Building the right processes and creating structures for remote teams with Matteo Grassi

Matteo Grassi is the COO of Eli Z Group, an eCommerce Accelerator, helping proven solutions to scale up through AI-drive strategies.

They’re a fully remote team, with workers based in over 20+ different countries, all working towards disrupting eCommerce through innovative digital marketing strategies.

Follow our guest on their social media:

Luis Magalhaes: Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to another episode of the Distant Job Podcast. A podcast that’s all about building and leading remote teams who win. And my guest today is Matteo Grassi. Matteo, welcome.

Matteo Grassi: Hey. Hi guys.

Luis Magalhaes: Matteo is the CEO at the Eli Z group. And why don’t you take it from there Matteo? Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.

Matteo Grassi: So I joined Eli Z Group when it was just an eCommerce site. It was kind of a small operation back then. About four or five people with basically the founder doing pretty much everything on their own but being very successful in terms of monetary value on the sales.

Luis Magalhaes: How long ago was this?

Matteo Grassi: That was about two and a half years ago when I joined the company.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, so you grew a lot since you joined the company?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, so basically yeah. We were able to find the right product, find the right marketing strategy for this such small team. At that time I was working in Shopify Plus. My background is in psychology, then I work in classic marketing. I didn’t work in remote marketing. I work in an office. I was working, I was an international marketing manager for a healthcare company and I was managing marketing in different countries. Also, main stuff was below the line, like brochures and billboards and the classic things. So very, very little digital.

And then I started to get into digital a little bit after in my life when I started my own eBay site. And I decided to learn a little bit of SEO and pay per click advertising. And I started to do consultancy.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, right.

Matteo Grassi: My first real experience in remote work, in a proper remote company was Shopify. And even though I left, and I was very happy to leave at the time because it didn’t fit me, the company, I wanted I guess more, I learned how a massive company can manage projects and grow teams remotely, efficiently.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay.

Matteo Grassi: And so, when I met the founder of the Eli Z, Nicola Nozi, I decided with him that I was going to bring what I learned in Shopify and trying to put it into action to be able to scale the company that is us. So we wanted to scale a customer service from four people to 25 people, and then we had to build a marketing team and a finance team and we decided to do everything by remote basically because he’s a digital nomad, I’m a digital nomad. So at the end of the day it kind of suited our lifestyle more than anything. We learned along the way that yes, that is a lower cost involved and there is also the ability to scale a company very, very hard. In advertising we scale campaigns.

Luis Magalhaes: Yep.

Matteo Grassi: Just thinking of a campaign works. It’s very simple, the scaling of a campaign. Well it’s very simple but I can simplify it. It’s you launch a campaign and then you test the data.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: If the campaign says good return of investment, what you do, you invest more money. And then you test the data again, and then you invest more money and then the company and stuff to scale and generate things.

Luis Magalhaes: Yes.

Matteo Grassi: So I realized that in a traditional company these scaling cannot be done because you start with a small team and then the team is successful and you start to reach the result.

So you test the data out and you say “Okay, I want to hire more people.” The problem, you start to have the road blocks, it’s like, “I have an office in this town, where do I find the people?” Maybe there’s no talent in the town or maybe I can’t find a bigger office. Or maybe if my company goes off over 25, 30 people, then I fall under different regulations according to the state that I’m in. And that creates so many problems. So the growth is always blocked by a bureaucracy, access to talent, and also office space and location as well.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: But we found that with the right structure we could actually scale the company in a much faster way.

Luis Magalhaes: So just to clarify, so was the company originally remote, fully remote?

Matteo Grassi: Fully remote, yes.

Luis Magalhaes: So it was always fully remote. And then you met the founder of the company and you decided to keep that strategy and go into, into wiper growth. Wow.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah. [inaudible 00:05:00] when you have four or five people, it’s like a team. It’s not really a company yet. When you start, tend to creating four or five different teams and start to interact with each other and started to create them three or four leather structures and customer service where you have the first level. Then you have the second level, which is the leads, and then you add the third level, which is the time leads, which the manager time zone. And then you have the fourth level, which is a customer service manager that goes about operations director that goes, they always see, oh, I know all of the structure starts to gets more complicated. That’s where the problems and the challenges start to arise in an [inaudible 00:05:44] environments.

Luis Magalhaes: So what kind of problems and challenges did you find more challenging, I guess?

Matteo Grassi: The main challenges are the project management and communication. And processes. So enforce processes, making sure that people are following the processes and managing projects remotely, managing communication remotely. So that’s the main challenge.

Luis Magalhaes: So we did we talk about, we talk in this podcast a lot about communication. I think that that’s a, that’s a fundamental piece, but about processes and enforcing processes and also, well a bit the project management, that’s something that I don’t hear nearly as much as communication. So tell me the story, a time that you felt that the project management wasn’t working and what did you do to correct it?

Matteo Grassi: What I’ve seen is that project manager don’t work because people don’t follow the processes and there is a tendency of, “Oh yeah, let’s do this without writing things down at the beginning because it’s boring because everyone worked in those companies.” When you have the company [inaudible 00:06:52] we are all young and we all work. We are all digital nomads that we want to break the rules and stuff. So there is a tendency new start ups to do that. But the old school way, I realize that you work so it’s not that one thing is better than another. Definitely the method that we use in old school, an older bureaucracy and over complicating things, it’s bad. But when you grow and you start to be like 40 and 50 people, especially 40 and 50 people, I’ve seen this, and you start to have different levels, so you arrive to a point where you don’t really know everyone in the company anymore and what people start to know not to what everyone is doing and then you have a lot of people working under the same stress sheet and the same project management tools.

If you derive the processes down as more mistake can create a chain of events that can be very, very detrimental for the business or anybody. Just because someone forgot to put a okay button under updates. Something simple like this is actually something that it’s like this is a good example. Someone says, “Hi guys, by the way, tomorrow we’re shutting down the site for about 20 minutes. So make sure everyone is connected.” Right. And everyone knows that. And then you send his message and you okay these into Slack or whatever and the one person forgets to puts in “okay.” Then, for me, that person never saw the message.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: But maybe he saw the message and [inaudible 00:08:28] all, but the fact that he didn’t see the message, maybe he’s acting upon a message that you didn’t see. So these are kind of the most important things. Or, in project management, you forget it’s there and then someone else goes there and said, “What does this mean?” And then yes, to contact the person and contact another person that’s like 10, 15, 20 minutes gone. And then if it’s just a small team that’s not your problem. If it is a big thing, those 20 minutes start to multiplicate.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, that’s, that’s true. That’s true. Thank you for mentioning that because I think that a lot of people still fall into the trap, as you say, that we’re digital novels, we’re rabble, it’s all about the flexibility. But flexibility doesn’t mean doing things in a sloppy way. So that that’s definitely a very, a very appreciate that common. Now I have to say that as someone that has worked in very old school, process-driven environments, I felt, and I think a lot of people feel that there is a danger of, at some point, “I’m doing more writing down of what I did and I’m doing and need to do then actual work.” I have experienced this in some in some companies where I have worked. So how do you balance that? How do you balance the needs for sticking to process with avoiding people spending more time on the process done on actual than on actual productive work.

Matteo Grassi: We focus more on goal achievement rather than activity done. So we don’t look for what should you do? I don’t care, to be honest. We look for what goals did you achieve today and that should be short term goals in the long term goals. Short term goals can be three days, two days. That’s kind of a small task and a small project. I know that you have to complete these. I know, “Dasha I want these KPI and then I want the conversion rate on these a up what I want these a customer service macro to be implemented within the three days.” And I know that’s what I want now. I don’t care what the way you do it, if you do it the night, if you’re do it during the day, as long as the goal is that achieved, it’s fine and it gives more freedom to people to complete the things.

And then whenever we see the goals that are not achieved, then we start to find out why. So we have a retroactive approach on whenever we’re missing our goals. So in your case, can be like, “Oh Mateo, I realize that I couldn’t do this because the process that you put through makes me write too much and I can’t actually focus on my doing my job because the process is too lengthy on a bureaucracy level. That’s why I’m now missing my goal.” Okay. So that’s a good sign for me. It’s like, “Okay, so we have to make the process more lean for people to be able to achieve their goals.” So we always leave room for mistakes, but we keep always track of goals and achieve and we try to adjust our choices based on our small failures or missed goals.

Luis Magalhaes: So take me through the building of these KPIs. You say they’re like KPIs every two days, every three days or how are they negotiated to people? How are they set?

Matteo Grassi: Well, we split the company into the different departments and we made sure that the people on top of the departments were people that came from important roles before. So we didn’t hire the first, especially on that level. We would try to hire the top talent. And on top of that, then we let the people in their department do the hiring for their own department and we let them also establish the KPIs on their department. So product will have certain KPI and my product manager will establish the KPI that can be quantitative or qualitative obviously. In some cases it’s easy to define them from a number level, which we keep track, by the way, we keep track of the of the scores as well, especially in customer service.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice.

Matteo Grassi: Not because we, we want to score people. It’s just because we have a structure where you can actually progress within the company and moving from one stage to another, like progressing your career and getting more money if you want. And we needed to have some sort of-

Luis Magalhaes: You’re usually wanting to get more money, by the way.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, exactly [crosstalk 00:12:53].

Yeah. But that was the issue when we started to do that. People would ask him, “Can I have more money?” He was like, “Yeah, that’s fair enough.” But then we started to be too many people asking for too much money and I was like, “Okay, let’s put a structure in place and then…” We did structure them and I can say, “Yes, I can see that your score for the last three months, four months, you scored great. Yeah, you can have more money.”

Luis Magalhaes: Are these core metrics based on people? For example, you don’t score a salesperson the same way you score as social media manager, I suppose.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, that’s correct. Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: How do you decide how to score people?

Matteo Grassi: The customer service is the simplest one because you have metrics like a time, response time, your satisfaction rating, replies to comments, all these kind of things are very easy. You just go there, you have a number, the platform gives the number and then you can score them.

Regarding on the teams, it needs to be done, as I said, more like on a goal base. I set up goals with each one of my managers and then I will review them in a [inaudible 00:14:02] one to ones, I will review if they achieved that goal or not. And then I have a record for the last three or four months of the goals that you achieved or not.

Luis Magalhaes: So these are more longterm goals. Not those small would get goals that you set several times a week.

Matteo Grassi: No, small goals as well. I’ll give you an example maybe. Okay. My product teams said, a product team can say, “My goal this week is to improve the quality of this product.” Okay? And to be able to improve the quality of this product, I see that a we we are getting at the moment a hundred tickets per week regarding this product, let’s say, that people are complaining about.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: So my goal for next week is to improve the quality of the product. Maybe two weeks I will get for this. In two weeks to improve the quality of the product, and we want to see the number of tickets decreased by 25 percent to 30 percent [crosstalk 00:14:56]. I have a metric there, so we found a way to actually score that thing. And so I always tried to find a quantitative value because-

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: -there’s always something. It’s either the number of tickets, to be honest, it’s a very easy way to score how good your company is going, especially we use a advanced tagging system. So I know that a certain product, is it receiving more ticket? If the product is receiving more ticket, you have a problem with a product.

Luis Magalhaes: I love. I love that you have such a metrics, such a metric centric at both. I guess that, I wonder how you, as the high level position, you are the CEO, how do you find time to creatively evaluate and come up with this stuff instead of just spending your whole day nose deep into spreadsheets and looking at all the scores and setting all the goals and et cetera. It seems like a very granular system. How do you manage to handle to manage this and still have time for the high level creative stuff and building up process?

Matteo Grassi: I have five departments and I have five managers. So once I have a one to one once a week, that’s five calls a week. In that hour call, we set up the goals and then we set up the metric and then it will be their job to fill out the metrics obviously because they have to understand how good they’re doing that particular goal. And then, in the the week Laker we just review it. So overall, it’s about 15, 10, 15 hours a week for the five departments that I spent setting goals and reviewing them.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So, so that’s half your job and the other half, what is it? Is it more operations designing the processes and stuff like that?

Matteo Grassi: No, on the other half is actually because, in the last two months, we changed the business model a little bit and we decided to move over to the eCommerce accelerator company. So instead of running our own stores, we are capped the stores that we were running. But we decided to incorporate new projects that people were approaching us with and ideas. So someone come to us, it’s like, “Look, I have an amazing product. I have a website in Italy, for example. I did maybe 300 K, 400 cases this year, selling just in Italy. But I don’t have the fulfillment center. The countries. I don’t have the marketing knowledge to test in different countries. I don’t have the customer service.” Okay. Okay.

So our job in this way would be to, we take the project in house, we launch the project, and then we accelerate this project to do whatever the person wants. And as much as we can. We do a deal with them, whether they take a percentage of the sales. So every project is different. Some projects that require product development, marketing and customer surveys. Some project, they have the product but they don’t have the marketing. While other people is like, “Oh, I have an amazing marketing structure, but I don’t have the product.” So in this case, we come in a week, we make the product from them.

So in this way, my half of my time is not then to be basically the launch manager for this project. So I’m the person that within the 45 days, I take the project and I launch it. Launch means website is done, the first campaign just goes out, the marketing is started, the managers, the projects on a regular base. So I get new projects every 45 to 60 days. So we make a board decision that’s like, “Okay, so these water, we’re going to accelerate these one, two, three, four, five, six projects.” And then we accelerate them, stop them, and then move on.

It’s a temporary role. The idea is that obviously as we grow we’re going to have more lunch managers, more account manager taking in more projects and so on.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, so so right now you’re, you are doing partially the the launch manager and specially I would say the account manager, the account manager role. It sounds like a very fun job because, since you have a new project every 45 to 60 days, you get to be a lot very creative I imagine.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah. But it made sense for the operation for me to do it. The launch manager as the person that knows exactly each department of the company and my job is actually to connect to those departments with the partner, which is the person that brought the project was, to make sure that the project is moving forward. So because my job is making departments and building departments anyways, it kind of made sense for us to do it. And also the fact is because the structure of the business is changing now, I’m rewriting a lot of things. Before we were just like selling our own product, selling our own things, but now we’re shifting into this, so the results, so an internal restructure that I need to do [inaudible 00:19:50].

Luis Magalhaes: Hey there, it’s Lewis. Welcome to the intermission of the Distant Job Podcast. If you’re listening to this podcast, there’s a very big chance that you’re interested in building a great remote team, and to build a great remote team, you need great remote employees. That’s where Distant Job comes in. So here’s how it works. You tell us the kind of position that you need to fill. We talk to you. We try to figure out not only what are the exact requirements that that person should have, but also we try to figure out who would be a perfect fit for your company culture because we really believe that that matters. Then once we have an exact picture of what we’re looking for, we’re off to the races. Our recruiters tap into their global network and we filter people very well so that you don’t waste your time interviewing people that are never going to be offenders to you.

We make sure, because we are techies and our recruiters are techies as well, so when people get to you they are already pre-selected and you just have to decide between the cream of the crop. And once you make your selection, we handle all the paperwork, we handle HR for you, we handle payments, and you get a full time remote employee that’s among the best on the world and managed entirely by you, by your processes and following your culture. If this sounds good, visit us at www.distantjob.com. And without further ado, let’s get back with the show. Thank you for listening.

In a way, what you’re really dealing the most is with people and that with finding ways to make people work better. And have more satisfaction and productivity in their work and, and I’m wondering how, how has your background in psychology influenced this?

Matteo Grassi: I think I’m a born mediator. I think that’s why I studied psychology and I think that’s why I love psychology and especially clinical psychology.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice.

Matteo Grassi: I have the good ability of mediating between different parties and different things and finding the common ground and also the positive conflicts between two different parties as brings growth, and to manage that conflict in the right way because there’s always going to be conflict sometimes because you have people thinking different things. Maybe someone wants to go right, another person wants to go left. But they see that the best ideas they actually come when the two people are starting to, trying to challenging their own opinion and finding the other person opinion and finding a common ground. So I think my job is connecting dots and being in the middle of all of this. So that’s why I think the background in psychology was good because what I’d like to understand people is actually to, to mediate between different people and learning that my product manager is a type personality and my marketing manager is different type personality. So how can I make this two types personality that are excellent in their roles, but when you put them together, maybe they can create issues. How can I mediate between them?

Luis Magalhaes: Do you actually have a favorite science of personality or do you just have some homemade categories for yourself?

Matteo Grassi: No, we do a test for all of us, it’s called 16 personalities. The compass. It’s a nice test. I find the very same-

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, it’s Myers-Brigg?

Matteo Grassi: Let me see. It’s the one with the colors.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: The 16 personality.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, I think it’s Myers-Briggs. We do that as well. We enjoy it. We enjoy it a lot because then we can, we can relate each personality to a “Star Wars” character. Most of us enjoy “Star Wars” in the company, so yeah.

Matteo Grassi: 16personalities.com That’s the NERIS Analytics Limited. I don’t know if the Myers-Briggs.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. Well anyway, I was just, it was just more curiosity than anything else.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: I wanted to ask you a bit about hiring. So when you’re hiring, you already told me that you look for specialists, that you look for people with experience and that usually takes care of the actual skillset for the role. But why I think it’s challenging, especially being a fully remote company, is how to find people that will be good at working remote, that will have the discipline and that you can build the trust and the confidence required and have the good communication abilities. When you’re interviewing someone for a role, what are the ways that you find to discover if the people have these remote essential traits?

Matteo Grassi: First of all, we do an interview talking about the personal side of the applicant. So we don’t really look for the skill set at the beginning. Yeah. So I really look for certain traits of the people that we want to join the company and the traits that usually are, you have to have lived abroad or you have to move different jobs. That’s kind of a good thing for us. We don’t really like people, it’s like, “Oh I live in my city, I want to work remote. And that’s cool.”

Luis Magalhaes: Before being director of marketing, I was a dentist. Does that qualify? Do I get points?

Matteo Grassi: You get points if you’re a traveling dentist. No, it’s more about an attitude. It’s like, attitude is people that travels to discover rather than people who travel to go to holidays.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, yeah.

Matteo Grassi: People that read books, not just to entertain themselves but maybe read books because they want to develop themselves. Somebody who’s in search of different things.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: But there is always the problem of remote. There is always the challenge in remote.

Luis Magalhaes: So have you figured out some ways to try to filter better for that challenge? For example, I’m going to give you an example. When I was building out my marketing team, I used to get into, sometimes I still get when I’m looking for a new candidate, but not as much, ut I used to get this very big problem that was people were interviewing for a full time role. They were committing to a full time role, but really they were thinking they could get away with doing it part time and working with other people on the side. And some people I believe can have a bit of a freelance side gig going on, but most people can’t. Most people can focus in the demands of a full time job and then still free their mind space to go work to something else in the wee hours of the day. And this was something that it took me a while to be able to figure out the warning signs about these kinds of people. Have you found yourself in some similar situation? How did you solve it?

Matteo Grassi: No, not really similar situation because if you are working with us full time to be just for us full time, that’s part of the kind of contracts.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh I ask too, but then I found out that people weren’t doing that. That’s the problem. You can’t [crosstalk 00:27:15].

Matteo Grassi: We found that out a few times and we actually either let them go or ask them to leave. But most of the time let them go because it means that they lied in the first place, because [crosstalk 00:27:24]. Not because I’m against people that… We are trying to cut down our working time for the people who work with us full time to six hours a day instead of eight hours a day. That’s the company goal that we have within this year. You’re going to work [inaudible 00:27:44] eight hours but six hours of job, two hours you can, I don’t know, meditate, read a book.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah.

Matteo Grassi: I don’t care. Something like this. Obviously-

Luis Magalhaes: I love that idea. By the way. I, I would love to-

Matteo Grassi: And so I don’t want someone who works 60 hours a week because, I don’t know, they want more money. If you want more money, we can give them more money. I just work out of that or let’s move up and then move from position or it’s not, so it’s not… The main issue that we had with with the remote is people, the isolation, people not feeling that they’re part of the team. So that’s kind of all the things. So we organize always things where we meet so together every three months and we do company meetings and things like that.

Luis Magalhaes: Nice. Nice. Nice. Okay. So, moving from hiring to onboarding, so clearly you have a lot of very, very specific processes, a lot, a lot of of things that you want people to keep track of. How do you transmit this to people once you have a new employee, how do you lay out? What’s the conversation like where you tell them how they should work on a daily basis?

Matteo Grassi: It depends on the team. It depends on a lot on the team because some teams, for instance, the customer service teams, they have fixed hours, and there is less flexibility in that. Especially when you are on live channels and chats and all, that you have to be between nine and three or three and five. For the other teams, we have a more flexibility. And it’s always tried to be focused on goals rather than on activity. So you have your goals, you have the things that you have to do. They want to work. Some people tell me, “Look, I’d prefer to work in the morning, I prefer to work at night.” But it also depends on the dislocation of the teams. So some teams have four members in three different States or other teams are just nomads, they just are nomads, so they move from one place to another. So it is complicated in that sense. So we have to assess each one on a different base and making sure that the teams are working together.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So you, you’ve obviously had a huge spurt of growth in two and a half years. You went from five people to, is it 50, something like that?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, about that, yes. Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow. So I mean this has to been a quite a great ride. What was the best lessons these last two and a half years taught you?

Matteo Grassi: That processes and the the boring writing of handbooks and stuff, it really has to be done. I know it’s boring and everything.

Luis Magalhaes: [inaudible 00:30:21]. If it’s not boring you’re not doing it right.

Matteo Grassi: That is right. It’s that the 90 percent of actual work is actually 80 percent of actual work is actually that stuff. Small tasks repeated every single day with a dedication and weird things. So if anyone has worked in a big company, I think it’s an… And I hated working for a big company because it was full of that. But it is really, really, really helpful to be in that environment to learn how to do that everyday, to wake up at the time and sit in front of the computer and doing A, B, C, D everyday.

I know it’s boring, but I think that’s the best lesson that I learned because with a lot of freedom, a managed freedom, there’s also a lot of stress. And your kind of acceptance stage once the rush is over and everything you want to kind of feel, “I know what I’m going to do today, I know what I’m doing and I know that goals that I have to achieve and I know what I have to do to get there,” instead of like, “I’m not really know what I’m doing, everyday it’s going to be like a surprise and it’s going to be a bit of fire fighting and-“.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah. And you reach the end of the day and, “What was I doing the whole day?” Right?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So let’s say that you have, you have 100 euros to spend with each person working for you in order to improve their work life balance, their productivity, what would you give to them? Can be software, can be hardware, can be whatever you choose.

Matteo Grassi: Ah, software. Definitely software focusing on automations. This is another thing that we’re doing a lot, automations and artificial intelligence. So for ourselves and for the partners collaborate with us. So we tried to minimize the repetitive boring work that I was talking about, but to give that to machines and building algorithms with-

Luis Magalhaes: Can you give me a good example?

Matteo Grassi: Okay. We just built an algorithm that predicts how many sayings we are going to do within the next two weeks. So it predicts how much ordering we have to do.

Luis Magalhaes: You built it?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, we built it. We have our [inaudible 00:32:41] department is led by a guy, his name is Roberto, and he’s our CTO as well, and he feels focused in neural network and artificial intelligence and big data. When we have a lot of data, especially with that collected out of data, we just have to put it into a neural network and the neural network will start to then predict what’s going to happen. And we did this for the safe system. We did like this for the ticketing system as well. We are doing these as well for our advertising. We built our own platform to launch campaigns on Facebook, so everything is automated now. So the platform creates the ads. All we need to do is put images on a folder and then we say launch this problem, this problem. The platform takes the images, [inaudible 00:33:33] the ads, reads the data,, automatically start to scale or duplicating the campaigns and then based on the mistake start to learn and the algorithm inside will start to make decisions based on how everything is performing.

Luis Magalhaes: I wish marketing interns would learn like that.

Matteo Grassi: Ah, yeah. [inaudible 00:33:52] it was because we had like three or four people every day going there on Facebook, taking the things, upload in the video, waiting 10 minutes, launching the campaign and seeing the things, increasing the budget, duplicating that. It’s like next six, seven people doing some work that a machine can do.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s amazing. I’m impressed. So what about you? What thing have you bought for yourself that has made your work life easier or more productive? Let’s say in the past year.

Matteo Grassi: Thing I bought for myself? Oh, a blackboard.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, a blackboard? Really? What do you write there?

Matteo Grassi: Just flows. I write flows.

Luis Magalhaes: Wow.

Matteo Grassi: No, yeah, I really like to write flows. Flows of communication, flows of process. So, this person talks to this person. If this person is not available then this person talks to this person and this person goes there cause it’s a no, what does it go, these kind of things.

Luis Magalhaes: And then when it’s time to give the flows to other people, do you actually do the boarding work of replicating it digitally or do you just snap a photo?

Matteo Grassi: Oh, I don’t know. I’d actually have to do it. Yeah, I do it properly. The flow is actually easy to build. Like in flow chart. The varies, the heartbeat is there, the drawing of the processes-

Luis Magalhaes: -as the mind work. Nice.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: Okay. So what book or books have you gifted the most?

Matteo Grassi: What books I’m reading or not? A gift? Gifted?

Luis Magalhaes: No, gifted. Given to colleagues or to people you care about.

Matteo Grassi: Oh there is one from Richard Bach called “No Places Far Away.”

Luis Magalhaes: “No Places Far Away,” from Richard Bach?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah. It’s so tiny. It’s such a tiny book.

Luis Magalhaes: So why do you give it out?

Matteo Grassi: It’s about the sense of freedom and flying and the fact that there’s no borders between countries ar just defined by political and military conflicts through the years. Cause again, if I did, that’s what it is. And our borders are just military conflicts through ancient times and now so there’s not really we live… It’s no borders now. I think we are moving towards that. We are moving towards borderless worlds. Maybe not now, maybe in 200 years, who knows? But definitely things are changing and the connections are definitely changing.

Luis Magalhaes: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. That’s a, that’s a beautiful recommendation. My final question is if you are hosting a dinner with the top Silicon Valley executives, the CTOs, the CEOs for a round table on remote work and the meeting is at the dinner in a Chinese restaurant. What is the message that you as the host are going to put inside the fortune cookies? And it can’t be hire us for your marketing and product [crosstalk 00:36:51].

Matteo Grassi: Of course, of course, of course, of course.

Luis Magalhaes: That would be a good response as a marketing person, but sorry, it needs to be related to remote work.

Matteo Grassi: [foreign language 00:37:03] I don’t know. I guess give people freedom to be themselves.

Luis Magalhaes: Oh, that’s a good one. That’s a good one.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: Give people freedom to be themselves.

Matteo Grassi: Yeah.

Luis Magalhaes: So Mateo, it was a pleasure. Thank you for being here. Please tell our listeners where they can continue the conversation with you if they feel that they find interesting to know more about the services of the Eli Z group. Where can they find out about that as well?

Matteo Grassi: Yeah, so we’re currently building a new website because, as I was saying, we changed into these kinds of ecoms accelerator. So I think the next few days is going to be ready. So you can find me on LinkedIn so you can come to me on LinkedIn, I think. I think that’s the best way.

Luis Magalhaes: That’s right. So this was a pleasure. Thank you so much for coming here. If you’re ever nearby Portugal, ping me, I’ll take you places.

Matteo Grassi: I will.

Luis Magalhaes: And so we close another episode of the Distant Job Podcast and, if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners. Now another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, then any episodes really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episodes up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form.

And of course if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate 20 percent faster than the industry standard. And with that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode.

For further inquiries regarding podcasts, eBooks, blog posts, or general information about remote recruitment don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected]

More ways to listen:

Ensuring the right processes are in place can go a long way in achieving company goals. Matteo Grassi (ex-Shopify) shares how they’ve done it at Eli Z Group.

A lot of people talk about communication being a challenging factor in successfully running a remote team, but Matteo Grassi explains how one of the main issues they’ve encountered as a remote company has been managing projects. In this podcast episode, he shares how they have built their processes, improved them, and made sure the whole company is following them.

They have a goal-oriented strategy that focuses on short and long term goals rather than day-to-day activities. Wanna know how this has helped the business? Have a listen.

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