snake.

Wow, so funny.

Actually, Daniel Everett don't sleep there as snakes.

So this is actually somewhat resonant with what we've been chatting about.

So this is a nonfiction book, and I read it, I think, a couple of years before I started working marketing.


But it's.

So Daniel ever is very anti Noam Chomsky and he's very anti the idea of a universal language.

And so his whole point is that everything we take for granted and things we as in people in the West would speak of as a universal truth is super grounded in a specific experience.


And so the whole book is about his experience with an Amazonian tribe.

And how differently they perceive the world.

So he talks about the way they see their environment is radically different to somebody who grows up in a city, for example.


They literally see things we don't.

And they also don't have a concept of the future or the past.

So their language is really built on the present moment.

And so he talks about how that shapes, you know, their whole.


Understanding of life and how like things that we take for granted as well.

This is true everywhere aren't and so it was really kind of and what what's an example of that that you think kind of like hit home for you.

I think, I think again, I guess it's kind of like like he talks about their family structures for example, so that they're they're very non.


You know, kind of nuclear family and they they kind of have the whole village kind of raise the child and stuff.

So it just made me sensitive to assumptions.

You know, I think a lot of that actually has become very important in organizations.


But you know, while over 13 years ago was really only in its infancy that you know, everybody you encounters from a different background and also I think being kind of respectful about.

Other cultures and you know, as a marketer, again, it's very important, you know, not to assume that you're speaking to people who are like you.


That's never going to happen to me because my book is as developers, so there aren't many like me at the moment in that world.

But yeah, so it was just also just really interesting to think about how completely different environment would literally.


Impact how you look at a tree cuz you're going to like they will see animals moving that he won't because they're used to looking out for that and things.

So it's like, you know, even our vision that we think is objective and empirical and true is highly variable.


And I love, I love where you're going with this in the sense that it's like how this applies to life overall.

In the sense that like like even even the things you choose to perceive right, like selective perception or I think I think like they've you know, you know the way when they say like when you cross the road you're you're just looking at, you're just looking at like where you're trying to go.


But you don't notice that maybe there was like a big red clown who is also trying to cross the road or something like that.

And it's like you're you're you always choose what you want to focus on.

And it's always a function of like what what your experiences have been is what I'm what what I'm understanding.



And I think as well like as a as a professional or as you know, as something you cares about, you know, whatever discipline you're working within, it's also a reminder to challenge yourself and to be open to other ideas.

You know, definitely the best people I've worked with in any field have that, you know, like sometimes, and I hope this is dying out.


Like in there used to be this kind of like sense that oh, a great idea is just like really rare special thing and what?

Great ideas pop up everywhere.

You know, it's it's really and like startups are a great example of that because many of them will have a similar initial seed of thought.


But which ones, you know, go on to actually build them like it's the execution is so important as well.

And like, definitely one of the reasons I've been in new route for 3 1/2 years is that there is an openness and a flatness and a respect like for other points of view.

And you know, certainly I like to challenge myself and say okay.


Is there something I'm missing here?

Is there another possibility and that I will just tune it out?

Because for me, XY&Z makes sense because that's what I've seen in the past, Yeah.

And I guess Speaking of that, who is one person that you feel probably embodies some of these characteristics?


So I am going to say my manager.

So my manager is Andy Ramirez and he is VP of Demand Jen at New Raleigh and he is just, I'm not just saying this because he's my boss.

He is an absolutely amazing marketing leader.


He has taken new rally into this whole new world for it.

So you know, we launched a free tier model, Brian Kotlier was.

VP of Demanda went that launch and then you know Andy has been running this kind of this free tier funnel and he is so open to other he is first of all has great ideas himself, but he really listens and he's endless boundless energy for problem solving and looking at things from different perspectives.


His career is also fascinating.

You know, he was at a WS and he was at Smartsheet and.

You know he really does have a breath of experience but I have grown I I've been directly reporting into him for around here now and it's you know that's my previous manager Katie Foster was great as well she I mean he's a background doctor son but I love that for me is like every day is like an MB a you know because like you've smart people who are dedicated to solving like real problems and Andy is like both a really supportive.


Person who really invests in his team and wants them to develop and then is absolutely killing it himself, which is like awesome to learn France.

Is there ever a time where there was a almost like a disagreement of sorts where but ultimately it actually turned out for it actually turned out to have an amazing outcome somehow?



So I mean like when you when you're bringing in a new like the business model at New Relic completely changed while while I was there.

So you know we we have a lot of a lot of things that you know are are are constantly in flux.


But yeah, like there's a real true culture of like humbleness and New relic where we will try something and we will say okay look.

We're we're going to have to go and and revisit that and you know it's not like punitive.


We will try new channels You know we will try new content formats and then you know we'll run with some of them and then others you know we'll we'll park.

But you know it's things move quickly so we're always trying learning onto the next Yeah I can I can only imagine and I think it's it's amazing to be in an in an environment like that because a lot of people don't necessarily have that they don't have that right.


Like they don't necessarily have that trifecta of like being in in the right company at the right time with the right people building things that things that they generally care about.

Sometimes they would be lucky to just have like one or two of these things.

But to have all these things working in lockstep, I think it just really makes a difference and and you can see it like in the output of of the work for sure.


So I guess switching gears here, what is 1 maybe a bit closer to like to like kind of like present day moment as well, What is one decision?

Decision one decision closer to present day moment.


I would guess it was joining the relic.

So that was a very interesting moment because I.

I was interviewing with companies in Amsterdam.

I was interviewing with, I guess I could mention them.


I took, I was interviewing with

I don't know, it's interviewing with Optimize Lee and I was actually there.

There's a more detail that's probably important there.

So I was interviewing with them and I was like, will I move to Amsterdam?

And then my colleague Patty Ryan, awesome manager who's at Elastic now.


So he had gone to New Relic.

I had a little interest in New Relic engineers and previous companies that talked about them.

And I was thinking about my options.

I was like, will I poke Paddy and ask him about this job in New Relic?

And I was really 5050 and I just decided to go, hey Paddy, what's this about this job?


And he's like, oh, guess what?

The person we've hired has ghosted us.

So we really need somebody urgently.

And it was like the quickest job, higher process I've ever been through.

So that split second decision to reach out and ask a friend, somebody I knew about, something led me to 3 1/2 years.


And you know, promotions from individual contributor to team leads to director.

So yeah, reach out to people, ask them questions.

That is crazy.

And you're not going to expect to hear this from me, but actually went to college with Patty Ryan.


We were in DIT together, yeah.

As well.

I just, I just looked up super quick.

Oh, Pat.

I'm like, Yep, same Patty, yeah.

Oh my God, what?

Talk about a small world.

Patty is a awesome awesome demand Gen. marketer manager and yeah love working with them.


What a small world that is crazy And I guess like with with where where you are right now like in terms of in terms of that like again like on on this theme of like hindsight 2020 if you were to go to yeah the Netherlands how how would how would have things panned out in general like or in other words how would have things panned out if you weren't where you are right now what what will you have been doing.


So that terrifies me because literally so I joined You Relic in March 2020.

So lockdown happened within two weeks.

If I had gone to work for, a travel company, there is no question, I would highly likely have been laid off very soon after that.


And that's crazy.

Yeah, like, I mean it would have been and the other companies I was interviewing with also did around redundancies soon after that.

So luck, I mean, and I I genuinely.


Believe that luck is so, so important to factor in your career and you can't focus on it, right?

And I do think if you're prepared and if you try hard, you know luck will also happen for you.

But you know, that's where you get luckier when you try harder.

That's true.



Well, don't be destroyed Or, you know, try not to be too disheartened by the, you know, knocks.

You'll get knocks as well, you know.

But I mean that moment I just kept my blessings because.

You know, think I've been at new route between a half years and I know for that if I also just moving to a new country and going straight into lockdown, it would have been tough.



I mean, I guess, like, like one thing that I've been reflecting on recently is this notion that the things that are my, the things that like I dislike the most or that are my weaknesses are whenever I choose to, to focus on them.


And as a result, they become a strength the weird way they become my favorite things to to do because because there's a story there And because there is, yeah, there's a there's a story of how like you, you've overcome that.

And it wasn't always it.

It wasn't always like that.


And I was curious like if if you've had something like that as well, something you used to hate that actually you actually love now because you figured out a way to overcome it somehow.

Yeah, yeah.

So I can take a guess, but I want I want you to say that.


I'm gonna say something, so I'm gonna say difficult conversations in work environment.

So again, I found myself kind of specializing in the crisscross between marketing and sales, which you know, a lot of people will try to avoid.


And you know, you'll have marketers say, oh, the fault is with sales not following up the leads.

And you'll have sales, say the leads are, you know, so most a lot of people try to avoid.

The intersection and I I sit there and and so you know I kind of somewhat for reasons you described like I I think again not having ego, trying not to be defensive and listening to the feedback and saying okay, ultimately I want things to work and you know marketing can't consider it successful because it's delivered a lead volume what happens at etcetera.


And so it's actually hunting out complete, let's say, and hunting out, you know, people telling you your baby is ugly.

And this thing that you worked so hard on did, I love that.


So it's like hunting it out, proactively seeking it, asking for it.

Like, yeah.

Proactively welcoming it, you know.

And then?

In enduring the pain it inevitably causes you that you didn't get everything completely right and that it didn't work exactly as expected, but, you know, and and then taking that and and going back with it.


So yeah, I I find myself in a lot of breathing so that everyone's super respectful, you know, and it's all framed.

But of course, when you take your work seriously and it wasn't perfect and didn't go exactly as planned and then you have to pivot quickly and try to make it better.


Yeah, it reminds me of the book Good to Great by John Collins and he talks about the different pillars that make companies.

Yeah, go from good to great.

And one of them is embracing the the brutal reality of of their situation or their life in general and how like that is.


On the one hand, you you can't sugarcoat it.

You just have to face that thing head on.

But on the other hand have relentless optimism that you are going to find a creative way out of it or just a way out of it in general.

So that's something that stuck with me as well.


And it's something that we try and apply over at like Chopcast where you know, we we just try and call things, call, call a spade a spade and literally just address it like head on or at least talk about it openly head on.

And then now that it's there and now that the elephant is officially in the room, we can pretty much like see, right, like how do we actually move forward from here.


So it was something that was pretty difficult for us at the start as well because sometimes you only want to see what you want to see and you're super biased and so on.

But I think that just helped us like get out, Yeah, a better understanding of where things are and how to move forward.


So I agree with you on that.

Yeah, I also think you need.

Be able to trust, you know the people you're having that dialogue with and there can be a lot of fear in the business world.

But again, that's a sign of like a healthy culture that you could admit, hey look, this is, this was not ideal.


You know this is what we need.

And holding your hands up and saying that you know isn't always the most comfortable, but it that's also, as a leader, it's really important to.

Try to encourage that sense of safety.

And you know, it is very common in startups, you know, like Zuckerberg saying fail fast, fail, you know, etcetera, learning from your mistakes.


So for me, a healthy culture that is going to do great things, people have to be able to feel comfortable to say that, you know, not everything you do goes great And what what did we take from it and what can we apply next?


And I remember who was talking to about this the other day.


But like that.

Yeah, like a good culture doesn't mean that everyone's necessarily always agreeing with each other, but rather having an environment where you can basically have these open conversations and agree sometimes and and disagree sometimes.

But I'm trying to you, you remind me of something now that I wanted to get your advice on actually.


And I'm sure our listeners would be equally interested.

Before we started recording you showed me your guitar in the corner and I and you can see my guitars as well.

So we we both have that sort of like artistic thing in common.


I'll be honest with you like I wanted to go study music in college my parents said listen you probably end up on the streets or you'll be a superstar probably on the streets and and and they're like why don't you just keep it as a hobby.

And and then I I tried to go into engineering then architecture then landed on marketing and luckily fell in love with that and so on.


But I guess my question here is that a lot of the people in our network.

They don't necessarily.

Didn't necessarily, sorry.

A lot of people in our audience didn't necessarily know they're going to be doing what they are doing today, whether they're a marketing leader or a business owner or or B2B creator in general.


And the thing that this is a very honest conversation, the thing that's making the money right, is not the same thing that like for me, Chop Chopcast is the revenue driver.

It's not me writing songs in an alternate universe.

I would have loved to be to be a good enough musician at similar to to your to your your fantasy as well like to just go and play music and like tour or something you know.


So give us some advice like do you did you like, abandon all of that or how are you balancing the two?



So I, I, I think of my I I'm constantly.


Actually, I was in New York earlier this year and I wandered around the New York Public Library.

And that was the first time I felt a pang.

And you know, I looked in a pang of the alternate path, the sliding doors moment, you know, like see people riding away at the desk and the beautiful lights and I was suddenly like, but no, what did I leave behind?


Well, yeah, but like as a writer, I guess more than as an academic, but.

Like I I think the truth is one that when something becomes a job, it's very, very different.

You know, when your passion becomes and again I I say this because I know people you know and and then you know you're still under pressure to sell yourself, to promote yourself.


You know, and folks, their music are products at the end of the day.

So I absolutely still have creative ambitions and I rarely find time for them because my work is.

Requires a lot of mental energy and I do love giving it my all, but it is my retirement plan.


And I I I always say to myself 50A beach in Vietnam, that leather bound notebook I bought in New York is coming out of the the drawer again.

But I I I like it's certainly never too late.

Georgette started at 37 and you know, I started marketing at 29.


It's certainly never too late.

Well, it's a very different world nowadays.

Get yourself on TikTok, whatever and see, see if you build an audience that way, you know?

But I I think pay it.

There's a lot for paying the bills.


No, not fair enough.


Fair enough.

I guess for me, like what I'm what I try to do on on a good day is like after work, I just try and pick up one of the instruments and just play something.

And it's almost like I don't see it as a as an effort as much as it is like like like therapy or like the the yin to the Yang are kind of like the IT offsets pretty much like whatever like madness is going through what was going on through the day and so on.


So yeah, interesting perspective for sure.

So or is that.

Yeah, yeah, I'll probably, yeah, we'll probably meet up at the beach over there.

So I guess we're coming to the close of the episode.

I wanted to know if there's anything that you or New Relic wanted to share with the community, and of course where people can find you if you wanted to continue the conversation.



So New Relic, Absolutely there.

We have amazing things happening all the time.

Probably the most widely exciting is our rock AI, which is.

Incredibly interesting.


So it's all about kind of like how a I will automate, you know, pinpointing the issues, you know, that might have caused you know, a website to have a blip etcetera.

So that is going GA very soon and we're also going to be publishing our observability report in the next few months, which is like a an amazing way to get a snapshot of how different organizations are handling it.


And yeah, I mean, I love talking to people about marketing, so if anyone would like more specific advice, happy reach out to me.

A LinkedIn.

I'm like an Internet, so I don't think there are many of us.

So I LinkedIn with that name.

So, yeah, happy to chat to anyone who'd like.


Thank you so much.

Well, it was great having you on the episode.

And yeah, we'll see you soon.

Yeah, Lovely to meet you, Kareem.

Take care.

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