Howard Tiersky ADT podcast cover
Episode: 32

Howard Tiersky - Overcoming resistance to change for successful digital transformation

Posted on: 22 Jul 2021
Howard Tiersky ADT podcast cover

Howard Tiersky is the founder and CEO of the digital transformation agency FROM, leading digital transformation influencer and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Being receptive to change is an essential trait of the highly digitalized 21st century marked by huge societal shifts and a rapid pace of technological innovation. Yet as human beings, we have a natural tendency to resist change and stick to tried and tested methods we're more comfortable with.

In this episode, we talk about how overcoming this resistance to change is key to succeeding with digital transformation, and what executives and companies need to do to start embracing change instead.


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“It can sometimes seem like success in the digital world only goes to companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, companies that were born and designed from the ground up for a digital world. But it's not true.”

Welcome to the Agile Digital Transformation podcast, where we explore different aspects of digital transformation and digital experience with your host Tim Butara, content and community manager at Agiledrop.

Tim Butara: Hello, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Our guest today is Howard Tiersky, founder and CEO of the Digital Transformation agency FROM and also author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance. In an age where constant change and transformation are essentially inevitable, resisting them can pose huge disadvantages, both for companies as well as for individuals. And so in this episode, Howard and I will be discussing how companies and executives can overcome this and instead start embracing change. Welcome, Howard. Thanks for joining me today. 

Howard Tiersky: Hey, Tim. Well, thanks so much for having me, I'm excited to be here. And this is a really important topic. 

Tim Butara: Yeah, I agree. It's a really important topic for everybody, basically, and it affects everybody. And I'm excited to dive right into it with you, Howard. 

Howard Tiersky: Cool. 

Tim Butara: So I want to start off by asking you, obviously, we just said that this is a very important topic. It's one that definitely deserves further discussion. But why is being receptive to change so crucial, especially in this day and age? 

Howard Tiersky: Sure. Well, there's many reasons, but to me, there's one reason that towers above all the others. We live in a time of great change. And the number one change that we've seen in business over the last decade and it continues is the shift towards digital. Digital, of course, has been around for a while. But if you look at where consumers are today versus where they were 10 years ago, digital has become, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say, the center of the lifestyle of most consumers, whether you're interacting with them on a B2C basis, or whether you're interacting with them on a B2B basis. We're all walking around with smartphones in our pocket. The average person checks their smartphone hundreds of times a day, sleeps with it by their bedside. And it has transformed the way we do everything from learn to shop to date to manage our finances, health care. It would be hard to find an area of life that hasn't been transformed by digital. 

And so as a business, if your job is to meet the needs of your customers, those needs have been and are continuing to be changed by the change in the customer to living a more and more digital lifestyle. Their needs are changing, their concerns are changing, their desires are changing, their priorities are changing. And so as a business, if you are staying in the same place, if you are not changing, then you are probably becoming less and less and less relevant to your customer every day because the customer’s on the move, are you going to follow them, or are you going to let them get farther and farther away from you? 

And, of course, we've seen many, many companies go out of business over the last number of years. In any given year, there's always somebody who goes out of business, but that pace has massively accelerated, whether it's Toys“R”Us or Circuit City or-- so many retailers have gone on a business and in other industries as well. And, of course, you could never say there's only one reason why any given company goes out of business. But I think you can see a pattern that so many of these companies simply failed to translate their value proposition to a world that's increasingly digital. 

And so while there are other reasons to change, there are many other things happening in society all the time, politics change, trends and tastes and fashion change. Other things change that you need to be able to adapt to. But this change is so massive and requires such a profound rethinking of the way many businesses operate that I would consider it head and shoulders above any other reason why change is so essential. 

Tim Butara: Yeah, that's a great point. A lot of people don't actually grasp the breadth and depth of what digital transformation truly entails and what it means to truly be prepared to win and succeed in the digital age. And if you do it, you know, if you don't commit yourself fully to it, then success is much less possible, basically. 

Howard Tiersky: Well, you know what? I'm very sympathetic with people who think that way, because when you're in business, you've already invested, you already are a certain way, right. You have certain stores, certain real estate, certain people that you've hired, certain systems that you use, certain business processes. And if you need to adapt and change, it's natural to ask the question, How can I keep the change as small as possible? Because more change costs more money, creates more disruption, is more painful, takes longer. So it's a completely appropriate question to ask to say, Can I keep this not too huge? Can I just sort of create an app that connects with our existing system? Can I make that work? 

The problem is very often the answer is no. The answer is, the world has changed too much to simply tweak and adjust the way it works. I mean, look at something like the taxi industry, where Uber and Lyft and similar ride sharing services have completely not only transformed the industry and customer expectations, but have tanked the value of traditional taxi companies. In New York City, a license to operate a taxi cab, what's called a medallion here, was up to something like, I forget exactly the numbers, actually. But the value of the medallion was dropped by, like, 80%. The value, the value of having the right for each taxicab, because of competition from these other ride sharing services. 

And so it shows you how significant the business impact can be. And if you look at how similar or different is Lyft as a business from being a traditional taxi company, it's very, very different. Right. A traditional taxi company, you have to have a bunch of garages. You buy a bunch of cars, you paint them yellow, or whatever color it is in your city. You hire a bunch of drivers, they get all the money at night, they give it to you, you have to deposit it in the Bank. That's the business model. Obviously, Lyft, they don't hire any drivers, they don't buy any cars. Right. It's a totally different way of looking at the ground transportation business, and it's digitally centric. It comes from a place of saying, if we were to build something from the ground up for a digital world, what would that look like? 

And I think that that is the same question that every company needs to be asking themselves, even if they've existed for decades or even hundreds of years. They need to ask the question, if I were building this from scratch, not what's the shortest path from where I am to something that might be marginally acceptable to a digital customer, because that's not going to put you in a competitive position to win. That might be a short term strategy to say, Let's try to do what we can quickly to be better. But you also need to be asking the question, Are we going to survive for the next five or 10 years if we don't rethink our entire business with the mindset of how would we build it from the ground up for a digital world? 

And I think that that's the exercise. We do workshops all the time in our facility in Manhattan. And that's a key question. Free ourselves from the constraints of saying, but we have all these contracts, and we have all these employees, and we have all this real estate, and we have a-- I know. But just for a moment, pretend you didn't. What would you create then? And then ask yourself, what would it take to get there? Because that's probably the path through a truly successful future and not just kind of a meager subsistence. 

Tim Butara: And all of this basically held true even before Covid. But I'm guessing that Covid has then taken things to a whole new level. And I want to ask you, would you say that Covid has impacted executives’ readiness to change in more of a positive or more of a negative way? What would you say?

Howard Tiersky: Positive, 100% positive. Covid did two things. First of all, it created the need for immediate transformation because businesses said, Oh, well, we have retail stores and we have a website, but we never built “buy online, pick up in the store, pick up at curbside”. We better build it now. Employees that were working in the office all of a sudden, were working at home. And businesses said, Okay, how can we do in two weeks what we didn't do in two years? How can we make sure that our employees are fully enabled to work remotely, et cetera, et cetera? So it caused a huge scramble for companies to try to figure out how to do digital transformation in days and weeks instead of months and years.

In some cases, they were very successful. In other cases, it either didn't work well or they built it in a way that's not sustainable and they created a lot of debt, technical debt, things like that. But it wasn't necessarily the wrong thing to do. They did what they had to do in an emergency. But that's the first thing, is that just Covid pushed companies forward. The second thing that it did is it pushed your customers forward. Because the adoption of digitally centric behaviors, whether that's ordering your groceries online or doing your banking online or, you know, telemedicine, telehealth, obviously, we all had a remote education. All of these things, the adoption of these digital methods of engaging in all those different types of daily activities accelerated. And so it was a force acceleration by taking away the other way. You can't go to a restaurant, so you have to order the food in, et cetera. 

But now that people have adapted, they've developed new habits because they've had to do it for more than a year. And so now when you remove the old, it's like if I took away someone’s cigarettes and they couldn't have them for a year, they didn't choose to quit smoking. But at the end of the year, are they going to go back to smoking? Maybe, if the cigarettes are available again, maybe, but maybe not, right, because the habit has been broken. And so certainly some people go back to dining in restaurants and doing other non-digital things, of course, but probably not at the same level, because we've really ingrained some new habits. And so it's changed your customer and made them want digital even more. 

And so the combination of those two things. And by the way, I actually would argue that there's a third component. Or maybe it's part of the first one, which is, companies realized that when a crisis occurs, when an unexpected change occurs, like a pandemic, being already digitally mature enables you to adapt more rapidly. Those companies that had a mature, modern stack that had modern, agile, and lean based development processes, that had a mindset of rapid change and evolution were able to respond to the unexpected in a much better way and with much less negative business impact. And while we, of course, hope that we're coming out of COVID and we'd like to believe that there's not another unexpected emergency on the horizon, I think with COVID taught businesses is, being ready for the unexpected is an important part of business planning. 

And so whether it's another pandemic or a natural disaster caused by climate change or a massive change in our economy or something else, or it could be something that's specific to your industry, like the kind of supply chain disruptions that a lot of industries have been experiencing which can occur for pandemics, but they can occur for other reasons as well. When you're ready to adapt, you're in a much better position. And so that's another reason to want to push digital transformation. And so the net of all that is that the priority of digital transformation at the vast majority of companies, it was already reasonably high in many companies, but it has been pushed much higher. 

Tim Butara: Yup. It's now become basically essential for every company that wants to not only thrive, but even continue to exist in the 21st century essentially, basically. 

Howard Tiersky: Yes. 

Tim Butara: And you mentioned that they need to prepare themselves. They need to shield themselves against potential future disruptions. Essentially, they need to become future ready, right? And what can leaders or companies do to better prepare themselves or to achieve this future readiness for their companies? 

Howard Tiersky: Yeah, there's many things, but I'll talk about 2. 1 is what I was saying a moment ago, being able to be agile. And that doesn't just mean using Agile methodologies for defining your projects. But having the technology systems scalability, which you get, for example, by being in the cloud and using, of course, modern frameworks and having teams that have a culture and a mindset of being ready to quickly change. A key principle of agile is to in every sprint reprioritize the backlog based on business priority. And so one reason we do that is because the business priorities can change. Rather than seeing that as a negative, we accept it as a reality of business. And so when you already think about development projects, for example, not as something that are meant to be waterfall and fixed and last multiple years, but as things that may need to tweak and change even sprint by sprint, you are already ingraining a culture and a mindset into your teams so that they're ready if you walk in and say one day, All right. The world has changed everybody. Our priorities have totally shifted. We're creating a whole new backlog, and we need to be able to deploy new features in two weeks because our customers’ needs have dramatically and suddenly changed. 

And so I think that's one is that preparedness for adaptation. And I think the second is scenario planning. You want to be ready for the unexpected, but it's even better if you can expect the unexpected. Meaning if you can anticipate, what are some of the things that might occur. Because you can do a better job of being ready. If you think you might be hit by a hurricane, maybe you want to have some bottled water ready, right, you know, maybe you want to have a power generator, maybe you want to have a data center that is collocated, things like that. The more you can be specific about what change you might-- you always want to be ready for the unanticipated. But you also want to say, well, what can we anticipate? What do we think might occur? And the pandemic? The pandemic was an example of something that I think there are very few companies. If you talk to them about what is their business continuity plan look like, you know, to what degree companies were thinking about pandemics. Maybe some in the healthcare industry were, maybe hospitals were thinking about, you know, how would we respond in a pandemic? But I don't think poultry farms were thinking about it. I don't think oil companies were thinking about it. I don't think toilet paper manufacturers were thinking about it, even though they were all massively affected by the pandemic. 

So maybe spending a little more time than companies have done in the past to kind of game it out and say, well, what are the types of things? We published an infographic a while back that listed 20 major disruptors that could impact a business, like pandemics, right? Like war would be an example, right A massive economic collapse would be an example. What would your company do if all of a sudden we had the equivalent of a Black Friday and a massive drop in the value of the stock market? What would happen if all of a sudden we had massive unemployment? Or one of the things we're dealing with now, a massive Labor shortage, which by the way, is another reason why digital is being accelerated. Because as companies have fewer and fewer employees and they have to figure out because they can't get the resources they need because of this current labor shortage, at least here in the United States, they're saying, alright, well, if I have less people to do the same amount of work because business is coming back, but my labor force isn't back yet, how do I automate? How do I use digital? You know. 

Anyway, so I think that's the second thing to summarize. The first is to be ready with agile practices. And the second is to think through different possible scenarios. Many of them will not come true, but that's okay. It's worth taking some time to think them through because it might make you make a decision to be ready with certain resources or certain facilities or certain contracts and SLAs that you wouldn't otherwise think to put in place that then you're ready if that one thing occurs. 

Tim Butara: Yeah, I think those are definitely both key points. I've seen Agility being embraced more and more by all manner of companies and all size of companies and also adopted incrementally. Not only, we have to adopt this full fledged Agile framework that's really strict and whatnot, but just adopting Agile practices, and not only for software development, for marketing, for content creation, for every part of the digitally first business, practically the 21st century. 

Howard Tiersky: Absolutely. I just thought of one other example I want to give for the kind of disruption that people should be thinking about. We've seen all this hacking lately of the Internet and of our energy infrastructure, like the pipeline that was hacked, and I think that it would not be unreasonable to, with your business say, what would happen if the entire power grid, look what happened in Texas, right? What would happen if the power grid went down for three weeks? What will we do? Or, different scenario, what would happen if the entire US internet went down for a month? Could it happen? I mean, there's a lot of people trying to prevent it happening. But if another state wanted to attack us in a serious way, I think we'd be foolish to think it couldn't be done. 

And so what would you do if your company is dependent on digital or power? What would you do? How would you respond? And, you know, airlines, for example, if you've ever been in an airport, when the computer systems go down, they have a whole paper process. They have a binder, right. They know how to check your tickets and board a flight and do the whole thing, even if the computer is down. And that happens sometimes. But that's because they prepared that, they have that ready, and hopefully the computer never goes down. But if it does, they know what to do. Because if they didn't have that and the computer went down, what would they do? I guess they couldn't board the flight. The flight couldn't take off. This way, at least they have business continuity. And that's the kind of planning everybody needs to be doing for these different scenarios. 

Tim Butara: Do you think that this might actually pose concerns in the other direction? So kind of an over-reliance on digital? I mean, obviously, we just talked about this, but in the sense that before, people were reliant much more on paper processes and on inefficient processes. But now, because of the efficiency gained through digital, they might just relinquish all the paper processes. And then if something so extreme does occur, then that might just leave them hanging and not knowing what to do, basically. 

Howard Tiersky: Yes. I mean, not if you're relying on paper processes. What if you have a fire and all the paper burns? Right? Any method has vulnerabilities. Does digital have vulnerabilities? Of course it does. But instead of saying, well, it's not go digital because it has vulnerabilities and different vulnerabilities and paper, of course, someone in a foreign country can't use a computer and hack in and read the papers that are in your file cabinet. Right. It doesn't work that way, but someone can break into your office. If someone breaks into your office, that doesn't mean they can access your digital files, though, right? Because they still have to have a password. 

And so they're just different vulnerabilities. And just like, of course, companies need to be thinking about firewalls and security and encryption and all these types of things and be prepared for those types of risks, and accept that those things could happen. And so you want to both avoid the vulnerability, and you want to say, okay, despite all our best efforts, if somebody does hack into our systems, what do we do then? What is our process? How do we address that? I think that that's part of-- part of running a business well is having that kind of business continuity planning. And let's not kid ourselves. There's no way to do things so that you don't have vulnerabilities. 

I sometimes joke, and I know security people within companies, they have a hard job, and it's a thankless job. Because when there's no problems, nobody comes in the morning and say, thank you, we had no hack yesterday. We had no security problems. You guys are doing great. But when they're, when there is a problem, those people are blamed. And then when the security teams try to get you to change your behavior, change your password and all that, it's like, Oh, my God, you guys are such a hassle. So it is a thankless job. Having said that, I sometimes joke that if security alone designed our buildings, they would be designed with no doors and no windows, because that would be super secure. But obviously they would serve no purpose. 

So I think that we have to have a balance and recognize that when you're in business, you're interacting with people, whether that's digitally or in person. You have physical locations, you have assets. So of course you have vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities to disasters, vulnerabilities to crime. And the best you can do is to try to figure out how to protect yourself. 

Tim Butara: I think we just made a super strong case, both for a focus on security and to get people to really start scenario planning. This was just some really good practical examples for that. But now I want to get even more practical with our discussion. And I'm wondering if you maybe have any interesting, concrete examples of business failure due to executives really resisting change that you've seen throughout your work? 

Howard Tiersky: Oh, Yes. And it's challenging and frustrating because sometimes people who are in the technology space will make this comment that the technology is great, if only it weren’t for the people. And that can be the biggest challenge. Absolutely. I mean, I have many examples. I'll tell you one that I talk about in my book. One of my greatest sort of personal career failures was a number of years ago, Blockbuster Video was the largest by far. They had, I think, 5,000 video rental stores in the United States, something like that. They were a very, very powerful, successful company. And I was brought in with a team to work on their digital strategy for the future, focused on streaming video. And at the time, they were making all their money renting physical DVDs. People going to store that the DVDs. 

And so we created a whole vision. This is 15 years ago, maybe something like that, for how Blockbuster’s streaming video to the home business might look. And if I look back on the vision that we presented, and by the way, we worked with great people at Blockbuster to do this, I mean, there were plenty people at Blockbuster who thought this is what was needed, and it was in many ways similar to what Netflix is doing today. It had interfaces. It figured out what you were interested in, and it had episodic television, all these types of things. But when we pitched it, and to be fair, this was in the early days of streaming media, people weren't consuming videos in their home very much. Right. So this was early, but it seemed like that was the direction things we're going to go, to us anyway. 

But when we pitched that to the senior executives at Blockbuster, it essentially went nowhere. Right. They didn't really proceed with it, even though they spent a whole bunch of money developing that vision and developing that strategy. And, you know, because I was there, I got a sense of, well, why? Why did they not proceed? And there's always many reasons why a decision gets made. But some of the biggest objections were, well, let me put it this way, the people who ran Blockbuster, they were retail store industry giants, media and entertainment, and retail. I forget, one of the main guys, the guy who was in charge of store operations, he had spent, like, 20 years at JCPenney. Now these are people who their whole career was about physical retail stores. 

So when you go into people like that and you talk about a vision for the future of the company that relies much less on physical retail stores, it completely goes around the physical retail store and just goes direct to the customer in their home. That might not sound so good to the person who is an expert at creating an outstanding physical retail store experience and doesn't know anything about streaming video to the home. I mean, why will he even have a job three years later if we go down this path? So it might be good for the company, but not good for that person. 

In any case, what we heard, members of the team that were pitching this when we would share these ideas with different people at the top level is very often, you don't understand our business, we would be told. You don't understand our business. We would say, Okay, go on. Well, the margin on renting DVDs was limited, especially because the studios had negotiated a big chunk of the money. They were no longer charging late fees. So they couldn't make a lot of money renting DVDs. Where they were making money, really, the profit was candy. 

People would come into the store, they would rent the DVDs. But they would buy those big movie size boxes of Swedish Fish or M&M’s. And they would buy those buckets that you put in the microwave that looked like a movie bucket. But the microwave pops in the bucket, you know. Those, they cost four dollars to sell, you know, the customer would pay four or 5 dollars. To Blockbuster, it cost, like, 70 cents. Right. So they were making a ton of money on that. And so they said, you don't understand our business because we're making our money on candy. And you can't stream candy, which is true, which is true. You cannot. 

And yet, you know, Netflix is now mighty successful, as is Hulu, as is Disney Plus, and none of them are streaming candy. So clearly there was an opportunity here. But you had people who had a mindset fixed in a certain model that says you have physical locations, people come to them, some items are lost leaders, and some items are where the profit is. That's how you make money. And that resistance ultimately led them to not wholeheartedly pursue a digital business. And, well, obviously, what happened is obvious, the stories became less and less necessary. 

And even if our strategy was not the perfect strategy, I don't think there was any strategy that they could have had 15 years ago, whereby today they would still be renting DVDs in every town in America like that. They could not have stopped the force of progress. It was impossible, but people wanted to do it because they liked the current and they didn't want the change. And that's the problem. Most people would rather not change, but the world changes. And if you're trying-- if you position yourself for your company as being the one who's trying to hold up your hand and hold back change, you're almost always going to lose. 

Tim Butara: Man, I'm so glad I asked this question, Howard. You know, I've actually heard stories about Blockbuster having the opportunity to move into streaming and just kind of letting it go, but I never thought I'd actually get a chance to speak with somebody who was involved in that. So. Yeah, really cool. And Yeah, Yeah, that was probably--

Howard Tiersky: It's my fault, Tim. I'm the guy. It's my fault. I'm kidding. I was just one person that was there. Yeah, it makes me sad to think about it, because imagine what Blockbuster could be today if they had embraced wholeheartedly a strategy that said, how do we dominate this new emerging potential emerging area? You know. But we have to have sympathy with the fact that the future is not always as clear as it is in hindsight. It's easy to say now that's how everyone's watching video. But back then, not everyone had fast internet. There were issues with encryption. There are all kinds of reasons to say, this is not necessarily an easy path, but others saw the opportunity and invested in it and obviously had huge returns. 

Tim Butara: Hindsight is definitely 20 20, right? Especially, especially since last year. But, you know, also, if they took the chance, and if they stayed in business and if they became dominant, right now, they would even be able to sell candy as NFTs. 

Howard Tiersky: Maybe. 

Tim Butara: Okay, now let's look at the other end of the spectrum. So let's talk about huge business wins due to embracing and accepting change. Are there any well known brands that have really excelled this? And if so, what do they do to make it so successful? 

Howard Tiersky: Well, absolutely. And not only are there well known brands, look at all of the most successful brands today, and you're going to see that. So you can see a strong correlation. I mean, Let's look at the world's most valuable company, Apple. This is a company that's undergone tremendous transformation. Apple used to be called Apple Computers, and their focus was on making computers. Now they still make computers. But computers is a small part of their business compared to making mobile phones and selling content, whether that's apps, third-party apps, third-party, you know, music, movies, right. This is a much bigger part of their business, certainly combined together. 

And so this is a company that had to be willing to make a radical shift. In fact, if you look at when they came out with the iPad, it seemed strange. Why is a computer company coming out with a consumer electronics device? And then when they came out with the iPhone, they killed the iPad. They had this huge business with the iPad, and they came out with a phone that could do-- you didn't need the iPad anymore when you had an iphone that could play music. 

And so this is a company that's been willing to change their focus and to even cannibalize other product lines because they see the potential for change. And just to put it in relief, compare Apple to Dell. There was a time when you're talking about companies that were producing a similar number of computers, you know, and Dell was a computer company and has been a computer company. And it's still a computer company. They're not in the mobile phone business. They're not in the music business. They're not producing Hollywood videos. They're not creating software to enable you to talk to your friends like FaceTime, right. They're just still selling computers. And, well, this is the difference, right? Dell is doing okay. But Apple is the most valuable company in the world because of the change that they embraced. 

Another example would be Walmart. Walmart was a very successful retailer in the US but many big, successful retailers in the US have massively struggled when their business was taken by digital and pure digital companies, and obviously, Amazon, being the biggest, started to eat into their business. Walmart did many smart things. They had some stumbles. They weren't immediately successful. But I don't know how long it is now, 5, 6 years ago, they bought, which was a successful pure play digital property. But the bottom line is Walmart is now the number two largest online retailer in the United States. 
And I think that's really important to remember because it can sometimes seem like success in the digital world only goes to companies like Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix, companies that were born and designed from the ground up for a digital world. But it's not true. There's other companies, and Walmart is a great example, that have made great success in the digital realm, even though they started in a pre-digital world. But they changed and transformed and adapted to create a digital experience that has been well, they're the number 2 online retail in the United States now. 

Tim Butara: I think those are both great examples, because Apple was basically always operating somewhere in the sphere of the digital. And not only was it receptive to the change, it was actually, in some senses, a leader, a driver of the change, of digital transformation. 

Howard Tiersky: Absolutely. Absolutely. Very often. 

Tim Butara: And on the other hand, we have Walmart, which, as you just pointed out, was a traditional retail business, but because they were so receptive to change and because they did it incrementally. You mentioned that they weren't successful initially, that it took them some tries, but because they persevered, because they stayed true to basically their refined vision, they are now massively successful. Basically, what, second place only to a company which was intended to leverage the digital in the best way possible. So that's almost like having first place. 

Howard Tiersky: Well, especially if you add together their online sales and their physical resource retail sales. Because even though Amazon is open to few physical stores, Amazon is entirely online as a retailer. Of course, Amazon has done amazing other things, most of their profit comes from AWS anyway, and not even from their retail business. So Amazon, of course, is a fantastic company, too. But Walmart is a winner. I believe they're the number one largest non-digital store in the US, and then they're the number two in the digital. So they've brought them both together, which is very impressive. 

Tim Butara: A true success story. That's all from me. Howard. This has been a totally fascinating conversation. I really, really, really enjoyed it. Before we wrap it up, if our listeners want to reach out to you or they want to learn more about you, where can they connect with you? 

Howard Tiersky: Absolutely. Well, thanks for having me Tim. Yeah, this has been a great conversation. Well, if you're interested in learning more about my book, Winning Digital Customers: The Antidote to Irrelevance. There's a website for the book which is Winning Digital Customers dot com. If you go there, you can download the first chapter for free, as well as get links to all the different places you can buy the book. As you would expect, you can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, all the usual places. So if you want to just buy it directly, of course, you can do that as well from wherever you like to buy books. And if you want to learn more about other things that I do, I do have a podcast called Winning Digital Customers. I live cast on LinkedIn several times a week and post a lot of content there as well. So you can just look me up on LinkedIn at Howard Tiersky or search for my podcast wherever you get your podcasts. 

Tim Butara: Awesome. I'll make sure to link all of those in the show notes. Thanks again, so much, Howard. And to our listeners that's all for this episode. Have a great day, everyone, and stay safe.

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