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tv   Press Here  NBC  November 14, 2021 9:00am-9:30am PST

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this week, designing a new, less expensive golf club. slowdowns at the ports meaning a short supply of christmas trees. and new fathers taking a week off. that's this week on "press:here." good morning, everyone, i'm scott mcgrew. a venture capitalist recently declared dads in important positions who take extended time off for the birth or the adoption of children, he called them losers. the person making the accusation
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is john lansdale, co-partner at palantir. it came up in the context of a new dad, pete buttigieg, who took time off from running the transportation department to welcome new adoptive twins. lansdale wrote, any man in an important position who takes six months off of leave for a newborn is a loser. in the old days, men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future. that's correct masculine response. now, as a man myself, i don't recall electing joe the arbiter what have is and is not masculine. for the record, he later said maybe "loser" was a bit harsh of a word, but the damage really had been done. i thought i would try to get some expertise in all this as to what other people thought about it and what dads take off for how long and for how often. i contacted mahima chawla, whose
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company works with fortune 500 hr departments on parental leave. good morning to you. what do you think of the idea that men who take extended time off are losers? >> hi, scott. shocking for a lot of people to see the type of language being used to describe a phenomenon that's extremely common and amazing for new parents, amazing for the health of the baby. i think overall what we're seeing in the landscape of parental leave is people, birthing and nonbirthing parents, taking the time off that they feel is necessary for them to set their family up for success. the only judge of who should be taking time off is the individuals themselves, as long as it's in line when employer policies and they have the full support of their teams. >> i agree. as we've looked into this subject, that is, the nonbirthing parent, i mean, mom and dad is a traditional way of looking at it, but in many families there's the nonbirthing
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parent or sometimes both. and i think there is sometimes, you know -- some people don't think the nonbirthing parent needs as much time off. obviously there's a recovery period for giving birth. but both parents are very important. >> exactly. and exactly the terminology you're using, we're seeing those words used more commonly now, birthing and nonbirthing parent rather than thinking of primary or secondary caregiver. a lot of the reason for that is the exclusivity and equitability. >> the world needs to respect moms and give them the time, but today's discussion is not about moms. what does the data tell you about nonbirthing parents, are they taking more time off, are they taking off the time allowed for them? >> so i think this is really
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important to segment out the workforce as we see it across different industries. i would say in the bay area, hydrotech companies, professional services, we are seeing a lot of nonbirthing parents actually taking leave and taking significant time. so we see anything from if you're a younger, less mature company, you might see something like eight to 12 weeks of leave availablerthing parent. as you mature as a company, that grows to 12 to 16 weeks and up to 20 to 24 weeks for nonbirthing parents. >> it becomes important to attract a workforce, what are your parental leave policies. >> definitely, it's a huge start of attracting talent and families feeling supported by their employer. these are what we're seeing in the companies i describe,
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hydrotech, professional services. often nonbirthing parents, fathers, do return to the workforce in a week, so this isn't widespread in in terms of adoption. but the companies that are winning in terms of attracting talent are the ones that have generous parental leave policies. >> sometimes in the center of the country they say, what? you're getting two weeks. are we seeing some of the attitudes flowing out of silicon valley into other areas with this more generous parental leave? >> we are seeing policies kind of filter across. it's not only the employer policy. we're seeing states roll out their own policy for time off for nonbirthing parents, especially at the federal level, for federally paid leave too.
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we do have job protection in place at the federal and state level for nonbirthing parents. a huge portion of leave comes down to the affordability of leave. you may technically have time off but if you're not getting paid for it, does it really mean you can take the time off? it's probably a tough conversation for a lot of people. >> she runs a company called cocoon which helps companies figure out parental leave. "press:here" will be right back.
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welcome back to "press:here." i, like so many other people, discovered golf during the pandemic shutdown. i'm using an old set of clubs lent to me by a friend who had been storing them in a garden shed. but a recent trip to the golf store to look at a new set for myself was mind-boggling. first of all, the price. secondly, the claims that major golf club makers make. these are clubs that have an all new inertia generator with speed injection ports or clubs that have refined crown turbulators for spinsicity. one has a jailbreak a.i. speed frame. i swear these are real claims.
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i'm not sure if my turbulators are refined. i'm not saying the major manufacturers are spouting nonsense. i am saying it sounds like nonsense. especially since when you consider if you gave a tour pro a set of fisher-price clubs, he or she would probably do just fine. that's my theory. which brings me to my guest, gabe coyne. he manufacturers clubs that open up the game from a diverse set of golfers. his first set of clubs came from a rummage sale. i'm still on my garden shed set. gabe, thanks for being with me. i don't know what a turbulator is or whether it's refined or
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unrefined. >> i love this story, you have me smiling ear to ear. the same thing happened to me, i used that rummage sale set for 20 years, then bought my first set and used it 20 years. the same thing, i went shopping and said, what is going on around here? we like to joke and here and say, how much would you be willing to pay to hit it further out of bounds? we're not that good of golfers. people are blown away, wait a minute, you started a golf company and you're not a great golfer? >> right. >> and i'm making progress because i'm golfing more now, but at the end of the day, all these sales tactics where such nonsense to me, because i'm like, listen, i'm struggling to hit a favorites here, i don't need to refine my turbulater. i want it to look good, feel good, and at a reasonable price. that's the shopping criteria for most things in my life. >> and to be fair, there is a
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difference between a chevrolet and a rolls-royce, right? and so there are going to be differences between the least expensive set of clubs and the most expensive. but just like my car analogy, they both drive down the street just fine. so there may be some value to a more expensive club. but to the average golfer, i'm guessing that the ai speed sense thing is not as important as maybe just going out to the driving range more often with the clubs you have. >> yeah, for sure. you've got most of the marketing in the major brands trying to help people at the top of their game push their game. 50% of golfers don't shoot under 100. >> right. >> half the people out there are, like, not even decent. so it doesn't matter how much tech you put into it. if you refine a horrible game 2%, it doesn't get a lot better. so you're right, get some
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lessons, get some reps, find a set of clubs you're comfortable with and have some fun out there. that's what we're trying to be about. golf is a really fun activity to do with your friends, be outside and get some exercise and challenge yourself to make some improvements. but, you know, half the guys i know that are golfing, it's an excuse to daydream. >> don't give away all of our secrets. i'm trying to think also of the hate mail, i just told a family that is listening with a golfer that, you know, maybe you don't have to go to the golf store to get a new driver, maybe you should take lessons. they're turning that stuff off real quick. so you create these more affordable set of clubs. one of the things i'm excited by, because, again, i'm a new golfer, and to be honest with you, i thought of golf in a certain way, kind of the rodney
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dangerfield, you know, what's the -- "caddyshack" sort of way, elitist, that sort of thing, in which by creating more affordable equipment, there are courses that have these bag rules where you have to have your own set of clubs to play. i always thought that was terrible. what about the person just trying it out? you're able to do it in a cheaper way which means more people can approach golf. >> yeah, i think there's a bit of a movement in golf to make golf more accessible. and that's something we're trying to do as well. top golf has been playing a big role in making golf more accessible, because you can go there, there's clubs there and you be play with friends in a casual environment. you mentioned elitist. a lot of people are turned off by golf culture and kind of the country club mentality. and everything just is really expensive. and so i've never been that kind of golfer. i play municipal courses. i grew up playing executive
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municipal courses. and that's how i want to continue to golf. and i want to help engage a crowd out there that that's how they want to golf. how many people just hear golf and they cringe? one of my co-founders is one of these, he never golfed before he was part of this company, he was like, ugh, golf. that's just a perception. and equipment and prices and the way golf courses are run, you've got to wear a collared shirt, all these kind of things. it's a big deal when somebody wears a hoodie, and you're like, that's a strange culture. but yeah, we're trying to make golf more accessible through equipment and also even the design of equipment. the price, the design. lower the friction of purchase. finding golf clubs is one of the few products in the world where an industry encourages you to pay a professional to tell you
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where to buy. where else is that a thing? you don't even hire a professional to tell you what car to buy, but to buy golf clubs, you need a professional to tell you what to buy. >> there is a certain amount of -- a golf club that might be longer for a tall person, shorter for a short person, those sort of things. >> do you need a professional to tell you how tall you are? >> no, you're right. i don't need a professional to fit me for eyeglasses, i can do that online as well. >> i think playing with cubs that fit is important. but i don't think you need a fitter. we offer five heights and three flexes to accommodate a lot of different sizes and strengths of humans, men and women. and we can do that without forcing people to go spend another couple of hundred dollars to figure out what they need to buy. >> i'm excited by making golf more accessible. we've talked about that. you've also got a good business model here as well, that is, there are some very low-end golf
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clubs out there and there are plenty of high end golf clubs out there but you sort of found will. >> yeah, we were shopping, that what i found, this polarizing environment where i could by a starter set for cheap. it looked cheap, it felt cheap. and i didn't want to be seen with it because it made me look like it was my first day on the course. but in order to get stuff i was attracted to, it was 10x the cost. the materials it was made with, it was not night and day. how am i getting a 10x value exchange here by going up the chain? i think the truth of the matter is, the big companies don't want something nice in the middle. they want to get you in cheap and then get you to the expensive stuff. they don't really want to create
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something you can live with at a long time at a good spot. >> gabe coyne is the ceo of stix golf. "press:here" will be right back.
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welcome back to "press:here." my friend laura garcia and i were having a discussion the other day as we were talking on the news about turkey shortages. never once, not once, has a
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holiday gone by where turkey people said we have plenty of turkeys or the cranberry people said yeah, we're good to go, everything's totally normal. this year everyone has a pretty good excuse, and that is that nothing is normal, the supply chain is kinked. could christmas trees be affected? mac harman is founder and ceo of balsam hill. he makes the high end artificial trees you see in department stores. you can buy them online as well. they look like real trees. mac, when we talk about the supply chain, it all sounds imaginary, but you're the guy actually standing at the port, paying ten times as much for the shipping container coming in from china. and once you empty it, you can't do anything with it because you've still got problems. this is costing you a lot of money, isn't it? >> it's been tough, scott. it's good to see you again.
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this year, it's not just spaghetti getting thrown at the wall here. we're really struggling, 48% of our christmas trees are in stock and our big month is november. people don't really buy christmas trees a week before christmas. they buy them a month before christmas. this is our super bowl playoffs and we've got half our inventory in. every day more stuff arrives, but boy, it is jammed. we need it to get out of there and get into our warehouses so we can send it to all our customers. >> last year you had an a different problem, and that was normally families come together to gather around one christmas tree but of course last year we couldn't. so we all got our own christmas tree. we had this huge demand and you were running short then. you did sort of prepare for this, right? you've been stocking up. was this because you thought the pandemic would last a long time or because you anticipated the supply chain? >> we had so much demand last
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year that we felt we couldn't fill last year, so we ordered lots more trees and started filling orders in february. so a lot of our inventory that we have now started coming in february and march and april. it's really jammed up in the ports more recently. so that's the stuff that hasn't come in yet. and what we do is we have a little feature on our website that says notify me, so customers can sign up and once product comes in stock, they get an email right away. what we're seeing is if something comes in, it's going out right away and then we're out of stock again and hopefully there's more of it coming. we just don't though exactly which day it's going to make it. we did stock up. it's just unfortunately when the ports are jammed up, it's been harder to get it in. >> you've been part of the call to washington to get something done. you've talked about perhaps some sort of supply chain czar. because part of the problem is there are lots of people in washington doing the honest best that they can but we're dealing
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with so many different departments and agencies. >> you know, i actually spent most of this past week in washington, dc, running around capitol hill, talking with politicians on both sides of the aisles. we were fortunate to meet with lots of senators, a number of members of the house in different committees, just to suggest some shorter term solutions. because they're all working on long term solutions. they understand the problems. some of this is in the infrastructure bill. there's a whole bunch of other bills being proposed. literally every person we met with understood the situation and was really sympathetic, no matter what political party they were a part of. but we need something short term to help out. we're proposing that the white house appoint someone who can help these parties that don't normally historically work together get going, work together, make some phone calls. what's stuck in los angeles maybe could be loosened up if they followed some of the
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innovative things that other ports are trying. >> and i think it's important that washington take it seriously. jen psaki got a little bit of a pushback when she kind of rolled her eyes and called it the great treadmill delay of 2021 at a news conference recently. it's more than just getting a treadmill. i can survive -- sorry, mac -- without a christmas tree this year, but there's all kinds of products that are jammed up. >> it's toys. people building houses need electrical boxes. it's everything you can imagine. and it all comes through the same supply chain. one of the major bills being proposed is focused on critical infrastructure, things like medicine, defense equipment. it all goes through the same supply chain. we can have a container of holiday ornaments sitting next to a container of ppe.
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yes, the president announced some changes, but this is a moving problem. it's like a big game of whack-a-mole. so we need to get more of the industry people involved. one, it's not just a government solution. it involves the private sector. and two, the things that the white house announced would have been useful three or four weeks before that announcement was made, but the problem had already moved on. so what's happening is it gets reported in the media and then the politicians hear about it and then they take action. those actions would have helped a month ago but not today. today's problem is we need the chassis, the thing that containers sit on, we need truck drivers, and we need the ports to get unclogged so those goods can flow to you and me on store shelves. >> the consumer -- for a long time businesses like yours have been the just in time supplies. maybe we as consumers ought to take an adjustment on that too,
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i ought to be thinking about what i want for valentine's day or easter not a couple of days before the holiday itself, i ought to be thinking long term, not about christmas but about valentine's day or easter or whatnot. >> you're absolutely right. our supply chain, if you think of this pipe into the country, it was running about 95% capacity. and so there was a little room for error. but what's happened is that with covid, the demand for things like artificial christmas trees, furniture, think of like a sofa or a couch, washing machines, peloton, all this stuff, it's big, it's bulky, and the demand for that is at about 120 to 130% of normal. we're trying to take 125% and jam it into a pipe that's only 100% big, that's where the problem is. that's where thinking ahead will help. i received a christmas present from a friend in september. i called him and said, how are you guys so organized that you're sending presents to my kids in september?
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he said, oh, we're not organized, we're in the shipping industry, i realized if i don't send them now, you won't get them. i had this problem last year, i tried to buy my wife a set of snow shoes and got them in april. i was thrilled to finally get them but there wasn't a lot of snow in april. we've been used to getting things just in time. the business community has optimized everything for just in time. and then when demand went up so much, we just weren't ready for it. that's what we're feeling right now. i hope it unsticks. i hope everyone gets everything in time for a merry christmas. >> mac, the one thing, the final question for you, something that might be running through a viewer's head, if you have trouble getting stuff from china, why don't you just build your christmas trees here? i'm going to anticipate your answer is something to the effect of, sure, but remember, all that stuff comes from china, whether it's plastics or the light bulbs or the wires. >> you know, the whole global
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supply chain now in production is so complicated. it's all interconnected. in the case of our christmas trees, the oil comes from wherever the oil comes from that makes the plastic. the plastic is actually made in texas. that plastic resin goes over to asia, gets turned into a tree there, and comes back here. so everything is interconnected. even if you look at trying to make our trees here, some of the things that go into it, there's just no one that makes them here. for example, we include cotton gloves to help protect your hands when you're fluffing the trees. no one makes cotton gloves in the united states anymore. in the case of artificial christmas trees like the balsam wood one behind me, they're strung by hand. pre-lit trees have not been made in the united states, they're labor-intensive and we just don't have the workforce here. >> mac, i hope we meet in person next christmas.
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and you will just say, everything is great, running perfectly. i wish you the best of luck and a very happy holidays to you. mac harman is the founder and ceo of balsam hill. i look forward to checking in with him next year. "press:here" will be right back.
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that's our show for this week. my thanks to my guests, and thank you for making us a part of your sunday morning.
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the chelsea managainst manchester city here in manchester can they get out of troubl without harder that will give manchester city hope city has so many players absent. so many leaders as well. the likes of bronze and horton and chloe kelly coming into such form feels like the heart has bee

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