Alter Everything

A podcast about data science and analytics culture.
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Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Host Tuvy Le sits down with Joe Mako and Alex Koszycki for a chat about vulnerability, imposter syndrome, and a growth mindset.




Tuvy Le - @TuvyL, LinkedIn, Twitter
Alex Koszycki@AlexKoLinkedIn, Twitter
Joe Mako - @Joe_Mako, LinkedIn, Twitter



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Episode Transcription

TUVY: 00:13 

[music] Welcome to Alter Everything, a podcast about data science and analytics culture. I'm Tuvy Le, and I'll be your host. Today, we're joined by Joe Mako and Alex Koszycki to talk about vulnerability, imposter syndrome, and a growth mindset. Sit back, let those scheduled workflows run, and enjoy this end-to-end podcast experience. [music] 

TUVY: 00:44 

So I am guest hosting today, and I want to welcome my cohost Alex Koszycki. 

ALEX: 00:52 

Hey, everybody. 

TUVY: 00:53 

And our wonderful guest today is the one and only Joe Mako. 

JOE: 01:00 

Thank you Alex and Tuvy. Thank you for having me here. 

TUVY: 01:03 

So I just want to start off with sharing a little bit of how I met you, Joe Mako. I had heard a lot about you. I've read about you on Ken Black's blog, and I feel like you're a pretty famous personality in our community. So we actually met at Inspire in Anaheim this year, and I feel like-- our conversation was in the middle of Coachella. People were drinking. People were dancing. Music was blasting. And the whole time we were talking, I felt like we were in a little bubble because the conversation was just so insightful and I guess a little intense, talking about vulnerability, which is not a topic that I was expecting to talk about with anybody at this huge, unconventional conference. So I guess my first question to you is, I feel like vulnerability is a big part of a lot of conversations that we've had, and I just wanted you to share a little bit of what you think of that word and what it means to you. 

JOE: 02:29 

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for that introduction, Tuvy. There's a lot to unpack with words like that because they mean a lot of different things to different people. And so for me, where I get my definition of vulnerability is from Brené Brown where she talks about that vulnerability, is how we enable connection with people. That normally, we're scared to be vulnerable. We feel like that's dangerous or that that's going to be a negative thing, that we need to be strong and closed off. But in reality, if we can be more vulnerable, we can have better connections and deeper connections and more valuable conversations with more people, that it allows for a greater sharing, and it enables empathy where we can feel the same and be there for each other whereas without it, we are going to be judgmental, or we make up our own stories to explain things. But if we can open up and say, "Hey, this is what I've got going on," then we can come together more genuinely. And that's why I really enjoyed talking with you, Tuvy, because you responded very well to that. And with other people in the Alteryx community, with some of the other ACEs, I've had those similar type of vulnerable conversations that create a lot of value and friendship and just being able to elevate each other. 

ALEX: 04:02 

I think you really summed it up pretty beautifully right there. And also in a quote that I read of yours on a blog actually by Ken Black, another one of our great ACEs, where he-- he kind of expanded on this and how you've been really a encouraging force in our community for being open and creating that genuine connection. So I just want to read your quote real quick. And maybe you can add on any thoughts you have around it, but you wrote, by connecting with others, we are able to have a deeper connection with ourselves. The more we share, the more we gain. I thought that was a nice succinct way to sum that together. 

JOE: 04:48 

Yeah. It's common for people to think that knowledge is power and that they need to hoard it, and then they can feel special because they have it and somebody else doesn't. And in my perspective, knowledge is really only powerful when we share it because then, we can all contribute to it, and we can discover things that we weren't able to see on our own. We can get these different perspectives and with other people's perspectives that allows us to have that deeper insight into ourselves, and we can make better choices and be more aware and be more accepting. And it just makes everything more beautiful when we share more. 

ALEX: 05:32 

Yeah. I think I couldn't agree more. I hear a lot from people, especially with our community, that it's hard to know that or feel comfortable with your level of skill and to really put yourself out there and ask a question or help someone else because you, on some level, don't feel like you're at that level yourself, you're entitled to be giving advice out. How do you think we should be thinking about that or encouraging people to think about that in terms of maybe sharing on our community or sharing in person information and training and knowledge? It's a tough pickle trying to balance the two and say, "Oh, I actually do know a thing or two." 

JOE: 06:24 

There's a lot of different perspectives and a lot of things to unpack in that situation of that anxiety or hesitation or fear, even self-judgment of thinking, "I'm not good enough," or whatnot. And one thing that's really helped me out a lot is the perspective that Ira Glass shared around this gap. That when we get into something new that we've never done before, we get into it because we have a taste for it where we're like, "Oh, that's really neat. That's something that I need." And then when we start, we find out that you know what? We're not really that good at it, that we kind of suck. And everybody that does something creative goes through that where they're not as good as what their ambitions are when they begin. And the only way to get through that is through a lot of work, by doing the practice, by putting yourself on a schedule or a deadline and just doing the work. It's not so important to care about the quality of it, but focus on the quantity, that through that, we can close that gap where we can have a greater understanding of it and be more skilled at it. 

JOE: 07:55 

And then we're not going to be able to do that on our own. We need to have this community of people to bounce ideas off of, to see their perspectives and their techniques, and to remix it. That everything out there is going to be a remix of-- like Kirby Ferguson says, that it's either you're going to copy it or you're going to transform it or you're going to combine it. That there's really nothing out there that's new. It's all remixed of other stuff that's out there and having that comfort and acceptance that we're not going to be that good and it's okay to mess things up because it's a process. If we were already good at it, then there's no value in it. The other thing is this idea of permission where people think, "Oh, I need to go to college in order to be able to do this," or, "I need to be certified or get somebody's permission." And today, you don't need to do any of that. If you just go out and begin, just try it, copy what somebody else has done, and in that process of just copying it, you'll get experience, and you'll understand it better. 

TUVY: 09:16 

I think that's really interesting that the true magic really happens when people are vulnerable and open enough to ask the questions and copy someone or ask them for help, ask someone who's done it before if they could maybe help guide you through. But I guess it's a bad habit of ours where, like you said, that permission piece, we do ask for permission or we at least ask for, I guess, someone else to believe in us that we can do it versus us just plainly believing in ourselves because that's taking a big risk for some reason. If you have a mentor or if you have someone that you really look up to and they tell you, "Oh yeah. You can absolutely do that. You'll get it. Don't worry," having someone else believe in you sometimes is strangely more powerful, you think, than you believing in yourself, which is a little backwards. But I really like that permission's piece. I don't know why we constantly seek for that approval from people. 

JOE: 10:29 

It's something that we all do. We're all humans, we're social, and we're not in this alone. And it's not easy to accept yourself or to believe in yourself and to give yourself that permission that if you depend on somebody else to give you that affirmation and to give you that encouragement, it does make things easier. I don't know what to say, but it's those both two things of believing in yourself, accepting yourself, giving yourself permission, and then connecting with like-minded people that are going to be there to have empathy with you and encourage you and interact with you in the way that you need and be able to request that and seek it out and understand that you're worthy of that connection and relationship. 

ALEX: 11:29 

Definitely. I think that we hear that all the time with our customers and our user base. I've heard someone say before that it's really hard to find someone that just is kind of [inaudible] about Alteryx. Either you're all in or you're not, and I think part of that really has to deal with the people around you, the environment around you. And if you're self-teaching, are you kind of plugging yourself in or looking for-- maybe someone else at your company has used it before or somebody in your area has a user group or something like that. Those people that plug in, they seem to definitely just have way more fun and progress way faster. And I think there's a lot of that social experience there to learning and to creativity as you mentioned earlier. It's definitely very palpable to see. When someone's excited about it, it's very palpable. Actually, Tuvy, you've been dipping your toes recently in Alteryx. Right? 

TUVY: 12:34 

Alex, I thought we weren't going to talk about this [laughter]. 

ALEX: 12:38 

Come on. You can open up. I think that you have an interesting perspective on this as well. I think as somebody that maybe didn't come from a traditional data background-- look, what has your experience been like trying to get up and running with Alteryx? 

TUVY: 12:57 

I'm going to say it's hard. I've never really worked with data. My background is in kinesiology. And it's been difficult. The weird and ironic thing is I talked to ACEs almost every day, people who are the best of the best. And I'm on the community team with people who are creating the certifications, and everyone around me is a whiz in Alteryx. And so I'll definitely say that that part is very intimidating. I've been watching videos - Christine's and Joe's videos are amazing - and I do feel like I'm learning, but if I close out of it and I come back, it's like starting all over again, and it's a little bit-- I mean, I've heard this example before - and I agree - it's almost like learning a brand new language, and not just learning a new language but learning it as an adult. Sometimes I wonder if I was seven years old and somebody just let me play around with Alteryx if it would feel easier. I don't know if it's my own mental block or my-- I just can't get past the fact that I think it's hard, so I keep thinking that it's hard. And so I don't know if that makes sense, but it's just like a predisposed view of it that I can't get out of. 

TUVY: 14:38 

But thinking about what Joe said about just giving myself the permission to learn-- and it's going to suck at first, and I'm not going to be good, and that's okay, but it's hard to voluntarily put yourself in a situation where you know you're going to suck or you know you're not going to do very well or I already know that when I do have the guts to take the certification, I probably won't pass it the first or second or even - who knows? - fifth time. So that part is a little scary. I mean, I know, Joe, you probably learned how to use the platform just like everyone else did with small baby steps and now here you are, but for people like myself or others who are honestly brand new to Alteryx, how would you demystify this a bit? 

JOE: 15:43 

Yeah. Definitely, two of you, I mean, a lot of things you're saying, you're not alone, that a lot of people go through those same feelings and experiences that it's scary and overwhelming and even for myself with some of the features of Alteryx that I haven't touched because I don't know how to use them. Nobody knows everything, and understanding that we're all at just different levels and wherever you're at, that's okay. And if you're not okay, that's okay too. That it's okay to not be okay with it. It comes down to me for a lot in a mental-model perspective that we've got either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. And the fixed mindset comes with a lot of judgment with things like, "Oh, you're smart," or, "You're so good at this. It comes naturally to you," all these different platitudes that are very common where there's a lot of judgment and labels. And those are a lot of shortcuts for us as humans that we naturally want to use, but if we try a different mindset of a growth mindset where [it?] looks at it from the amount of effort that you put into it or the amount of practice, and that's how you get your value out of it. That instead of recognizing somebody for being smart, we can recognize somebody for the amount of work they put into it or the amount of time they practiced it. And that's where you're going to get the greater value from and one of the perspectives that's helped me change that mindset myself because I grew up with that fixed mindset. 

JOE: 17:40 

And around the time of when I was learning Alteryx and Tableau and other tools like this, I shifted into this growth mindset. It was necessary for me to be able to make this change. It's similar to people saying, "Oh, I'm no good at math." And immediately when they make that judgment, they've have a self-fulfilling prophecy that they're-- of course, they're not going to be good at it because they already said they're not going to be good at it. So that's exactly what they're going to do. If we can say, "This is something new, and I'm going to try it, and we'll see what happens, and then I'll try it again and try it again, and I'll keep trying to raise my awareness of it and understand it and see the patterns and look at it from a game perspective," that that can help us to learn these things. But what I would get sidetracked off of is this question of how does it feel when you're wrong. I don't know if I've asked you this question before, Alex, but when you're wrong, how does it feel? 

ALEX: 18:48 

So I think that it's definitely instinctually not a great feeling. Everyone likes to win, and everyone likes to be right. But it is something in line with the way that you've spoken about having a growth mindset. The best thing that I try to keep in mind is that oh, now I know more about this thing that I was wrong about because at least now I know where I was wrong. It's just a learning opportunity. I can build off of it. 

JOE: 19:18 

And that's a nice perspective, but you're answering a different question. That when you said that it doesn't feel so good to be wrong, you're answering how does it feel after you find out you're wrong. But if you think about it of how does it feel before you find out you're wrong, it feels like you're right, that you don't realize that you're wrong yet. And so anytime that we're trusting in this feeling of rightness, we might be wrong. So when we say, "Oh, I'm no good at math. This is too complex for me. I don't know how to use Alteryx. I'll never figure it out. It's too overwhelming for me," you might be wrong. And when you feel like, "I believe that I'm no good at math," you might be wrong. And let's change your perspective, change your lens, and look at it differently and give it a try. And if you feel okay reaching out and asking for help, there's people out there. You can always reach out to me. I'm here for anybody" 

TUVY: 20:36 

There's a lot of, I think-- at least for myself, it's like this self-preservation where you would rather say, like you said, "I'm not good at math," or, "Alteryx is really hard, and my brain is just not wired that way." And it's almost an excuse that you give yourself in case you end up not being very good at it. And so you've already-- that self-fulfilling prophecy where you've-- I called it. I knew I wouldn't be good, and now I'm not good. So in the end, you're right. 

JOE: 21:11 

And that feels safe. That's us as humans trying to protect ourselves. And we've experienced some trauma before, and that's our defensive mechanism. And it's something that served us well in the past, but these agreements that we have with ourselves are not going to serve us when we try to go outside of something that we already know. To learn something new is going to feel risky and dangerous and unsafe because it's unknown. And what's bravery? Bravery is continuing to act even when you're scared. 

ALEX: 21:59 

It also reminds me of another quote from Henry Ford, which you guys probably have heard of before, whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right. And I think that really drives at home. If you have a fixed mindset, you're really boxing yourself in from the start because it's going to throw up these walls or these barriers that you think you know are your limit, right, where your skills are going to hit a wall. But you don't actually know if that's true. You don't know if that wall exists or if it's just in your mind. There's a great psychologist that does a lot of work on this. Her name is Angela Duckworth, and she wrote this book called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. And it's all about adopting a growth mindset, whether it's early on in school, in your formative years, or later on if you are looking to change careers or make a lifestyle change, do something big. The people that adopt a growth mindset are, on all metrics, much more successful than the ones that are loyal to a fixed mindset. And it all just comes down to effort, comes down to putting the effort in to push the limits out. 

TUVY: 23:25 

Early at lunch, we talked about people that we look up to, and one of the things that I know about myself is that I'm highly unorganized. I like to do a lot of things all at once, and I think I'm okay with multitasking, but as far as organizing my workspace or things that I need to do, I'm just not very organized. And when I look at people at Alteryx, like Beth Narrish, for example, every call that I'm on with her, she is the most organized person, and I look up to that so much. And I look up to people like you who can give almost anybody a new way of looking at things and insight with every conversation. And so I'm just wondering, with you, who do you look up to, or who do you admire, whether it's work related or personal? 

JOE: 24:28 

Like you're saying, Tuvy, when you meet people like Beth or myself, there's something that you walk away with, some new idea or a new perspective. And, to me, I can see everybody as being my hero, that I see everybody is beautiful and wonderful, and I can learn something from everybody that I know. I think everybody's kind of my hero in different way. 

ALEX: 24:56 

Along that line, I also just tend to look around and take the best qualities of others that I see, that I really sort of - what's the word I'm looking for? - I'm just really impressed by or really revere and try to take those lessons and incorporate them. And one person that comes to mind for me is Ben Gomez. He was a product manager here at Alteryx when I joined the product management group, and Ben was just great inspiration to me. I come from a support background, so I used to work on the support team here first. And Ben was one of the product managers that was one of the best at seeing things from the customer's perspective and being able to really put himself in the shoes of our users. He was always friendly. He was a great inspirational leader. 

ALEX: 25:54 

And so when I joined at their product management group here, I was really nervous. I had imposter syndrome pretty strongly. So Ben ended up being my kind of confidant for figuring out how to lead in certain different situations, how to bring the voice of the customer into every meeting room even when it's tough. And I really appreciate that. So I'm also not very organized, Tuvy, and I work on that as well. So I'd look at someone like Brad Wolf over here who-- some of our users may recognize the name. He's in charge of our beta and release programs here. And Brad is one of those-- he's like a cartoon of someone spinning seven plates on various poles and drinking tea at the same time. He is pretty amazing with his organization. So I tend to look at some of those skills, and out of envy or respect, try to incorporate as much as I can from it. 

TUVY: 27:08 

Joe, earlier at lunch, you quickly mentioned a little bit about your past and the journey that you took to get here to where you are today, and I wanted to ask a little bit more about it. How did you get into data and analytics? And what did you study in school? What did you do before you became an Alteryx ACE and joined this huge community? 

JOE: 27:40 

So in high school, when I met with the guidance counselor and they're like, "What kind of job do you want to do? What do you want to do with your life?" My answer was, "I want to be a high school math teacher." And the guidance counselor said, "Nope. You don't want to do that. You want to get into computers." And so I-- "Okay." And my submissive nature was like, "Oh, go ahead and do that." So I went to college, first semester, got all A's, second semester, I was like, "Oh, this is easy. I'll go out and experience college life," got drunk every night and got all F's. And after that, I was like, "This isn't going to work out for me. I need to do something different," and jumped into the workforce, got a job at a tech company, and just dove into it. And that was a really great experience for me to get started. But quickly being out on my own, I had an emotional breakdown and went out and restarted my life. I moved down to Florida, lived as a bum, doing a different job every day, living out with Salvation Army just to kind of start fresh with no material possession and just kind of restart life. 

JOE: 28:53 

And after that, I started working at Kinko's. And while there, people would come in with something they need to print out. And we might not have the right font on our computers for it to come out right, and so I went out and got at my own computer and got all the fonts downloaded from the internet, and made it happen. So whenever somebody came in with some document that wasn't working right, I would do whatever it took to get it to come out exactly how they wanted it, and that's where I found my love for helping people, that this ability to solve problems and make things better for other people was a joy for me. And I kind of took that approach of Mike Rowe where he says, "It's not about figuring out what your passion is and doing what you're passionate about. It's about finding your passion and bringing your passion with you everywhere you go." And for me, my passion is to help people be successful, and working at Kinko's gave me that first introduction to it. 

JOE: 30:01 

When I was a kid, my dad exposed me to dBase IV and DOS and making a checkbook. So I was exposed to the concept of a database. And when I joined the Army to serve my country to gain a sense of earning my freedom and contributing and doing my part, when I saw the medics trying to maintain shot records in Excel and spending the whole weekend in that nightmare, I said, "Well, let's throw it in a database." And now instead of them spending every weekend trying to do the work, they could just press a button and everything just worked. And again, that's me taking that passion of helping people in every avenue, taking things that I'm skilled in or aware of and bringing them to bear to help others. 

JOE: 30:53 

After the Army, I worked at an IT company, and they asked how many customers do we have. I was like, "Well, if we look in this database, we got one number. You look at our billing, we're billing a different set of people. You look at who we're providing service to, it's a different set of people. How many customers would you like to have? It's all messed up." And I took that on as a side project to resolve those data issues, and I didn't have the skill set or the tools to be able to solve it. [It?] was too many records for me to handle manually. I had to adopt a tool like Alteryx to take the data from these different places, process it, and then visualize it, and I turned to Tableau for the visualization tool. And with that combination of an ETL tool and Tableau, I said, "This is what I want to do with my life. This is something really special. It allows me to take my skills and my passion for helping people and do something that's profitable and wonderful." 

JOE: 31:59 

And I got involved in the Tableau community, and that's how I learned Tableau and learned to work with data, was by going out and trying to help other people. And in that process of being exposed to real challenges and having the empathy with them to put myself in their shoes and think, "All right. They're asking this question. What's going to be their next question? How can I help them understand what's going on here? Because they asked this really focused thing, but how can I put myself in their shoes and think what's going to be the next problem or the related problems? And how can I write some documentation in this forum post to help them understand and have a deeper understanding of what's going on?" And in that process of trying to explain it, is how I learned because I heard somebody say that in order to know that you know something, you have to be a good teacher at it. And so I took my lifelong passion of wanting to be a teacher and brought it to bear in trying to learn how to use these tools. And along the way, I met a lot of people, a lot of wonderful people, and they helped me learn, and I helped them, and it's a beautiful community because ultimately, that's what it comes down to at the end of the day for me, is it's not about the data. It's not about the software. It's about the people and the connections that we make. 

ALEX: 33:34 

That was a really beautiful answer, Joe, and I'm just enthralled by the path that your life has taken. It's amazing. Thank you also for your service. That's a sacrifice that not everyone can make, and it's very awesome that you took that upon yourself. I wanted to also ask kind of along the lines of teaching because I think that's why your reputation tends to precede you, is you have this empathetic approach to teaching, to sharing, to having that culture of learning, kind of spreading that as much as possible. I was wondering, for many of our folks or listeners, they probably don't know exactly what day to day an ACE would get up to. What sort of activities do you do in general to teach and to spread information and just maybe as an overview for sort of what people could be expecting of you when you reach out to them on community or when you answer on a post? 

JOE: 34:53 

I think for every ACE, it's a different path and a different story, and they contribute in their own unique way. For myself, I contribute with one on ones. That people from around the world will send me an email and say, "Hey, Joe, I saw this thing that you did here. Can you help me out with this?" And I'll jump on a Webex with them, we'll share a screen, we'll walk through their problem, and we'll talk about what's the mental model or the concepts that come to bear in it and how can they have an approach that will allow them to take this and apply it to other tools or to have this deeper understanding of it? That's my preferred way of helping people, is one on one. It can be really difficult to write documentation. My respects to the people here at Alteryx that are writing the help documentation and the knowledge base and the tool-mastery documentation. There's so much wonderful content that you guys are creating, and it's really valuable to a lot of people, and it's really special, and I appreciate it. 

TUVY: 36:07 

So I'm curious about your friendship with Ken Black. I know we brought him up earlier, and you've been featured on a few of his blogs. And I do know that you guys are going to be presenting at Inspire in Nashville next year. Can you give us a tiny sneak peek into what that session will be like, this joint session with you and Ken? 

JOE: 36:35 

In a lot of sense, it's going to be a repeat or a continuation from the session that Ken gave last year, but we're going to dive more into the visualization and the techniques and update the data so that we can have more perspective on it. 

ALEX: 36:52 

Inspire reminded me of one of my favorite memories of you, Joe, by the way. It was in Vegas. We had these playing cards that you may remember, and the playing cards had icons of analytics on it. And so at that point, it was just, I would just want to say, a bunch of Alteryx employees largely and ACEs and people that were-- they're very active in our community. Do you want to share what you were doing with those cards last Inspire? 

JOE: 37:33 

Yeah, Alex. I absolutely loved those cards. I believe Terra is the one who made them or did some design work on them, and it was something really unique and special. That what they had done was create two decks. They created a 52-card deck for employees that were involved in the community and then another deck of customers that were involved in the community, and they made this game around it of what the different points and how many times they posted and how many answers, and it was just a really fun game that they made. And I looked at it and I said, "Well, wait a minute here. There's 52 employees, and a lot of them, I don't really know. And most of them are probably here. So let me make my own game of trying to go around and find all the employees who have a card and get them to sign it." And that was a really special moment for me. Out of all the conferences I've been to, that was my favorite activity. It was kind of like having my own little autograph book and going around and getting the Disney characters to sign it. It was really special for me. And it was challenging too because you guys are busy and you're doing things, or some people weren't actually there, and I mailed them the card and had them sign it and mail it back to me. And-- 

TUVY: 38:59 

Oh, you did? 

JOE: 39:01 

Yeah. So I-- 

TUVY: 39:01 

That's [really?] awesome. 

JOE: 39:02 

--had to complete my deck. 

ALEX: 39:03 

I had multiple people here at Alteryx come up to me and talk about that and say how it was such a moving experience because actually one of my most-- honestly, one of the most proudest I've been at Alteryx was when you walked up and asked me to sign my card for you. I was like, "Oh my gosh. Dad, look at me now [laughter]." 

JOE: 39:26 

Well, I think everybody is special, and I think it's wonderful. 

ALEX: 39:32 

And at a later date, I was wondering if you actually got all of your signatures. Did you complete your deck? Did you complete the-- 

JOE: 39:41 

I did. 

ALEX: 39:41 

--pocker decks? Wow. That's awesome. Congratulations. I mean, you've got a one of a kind keepsake there, I believe. 

TUVY: 39:51 

So as we like to close out the show with community picks, - Alex, you can go first - what are-- or what is your community pick for the week? 

ALEX: 40:03 

So mine actually isn't a Alteryx thing, but I think it's something really big that's in historic, that's happened recently, and it's kind of its own data revolution as well in a way. And that is the recent birth of two Chinese twins that have been genetically engineered to have faulty receptors for HIV. I believe that they may actually have-- it wasn't completely successful, so they have both faulty and effective receptors. So they can still get HIV. But the reason this is so big is that a Chinese scientist recently-- well, this past year, kind of sidestepped a lot of ethical and just logistical concerns and genetically edited human embryos for the first time in history that actually came to term and were born. So we're kind of living in a new era now. We're living in an era where genetically modified individuals walk among us. And there's new technologies for this, and I think it heralds kind of a new age of now everyone knows that this technology is out there, and everybody knows that it's doable, and it's cheap, and it's accessible. 

ALEX: 41:37 

And we have this sort of responsibility, I think, as scientists and people that know data and people that are building the future each and every day, we have this responsibility, each and every one of us, to make sure that we use this technology in a responsible manner in the future. So helping to reduce suffering in the world by taking out diseases such as sickle cell and HIV is definitely one of the things that I think could be really beneficial from this technology. But there are also other ideas and gray areas where people could be applying it in ways that we might not think are actually good for our society. So my pick is kind of a long-winded thing. I just would like to see more and more discussions about the recent CRISPR developments. 

JOE: 42:44 

Well, Alex, I mean that CRISPR-Cas9 stuff is really complex and a lot of drama around that as far as what's ethical and what's not. That's pretty amazing. 

TUVY: 42:56 

It's [crosstalk]. 

JOE: 42:58 

So for me, I'm just going to shout out the couple of people that I mentioned today during the podcast, Brené Brown on being vulnerable, Catherine Scholtes on being wrong, Mike Rowe on bringing your passion with you, and Ira Glass on the gap. 

TUVY: 43:17 

Well, I have two, and one is a kind of repeat from you Joe, Brené Brown. I also adore her. And I have this quote that I've loved for years that I wanted to share, and it is, we cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions, and that is just a quote of hers that I really agree with and try to live by. So that is the one. And the second one is a community pick that I've done before, but that is the blood drives. There's a extreme shortage of blood, and if people would like to donate blood, I highly recommend getting the blood donor app, which makes it so easy for you to keep track of your donations. It'll remind you when it's time where you can donate again. It helps you find locations close to you, and it even has a fast-track part of the app where you can fill out all the questionnaires that you would normally do so in person. And basically, you're in and out in 20 minutes, and you can easily save a life. Plus, they give you snacks, and they tell you what kind of blood type you have, which is always nice to know. So I am a B positive, which I just like saying because it's a fun blood type to have [laughter]. But yeah-- 

ALEX: 44:51 

I'm O-- 

TUVY: 44:52 

--I mean-- 

ALEX: 44:52 

--negative [laughter]. 

TUVY: 44:52 

--we-- typical, typical Alex. So anyway, thank you so much for being here, for taking the time to come and talk to us, Joe. It's a joy having you here, and I hope you come back and visit us soon. I mean, you're just down the street basically. So thank you, and thank you, Alex, for being a great cohost, and we'll talk to you guys soon. 

JOE: 45:20 

Thank you. 

ALEX: 45:21 

Thanks, Tuvy. Thanks, Joe. And also, Tuvy, make sure that that app is in the show notes for us because someone that's not very organized, I definitely need that in my life [laughter]. 

TUVY: 45:34 

I will make sure you download the app and you register. That's a promise. [music] 

ALEX: 45:39 

Awesome. Well, thank you, guys. 

S4: 45:50 

Thanks for listening to Alter Everything. Go to for show notes, information about our guests, episodes, and more. If you've got feedback, tweet us using the hashtag Alter Everything or drop us an email at Catch you next time. [music] 

TUVY: 46:21 

We got really deep here real quick. So let's switch gears for a second. And Joe, you're an ACE. You're an Alteryx ACE. And just for fun, in the past few months here, every time I've met up with an ACE, I've asked them who their favorite ACE is, just for fun, and for many reasons, I've consistently gotten your name. 

ALEX: 46:58 

And we were like, "All right. We have to get the root of this, get to the roots," if you will. 

TUVY: 47:04 

To the roots. Yes. So for example, Mike Treadwell, I asked him and he said, "Joe Mako was my favorite ACE." And when I asked him why, he said he loves you because of who you are but also for your awesome hair. So let's dig a little deeper and let's talk about it. Your hair is very glorious, and I think our listeners, myself, Alex-- do you have any rituals, hair rituals, any special shampoo and conditioner that you use? What should we know? 

JOE: 47:49 

I don't really have any special tricks. I guess the one recommendation I would have is find a community of people that are passionate about hair and get involved there [laughter]. Like for myself, on Reddit, there's a subreddit called curly hair, and I have very curly hair, so I got on there and listened to what people said there. And now, my ritual is I wash my hair once a week, and I comb it almost never, and I just let my hair live wild and natural. 

ALEX: 48:27 

Joe, it's so vindicating to hear you say that because I have always had curly hair. I am not aware of the subreddit, but I will be joining it now. But that's exactly what I do. I wash my hair once a week and I never comb it [laughter]. 

TUVY: 48:41 

It's working for you guys. Do you use dry shampoo? 

JOE: 48:48 

I have not but some people do. 

TUVY: 48:51 

Your hair looks great. Alex, you're missing out. Yeah-- 

ALEX: 48:56 

I can see-- 

TUVY: 48:56 

--just Alex. 

ALEX: 48:56 

--Joe's avatar here in Skype, and it's glorious. I mean, it's got shine. It's got volume. It's a lot of gravitas. How long is your hair right now, Joe? 

JOE: 49:10 

I don't know. It's varying different degrees. The other thing I recommend is don't hold back to the stigmas. Like me, I've gone out and gotten highlights added to my hair. And have fun, enjoy it, and don't worry so much about what other people are going to label you as, and have fun with it. 

ALEX: 49:35 

Just like there's many different ways to build a workflow in Alteryx, there's many different ways to wear your hair down [laughter]. 

TUVY: 49:45 

Yeah. And speaking of getting highlights and coloring and having fun with it, Alex just got reddish highlights in his hair, and they look great. I think it brings out his eyes. It adds some volume and texture to his curls, so good job, Alex. 

ALEX: 50:07 

Thanks, Tuvy. 

TUVY: 50:07 

[It's good?]. 

ALEX: 50:08 

I'm experimenting. We'll see what color is next [laughter]. 



This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).