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Wise Rock|Brock Meyer on Oil and Gas Startups


This is the oil and gas startups. Podcast where we showcase emerging technology in the stories of industry founders investors in leaders with your host Jay Corley and Colin Macleod. Was HE GONNA Walk headers? Welcome back to another episode of the oil and gas podcast. We have been super super busy if you guys haven't checked yet we've completely revamped our website. Check it out digital wildcatters DOT COM. We recently just dropped a completely new platform that we call the bullpen. And so this is a way for tech companies to present their technologies to the world. And so it's full length demos and we've recorded here in our studio and are putting it out and so we've got I think five companies on their currently were targeting at the time of recording. We're in May twenty twenty So by the end of May twenty twenty twenty companies on the bullpen. So your companies have fit. Please reach out and we would love to To include you guys on that so This week we said Brock Mayer CEO of Wise Rock. And so this is a really great episode was the first time back recording after the quarantine and so I think you guys are really GonNa join this. We really dove more so into his personal story is personal mission and I think You guys really an with this episode. So we're really quickly before we get into that with the rapidly changing price environmental oil and gas. It's important stay. Lean inflexible. And that's why Auburn. Energy management is offering full-scale acid operating and technical advisory services to work out firms financial institutions and investors of distress willing gas assets. The best part the services are offered without the requirement of the asset owner giving up working interest were royalty interest in the actual asset. This allows Auburn to eliminate conflict or competition across clients and allows the asset owner to capture as much value upset as possible. This fee-based Flexible. Gina Model provides a cost focused approach to asset management on a scalable platform that is loud. Auburn and parent company. C Hamilton to execute one point five billion dollars in capital projects across every major producing basin and the lower forty-eight Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The Lord's Network feel personnel. All the way up to the C. Suite executives allows them to be based in agnostic and help clients wherever they might be quick example. A Credit Fund recently took ownership of an asset after restructuring settlement auburn can operate the asset on behalf and reduce the GNA expenses for this Fund by seventy percent if you need cost. Effective solution to manage assets visit Aubert energy management at Auburn Dash Energy DOT COM or. Click the link in the show notes below. What is going on wildcatters? Welcome back to another episode of the show. I'm excited we haven't recorded many podcast last month. Possible know that usually batch the so we are in the studio with donate brock with a hydraulic drum. Roll general we need one of those soundboards. The noise is so. I know it's funny because I talked to Jake for the first time loss last week on Thursday and kind of chatted for awhile and he said you know we usually have a backlog of quite a few people before we need to publish it weekly. Could you come in tomorrow at? Can you give give me till next Tuesday? It's pretty big deal for for the company but yeah so. Luckily he let me do that. Well we're fortunate in the way of such a big backlog with everything going on with Kovic but you know now. People are starting to wonder out. And you know we be safe with social distancing so we got you know six feet here but appropriately at least four and a half so tell me a little bit about what you guys are doing real quick and then we'll dive into your story and let's got to this point sure. Yeah Wise. Rock is the name of our company and basically what we do is production optimization and production surveillance. We help engineers to really dramatically improve the way they do that and it wasn't our plan but you know we really feel like we're in the right place at the right time to help the industry right now because if you're you're shutting in a lot of wiles even you know obviously slowing down drilling as well even if all the wells in an asset or shut in. What's a production engineer to do? What's the reservoirs near do? It's about look back analysis and it's about working on the job and not in the job. We've all been firefighting for so long. And that usually don't have time to analysis you wanting to do and really what what? Wise Rock is is a platform foundation for Just as much analytics as you WANNA put on top of it And so you can get into that a little bit you know of course after we. Kinda talk through the history. Yeah I mean you brought up a good point. Even if assets are shut in it's important to be looking at back testing looking at the history of that asset right so it's not like production engineers aren't just sitting around twiddling their thumbs while wells are shut in you know they're doing analytical processes and so having tolls for that it's really important. Yeah the data's still there. I mean if you've got ten years data and the Balkan and then showed on the walls for a few months there's plenty to find in that data that you haven't had time before artificial look back now. Artificial lift look back and also work overs any category of production variants or losses or reserves hits. You can go back and figure out a lot about that. Can take time to learn. Spot fire takes more time to learn python yet. You know lean process improvement. There's there's a million ways that we can improve the way we're working and wall. We don't have a lot of work to do and ultimately that's going to be more valuable than just doing the work if we really do it right. So what's your background? Are you petroleum engineer? Or or how'd you first learn the problems that production engineers deal with? How did you come up with this idea of a two thousand ten okay and so you know kind of educationally? I started off civil and then I switched over to petroleum when I realized that I'd be working on a to ninety three construction project for twenty years of my career and my friend was had an internship making twice as much money honestly doing actual exciting work petroleum and You know after my my freshman year in college. I'd like man. Let's see if I could switch over to the petty department and was able to and you know all the transfer called the credits transferred and then I got an internship at has worked out in seminole in West Texas for summer and had nothing to do other than what golf that was. Twenty two thousand eight. Okay Yeah Yeah. It's funny. I did a lot of work but I think it was like two thousand eleven two thousand ten sometime around there. But yeah so that was a field rotation. I learned to play golf while they actually do. Have a golf course mostly sand but it's fun when there's nothing else to do and learn to go for that summer but then the next year I did get us back for another one and it was in the Houston office with a West Africa. Deepwater team there at has and was Doing Reservoir engineering. And that's kind of when I first got into all right. Kinda realize the opportunity that we have with software and with analytics gas down sue oppressors transient analysis project. You know looking at pressure buildups and you know I started do the project and I realize that the day preparation itself was taking. I mean if you wanted to look at fifteen buildups for single well and kind of see the average reservoir pressure over time you might be spending half a day or more preparing the data and the actual analysis would take fifteen minutes and I had learned and I went to a small school south south of Houston Houston Need Ville and luckily we had a computer science teacher there. I took the class because I like computers and science. I didn't know what that was And ended up doing it three years so I knew enough to like. Learn quickly and that's pretty much it and so. I used excel to put together this tool that basically allowed you to very rapidly find the billups and then mark them. An export demand the format necessary to translate office. And you could do fifteen in five minutes. And it's funny. Because there's a product out there called Monte that was supposed to do the same thing part of the Akron suite with Sapphire Topaz and so named it Sir Konia to be like the version of Monty and anyway it just amaze me that you have a product that was doing something so sophisticated and they were just using like built filtration what we would call data science now to identify these things and it was cool but it didn't take it to the last mile and not product costs one hundred fifteen thousand dollars per license and a guy there actually brought that company and showed him the product that I'd hacked together and he's like why is this working better and he's obviously didn't do everything. But for that one specific workflow and I kinda thought it was a fluke and luckily oil prices fell in two thousand nine and only three out of I think fifteen of us got an offer and the only reason I got the offer. Because did that not because I did when I was told you know what I was asked to do. And there's no way that this would happen again. That was that seemed obvious. And so then I got into my senior year and ended up. You know I came to Houston afterwards and you know I had actually gotten started learning about startups because I learned about passing investing to seminole and I realized that to anyone listening. It really is true. Like don't be a day trader if you look at the scientific evidence and the empirical evidence you cannot beat the market without being like an activist investor. I guess I maybe don't want to say that right now because we do want re- racist seed round from active investors but they they could have information that the average investor doesn't and so I wanted to to build a basically Online course for young professionals to teach them you know besides pass investing in an eight hours. You can learn that you never need to watch. You know your money again to spend another hour researching where to trade and you'll retire with twice as much money if you can if you can if you can save that two percent and cost of investing. He's stay consistent over the long term instead of trying to day trade intraday day in day out and just your S. Yeah there's a lot of psychological wells you have to overcome but but basically it was the first time that I realized that I mean money's real important to people a lot of people in general and the common knowledge especially at the time. Of course you can beat. The market was very few people. That didn't know that I mean it was the Nobel Prize winner snacking publishing papers for fifteen years at that point showing. It wasn't possible. Vanguard you know different. People were making that clear. But in general the perception was we should be spending so much money. We should be getting into hedge funds. We should be paying two percent a year for an active investor. Because he did it for the last five years in a row and I realize though that something so important I think I kind of assumed before that in general consensus was usually right of the world and at that time I realized like well. This is a really big deal and it matters to every single person and yet the consensus consensus is wrong and so I wanted to try to build a product for that. It's interesting now. Because FINTECH companies like Wal Front Betterment actually started trying to build a product that would be an investing platform and they use the lean start methods to figure out what was working. What didn't wait? We can't actually beat the market so they hired one of the Nobel Prize winner economists to put together actual efficient portfolio. Now that's what they sell is like. You can't beat the market. Give us your money. We'll do tax harvesting we'll do automatic about rebalancing and we'll do all these things that normally you'd have to have tons of money for and anyway that was just a big deal to me because it made me realize that It's important to read to really look look at the fundamentals of things. Don't just assume that are already already knows the answer yet. And it you know it also got me interested in startups. And that's when I started reading about startups so it's interesting that the point that you made when you made that program to do that analysis you thought you know this is kind of a fluke deal you know. Just a one off just got lucky. Found a problem but so it got me excited about tech in oil and gas over the last decade is because when we think about you know it wasn't that long ago like two thousand seventeen two thousand eighteen. When you talked about new technology. Everyone started you know. They talk about down-home mechanical technology. And what we've done over the past ten years with horizontal but I was always interested in digital technology. You know data analytics out all the fucking Buzzword so we want but you started looking into just like whatever corner turned you know. There is a problem that it needed a solution. So it's interesting to think that you know back in that time you know. Two Thousand Eight two thousand nine. You've figured out something but you hadn't had that a ha moment yet of like. Hey there's a bunch of broken shit in this industry writing raising yeah and and so then I went in you. Know started started my my job at has. I almost actually considered not taking the job because I really wanted to be an entrepreneur. My Mom freaked out and she's like. How can you turn down the six figure job? Like that's ridiculous like house like that's what everyone says entrepreneurs but I didn't have the guts and so I started in. Osu's a hard time for me because I was hard to care about the job forty hours a week when I really wanted to do this startup and after a while. I said you know what I think it took a year. It's like I'm going to try to like completely throw out that idea way and I'm just going to focus on all the gas and started doing that. And that's when I found that you know you read the fundamentals of reservoir engineering by L. P. Dake I love that guy. I mean he passed away but he's so cynical and I think he wrote this book in the nineties and he's complaining about the idea that can run one hundred simulation models now in the nineties and then pick the one that matches and he's like that's ridiculous not telling you what the reservoir does you have to understand the fundamentals first and he was just sarcastic throughout the whole book but you know he's super smart and he like listed seven or eight listed ten things that are very common mistakes that if you do them wrong like everything else wrong after and I think you know on teams that we were doing seven of them and so I started trying to explain to people what those things were and I was like. Well if I just explain that logically be happy. That wasn't the case. But wow they're billion dollar decisions being made in our industry and the first assumption can be wrong and we are destroying capital at an amazing rate and I mean not everything has is doing but they're obviously there's there are situations like that where you throw somebody into position and they haven't done this before and yet there's a billion dollar decision being made based on chicken. I've actually talked about that quite a bit. Because you talk about you know in early stages you make one false assumption and then everything just compounds on that air you know from there on so it becomes a big problem. I want to unpack kind of backing up in conversation a little bit. I want to unpack the point that you talked about. You know you took the job offer has even though you wanted to be an entrepreneur. Do the startup life like he felt that. But you know your mom's I don't fall the you. I mean we get this all the time especially from engineers wanting you know like minimum connect- XYZ AP You know I'm not happy here. I WANNA do my own thing star Mon company Like I always told people to have patience and to learn within your job and I believe every job I really don't give a fuck if you're serving tables or if you're a janitor or if you're a reservoir engineer at has there's always something that you can learn from your job and the you know the jobs that I had over the past decade I wouldn't be able to do a lot of like I wouldn't be able to see here and talk with me on this podcast because I'd have no idea what I was talking about right. So it will take skills and knowledge from those jobs and then apply on. The time is right to my own companies. But you know how you know looking back. Are you glad that you work with Hess? And you've got that knowledge and got to see these problems firsthand. Instead of just jumping right into the start apply for. Would you have done it different? Yeah it was way better. You know if I would I would onto the finance industry and then wealth rotated and I'm like well that was dumb. And that's what I tell patrol. Machine sue is like the domain knowledge. You have is the hard part you know. I am a very very mediocre developer but because I know how to translate it to patrolman ear into an IT Department. Then you know. My value to accompany is dramatically higher than the very best developer. Google who doesn't know anything absolutely. I tell people all the time like the hard part is the domain of welland guests. There are so many intricate things in oil and gas. You know whether you're looking at reservoir engineering or geology. Or down whole operations you know. That's just a couple of components of upstream right. You're not even taking this for years. I was Silicon Valley with with all their humorous. Come in and try to think that they're going to solve problems. They have been working on for years. You know and they think that they're just going to apply. Whatever the latest technology is to the issue acts and then it just tells all the world's problems than just not the case. Well there's a really interesting article. I saw on linked in years ago. About knowledge clusters. I don't know if there is a book written about it but basically that's the theory. Is that people naturally form? An to knowledge clusters. So if you're a reservoir engineer and you you spent three years trying to get good at it and now you know what? Pta RTA and a while test is but you don't just know what that acronym means you know all the ways that it works in practice and reality and dairy and whether or not different companies different industries are using it. Just how people think about it in general and that's going to happen. Any Knowledge Cluster. Because you need to communicate efficiently and rapidly between each other. What you Kinda naturally do? Is You build up? Wall around that knowledge cluster. To where somebody coming in for the first time at a minimum feels dumb and you probably treat them like they're dumb too because you don't understand how they don't get it and so like a developer comes in and you explain what you need and you think he did it really clearly and he thinks he understood you and he goes and works for two weeks then you come back and you're like this guy has no he doesn't know about reservoirs and you think he just doesn't know anything general. So what does that guy do? Say why would I come here to work in the industry when Google appreciates me? And they don't think computers and they leave but there are people and they talked about companies and people that you. Steve Jobs and an example. You can actually look at a network graph of your connection. Say on Lincoln and most people. They'll see that there's a cluster of people around them and that's it. But what if you look at a network graph of certain people? There's multiple clusters connector between those clusters. And so for me. It was not intentional. I learned the reservoir engineering and the entrepreneurship and then got into data virtualization and then more into actual modern software engineering. And I. I'd say that I don't seem like an idiot in those clusters. At least I come across as if it's worth talking to me and explaining something I don't know at least the that is that. Then you can connect and you can be that lightning rod of innovation because the IT Department keeps they wanna use Duke for something. And they just can't convinced the reservoir team and what to do with it and the reservoir team wants to get data into a database into a structure that can use it but they don't know how so. This team needs this this team. You can both work on this really cool stuff and you just connected that and so your value to the organization into those clusters goes up dramatically which then allows you to also learn more about it and. I think that that's huge. Is I think that rather than spending thirty years as engineer. There's already people that have written three hundred papers on every type of reservoir simulation etc. You know you can try to do that. That's why don't you to spend a year or two and especially just read the books you know before you start and at different clusters and you're gonna find just massive opportunities there naturally interesting than algae of knowledge clusters in. Nope kind of having people that bridge the gaps between the two. I think a lot of oil experience for me on the wool field. And then I start interfacing with these like me is now. I can make fucking oil and gas means the helicopter because it's first gap between the knowledge. Clusters are great examples. Because I don't know if you've read mastery by Robert Greene. But the whole premise of the book is that mastery lies at the intersection of two things that you're passionate about okay. That's true mastery allies and so with calling it's willing gas and then memes and so you can create a best oil-to-gas beams in the world and then what you're talking about. Same thing with petroleum engineering and then soffer development right true mastery lives in. That's where great things happen in the entire book is built off of that. Yeah it's really really good. Read for anybody who hasn't read them. Yeah haven't read that on. Check it out. So you're at Hess Year. Did you work until as an where you'll sure we on land were offshore West Africa? I ended up moving to the production team which I liked because and reservoir engineering the young guy you can say like look if you get if you get the bubble point wrong on this material bounce equation. Then that means that we actually don't have any certainty about the reserves in place and if we drill this well it might be completely dry drilling that well for eight years. Yeah so okay. Maybe you're right. But maybe not production-sharing you've got feedback next day on whether or not what you did. And so I found that as a young engineer you could prove the value of what? You're doing a lot easier than disciplined that such a further horizon and now this is a really good point. Really the right place for me. I think I worked for a guy named Ivan Samuelson who just really gave me a lot opportunities. I learned what SPA fire was and the company was not really using it to to. Its extent that you could but it just kind of blew my mind and ended up the first thing I built. It wasn't with Spurs before knew about it. Was this thing called awhile test. Visualize it and it was really interesting because actually director of a the West Africa unit there so Broccoli. We have all these tests and we know there's information there. We've got forty wells. We're getting to a month. Can you go look for valuable things and I think maybe you should lie. I heard you code. Why don't you try and put a system together that would would put like ranges of expected values for things like production pressures and then if it goes out of that is alarm. This is very common way. People think of exception based surveillance which is the only call. But that's what it was. Yeah I tried that and only because I could hack it together and try ten different things in excel. I realized that that just wasn't going to work. And I started looking at graphing. It and I started with simple line chart which is what everyone else does. And then I realized there was too much over plotting and then I went to a bars and but that didn't work either. I basically kept iterating to the point that I had a very unique visualization And I didn't know that there was a sign of data visualization at the time but basically showed the history of the loss twenty five while tests. And you look at one while all the time and each column would be every attribute of that wall test which offshore we had like twenty Joe positions and temperatures and pressures and whether or not the walls and you know how long in the test separator and took about two weeks to build that and. Luckily no-one really realize I was doing that at the time until it was done. And I've found that was important. Never going to do something before you have an example of it because it's very difficult to explain with words and Ivan was funded that but what I found. Was that want doing this job for over a year before that and I built a tool and then within literally four hours of using it I ended up found more potential opportunities for production optimization than the whole team had found and the prior year including myself a few of us on the team and it just blew me away. There was no a and there was no data. Science there was nothing sophisticated visualized visualizing correctly. And You can't build this visualization spot. Fire it's very bespoke thing. But it's actually great for Correlation Analysis. Which is what you're doing with wall testing enhanced it by letting you click on a wall test and drill into the skater and not just took it another step further because we'd see a wall test that was forty percent higher than last wall test and your is immediately drawn to that because the way the human mind works. It's called appreciative. Attribute position is one of those before you even pay. Attention is drawn to a change in position like bar charts with a forty percent high one and then and then it goes back down. You need to go and manually set alarms because your height is gone to if you if you put it in the right way. And you know we'd see like you click on that wall test drill data and that's because wall test actually had a different wall and tests for the first half of the test and you could see that very obviously and so. I ended up doing building similar products. One for tracking deferral one for production forecasting one like I said the wall testing and then and then another four daily production reporting and I kind of put together the story of how we could do. You know integrate them all into one and present dot to the VP of offshore and again. It was all very visual examples. Like you're not trying to explain an algorithm. It's just like you can see this and it works. Yeah and I remember. He stood up in front of the room of like forty people onset while Brockton showed we're going to do no matter what so let's do it. And and then at that point four I was able to spend all my time building tools for engineers around me and people around me and only doing the work enough to understand if the tools was approving things. I love that point that you brought up. No trended tell someone and described someone. What you you're going to build so hard and you can waste all that time and energy or just build it yourself like we just went through this like you. WanNa you WANNA hit with. You know we had this vision you know. Obviously we've we've had the gas starts podcast and we've had people like you come on and tell their vision of the company and then you know. Emp Clients Reach Out Investors Yadda Yadda Yadda. Well we've always had this vision of. Hey we could create this platform where tech companies can you know? Have a demo walk through all this content and Yada Yada Yada. It'd be on our website and tell people only people just want to get it so we launched it last week or like dude fuck this. Let's just build it and launch it? So did it convince three startups to come on. And now we just have a flood of inquiries from Arabs wanting to come on where I mean these are people that are startup. Founders should be able to see stuff without having to be able to explaining it too much but that was kind of a thing. The were vision. You know like you said it's much easier just to show. Somebody shows that kind of in the direction you WanNa go get your MVP say. Hey this is what it is. We can reiterate be better in the future but this is what it looks like so if you have the ability to do that that's definitely the way to do instead of trying to sell someone on a on a vision so it went really well. I ended up getting to hire a couple. Software developers are actually. It department hired them and they weren't the right developers because I didn't know anything about modern software development and I don't think the IT Department did either. They actually didn't want them to be working at house because that's harder to maintain has an IT department. You don't want to build things most. It departments don't want to build custom things because then they're just called when they break right. Yeah and so it was you know. Basically my bosses said yes. Allow them to hire these. It hired them and created friction between me and it leadership for sure but it. It was working. It was going slower for sure. I mean if I would've there was definitely wasted time and effort and it took two and a half times larger to do everything I I wanted to do. By the time it was done then it was more valuable than I realized that people were still okay without and it was going. Well you know I felt kind of on top of the world there. I thought I'd be it has for you know fifteen years was going so well you know. I was I. I was ranked really. High percentage wise in the company which is kind of what you live for employees. It's like well the best I can do is get a higher rating and And I got a high one year and so honestly I felt kind of untouchable Which is a bad state to be in. But that's how I felt and then I've said brock like I just found out going back to Denmark. He's an expert so I have to figure out where to put you and we don't really nobody knows because you know disposition urine is weird and I ended up. There's a guy on the on the on shore side that kind of said like hey to my team and he was buddy buddy you know with the CEO and Seemed like it was going to be great fit so I sent went to work for him but it turns out he was extremely busy and didn't really realize how deep I'd gone doing these things for the off shore team and the pitch was when I joined like. Actually you can keep doing that then. It became clear that doesn't line up with his strategy. And you know we Kinda buttered heads quite a bit and basically you know there were. There was a time that basically something happened. Where they're got into this very touchy situation between me. It and his team and he called me the military and said brought home like you know. And I said what are you talking about like I heard about what happened? I was like what do you mean? He said? Just go home and I said well. Aren't you GonNa let me talk to you about it. I've worked for you for three weeks and I've talked to you twice. I've been at this company for seven years and everyone I've ever worked with almost everyone says that That I've done a great job and now you're GONNA you're gonNA treat me like that not even asked me about my side. He's like no go home and honestly looking back at the time. I was furious but I can see why you know. He was upset about to call somebody out for category down. But so you know one part of my story is that I tell people. I didn't plan to be here. I did not have the guts to leave us. I mean I didn't have the savings to do that. I wasn't going to do that One of my friends call the Mata. He kind of both pushed forward together. It has like we both learned small far together. He quit and went and started data fuel to train people on spot fire house like dude. That's awesome. I could never do that. And then he was acquired by Rousse which is now a patrouille but this happened and what I said to people. Is You know my faith is something. That's very important to me and I think a lot of us and business. Don't talk about that a lot but for me to tell my story you guys. I kind of have to and what I tell people is that I grew up as a as a Christian right but to me as a lot of people may be You Know God exists. But it doesn't really affect my life you know. Kind of like Panama's a country. I know it exists okay. You know that doesn't affect me and I've seen things now and I've experienced crazy things that basically over and over in the same direction that I can not believe not only exist but that he actually cares about me even loves me and is even willing to guide. You know what I'm doing not with words but through circumstances and through other people and through prayer and Reading Bible putting ideas in your head and I've just seen those so many times that I said it it's become very real to me and and it's it's also has a big part in to the ultimate vision of Wash Rock but at the time one of the thing that happened was reading this book with a group in my church and it was called speaking. Jesus and the thesis was Christians have really screwed things up for the brand of Christianity. Really believe for the past two thousand years and people are very against you know the people that call themselves Christians and he said. Why don't you just talk about Jesus instead and so I was like well cool? Let's try it. I started going to people's offices all over and just said. Hey what do you think about Jesus and no one got upset and I talk to people of different faith and actually led to dramatically improve relationships because we were talking about something real and even had at one point. I went and talked to people an awesome if they want to go this Christian event across downtown and forty people said they wanted to go and Director there. I don't think he's a Christian. He said well. Why don't we just get a bus to take everyone? It's like a publicly traded company pay for a bus to go to Christian event and most people on Christian going like this is really weird you know so that was happening and then this happened where he tells me to go home and I'm walking down the street. I'm going to catch new because there's no bus in a row. The bus and this guy walks up to me. You know homeless people walk up to you a lot in Houston okay. He's GonNa ask for money and study. Says what's your name. I said Brock. Pray for you. You look like you're having a hard day and it's like I don't think I'm looking weird. But okay. And so he puts his hand on my shoulder and just start spraying for me for a good two to three minutes and says like I just know. Brock's going to be a great lear- one day I remember him saying and then I finish and I thought he's GonNa ask for money he didn't he just walked away touch really weird and then. I got an Uber and the driver you know had been kind of like talking. Who drivers well Jesus too and I was like. I don't know if I talked to this guy. He's playing Christmas music on the radio. I was like well. Let me just ask him and I did. And then he started telling me the story. I mentioned like there's some things going on in my work. And he said you know what? I'm actually from Nigeria. And I had this amazing opportunity move to Europe and I got this job when I worked there for five years and it was the best job I ever had and at one point though. This lady was jealous what I was doing and she falsely accused me of something and my boss found out told her. Don't you ever do that again or I'll get you fired? She told her boss and he was fired anyway and so he was back in Nigeria and it was like Matt God why now my whole future is gone because of something. That clearly wasn't my fault and he said Brock but like God. That wasn't my plan for you my plan for you know. He said he said to this guy. Basically said that wouldn't have happened I now. I got my master's degree in psychology and in two weeks. I'm GONNA become a professor at a university in the United States and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. He's Broccoli maybe God doesn't want you there. That's a strange coincidence to happen right now. And then the next day I had actually had a meeting scheduled with the president of C. Twelve sorry I don't know if he's president but he's one of the leads of C twelve in Houston which is a group of. It's a group for basically Christian CEOS with more than a million in revenue and. He's kind of mentoring them and I'd seen him at a conference in House to talk to them and we just happened to be meaning that next day and told him what was going on and it was just crazy how wise he was because he didn't try to convince me himself. What does the Bible say and he had it memorized or he just told me the verse and it was just like very clear to me? Why Word Long Story? Short is that really gave me the confidence to leave and I loved. I ended up leaving. They actually said like if you WANNA leave. Then we'll give you severance and ended up being five months severance which is crazy and other store but that finally gave me the confidence leave. I do WANNA say this to people out there because it's relevant to people that are in between jobs our worried about it. I said that I was confident that this is what I need to do. You know I said it's because I trust gone. It seems clear but what I found was that I had a huge amount of identity blocked up and what I did as a patrol near and I had some plans to kind of do some analytics consulting but it turns out no one outside. I guess thought I was good analytics and I couldn't get off the ground and when it became clear that you know my intellect wasn't going to get me another job like the one I had. It has got very anxious and actually got Stephen and And it just you get to that state and you start to think of all the bad things about yourself and I was like you know what I really was arrogant. It has and I really did do the wrong thing. And there were other people that I made their job worse because I would just tell them what I thought instead of actually carrying how they felt and it just really rocked my world and showed me things about myself that I didn't realize but it also became clear to me that the main problem wasn't the money it was embarrassment and we bought a house in Katie thirty nine hundred square feet. We plan on. We had three kids having one more. And it's like well we just need to your house and you know why not. It's in our budget and then this happened. I was like we're GONNA have to sell her house ir like this. House and I don't even care about losing money and it ended up being like a fifty thousand dollar sake. Care is to tell people. I just bought this House and I made this ridiculous mistake and now I'm moving into town home. Your ego you know ego boost found was that I told people about it. They all liked the story. My two neighbors which was embarrassing. Because I moved into them and two months later that we put up for sale sign up and Katie and we went and told them and they're like they both said you know. Actually we always talk about our houses probably too big too. And they're like we talked about moving but we just can't because we haven't been here long enough and then we ended up selling our twenty fifteen Honda Odyssey and I bought the same color of two thousand six which is like one fourth the cost and no one noticed. It's just a great many van and we pay for these things that we think we need and it turns out. My kids liked to that townhouse better than than house we were in and I just realized I don't need to ever buy a house that big we weeded house again now. And it's about two thousand square feet and my kids complain that they want to go back to the other house because it had carpet and ours has hard floors now But it it just kinda showed me you know and I think this is good for anybody here. You know you can make really good money and all I guess and it may be hard to find the same dollar value and the short term but like for the things that matter in life. The things that make you happy your family you know going camping. That's like one of the best vacations and you know just hanging out with friends around. The Campfire doesn't cost those things don't really cost money. Yeah and you know poverty levels like twenty six thousand so if you're if you can make fifty your double what you actually need to live. Yeah that's I mean. Great talking points. I mean especially for what everyone's going through in the industry right now and I've never been laid off but in two thousand eighteen decided to leave my six figure job and pursue my own ventures from six figures to nothing in always say like I needed. I needed to know what it felt like to have no money coming in. See what was actually important because just like you said like all that all the extra bullshit goes like. You don't need a big house. Nice cars you need the essentials to live life to provide you know for you your wife your kids and was the bare minimum that you can do to get by and then pursue pursue your ventures and. It's actually funny for me because I got promoted a month before I quit. It was like my second promotion within a year as I. I'm getting too deep. I'm never GONNA leave like they're treating me too good. I'm getting paid too much and I think you talk about your identity being wrapped up in your job. Jake's talked about this before on the podcast. That a Lotta people identify with their job. And when that's ripped away over the you kind of an identity crisis you know you don't feel valuable. Yeah and then you go try to look for other jobs whether it's in industry or outside and you know people like you said you know people don't respect your analytical talent finishing you start questioning yourself and I think that you know. A lot of people are unable to see past that and they need to be able to wrap up history. Basically I I ended up taking doing coding bootcamp Which was great. It was called Coder Camp Okay and it was the last one that they had in parallel landed. Failed after that. Okay but it taught me enough to to know about that stuff and so basically I then got a job at p. Two as a product manager which was really cool to kind of see the way product management worked at a large company and after that I went into analytics insulting and I had an opportunity to work for a company and they hired me and To to help with the forecast forecasting stuff and they said at the time after I had worked on some things about a month and a half. They said know. We really like what you're building Just go ahead and build wherever you think is best because we hard you really more to be an innovation consultant than an execution consultant. Just keep us up to date like once a month and I was like that's awesome and so I started doing that and I basically continued on the same of production surveillance and optimization and realize that there's an opportunity to build something at the core they were able all the other productions ation but didn't exist. And I I showed a prototype that I talk together and MP three instead. Like if we could build this than it would do these things and said if I if I build this and I show you then layer once it's done then you could license it if you want to. Would you be okay with doing that? Know going down to twenty hours a week and I said yes and so then it turned out. I had an opportunity present that and basically I went and show the product to them and it was the VP of production it. Planning in the two production managers there and I went through my presentation and they said okay. So what's the price and I told them. Three hundred sixty thousand dollars a year and they were like brock. How did you come up with that? I said well if you take my hourly rate and you do it for a whole year. Then that's how much it would be and this is dramatically better than anything. I could do myself and short amount of time and the Visa Peo-. It was like brock. That's just told me. It took one developer four months. And you to build this and we have patrol. It's hundred times more complex than it doesn't cost that much. How can you justify it? I said well. There's differences between the software and some of that other software describing is that we don't have any competitor's doing anything like this and so if you want this functionality right now until we competitors this is the only place you can get a number two is that. I think it's very defensible that you'll make one hundred times return on investment in the first year and it'll be forty million dollars at least in the first year and more the second about continuous improvement and the VP production was like. Yeah that's true. And so we basically got all the way the point that everything's agreed to be a a fifty thousand dollar two month pilot and then go into that that rate and everything's ready to go and then right before this company announced that they're restructuring spending freeze and and so we didn't that didn't happen And this was early twenty nineteen and basically you know. We went through a lot of different things during two thousand nineteen but we did get our first customers late. Two Thousand Nineteen. It was because we ended up having to survive through consulting and what we really have now is product that is about what we basically have now is a product that does something very simple Everybody's got daily oil gas and water production. It's probably the the data that they have the most well organized and what we found is that to do exception bay surveillance. You don't really need to look at the pressures and the trump positions and all these other things just look at the production and so the problem is you don't really usually have a very good target. And so what we have is a system that allows you to draw decline on top of that production and allow you to say this. Is You know with very very tight. Accuracy much interface than to areas. You can say this is what this well should be doing for oil gas and water and the next thirty to sixty days. And every time there's a break and that ability produce such a fraud or a workover then you can go annotate dot and categorize it and so by doing this you now have classified. And annotated the day set of everything that affected your wells in terms of the long term ability to produce. But we also have the ability to track the short-term variance things like compressor downtime esp failures etc and. It's a very rapid interface for doing that and we can actually help. Companies do that in less than a week. Usually even across hundreds of walls based on other while notes information they give to us we can. We can have that data classified and so that's really really valuable for look back analysis. You can now with a single query or a dashboard and we do build the product to where you can put you basically connect directly to our database in the cloud with any products such a spot fire or power. Bi whatever you WANNA use Python and you can build all kinds of dashboards and we're building up a library on top of these data sets and so what you can ask now is tell me how many kids experience across every wall in the company and what was the reserves degradation because we have arts declined before in the arts decline after and I can also because we can attach the Meta data and you can attach any today that you want to any of these events. The child frock is there and now I have the relationship because I have the x y coordinates of each well between distance and reserve NEGRA nation and the quality of the data is extremely high. It's very difficult for companies to track reserve segregation. Right now with the tools out there. Because you really need something you can drag and adjust the decline manually versus trying to type in an excel or you try to use a tool and my areas. That just isn't built for that. We have the same thing for workers we can tell you the wedge production of single lift install. You did every single you know to repair and basically any category of either variants or capacity change. That happened in the full history of everyone. Your well says now while classified annotated the Google Director of research a quote were he said More data beats clever algorithms but better data beats more data. And you know they're trying to build self driving cars. And so that means they're paying literally hundreds of people. Every single day to sit there an annotate thirty frame per second video and they might spend twenty minutes per frame and Click and try to say. This is a trash can. This is a human this another car. This is a tree because they need that high quality data realize I have to do those captures all the time. Like when you're logging in and it's like pick every picture that has a bus in it and you're just hoping Gould train their algorithm away from that because it wasn't high enough quality they actually have to say the exact outline of it. Now if they're gonNA make these self driving cars reality. And so that's basically what we're providing to these companies is a way to classify annotate data. But it's actually adding value. It's not costing them value to do that. Because now you've got this very nice capacity line allows you to exception based surveillance and so what we do. Is We rank everyone in the company and you control out very rapidly to the walls you care about each and you can select anytime range. You can say the last two weeks or the last two days yesterday. Which was the most from their expectation? There's only three root causes one. Is that you actually had a variance that you need to classifying. Go do something about the second. Is that your capacity was wrong. Maybe you had to work over frock and you needed just. It was just the wrong slope and third is it was an allocation issue and so we have ways to handle all three of those and the accession based surveillance is great. You know that's kind of where people talk about this real time surveillance and our rhythms are going to predict failures You know a few days at a time. But what's even more important. Is the real engineering production automisation analysis? It's great that I can tell you the. Espn GONNA failure. What is going to fail? What's more important is to be able to say Here's why it's going to be. Here's why it's going to fail even more important than that is that I shouldn't have been using. Espn for this time period of the wall. I should have had gas lift and even more important and that is I shouldn't have even drilled this. Well here I should have drilled it over there and that's a higher level of engineering and you get to the point. I should have. I should actually sell this asset. Visit anywhere here is actually better. Acreage and Algorithm by itself isn't going to be able to tell you that you have to get back to the human and so that kind of goes into really at the very core of everything we do with wash. Rock is about lean. It's about the plan. Do check adjust process. And if we want to be able to produce these walls set of forty dollars a barrel. Get it down to twenty eventually. We're going to have to treat it. You know like the Toyota production system manufacturing cars. And this is you know. Many in our industry are using these concepts where you're looking at it. As a repeatable process every time drill awhile every time in ESP fails every time you Go and repair a hole on tubing you. You make a plan you do it and then you check what actually happened and then adjust and then you do it over and over and over and for everything we're doing whether it's making a production forecast or repairing things. That's how we need to think about what we're doing and that's what rock. Abel's because you can see what how much production you're losing due to fraud kits right now you can say. Why don't we put? Espn's on right after the frog so we can pump the water off. Why don't we go to string frocks? And why don't we do? Xyz which people are doing but they're not tracking very well the impact and looking at the correlation between what happened. And what didn't and until that loop is closed. Then it's going to be very difficult to make those big changes in our industry. Yep hundred percent agree now before we close up this episode. Let's talk about your team in the position that you guys are in right now. Did you bootstrap and no code all this by yourself. Do you have any other co founders? I think you guys are about to raise your first round of capital. If I'm not mistaken yes yeah the wall so like I said. There's some very neat things. Wise Rock. In the way we want to raise money. We realized that we were planning on trying to grow through revenue and now due to the downturn. We realized that that's not going to allow us to grow as fast as we can. Even though this is what we believe. The industry really desires right now. Is this type of tool and so we do plan on raising a seed round of some type right now however with wise rock we kind of have a bigger vision than just doing production optimization like I was talking about before there's kind of a different way we're designing software at this point. It's really about closing that loop between the way people work and the way machines work and that has to do a lot with data is basically what what we believe that. There's a certain design pattern. We're using here. That is really about tightly tightly. Embedding the principles of data visualization and any business process and that if we can Kind of generalized used and other industries even and definitely across other domains and all gas that this could really change the way that a lot of different to be software built instead of going straight to that you would. You would really focus on building systems that work the way the work with the way the human mind works. It's kind of like the difference between being well Smith and I robot where he sees the machine working on its own versus. You know being Robert Downey junior and ironman where you stuff into the suit and you feel ten times more powerful than that before and that's how our customers feel not what they can see. Whenever they see our product especially important you know building tools and software that enable people to do their job better more efficient and faster You know there's a transition we're not going straight to you know a world of robots and algorithms in AI. I mean right now when you solutions actually empower employees of a company to be better at their jobs right right love it so you guys going to be looking at doing seed round here soon Where can people find you guys online? Do you have a website? Wise Rox DOT COM website. Exactly awesome so we'll put a link to that and the show notes also put a link or you on Lincoln Yes okay all right. So we'll put a link to your link on our show notes as well so guys are interested either in If you're soon investing jockey and reach out if he is earned from me and P. interested in seeing their software and what they built out till free to reach out to brock Either through their website or Lincoln brought appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you If you like to show go to Lean the show notes. Wreath this podcast sports slash digital wildcatters when he's five star reviews reviews. Get some trolls. Who coming in one stars. You know who you are. So yeah the NSA.

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