Aaron Itkowitz

In a world that moves way too fast, we’re always looking for ways to keep up, to stay active, to be more productive, to do more. But sometimes we hit a wall and there’s nothing else we can do but wait. In the entrepreneurial world, there are many processes that can take time to show results, especially when it comes to a new product, and the need for patience can make us feel very impatient and anxious.

In this new episode of The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast, I have the pleasure of coaching Aaron Itzkowitz, President & CEO of Jinglz. Join me for a very interesting conversation about impatience, and how it can affect us, our performance and our judgement. We also discuss how to convert negative outcomes into positive energy that actually helps us use impatience in creative and better ways, and discover that patience isn’t always the answer.

Have you struggled with impatience? Or experienced any other issue? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to discuss here on the podcast or privately, please reach out to me at:

kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades and I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in-person.

Today I have a guest from Florida. His name is Aaron Itzkowitz and he is the President and CEO of a company called Jinglz.

Aaron, welcome.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:00:32]
Thank you, Kim. It's great to be here today.

Kim Ades: [00:00:34]
So, what is Jinglz? What does that mean? What do you do? Do you just sing songs all day? Fill us in.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:00:40]
That's a great question, and it could also be Jingles the cat, I think in one of the movies with Robert De Niro... So, Jinglz is a technology company.

Kim Ades: [00:00:48]
Okay.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:00:48]
We develop solutions using the front facing camera of a phone, of a mobile device. And what we've done is we're able to track people as they're watching video, with their permission. And to see if they're engaged in the video. And not only do we track their engagement, which is defined as eyes on the screen while the video is playing, but we also are able to track slight changes in their facial expressions.

And based on their slight changes of facial expressions or scent, we can track and interpret eight different emotions. Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they confused? Are they angry, et cetera. And using those data points, we then use data science to deliver very measurable indices associated with how audiences are reacting to video content.

Kim Ades: [00:01:39]
Wow, that's pretty powerful!

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:01:41]
So far, so good? Yeah. So, think of it as a focus group, without bringing people into a room, and capturing authentic, unbiased reactions to whether it be a television commercial, whether it be an e-commerce video ad or even we're doing lawyers right now where they're testing witness expert, witness testimonies or video depositions of a case or a trial and helping them prepare for their cases. So a lot of different applications.

Kim Ades: [00:02:08]
Very, very interesting. So you said that you do it with the watchers, the video watchers' permission. How do you get the permission?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:02:17]
So, the panel audience, we basically spend every single day recruiting audiences from around the country and we go through a screening process. They answer a couple of survey questions, the whole process takes two minutes, and they sign up. And when a order or a video test becomes available, if they're the right demographic, if they're the right fit for the client, they'll be invited to participate in the test.

We're using artificial intelligence. So, on a typical test, we'll have a minimum of 100-200 people participating in that video test.

Kim Ades: [00:02:53]
So if I had, for example, an ad that was going out that was video based, I would say, "Hey, Aaron, I want to make sure that this is going to work. Can we test it out first?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:03:02]
That's exactly what it's for. You can test an ad and then you can find out if it resonates with the audience or if it's achieving the results that you want. And let's say you made a joke in the middle of the video ad, and you didn't get enough of a spike of happiness or surprise, which is two of the emotions that are measured. And you'd say, "well, why isn't that resonating with the audience?" You can go back in and actually optimize the video.

Kim Ades: [00:03:25]
Wow, that's amazing. I love that idea. Who is this concept for? Is this for the person with a big budget or is it for anyone?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:03:34]
Great question. So traditional focus groups can cost $10,000 or more and take 2-3 weeks to execute. With our technology and our platform, it takes 3 minutes to publish a video test and results can come back in a matter of hours, and where focus groups can cost US $10,000, we start at $500 and up.

So it's extremely disruptive and very affordable, whether you're a big ad agency or you're a small firm, or even people who are doing Ted Talks, they want to get audience insights before they make their big speeches, they can test, you know, their speeches against a closed audience, private audience.

Kim Ades: [00:04:11]
Wow. I'm so glad we spoke. This is very interesting information, but we are here to coach you. So, I want to know what is your greatest challenge? What's going on for you that you are looking for some help with?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:04:24]
Thanks, Kim. So we are a startup business. We've been developing the technology for the past almost four years. We launched the product right before COVID in January, commercialized the product. And of course, the pandemic hit and had an effect on business, but even so, one of our challenges is that we have to create a market, create awareness, educate a market of what we're doing.

It's not something that people have used in the past, so we don't have a existing market or competition that we can say, "Oh, we have a better widget than you. We have a better product than you and just use ours". So, the challenge that I have is just being patient. Getting the product to market, generating sales, satisfying our shareholders, you know, and everybody else and... You know, what should realistic expectations be.

Kim Ades: [00:05:15]
So, I mean, it's very interesting, 'cause it's interesting how you frame the problem. So instead of saying, "how do I do this faster?" Your question was, "how do I be patient?"

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:05:28]
Of course, because I can't speed the market any faster than it was opt.

Kim Ades: [00:05:32]
Well, we don't know that for sure, but that's a whole different question. I want to address the question of patience.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:05:37]
Sure.

Kim Ades: [00:05:39]
So, is impatience a bad thing? That's first and foremost.
Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:05:46]
You're the coach, you tell me.

Kim Ades: [00:05:47]
I would say that sometimes it's a bad thing, but sometimes it's a good thing. And so how do we measure whether or not something's a good thing or a bad thing? It's how long you're sitting in a negative emotion.

Okay. So if you're impatient and you're chronically grumpy, irritated, upset with people, lashing out. You know, tired, whatever... That impatience isn't serving you, right? It's not a good thing.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:06:18]
Sure.

Kim Ades: [00:06:19]
However, sometimes impatience causes us to be creative, causes us to be innovative, causes us to say, is there a better way? Is there a faster way? Is there a different opening or angle? Is there something I'm not leveraging? So sometimes impatience causes us to be creative. Now, when does each play out?

When we're impatient and we feel the negative emotion, it's an indicator that we're focused on what's missing, what's wrong, what's absent, what's taking so long. When the impatience leads us to be creative, we're focusing on solution, we're focusing on opportunity, we're focusing on influencers, whatever it is that we're focused on.

And so, what's the difference is when we're impatient and it hurts us on the inside, it triggers a negative emotion, then we want to say, "well, how can we convert that emotion into something more positive? How can we increase our patience?"

But in the case where the impatience triggers an interesting idea or a creative solution, you're already in a more positive emotion. Does that make sense?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:07:32]
Absolutely. Yeah. I don't get angry by being a patient. I think it's more setting expectations of what I want to achieve and what timeline I want to achieve them in.

Kim Ades: [00:07:43] Right. But really the question is when you're not achieving things in what you think the timeline should be and you know, who am I, what do I know about your market? Do I know what the timeline should be? I have no idea. You know a million times better than I do.

My job is to push you to say, "Hey, is it possible to do things a little faster? Or should we choose patience?" Right? But really my job is to say, how do we get to a better emotional state so that we can see opportunity more readily? Because when we're in a negative emotional state, we can't see opportunity, it kind of gets blacked out. We can't see it.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:08:20]
Yeah, well, the word "negative" is not in my vocabulary, so that's at least a good thing.

Kim Ades: [00:08:24]
I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised. So let's dig in a little bit more and tell me what's needed, and in other words, what's happening right now that's causing you to feel like you need to be patient?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:08:38]
I think for the most part, the, again, adoption and acceptance of our product and service in the marketplace.

Kim Ades: [00:08:45]
Okay. So tell me, so it's taking longer than you expected?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:08:50]
Yes.

Kim Ades: [00:08:51]
Okay. And how are you hearing or how are you witnessing the fact that it's taking longer? Are people coming back with negative feedback or are people coming back saying "I don't have time to look at this", or are people saying, "yeah, it's cool. Let me think about it for a long time".

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:09:07]
Yeah. So, basically everyone who we present to finds incredible, they think it's cool. They think the technology is fantastic. They think the solution is fantastic. The area where we need to get better at is identifying what the value is to the end user. What is the value to that customer? How do we get them to a point to say, "this is something I need to have".

It's like, I need to go to the store and buy coffee, 'cause I need to have my coffee every morning. They don't need to go to the store and have a video test performed for them. So they've been doing it a certain way for so many years...

Again, when you have disruptive technology, you know, something that's a paradigm shift to the way that you've done things in the past, it really has to be figuring out how to be... It needs to be compelling that they say "I can't live without this, and I need to buy the service".

Kim Ades: [00:10:01]
And so do you feel like they don't feel there's an urgency to buy this? Is that what you're describing? I'm just trying to encapsulate really the challenge.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:10:09]
Yes, I think the sales process, the challenge is that we don't have enough data to say, this is going to take a year to sell into, into a client, or, you know what that actual sales process is. We do have some clients, it's going slower than I had expected. That's why I'm trying to manage expectations, but that's exactly it.

Kim Ades: [00:10:32]
So as I listen to you, I get that patience might be something you're after, but I really think that in your case, creativity is the better option.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:10:40]
Right.

Kim Ades: [00:10:41]
And the question becomes, who can you partner with? Who can you connect with? What organization, what entity, what influencer, what body of humans can take your message and your concept, your product, and really bring it out to the masses? Right? To me, that's an interesting question.

And as I listen to you, like, as the moment I heard what your product was, I'm like, "wow, I can use this", but I also know a whole bunch of people who would also be really easily willing and ready to use it.

And so do they become your test group where you say, "here's my proof. Here's the before and after"? I mean, you can use me, you can say, "Hey Kim, how much have you spent on videos and advertising that have not gotten you any results?" I can give you a number. "Hey, let's use this. Let's tweak things before we put it out. Yes. You're going to spend a little bit of money, but look at how much you'll save in the long run".

I'm sure you can find a group of people who can give you that data. The question: where is that group of people? So I would suggest to you that organizations that are scrappy, quick-moving, entrepreneurial in spirit are a good match for you.

So organizations like EO, are you familiar with EO?

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:11:52]
I am not.

Kim Ades: [00:11:54]
Okay, so you need to be familiar with EO. EO is Entrepreneurs' Organization or Vestige or YPO or WPO, right? Those kinds of organizations want to know about your product, are desperately struggling with how much they're spending on ads and awareness and exposure and not getting the results they want.

And so, you know, to me right now, I don't think patience is the answer. I want you to be impatient, but I want you to take your impatience and say, what are creative solutions that we can tap into to accelerate the process? And I firmly believe, based on our conversation, is that there are a whole bunch of resources out there that are really excited or can be really excited about what you're doing that you're not tapping into currently.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:12:43]
That's great. Great information. Thanks Kim.

Kim Ades: [00:12:45]
Yeah, I mean, this was faster than we thought in terms of the conversation, but I hope that helps.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:12:51]
Listen, you know, we've gotten right to the point. Absolutely.

Kim Ades: [00:12:55]
I really think it's an amazing concept and I'd love to be a volunteer to try it out. I'd love to be your Guinea pig,

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:13:01]
I could give you a free trial.

Kim Ades: [00:13:03]
Amazing. I'm in, I'm totally in.

Aaron Itzkowitz:
[00:13:06] You're in.

Kim Ades: [00:13:07]
Aaron, thank you so much for being on the podcast with me. Thank you for sharing your challenge. I don't think you're alone in that. A lot of startups are eager, are raring to go and they're finding it a little bit hard for their products and services to get adopted. And when that happens, I always feel like we tend to think in terms of limited resources instead of unlimited resources. And I always find that there are ways, avenues, entry points that we can access that we've never thought of, and it's really about talking to one person after the other, after the other, someone who knows something that you may not know.

I know that there are lots of things I don't know. And so I'm constantly talking to people to learn, to access resources. And so, in this case, this is a good example of that, but for those of you who are listening and you want to move ahead, ask yourself what resource would make my life a lot easier, what would be ideal for me? And I know that it exists out there.

Aaron, thank you for being on the podcast with me. For those of you who are listening. If you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to me.

My email address is kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

And if you have a challenge that you want to talk about, but not on the podcast, please reach out to me anyway.

My email address is kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

Aaron, thank you.

Aaron Itzkowitz: [00:14:28]
Thanks for having me.

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