A conversation on how state and local governments can use technology to better serve their constituents W/ Zach Bookman.

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Ryan Morfin:
Welcome to Non-Beta Alpha. I’m Ryan Morfin. On today’s episode, we have Zach Bookman from OpenGov.com talking about A conversation on how state and local governments can use technology to better service their constituents. This is Non-Beta Alpha.
Ryan Morfin:
Zach, welcome to the show. Thanks for coming on today.
Zach Bookman:
Thanks for having me, Ryan. Really glad to be here.
Ryan Morfin:
OpenGov really helps federal, state, and local migrate their technology footprint from the 1970s Cobalt to the cloud. I can’t think of a more important component of growth for people to focus on, is how do we make our government more efficient given these times that we live in? So OpenGov, you guys have been doing this pre-COVID. Would love to ask you a little bit about how is it going? What are best practices in this whole space? And what do you citizens and investors need to know about this kind of digital transformation going on in government?
Zach Bookman:
We’ve been doing this eight years. And I’m sorry for the state of the world with COVID, but it’s actually been a bit of a boost, if you will, to our business. We sell ERP software. That’s budgeting and planning, financial management systems, and permitting licensing code enforcement systems. All that work that, if you’re redoing your house or your deck, or, heck, getting a marriage license or a puppy permit or something, we run all those back office systems. We’re also the leader in reporting and transparency software for our nation’s cities and counties and state agencies. By the way, we just work with state and local governments. Federal is a different beast, different market. Haven’t gone to tackle that yet.
Zach Bookman:
We’re seeing a… Like, the cloud is coming to government. This was the thesis back when Joe Lonsdale and I started the company along with two other great young technologists from Stanford. But it’s happening, and it’s happening now because it’s kind of inexcusable to be using these 30 year old green screen, white screen, legacy things that are just bleeding the government dry. What we saw back then is what we still see a little bit now. It’s a lot of actually good people. They’re hardworking. They’re plenty smart. And they’re banging their heads against the wall with old technology. They had probably a couple decades of starved IT budgets, or they’ve wasted them on the big SIS and the Oracle’s and the SAP’s. We’re seeing cloud adoption now in a way that we haven’t seen before.
Ryan Morfin:
I would assume all local and state governments are essential employees, so they’re back in the office. But how is it possible that they just never made the tech investment to get into the cloud when a lot of the economy has been moving in that direction?
Zach Bookman:
We’re a vertical enterprise software, as a service company. The nature of vertical SaaS, or really any vertical software, is that the vertical you’re targeting is so specialized that you trade off the total addressable market for the feature set that’s going to solve the workflows here. Government is not unique, but it’s darn near unique. No one would start a business and go pitch Bill Gurley and say, “Hey, do you want to invest in my business? I’m going to pave roads, educate kids, process sewage, and generate electric power.” That’d be ridiculous. But that’s what our cities and counties do. And they’re, I call them holding companies, that are collections of for-profit and non-profit business lines that we either don’t want or can’t have in the private sector. The reality is the amount of software needed to run a city or a county is massive.
Zach Bookman:
What has been happening since the seventies, probably even sixties, but seventies, eighties, and into the nineties, was extending what I call horizontal software. Your Oracle, your SAP. “Oh, let’s just hire a bunch of consultants, get over the sales hurdle, and then screw it in and kind of jam it into these government workflows.” The fact of the matter is it’s extremely expensive, doesn’t work. They’re very good at enterprise sales, so they convinced the governments, Hey”, we do this for banks and pharma and insurance, but it’ll work for you.” And it doesn’t. So there’s just loads and loads of workflows, processes, and business lines that are still on paper. And if they’re not on paper, they’re on that first gen tech.
Ryan Morfin:
At the procurement side, is it… You got to go through a CTO’s office, typically? Or, you going to the the mayor? Or, how is this kind of, I guess, advocated at a local level?
Zach Bookman:
The selling is very complicated. It’s another barrier to entry, if you will. It makes it really tough for a startup like OpenGov to succeed. Fortunately, we’re crossing those chasms and hurdles. For your financial system, typically we’ll go through the office of the CFO. But one of the things that makes it so tough is you’re not getting it done unless the CFO and the CEO agree. That’s basically the same in the corporate enterprise. But here’s the added hurdle. In virtually every city or county, the board gets an approval right. It’s kind of funny, because I don’t have to… I’m an acquirer or a software. I don’t have to get my board approval to go buy another Salesforce license or buy Intacct for our accounting system. And yet, if I was city manager of the city of OpenGov, I need to bring it to the board and get final approval.
Zach Bookman:
So that’s just five or seven more people, and they’re typically lay people, that you need to get some form of consensus on. That makes it really tough. But it’s a different buyer as well in permitting, licensing, and code enforcement. You might go through the Director of Public Works or the Director of Building and Planning. Then on the budgeting side, you might need to bring a budgeting director in. So these sales get very complicated, very quickly. You need board approval, you need, typically, approval from the analysts and the staff. And then of course you need the principals to be on board.
Zach Bookman:
So, very complicated and frankly, very expensive selling. I call it enterprise selling with 20% more pain. You got to go get a board approved, and then you got to get through procurement. There’s often rules and regulations which we’ve designed essentially as policies to, essentially, slow down sales. We don’t want rogue politicians or city administrators buying whatever they want. We want lots of regulations. And that’s not… They don’t want it either. It’s we, as a community.
Ryan Morfin:
So how do these CEO, CFO champions gravitate? What’s the path of least resistance? Do they say, “Hey…” They’re obviously not saying, “I want to raise your taxes to buy more software”, but is there an ROI argument that you guys utilize with them to say, “Listen, this is going to save us X amount of tax dollars and headcount” and such?
Zach Bookman:
Absolutely. There’s a few main ones that I’d bucket them, maybe as follows. Just off the top of my head. Number one is the classic cloud stuff. Your ROI, your total cost of ownership, get rid of the servers, get rid of the wasted IT stuff. And in government, for anybody who wants to go sell things to government, my advice is don’t tell them you can go fire people. It’s very, very hard to fire people. What you say is you can redirect your resources to more strategic or more important things, or “All your staff are overworked. This can take a bunch of things off their plate.” But the total cost of ownership analysis is one we do a lot IN ROI. Typical cloud stuff.
Zach Bookman:
Number two is… Heck, right now, we’re in COVID. You can’t have people coming to town hall with PDFs printed out, handing them to a clerk, and then counting out dollars and cents to pay utility bills, or to pay the fee or fine or price for a permit. We put all that online. So there’s a public benefit as well as just a business continuity benefit.
Zach Bookman:
And then, four, as I alluded to, how to get more strategic? How to get more resilient? How to get more secure? Ransomware is coming to government. If you’ve got some old on-premise thing sitting in a basement and that’s taken out… I mean, the city of Baltimore couldn’t allow its residents to pay their water bills for six months. This hits main street at some point. The reality is the cloud’s coming, it’s inexorable, and we talk in frank terms to city leaders, county executives. “Which side of history do you want to be on?” They basically have a choice to make between the safety and security of “No one gets fired for buying IBM”, and the “I got to have a forward lean. I got to engage my citizens. I got to provide services in a more innovative way and keep pace.” People are doing business on their cell phones. Like, it doesn’t make sense buying plane tickets online, and then you go print things out and pay bills in person at city hall.
Zach Bookman:
So we tee it up and try to make the dichotomies pretty clear, and it’s working.
Ryan Morfin:
As government goes, this COVID, current environment that we’re in, has put a lot of stress on toll roads and revenue models, municipalities. Hospitals that are publicly run, some of them, don’t have electives. So there’s like a donut hole kind of evolving on the balance sheets of these entities. And the fed stepped in with the CARES Act, about $500 billion so far invested in support, if you will.
Ryan Morfin:
But what are you seeing out there in the trenches regarding the health of municipalities today in the states? It seems like we’re asking them to do all of this heavy lifting in the COVID era. And, I don’t know. I mean, at some point I think taxes are going to have to go up. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on what’s going on with the health of public finance?
Zach Bookman:
I think it’s pretty serious. I think it’s being masked a little bit by CARES Act funding, and I’ll explain that in a minute. Governments have a lag, typically, as well, which we’re not factoring in yet. So I think 2021 is when we’re going to be seeing and feeling more of the pain. Property taxes are a major component of state and county funding, and there’s a natural lag on when property taxes get paid and, thus, revenue gets accrued and recognized for governments. That hasn’t really hit yet. Right? Sales taxes have been hit. I talked to a government in Texas a few months ago, and she’s like, “You got to understand. If you came and visited us, 85% of our revenue is from sales tax, and every business in town is closed.” That’s just a disaster.
Zach Bookman:
I think a lot of this has been politicized around, red state, blue state, and so on. Independent of those merits, there’s a lot of little towns and counties that council member A and council member B get into a fight over petty, small town politics. Who wants a bike lane versus who wants more hours at the municipal pool. But that’s not politics at the federal level. It has nothing to do with it. And so, I think there’s some probably pretty serious pain coming.
Zach Bookman:
I said earlier, it’s been masked. The CARES Act is trickling down. We run the CARES Act programs for multiple states, as in them handing out grants distributions to either counties or even local businesses. State of Louisiana, for instance, is giving out something like 10, 20 thousand small business grants to… I think it’s their main street recovery program. All that’s running through OpenGov’s forms and workflows. A number of counties are getting funding, and then cities are able to apply to their state for possible funding. And obviously, you could buy sanitizers and masks and so on. But you can also buy accelerated telework capabilities. All their staff’s having to work from home. These are folks who’ve been working on desktops for like 10, 20 years.
Zach Bookman:
So we’re seeing them being able to buy technology to literally keep their government running. That’s been very important. It’s been a boost to OpenGov, but I think even a bigger boost to their operations. They’re having to get trained up on how to use Zoom and how to get going. There’s a lot happening. I forget who it was, but one… Maybe it was Aaron from Box.com, who’s a friend and investor. He said, “Governments are going to make more progress in the next year than they will have in the prior 10.” We’re seeing that.
Ryan Morfin:
Well, that’s great news for constituents. Moving to the cloud, what are some of the… Call it benefits or better constituent services that’ll emerge from moving to the cloud?
Zach Bookman:
I think it’s basic stuff. as residents and citizens, we interact with our local governments probably much more than we do with our federal government. You want a new deck on your house? Your contractor needs some permits. How quickly are they going to be processed? If you’re doing work or you want to cut down a tree, and there’s all sorts of regulations, being able to do that online, being able to do that on your phone, being able to pay for things like you would in other areas of your life, using Venmo, or this, or Stripe, we’re enabling a lot of that. I think that’s exciting.
Zach Bookman:
Now there’s also the back office guts of the government. If you use an OpenGov cloud-based ERP financial system, I don’t think main street folks are going to feel that, but their government’s going to be a lot stronger, a lot more resilient, a lot more resistant to cyber attacks. Their staff are going to get better trained, more sophisticated.
Zach Bookman:
Then on the budgeting and planning side, that’s the heart of a government, if you ask me. It’s why we have governments. We raise revenue. Coerce it, if you will. Then we figure out how to spend it on goods and services for the community. That’s actually called budgeting. You form a council, which is elected by the stockholders, i.e. residents, and they fight over where the money goes. Do you want more guns, or you want more butter, per the freshman year micro econ?
Zach Bookman:
With OpenGov budgeting, you can get a lot more granular, a lot more collaborative. You can get citizens involved in the budgeting process so they actually know where their money’s going and their tax dollars are going. When you raise the trust in a community like that, then you can actually get things done. It sounds a little pie in the sky, but we’re seeing it everyday. We work with a thousand governments and it’s growing fast.
Ryan Morfin:
What are some of the… You mentioned cyber a few times so far. How at risk are local governments? And do they even know they’re at risk, or do they think that it’s not going to happen to them? What would you say if you’re talking to the random mayor or governor?
Zach Bookman:
I think it’s pretty serious. I think we’re all taking it fairly seriously in our personal lives. The number of people you or I probably know who’ve been either hit by or threatened by some kind of identity attack or something like that brings it home personally. The stories are piling up out there, Ryan. Last year, 19 cities in Texas got hit at the same time. These are the little towns. These are not sophisticated. One or two of them were being operated out of a double-wide trailer, and they’re shut down. These little towns or cities are providing services like electric power or water, utilities. Then you’ve got major cities. Atlanta, Baltimore. Just last week, the market leader in this space, you could call them the incumbent, it’s a company called Tyler Technologies, which is listed on the S&P 500 now. They are literally, I believe as of today, still shut down, their website and phone system. I say this not to rub it in the face of a competitor, another player in the space. I say that it’s serious and it threatens us all.
Ryan Morfin:
Well, you’re more into the tech stack across the country at state and local than anybody else I know. Do you think there’s risk into the electoral process given the antiquated technology infrastructure that exists today?
Zach Bookman:
I’m, for better and worse, I’m the crazy guy who spent eight years obsessing on local government, state and local government software. So Ryan, for your sake, and maybe mine, I should hope I know more about local government software than any of your friends. I’m not an electoral software expert. So this is as lay in opinion as if you called up another buddy. We are not seriously into electronic voting in this country. I think for better and worse, there’s going to be a lot of mail-ins, a lot of paper ballots for years.
Zach Bookman:
I was living in San Francisco and I was voting in some neighbor’s garage. It’s classic. This was probably hasn’t changed since I was in elementary school. So no, I don’t think cyber attacks, in terms of the integrity of the actual vote counting and electoral process. I do think propaganda, and whether it’s China or Russia or Iran, getting involved in the American election, I think, is a very serious issue. But I don’t think the actual guts of physically voting or mailing that in are going to be affected because they’re not really online.
Ryan Morfin:
Yep. No, that’s a good point. A lot of the ballots are still paper and for that reason, I think we’re-
Zach Bookman:
Questions about the integrity of mail-in ballots, which I guess you’re darned if you do and darned if you don’t. But it’s a little harder to believe with mail-in ballots that we can’t deal with that integrity.
Ryan Morfin:
Yeah. No. I believe it’s going to be on the media cycle for while. Hopefully not till the end of January, but it might last that long.
Ryan Morfin:
Well, as it relates to… People who watch this show, it’s typically financial advisors around the country. They tend to be very involved. School board, former elected officials, donors. They look at OpenGov.com and they say, “Wow, my city needs to take a look at this.” What is the best way they can get involved to take their local community and try to bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st century?
Zach Bookman:
I love it. There’s a few ways. One, if you’re on a board of a city, town, county, township or state agency, you’ve heard what we’re doing. OpenGov.com. We’d be delighted to help. We have a whole range of solutions. And if for some reason we can’t help, we’ll still be a trusted advisor. We’re friends and partners with the entire ecosystem of cloud players in government. In fact, I know all the non-cloud players, too.
Zach Bookman:
Two, I’m not afraid. My email is ZBookman@OpenGov. That’s first letter, last name, at OpenGov.com. I talk with government executives, not all day, but all week. We love what we’re doing. We’re here to power more effective and accountable government. If you’re a city manager, or town administrator, or county executive, or governor or lieutenant governor, or on and on and on. Treasurers, controllers, so on, want to have a chat about what they’re dealing with, their problems, their pain points, I can gladly talk with them as well as our president David Reeves and many of our vice presidents. We’re really developing, I’d say, the most sophisticated expertise in the country around how to get local or state government into the cloud, leveraging the capabilities, streamlining workflows, and just becoming more efficient, effective, and accountable.
Ryan Morfin:
Maybe a Silicon Valley question, because I know you guys are based in the valley. What’s going on in the tech ecosystem, in your opinion? Elon Musk’s moving over to Texas. What is the view from Silicon Valley? You guys have been doing great things for the global economy, a kind of a Renaissance every time I go there. It’s amazing to see the energy levels. What is the optic today? I know Uber and Lyft have been getting kind of maybe unfairly picked on. Will it continuously be the epicenter of innovation, or do you think it’s going to start to fragment across the country?
Zach Bookman:
So, three vectors, as I see them. One is we’re a hundred percent remote distributed and virtual right now. We’ve got regional headquarters in Portland, Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas. We basically have a moratorium on hiring in the Bay area. It’s extremely expensive. You can’t keep up with the number of vintages of coconut water that are required in your corporate fridges, the whole thing. But actually, we’re finding great talent around the country and moving faster, filling roles and being closer to customers, and our employees are happier. They might want to go home and they grew up in Tennessee or they grew up in Boston. It’s like, “We got you. Go home. We support you.” So that’s happening.
Zach Bookman:
Two, a lot of CEOs, investors I know are fed up, and they’re leaving. A lot are going to Texas. Some we’re going to Wyoming. Some are going to Washington. Those are each no tax states. But a lot are going just elsewhere, and feeling like they’re being unfairly targeted or they’re just not welcome or just not wanted, and the business climate is unfriendly. I certainly see that. I feel that. Just little things, the traffic, the infrastructure in the Bay area, it’s really tough. COVID’s provided a little bit of silver lining in the sense that, how many more hours of your day do you have back that you’re not sitting in traffic just getting ground down? But I know a lot of billionaires and very successful entrepreneurs who are just moving on. I think that poses a real challenge for the state. It doesn’t take too many of them before you’re getting real revenue hits.
Zach Bookman:
Now three, I’m not totally bearish on the Bay area and the tech ecosystem. I am open and very seriously considering moving out because I’m kind of tired of watching my bikes get stolen and tripping over heroin needles in my neighborhood in San Francisco. That said, the ecosystem is strong. The innovation is strong. The investor community is strong and it’s really self-reinforcing. It’s a bit like a network in the sense that once that flywheel gets rolling, it’s very tough to stop. So I think a lot of people are still going. They still want to go, and this could have a dual benefit in the sense that the tech ecosystem stays strong in the Bay area. Prices maybe relax. Traffic relaxes a little bit. But also it’s a big boost to a lot of other tech ecosystems, whether that’s Austin or Boston, or a lot of other places, Seattle, that are rising strong. I tend to maybe have that naive entrepreneurial optimism, but those are my views along those three lines.
Ryan Morfin:
Yeah, no. It is interesting. We’re starting to see a lot of what I’ll call innovation come into the Midwest, cheaper places to live. Just because you’ve been part of the valley for so long, what is the view for people going public in terms of waiting longer? It’s an interesting… I mean, yeah, you guys have been reworking the system. It’s amazing. SPAC mania.
Zach Bookman:
Just whip up a SPAC and knock it out. It’s a wild, wild time. I don’t personally… I look to you and your investment team as to what’s really going on here. But as far as private companies and going public? Look, private companies… The goalposts have been moving, for sure. I think 20 years ago, a lot of companies were going public at 20 million in revenue, and then it was 50 to 70, and then it was hundred, and now it’s looking more like a buck 25, a buck 50 before it really feels like you’re kind of dialed in. And mind you, that’s SaaS revenue. Right? That’s recurring revenue for most of these companies, which itself is a moved goalpost. Because license maintenance, you’re getting three to five bucks for a dollar of SaaS revenue upfront.
Zach Bookman:
So I think you’re getting more mature companies. They’re definitely staying private longer. You’re seeing a massive, almost like the bottle being uncorked right now. And SPACs are playing a big part of that. Also, I think, direct listings. This is a big week with, I think, Palantir and Asana going public on direct listing. The SPACs are interesting. I’ve had my own interesting SPAC experience. Was approached couple of years ago. Very fortunately did not get wrapped up in it, and it turned out to be a totally failed SPAC. Most of these look like they’re succeeding. I’ll be interested to see how those go 6 or 12 months out. There’s a lot of dilution in there. They’re called promoters for a reason. It just feels a little like a lot of companies with SPACs are going public a little early. And when it’s funny money, it doesn’t matter that you’re giving up 15 or 20% of promote, but hard to see how people just don’t care about 10, 20% of a company. I’ve got a little healthy skepticism, I would say.
Zach Bookman:
Now a lot of these are… There’s a lot of good companies and it does feel like technology is gaining steam overall. So we’ve been in a 20, 25 year tech wave. I’m bullish on the next 20, 25 years. But as for what’s going on right now in these special few months, I’ll be eager to see how things look in 6 or 12.
Ryan Morfin:
It’s fascinating. I agree. I think SPACs are a little suspect. I love that comment, “They’re called promoters for a reason.” That’s awesome.
Ryan Morfin:
I would say the direct listing-
Zach Bookman:
Working at the club.
Ryan Morfin:
That’s right. Handing out cards to get into the VIP party.
Ryan Morfin:
The direct listing, if you look at what Google did, and then how much they, when IPO-ed, and then how much appreciation there’s been, then you look at Facebook and how much appreciation there’s been, it makes sense to wait longer before you go public. I think that’s the trend that we’ve been seeing. And so, it’s opening up this new industry. JP Morgan just announced, I think this week, that they’ve got a secondary market trading desk for early stage and late stage venture securities. So it’s like an emerging area of finance, which I think a lot of advisors aren’t paying attention to yet. They will. It’s because companies are going to stay private longer. So if you really want to participate in growth, you don’t want to be at the final cash register. You want to be there earlier stage.
Ryan Morfin:
How is the venture funding community doing? Are VCs starting to pull back, or are they doubling down and playing through the V-shape recovery here?
Zach Bookman:
Also, I’ll try to bucket a few thoughts here because I have a lot. I didn’t actually know that about JP Morgan. But Carta wants to do something. Zimbardo’s well-established in the space. There’s definitely secondary shares. I think it’s a nice trend and I can see… Look, if investors or wealth advisors, if you want to get solid returns or you want to get access, you’d probably need to come down the capital stack a little bit and take on a little more risk if you will.
Zach Bookman:
As for companies, to go public… What my sense of a public markets investor, and I know plenty, want, they want predictability. I want to know this thing’s working. I want to know that you’ve got all the controls and processes in place. I want to know what I’m going to get if I give you my money. What’s interesting about early stage tech companies is you’re sacrificing a lot of that predictability for growth and for attacking a new market or attacking an incumbent or being really innovative and applying new solutions. So I, in my own investing, I’m spending the vast majority of my time in the ecosystem, whether it’s angel investing or even later rounds in friends’ companies just putting money to work because it’s a good company, it’s got nice secular trans, great growth stats. I know they may have an off quarter, or they may miss their number, or they may not have it all dialed in. They’re not ready to go public. I think it’s a trade off well worth making. It’s definitely making a lot of these companies hotter, if you will.
Zach Bookman:
Now, third point. There’s a lot of cash sloshing around in the ecosystem. What I’m seeing among the top institutions, and I’m fortunate enough to have a few of them, or more than a few of them, involved in OpenGov is you better be darn good to earn a high valuation. But if you’re really good, then you can kind of name your price. So it’s a little bit like the best companies are getting these stratospheric valuations, and they’re really working, and they’re definitely going to produce, and the VCs know that. Then most of the others are grinding out rounds at more reasonable prices.
Zach Bookman:
So I’ve seen, if not a correction, a little bit more of, like, reality, healthy skepticism, definitely among the institutions. But I’ve also seen everybody and their mother and their best friend is raising a venture fund, or an angel fund, or getting in the game. So there’s a lot of money out there, but the best funds are still the best funds. It’s not necessarily that they have their pick of the best companies, but they’re finding the best companies and definitely going after them.
Ryan Morfin:
That’s fascinating. We sit outside the valley and just see the money flowing in, but we’re realizing that all the growth and all the appreciation is staying private longer. I tell advisors that you really need to start figuring out a way to get access to some of that growth because income is at record lows. Right? Low interest rates. So you’ve got to reallocate some of that into other buckets. Otherwise, you’re going to get left behind.
Zach Bookman:
It is tough to [crosstalk 00:32:30] a lot of these companies, though. That’s why these top VCs are top, and the top angel investors are the top angel investors. It’s not a closed ecosystem. It’s just kind of an insider, very active game. It takes an edge.
Ryan Morfin:
Absolutely.
Ryan Morfin:
All right. So this is the… Season two, we do this portion of the show. It’s real quick. Yes or no answer. It’s called “the human factor.” I’m going to ask you the same six questions I’ve asked everybody else on the show. Here we go. Here’s the fun part.
Ryan Morfin:
If there was a vaccine for COVID available tomorrow, would you take it? Yes or no.
Zach Bookman:
No.
Ryan Morfin:
No.
Ryan Morfin:
Who wins the election in November?
Zach Bookman:
Biden, by a hair.
Ryan Morfin:
What type of recovery are we in today? Is it V, W, U?
Zach Bookman:
W.
Ryan Morfin:
Anything that you achieve this summer that you’re proud of while you were quarantining and working from home?
Zach Bookman:
Personally or professionally?
Ryan Morfin:
Both.
Zach Bookman:
Professionally, OpenGov launched it’s fully cloud-based ERP. Fully integrated, and we’re off to a rip roaring start with that, stitching all the suites together. It’s really exciting, and the company’s humming. So I’m thrilled, and really proud of our 250 employees and the incredible, not just work ethic, but teamwork.
Zach Bookman:
Personally, I’ve been very fortunate to have some travels. I like to climb mountains and I’ve climbed up bunch of mountains in the past couple of months from the Wind Rivers in Wyoming and the Middle and South Teton to… I’m in Colorado at the moment and taking out a couple of fourteeners just to stay healthy and stay refreshed.
Ryan Morfin:
That’s awesome. That’s very cool. Tetons are beautiful, I hear. I’ve never been.
Zach Bookman:
Gorgeous.
Ryan Morfin:
Any silver linings you see in the economy going into 2021?
Zach Bookman:
I think this work from home stuff is driving people crazy and it’s posing pretty serious public health issues. I also see the rise of telework video conferencing as total game changer. I look back at my calendar at the stuff I used to travel for, and I’m now flabbergasted. I’m like, “I was going to fly to DC for that cocktail party. What was I thinking?” I think that’s just a net positive for a lot of families, a lot of people’s health, and frankly, their business lives. I get a lot more hours to focus on my business rather than missing flights and airports and staying in bad motels.
Ryan Morfin:
The bad motels. Terrible. I’m with you on that.
Ryan Morfin:
Anything that you’re watching, listening to, or reading right now that you’d recommend to the audience?
Zach Bookman:
I just read, and I’m sure a lot of your members have read it, but I read Titan. I’ve been reading a lot of biographies this summer. Just gone on a little kick. Chernow’s biography of Rockefeller, found it, not kind of erudite and extremely well-written, but fascinating. I’m reading Katherine Graham’s Personal History. I read, you know, lot of Wall Street guys. Schwarzman, and T. Boone Pickens, and kind of loving digging into people’s stories, seeing how they’ve battled adversity, and what rules and principles they applied to producing success, both professionally and personally. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that.
Ryan Morfin:
Fantastic. Well, we’ll be reading your bio, I’m sure. You guys are kicking butt. I really appreciate you coming on the show. OpenGov.com, for any of our advisors, again, this is Zach Bookman, CEO, helping governments, state and local, get into the 21st century. Thanks so much for joining the show.
Zach Bookman:
Really appreciate it, Ryan. Thanks everybody.
Ryan Morfin:
Bye-bye.
Ryan Morfin:
Thanks for watching Non-Beta Alpha. Before we go, please remember to like and subscribe on Apple podcasts and our YouTube channel. This is Non-Beta Alpha. Now, you know.
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Speaker 3:
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