ZECK: Revolutionizing Board Meetings for the Digital Age – An Exclusive Interview with Robert Wolfe

In the latest episode of “Boardroom Chronicles,” Martin Rowinski, CEO and co-founder of Boardsi, sits down with the innovative mind behind ZECK, Robert Wolfe. Wolfe, who is also the co-founder of ZECK, shares a captivating story of how his platform is redefining the traditional boardroom experience by integrating digital solutions that foster greater efficiency and collaboration.

ZECK, an interactive digital workspace, is designed to streamline board operations and enhance the engagement between leadership teams and board members. With features such as detailed analytics, robust compliance management, and stringent data protection, ZECK addresses the common pain points faced in board meetings. Wolfe emphasizes the critical role of board members’ expertise in strategic decision-making and how ZECK makes these meetings more productive and engaging.

 

The journey from Wolfe’s early entrepreneurial ventures with Moosejaw and Crowdrise to the development of ZECK highlights a consistent theme of innovation and social impact. Wolfe and his team identified the inefficiencies and frustrations surrounding board meetings and set out to create a solution that leverages technology for better governance.

 

Digital transformation in boardroom governance is no longer a future possibility but a current necessity. Advancements in artificial intelligence, as discussed by Wolfe, are paving the way for automated tasks and improved quality of board presentations. ZECK’s vision for the future includes harnessing AI to further enhance decision-making processes and governance standards.

 

This interview not only explores the functionalities and benefits of the ZECK platform but also delves into the future of digital governance. With technology continuously evolving, boards must adapt to maintain strategic foresight and ensure their organizations remain competitive and resilient.

 

For leaders, entrepreneurs, and board members seeking insights into successful governance practices and the integration of technology in leadership, this episode of “Boardroom Chronicles” is an essential listen. Discover how ZECK is setting new standards for boardroom efficiency and engagement, and how your organization can benefit from embracing digital transformation in governance.

 

#DigitalGovernance #BoardroomInnovation #ZECK #RobertWolfe #MartinRowinski #LeadershipTechnology #AIBoardrooms #Cybersecurity #ComplianceManagement #Boardsi #StrategicDecisionMaking #FutureOfGovernance

Summary:
Robert Wolfe, co-founder of ZECK, discusses the pain points of traditional board meetings and how ZECK is transforming the boardroom experience. ZECK is an interactive digital workspace that streamlines board operations and fosters collaboration between the leadership team and the board. The platform offers features such as analytics, compliance management, and data protection. Robert emphasizes the importance of leveraging the expertise of board members and making board meetings more engaging and productive. He also discusses the future of digital governance and the role of AI in improving decision-making processes. Takeaways ZECK is a platform that transforms traditional board meetings into interactive digital workspaces, improving efficiency and engagement. Board members should be seen as assets and their expertise should be leveraged to drive strategic decision-making. ZECK offers features such as analytics, compliance management, and data protection to enhance the boardroom experience. The future of digital governance includes advancements in AI, which can automate tasks and improve the quality of board presentations. 
 
Chapters
00:00 Introduction and Background
00:33 The Pain Point of Board Meetings
01:28 ZEC: Transforming Board Meetings
04:21 Digital Transformation in Boardroom Governance
05:15 The Role of ZEC in Modern Boardrooms
08:13 Data Analytics and Decision Making
09:05 Cybersecurity and Data Protection
09:47 Compliance Management Systems
10:38 Technological Expertise in Board Members
11:04 The Importance of Board Collaboration
12:31 ESG Reporting and Sustainability
13:38 Future of Digital Governance
21:11 AI and Innovation in ZECK
23:19 Making Board Meetings More Engaging
25:49 Unconventional Hobbies and Dreams
28:04 Advice for Board Members and Leaders

Martin Rowinski (00:03.469)
Welcome to Boardroom Chronicles podcast. I’m your host, Martin Rowinski Boardsi co -founder and CEO. And today we have a true innovator and serial entrepreneur from founding Moose Joe, a company that revolutionized retail with its unique blend of humor and customer engagement to launching Crowdrise, the platform that made giving back not just important, but fun. Robert has always been at the forefront of creating impactful businesses.

Robert Wolfe (00:13.503)
you

Martin Rowinski (00:33.549)
After the acquisition of both companies, he saw a common pain point that every business seemed to face. The dreaded board meeting process. That’s when he, along with his brother and actor Edward Norton, decided it was time for a change and founded ZECK ZECK isn’t just another business venture for Robert. It’s a mission to eliminate…

that drag on human capital created by traditional board meetings and transform it into an engaging, efficient, and meaningful process. With ZECK board meetings are reimagined into interactive digital workspaces, fostering real engagement and vastly improved decision making. Join us as Robert shares his journey from outdoor retail to tech -driven solutions for social good, his no interest and terrible sleep lifestyle.

and how ZECK is setting a new standard for boardroom efficiency and engagement. Get ready for an insightful conversation on leadership, innovation, and the power of reimagining status quo. Welcome, Robert Wolfe

Robert Wolfe (01:44.043)
Thank you. I feel like we should end it right here. That introduction was… I’m ready. I will do nothing but disappoint everyone from here on out based on that introduction.

Martin Rowinski (01:54.317)
You can’t do that. You cannot do that because Zach is awesome. So this will be great. You might want to get a little bit more center of the camera because I’m missing part of you there.

Robert Wolfe (01:57.227)
Well, thank you.

Robert Wolfe (02:05.099)
Uh, wait, is… Hold on.

Martin Rowinski (02:09.005)
There you go, perfect. Oh, much better. So real quick, before we dive into Zeg, before we dive into talking about boards, my curiosity, and maybe other people are curious, they just haven’t asked the question, but I haven’t seen it. How did Edward Norton come into the picture?

Robert Wolfe (02:10.379)
That’s better? Okay.

Robert Wolfe (02:30.121)
So, Edward and I started our prior company Crowdrise together. So, we’ve known each other and worked together for a long time. And it was in the midst of a conversation, several of us lamenting the challenges we were having dealing with our own boards, both as operators and as board members. And I remember Edward, he had started a company called EDO and…

When we started talking about the pain and misery of the board meeting, Edward said something along the lines of, our team is going to work on this for 100 hours. And no matter how much time we put into it, our board is going to resent us for it, which I think is so telling. Unfortunately, the relationship between the board and the leadership team is antagonistic, and it doesn’t have to be. I think at our company,

Martin Rowinski (03:24.255)
you

Robert Wolfe (03:27.144)
We used to send a board deck that was our shortest board deck at our first company was 134 pages. We would send it to the board three days before the board meeting and expect them to add value. And when they didn’t, we thought it was their fault. Only now years later do I realize that our process was wildly inefficient and it was our fault. But it took a long time to get to get there.

Martin Rowinski (03:53.421)
So that’s how you two are now part of ZECK. And I’ve seen plenty of videos. Obviously, we went through the platform. Super exciting. So let’s dive in real quick. Digital transformation is fundamentally altering the landscape of boardroom governance, presenting both formidable changes and unprecedented opportunities. As organizations navigate,

Robert Wolfe (03:58.28)
Yes.

Robert Wolfe (04:05.224)
Thank you.

Martin Rowinski (04:21.357)
Through the complexities of the digital age, boards are compelled to adapt to a new governance paradigm and emphasize agility, transparency, and strategic foresight. The integration of digital tools and processes not only enhances decision -making capabilities, but also demands a recalibration of traditional governance models to address cybersecurity risk, data privacy concerns,

and the need for digital literacy. This transformation journey offers boards the chance to redefine their role, foster a culture of innovation, and ensure their organizations remain competitive and resilient in an ever -evolving digital world. And I know ZECK definitely solves some of these issues. So let’s talk a little bit about the role of ZECK in modern boardrooms.

Robert Wolfe (05:15.366)
Yeah, I think for us, the typical experience was we would as operators, and I saw the same exact process as a board member, that our team would spend, again, 100 hours building this board presentation. We’d send it across in a format that no one could read on their phone. Our board would presumably go through it only to get into the board meeting a couple days later and have us reread them the deck that they already read.

Martin Rowinski (05:18.623)
you

Robert Wolfe (05:44.933)
It was just a waste of everyone’s time. So when thinking about this, we thought, okay, how do we attack each of these challenges? One, saving the leadership team time. So the idea that CFOs are going in there into a PowerPoint or Google Flies and figuring out where the squares and circles in a rectangle should live is just an archaic approach. Nobody cares. So…

Martin Rowinski (05:48.013)
you

Robert Wolfe (06:13.188)
How do we make that process significantly faster? So this isn’t a pencils down for the entire company moment. Next, nobody reads in slides. Nobody wakes up in the morning and reads the news in slides. If you go to anyone who is watching this, I promise not a single person has their website formatted in a series of rectangles. So why are we doing this for the board meeting? So…

For us, it was how do we allow leadership teams to present the information in a significantly more modern fashion, right? So for us, we actually, we just like slides so much that we were building our updates in Squarespace. And that took so much time. We used to joke about that the only people on our team who saw the EBITDA were our board and a graphic, a part -time graphic designer who we had to hire.

Martin Rowinski (06:53.325)
you

Robert Wolfe (07:10.883)
to build the Squarespace site, right? So just completely inefficient. But then most importantly, how do we create collaboration between the leadership team and the board? So I don’t think there was nothing better that could have happened to us than the melee that happened with OpenAI between Sam Altman and his team, because it just showed the challenges of miscommunication between leadership teams and the board. And it was probably much more than that, but that was the headline. So…

the idea that board members can collaborate with the team as opposed to getting into the live meeting and reading through a series of slides or off a PDF. That’s been the real game changer. So now you’re in the board meetings talking about strategy, next steps. I’m on the board of a nonprofit in Detroit and I’ve been on the board about five years. I have never once left that board meeting with a to do.

until that nonprofit started using Zack. So I’ll stop there, I know I’m ranting.

Martin Rowinski (08:13.183)
Yeah, no, it’s fine. And you know what I love about it is literally the morning of the board meeting, not that you would, but if you needed a refresher, I can grab my cell phone, just pull it right up on the cell phone, the ZECK, AKA the deck, but it’s not a deck, it’s a ZECK. And I can go through on my cell phone and it’s perfectly formatted. I mean, everything in it, the spreadsheets,

Robert Wolfe (08:33.492)
Yes.

Martin Rowinski (08:42.381)
the top line financials, the things that you need to see quickly go through as a refresher before jumping in a board meeting. I mean, that’s brilliant. Makes communication a lot more efficient. And yeah, document management. I mean, all of it just really stream streamlines the board operations. That’s, I mean, I love that.

Robert Wolfe (08:55.073)
Yes, thank you.

Robert Wolfe (09:05.825)
Yeah, thank you. You know what’s been really cool is the analytics. So, okay, awesome.

Martin Rowinski (09:12.429)
I was just going to say that, talk a little bit about the data analytics and the decision making. Yes, please.

Robert Wolfe (09:18.08)
So for us, we never knew if our board was actually reading the presentations we sent. So Zech has pretty deep analytics. So the idea is to be very forthcoming with your board and tell them you know whether or not they’re reading the presentation, exactly how much time they’re spending and where they’re spending that time. So A, prior to the board meeting, if you have seven board members and two days beforehand, you know that two of them haven’t read it.

you can reach out to them and say, hey, listen, if you don’t have time, at least read these two deep dives because that’s where we’re going to spend our time in the live meeting. But also for the leadership team, I’m on the board of a company and they have their leadership team doing the presentation. And then they also have those who lead, they call them their division updates. So those who lead each division. It turns out that through three board meetings in ZACH, I was the only board member who ever read,

even one second of those division updates, which are a pain in the ass for them to put together, they will never do them again. They just eliminated it from the ZAC. So again, no one should be flying blindly here. Having access to those kinds of analytics are really meaningful, even beyond the board deck for investor updates and other use cases also.

Martin Rowinski (10:29.869)
you

Martin Rowinski (10:38.477)
Yeah, I mean, sometimes you provide data that you think is valuable, but if no one’s looking at it, why waste time? So, yeah, that’s it’s great analytics to have. Now let’s talk about cybersecurity and data protection with cybersecurity being so crucial these days. Can you talk a little bit about how ZECK ensures the protection of sensitive information and supports boards and adhering to data protection regulations?

Robert Wolfe (10:44.063)
Exactly.

Robert Wolfe (11:04.926)
Yes, so I’ll just give you my real life experiences that our prior company Crowdrise, we had a whole trust and security team. And we spent a lot of time dealing with that and protecting donor information, yet we would send our board presentations with a PDF over open email and never thought twice about it, which was totally insane. So…

Martin Rowinski (11:09.581)
Thank you.

Martin Rowinski (11:23.757)
you

Robert Wolfe (11:32.541)
ZECK takes it to the whole extreme, so you cannot log into the ZECK unless the leadership team has given you specific information to do so. So if Martin, you were on my board and I sent you the ZECK and you forwarded it along to one of your partners, he or she would not be able to open it. Beyond that, what’s been really helpful is that because we’re building ZECK for this very specific use case,

the permissioning for the leadership team is different than other tools also. So the way that we dealt with our presentations is that because not everyone on the team had access to all the information, so people on our leadership team couldn’t see the option grants, they couldn’t see the HR section, not everyone could see the financials. So the practice, which is pretty universal, is everyone would create their own individual sections and slides, send them to me,

Martin Rowinski (12:03.309)
you

Martin Rowinski (12:21.677)
you

Robert Wolfe (12:31.355)
and I would have to take all of those slides and create one final presentation. Never once, and we loved our team, but never once did everyone follow the brand guidelines. So I was spending my time switching fonts from Arial to Helvetica, fixing the indents. What ZECK does is it gives its security and permissions by section. So I can give the marketing person access to her section.

Martin Rowinski (12:33.709)
you

Martin Rowinski (12:44.031)
you

Robert Wolfe (13:00.699)
and that is all she will see. She will see nothing else. So, and then there’s other pieces out there. There’s a legal admin. So we’re really trying to embrace security as a real positive and upside. And we just launched ZECK AI last week, which is mind blowing. But we pull from the LLMs, we don’t get back, nor does the AI train across ZECK.

Martin Rowinski (13:26.349)
you

Robert Wolfe (13:28.506)
So there’s a walled garden is the term our engineers use. And so there are zero security issues when it comes to the AI also, which is pretty cool, particularly when you have big security oriented companies who are in the security business using ZECK for their board meetings.

Martin Rowinski (13:38.861)
you

Martin Rowinski (13:47.309)
Absolutely. Super important. I mean, AI is great, but you got to make sure, especially when it comes to board, you got to make sure that stays contained.

Robert Wolfe (13:56.89)
Yes, so we’re pulling the information but giving nothing back, which I like particularly because at our prior company, all we talked at Crowdrise, our whole life was around giving back. So we just like to know it now at Zach talking about the fact that we’re not giving back at all, at least when it comes to the AI.

Martin Rowinski (14:15.469)
Let’s talk about compliance management systems, the role of technology in helping boards stay up to date with regulatory changes and how ZECK supports automated compliance tasks and policy.

Robert Wolfe (14:30.521)
So again, we think we’re at an advantage because we have lived this. And when our prior company was being acquired by GoFundMe, we knew we took board meeting minutes. We literally couldn’t find them. So we had to redo board meeting minutes to put in the data room. And I think our experience is what CEOs do.

go through, they don’t want to spend their time on the minutia of governance and compliance. So with Zach, there’s digitized voting, there’s auto generated board meeting minutes, and the compliance features are entirely customer driven. So we are building based on the needs of the customers. So one example is that our customers wanted their council to have access to their governance suite.

but nothing else. So we recently built a legal admin who can come in and deal with those compliance concerns, but not have access to any other parts of the presentation. So we’re constantly getting feedback and trying to be super conservative when it comes to all of the governance. Our law firm, Cooley, built it all. So none of your listeners need to worry about someone as foolish as me.

Martin Rowinski (15:38.495)
you

Robert Wolfe (15:55.799)
building the compliance piece of the platform. So that part has been really well received. I’ll just mention one other feature we built is something we’re calling Prevote, which is a non -binding vote that board members can take prior to the board meeting. So if you’re sending out your ZECK and eight out of eight board members approve the minutes in advance, again, non -binding, but when you get into the board meeting, the…

Martin Rowinski (15:56.077)
Good.

Robert Wolfe (16:25.558)
legal admin sees eight out of eight have approved, you click a button and you’re done. You don’t need to spend 45 minutes talking about whether the minutes from the prior board meeting are approved. It’s significantly more efficient.

Martin Rowinski (16:33.709)
That’s incredible. What about ESG reporting and sustainability?

Robert Wolfe (16:47.061)
So that part is really, again, it’s customer driven. So the customers, it’s not our platform, it’s their platform. So the way we deal with the content is, and I’ll say it this way, because when we launched, we essentially, we would land a sale and give customers a blank screen. That didn’t work well enough. So now what we do is when a customer signs up,

Martin Rowinski (17:00.813)
you

Robert Wolfe (17:15.509)
we actually take their prior, their most recent board deck and build basically what is a custom board site for them. So they’re starting off at a nine instead of a zero. So any way that they’re embracing any kind of compliance or that’s already a part of their system when they start because we’re building it in for them. So we’re basically taking our best practices and their real content and that’s their starting point.

Martin Rowinski (17:47.021)
Awesome. And I’m going to touch on this because this is another feature that I love. Not every board member is technology savvy. So discuss the importance of having board members with technological expertise and how ZECK can actually assist boards that are lacking the digital strategies and technological literacy.

Robert Wolfe (18:13.331)
Well, first, we think the product is pretty good, but we are better at service and adoption. So, we call it our success team, basically our customer service team is pretty relentless. We have a checklist and we will onboard the team and the board until they are through the checklist and then are available 24 hours a day, basically every waking moment to help.

Martin Rowinski (18:18.125)
It’s great.

Robert Wolfe (18:43.091)
So you’ll see on our homepage, we say you’ll have our CEOs selling up cell phone. That is not bullshit. That’s actually true. So we dig in very deeply on the adoption side, again, for both the leadership team and the board. I think more importantly, board members are used to this, right? So this sounds like a line, but my mom is literally the person who tests this. She knows how to use the internet. She bets on DraftKing. She plays grid with her friends online.

Martin Rowinski (18:54.253)
you

Robert Wolfe (19:12.53)
So the experience isn’t foreign to board members. And just the fact, if you think about the where people are spending their time, 75 % of our traffic is on the phone. So the idea, and you mentioned it previously, that board members can now consume this content on their phone, just makes it so much easier for them to get through it. Plus, Zach, we really, it serves as a forcing function.

so that the team is surfacing the information that the board members will care about most. So I’ll give you an example. At our companies, when we said to everyone on the team, you have three slides you can work with for your section. If someone had six slides, they would just cut the font size down in half. Zach, you can’t do that. So Zach, there is read time. So CEOs say to their team, you have five minutes of read time for your section. If you end up with 11 minutes, you have two choices. One is…

you cut six minutes out, or you include that additional information as links. The same exact way the rest of the internet works, there is no appendix. You are adding that additional information as links. So I, as a board member, when I’m reading, if I want to click through for more information, I’m clicking on the link, I’m reading it, I’m hitting the X, and I’m right back where I started. So much easier. So now, instead of board members getting that 134 page board deck that we sent out,

that immediately creates antagonism or resentment, they’re getting something that’s a 19 -minute read time that they can read on their phone. It just changes the dynamic entirely.

Martin Rowinski (20:51.053)
Now I know you’re extremely creative. You already know I love Zach. Looking ahead at the evolving landscape of digital governance and how Zach plans to adapt and innovate to meet future governance challenges, what does that look like? I mean, you guys have done a phenomenal job, but I know you’re not done. Anything you can get?

Robert Wolfe (21:11.279)
Thank you. No, thank you. I think part of it is the big piece is AI. So what the AI is doing today is already, it’s absolutely mind blowing. The idea that I can put in a couple tables and in a quick, just five sentences of thoughts off the top of my head and click a button and the output.

is smarter than any person can write is pretty insane. And the next items on our roadmap are just the time savings and the output for the board. Again, it’s, it’s just mind blowing. So the notion that I will be able, and this is not conceptual, that I will be able to take Excel or Google data from Excel or Google Sheets and tell the AI to create my

graph or pie chart, that I don’t have to build that. I can literally just tell them to do it. And it can give me five different options to choose from. And I click a button and that’s what goes in the presentation. It’s just crazy. And again, not only is it a time saver, the content is better than a person can do themselves. And again, all secure. So where all this can go is pretty crazy. So we’re going deeply into AI right now, but it’s…

It’s entirely customer driven. So the first feature that we went out with was built based on a survey of all our customers, same with the second and third, and then we’ll go out again to our customer list and ask them what they need.

Martin Rowinski (22:52.333)
That is awesome. And just to mention, if people don’t understand how easy it is to build the deck, I mean, you literally drag and drop a spreadsheet and pop it right in there. So yeah, I can only imagine building the graph with AI is probably even easier. But yeah, great, great work. Anything else you want to add? Because I do have some fun questions for you. But before I do, Ben.

Robert Wolfe (23:06.701)
Yeah, thank you.

It’s crazy.

Thank you.

Robert Wolfe (23:19.02)
I’ll just, you know what, I’ll just one additional note is that this sort of goes to one of the reasons we started Zack is that at our first company Moose Jaw, we were really foolish. I don’t know if you know backpackers and climbers, but they tend to take themselves very seriously. I was one of them and we wanted to figure out a way to make it fun. And.

Martin Rowinski (23:33.965)
you

Robert Wolfe (23:47.243)
Then at our second company, Crowdrise, the idea was if we can figure out a way to make giving back fun, more people would give to the causes they care about and they do it more often. And when we started looking at the landscape of board meetings, I can’t quite say we’re going to make it fun, but we are definitely making it less miserable. And we don’t take ourselves too seriously. If anyone goes to our site and clicks on the madness section, the content is…

is entirely crazy. So the idea is that if people like the process instead of dread it like we did, it’s going to be more productive. So that’s what we’re trying to achieve. So some of our ads are pretty silly and crazy and not what you’d think about when you think about the board meeting. Just the idea that Edward Norton, who’s an actor, is so deeply involved, I think is reflective of the idea that this is bigger than just…

Martin Rowinski (24:16.589)
I’m going to go.

Robert Wolfe (24:44.779)
flipping a deck to a ZECK, we are actually trying to make a change so that companies like ours don’t have to deal with this misery and stress every quarter.

Martin Rowinski (24:55.277)
Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I mean, boardroom meetings are not known for fun. People do read them. And at the same time, I think that cuts of creativity. So if you can make it, let’s not say fun, but if you can make it where it’s easier to have a meeting, it stays focused. And like you said, for the people that love details, they click a link, they go and read about it. They come right back by Xing it out. So I think.

That creates a lot more creativity in a boardroom. And I think you’re going to get a lot more out of it. That’s the bottom line, right?

Robert Wolfe (25:32.841)
Absolutely. If people are more interested in or self -interested, it just works better. I mean for us, the only good parts of the board meeting was when we brought Dairy Queen in for everybody. So that was the most fun part.

Martin Rowinski (25:44.973)
Thank you.

Martin Rowinski (25:49.261)
That’s funny. All right, so here’s the first fun question. If you had to choose a mascot for Zek based on your own sleeping habits, what would it be and why?

Robert Wolfe (25:59.977)
Oh, that’s a tough question, a mascot. I’m going to go with a squirrel.

Martin Rowinski (26:06.029)
Whirl.

Robert Wolfe (26:06.217)
I don’t think there’s any squirrel mascots out there. We could be the first.

Martin Rowinski (26:11.341)
There you go. And speaking of your sleep habits, since you’re a terrible sleeper, if you had the chance to dream about an invention to improve board meetings, obviously outside of ZECK, what would it be and how bizarre could it get? And I know you’re pretty creative.

Robert Wolfe (26:28.552)
Oh, I don’t know. That’s another tough one.

I feel like anything to make them more fun. I mean, if that’s that’s would be the dream. So I don’t think you quite want to bring the circus in to do your presentations. But I mean, we had we had people coming in suits and we’re all revved up to be mad and mean. And the that the meeting was characterized by here’s everything you fucked up.

as opposed to how can we help? And I feel like one of the things that we’re trying to do, and I guess this is part of the dream, is how do we just make these more forward -looking, more strategic, so that it’s helpful, as opposed to the meeting you dread most four times a year. So I’m not quite sure if that answers the question, but that’s the dream.

Martin Rowinski (27:30.445)
No, that answers the question. I think you’re definitely on the right path. That’s for sure. We’re there. Now, obviously, you founded companies and advised many others. If you had to give up entrepreneurship to pursue an entirely different hobby, what would it be the most unexpected hobby you’d pick up?

Robert Wolfe (27:36.775)
Thank you.

Robert Wolfe (27:52.742)
Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know if this would be unexpected because I’m a maniacal Michigan football fan, but I’d either be coaching the team or be quarterback one of the two.

Martin Rowinski (28:04.269)
That’s awesome. That’s fine that you said Michigan. I actually just a few weeks, right before Saturday before Super Bowl, I got a chance to meet Jim. Yeah. Yeah. Great guy. Great guy. Yeah. I was sitting right next to him and his wife at a restaurant. We were at a restaurant called Sushi Samba here in Las Vegas. And we’re just getting ready to go to the U2 concert. And we had to chat with them for a while. Yeah.

Robert Wolfe (28:10.854)
No way, that’s awesome. That is really cool. Yeah, no, I… Where were you at?

Robert Wolfe (28:26.95)
Oh, that’s sweet.

Wow. Oh, that is so cool. Yeah, no, I am a big believer in luck and I got to go to the Rose Bowl and the National Championship game with my kids. So that was, for me, that’s as lucky as it gets.

Martin Rowinski (28:35.245)
Thank you.

Martin Rowinski (28:45.645)
Oh, that’s awesome. It’s priceless. Well, and anything else you want to add for any board members out there, companies, leaders, up and coming leaders? I mean, you’ve got some success stories. I know we didn’t dive deep into those on this podcast. We can do another one just on leadership talks. But any inspiration?

Robert Wolfe (28:48.439)
Yes.

Robert Wolfe (29:10.02)
I don’t know if it’s quite inspiration, but I think the board should be leaned on as an asset as opposed to be looked at as a pain in the ass. Because hopefully you have people on your board who actually have expertise and can help you and it should be their responsibility to help. And I feel like if you can make it easy for them to do so, then you’ll get so much more out of it. One of our board members, and this is part of our, became part of our ZECK template because it was so helpful to us.

is I had a call with him every two weeks and there was one agenda and this is a famous VC board member who was amazing and we had a call every two weeks and there was one agenda item and it was what’s keeping me up at night and so I had to prepare for it and it was so helpful for me to have to think through that and get on a call a quick call with him every two weeks it was every single time.

I probably did 50 of these calls with them. Never once was it not helpful to me. So I feel like for us at our first company, we just, we avoided the board as much as we could. Again, I think it was our fault that we didn’t have a productive relationship with them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I do now. But at our second company, we really leaned on the board and they were amazing for us. So.

That would be, I guess, my one piece of advice would be probably aside from adopting Zach, listen to nothing else I have to say ever about anything. And then the other piece of advice is definitely use your board as much as you can.

Martin Rowinski (30:49.965)
Awesome. I love that advice because you know what we do at Boardsight, we build boards and that’s our whole concept is find board members that can do exactly that. Be effective, not be afraid of them, but actually go. You hired them for a reason. You brought them on your board for a reason. So find the ones that will help you. You sounds like you had a great one every two weeks. That’s probably why you didn’t sleep, by the way, because you were looking for one.

Robert Wolfe (30:54.883)
Yes.

Robert Wolfe (31:17.409)
That’s one of the reasons. I used to think it was a curse. Now, not being able to sleep. Now I view it as a positive.

Martin Rowinski (31:19.469)
But yeah, no.

Martin Rowinski (31:28.781)
That’s awesome. But yeah, no, I we agree with you, obviously, 100 percent. Having strategic board members that want to be effective is the key to success for any company. And yeah, you should rely on them and get their help. That’s what they’re there for. So don’t just recruit them just for the fun of it.

Robert Wolfe (31:43.809)
Yes, agreed. And everything you all are doing is awesome and obviously a really important part of what we’re trying to do at ZAC because none of this works if the board members aren’t engaged. So if you’re using ZAC and the board members aren’t engaging and trying to help, it’s a fail.

Martin Rowinski (31:58.125)
Exit.

Martin Rowinski (32:03.693)
Yep, absolutely. Awesome. Robert, thank you for your time. Appreciate it. Love having you on this show and I look forward further working with you as I know we will. So again, thank you.

Robert Wolfe (32:10.305)
Thank you.

Robert Wolfe (32:16.896)
Awesome. Thank you so much.

 

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