marketer of the month

EPISODE 176: Marketer of the Month Podcast with Tanis Jorge

Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!

We recently interviewed Tanis Jorge for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Tanis and here’s what we discussed about-

1. Transitioning to solo entrepreneurship and acknowledging the value of communication outside the business realm.

2. Emphasizing the importance of self-belief in decision-making.

3. Focus on prioritizing the business focus over personal needs in partnerships.

4. Acknowledging the need for a collective approach to identity solutions.

5. Embracing the potential for innovation through blockchain.

6. Emphasizing the evolving nature of specialization in business growth.

7. Encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on their own time and contribution.

About our host:

Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.

About our guest:

Tanis Jorge, Founder of The Cofounder’s Hub and Trulioo, is a seasoned tech entrepreneur and influential advisor on building successful cofounder partnerships. With over two decades of experience in startups, she has co-founded, scaled, and exited multiple data-driven businesses, achieving “unicorn” status with Trulioo in 2021. She is a go-to expert on cofounder relationships, authoring The Cofounder’s Handbook, and advocating for open, productive, and symbiotic collaborations.

Blockchain And Beyond: Tanis Jorge’s Blueprint for Business Brilliance

The Intro!

Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda, and I’m the creative director at Outgrow. co. And for this month we are going to interview Tanis Jorge, who is the founder of The CoFounder’s Hub and Trulioo.

Tanis Jorge: Great to be here. Thank you.

Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!

Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!

The Rapid Fire Round!

rapid fire

Saksham Sharda: Tanis, we are going to start with a rapid-fire round. Just to break the ice, you get three passes in case you don’t want to answer the question, you can just say pass, but try to keep your answers to one word or one sentence only. 

Tanis Jorge: Okay.

Saksham Sharda: So the first one is, at what age do you want to retire?

Tanis Jorge: Never.

Saksham Sharda: Okay. How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?

Tanis Jorge: 20 minutes.

Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moment of your life?

Tanis Jorge: When my before and after photos in a weight loss program went on screen with a bunch of people.

Saksham Sharda: Favorite color?

Tanis Jorge: Blue.

Saksham Sharda: What time of day are you most inspired?

Tanis Jorge: Afternoon.

Saksham Sharda: How many hours of sleep can you survive on?

Tanis Jorge: 10.

Saksham Sharda: Fill in the blank. An upcoming marketing trend is ___.

Tanis Jorge: Threads.

Saksham Sharda: The city in which the best kiss of your life happened.

Tanis Jorge: Sorry.

Saksham Sharda: Pick one Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. 

Tanis Jorge: Oh, Elon Musk.

Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career.

Tanis Jorge: Not enjoying the journey as much as I should have.

Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?

Tanis Jorge: Just sitting and watching the world.

Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

Tanis Jorge: One.

Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you dislike?

Tanis Jorge: Procrastination.

Saksham Sharda: The most valuable skill you’ve learned in life.

Tanis Jorge: Say yes to the opportunity.

Saksham Sharda: Your favorite Netflix show?

Tanis Jorge: Oh gosh. Ah, I’m gonna pass. I thought that was too much to think about. 

Saksham Sharda: The last song you’ve been listening to?

Tanis Jorge: Brown Noise.

Saksham Sharda: And the last movie that comes to your mind that had a good impression on you.

Tanis Jorge: Pass. I don’t have time for movies on TV. I wish I could.

The Big Questions!

Big Questions Anca Iordanescu

Saksham Sharda: So that’s the end of the Rapid Fire Round, and we can now move on to the longer questions, which you can answer with as much ease and time as you’d like. The first one is reflecting on your entrepreneurial journey. What role has self-belief played in your ability to overcome challenges and achieve success?

Tanis Jorge: Self-belief is extremely important. But I think we would be naive to think that you always have self-belief. I think that is similar to a rollercoaster, where you’ve got highs and then you’ve got lows. And I think sometimes in those lows, if we stay there too long or we let ourselves ponder in that space, then we can just sit there forever. And I think having the acknowledgment that self-belief is temporary, I think we can take it a bit more with a grain of salt and not be so destroyed by it. But I think self-belief is important and I think that’s where reading becomes essential to understanding the stories of people who have gone before. I think that is where that becomes extremely important because you can hear the journeys of people who’ve also done the rollercoaster and you start to build a mind frame that allows you to know that this too shall pass. And so you know, having belief in yourself, having belief in your belief, in your niche, knowing you’re that one unique person that can probably make that venture work. And, and not comparing ourselves to others. I think those are important focuses.

Saksham Sharda: So could you share a specific instance where your self-belief was tested as a solo entrepreneur and how you overcame the challenges to achieve success?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting because I’ve built multiple businesses over the last 25-plus years with the same co-founder. He was my best friend in high school and we started our first business within a couple of years of high school. And so we’ve had, we’ve been very fortunate to have, you know, success in each two of our businesses, having them all be able to have successful exits. Interestingly when I stepped out of the day-to-day at Trulioo and went on to decide what I was going to do with my days, I started the co-founders hub, which is what I’m working on now. And that was a really interesting shift because, for the first time, I was building a business solo, ironically a business about co-founder partnerships. But it was a question for me to ask myself, Hey, you’ve built all these businesses with somebody, maybe that’s the secret sauce. Maybe you don’t have what it takes to do it on your own. And so walking this journey as a solopreneur and slowly starting to see the success that I wanna have in this business has helped with my self-belief. But that too is where I sit in the, I’m kind of in the middle of the ride right now. I’m kind of here. I’m not quite totally doubting myself, but I’m also not fully in a hundred percent belief that I can make it work. But that’s the journey and I think every entrepreneur goes through that. So yeah, I say, say right now I’m in that space.

Saksham Sharda: Alright. So what advice would you then give to hiring entrepreneurs starting on a venture without a co-founder?

Tanis Jorge: So the first thing to understand is the co-founder partnership can be very, or the entrepreneurial journey can be very lonely. And there comes a point where when you’re going through the challenges and the struggles that you might feel that there’s nobody to talk to there tends to be a bit of a boundary that needs to be put in place between yourself and your employees and, and your suppliers and your vendors and your investors. And in that moment, you might struggle a little with just not having anybody to talk to. So a solopreneur I would recommend finding someone who could walk that journey with it, whether it be an advisor, trusted friend, or someone who’s not necessarily in the business with them, but who can be kept up to date on where your business is going so that they can give that advice that is applicable, but they’re not necessarily decision makers. And I think that would be an important key because I think that’s one of the biggest struggles that solo printers have. Where when you’re in a co-founder partnership, if it’s strong, you have that person to lean on. You have that person to bounce ideas off. And it’s really what becomes one of the greatest assets of the co-founder partnership. So I think for a solo printer, the advice to find someone to confide in and run ideas by becomes an important search.

Saksham Sharda: And so, on the flip side, what are some of the advantages of being an entrepreneur?

Tanis Jorge: Well, you don’t have to make decisions as a democracy, you know, you get the opportunity to make decisions on your own. I mean, I guess that’s where self-belief becomes important. If you need to understand what you bring to the table, and what you’re working on, have confidence in your decisions. So if that’s something that you struggle with, then, it might be valuable to find a co-founder or a trusted executive on your team that you can lean on. But not having to split your equity, there are some real practical advantages to having a co-founder, but I mean, so sorry, being a solopreneur, but the other advantage is not having to navigate the intricacies of the relationship, the human component of a partnership. That is the piece that tends to break down and be destructive. So not having to deal with the emotions and the uniqueness of another individual can be an asset, and also a disadvantage.

Saksham Sharda: So what do you think led to the entire rise of co-founders when do we start seeing the immense burgeoning of co-founders in the tech scene? Does it coincide with this SaaS boom? Where does it come from?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, it’s interesting because I think even just the term co-founder versus say business partner in a traditional when interviewing business partners in different industries, that’s the terminology they use. But in the tech space, we use the term co-founder. And I think as we delve into innovation and disruption, that is where you have this uniqueness of where a co-founder would take place. It’s when you think of an idea that has no comparables, and I think in tech, that’s where that shows itself the most. You know, in a traditional business, yes, there are multiple accounting companies, construction companies, restaurants, and there are things to take advantage of, but founding a company, I think comes from innovation and disruption. So I think just so the, the, the growth of the technology industry would’ve been where that co-founder terminology began to grow. And like I said, it’s unique to the tech space. There’s a bit of a change in that just definition from co-founder versus business partner. It’s subtle, but it’s there.

Saksham Sharda: So as the founder of the Co-Founders hub and the author of the Co-Founder’s Handbook, could you share some key insights or lessons you provide to aspiring entrepreneurs who are seeking these co-founder partnerships?

Tanis Jorge: So I think the first thing to ask yourself if you wanna be in a co-founder partnership is are you, are you that personality type that can handle it? I’ve interviewed and spoken with many people who don’t have those personality traits. I say they don’t necessarily play well in the sandbox. And so, you know, really doing that reflection work on yourself asking what, who am I? And, and, and will I do well with a partner? The other thing to consider is the type of business that you’re building. Sometimes if the business is straightforward, if you’re already a key expert and you’re the sole functioning person in that business, maybe you don’t need a co-founder. And so that would be something to reflect on, what kind of business am I building? But at the same time, if you are looking for a co-founder or you think you need one, then it’s more than just looking for a skillset. Say you’re opening a restaurant and you’re a restaurateur, you, you know, a lot of times people think, oh, well then I need a chef as my business partner. And I think that’s a simplistic way of looking at it. Even in the tech space, I get often asked by entrepreneurs, oh, I need a tech co-founder. And I usually wanna dig a little deeper into that, because sometimes the skillset, it’s important, but it may not be the key thing. Maybe you need somebody who’s malleable, who’s able to be quick on the draw. If you’re building a business that maybe you wanna grow and exit quickly, then it might be more important to find somebody who understands that tight timeframe and is willing and able to put something quick and hard into it, and maybe you hire a skillset. So there’s a lot of self-reflection on yourself and your business model to decide what that business partnership is. We’re building a product at the co-founder hub that is a self-assessment, and that’s exactly what it is. It’s like 140 questions to walk through and paint that picture of yourself and who you need to be looking for as a partner.

Saksham Sharda: Are there any particular psychological models that you go into in this assessment? Is there a particular formula that you’re using that you wanna talk about?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, so we’re working right now with a professor at the University of Oregon to tailor a personality assessment that allows you to look at your personality through the lens of a co-founder partnership. Again, it’s understanding what those traits might look like in your business and which ones are essential to help your business succeed. Again, you might find somebody who needs to be steady on the ship, you know, an executioner who can take a particular task and see it to the end, or maybe you need somebody who’s able to work on something and then pivot in a heartbeat. So these are some important personality traits that might be unique to that business partnership. So we work through that, including questions about your conflict style and your learning style. These are important to identify early in the partnership so that when you’re trying to communicate, which is the foundation of a strong partnership, that communication can be specific to the two or three or four individuals in that partnership. And so we take what are maybe common assessments that you would find but throw them through the lens of a partnership and how that will allow your partnership to flourish. So those are some key things there.

Saksham Sharda: So it essentially, basically sounds like matchmaking.

Tanis Jorge: There is a lot of that. There are a lot of commonalities between finding your match in life and also a business partner. The only difference I will say is that in a marriage the goal is to make the other person happy. And that’s, that, that sometimes can trump your happiness. But what I tell co-founders is you need to look at it almost like you’re married to your business and the co-founders have a requirement to make sure that the business is the central piece and the central focus. And if you put things through that lens, then you can make decisions without that personal emotion that can happen. For example, if a co-founder wants their son or daughter to work in the business, and you know that maybe that’s not the best option, you can say, Hey, is this the right thing for our business to have your son or daughter in this management role? Or maybe we need to find someone outside of our partnership. So, that’s a great sort of philosophy to have in your partnership, making your business the core focus, not necessarily ensuring that each other’s needs and emotions are met. 

Saksham Sharda: Let’s talk about Trulioo a little. So as a co-founder of Trulioo, could you discuss the early stages of building the company and laying the foundation for its growth? Tell us what it’s about for the audience that does it now, and how you decide your roles and responsibilities as founders.

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, so Trulioo was a kind of a culmination of our previous three companies that we had built together. Trulioo is one of the leading providers of identity verification software. And, our first three businesses were in that space, data-driven businesses, and Trulioo was where we went forth in a more innovative and disruptive way. And so when it came to us choosing our roles, we had kind of already fallen into where we excelled in our roles. But that said every business is different. And I think when I talk to founders who are repeat founders with the same co-founder I often tell them to start from the beginning as though they had never been business partners before. Once again, look at your business model and say, what’s different this time? Maybe our skill sets are better suited to a different role. And what might change in this business that we need to reflect on and not automatically presume we will carry on as we did in previous businesses? And we had to do that as well in Trulioo. As the business scaled and grew past and beyond what our previous companies had ever grown to, we had to sit down and reassess where we would spend our time. As well, it allowed us to hire people who started to take roles and responsibilities off our plate, and we could tailor and be a niche in which we excelled. And so that was one of the differences that we found we had to communicate quite frequently as the business scaled and said, okay, are we, are we where we should be and are we where we want to be? This is another piece, another component as well, especially as your business grows.

Saksham Sharda: So speaking of identity verification, it’s becoming well, it already has been such a big thing and now it seems to be being implemented all over the internet. So what do you think the future holds?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, you know, it’s extremely good, it’s an exciting time to be in the identity space. There are a lot of options available and the business cases for each one vary so much that I think a collective approach to identity is what will need to happen. We think constantly from the lens of a first world potential, but understanding that a lot of third world or emerging markets may not have the capability to jump into high technology where you have people in rural parts of countries that don’t have access in the same way the first world does. So we need to be aware and accepting of the fact that there needs to be a progressive approach towards identity. And so, the sky’s the limit. Very exciting.

Saksham Sharda: And what do you think of the interweaving of blockchain and identity verification if you have any thoughts on that?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, again, it’s the same, it’s the same scenario. I think this industry now is ripe for innovation. I think anybody who wants to become knowledgeable on AI and blockchain is going to be able to come up with really creative ideas and ways to innovate. I don’t think we can have a crystal ball anymore. Technology is shifting and changing so quickly that, you know, what is a great technology now and in 18 months is obsolete. So I think that this is a great time for entrepreneurs to try things. This is where we build on the shoulders of others and we accept the fact that this is the new world that we’re living in. That’s gonna be fast-paced. So I think it’s super exciting. I think it gives people the opportunity to try their hand at any idea that they have because who knows what’s gonna take.

Saksham Sharda: So speaking from your own experience, but also of co-founders in general, because I guess co-founders need to be aligned often. How did you manage and lay out the decision-making process in these cases?

Tanis Jorge: So I use the analogy of a ship. So if your company is a ship and you are the founders, you’re both standing at the helm of this ship and you are both holding onto that wheel the steering wheel. And so alignment is that you’re both holding it true north in whatever direction that you wanna go. But if founders and co-founders are not talking about not just the plans for the next week, the next month, the next year if they’re not even thinking about long-term looking towards an exit or looking towards an acquisition then they’re gonna be pulling on that wheel in a different direction. One might be like, Hey, in 10 years I wanna have this company acquired for a billion dollars. They’re gonna make decisions even in their minds just about how the company should go. Whereas at the other par founder is contemplating, Hey, you know what? I’m gonna build this to a point in three years and then I’m gonna step away from my role and find a replacement for myself. They too will make slightly different decisions, and that tug of war can begin to happen, and that’s where mistrust, resentment, and conflict can arise. So to me, the most important way that a partnership can be aligned is that there is a real intentional desire to be communicative. So daily, you’re sharing what you completed in the day, where you plan to go weekly, monthly, annually, sitting down and digging in, and knowing that the breakdown of that co-founder partnership could be the breakdown of the company. And so I think we’re not shining enough light on that important factor. Statistically 65% of business partnerships are gonna fail because of issues between the founders. So this is a huge factor. This isn’t about revenues, this isn’t about building a strong partnership or sorry, a strong product. This is about the two people, or three, or four people at the helm. So co-founders must take the time to ensure that their relationship with one another is healthy.

Saksham Sharda: And so how can co-founders then strike a balance between specialization on the one hand and then the need for cross-functional knowledge on the other?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, I think it evolves. I think as your business grows in the beginning, you have to be a jack of all trades. You gotta be able to handle marketing, you have to handle your bookkeeping, you have to handle being the janitor in your, in your food room. It is a requirement. But once again, kind of going back to the other question, as your business scales and grows, I think identifying what each founder’s skillset truly is and being able to hone it and take advantage of it becomes important as the roles shift and change. And not being afraid as founders to hire, finding people to replace yourself if your skillset or your desire in that business stage has maybe been tapped. And it’s okay to find somebody who can take on that role of responsibility. So specialization happens eventually, but I think it’s very important for founders to eventually find out where they’re best suited in their own business.

Saksham Sharda: How would you then, in light of all this, compare to co-founders of Google, for instance, hiring a CEO and all of these big companies that eventually just hire the CEO and then take a step back? Do you think that is the way things should be done?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, I think it’s important. And I think that particular move requires maturity because I think it’s very, I mean, when you build a business that business is your baby. Having been there I know what it is to have a company be built. And then eventually for me at this point now, I’m no longer involved in the day-to-day I’m, I even stepped out from the board. So now I see my baby out there in the world, in the hands of somebody else. And it’s a very weird feeling. However, as any parent would say about their child, they know eventually that that might be the best bet. The best thing for it to be is to put it into the hands of somebody who can mold it and shape it in the next stage and direction. So it’s different for every founder. For some, it might be better to find that person at an early stage. It might be better to find somebody in the series D round. But I think, in the end, the right person at the helm of that ship is the advantage to everybody. So I think a founder needs to, again, be very self-reflective. Am I the best person to be leading this company now? Or can I find somebody who’s aligned with my values, who’s aligned with my expertise, and is willing to take what I know about what I think the future should be and interact or, interoperate with their skillset of scaling a business to the next level? And so it’s tricky and it’s hard and it takes maturity and it takes you to know, it, it, it’s a search, but I think it can be worth it. And I think if you have a plan for it yourself as a founder, then you’re not at risk of your investors telling you it’s time to go. It’s better to control that move yourself than wait for your investors and shareholders to ask you to step out.

Saksham Sharda: So speaking of a co-founder like Jack Dorsey leaving Twitter to a CEO, who then gets hostile takeaways by Elon Musk, who comes from the outside and now Twitter is in shambles, pretty much, how would you trace this from a co-founder’s hub perspective where this company went from being with its co-founder to a CEO to a hostile takeover acquisition?

Tanis Jorge: Yeah, you know, I mean, I think it’s left to be seen for any business where A CEO will take it. You know, I think sometimes we can have a vision for the company and think we know where it needs to go, and then but having never maybe taken the company past that, that that level before, you have to acknowledge your ignorance and you have to acknowledge that you put somebody in place that should know what they’re doing. And unfortunately, you have to leave that up to them. You have to wash your hands. You don’t necessarily get to, you’ve stepped away and everybody’s journey is running a business is going to be their own. And so you have to accept your decision when you put somebody else in control of your business and know that you don’t have any more say. And you can only look at your journey as a leader. And I think that’s important for entrepreneurs to know you will leave a legacy and you will have a portion of your life where, oh, that person ran that company during that time. And I think as a leader, you need to just focus on your own time. And if you pass that torch onto somebody else, you kind of get to wash your hands and say, you know what? I did this while I was running the business. This person had full autonomy to do it their way. I had no control over it. It wasn’t me, you know you know, trying to make decisions. Once you’re out of that position, you let it go and you say That’s that now that person’s journey. And so hopefully you put somebody in place that you trusted what their vision was. But in the end, you can wash your hands on it.

Saksham Sharda: Alright, so the last question for you is of a personal kind. What would you be doing in your life, if not this right now? 

Tanis Jorge: You know what, I would probably be, well, I’d be traveling a lot more. I love to travel. You know, I have a passion for starting businesses. You know, it’s something that has always been something that plagues me, I’m always thinking of different ideas. So I would probably just be exploring more opportunities, different opportunities. I love the novelty of coming up with an idea and then trying to figure out how to bring it to life. So I’d probably start a business, but I would do different things. Maybe more traditional businesses who know where it would take me. 

Let’s Conclude!

Saksham Sharda: Thanks, everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Tanis Jorge, who is the founder of The CoFounder’s Hub and Trulioo.

Tanis Jorge: Great to be here. Thank you.

Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.

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