"Category design is about teaching the market to come to you."
On this episode of the Achieve Your Goals podcast, Christopher Lochhead is here teach you what it means to play bigger and live a legendary life!
Christopher is the co-author of Harper Collins’ “instant classic” Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets and co-host of the Legends and Losers podcast.
Christopher is a retired three-time, Silicon Valley, public company CMO, category designer and entrepreneur. Fast Company Magazine calls him a “Human Exclamation Point”, The Marketing Journal says he is one of “The Best Minds In Marketing” and The Economist calls him “off-putting to some”.
At 18 he got thrown out of school and with no other options he started a company. After 30 years in business he’s mostly retired. From time to time he coaches a courageous CEO and exec team in category design and marketing. He’s also a proud advisor to nonprofit 1 Life Fully Lived, an ass-kicking speaker, surf and ski bum, and is living happily ever after with a wonderful tribe and 7 hens in Santa Cruz California.
In today’s inspiring conversation, you’ll learn why having the best product or service is not enough if you want to dominate your market. You have to think differently about your business, solve problems that your customers don’t know they have, and create demand where it didn’t exist before. During today’s conversation, Christopher dives deep into the topic of category design and how you can apply it to create a legendary company.
- [01:45] Chris explains what makes Hal Elrod a legendary Category Designer!
- [05:22] What exactly is Category Design?
- [06:51] Discover the 3 keys to carving out a unique niche and differentiating yourself in the marketplace.
- [09:52] Why making your product or service better isn’t enough if you want to become the best.
- [12:14] How Pablo Picasso taught the world to think differently about art.
- [15:44] Chris shares a simple yet powerful premise that every entrepreneur needs to realize… Position yourself or be positioned!
- [19:06] Why the category makes the brand.
- [21:49] How he became a successful entrepreneur and pursued a life of happiness despite being kicked out of school at age 18.
- [26:36] Chris shares a fun story that demonstrates how to play bigger than you are.
- [31:14] Why there is no greater achievement in life than living simple.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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[00:00:31] Jon Berghoff: Welcome everybody to Achieve Your Goals Podcast. I’m Jon Berghoff standing in for Hal Elrod. If you’re just tuning in and curious, who I am or why I am standing in, you can always go back and listen to episode 152. The short story is, Hal is winning a battle against a crazy rare form of cancer right now. So as we always do at the kick off, of an episode, please take a moment, send some positive energy, some love, some healing vibes towards Hal, his family and also towards everyone else in your world including yourselves, because if you believe that sending out that energy can have something positive for others, then it will. Thank you for tuning in.
[00:01:10] Jon Berghoff: We’ve got an awesome episode today. It’s fun for me because I got to know Christopher Lochhead, the author of Play Bigger. If you are watching us on live stream, I’m holding up his book right now, go ahead and just go download a copy or order a copy on Amazon right away. We are going to talk to Christopher about, what category design is? We are going to talk about what it means to build a legendary life and follow Christopher, learn more from him. Make sure you go check out Legends and Losers Podcast.
[00:01:37] Jon Berghoff: Christopher, thanks for being here today.
[00:01:39] Christopher Lochhead: Jon I’m stoked to be here with you and everybody in the Miracle Morning world.
[00:01:43] Jon Berghoff: This is kind of cool. I just thought of the irony to this. That you and I are here to talk about for entrepreneurs or anybody who is considering being an entrepreneur, this idea or creating a category and here we are speaking to a community that in my mind represents the creation of a category. Like Hal created a category, didn’t he?
[00:02:01] Christopher Lochhead: Well, he obviously did and he may not know this but I’m happy to explain why but he is a legendary category designer because he has created a really, a new category that he dominates in this whole world of personal improvement and you know the miracle morning has become a lifestyle category. That is to say, that is something that obviously people do every day. And so not only has he a new category for himself as a guru, as a coach, as an author, of course as a podcaster. But maybe even more importantly, you know for all of us, he’s created a new category of behavior in the morning. He’s taught us all that we should take some time, particularly at that first hour or so in the morning to review what’s important and touch on a key couple things that really matter to us, get ourselves centered and grounded or remind ourselves of who we are so that we can focus on who we want to be during the day.
The reality is, it’s one thing to create a new category for himself and his business but I think it’s even more impressive that Hal has really created, if you will, a new category of our day, of what we do on pretty much a daily basis and he’s made a huge difference as a result. So, shout out to Hal, we want you to get better, we want you back in the one life world. I know I can speak for my adopted brother Tim Rhode and say that we would love to see him back in that community as well but more importantly just back out in the world making the difference that only Hal can make.
[00:03:26] Jon Berghoff: That’s awesome. Hal you would love to know buddy that, Christopher was kind enough to host me along with my good friend Scott Laury at his home a couple of weeks ago and we got to experience, to me it was a miracle day and a half but we got to experience a miracle morning on the beach which Christopher was awesome. You lit a little bit of a fire with Scot and I introducing us to the mixed martial arts that you practice in the setting of all settings. What a beautiful place that you live. Congrats on what you’ve created for yourself and for others. It was cool. Thanks for having us.
[00:03:56] Christopher Lochhead: Thank you. I’m so glad that you and Scott came and not only did we get to do a lot of great work together on category design for flow and otherwise, we got to behave a little badly which is always fun and we did get to have a miracle morning. I’m lucky enough that I live two blocks away from the beach here in the beautiful town of Santa Cruz California and it’s always fun to go train in a gym or a dojo or wherever. The best dojo in the world, the best place to train in the world I think is on the beach. So to be able to take you and Scott out for your first ever martial arts training program and to do it in the morning, on the sand, standing out at the Pacific Ocean as we try to punch each other in the face, it was pretty miraculous I think.
[00:04:40] Jon Berghoff: It was awesome and you know whether it was punching each other on the face on the sand or what I’m looking at if you are watching this stream live, the background on your wall. One of the things I admire about you is you really care about your environment and you care about designing a life, and so later in this episode, I want this to get personal and I want our audience to get to hear how it is that for a long time, you’ve cared about designing a lifestyle that lines up with your values but let’s start with what you’ve recently made a splash with.
[00:05:07] Jon Berghoff: Your book Play Bigger, it’s all about how pirates, dreamers and innovators create and dominate markets and your podcasts that really just expands on that concept. Where do you want to start? We’ve said this phrase ‘category design’. Let’s introduce what is category design? What is that?
[00:05:26] Christopher Lochhead: Sure, there’s a couple of ways you can think about it. The clearest way off the top is category design is a new management discipline that allows either an individual in their life, in their career or a business, a corporation or an enterprise of any kind really to design a unique niche or place for themselves in the market, and design that niche… To quote our friend Scott which I rip him off all the time. Scott said, “Design your niche and get rich.” Maybe we should say, design your niche and get nouveaux rich. And so category design is really about carving out a unique category or niche for yourself that you can dominate and as such be viewed as solving a problem that matters. And if you take a really big step back Jon and you study, what is it that legendary entrepreneurs have done over time, in particular, what have they done that’s different?
And most of us when we want to try to do something legendary in our lives, we think about, you know designing a great product or service and second designing a great business to deliver that product or service and those are the two big levers if you will, that most innovators, most entrepreneurs pull. And so whatever the challenge they face they pull those, “I want to make our product better, we’re going to expand our company, we’re going to hire more people, we’re going to modify our business model,” whatever we are going to do. And those two things of course are incredibly important but when you study the legends, here’s what you learn, they pull three levers or ‘leavers’, is it levers or ‘leavers’ Jon?
[00:06:58] Jon Berghoff: I don’t know. Can somebody look that up, is it levers or leavers? Let’s find that out.
[00:07:02] Christopher Lochhead: Maybe it’s, I don’t want you to leave me, so maybe it’s a lever.
[00:07:05] Jon Berghoff: What would be? In its plural lever is actually levers or is it levi?
[00:07:10] Christopher Lochhead: Yeah, and you know my buddy David Sheldon who’s been a big fan and supporter of Legends of Losers, he gave me one recently which is, “what is the plural of cul de sac? Is it cul de sacs? Is it culs de sacs?” Anyway we have got to be careful when we talk about sacs, but I digress. And so when the legends pull three levers they design a legendary category, product and company. And another way to think about it Jon is, every market was designed or set up by somebody.
So a simple question I like to think about, once you start to play with category design, you’ll see categories everywhere. Which is, why is it that you can buy an incredible flat screen TV at Costco for about $150 and if you want a high end pair of sunglasses, they cost about $300? And so you think about if you have a value exchange of that, one product is this incredible piece of technology that talks to a satellite hovering over planet earth and the other product blocks the sun out of your eyes.
And one’s worth double over the other. And if you took a step back you could really I think build an argument that the television should be more expensive than the sun glasses just based on the merit of the product. But the way that category got designed, somebody taught us or you will conditioned the market to think about a problem and a solution in a very specific way. And so what category designers do is they carve out a niche for themselves by expressing a point of view that frames a problem and when the world agrees with them about that problem, ah ha!
That’s how you get the Apple iPad. That’s how you get 5 hour energy. That’s how you get Sara Blakely and Spanx. That’s how you get Clarence Birdseye and he is the category designer of frozen food, before Clarence there was food, and canned food and in the 20’s he invented frozen food and he built a category and the company delivering.
[00:09:11] Christopher Lochhead: So my point Jon is that every product or service that you and I love, exists because some legendary innovator either on purpose or by accident, what we call on a book Play Bigger, prosecuted the magic triangle, that is to say that they got product, company and category right at the same time. And people who do that, carve out a place for themselves that’s really differentiated and that’s really the three levers that the legends pull that’s sort of the typical entrepreneur who’s never heard about category design or maybe didn’t have that natural intuition about teaching the market to think in the way they wanted them to.
[00:09:52] Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Tell me if I’ve got this right. But what I hear and is so helpful for me, because when I think about my services that I offer as an entrepreneur I get so caught up thinking about the features and the benefits, the bells and whistles, it’s got to be faster, better, and it’s got to do more of this or that. Right?
[00:10:11] Christopher Lochhead: Yeah.
[00:10:12] Jon Berghoff: And what I hear you saying is, “hey that’s all great,” but I’m reminded of my days at Vitamix. We had what we thought was undeniably the best product in the world. It did all the cool things better than everything else but what I was reminded of through that experience and I feel like you have articulated in such an easy to understand way is that we still had to convince the market place, that this wasn’t just another version of a blender but it was something different. And so I’d love, maybe give us a few more examples or the kinds of questions that our listeners should be asking themselves to make sure that they are really focusing on not just making their product better but how they are telling their story better. Any thoughts on that?
[00:10:51] Christopher Lochhead: Yeah. Lots of thoughts on that Jon. For better for worse it’s my life’s work, so yeah I got a lot of thought on that. The interesting thing is category design is about teaching the world to think about things the way you want them to in particular problem and solution. And so to your point, if your innovation requires that and you can make that happen, it’s the distinction between creating pull and push. That is to say. If you think about most people when they start a business or maybe they are a solo entrepreneur or whatever they are doing or just in their career they are on a one on one basis trying to communicate what makes them good at what they do and why they are valuable. And so that’s if you will, a sales type of situation. Right?
[00:11:34] Jon Berghoff: Yeah.
[00:11:35] Christopher Lochhead: And in a business environment, a lot of people call that go to market. We need to have a go to market strategy. And that’s essentially enabling us to reach out and touch the people that we want and then when we engage with those people, how will we do it, whether it’s digitally or in person or however we are doing it. That we are on a one on one basis essentially tell them our story in hopes that we can win them over to our point of view and they are open to potentially buying what we have to sell. And so that’s go to market. Category design is about teaching the market to come to you.
So you know there is that famous victor Hugo quote where he says, “All the armies of the world can’t stop an idea whose time has come.” Category design is about making it your time. And so I’ll give you a specific example, it’s one of, sort of, really love, which is Pablo Picasso. Arguably the most famous painter in the world and I’m not an expert on painting by any stretch of imagination. But what I do know is, at the beginning of his career, if you look at a lot of his early work done, what you see is nice paintings and there are sunsets and ladies and food or whatever the hell he was painting at the time.
[00:12:41] Jon Berghoff: Yeah.
[00:12:42] Christopher Lochhead: And people thought, “Oohh yeah. Talented painter,” but he was just another guy doing landscapes or whatever he was doing. And it’s only when he started to paint with those squares and take the boob and stick it where the ear is supposed to be and take the eye and stick it where the arm is supposed to be and make it look the way we understand a Picasso to look today that he ultimately became Picasso. Know here is the interesting thing, if he had just done that and said here are my paintings, the world would have looked at him and said,
[00:13:11] Jon Berghoff: “What’s wrong with you?”
[00:13:13] Christopher Lochhead: Clearly, we know there is something that you are drinking and maybe hallucinating or something is involved here. Are you crazy? And so I would pose it to you Jon that his greatest design, his greatest piece of art is the creation of a new category of art called cubism. See his breakthrough was so innovative that in order for you and I to be able to look at it and judge it on its merit or on the merit that he wanted us to judge it on, we couldn’t compare it to what it had come before. Because if you compared a typical landscape or a beautiful portrait or whatever to these weird things on squares on all over the place you would go like one is crazy and one is great. Because the point of reference was a beautiful landscape or what have you.
So he literally with a different and I use that word on purpose, point of view, teaches the world or if you will, opens the world up to a new definition or a new interpretation of what art is. And when he teaches us about how to think about and appreciate cubism then “POW” he becomes the number one cubist artist in the world. And so here is what I would argue to, that what makes Picasso, Picasso is actually the category called cubism. And without people accepting that as a new and distinct category and therefore him is if you will the category king, if you would have compared him to what he had come before, then everybody just goes, “That guy is crazy, he is painting the boob where the ear should be, everything is in squares, this thing is nuts,” well we are not paying attention.
So it’s his point of view that cubism is a new type of art and therefore requires a whole new way of appreciating art that then opens the world up to see the genius to what he is doing. And it turns out that it’s that, if you will market education and point of view around why they are doing something different, that’s something that many of those greatest innovators over time intuitively understood. They understood how to teach the market to think differently. That’s what Steve Jobs did, that’s what Larry Ellison the founder of Oracle did, that’s what Marc Benioff the founder of Salesforce did, that’s what Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook did and that’s what Sarah Blakely the founder of Spanx did.
[00:15:27] Jon Berghoff: Great example. When you say point of view it reminds me of my old school sales training days. With all these different words framing or positioning and really you just described it so well with that example. It’s teaching people how to view something and to see what it is in a whole new different way. Tell us about maybe in your book Play Bigger, what’s some of the advice that you would give to an entrepreneur who’s trying to develop their point of view.
What are maybe some of the components that they need to make sure? Okay I have got to have an answer to this question and this question. Like when we were at your house it was really cool because you showed us examples of companies and how they have articulated their point of view where by the time you hear it at the end, you cannot deny that they have created a new frame around something. One example maybe would be, I learned from you about this idea of metrics that matter. Deciding how they are going to bucket you or you decide how they are going to see it otherwise they’ll put you in a position that you don’t want. Talk about that.
[00:16:26] Christopher Lochhead: Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up Jon. All of what you just said is built on a simple but powerful premise which is, in the world whether as an individual or as a company, the world is going to position you or you are going to position yourself. You know one of the great things that Mohammed Ali rest his soul said was, “Well if I don’t tell them on the greatest, how they are going to know?” And so there was an athlete, positioning himself as the greatest boxer of all time and of course everybody in the world called him the greatest boxer of all time and you know most serious boxing fans would tell you that there were and are other boxers who you might consider greater as a pure boxer but there’s nobody who even considers that Mohammed Ali isn’t the greatest of all time because that’s what he said.
And so it starts with this notion of position yourself or be positioned. Know when you unpack that Jon, what you realize is that, you and I as human beings put everything into buckets in our head because that’s how we relate to it. So for example, if someone starts talking to me about you know the Chrysler Voyager product. Well I don’t have children and I don’t have any interest in a minivan and so if you say Chrysler Voyager to me, that’s not a vehicle that I’m going to be interested in and the reason I’m not, you can scream your brand name out to me all you want, you can do ads on TV, you can be in my email inbox, you can be in my social media with you are Chrysler Voyager but I don’t care about that category because I’m an uncle, not a dad. So I don’t care about a category called minivan and I understand the brand Chrysler Voyager is inside of this mega brand called vehicle and this subcomponent of the vehicle called minivan.
On the other hand if you say, “Hey, there’s a new mustang coming out,” now you are talking to me. Why? Because I’m an adult, male and I’ve decided a long time ago I think that category called muscle cars are freaking cool. And so if there’s a new Mustang or Corvette or whatever coming out, I want to hear about that. So I have brand preference for Mustang because I love muscle cars. So my point is you and I as human beings put everything, each other and particularly companies and products into a folder system in our head if you will and that’s called the category. Everything gets a label on it. And even more importantly Jon, everybody puts the category of product or service into the label and then they decide, is this category a must to have? A nice to have? Or an I don’t care about?
[00:19:04] Jon Berghoff: Yeah
[00:19:05] Christopher Lochhead: That’s what we do as human beings. And so I’m going to say something that a lot of people find outrageous. The category makes the brand. The category makes the company or the product. Not the other way around. And so, can I share with you a simple example?
[00:19:22] Jon Berghoff: Yeah please. Please.
[00:19:24] Christopher Lochhead: So as I mentioned, I live in beautiful Santa Cruz California. And I think maybe a couple years ago, the Mayor must have put a new law in place that says there has to be a new craft beer place that opens in Santa Cruz every twenty minutes. And so at least on the west coast in this part of the world this category of beer called craft beer is the hot new category and there are all this brew pubs opening up. And in my neighborhood one just recently opened up and they are on a little strip mall and at the very front of the mall they put up a sign, you know those sort of flags that wave in the wind? And interestingly enough, they didn’t put up a sign with their brand name on it, so it didn’t say, “Jon and Christopher’s beer place,” The sign says, “Craft beer.”
[00:20:12] Jon Berghoff: That’s so great.
[00:20:13] Christopher Lochhead: And I’m guessing it’s two dudes that opened this place because normally it’s two dudes. And I don’t know these dudes from a hole in the wall but what I do know is whoever opened up this craft beer place whether they realized it or not, they intuitively understood something about what’s going on in this giant category called the beer market. Which is there’s a subcategory in the beer market that is experiencing a lot of pull right now and that subcategory is called craft beer. And so they understood that. They wanted to grab their position in that category.
They wanted to grab that market, they wanted to scream to the world, we are one of these not one of those. And so rather than putting up a sign that said Jon and Christopher’s beer pub they put up a sign that said craft beer. And that’s because they are screaming the category to capture your attention and then loyalty with their brand and their product which of course is their restaurant and so my point is, legendary entrepreneurs intuitively understand there’s a way people think about markets and they take responsibility for trying to craft the way people think about those markets and attach to hot categories.
[00:21:28] Jon Berghoff: That’s awesome. This has been in my mind a perfect introduction to category design and I just want to remind all of the Miracle Morning Community, all of our Achieve Your Goals Podcast listeners to go to check out the book Play Bigger, to find Chris on Legends and Losers. Christopher, I’m going to go out of order a little bit here. I wanted to jump right into category design and I love the way that we started this.
I want to go backwards and one of the things that I enjoyed hearing about in your first podcast episode and when I heard you speak at the GoBundance event in Whistler, is your journey as an entrepreneur. Particularly I loved the way that you talked about the difference big E literally and the idea that entrepreneurship for some people is way up but for a lot of us it’s also a way out and so I just want everyone to hear a little bit about your personal journey of how entrepreneurship happened for you because I know one of your missions is to help a lot of other entrepreneurs. That matters to you more than anything.
[00:22:22] Christopher Lochhead: Yeah it really does because I see a deep connection Jon between entrepreneurship and living the American dream. We live in a country and I’m a naturalized American so I chose to live here and I became an American citizen. I’m originally from Canada. And what I know about the United States more than anywhere else, and it’s true in Canada but it’s especially true here is, you know this is a country that was founded on the ability to come here with nothing and make something legendary happen in your life. And that who you are and your background and your race and your education or whatever differences you might have from anybody else should be irrelevant. That we all have the right to pursue happiness and I love that. So anyway for me, you know being an entrepreneur is not some theoretical BS discussion.
I started at 18, I got thrown out at a school for being stupid. I was collecting too many F’s and C’s along the way. It turns out Jon that if you have F’s C’s and D’s on your report cards, sooner or later they say, “Hey you know what? You can’t keep coming here.” And so at 18 I found myself out of school and working at a manual labor job and really wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life. And so I decided to start a company with the encouragement of my dear friend Jack Hughes.
And so entrepreneurship for me was truly a way out. So I’m what you could think of as a small E, entrepreneur that is to say, here is somebody who starts with nothing. I started with a phone, the yellow pages back in the old days and a Samsung Clone personal computer telemarketing people, selling custom developments and training for personal computers. And that’s how I started and you know I was lucky enough to be able to retire last year at 48 years old and you know I’ve been a three time CMO publicly traded companies.
I’ve been involved with helping to start and or starting kind of more companies since then than I count. And the distinction I would draw Jon is that for some of us entrepreneurship really is our only option.
[00:24:25] Christopher Lochhead: You know? And not that it’s wrong with being a manual laborer, there’s nothing wrong with that at all but I was somebody that I felt, that there was more that was possible for me. And so I wanted to try to swing for the fences in my life. And I’ve spent most of my professional life in Silicon Valley working with what you could call big E entrepreneurs. And the distinction between the two is a small E entrepreneur is somebody who starts with pretty much nothing and has to go for it pretty much on their own.
The big E entrepreneur are the ones that I worked with on Silicon Valley. Think about generally fairly well educated folks coming out of often top tier schools often with the technical or engineering or computer science background who discover or create an amazing carboningulator of some sort and then ultimately end up raising in many cases several hundred million dollars from top tier venture capitals on Sandhill Rd. building a giant category company and a great set of products and ultimately going public and becoming Facebook or saleforce.com or Oracle or Cisco or Snapchat who just went public as a great example.
Those are big E entrepreneurs and those entrepreneurs make a giant difference and I have worked with them for like I said the better part of my career and I think they are amazing. However the only big distinction is if you raise $200 million from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to build your business, if your business fails, chances are you are not going to miss a meal. Whereas for the small E entrepreneur, if you don’t close a sale you can’t pay the rent and so you start to cuddle with the landlady because if you don’t get the deal done? I don’t know about you but I can’t go the grocery store and say, “Hey I got this new business that I just started and I’m a young guy and I got a friend out here of my pipeline of people who said they are going to buy from me and so would you mind giving me some groceries.”
They are going to say hey you are a nice guy but your list of prospects and hopes and dreams for your future are not anything we can put in the cash register so you are not allowed to leave here with groceries. And that’s a very different reality than the reality of you know we just raised $200 million and we are going to go for it. So that’s the distinction big E small E and I can deeply relate to both because I’m a small E guy and I played for most of my life in the big E world, but I don’t forget where I started.
[00:26:35] Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I love that man. That’s really awesome. That is really cool. Thanks for sharing that. I’m just going to keep asking for these stories here because I think they are beautiful. I find it ironic that the title of your book is Play Bigger, and very early in your career you started a marketing firm by the name Rogier Pierce which is such a classic example of quite literally playing bigger than you are. Can you share with this audience that story? I don’t even know if it’s in the book. I just heard you share it one night and I got to hear this.
[00:27:07] Christopher Lochhead: I don’t think it’s in the book and you’ll have to excuse me, the book is for me personally, I have three other co-authors and it was an amazing collaboration actually the greatest single work project I’ve ever been involved with. But for me the book is just my life and so I have a hard time remembering what’s in the book and just what’s in my life. And so I don’t think this is in the book but maybe it is but anyway, wherever. So when Jack convinced me to go into business with him at 18, he was working at a small software company. I was and orderly in a hospital rapidly failing on rock musician. My quest to be the next Joey Ramone was not going well.
[00:27:46] Jon Berghoff: I beg to differ by the way. We had a good jam session.
[00:27:50] Christopher Lochhead: And listen, can I reveal something about you that I don’t know if everybody knows Jon?
[00:27:54] Jon Berghoff: Go for it
[00:27:56] Christopher Lochhead: When Jon Berghoff travels, he travels with a giant freaking drum. Like a drum, like a big, doesn’t fit in your carry on kind of drum. And I said to him, “Why do you travel with this giant freaking drum? Do you play that in your hotel room? You can’t do that.” and he goes, “Oh yes I can.” And so when Jon and Scott were here in Santa Cruz recently he of course had his giant drum and I play guitar and so we did have some fan jamming, didn’t we?
[00: 28:29] Jon Berghoff: Yeah. We definitely in our own minds we were legendary for a moment.
[00:28:33] Christopher Lochhead: Oh yeah. You have got to be a legend in somebody’s mind. Alright now, where were we?
[00:28:38] Jon Berghoff: Rogier Pierce.
[00:28:39] Christopher Lochhead: Rogier! I tend to see zebras. I have an ADD situation that goes on with me. You know zebras or naked ladies go by I get distracted. So when Jack and I started the company we thought… I was 18 and he was 19, we were starting in a technical world, neither one of us had a degree. No education, no experience, no money, no relationships. We thought nobody is going to buy from us. This is ridiculous. At that time, there was a television show on TV called Remington Steele, starring Pierce Brosnan.
And you may recall that premise for the show was a girl actually, a woman started a private investigation firm and she didn’t think anybody or people might not buy from her because she was just female. This was back in the 80’s and so she felt well I’m going to name the agency after a guy who doesn’t exist and then I’m going to hire a guy to be that guy who will work for me and the world will think I work for him and then maybe this will work out.
This shows you how times have changed. Anyway and so that shows is called Remington Steele and the actor who played that character was named Pierce Brosnan. And so one day we thought, “Okay well, why don’t we make up a guy like that. That’s a great idea.” And so we thought well, what should the name of the guy be? Then we thought ok well Pierce Brosnan, so Pierce is a strong manly kind of a name so we actually took that as our character’s last name and we are living in Montreal Canada so we needed a name that kind of worked well in French and English so we picked Rogier instead of Roger.
And the name of the company that we came up with Jon was Rogier Pierce et Associates. Rogier Pierce Associate and with what little money we had we tried to buy expensive business cards and our titles said Christopher W Lochhead partner slash in French Associate’ and so everybody just figured there was this fifty five year old guy named Rogier Pearce running the show and Jack and I probably work for him and that’s what made it work.
[00:30:32] Jon Berghoff: What did you do when people would call and ask for Rogier?
[00:30:35] Christopher Lochhead: Well at first we just sort of made stuff up on the fly and then when we realized like if Jack was saying one thing and I was saying the other, we might get caught and so we didn’t want to get caught and so we decided to standardize on an answer. And so when anybody asked to speak to Rogier or where he was or why he wasn’t joining for this business dinner or whatever the case may be, we would just say, “Oh, he is in Geneva right now.” Can I help you?” Because if you were Rogier Pierce wouldn’t you be in Geneva, like negotiating a piece of trade deal or something?
[00:31:03] Jon Berghoff: That’s so great.
[00:31:07] Christopher Lochhead: So Rogier lives in infamy.
[00:31:09] Jon Berghoff: That’s so great. Thanks for sharing that story Chris. That is awesome. So get even more personal. I want to pay you a compliment. One of the things that I admired about you that I have to admit was a surprise because when I first met you, you know look at the background. You’ve got, is that Steve Mcqueen going backwards in the car?
[00:31:27] Christopher Lochhead: That right here is Steve Mcqueen in his bullet mustang I’ll have you know. Yes, and what I love about it is most photos have situations like that, a guy is racing forward or girls for that matter in cars right? And what I love about this is Steve is peeling out backwards at 80 miles an hour in his mustang. So I just thought those are fun photograph.
[00:31:45] Jon Berghoff: I love that. I love that. What I was going to point out and intended on complimenting and I almost forgot what I was going to say is when I first met you, you are a manly man. You can kill a guy with your bare hands. You’ve got…
[00:32:56] Christopher Lochhead: Trying real hard not to.
[00:32:57] Jon Berghoff: Try not to. Yeah. You are prepared if you need to. You’ve got guitars, you’ve got boxing gloves hanging from your guest bathroom wall and when I showed up to your home, one of the things that I really respected is the love that you show to your wife. I’ll always remember that. It might stick out more than anything else and I admired it, I loved seeing it and experiencing it, the love that you have for your girls, your dinosaurs, we don’t even need to explain that. But I just love the way that you respect and treat and love people and life and I want to finish by asking you, what matters to you most when it comes to how you live your life and I see that you’ve set up a life that reminds you of things that have meaning to you. So I wanted to finish with, what matters most to you?
[00:32:44] Christopher Lochhead: First of all thank you Jon for those wonderful comments and yeah you know what listen, with Carrie my wife, why would you marry a person if you didn’t love them. It doesn’t make any sense. Yeah I love her dearly and she’s just an amazing gift every day and so my life is very simple. I care about two things inside of a very big box. So it may be three things but two things inside a box. So the two things I care about are making a difference and having an embarrassingly large amount of fun and doing those things with people that I love.
And one of the men I admire the most in the world is actually Carrie’s dad Phil Constantino and he’s going to be on an upcoming episode of Legends and Losers, I could tell you why if you care. But one of the reasons why I admire Phil so much is he is a simple man. And I think a lot of ways, there’s no greater achievement in life than to have a simple life. A life that works for you that is very simple. And somehow and I’ll speak for myself.
I have been caught in the past in a lot of things and you wake up and you go, you know my life is really complicated and I got all this stuff going on, why is this stuff going on? Does this really work for me? Does this really make me happy? And so particularly over the decade in my life I have strived to be a simple man. And really focus on those two things. Where and how can I make a difference? How can I have an embarrassingly large amount of fun? And I want to do those things with people that I love and when that’s working my life works and when that’s not working my life doesn’t work.
[00:34:11] Jon Berghoff: Christopher that’s awesome. Hey I want to close this up by thanking you, reminding all of our listeners and watchers if you are watching the live stream, viewers, watchers, check out Play Bigger, go grab it at your nearest book store. I don’t know who goes to a bookstore any more. Check out Legends and Losers. If you enjoyed this today you’ll definitely enjoy hearing more from Christopher. Thank you to all of you. Just a couple of shout outs. Shout out to Julianna Raye from under Unified Mindfulness is launching a training program this week that is in of it of itself a whole category for folks who want to teach others about meditation and mindfulness so congrats Julianna Ray on your big launch and apologies to Bill McDermott SAP CEO, we just ran out of time for you today.
[00:34:55] Christopher Lochhead: Sorry Bill.
[00:34:56] Jon Berghoff: Take care everybody
[00:34:57] Christopher Lochhead: Be legendary.
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