Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
E1: Brex COO/CFO Michael Tannenbaum on Taking Risks

E1: Brex COO/CFO Michael Tannenbaum on Taking Risks

On the inaugural episode of Run The Numbers, the COO/CFO of Brex, Michael Tannenbaum, joins host CJ Gustafson to talk through a wide-range of finance, business, and personal growth strategies. If you’re looking for an ERP platform, check out our sponsor, NetSuite:



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The HR industry is at a crossroads. What will it take to construct the next generation of incredible businesses – and where can people leaders have the most business impact? Hosts Nolan Church and Kelli Dragovich have been through it all, the highs and the lows – IPOs, layoffs, executive turnover, board meetings, culture changes, and more. With a lineup of industry vets and experts, Nolan and Kelli break down the nitty-gritty details, trade offs, and dynamics of constructing high performing companies. Through unfiltered conversations that can only happen between seasoned practitioners, Kelli and Nolan dive deep into the kind of leadership-level strategy that often happens behind closed doors. Check out the first episode with the architect of Netflix’s culture deck Patty McCord.



@cjgustafson222 (CJ)

@TurpentineMedia (Turpentine)



(00:00) Episode Preview

(2:25) CJ's opening monologue: on risk

(6:56) Start of CJ and Michael's interview

(7:14) Michael's key to longevity in his role at Brex

(8:09) The startup hierarchy of needs

(11:25) Two key signs of market validation at Brex

(12:54) On taking the leap from SoFi to employee #1 at Brex

(16:03) Sponsor: Netsuite

(17:54) The key differences and considerations in being CFO of a fintech company

(20:36) Michael on strategy for build vs. buy vs. partner M&A decisions

(25:14) Michael's family CFO lineage

(26:32) Where to find great talent

(29:24) What does Michael look for in terms of talent profile?

(31:22) Brex co-CEO dynamic

(34:00) How Brex arrived at the decision to move away from serving SMBs

(36:20) Long-ass lightning round: an example of when Michael screwed up on the job, advice for his younger self, Brex's finance software stack, the craziest thing someone has tried to expense

Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO.
This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself.
Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.