20 Episode results for "CO founder"
Slick Talk: The Hospitality Podcast (Trailer)
"Hi. My name is will slickers. I'm the CO founder of a luxury vacation rental company in the Pacific Northwest Destination air and overall hospitality enthusiasts. This is the podcast for anyone and everyone in the hospitality industry that love what they do wants to grow. Learn experience. The world of hotels, restaurants, vacation, rentals and travel have to offer on the show. You'll hear many special guests and special topics in our. Welcome just look.
Girlboss Radio Presents, "Jump Start"
"Hey listeners. Did you hear girls is launching a new podcast in partnership with Uber called jumpstart? And it's going to be good like might make you money. Good. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur hoping to glean insider info on how to craft the perfect pitch owing to pick up some common investing principles to use in your everyday life. We're bringing all the knowledge to you with our host away. Co-founder? Jan Rubio subscribe to jump start wherever you listen to podcasts now and stay tuned for the first episode to drop November first.
Girlboss Radio Presents, "Jump Start"
"Hey listeners. Did you hear girls is launching a new podcast in partnership with Uber called jumpstart? And it's going to be good like might make you money. Good. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur hoping to glean insider info on how to craft the perfect pitch owing to pick up some common investing principles to use in your everyday life. We're bringing all the knowledge to you with our host away. Co-founder? Jan Rubio subscribe to jump start wherever you listen to podcasts now and stay tuned for the first episode to drop November first.
The Future of Self-Storage with Ari Mir, Co-founder and CEO of Clutter
"Hello and welcome to mission daily is VP of Operations Albert Chow. In on today's episode. I sit down our Amir. CEO and Co founder of Clutter Clutter is a full service moving and storage company using technology to easily manage the pickup pick-up storage. And Retrieval of Customs. Listen to learn more about how he selected this market in his advice for building a great company mission. Daily is creative. I our team at Michigan Dot. Org We are live okay. Rem Amir CEO Co-founder of clutter today permission daily welcomed. The show. Thank you I appreciate you guys. Having mission audience. We like to think that we're really well informed of what's happening in the world of tech but we can't say that we know everybody so Ra. Can you start us off by giving us a quick rundown of what is clutter and where you guys. Specialize in sure so clutter is an on demand storage solution available in a thousand cities throughout the US and what we do is help consumers get got through high stress high anxiety life events so one in nine Americans go through death that divorce marriage birth in the family and they need to store store their belongings and what we do. We provide them with the most convenient and affordable solution in the marketplace. We have professional national movers. That we employ that will come into your home. You'll point out the items that you WanNa put into storage these. Movers will photograph and catalog. Those items so that six months on six years from now. You don't forget that you have that golf back with us. Then they'll also give you a real time onsite quote for how much your monthly storage rate is going to be and then mm using packing materials that we bring to your home. Our movers will pack your belongings so that they're protected during transport and then using our fleet. The trucks we will safely transfer your items to one of our secure storage facilities and once it's in one of our storage facilities. You can go declutter Dot Com and you get beautiful photo catalog of everything that you have in storage and you're one click away from having that golf back. Returned back to your doorstep within forty eight hours or all of your belongings returned back to your doorstep within forty eight hours as someone who has moved before. This sounds amazing because I actually think I'll never move again just just because I hate moving so much. Yes it's incredibly inconvenient move. You're moving story of stuff. So is that curiously. Is that where you got the inspiration for this idea like to hear how to originated. Where did you hate moving or was it something else that you saw like an opportunity? Try taking you back to the genesis of clutter. I've always been very lazy. Laziness using his pays off for a better way to do something. Exactly you know if forced innovation in this case I was moving back from San Francisco to La and Talking to my co-founder about starting a business. And you know two very different reasons. We both happened to kind of start complaining about moving and storage and it's a it was about just before two thousand fifteen when we discover the problem and And you know we are determined to help consumers I providing them with more convenience Alicia Gotcha now so here you are. You're you found this problem. You've found the inconvenience did. Did you immediately see an opportunity before I go too far a little bit about your background for our guests for our listeners. It looks like your background. Quite a bit of a entrepreneurship worship in your career Looks like he's been part of starting a couple of different businesses. Did you immediately kinda like eyes light up. See like this was going to be the opportunity or tell me about how that I like. That real moment Sounds struggling to pack up San Francisco head. La Was it immediate or was. Did it take a little time to develop that idea. Sure so I had worked for two who other startups that other founders had co founded a company called Shop Zillah in another company called Laura my bills both of which were successful I then went on to co Oh found my own venture backed startup and ad network in Santa Monica called Gum Gum. That was successful as well and then subsequently another venture backed startup called pocket change change. That wasn't successful in so clutter was really my fifth opportunity being a part of a startup whether I co-founded myself for joined someone else's team and I had a long laundry list of things that I knew I wanted to check off before investing. You know frankly speaking the rest of my life and two x business center and it was very obvious to many from the beginning that clutter check awful things and that was what was so exciting about it. If I look back on my career a lot of the stars I've been part of Joe started myself. Did Not check off enough of those boxes. That's amazing what what were some of those things that you're looking at check off. One of them was actually could I and do I want to spend the rest of my life pursuing this opportunity. I think that's ultimately really important to go through. That thought exercise because if you start a company looking to flip it in three to five years I can promise Thomas you the odds are incredibly stacked against you and you'll most likely fail and with clutter is all a business opportunity that was personally fulfilling saying that I knew would keep me engaged for decades. Would other check boxes re looking for well. One of the lessons I learned the hard way throughout the years was the size of the market is ultimately the most important thing like our time on this earth is finite and we have an opportunity cost to that time. And so. If you're an ambitious entrepeneurship like I am. You should really think through whether you're investing your time wisely and I wanted to make sure that I was building a product or a solution that would impact as many lives as possible positively and there are a lot of very lucrative business opportunities that you can pursue. Oh that don't ask don't necessarily check off that box but when you can provide a service that impacts one in nine Americans lives positively and those one in nine Americans need or service not for months not for years but decades which is typically how long stores their stuff for then. You really have an opportunity to do that as a fascinating style. You just dropped one in nine. People he said are using some some type of long term storage. Yeah longterm storage our or just storage in general is a forty billion dollar year market in the US alone. No that's fascinating make space was also on the show and they kind of gave us some interesting storage stats. That's about how fragmented the industry is. Did you know that going in there or did you do some homework. That let you know like okay. There's no dominant market player like multiple new players in the space with with clutter. Like I said I had a framework for evaluating the opportunity and part of that framework was I really wanted to approach it like a business school student. What and do all of my market research I and outline some sort of plan for the first two years and so yes? I very much knew that it was a fragmented market. I I knew is a big market. I knew as a lucrative market I knew who the competitors were etc.. I really did might due diligence before starting clutter and it's paid off dividends. That's fascinating because now I wanNA bring it back to what you originally said that it had to be something that you would want to spend the rest of your life on now. I mean most people don't love storage but what Major. I'm assuming you didn't either Rye. Judging from some of the businesses that you started beforehand so what made it sailing okay. Storage is a place that I can play. Well some of the other things that I wanted to check off or you no one. I wanted to build something that was consumer facing. There are a number of different types of CEO's their sales leaders marketing leaders. I'm a product leader and so the product later it's incredibly important that have a relationship with the consumer and secondly I was comfortable investing the rest so my life into this the opportunity because I knew that as the company scaled more and more challenges present themselves because of the fact that we're not not purely a software business technology company that operates online as well as in the real world and as a product leader. You Never WanNa get bored what you want this kind of constant stream of challenges and so I just knew from the onset that that was going to be the case so when you say your product leader were you mostly thinking about about the experience of storage typically is. I'll I'll really will. I know before technology right. It's me going to let's say less than desirable place. Possibly the right opening up a chain link fence cameras barbed wires everywhere cameras on you. Because I know this I used to Ron Garage door my motorcycle right. No one's there to help you. If they are there to help you pretty unfriendly all stay as the common thing right so as a product you know how do you change. That side of the product is. Is that what you got the idea. Well what if we control cert- like because you know that's how the products part the two you mentioned. Your drivers will come drive. You're gonNA pack my things I'll it's I'm a surfer so let's say Mr Ford's right there. These are fragile. BELOVED ITEMS FOR ME I. I don't have space is a product person. How do you think about the interaction from the online experience to the mobile experience to the actual you know person from clutter come into my house? Grabbing happened my stuff and taking it. Well what blew my mind five to six years ago. was that this very big. Forty billion dollar. A year market was built because consumers ars were going through high stress high anxiety left life events but yet the incumbents that built this industry almost didn't even acknowledge that and really delivered a self service product to consumers which is ultimately beliefs convenient thing. You can do right if you ask. You will do all the work themselves when they're going through. High Stress Stress is a life event that aren't you ultimately just increasing their stress levels. I would say moving is like one of the most stress Ask Any kid the worst day of college. It's probably moving eh right men and move out exactly and so we asked ourselves will. How do we connect the convenience but at the same price and our solution back then which is still bill what we're implementing today is if you let us store your stuff wherever we want meaning we can transport it to anyone? Anyone of are safe and secure storage facilities. They can be inside the city or they could be outside the city. Then we can work really hard to expand our storage margins and in exchange will take those higher storage margins and will reinvest you the customer. And we'll give you moving and packing and materials and we'll give you an on-demand on-demand solution where you can ask for your items back whenever you want. That was the key to cracking this very large opportunity. So you're saying that I'm actually not going to see a material difference in price between me packing up my stuff myself and you You clutter to get my stuff. No it's true parody. So how did you make make that happen. I mean that seems that seems like insurmountable coming where it was some of the things. We're focused on. Tell me how you figured out that this was even possible. I'd love to hear kind of like the Genesis of this idea. It's it's really interesting. Well it's definitely not easy. It's a big liability. Once you take my fragile items like you owe me back these. I mean yeah I mean there's there's a you know. We often referred our business as an engine with a lot of moving parts and so as a business where responsible for paying for materials were responsible for paying hang for the Labor that moves impact and transports your items. Were responsible for paying for the truck. Were responsible for paying for the warehouses where we store your items for damage edge claims or just in general. You know customer experience claims that may result from our ability to deliver service. How we're able to cover all of these? It costs so that you the consumer king get ten x value price parity is very much by arbitraging real estate. Like I said earlier you know so. More and more people are moving into city centres which means the land inside of cities is becoming more and more expensive and so our entire hypothesis. It was that if you let us store your stuff outside of the city where land is cheaper and it's more plentiful than we probably have the march chins to eat all of these costs and to give you ten x they experience and convenience at price parity and five years into the business. We've proven that the hypothesis was correct. But you're right. It's incredibly difficult running. This real world supply chain if you think about it our closest analogue. It's not public storage. The incumbent the elephant in the room that we're trying to disrupt their just a real estate holding company. They don't do anything for you. Our closest in an easily more offense put a fence and some orange paint. Our closest analogue is Amazon. You know we're consumer facing just like Amazon as we're technology company just like Amazon as we run a real world supply chain people trucks warehouses. It is a challenging Ellen ging business and one that keeps US excited to go to work everyday so you mentioned now that you're thousand cities yes so when you started. How many cities did you operate in? I'm assuming one but when we started I think we only serviced West L. A. and only part of it even sure that's considered a city but the zip code or something like we started out by servicing a small collection of ZIP codes. What we found was our model really lended itself to Gio expansion? Oh you build a warehouse and you can actually service a very large radius out of that warehouse whereas when public storage builds a self storage facility. They they on average conserves maybe three to four miles in every direction when we build a warehouse. Our warehouses can typically service up to seventy miles in every direction and so. That's just a massive competitive advantage that we have some big radius. That's a very big media. It is especially if you're new. Densely populated area like Was East la or West La when we started it was in west La and we didn't have our own warehouse to be clear but now for example we have of very very large warehouses in southern California in the Fontana and Ontario area that service everything from Santa Barbara Barbara Down to San Diego for everything from Santa Monica Easter Palm Springs. When you were first going on starting up were you the one in their packing up the backing up? The good. My co-founder Brian. That's super power. He was the one going into customers homes in getting them to trust. Well that's good in about when it comes to finding a good partner. So you mentioned your product i. It sounds like Brian had more like the people skills or could create that trusted adviser type relationship shut were. Hey I'm GonNa take your most beloved belongings and I gotta ask. Did you tell them your address of your warehouse like how do we flip. Flopped on that a lot. We went back and forth on whether we should share the address because ultimately you know I understand why the consumer wants to know the address of the facility where belongings are going to but it's not in their best interest from from a security standpoint. We don't want people knowing where storage facilities are and so now we no longer share the address but throughout out history. There have been times when we did you. Brian worked together before or did you kind of meet along the way during the idea genesis that has discovered you had good. I guess personality and skill fits that would complement each other. How did you go about choosing each other? I've always had co founders in every venture. I've started. I think it's important to have someone in the early days that that provides you with a counterbalance when you're happy and their Saudi can make them happy when you're sad and they're happy can make you happy because ultimately you know okay. Startups are roller coaster. Ride and you're GONNA go through those swings and I always recommend that you look for a co-founder that's very complimentary to you. You know if you're an engineer you you should look for technical co founder. Engineers should probably look for a business partner or or product person. It's a partner with and Brian and I have been friends for a decade before starting clutter and so we very much knew each other strengths and weaknesses and it made sense to start this business together so taking in yourself. So now you Ryan. You're building the product. Your I'm assuming you're designing the landing pages are however you're getting customers management systems Ryan's packing orders taking taking them to the To the warehouse win. Did you know like what was the moment where you looked at your was it financially or just based on customer testimonials that you're like okay. We're almost something. Customers actually legitimately my love this service compared to the alternative right because I read a I can't quoted right now but someone said like if you're not materially better than the next best alternative as you might as well just fold up right now. There's no point starting up. I didn't know win. was that moment. Where like wow we have something? We reached about seventy customers and both Ryan and I were still part-time really pursuing this opportunity. More as aren't Di Project and I remember. We went to dinner one night and we had a conversation about whether we wanted to invest two hundred and ten percent of our respective times into the venture and ultimately it came down to one question. It wasn't are these customers profitable. It wasn't can we get more customers costumers. It was just do this. Seventy customers that we have love the product or like the product and without hesitation. We knew the answer. They loved the product because as we would get feedback from them all the time and when I set the Brian was I've worked my whole life on a number of businesses. And I can tell you. It's incredibly difficult. The bill something that people love. We should both go fulltime on this and really go for and the moment. We decided that it became a rocket ship. Where's a rocket ship me? I mean I don't know how much she can disclose but like how did you know that. Why would you describe as a rocket ship where you like adding customers every day? Like what was it like. I think there are a number of ways you can kind of Qualify progress a rocket ship. You know whether you're getting a lot of customers every month or you're hiring a lot of people doc for us it was It was everything. It's only been five years and in five years. We have krone the team to north of you know eleven twelve hundred people. These are employees. We service a a third of the US across a thousand cities. We have hundreds of trucks million square footage of warehouse space tens of thousands of costumers millions of items in our warehouses. And what that means is every month is bigger. So that's what that's what a rocket ship is when you start art every month needs to be bigger and if you have a month or two or three that are flat. There's something really wrong because in the early days he's everything should be up into the right. That's awesome so I take it then when you're during that time facing I guess every every month has hit your those criteria to the right right. Yeah and if it isn't you take a real hard look and you try to solve the problem pretty quickly no doubt so how about. I wonder if you could take me to the point where you decided to go like obviously raise money right famously. It's on record that Softbank invested two hundred million in declutter was was that the catalyst meeting every month. You're having being a bigger and better or month so you just need to raise capital. So you're saying hey listen. We need warehouses. We need trucks. We need more people. These are numbers. Let's go get money. Let's not grow organically Tell me take me to the decision process there. Did you think you could do it organic or did you feel like we just wanted to explode into the right like you suggested. Some businesses benefit from scale effects. Some businesses benefit from network effects are business benefits from both and so the more volume that goes through our supply. Chain not only do Our margins improve as a business but our customer experience improves as well to service that ever increasing volume you need a lot of capital with a business like ours and it was really clear to me in the early days that this was going to be a capital intensive business right which is why the series a we partnered with sequoia ventures and they ladder series. A I was excited to work with them because I knew they were the most famous investment firm in the world and their social validation Chan of us as a team and our opportunity would help us raise additional capital for years years to come and that proved to be true because four years later we made a lot of progress and Softbank was interested in an investing sorry Softbank's Vision Fund and now across five years. We've raised three hundred million in equity capital to build build all of this infrastructure but ultimately is making consumers lives more convenient all of these warehouses. These trucks employing not only are engineers hourly team members which most companies don't do that. We do so that we can really deliver our service at scale reliably. Yeah so curious. This is obviously your big moment in time right like you suggested over twelve hundred employees a third of the US cities hundreds of trucks the warehouses everywhere. When you sit back and look at I guess the size of business clutter has built? Is that we envisioned from the very beginning or did you one of the things where we saw like. I could be this big but now here you are like Oh we're just getting started. Take me through what your thought processes in regards to like scaling. It meet your expectations. And where do you see the future for clutter. Were about to move into a new. HQ and are real safe broker. That's helping US secure. That new office space has been working with us from the very beginning and he loves the other day his client but that aside he was He was joking. The other day he said Ari. I don't know if you remember but the first day I met you you you said that this was going to be really really big and that I should pay attention to you guys and it's true. I knew from day one. This was going to be one of the world's largest companies one day I didn't quite understand what the slope of the curve was going to be. Whether it was going to grow really quickly quickly and then you know Kinda taper off or more you know steady up into the right but I knew it would never stop growing and I knew that because when one in nine Americans use a product or service and they use it for multiple decades. What they're really telling you is that the opportunity is such that you can build infrastructure for society right you become a part of the fabric of their lives if they're using you every day for years and if you look back at time the companies that have created the most value are the ones that have created infrastructure? Very interesting point of thank you Kinda hit the nail on the head a little bit there or something very similar with jeopardy's always talks but right instead of thinking what new new things are going to happen. What is not going to change in the next ten years? Oh yes interesting. I've never heard him say that. But that's exactly right right in the first half of my career was built around. You know what is going to change and it was very painful because as you can imagine it's very hard to get that right. The second half of my life was very much focused on what's not going to change and I've had a lot more success in making that transition you know so you're obviously in a very different place now like are you still product focused or you. More people focused obviously obviously working organization of twelve hundred. People is a lot different than you know you and your co founder building applications to store things. What is your daily responsibilities? Look like now. How do you maintain I guess this that vision so that your team members can align with you in in work with you towards a clubs goals while what I tell? Every leader at clutter is that we we all share three common responsibilities. First and foremost it's team building. You have to understand what greytown looks like. And you'd have to be able to recruit it. Secondly team management you have to execute performance management to keep the quality of our team and our resulting output high and thirdly you have to be a culture advocate what our core values what are our leadership principles goals when we leave the room. Do you represent them while on your own. Then lastly your domain matters but your domain specific to you every leader leader. has these first three kind of common common responsibilities and so people find this hard to believe that. Look from from the outside in but I spent over half of my time recruiting and ultimately. I think that's most important because it's the top of the funnel and if you find find great people and you have strong culture they will be successful and therefore you will be successful and your customers will have a great experience and so on and so John and so while I may product leader and I think about strategy and I think about product development excetera it actually only represents a minority already percentage of my mind share. Most of my time is very much focused on people and anyone at clutter with support that so you you made a comment. I WANNA follow up on you send the you know you specifically look for what you said identified. What does great talent look like in your world? What does that mean does it mean they? They have to have skills. Is it mean it's attitude is something that's indescribable. What is it you and your leaders are looking for for others to join clutter? You need to have have strong communication skills. We overemphasize for your communication skills because ultimately we are not only a hyper cross functional organization in that we need marketing. We need product. We need operations. We Customer Carrick Satra. But we're also a multi regional business and so you can imagine when you're sending in an email to someone across the country jumping on zoom in your poor communicator. That's just GonNa it'd be highly ineffective secondly your work ethic has to be high. That doesn't mean we need you to spend one hundred ten hours a week or king at clutter. We actually have very normal hours. But when you're here between eight thirty six thirty you have to be focused you have to reproductive. Don't spend all your time at the water cooler. And then lastly you have to be a systems thinker thinker and what that means to us very specifically is. Can you identify the problem on your own. Can you idiot solutions. Can you execute the solutions. It's can you be intellectually honest about whether you're execution created net positive or net negative value for the organization. If you can do those three things things we care much less about. What you're domain is whether you have a background bat domain if you have one? It's the Cherry topic. It's wonderful but we're also comfortable putting someone into a marketing role that's ever been in a marketing role if they have those three qualities. Yeah that's fascinating they said that It's AH lines very similar In regards to what we're looking for. I mean granted missions. A much smaller organization clutter is but I've always in a think. This is exactly what you're saying. which is I'd rather someone see a problem in attempt to solve it and report back? This is why didn't work than someone who said it's not my problem. Yeah or someone who it doesn't bother to update the organization about whether their solution worked or not because it didn't work and they don't want anyone to now like that's just horrible Fabbri on all around. We'd much rather they're not something didn't work. What ruled that attitude? I guess play and clutter in your growth you have do you have any like I guess. Stories anecdotal stories. That said Hey. This was the problem. RT member figured it out. It solved this many hours of labor. We customers this much happier anything like that. For example retention is really important in our business as you can imagine having having customers continue to keep their stuff in storage helps our economics which ultimately helps us keep everyone employed and and what we saw was we had some new hires look at our retention data and use data science to start to you parse it into different cohorts and there was very much behavior that was unique to each cohort and you could tie that behavior to signals higher up in the funnel for example. If someone's stores a mattress F- US. They're less likely only to store their stuff for as long as someone who stores only boxes what something like. That seems really trivial. Very simple but it's an importing data point to have because then we can play with pricing and ultimately figure out how to give consumers the most value at the lowest prices possible. And that's just one example of two things one what we're talking about. Which is people having hypotheses testing those hypotheses Kasese and then sharing results at the organization? But to that we're a technology company at our core and that's ultimately what's required to make this really hairy beasts work. How do you guys envision the future do you see people owning more things? Do you think storage will ever like storage habits. You see it changing changing. I know that as we go towards more digital goods for example. There's obviously less things we got the Murray condos Concepts out there at UC storage changing changing fundamentally in the next ten years or do you think it's stay relatively the same but clear is going to be just adding services like how do you think how vision I guess the world in the next ten years I genuinely believe more of the world will store their belongings. But they'll each store less and what I mean by. That is two things one I am confident infinite. More of the world will store their belongings because more of the world is moving into metropolitan cities today. Fifty five percent of the world's population lives in big cities in the next decade or two. That's going to go to seventy seventy five percent. What that means is there's less stay someone? There's less space you need on demand storage solution secondly get Louis. It's important to understand what people store. They store three types of things. Frankly they start junk. I've seen that from Roma storage wars right when they by the by the locker and they opened up. It's just nothing there secondly they store stuff has asset value are fine wine etc stuff. That's going to appreciate you. Don't WanNa throw that stuff away that's not junk. And then thirdly they store items that they have an emotional attachment to items that we internally call memories time machines into the past as we move more and more into cities and we have less and less space more of us are going to store our stuff but what I do think is going to happen is. We're going to store less junk. Which is why we as a business one offer one day disposal Zyl as a service one click disposal? Imagine that how convenient that would be. But you're still going to want to store your stuff to have value and the question is how do you try value from these items have asset value while the storage will also. Why one day we want to help you sell your stuff for rent your stuff or maybe even in borrow against your stuff with just one click imagine you have a car and storage or a hundred thousand dollar painting and you need a thousand dollars or are you just want to rent it to someone? 'cause you'd rather have income from that asset. We can help you with that and then your memories are never going to go away and we will help you store them for as long as you want to keep them all in all you'll end up either storing less or driving more value from what you put into historic but because we're all moving into cities more of us are just going to need your second hypothesis of becoming away to sell my assets. Because I know exactly what you're talking about like my uncle stored his Mustang. He always said he was gonNA restore it. He just never did. He kept it in storage for decades. He never wanted to let go of it but if he had a system where and when the day came you finally one was willing to liquidate it. He then had to find a buyer he of course I could meet them in. Search like it was it was it was a nightmare. I mean imagine if you know imagine if Ebay and Fedex had a baby that's what we can do for consumers we can deliver something consumers that's ten times more convenient than Ebay if you have your skis in our storage facility and for whatever reason you no longer want to ski we we already have a picture of your skis. You know all we gotta do is listed in a marketplace. Have wait for someone to buy it. And then we'll actually do the fulfilment for you you you don't have to do anything no more trips to Fedex Home Depot. That's why you're taking because you need to build the infrastructure to say like real time inventory across you said thousand plus. Warehouses is awesome. Yeah this is really a platform that we built a platform that's made up of great people A lot of processes Sassi's a lot of products and ultimately storage is very simply the first application on this platform but we see a number of applications being launched on this platform over the next few years. That's phenomenal all right. Thanks for sharing your vision for the future of storage for everyone listening. You might think it's boring business. Its current state it may be but with clouds doing pretty exceptional optional. Hypotheses you have for the future are quite interesting we of course would love to see how plays out over the next few years. I appreciate the next time. Everybody mission daily and all of our podcasts are created with love by our team at Michigan Dot. Org We own operate a network of podcasts and a brand story reese studio designed to accelerate learning our clients include companies like salesforce their customer times. Five Twenty Oh and Katara. Who worked with us? Because we produce results to learn more and get our case studies checkout mission dot org slash studios if you're tired of media news that promotes fear uncertainty and doubt. And if you want an antidote antidote to all that chaos you're at the right place subscribe here into our daily newsletter at mission dot Org each morning you'll get a newsletter that will help you start your morning in your day off. Awesome Right
99 Feeling Like a Kid Again with Gregory Sewitz, Co-Founder of Magic Spoon
"You're listening to well-made podcast from Lemme but the people and ideas behind your favorite online brands and your host Stephanie. Ango ooh Gregg welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. So Oh you are the CO founder of Magic Spoon You are also the CO founder of EXO and I was reminiscing with you before we started to record about the the fact that you and I recorded. It was one of the very first episodes of podcasts. That I ever recorded is episode. Eight of my old podcast made back when you were just getting thing. Started with a company selling cricket flour protein bars and now you're a serial entrepreneur and in more than one way starting a serial. AH ADULTS CEREAL Company How do you describe magic spoon? So Magic Spoon is child like zero for adults meaning. Meaning it's the same classic flavors you remember from Saturday morning cartoons serials growing up but with adults level Makarova's and sustainably sourced ingredients essentially. So we're trying to replicate that feeling of nostalgia at least that adults have now when you eat Old School style cereals but created a been formulated for what a modern consumers like four in two thousand nineteen. I have so many different different questions about that. I'm curious why the adult aspect is is was important when you're designing the product because I think that for sure. Sure that if people go to your website and look at like the design of things. There's definitely like a nostalgic kind of feeling to it and I think most of the adults I know don't eat too much like kids cereal these days just because it's so kind of sugary and not necessarily great for you but is it because of of the nostalgia factor that you were focusing on adults or why not have like the kids product to So I think originally when Gabby my co-founder and I were at the very beginning of brainstorming. What would become magic spoon? We sort of started bottom up in in thinking I think a lot of founders. Do what our problems. I have. Our products eat. That could use a revamp or something that I used to eat that I missed we knew. Do we wanted to stay in the food world after X.. Oh but we also really wanted to go after a category that was massive to to build a big business and sort of touched a lot of people and could affect a lot of people for the better There aren't that. Many categories is in food and beverage. That really have that sort of scale so serial sort of immediately jumped out at us and we are both lifelong cereal eaters. Gaby's from Scotland. So they sort of have a slightly different culture there around breakfast cereals compared to here but we both we both grew up eating cereals essentially every morning. So we very excited about this idea of creating something that would hearken back and sort of tap into the fun playfulness of breakfast. Cereal marketing getting and branding which is also pretty unique in the food and beverage space primarily because it is targeted towards kids but go after consumers that we're like us and neither of us are married and have kids so I think we were nervous. decided not to focus on kids primarily primarily for that reason. I think it's always safe for it to start building a brand at least that targets yourself as a core consumer just because obviously we know so much more about what we're looking for why we would buy or not buy something and that's not to say that. Obviously there's not a huge opportunity to upgrade this zero. That kids are eating for the better because they are one of the largest consumers of breakfast cereal. So that's something we might think about doing down the line but it felt like at least at first we wanted to really build the product that we would actually use that our friends would use and coming out of a lot of these sort of Newer Diet Worlds. That we were adjacent. Jason you at Exo as well things like the Paleo Diet and the Kito Diet one of the biggest opportunities we saw was creating a serial that would fit into some of those more niche communities which weren't being served all pike the current breakfast options and so that is obviously much more of an adult focused trend as well so for those reasons we decided to go after adults at first at least but again you know the the fun of cereal is that it really makes you feel like a kid again no matter what age you are when you're eating it because it's super sweet. The flavors are deserting the packaging super colorful and cartoony. So that's definitely what. We wanted to evoke in terms of magic spoons branding and artwork. I don't really eat cereal that often these these days but I did a lot growing up as well. And it's just a fun form factor. You know to eat and but you sort of grow grow out of it somehow or Lido. I think we've all just sort of like looked at the side of a cereal box and looked at the ingredients and kind of understand that it's primarily sugar and when I was looking through kind of what you're doing the aspect of your emphasizing on the packaging the amount of protein and I can definitely see the certain communities like you're describing You know kind of in the fitness community getting behind this product but at the same time like the way that it's branded is definitely Lee. not like a typical protein bar like you're kind of Tub of way protein. where it's like very extreme? You Know Right Jim. kind of like product It's much more fun. It seems much more open ended in terms of what the target demographic might be so. You've just launched just a few months ago right. One was the actual launch date. Yeah we launched on April ninth two thousand nineteen so about six months ago I guess at this stage H.. And so far like who have been the the the people who are buying this year. You're selling it completely online for now. WHO's been responding to to magic spoon so far yes so we are selling it only through our own website. MAGIC SPOON DOT COM. They're a few reasons for that. One is only two percent of cereal today is bought online so there's obviously a huge opportunity there to try try and target customers where they're already shopping for other things these days whether it's other consumer companies or Amazon or whatever her and also it allows us to have a much tighter feedback loop with our customers so it took us a while to get to a place where there we were happy with all the relative trade offs around taste and texture and nutritional panel and ingredients. And you know we were. We were super happy with it. We I thought that we weren't really get spot. But we always want to be improving so having the ability to reach directly out to customers that we know bought a specific flavor in specific time and ask them for feedback or sort of like we actually this past week. Just launched two new seasonal flavors only online obviously on our side so we're able to be more nimble with that kind of thing Get feedback and then iterating more quickly whereas if we were in retail just to roll out a new seasonal skew if you could be like a six month process and then obviously you just don't get much feedback beyond How it sells wish? You could only find out by next year when you have to bring this seasonal flavors back again so we knew that we wanted to do direct to consumer and we decided to only sell on our side. I we wanted to control the experience that the customers having to again. Really Bring people back to those fun moments and of classic serial whether it's like the maze on the back of our box or some of the little interactions on our website that kind of allude a bit to the magic in in magic spin. It just felt better for us to be able to really control that end to end. I WANNA detour to back to EXO. And then and then we'll come back to magic spoon but exo so the the kind of the core product that you launched with was a protein bar that was using cricket flour or like a roasted kind of cricket flour as the protein source. Is that accurate. Yes and you had a bunch of different flavors at least from. I'm what I could see on the outside that the company did well. I bought the product you were on the on the podcast. It was really delicious and I personally early life. Continue to firmly. Believe that like as a whole you know the United States is going to need to go more in the direction of eating insects. It sounds maybe crazy to some people but I do think that's definitely like going to need to happen in the next couple of decades if we want to make some big steps towards like improving climate change but in any case you mentioned something that you learned from Echo of just sort of innovating just enough. What were you referring to there? Do you feel like you did that. Successfully with exo because you you kind of have to get the consumers over that bar of eating something that has crickets inside but do you feel like you've got to that line pretty well with exo. I think with the X.. Owes a at the end of the day that business was sort of like five businesses in one. We were innovating on the supply chain in that there weren't human grade cricket get farms and restarted and you by the end. There were a sort of a hodgepodge network but no nothing at scale necessarily even globally. We we by the end. Were sort of like looking get different countries in how they might factor in And we were also innovating on the demand side because obviously it was a product that either people were unfamiliar with or straight up. Just like didn't want or we're actively disgusted by at first so we were also innovating on the ingredient side like figuring out how to advance chance the conversion of crickets into a good usable and affordable ingredient Out in the marketing and so there was there was just so so much in the entire circle of of that business that needed to be done. That really made us realize that it's huge opportunity in that sense ends because if you can sort of like move all of those forward at the same pace that it's timed while you get this sort of positive feedback of growth but the flip side of that is like any. Any one of those areas can hamper the whole business because nothing can really break out and run away when all these other areas are still sort of needing attention and and so one thing we wanted to do. This time with the next company was really focused on sort of what the specific and must salient paint points were in the value proposition. which we feel in cereal is the ingredients in nutritionals and focus on that but not make customers go Out of their comfort zone in other areas when they don't need to yet at all And so that's sort of what I mean by. We're already we're already reaching customers. Where's that serial today is all I mean most people as it turns out no this because cereals is so prevalent in people's lives today it's all corn and sugar and wheat and it's two dollars a box because of that and so we're asking people to pay a very significant premium as it stands today for what we consider to be a totally different product? I mean we're really what we're doing. Selling high quality dairy protein in the shape shape of Cheerio were not really selling cereal nutritional sense but the fact of the matter is people are comparing to that so there is a lot of of learning and education that has to be done around that aspect of it so we did want extra education after be done around some other aspect of the experience. That sort of just wasn't what we felt. The biggest pain point was today at least which is sort of what I meant. That makes sense. Do you feel like so. You ended up selling X.. Oh Like year and a half ago ish to Company that that is like been in that area of I think they're the company's called the spire they've been are are they controlling the production of of the cricket flour itself. Yeah there there are large cricket farm and essentially like everyone and we knew we were going to need to get more into the supply chain maybe started creek farm or a cricket farm really should vertically integrate into having served sort of end to end control and having their own brand so that they could sort of have a way to market and use cricket flour they were producing so at the end of the day gaping happy and I didn't want to be cricket farmers and so we yeah it was. It was super lucky. We were able to essentially hand off the exit branded products. I'm reading to them. I mean it's still around jamming. They've I think they've massively expanded the product line even into like whole spice crickets and stuff like that where we're not involved but It's it's still alive alive and well. By the time you ended like in twenty eighteen or whatever where where do you feel like the State of the Union on insects being eaten In the United States ended up. Do you feel like you were able to make progress. or where do you feel like it stands compared to when you started. Yeah I think we're old able to make a lot of progress. I mean it's I think a longer timeframe than a lot of let's say smaller scale innovations in that there really is a huge cultural conversion that has to happen and to get people comfortable with it. But I mean you know. There's there's tons of cricket cricket based food products out there in the market now so many people have heard about the idea through one of these companies or through some other source of the stage where previously it just wasn't even something anybody heard of And so I think there there's been a lot of success so far and it's sort of just gonNa take continued persistence and scaling. Think of that whole industry to eventually get to a point where it conservative take on the existing me or dairy lobbies or whatever it is that they're trying trying to replace the more sustainable sources. It's kind of fascinating to hear kind of like the things that you chose not to tackle and in magic spoon than it reminds me of like when me and my co founder started looney. There was like five years ago. There was just like this list from our first business that we're like never again we don't we don't want to do any of these east exist so annoying to have to deal with other things along those lines that you kind of put on the list of like we don't want to do this again I would say working with live creatures. His up there just in terms of complexity involved in also sort of dealing with the regulatory environment in a way where there wasn't it was all sort of being developed while we were scaling and so we were very involved but is not necessarily the most fun thing to be doing dealing with FDA though actually you know with with magic spoon we used ingredient called which is a fairly newly commercialised. At least sugar can be found in lots of things Naturally really that has recently just gotten quasi approval in quotes from left j just because Jay doesn't actually swiftly approve anything but they've they've sort of published new draft guidelines around the use of Laos where they essentially agree with a lot of scientific studies. That have been done Around how it does doesn't doesn't affect your body namely that it doesn't cause any blood sugar spike. It doesn't cause any sort of plaque on your teeth. The way traditional sugar does I mean the F. D. A. has an incredibly high bar and is also a super conservative organization so the fact that they were willing to come out and say that this new fairly small ingredient has all these benefits and also doesn't need to be labeled as added sugar was pretty insane. Quite frankly we we. We were already using it but we weren't expecting the FDA to come out with these draft guidelines explicitly in the draft so could change but I think everyone's pretty encouraged so so far. And so that has that sort of an interesting comment you experience where the regulatory side of things actually provided a boost to the business because one I mean there was a lot of renewed interest islas like when they came out with those guidelines to. It's just it's allowed us to have a differentiating product. Vat really is a pretty massive step forward in terms of the functionality and taste compared to regular sugar as opposed to like a natural sweetener sweetener like Stevia or Tall or something which all have big taste or functional drawbacks. And so it's it's definitely one of the reasons that were able all to at least gets close to a classic flavor profile like a fruit eve fruity pebbles fruit loops type of thing Without using real sugar because obviously although cereals use high fructose corn syrup or sugar and that's the main thing that you're tasting and so to even have any hope hope of replicating that we needed some sort of sweetness but you know it was important to us that we made something that was low-carbon Didn't cause big blood blood sugar spike. All that kind of stuff so is really what's allowed us to do that. I want to actually go through some of the different ingredients but on your website. You have a comparison so magic experience and fruit loops. You've got protein. Is Twelve grams compared to two grams and carves his three grams compared to twenty one grams that I'm assuming this preserving and so on the on sweetener side it's like a massive difference and I'm not super familiar with monk fruit but the the combination is like calculus among fruit in Stevia. I mean I think that in the states were probably the biggest consumers of of sort of alternative sugar low sugar substitutes and stuff like that. But I wasn't. I'm very familiar with Stevia. But I wasn't so familiar with monk fruit and aloes. Can you describe a little bit about monk. FRUIT GROUP YEAH so monk. Fruit is a fruit from Southeast Asia. that is super WBUR. Sweet in an extract forum. I think it's like two hundred times as sweet as sugar. And I mean the stories that it was first cultivated by monks thanks and used in herbal medicine and then now it's sort of been used usually in combination with Stevia extracts because they sort of balance each other out one is so sweeter on the front end is sweeter on the back end aftertaste So usually you'll find sort of a natural sweetener blends they both are really good sugar replacements in the sense that they are super sweet and they're not sugar. Some people are particularly sensitive to Stevia Stevia in this sort of aftertaste that it leaves it really kind of goes. I have that for sure. Yeah so monk. Food is essentially just an alternative to Stevia Abia. It's also just a it's sort of natural fruit. Yeah in Alya lows you find in what did you say. Is it maple syrup or something like that you can find It's in Maple Syrup it's raisins It's in a lot of different fruits. Only recently have they been able to extract attracted on a large scale. Yeah that's that's really fascinating I think when you think about Like sucralose or aspartame or some of those different kind of sugars that that have been out there that are used in sodas and other like sugar. Free things that you find out there. There's a lot of studies that you describe had the effects of them being pretty bad for you and so it's interesting to see and all of those kind of work because they are these what they call them Sort of like mirror images of the molecules of typical sugars. That you find your taste buds. Taste them as though they're sugar is is but bacteria and other things don't process them as well whereas he's kind of natural derived. Sugars seemed to behave a little bit differently. I Yeah I don't really know kind of how much science has been done around testing the long term effects of these ingredients which ingredients. Well I kind of think of all all three Steve and monk fruit and I think there's also like the other area that's been very explored is the ALC- like sugar alcohols rate like Xylitol in those things. which do can be found in nature but also have some other properties that are harsh on the digestive system? I guess is what I've heard. Yeah so sugar out yet. I honestly I'm not. I'm not familiar enough with sugar. Alcohols in the science behind them to to really speak to but I do know they. Yeah they 'cause Digestion issues for a lot of people if you have them into high-dose on Stevia among fruit I mean there again I'm not sure in terms of the actual scientific studies but they they are literally. It's literally like eat a Stevia leaf. It tastes exactly like the powder and obviously they're extracted so there is some some processing that goes on but they've been used so widely for so long that I would find it very hard to believe that. There was sort of some unknown on negative effect that like just hadn't made itself obvious yet but values it is definitely much newer and so with any new ingredient. There's Susan to be skeptical but they have been doing studies on it for the past couple of years on a large scale Because it it really does sold a ton of potential. So you're even like large food ingredient companies really investing in it and coke is actually. They've added aloes too few their fused cheese. I think is a way to start to dabble. My guess is as a test and if the feedback is good. They'll they'll probably roll it out to other products too. But there's a lot of scientific literature literature already showing the lack of effect it has. It's like a traditional trigger. Does on blood sugar and things like like plaque and digestion and the FDA actually. I mean anyone can go online and download the FDA draft guidelines which feature a super in-depth review of all the scientific studies that have been done and the various conclusions around Allos And for example Alya Los only only has about ten percent of the caloric value As regular sugar does gram for gram and the FDA while they found that to be true they actually decided that customers when they're looking at a nutritional panel are not only looking to see sort of like what the the bodily effect let's say of the practice they're also looking for sort of a rough indication of the makeup and so on something like the total carbohydrate great line if the nutritional facts they within their guidelines have said that Alice still needs to be counted whereas on the added sugar or sugar lines. It doesn't and and so you know again. It's a very conservative organization. So they're they're not out there trying to push the limits in any way shape or form And I think that that just goes to show how safe of ingredient it is yeah. I'm looking this up right now and it looks like this news only came out in April April of this year. Yeah really recent super recent they I mean they you know. Various ingredients companies have been working with F J on us us for many years. That's how long the whole process takes. I've spoken to some of them who've thought that it would just never happened. They thought it like you know the past ten years they've been China convince the FDA to acknowledge this and they hadn't nature given up but then finally they they. They did it in April. Do you think this is a big opportunity. For startups to emerge who who can reformulate or formulate brand new products using alice like like yourselves in other markets or do you feel like the the big kind of CPG companies have it covered already and have been because they've been working to push this through. I think the big exhibiting companies never really have innovation covered. So I think there is always opportunity for startups. Just because you don't really see this intact because the large tech companies are super super invested in innovation and they're not really afraid to even torch their own legacy businesses to Spin out new products but with traditionally BG companies. You really don't see that they're in much more of a protection mode where they're trying to shore up their legacy brands business. They don't WanNa do anything to jeopardize connection that those brands have with customers. And you know I think food in general. It's it can hurt people if you're not careful. And so they take a very slow approach to innovation NEW INGREDIENT USAGE. And that kind of stuff I think in the past five years five ten years. They've really started to invest in innovation. had to pay high prices for start ups that you know they. They may be bought earlier or developed internally. And they've realized that but it's it's really hard for a large bomber at like a general mills or post Kellogg's or Pepsi or whatever to create brands brands that don't feel like cynical. Corporate attempts like mimicking a startup and customers can really just see through that I think super-quick so many layers of bureaucracy that have to get signed off on if a new brand launches from a big company and in the first few years they like what do thirty million in sales. Let's say that's like an insane success story for any CBS's startup but for a large company like Kellogg's or something that I would most likely be considered a failure internally for a new brand so the the the scale and the you know the KPI's and suffered so different that you really can't get to a point where the brand might develop into two to five hundred million dollar brand over the course of five to ten years because he would just get stopped before it even got to that point so especially with something like Allie lows. I I definitely think there's tons of opportunity For companies really any category that deal with sugar or sugar alternative sweetener systems to to look at it. I'm sure that there are especially after the FDA announcement in April tons of of new products. That will come out in the next couple of years. The I wonder also is there like a it's one of those diseconomies of scale where. I'm not sure the production of Allison in the world is but it's gotta be like much lower than all of the corn arrived triggers fresh air. Yeah beets sugar. Isn't that echina- stuff. So can you. Can you get that product for you. You sort of alluded to it but a box of magic spoon is ten dollars box right. So roughly if I'm if I'm Yep Yep remembering it correctly so what what makes it That price point is the like different ingredients how much how much does like cost compared compared to you know whatever glucose or other cornstarch or or SR Corn Syrup type of sugars that the big CPG companies are using. Yeah I mean. It's it's definitely many multiple times more expensive. I mean that's a great question. I think that's actually something. We haven't done a good enough job on on yet which which we're currently working on is really making it clear to people why were more expensive because I think a lot. I mean I'm guilty of this too like you see something that's expensive and you assume that it's sort of like a margin grab by the company like and maybe it's because with luxury goods that is largely true. I mean they're like playing on the the fact that it's expensive to make you want it. And therefore they are just pocketing extra margin but with us. I mean I can clear the in it in with probably most consumer consumer companies as well. It's not a function of US trying to earn more money per box where earning the same if not probably lower margin than general mills is is on a box of cereal. It's just that our costs are lot higher because instead of we and corn were using high quality the non GMO milk protein and instead of wheat and corn were using tapioca flour And instead of sugar were using the Alley Lucent Monk Freidan C.. Bso All these things are many multiple times more expensive than their counterparts and ultimately like that. That's just how the food system is set up in terms of where subsidies are going and cheer point. How much of all these things are being produced every year and so we're working to get the cost down and you know there's some things we can do at scale to bring our purchasing costs down in there for would lower the final Ms Rpm for the customer but ultimately at the end of the day you are cereal is never going to be at price? Parity with a sort of classic old school style serial Should it be really because either we would have to just just be you know selling caused or that would mean that general mills is just making like an astronaut Michael Margin which they're not either And I think customers are getting more used to paying more for higher quality ingredients across category. I mean you. You see it with a lot of these challenger brands where they are open open and transparent about their margin structure for example. But it's still just costs more than ever lane compared to like other cheap fast fashion companies And people are willing to pay for quality things so I think it's it's mostly just an educational challenge around the fact that on a per serving basis is it's also funny. We do we think a lot about Consumer psychology and price anchoring for us a serving of magic spoon is about a dollar forty and that gets you century twelve grams of protein three against net carbs. And so if you were to think about an equivalent twelve gram protein bar. Sure her very few bars or less than a dollar forty menier. Are you know double that maybe or if you were to think of as zero game of protein high sugar starbucks lingerie the costs you five dollars every morning that nobody thinks twice about paying for it really is not a question of objective expense. It's a question of what do people value in their relative worth that they associate with these things and so the challenge is that people obviously associates zero with being super cheap and so that's the narrative that we have to change I think Rather than like just lowering our costs to an unsustainable point when you refer to the the subsidies and especially for corn I mean you look at the side. I'm looking at fruit. Loops like nutritional label and among the top ingredients is Corn and Corn Syrup right and so is there like a political or philosophical angle. To what you're doing or is it. Is that just like a aside effect that you would be happy with if we can kind of move away from that. You know I would say that explicitly in our Marketing we don't lean into the the sort of like political or philosophical aspect of things. Just because one. I don't think that's what drives customers to change their habits. I'm talking more about yourself at personally. No I and that's going to say I mean. I think that is definitely one of the big reasons that we started. The accompanying are super excited about the potential. Because if you think about serial right like if you if you go outside no matter what city in the US you're in and US ten people one one do they know what's he has to have a box of it in their house. Essentially out of ten people will say yes and and we've actually you know. We've we've done that on the street in New York and that's crazy right. I mean there's so few products where that is true for Americans in any city of any any wealth south any income any age and gender and so it it it's such a huge product that touches almost every American. The average American needs one hundred zero zero year and that includes people who don't eat any bowls of cereal and so for us there. Is this large opportunity to sort of slowly. Shift eating habits to do something one. That is much more sustainable from ingredients perspective. So you're not just buying tons of corn and sugar but she also Obviously gives a product that is much healthier to people and kids back to their early. Conversation are huge user of cereal cereal. We're not targeting them in any way now but The fact of the matter is like a lot of our customers are feeding our zero to their kids And that's not to say that we might not come out with more kids focused in formulated version of our product in the future. And I think there really is an aspect of because has the category so big even if you move the needle just a tiny bit you do. See these really large trickle down effects and that's emily what we're thinking about a lot even though we're not talking about it in terms of like the magistrate brand yet at this point you mentioned that only two percent of cereal categories being purchased online. That's actually remarkably low. But I imagine that you know it's just one of those things that the food category as a whole hasn't moved online quite as fast and there's also I'm not sure how big a portion of the market but there's also a lot of more even discounted kind of cereal brands that the ones that come in big bags where you can go to Costco and buy in bulk and that kind of stuff. How do you look at like shifting that behavior because it seems for families like when I think about the shopping shopping experience that the direct consumer brands propose? It's like you're gonNA come every aisle as a website and you're gonNA come and check out seventy different times How'd you think about solving that problem? long-term for people who really want to make magic part of their daily habit so I in general the share of ECOMMERCE to reach cells. Actually a lot lower than you would. You would think I've seen anywhere from seven to twenty five percent but e e- without ubiquitous Amazon is for example. I at least I think maybe would have would have put that higher but for us. We know that we're going to eventually be everywhere. That Ciro Ciro is sold so it's not a matter of like only and forever being a direct consumer company where we're only selling MAGIC SPOON DOT com. It's more or How can we do it in a way? That is sustainable. In terms of that our supply chain can support it that our company can support the demand that we he can support the retailers that we go to when we go to them and really just making sure that the product is perfect Before we do it but that we definitely do plan on being reach one day because I think that is to your point I mean people especially around grocery shopping. People love to grocery shop in person. I mean there's been so so many companies that have tried to take that online. Some have had some level of success but at the end of the day I mean. There's there's something about wandering the aisles in a grocery store getting all the a different products you need in one place being inspired when you're there to cook certain recipes or adviser in vegetables or something of about what's in season and what looks good so oh I don't think there's ever going to be fully replaced. I do think cereal is something specifically. That is fairly easy to move online because it's a dry good. It's got a long shelf life. It comes in a box which is easy to ship It's light and so I think there is an opportunity to grow that you present a lot whether it's just on our citre later whether it's on Amazon or others but eventually we we definitely do intend to be in large scale retail as well. I want to keep going down. This sorta like rabbit hole of the things that you learned From extra that. You're you're applying to magic spoon. You have a CO founder Gabby That you've mentioned. What have you learned about working with? Gabby that made you want to take the leap into a second company. That that's a pretty rare thing in itself You mean that we wanted to works together again. Yeah that doesn't happen. You know that often. I've been lucky with my co-founder to work with her. For three companies basically now over the past ten years and I am constantly running into people who just tell me that. That's amazing or crazy like other entrepreneurs until where did you meet your co founder. We met in school. Yeah we studied industrial design together. I think I'd say a so presumably. You're friends first before you were co found. Yeah so yeah that that's true of Gabby myself as well. We met in school the first week of our freshman year just as as friends and so I think that is a a huge part of it in that NATO. I don't know about you to be interesting to hear online or offline. I guess more like how you manage it for us. We've definitely Sometimes more intentionally than other times kept sort of our friendship and non-company relationship fully fully intact in alive and separated from our day to day job of working together. Whether it's you know just going out with all our other friends ends a lot or seeing each other on the weekends like going to the gym together not talking about business or whatever I think has allowed us to keep that through line where it's sort of keeps us in the context of we met as friends and we sort of have a relationship is friends. I in that really. I think lets us manage the the business together in a way where we ultimately like. No that whatever happens in the business. It's not necessarily going to you. It be relevant at all to what happens in the friendship INSERTIVE take some of the pressure off of it but the flip side of that is it also. Can you know add pressure. Sure to the friendship and so. We're very careful to hash out any potential conflict as soon as it comes up. Were both very confrontational people. Well in very confrontational. Yeah confrontational in in in the literal sense of okay. We're not we don't we. Don't pick fights with each other but we You don't shy away from it and we could see them essentially before they become problems really and at this stage like we've we've been around each other for so long we can just tell. Based on body language almost went somebody is reacting to something positively or negatively or is confused or frustrated or whatever. I think that's rare to to have that history with somebody also worked well with them so if we know that that is true for us it it just makes sense to you kind of stick together. We luckily also to be honest. Just don't really disagree very much on things. Even if in isolation like we were to write our opinions down on anything from branding to like company values or philosophy. Whatever we're very aligned on that Steph just naturally alien so I think that also helps a lot like if if we were coming from very different places in constantly had to be like negotiating and compromising? I think it would wear you down but I for whatever reason we. We very rarely have to do that. So it's pretty smooth sailing. Most of the time one of the things that I find the most challenging You know in my interactions with Jesse is that we both wear a lot of hats. Like I have my co-founder hat. I also run. The product and technology side were also friends friends and those conversations can sometimes like flow very seamlessly between between each other You know if we're at breakfast somewhere like we might go. Oh from like you know. Has something happening in. Someone's dating life or their family to like a business topic and it just like all those very naturally and sometimes like that can bitching because compartmentalizing it. I think generally helps because you can focus your emotions like per area of your life but it can be difficult. Yeah and and totally and that's not to say like we don't slip often do start talking about business when were sort of doing something. Not Business Related. I think think that's just the type of people we are in the sense that the company is sort of part of our life in our life is part of the company in the sense of We're both. We're both comfortable managing that ambiguity and don't get very stressed out too often so we're fine kind of like bringing work home quote unquote and bringing our friendship zip into the office so if you're only going to have the stress of a startup where it is just always on your mind. No matter what you're doing which is just the fact of the matter if you don't have the upside of it where you can sort of like travel where you want like hang out with your friend is the CO founder. Sometimes talk about like other random stuff during the workday. 'cause you're together whatever like then it's just not an equation so that's definitely true of of ourselves as well. I mean we. We obviously traveled together a lot and with Nice. It's like those trips on business trips where they also feel like a trip with your friends somewhere then. We both do a lot of hats. Hats The way we broadly split up is that Gabby for example does the sales and digital marketing essentially because we don't really do any traditional marketing And I do the operations and product development and legal and finance and that kind of stuff and then we actually share essentially all all of our brands creative and I guess soft marketing. You could call it and you know we we've got some pushback on that from prospective investors festers in other stuff who don't know us well Because I can see how on paper that Sorta seems like a recipe for disaster. But we again are like we're both so lined in Odyssey. See it's useful to have somebody. At least I find the kind of person who likes to have some challenged me to think things through more and figure out whether I'm actually like over rotated on something or have a blind spot or whatever and so we always essentially that out at outcome that we both agree. It's is the right one as you think about the next couple of years in terms of grind the team and the different products and things that you want to build out. What are the biggest? This challenges that you're excited about or or curious about or kind of looking forward to So hiring I mean is definitely our main focus right now and to be entirely honest. We've we've founded fairly difficult to source high quality candidates. I mean we're in a fairly unique position. Shen where we launched in April and then like immediately threw up like eight job descriptions for people that we need so you know in a lot of ways. These things take take time but if anyone's listening knows somebody issue love cereal or loves who'd or love Spine I mean we're looking for everyone from operations help to marketing to sales help to Social Media Influence your partnerships base essentially. All all vehicles are up for grabs so yeah magic spoon dot com slash pages job. Exactly that's definitely our main focus right now. One another lesson. I think think it act so that we learned is like the lead time for innovation. Ns Engineers You probably also know this like from idea to few prototypes to final parameters to production scheduling to production to logistics. Like it takes so much much longer than you think it might even after doing this for years. I still underestimate how long all this stuff takes and so one thing we're trying to you do better is to both the faster on all the innovation so just trying to pushes as hard as we can without letting perfection really slow things down and then also just start thinking about all that stuff earlier so you know. We're already now trying to get a bunch of new flavors ready. I think I mentioned before. We just launched some seasonal flavors last week and the response has been really really awesome so that is also sort of encouraged us to prioritize new flavors also retail sort of on the horizon. Eventually I I don't know how we would do it whether we would sort of. Maybe open our own store New York or go out into traditional retailers. But that's sort of the longer term thing that we're thinking about to. I'm looking at your job description. There is unlimited cereal as want us. There is limited cereal which is pretty pretty unique. PERC I guess Google also probably offers you unlimited. Cereal months they things but Working for cereal company you also get to have input onto what flavors you would want for your unlimited Ciro which is a pretty unique park as well. That's cool. What is there anything else that you've learned over the years is about hiring or or what you're looking for out of the people who would Join Magic Spoon for us. It's in this is again again something. We're trying to get better on his identifying people early for the right strengths at the right time and what I mean by that. Is I think you you know in this has happened. We've we've talked to people who are clearly rockstars at their current job for example or just in in their current fields but but for one reason or another ultimately just weren't great fits for this specific job that we were hiring for at the specific life stage of the company at that time. And that's hard because you see someone who on paper like brings all of these valuable things and interviewing them seems like they really know so their fields but you have to be honest about the fact that ultimately like their talents. You're going to be wasted or it's just not quite a fit for what you actually actually need. And so that's something. We've tried to get better at Israeli identifying even if even if it's sort of listening between the lines Whether that person actually is going to be very very good at doing what we know we need them to be doing even if it's sort of slightly different maybe than what the explicit job is on paper and also to for US ultimately again Gabby and I were sort of weird makes like chill and that we're not. We're not like intense bosses but we are conversational original and and we do. We're super rational and we really give a lot of leeway to people so that's not for everybody and it we've definitely had the experience of of You know interviewing people who it was clear. Just we're not going to thrive in that kind of environment. They either wanted more more structure or needed more training or Sort of didn't like anybody challenging them. In the way sort of I I said I I. I enjoy being challenged before so identifying people like that who fit well I think is something. We're also trying to get better at to be honest. There's only four for people well Natalie And at exit we were like six or seven. So we've we haven't hired that many people ever so still learning experience for sure but it is. I mean there's so much to do and the company is such an interesting point now that whoever does join like really is going to be responsible for for setting the tone and the culture and the aesthetic and priorities of each different vertical. So it's important to get there are people in but there's also a huge huge opportunity to come in and and really own a lot of that stuff neat. Why hope people get a chance to check out your website? MAGIC SPOON DOT COM. I love that the cart is a hat magic at Just great so I hope. That's my favorite part of go. It's it's a fine line between being too you on the nose of magic in spoons and also then just nodding to it so that we we've tried to walk that line that was what's more on the knows. No doubt that one works really. Well I think the reason why I like that little detail so much is I just think carts don't really make sense like I've I've been doing. E commerce design stuff for a ghetto over ten years now and I've always just hated like take the cart icon. Because it's such a you know skew morphing type of concept like it's why do you have a little shopping cart as an icon. Yeah you know you were living in an ideal world and some people have like a bag or a basket. Nothing has ever felt right to me. As like the thing that you put your items into in a digital whole world so magic feels like actually more natural than anything. That's a very interesting point. And maybe we'll sort of slightly highly lobby for the magic hat to become universal shopping. Cart symbol. Yeah I like it well On that note thank you so much it was really great to have you and I so curious to see how it goes definitely. I'd like to check in before the next five years before next podcast for sure. I mean it's been you know in some ways I feel like these past six months have been like the past five years at something like Exo for example like it's just the pace has been insane and it's so early stage share that I'm sure everything will be completely different in the next six or twelve months to so definitely awesome. Thank you greg. Yeah thank you one last thing before we go. I'm talking to you at home. What's your favorite brand these days? Is there something something that you think is really well made or maybe someone that you love for me to talk to send us a tweet. We are at Laimi L. U. M. I. on twitter or making the show for you so tell us what you want to hear and will make it happen. Thanks C._N._N. Time.
117 Preparing for the Unexpected with Simon Huck, CEO and Co-founder of Judy
"Ooh You're listening to well-made a podcast from Lemme about the people and ideas that are shaping our patterns of consumption for the better. I'm your host Stephanie. Simon Hook Walk into the show. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. You're the founder of Judy. Judy is a company that just launched back in January. I think end of January is that right. It's unbelievable to say and I'll and I'll say that I am the CO founder of Judy. And we began developing judy over eighteen months ago and then launch the third week of January. And you are providing a very timely product. Emergency Preparedness Kits. Tell me a little bit about what made you want to go down this rabbit hole. I and what made you WanNa take that and turn it into a company. So my co-founder Josh. We are both Canadian. We've known each other for over a decade and we just had so many friends and some family members both in Canada and the US. I have a lot of friends who live in California. Many of whom went through the Campfire. In two thousand eighteen lost homes suffered trauma you know anxiety displaced themselves from from their homes for upwards of six months. I have friends on the Atlantic coast who've been through hurricanes and then I have friends Even myself who've been in situations where there's been domestic emergencies household fires and the common denominator in all of these stories. You know one of the first questions you ask someone is Oh what did you do when the emergency hit. Where did you go? Who did you speak to? How did you communicate this with your family? And the common denominator in all of these stories was a fundamental lack of preparedness. It was almost like when you asked the question you know. Their face went blank because it wasn't something that they had ever considered before sixty percent of American families have no emergency plan or supplies in place in the event of emergency. And what was it that They had to deal with as a result of not being prepared. Can you describe like what typically goes wrong in those situations? Well it can be anything from anxiety to Obviously on the more serious cases you know loss of life loss of personal property loss of memories and then you know some of the most dramatic things that happens after an emergency. Let for example. Let's say a wildfire when you evacuate your home and if you have kids obviously leaving your home in a moment's notice is traumatic enough. But if you haven't taken the time to prepare and you don't have let's say an emergency document folder which every preparedness emergency manner manager in the country will tell you need to have which includes your health information your passport an extra set of keys your health insurance information all of those important documents. Suddenly you've lost your home and your now dealing with hundreds upon hundreds of hours of paperwork and information that you don't have that is available so you don't realize all the things you need because we're so used to having everything so immediately accessible so there's so many different kinds of emergencies that could happen. There's obviously all of the different natural disasters like floods. Fires earthquakes a hearing? I mean I'm based in Los Angeles earthquake is probably the one that's most top of mind. I'm not super close to where the fires are happening right. But there's there's all kinds of other things obviously were were dealing with the pandemic right now as soon as these volcanoes everything could anything could happen. How do you go about choosing a set of items that in any of those scenarios Could be helpful. What was your process there? Well I think you nailed it when you said and that's for me personally. I found the whole idea of preparation to be mentally daunting. I'm a person that loves to roommate on things. I am definitely an anxious person. So if you give me an inch the mile and I'll just kind of go into the anxiety spiral oh I. I should be prepared for earthquakes. I should also be prepared for wildfires. I should be prepared for household fires out. My fiance doesn't know where the fire extinguisher. Oh my gosh. She doesn't know how to work the fire extinguisher. Suddenly you're like okay. There's so many things I could prepare for and this is what happens to so many families across the country whence he started thinking of all the things you shut down completely to the entire category. It's almost becomes too overwhelming. So well we really practice in and Preecha. Judy is making sure that these are small. Laser focused things that you can do. They don't overwhelm you so one of the first things you can do even before buying an emergency kit or assembling your own. Emergency Kit is making a plan with your family talking about who is the F. A. Stay contact where do you go if you can't return back to your home? Who is the emergency contact for your for family? And how do your kids communicate with each other? If they didn't have access to a telephone mean there are so many different things that you can talk about. And what's great about Judy? And what we've seen in the short eight weeks that we've launched is judy as a physical product has become the centerpiece for these conversations. So we're talking about really scary stuff. It's even scary for me to talk to my fiance about you. Know what do we do if we have to evacuate in the middle of the night? We have to practice and evacuation drill. And what's so remarkable? Is that we do these preparedness nights around the country where we go into parents homes and invite their friends over and we talked to them about emergency preparedness and most of the time the kids. Kinda slither in from wherever they are in the home and the ease drop on what's going on and they know more information about emergency preparedness than their parents because in our schools it's mandated most of the parents. We asked in southern California about proper earthquake procedure. They didn't know what to do. They were dropped covering move like they didn't have any of the. The proper procedures in their kids knew more than they did. Yeah that's crazy but I think I like you said it's it can be so overwhelming that it almost because of the number of different things that could happen some people just sort of give up on having a plan for it or doing anything about it well and that's and I think some of the challenges around messaging in emergency preparedness is when someone tells me make a plan. It feels so abstract. It's like I need a checklist. I need a one two five checklist. So that's what we spend the last eighteen months doing. How do we idiot? Proof emergency preparedness and get people to pay attention. And that's that's the biggest challenge is most people think that emergencies aren't gonNA happen to them. So they don't prepare or they think if an emergency does happen. There's absolutely nothing you can do to prepare for it so they don't do anything so those are two big challenges Leading into the launch of Judy. I'm sure you saw this Ted Talk that Bill Gates gave like four or five years ago about a pandemic. It's been going around being shared everywhere but he was describing how the United States in the world was not prepared for a pandemic and hugh were the four or five things that we should do. We should you know be prepared to mobilize the military we should have. We should do all of these things. And essentially he was creating this checklist for the government. Really of like what we need to do right. And it kind of feels like we didn't follow it and there's been so many stories that have come out Just over the past few weeks of plans that the Obama Administration put together for this case that we're not followed is how do you? How do you tie those things together? There's one thing which is making the plan then following it and keeping it up to date so you have to change the whole mentality around preparing for emergencies and you have to make it something that becomes part of your daily life so it's all about small steps and for me. This was so key even in my journey around emergency preparedness. I would say in the beginning as we were kind of in the first one to two steps of developing the brand. I was a little bit of a Naysayer. I I kept saying to my co-founder is this something. That the every day American family will do. How do we get them to pay attention? There are so many things that we read in new cycle. How do we get them to pay attention to you? Know rallying around preparedness. Because it's not it's listen. It's not a sexy topic. You're asking people to consider worse case scenarios further family and most people including myself do everything they possibly can to delay that conversation like. I don't WanNa talk about fire safety because I don't want to think about me ever being in a fire and what was interesting. 'cause we spoke to so many different people the country and I kept thinking people in California are going to be thinking exclusively about wildfires. They're going to be thinking about earthquakes. What's interesting is that? Most people don't think of large scale emergencies. That's not what keeps them up at night. Thinking of domestic emergencies third thinking about the candle they lit in the living room is going to catch on fire. You know a lot of people. We speak to have anxiety around home. Safety things that their kids could be consuming when they go to the backyard. And they're not watching them for two minutes so people's anxiety around emergencies are are so different and Certainly kind of myth busted all the expectations that we had going into it. So you launch this company. At the end of January Kovic had already been going on in China hasn't really hit the US on the one hand. It seems like people have never been more aware of preparedness. And what is necessary on that side when you're dealing with a crisis that we have on the other hand there's literally hundreds of thousands of people who are dying and coming out with a product like this at this particular time. I feel like some people might see it as like you know trying to take advantage. They don't know that you've been working on eighteen months or are you like taking advantage of the situation or something like that and so how did you figura? You must still be trying to figure it out right now. We're recording this early. April messaging that two people whether their customers who bought your products early on or ones who are just discovering you right now. Well this is the this is the question and this is the conversation to be. Honest keeps me up at night. Most nights over the last four weeks. How do you market an emergency kit or talk about an emergency kit when you're going through one of the largest global emergencies of our generation and we have been really really careful to make sure that we are really a resource for people? Were trying to spread optimism. Were making sure that all of our emergency managers and our whole team are providing fact based information but it is such a challenge. Because you don't want to appear at all opportunistic but you also have a product a physical product and also a digital product. That is helping. Prepare people you know. One of the things that Judy has is a digital content system most of which is conveyed through text messages so multiple times a week. We are sending messages to our subscribers. And it's completely free this week. We send a message out about picking and designated Aaron Renner in your home so if you're living in a home of four people only one of those four should be going to the grocery store in an effort to minimize exposure so our job at Judy is to make sure that we're providing fact-based actionable information. That will better prepare them for this. Current emergency versus our job is not to sell them duty if anything. It's one of the first things we learned Josh and I when we were researching emergency preparedness. Do anything the most important thing you can do is educate yourself on what to do in an emergency and make a plan more so than buying a kit. I'm sure my investors kill me for saying that but but that's the truth the education and the self awareness the knowledge that will quite literally Save Your Life. I have a friend She's also a reporter. We were sitting down to do a piece on. Judy was a week after launch and she lives in Long Island. She has two beautiful babies and she had recently renovated her Victorian home and she had completely deconstructed or fireplace and built it back up again and she lit a fire at ten. Am in the morning. Her two babies were asleep and she smelt smoke throughout the day and she didn't think anything of it. She saw no flames and around. Four o'clock after the smoke appear to be more dense. She could smell it in the kitchen. She opened two of the windows in her living room. And what you know about fire safety what I know now but fire safety is when you do that. You actually fuel the fire and what she didn't realize was that. The fire had seeped out of her renovated chimney and was burning the foundation so within twenty minutes of her opening those windows her entire home had burnt down to the ground and she had her two babies in her arms. She was in tears waiting for the firefighters. To come and rescue her and the experience is so dramatic. I mean she when you tell the story you. Can't you have tears in your eyes because it's such a traumatic experience in? This is a person when I asked had you ever thought about emergency preparedness said you ever talked about fire safety with your husband and you know the answer was of course now because so many of us tune it out. Yeah in in that circumstance having the knowledge so much more important probably than anything that you could put in a box at that point in time right and so what are the aspects of education. You're trying to focus on. Or how do you make that approachable? So what we learned was giving someone the manual does not work it almost and I'm the same way you give me a manual. I'll look at the title page and I'm done. So we segment the tips and the information and we slowly deliver it over. You know of course of six to twelve mine so if you are a subscriber we have over thirty thousand subscribers. A Judy it's again it's completely free. We're not giving you all the cove in one thousand nine information in one text message or in one video. Were reminding you every week of. Here's some of the small things you can do to better educate yourself and what we're hearing back from our community is this is working to families reshow to us last night on our social and said we're sending. Us pictures of their designated Errand runner in their home. And those are the kinds of things that inspire us to keep going and to develop new content that inspires people for action. I mean that's the whole goal. How do you get people to change their pattern of behavior around emergencies in? It's a listened before January twenty seventh day we launched Josh and I my co founder and I sat up. Thought you know have. We lost our minds. This is been an uphill battle. Getting Judy off the ground. You know the hypothesis that American families or families all around the world are ready to be prepared for emergencies are ready to take this leap. It was a bold vision and from day to we were so excited that it wasn't just our parents buying Judy's it was people all around the country said to us. Wow we haven't seen a product like this like this is rallying around the mission to be prepared. Is there something you wish if you knew that this was coming? The the corona virus crisis. Would you have done anything differently? Like if you knew this eight months ago. It's a it's a great question. I don't know if we would have done anything differently. Our principles and our mission haven't changed If anything we've we've clamp down on them sharing optimism and sharing news that has fact-based based will always be Judy's core mission. I think one of the things you're seeing during this large scale. Emergency is high steria. You're seeing panic purchasing and you're also seeing a lot of rampant misinformation. That's leading to anxiety so one of the things we were reminded are Judy tribe last week. Our thirty thousand subscribers was get rid of the people in your techs chains. Who are sending you all of this information. That's not helpful. That's kind of sending you into a negative spiral. You really have to be responsible for the energy. That's around you and I know so many people even people on our team we need to take breaks from it It can be really daunting when you're in the middle of a quarantine and there's some grieving that's going on. We're grieving our old life and we're grieving the tragedy. That's around us you you. You mentioned the words fact-based which is something that I feel like. We've gradually thrown out the window as a society over the past however many ten to twenty years or maybe more and a big believer in science and we knew early on Just looking at what. The response was in in places like South Korea or China. That face masks quarantine. These different things should be applied to the situation and it just took way too long for those things to be put into practice at a and a lot of it was because people were ignoring the facts and I I wonder. Do you think that this crisis is GONNA make people change their mind about that? Look back and think maybe we should have been listening to looking at the facts or listening to the experts on this or I'm hoping that this will happen but I don't know I think that this will forever change that there will be a fundamental shift on how we think and prepare for all future emergencies and I think that based on what we're seeing with science and people from all around the world who are tuning in and actually listening. I mean there. Is this kind of beautiful silver lining where we have seen people really. Listen I mean there are of course reports in the media of some people who are going against social distancing in the self quarantining but for the most part when I look around New York City I see deserted streets in avenues and I see people who are staying indoors and taking care of their neighbors and checking on vulnerable people in their community in every night at seven o'clock. I'm I'm not sure where you're based but in New York. You have this incredible outpouring of love and support for healthcare professionals there is really this rallying around and one of the things we were talking about yesterday. A Judy is everyone right now. Who is taking these steps are really letting US know that? Preparation and that emergency preparedness is something important to them because it's a domino effect by them. Staying indoors is helping us a radical this disease so we do believe that it will change how people prepare for emergencies and how people will think about science and this you know regrettably what we're seeing in this world around large scale emergencies like wildfires and droughts and floods. It is of course hyper connected to climate change. And every year that storms get worse and worse than they increase in duration and intensity. It's it further Illustrates the need for preparation. Yeah and that's that's the thing that I've been thinking about a whole lot Especially as it relates to my work at Lea- me on on packaging and sustainability. And it's just. It's so daunting because it's happening in slow motion this this crisis that we're in right now is happening quite fast and so it raises the level of emergency for everyone to like okay. I need toilet paper right but go. Climate change is a gradual thing. That's happening over the course of decades and so and so people don't react quite as quickly and that's kind of what you've been describing. But how do we? I don't know how do we help inform people when these things happen so slowly or they're happening in some distant unknown future. But you have to do the work now. Well and it's one of the reasons why my background in celebrities was so important for this mission In my other life I've had an entertainment marketing company for the last sixteen years and I was very lucky to develop some incredible relationships with people with this incredible network of people with big followings man. I did have this existential crisis where I thought am. I going to be schilling celebrities for the rest of my life. Like what can I do? That will have an impact and I knew that these voices Could be used in their following. Could be used to really show from the rooftop the importance of being prepared and so many of these different celebrities who have supported. Judy are living in areas. Where they've experienced evacuations where they have seen. Fires come closer to their homes or in some cases ruin their homes so no one is immune to it. It really is the great equalizer in terms of Vulnerability yeah that's a really fascinating point. Where where do you What do you think the role of celebrities or is in terms of amplifying messages? I think that it can be a little hard to parse because on one hand there are people they have their own personal beliefs about different things on the other hand they have the ear of millions of people and can amplify messages sometimes in a good or bad way But what do you think is is their role in all of this. You know one of the principles that we used when we started talking about Judy was our stance was clear. We care so much about preparation in emergency preparedness that we will do absolutely anything for you to listen and if you look at the reports from FEMA and the Red Cross over the last fifteen twenty years they have point blank said we have failed to prepare Americans for emergencies and part of the reason is because their focus is on so many other lifesaving strategies and programmes but Americans and people globally don't WanNa hear about preparedness so if we're able to use celebrities voices whether it's to buy an emergency kit or assemble your own or just have some basic Information on what you're vulnerable to in your area you're one step closer to being prepared. One of the things you can do. Judy's website is type in your zip code and auto populates to what you're most vulnerable to when you can download the PDF and you can review it with your family. So if you live in Florida you're vulnerable to hurricanes and storm surges and here are the three things you can do to prepare your home. Repair your family And that's been really important and we've been hearing back from our community who has been sharing that information and suddenly there is a movement. We knew it was going to take a ton of work and it was gonNA take a lot of people to be shouting from the rooftops. You partnered with the La Fire Department Foundation as one of your launch partners in our giving one percent of your sales to them. What's your long term vision about? How Judy can partner with the people who are on the ground doing the actual relief efforts so fire departments in general during the development of. Judy were so instrumental. I mean these are the frontline workers who are the first people to show up at a household fire as well as these large scale emergencies so they were really critical in helping. Develop the brand as well as so many other emergency managers across the country who helped us not only thoughtfully what goes inside judy but helped us develop the content system around it so giving back to them was just you know with something that we needed to do. And felt compelled to do and then during Cova nineteen One of the things in the challenges is that in our emergency kits. We have in ninety five masks and those masks were intended to protect and prevent from wealthier smoke and immediately when we learned that hospitals around the country were in dire. Need of these mass. We donated twenty five thousand and ninety five mask to the New York State Department of Health and then yesterday we donated an additional thousand mass to the NYPD. In New York City so working with frontline health care professionals is so critically important. And as we continue to develop judy were looking for more thoughtful meaningful partnerships Because it all is part of the kind of Greater Movement. I mean so many emergency managers across the country reach out to us and say. Wow what you're doing is so important. This is what we wanted to do for so long emergency preparedness. You have to make digestible for the everyday American order for them to pay attention so creating a product that is functional but also visually appealing That's part of the Mandate Judy's are becoming a part of people's lives. They're not just being thrown in their basement or in their pantry and we knew that that was important that in order for someone to purchase an emergency kit in needed to fit in with their lifestyle or it would end up in the bottom of pantry. You know on top of the hockey bag so we have lots more planned and we're eight weeks old and Really excited for the future. It seems like every six months. There's there is some sort of major disaster of some kind somewhere in the world and all of these organizations spring into action. And there's always so much going on it can be really difficult for a normal citizen who is not affected directly to figure out. How can I be helpful in this particular time? Can I donate to some organization and you've got organizations like Red Cross or different ones that are sort of global and working across many different areas but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out who donate to? Who's going to actually be effective at spending those dollars in the right way? Is that something that you've exploited are or are thinking about helping or giving resources to people if they want to help but don't know how it's a great question and it's something we have explored certainly during our donations. During Kobe. We spoke to a lot of people to make sure that we were giving supplies to places that needed it. The most and who could effectively distribute those supplies so we worked with Governor Cuomo's office on the distribution of the twenty five thousand masks and we knew based on our conversations with them that within a matter of hours those masks would be immediately distributed to New York City hospitals that needed the most. So it's not just as easy as finding the organization but it's making sure that how quick is the distribution and the implementation of some of these programs. You know what you've seen in the past is some of these larger NGOs who have received huge donations years later. You see a warehouse filled with supplies. That haven't been District is you WanNa be careful and you WanNa make sure you do your diligence and speak to the appropriate people and and that the action can be really quick so on our end we we've received those inquiries and we do our best to feel them and share. They relevant contact information where we can. How did it all of this affect your supply chain because you're mentioning and ninety five masks are in in your kit? We know that all of the manufacturers of those have been trying to make them as fast as possible. Are you backward? Are you figuring that out? We were lucky in the sense that we had launched two weeks before cove in one thousand nine hit the United States so we had a significant amount of product already in stock but it is definitely a challenge or working every day to source new partners to make sure we can keep up with demand. And we've also worked with other partners. Who are making donations to use our supply chain? We've helped other organizations who wanted to make sizeable donations to Cove nineteen relief efforts. And we've allowed them to speak to our vendors directly. Make those orders. Where do you see the range of kits going next? I can see it going in a lot of different directions. Could have fire extinguishers medicine cabinets car repair kits. Like I'm just trying to think of all the different areas of the House and and your environment that you could help with. What are the things that you're or it could even see you going into like partnering with the Insurance Companies that you're like you could go in so many different directions? They feel like you're in our minds. That's so everything that you just mentioned is something. We're already in development on so we have been speaking to insurance providers from a product perspective. You can imagine the car. Kit has never been reimagined. Fireproof holders pet kits kits for college. Everything that you can imagine that you want to prepare yourself for Requires a whole new line of products. One of the things you see in Judy. Is these shelf stable emergency bars and I'm not sure if you've ever had a shelf stable emergency bar past. Well let me tell you. They're not delicious their calorie dense than they work. Great for an emergency but we have been working with a partner in Canada to develop our own judy meal replacement bar and it is absolutely delicious. I can't stop eating it. I've actually had to remove it from my apartment so that will be something that we're going to explore in the next six months and one thing which we're learning very soon after launch is. The Judy will run on a subscription. So half of the items that are in your emergency kit are expire herbal and the other half are consumable so many of our customers have reshaped was said. Is there a way that we can put this onto a subscription? Where things that we use you know. Bandaids Neo sporran. So the first aid products batteries can. Is there a way that you could then replenish that every twelve months? So we're developing a judy subscription which we hope to launch in the next seven months so lots of exciting products in the pipeline for those items. That are things that are not really possible for you to to ship exactly or things that people should have. I'm thinking of like water if I mean you could have bottled water in and that kind of stuff but if you really need enough water to sustain yourself for a few days or or a week or something that's probably something on a different scale than what you would want to ship. Is that where you think of your educational tools as providing resources or how people flesh out beyond what you're going to be able to provide well exactly so so one of the things. You'll learn when you get whenever judy products is that if there is an emergency alarm scale emergency that may cut off your power. We give you all the different tools for you to start. Conserving some of that water. So the judy safe the cartridges. Come out and it can actually be used to host the water for up to three to four days. Were also in the next six months. Going to be selling water tablets. That will clean your water for you so you could. You could fill up your bathtub and you could use that water Needed to so there are so many different ways that you can work. Around products and Rian vision in re innovate different product categories so ultimately the core concept ties. All of these things together is preparation. Is that what you would say? Or is there some other kind of theme absolutely and I've noticed in your messaging as well a big part of especially what we're dealing with. Today is the mental health around first of all just the basic situation that we're all living in in quarantine in that does hugh overtime but then of course there are much more grave situations that people are dealing with loved ones dying and and just the general kind of situation that we're dealing with. Where do you see that fitting in you know there? I think from a mental health perspective so many of us right now during this kind of national global emergency are facing this turmoil in our heads in our minds and judy has become a resource of tips and tricks and hacks to really unplug yourself from some of that anxiety so a lot of tips and a lot of our resources are focused on that mental health because for so many people who are staying in their home. If you're watching the news every day and you're reading online incessantly and you're on all these group chats. It plays such an exhausting mental toll so Judy mandate is to provide some resources to alleviate some of that anxiety. It's such an interesting paradox. That you're you're selling a product that you hope no one ever asked to us right and so that's such a strange kind of thing that I mean. I don't think I've interviewed anyone on this show. That has ever had that kind of combination of things and I just wonder how how you do. What are the best practices there? Well and you're you're selling product you hope people don't have to use but A lot of the people who have judy's are actually une boxing. Judy and making it a part of their daily life so many of the parents that we spoke to they have kids who are under the age of ten. And are using. Bandaids in their first aid. Kit You know twice a week. Some of the things in the tips that were providing to our community involve unblock some of the products and putting them in various spots in your home so we recommend that anyone who's living in her home should have shoes underneath their bed a whistle by their bedside table and a flashlight. So what happens? Is you start to une box judy? So again it's not stuck in the pantry or in the closet but there's various products that are used throughout your home. So yes it gives you the peace of mind that if something did happen you know worst case scenario you would be protected and you would have some of the physical products but many of the people who were using judy and their day to day life just like to know that they have a daily resource for preparedness. Yeah and I think that that is maybe what you know once. You're prepared if preparedness is the theme once. You're prepared that feeling of peace of mind or of confidence that you'll know what to do in that situation is is what you would hope for. Yup exactly for me like my lifestyle. Luckily has been radically affected by the current situation. But there's a bunch of skills that I've taught myself over the past few like how to can foods or how to prepare meals on a larger scale. That have come in really handy for me over the past few weeks and that has made me feel like with my friends or close group of family like a resource that I can share my knowledge with them and it's brought us together in certain ways and I think I liked what you were saying early on about assigning captains two different things and having them be the source of knowledge for a certain piece of of how we work together to deal with specific crisis. That might happen. Yeah exactly and and I think one of the things that we do. Judy is play is provide a lot of scenarios around how some of these products could help you some of the moms and parents we speak to in. California live in the Hollywood hills or they live in the palisades and they have really bad WIFI enduring. The last bout of wildfires there. They would lose their WIFI throughout the throughout the evening and they had major anxiety around how they would get the emergency alert. So this is when the hand crank radio comes in. When I first started learning but hand crank radio I had no idea what a person what a person would would need a hand crank radio for suddenly. You're using your hand. Crank radio to receive an emergency alert so you can actually go to bed at nine. Have the the radio by your bedside table and not have the anxiety that you're gonna Miss Your alert because you don't have Wifi so I think that's part of our our duty and our challenge is to make sure that the community understands that these products do play a role in your life and just big of a role as as the education component. I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about how some of your background in PR and working with celebrities that you mentioned a little bit of but how that has informed the way that you're approaching judy and one of the big challenges that a lot of e commerce companies are dealing with right now is that the acquisition costs. are getting higher and Higher. Especially if you're using facebook or instagram adds to reach out to people and we're already seeing A lot of companies experimenting more with influence or marketing. Even even more so right now and so. I'm curious like maybe putting your pr hat on. How you would advise founders? Who are trying to do this for the first time. Because you've built these friendships that seems like with with incredible celebrities who are willing to talk about your products but anyone else who comes to them you know it would be quite costly to have them promote those products and and maybe there's something there maybe there's something about those relationships that you built in a more genuine fashion that founders could could learn from. Well I'll say and I've said this if you times before people who are posting about judy if I have a friendship with them obviously that is the turnkey solution to having. Someone Support Your brand. But I'll say that most of the people who have been supporting judy do so because they're coming from a place where they have experienced an emergency. So Judy's mission to prepare American families in all families to prepare for these emergency situations that appeals to them so in some ways I almost look at these social posts or odes of support as public service announcements some of the people that have supported Judy in the last month have been evacuated from their homes three times in the last three years so someone who's been evacuated from their home. Knows that something like Judy. Just the conversation around Judy could help prepare other family so I would encourage other founders. When they're designing their brand when they're building their brand identity to make sure that there is some sort of a greater mission and I think listen tons of DC brands. Do a great job of that. I think judy for me was just. It was such an obvious fit because I had all of these relationships and so many of the people who had spoken to had been personally affected by emergency so it really felt like a natural fit so encourage other founders to make sure when they're designing their brand t t to have that mission that will appeal to people. Because I don't think you need to. You Know Not. Every brand needs to pay celebrities or influencers. Certainly in the beginning. I think it's disingenuous to pay. You should really be looking for evangelists and people who believe in what you're creating I think. Oftentimes consumers are just so much smarter. Now so when they see Hashtag add Especially in the beginning of brands launch. It really takes away from the message. Traditionally most companies start by sort of building a product and then building their audience on top of that more and more. We're seeing these brands. That go the other way around. They start by building an audience and and I think. Judy is a good example of this. You have this existing follower base that you can speak to and this audience. I approach is very fascinated. We side with glossy is a good example. Kylie and her cosmetics brand. Do you think that that's a pattern that we're going to see more of absolutely because it it makes sense to the person who has started the audience so in? Kylie's case she had developed an audience of people who were interested in learning about her beauty tips and following her daily routine. So the obvious next step would be for them to also want to purchase products that Kylie are using and that Kylie has designed herself. So you know it feels like that will be probably a model. That's going to be used for years to come but I'll say that building an audience is not as easy to do as many people think it is in developing an audience. It's actually engaged enough to purchase product. That's that's a whole other story explained that Ned I would love for you to dig into that nuance there. Well I think an influence or culture you see a lot of people who have built large followings but if the following is not rooted in something that is meaningful genuine. You're not getting the type of engagement and conversion you need in order to develop a meaningful brand and just to switch gears. We see this all the time in my other business in my marketing business if we're activating brand campaign for a CPT company sometimes a celebrity. Who has two hundred thousand followers will sell ten times the amount of product that a macro level influence or celebrity win the millions would sell because their audience is hyper engaged? And that is something. We're seeing more and more so I think someone having a large following doesn't always equate to hyper engaged community. And what what is it that you see as a commonality between those people who have a very engaged community while I think we've been saying since the since the beginning but being authentic and genuine. You can't fake it. You can't fake it being your authentic self on social media. I think all of us right now. Who are listening. Know of someone who they follow on instagram and when they see a post you get a sense of this. Isn't the real Vam. When that happens they may still be able to develop a sizable following. But it's it doesn't compare to and I think we can use. The KARDASHIANS is a great example. The KARDASHIANS are one hundred percent. Authentically themselves cam especially has been someone who stayed true to her vision since day. One and hasn't changed course and that of course is a reflection of her following which has continued to grow and continue to support her. I think one thing that we've seen a lot with influencers lately. I see it a lot with people on on Youtube. In particular the first step is is merch like going to like. Just t shirts and posters and stickers and those types of that are easy to do and building a product is quite challenging building. An audience I think people who who who are building audiences are underestimating. How hard it is to build a product and vice versa. Ed so that's the part that I'm most curious about as we go towards these audience first brands which ones actually are able to get that knowledge and create something that is unique on the market that has has value on its own. And I'm curious if there's there's anything that you learned in that process that you'd you'd WANNA share. Well I think you need to find a product or a brand that really speaks to you and completely genuine to you and would be genuine to your community. What I see is a lot of influencers and celebrities. Who jump into a category potentially because they're manager or their team or a friend has has encouraged them to do so. You can tell that. The category isn't authentic to them. And we see this all the time in commercial endorsements you know the best endorser someone who actually uses the product. I know it sounds ridiculous and almost obvious but so many celebrities have been compelled to enter into the beauty space because they see it as this kind of blockbuster space that everyone's going into but if they're not a beauty if they're not a beauty person and they don't practice what. They preach their audience. Knows that. So you really need to take the time to find your passion and find what is most authentic to you because you cannot build a brand. It is impossible to build a brand if you're not one hundred percent living and breathing it every day. Yeah and that goes a lot far beyond just an endorsement. Because I don't know endorsements I guess are relatively low effort. Maybe some are more than others but when you compare an endorsement to I'm going to build a company this is going to be like right blood sweat and tears of five years of work later. I think you would find that. That is quite a different kind of investment So choosing that wisely seems really important and I agree with you that it seems natural for a lot of people who've built a following to go into cosmetics or if your fitness person make power bars or something like that but Maybe it's the the thing that's not so obvious. You know one step removed from that. That might be more powerful more valuable or more interesting in the market and take your time finding out what that is. I have friends who had a following for several years. And they're just not sure what that brand is that's GonNa come from that following but they have enjoyed the experience and they're not ready to commodities that community like they're not ready to turn this into a business because they haven't found it yet and I don't think and I think because of instagram and the way that we we use it you feel compelled you have this anxiety to immediately turn whatever you've developed into a business but I would encourage founders to take their time if they've developed a following keep nurturing that following until you find your passion. Well thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with US Judy Dot. Co is your website. If people want to find out more where should we send them either Judy? Dot Co or Our instagram which is ready. Set Judy exciting. Well we'll be following you and finding out over the next few years how how you develop from here. But best of luck. Thank you so much for having me. Thanks for listening if you enjoyed the show. If you've got something useful out of it I'd would love to hear what that was. Consider writing a short review could be sentenced long by going to itunes and searching for well-made. I want hear it all. I want to hear good bad on a here your constructive criticisms. I am just trying to make this show as useful as possible for you. So tell us what you think. That is the very best way that you can support the show. Thanks and CNN time.
Business Schooled: Premiering November 24
"I'm Zanan co founder and managing partner of initialized capital before that. I co-founded read it these days. I coach learn from an invest in founders from all over the world. People tend to think that all the innovation is happening by founders, under forty the fact is baby boomers and gen Xers are building twice as many businesses as we millennials. Join me on my journey as I travel across the country learning, what I can from these brilliant minds subscribed to business school today. All eight episodes drop on November twenty fourth.
Is Privacy The Next Business Model? #591
"Gay could privacy be the next big business. I heard an interesting conversation the other day with. The walls Steve Wozniak who of course was the CO founder of apple and he was talking about all the issues around facebook and all of those issues concerning privacy and what he said was that he would pay to use a service that was otherwise. Otherwise free just for the comfort security of knowing that he's data wasn't being shared with advertisers and the Cambridge analytic because of this world and I think it's a really valid point because we often complain about how our social network feeds are. Bombarded by ends but of course biolog- we're not being charged to use the services and so we know that we're going to get flooded with ads yet. It's still frustrating and I actually think that if I had the option to pay a reasonable. Reasonable nominal smallish monthly fee to use facebook and know that my ads weren't gonNA sorry that my data was not going to be shared with advertisers. Are Economic actually pay for it. It's very similar to the way a lot of the APPs work in the APP stores these. Days where they'll give you a free version of the game or the tool but are flooded with ads and if you want the ads remove then you need to pay for the service so I think if they social networks will maybe to consider positioning that revenue as for privacy only then I reckon they might actually have some people subscribe I reckon it could be a nice way to maybe substitute they revenue and for those that aren't concerned and don't WanNa pay. Maybe they are concerned but they don't WanNa pay.
Interview with Pelotons Co-Founder
"SNICKS Jan.. This is next daily the Cell Sonata typical snacks now. It's Friday September twenty seven something different for you the best next daily we've ever done though even those different one company. IPO yesterday it was kind of a big deal so we covered one company for today. Yes it's Peleton. We interviewed the CO founder and CEO of Palestine live from Nasdaq. Now shares fell four pelt on the first day of trading eleven percent it shows you how volatile IPO yeah. It's intense but we're giving you a full. Nobody introduction to Peleton's straight from the Horse's mouth stretch out your hand. He's get the gluts prepped get into third position. We are ready for this interview with Peleton's. This is great. If you liked what you heard hit us up and let us know at Robin Hood Snacks. We'll be back with the normal format on Monday. Let's hit these keywords and then we got our interview by the way thank you to this knacker's. You send US questions since we asked him during this interview and he loves them daily ours if we gotta get food said candies they don't reflect the views of her family is just so we're now recommending any securities. It's not a research report or investment advice. It's not a sale of a security digestible business you LLC member. I you see this is nick and this is snacks daily. We're excited to be live at Nasdaq for very particular reason we're here with Tom Cortesi. CEO and CO founder Photon Tom. Can you tell us what we're doing. Well we are here today for Peleton's debut on the Nasdaq as a publicly publicly traded company big day. I feel happened today. May we ask. How did you start your day. Was it with a workout. Unfortunately today had I had to start my day doing whatever the Nasdaq folks told me to full disclosure. I got a fifteen minute like eighties style riding on Pelivan this morning while the stock is trading now. This is Thursday afternoon unearned. Yeah we noticed the first thing was ticker symbol kind of fans of creative ticker symbols feel like there was a bit of a missed opportunity seems like all right so we took the name. Peleton we shortened winded. PTO vowels vowel squeezed into four letters. What was the creativity did. was there anything else beyond the process. When you guys consider Oh my goodness of all the things things that we have to consider on a daily basis that you've heard about all the different businesses that that we build into one. This was just one where we didn't feel like it required. I heard a lot of our time attention and energy and there are a few options out there and this is when we chose and we just ran with thinking about hustling as ticker symbol consult Jack the white boarded. We had ideas Spin Bike Flock F. L. O. K. absolutely these are other operations later on. If you're limited limited favorite spin class on Peleton oh man I as I said to you guys before you know this is. This is my family. I all of these instructors are my favorite instructors. and you know. I you know Alex. Tucson has a very particular way of motivating me so I can. I can go there. Robbins Rob has been with us for so long Jen Sherman like a morning talk show for me so depending on my mood. That's the beautiful thing I can kind of. Pick and choose their all your babies. We we get it so tom founded. Peleton with four of your buddies and and business partners back in two thousand twelve back then. Can you tell us like how were are. You making elevator pitches to invest in the company. Oh man we were terrible at it. we were trying to explain look. We're going to convert this entire industry. That is this destination industry where folks are going to go to the gym going to this boutiques. Oh and we're GONNA take group classes and make them happen. In the Comfort Convenience and privacy of your home and people were just like what are you talking about so we were just we were just terrible at it but we kept on building and we kept creating prototype. F prototype the time to be able to showcase what it was Yoni our CTO even you know dubbed-in as as an instructor a couple of times before we had interrupt your so that we can showcase. This is how it all this is how it will work and slowly but surely we were able to convert people who were were clicked and they said if you could make that work. I'd buy one and if I'd buy one. I think there are a lot of folks who to today. You have a stationary bike. That looks beautiful. It's got kind of an ipad screen where you can stream classes and take a spin class to the the comfort your own Yup not only I've had screen with all the touch that happens to be way bigger than an IPAD screen but you also have to be able to sweat all over it and it still still works at every. Swat not bad not bad so Tom. That's how the company began. That's how you're pitching it. How would you describe the company company now fast forwarding like seventy well now. You know what I say is. This has been the longest proof of concept ever eight years in the making to prove to folks that you can move this entire entire industry to to to a new place we were talking about before arcades of the of the seventies eighties gone replaced by a better experience experience in your home through Xbox playstation movie theaters are closing. Netflix is on the rise or Disney and we we see the gym that Destination Sport of the gym where where incentives are not aligned join a gym in January. They pray. You never come you join Peleton. I have armies of people whose job it is to make. You feel more motivated every single day than you were before. It's it's that's that's our mission. That's what we do. We we serve our members. We started with bike with a with a with a proof of concept. You're you're going to see us. Go a lot further so then Tom what industry st when you say defiance Peleton. How do you place this into something. I mean ultimately. It's health wellness and fitness and we're we're. You're using media technology. We're using community. Logistics Apparel all these pieces in to to be able to fuel. You'll that and create something that people truly want people can become a truly engaged with so palatine stock is available starting today and anytime. You're thinking about investing in a company that recently. Ipo We always tell our snack or as you should check out the S. one document literally when we heard Peleton was I took like a month ago. That's the first place Jack and I went. We compare it to like a dating profile. You have to say that good and the bad about yourself so that the person on the other side as a full picture before investing one thing we noticed Palestine's asked one was the churn rate to borrow quote from Seinfeld. It's real and it's fantastic. Tell us what is the churn earn rate and how was it so good at. I mean we we've had a pinch ourselves about this. Turn rate over the over the five years that we've that we've been in market and it's just it it is it is truly remarkable. What does it mean attornery so it means that when you start paying for your Peleton subscription you don't stop and the reason why you don't stop is because you find value in it because you use it as a matter of fact and this is also an r. s. one enjoy the read he that actually people in our service use. Peleton more year over year not less and that's just that that just goes against most trends and fitness most trends in fewer description pure spinning three days per week your first year. You're spending four days per week your second year with Delta. That's right. I think we're we're showing now. you know on average Peleton bike members are writing nearly elite twelve times a month so we we saw that the average churn rate over the past year zero point six percent so every quarter you have ninety nine point eight six percent of the Peleton Isa's as we call them still subscribing to talk. We calculated that means. The average user is going to have a thirteen year our subscriber life. Is that insane I mean. The company hasn't been around now. I mean yeah so you're you can make a lifetime value calculations and and do those pre predictions we're not in the prediction business where the business of waking up every single day and figuring out how to further engage our members as if we can keep keep them engaged. They're gonNA feel better. They're gonNA feel good about their investment and they're going to stick with us. We intend to keep on doing that day. Over Day. So that's what we noticed in the one that kind kind of stood out for Jack and I was like how do we look at the individual Peltonen Sta and determine what their values the company but on a broader level thing we talked about is Jacqueline always like to say this which is is the fat is bad but as your friend and in this case we're talking about fitness equipment which has an experience with either being a trend or fat well you look at Bowflex with like elect Chuck Norris and the total jam or was Chuck Norris the total. He was always working at three M. My mom got a Nordic track in the ninety S. It's been in our attic for twenty years and move you only go wonder what is. Peleton thinking about like avoiding a fad and how are you going to stay fresh and cool because I just have such a hard time with this one because how on earth could it possibly we be that health wellness and fitness is a fat. It's it's actually a component of life that is a requirement right and and so oh you know what this is about is about finding a way to engage folks in you know in a necessary behavior a daily necessary behavior in in a way hey that they enjoy and they love. I cannot tell you in more ways. That is the case that we have proven that we can do that and we will continue continue to prove that we can do that because that is where we stay where we stay focused so then this brings up another key point from the Jackson scrolling through this thing one thing we noticed was the term democratize so I believe it said Petronas democratizing access to boutique fitness big questionnaire democratizing but also you look at the price of appellate quickly. Tell the snack because the price exactly a little over two thousand for the bike and a little over four thousand for the tread and then after that you're paying a monthly subscription of thirty nine dollars a month. Is it possible to democratize something so expensive so let's try it this way the average American just looking at just looking at the US the average American couple is paying well over one hundred dollars to belong to a gym might not to say that sorry in the average Americans pay over over one hundred dollars to belong to a gym. It's inconvenient. Incentives Aren't aligned. It's expensive. You don't have access to great degrade instructors when you do get access to equipment. It's probably old equipment that fifty people earlier that they sweat it on that that that's the experience that that you can have going to the gym. Peleton financed for thirty nine months zero zero percent zero percents. Apr Is Fifty Eight dollars a month later on the subscription at thirty nine dollars a month for the entire household right across and you get access to cycling bootcamp indoor running outdoor running yoga meditation meditation stretching strength training and whatever else we start we start building that is remarkable value and that's just the beginning thing of US democratizing so then Tom that brings up the next question which I think one of our snacker sin and David yes exactly which is all right. Let's think bigger picture here would you you guys be taking kind of a tesla approach where you introduce the higher end model that gets all the brand detached gets people excited sexy but then you start offering models any cheaper price. You can really really access that market because I see what you're saying over time how the values there but upfront. That's where people are paying out of pocket quickly I or or I shot at removing. Removing the the pain of up front is to is to is to take on that burden of of of zero percents. APR So there's no upfront cost you get into Peleton for just fifty the eight dollars a month. That's that's that's. That's the only payment on the equipment so we've completely remove that barrier. That's step one. We think that there are a number of other steps that the that we can take across different categories to continue to find new ways to bring lots of people into the Peleton membership so you started Peleton in two thousand twelve with four for the people what today is totally highlight. I mean you got a party this evening this evening and then back to work tomorrow and know where it is but we're not going to tell you they. Can you tell us about a low light. What was what was a big. F up that happen that you guys look back on it and hopefully about Maybe cried out it. It was it was a really tough. I eight years and what's actually crazy as you know eight years of perseverance it's to get to this starting line right as I said this was like one giant proof of concept and now we're GonNa go blow up across the globe giant this client the one giant one giant one and so there were there were moments where funding was dry. Were uncertainty. Certainty was was there. They're just personal moments where you have to wake up. You have to wake up that morning and remember that you've got a walk in and you've got to keep the team motivated. Even though now you've been on the slog for so long that that that that that stuff that stuff is hard but we knew from the moment. We created that first prototype when we started putting people on it. We knew that lights were going off. We knew that people were getting engaged and we knew that there was a bear there and we just had to keep driving to ask a little further on that one you know you talk to entrepreneurs. Jack and our co-founders ourselves having started a company together and you talk about that climb that building the highs the lows does but is there one that sticks out to you in particular where you're like a high just hit him with a love. That's true that's true. Let's go sign positive can't talk about the IP L. Let's do something before it's so funny looking looking back there were so many moments that felt like highs and I look back and I'm like really that wasn't that wasn't that big of a that. Wasn't that big of a deal. we sold one hundred eighty eight bikes through kickstarter. We thought we were champions of the world hundred eighty eight hundred and eighty and I wonder who has this. We put we we opened. We opened our first our first store as a as a pop up in short hills which is a suburb of of New Jersey me and my co founders stood there on black Friday with the only six bikes that we'd ever made in the world standing in that showroom telling people people what an amazing product service is good and I tape. I think we got I think we got somewhere between four and eleven people to buy that day. Yeah we must have gone out and had the biggest the biggest party right so in those moments. We thought we were on it looking back man. Those were small moments those round the numbers when you hit around number one hundred eighty eight is not around around the IPO. This is a big moment personally for you for your co workers. I mean you have pieces is a paper that say Peleton Inc stock until today. You couldn't do too much with it but after today or some lock-up period might be able to the south. That's a nice moment. You guys can kind of celebrate. What does this mean for you and your coworkers look for us. I feel like this is so typical. Peleton Take Okay Today we IPO tomorrow we're back to. We're back to building. The road. Ahead is still this monster monster. I we see this massive opportunity. We know it's there. We know we know we know we're building. We know that we know the race. Worth winning is still the race that that that we're in so I think we're excited that this is done that this milestone is over. We've we've got the capital to go and execute on plan tomorrow. We're back to work. Maybe a little speaking you can have your plant. One of our snacker sent in question. We had a few of them. Actually couple people asked about this. We have Sarah in wheeler. Ask about this in particular you. What's the next product product and what are we have so far? We got the bike in the tread and we'd like to point out fitbit just mentioned last week. It's interested in selling fitnesses available. Are you interested. Wow that's a bunch of questions all all in one no. We're not going to be announcing our new product on your show today. Y- yeah yes we have remarkably talented folks who are who are constantly working to try and understand what could be next and and that's about the all I can give their. Have you ever thought of a bike that would be a generator that powers the studio the building in the city right a snacker Alex Mill Nas gas it was actually one of the early ideas before we started before we started Peleton but we decided to focus on engaging in experiences that excite people to the extent that that that becomes something one day down the line would look at it so tom after every snacks episode Jack Back and I ended where I asked Jack. What's the takeaway smackers here so we gotta ask you now Tom. What is the takeaway for Peleton farce knackers to repel repel Japan is this is a this is a remarkable business. We're changing We're changing an entire industry and we're doing to make amazing things for that that industry we're changing the way people think about fitness it becomes fun and engaging and convenient and we're changing and we're changing where it happens. It's no longer this destination sport. we're we're incentives are are misaligned and we are excited as hell to keep on building. Tom Congratulations on your APP. Yeah I think we burned three three hundred calories. During this track that thank you for being on snacks daily smackers for more you can sign up for our free newsletter and our free podcast asked at snacks. Dot Robin Hood Dot Com at a great one. Thanks guys feel your both. They found this is Jack. Nick and I both own stock of Tesla. The Robin Hood Snacks podcast you just heard reflects the opinions of only the hosts who are associated persons of robinhood financial. LLC and does not reflect the views of robinhood markets inc or any of it's subsidiaries or affiliates. The podcast is for informational purposes. Only is not intended to serve as a recommendation to buy or sell any security and is not an offer offer or sale of a security. The podcast is also not a research report and is not intended to serve as the basis of any investment decision Robin Hood Financial L._l._C. member Finra S._I._P._C.
Watt It Takes: Nest Co-Founder Matt Rogers
"Hey Everybody Stephen here before we get into this edition of what it takes a very good episode with Mat Rogers the CO founder of Nest <hes> I just WanNa provide some housekeeping first of all you haven't heard my voice in a little while that's because I'm on paternity. Leave <hes> and I'm going to be out until the fifteenth of August so we won't have any new episodes of the energy gang until the week of the fifteenth of August but if you're looking for more content go over to the interchange <unk> change it's the other show that I co host with shale con we have tons of great back and forth deep dives. We also bring on guests for long-form. Interviews are our most recent interview which got a lot of traction was with Leeann stokes of the University of California and she talked about the really surprising public opinion trends behind the green new deal so go check that out. If you want something to read you can find G._T._M.'s new APP in the Apple Store for I._O._S.. Users don't worry android android users. There's one coming for you soon. And of course you can sign up for the newsletter as well again. We're going to be back on the fifteenth of August so don't go too far. You're finally thanks to son. Grow our sponsor son. Grow is the leading solar converter supplier by volume in the world. It's now a leading supplier across the America's to with the world's most powerful two hundred and fifty kilowatt fifteen hundred volts string converter son grow is providing disruptive technology for utility scale projects wchs you can find out more at Sun Gro Power Dot com this week on what it takes how a former apple engineer apply design principles from the IPOD and the IPAD to thermostats jolting and industry badly in need of change change having the largest incumbents conglomerates sue you as a startup with zero revenue and eighty employees is an honor like we we must be on the something if they're scared by us like this is probably something we should keep doing. You're welcome to what it takes. This is our interview series produced by powerhouse in Green Tech Media. I'm Stephen Lacey A._C.. In this series we hear from founders and executives at the most influential clean energy companies their background their passions their struggles their deals their management philosophies there near death experiences in this episode powerhouse C._E._O.. Emily Kirsch sits down with Mat Rogers. The CO founder and former chief product officer of Nest Nest is best known for its elegant learning Thermostat the first major breakout hit and smart home space Google later acquired nest for three point two billion dollars in this interview interview Rogers talks about his apple influence how he and Co founder Tony Fidel got obsessed with the connected home and found the devices lacking and how nest fit into the Google legal structure after the acquisition this conversation was recorded live at powerhouses headquarters to learn more about future speakers and attending a live event powerhouse dot fund that's F._U._d.. Click on the events tab and now here's Shell con my co host of the interchange podcast opening up the interview with some more background on Mat Rogers and ask any throws it over to enjoy the conversation. Thank you so matt. Rogers probably needs no introduction but here I go anyway these days. I think that many of us anyway take it largely for granted that the idea that the smart home is real and that is it's here to stay at more than sixty million of us now in the United States have smart speakers that we are speaking to in our houses checking the weather and ordering groceries and turning the lights on on and off and whatever else we're doing in the privacy of our own homes with our Alexa devices. I actually saw somebody the other day say that his three year old daughter recently asked her toaster order her a toy from Amazon and personally I can say this actually just happened to me as I was standing outside just before this <hes> my phone buzzed because my ring video doorbell told me that someone was at my door so this stuff is all happening all around us all the time and we're becoming very familiar with it very quickly but you don't have to think think back that far to a point where this was not at all obvious in fact I was looking at <hes> Google search trend data a couple of days ago. The term smart home basically didn't show up in the search data at all until about twenty thirteen and then since then it's been on this very consistent upward trajectory jury as the idea of the smart home and all the things that it comes with have gained an interest and if you think through the story of how we ended up in this position position where we are all starting to get smart homes all the time perhaps the craziest part of it at least to me is the killer product that broke open open this market which is the smart Thermostat who would have thought that the thing that would break open the smart home was the smart thermostat before nest and Mat Rogers Tony Fidel and the team there help make thermostats cool. They were just an ugly utilitarian device that we all forgot we had in our home but because of a combination of new capabilities and great data analytics and beautiful design the nest thermostat was different basically as soon as it was introduced reduced which was in two thousand eleven and I suspect most of you know sort of the broad strokes of the story as it progressed from there. The Nest Thermostat was introduced adduced it blew up it was almost immediately at least from my perspective. <hes> one of the hottest new consumer tech products in the market became very popular very quickly adoption adoption was taking off it didn't actually started launching other products. They'll launch to smoke and carbon monoxide detector. They're taking other forgotten items in the home and making them both smart and sexy and it actually was relatively quick from that to the point where Google saw the potential and bought the company for wapping three point two billion dollars in two thousand fourteen and then since then after what feels on the outside like many additional lives that nest has lived within Google most recently <hes> Google essentially rebranded its entire smart home effort as Google nest making the nest brand sort of front and center in one of Google's biggest biggest initiatives so I think that story is reasonably well known and appreciated what I think is maybe less appreciated is how the impacts of what happened with nest have reverberated in multiple different directions for example as a thought experiment imagine that the nest smart thermostat or the smart thermostat in general hadn't taken taken off. Do you think that we would still be in the midst of this smart home revolution that we see today I would argue no or separately only if nest hadn't seen a three point two billion dollar acquisition where would the world of cleantech entrepreneurship be today. I would bet you that nests exit as a venture backed startup has done more than any other to prop up the world of cleantech venture capital especially during a time time when it was sort of out of vogue and perhaps inspired entrepreneurs to create new businesses in the sector and that's to say nothing of the impact of tobacco flexibility which is this widely viewed as one of the pillars of decarbonising the grid but for the most part when we talk about demand flexibility today what we really mean the smart thermostats so mat Rogers along with his CO founder Tony Fidel and the team at nest I think should be recognized not just for having built a wildly wildly successful company but also for having helped to spawn multiple trends that are changing all of our lives every day so given that I can think of no better way to spend our than to hear Matt Story and I with no further dual handed over to Emily Kirsten View Mat Rogers Matt Welcome to the new powerhouse headquarters quarters and welcome to what it takes. Thanks great severe definitely. This is not meant to be a trick question but what time zone is your body and right now. I'm actually not sure so. I got off the plane pain from London three hours ago but I woke up at four o'clock in the morning in Europe so I'm not even really sure at this point. We're happy you're here. It's so as people know Nasty co-founded Nesper Tony Fidel in two thousand ten spoiler alert for those who didn't follow your story at Nestle to Google Google just four years later for three point two billion dollars. <hes> want to start with your family though so like me your grandparents were immigrants from the Hungary Russia Austria region. Your grandfather grew up in New York. Selling newspapers became a union plumber. You grew up in Gainesville Florida. Your Dad was a local doctor. Your mom did interior design. What influence did your grandparents and parents have on your character? Yeah I think the biggest actually thinking about growing up been groping a small town in a small town that didn't have a lot of venture capitalists and technology companies and those kind of things I was always inspired and pushed to do more and to ask lots of questions to be curious and fortunately we had a university nearby university. See Florida's isn't Gainesville and they always pushed me to reach out to professors or be a lab rat for some Grad students and <hes> also was continue to be curious always be learning but the other side is to be human and especially my grandfather having grown up in the depression oppression and having literally nothing and having to sell newspapers for two cents to maybe buy dinner for the family than being a plumber in New York City in the fifties and sixties and being able to send to kids college always pushed to like hey like there's a lot of privilege in life in a lot of luck and it's really important to recognize when you have lock in to help pay it forward to others and to you know to help others in their journey and that's one of the things kind of post nest has probably affected me. The most is no time to sit on your laurels in enjoy. There's so much suffering in the world and things to help out on absolutely you as a kid. I know you were very high energy and as you said very curious so nothing has changed in thirty plus years and as a three year old you had a ah Mac plus and then at thirteen you loved the company apple so much that your grandparents took you on a trip from Gainesville Florida to Apple Apple H._Q.. In Cupertino in California true story your story so why did you love apple so much and what did you say to your grandparents when you were there at Apple. Oh my gosh that's so funny. Mac Plus those apple history apple to the original Mac nineteen eighty-four you know iconic launch. This is kind of the the kind of generation a half afterwards and my dad bought it to kind of start his medical practice and to run the software that he eventually wrote for his medical practice but I fell in love at this company again this this product and if you watch kids today with an iphone or a smartphone and you see how intuitive it is for them to use the screen and that's what it became with me for a computer <hes> I guess being a three year old with a mouse and keyboard I learned a lot and I totally fell in love with apple as a company and the products and really appreciated cheated how far they went to build great stuff and especially kind of let's call it like the late eighties and early nineties. The computing computing industry was mostly garbage is mostly based plastic. Let's apple you some Beige plastic then to <hes> is mostly garbage and apple made great stuff and really push the envelope of making technology this accessible and when I was thirteen my Baretta present was my grandparents took me out to California cornea for road trip and when we drove to the bay area I was very clear with them like we must stop by infinite loop and take a picture in front of the sign and actually I wanted to go on a tour but if you guys knew anything about apple they're not very open to the public so I got to the lobby that was cool as best as far as but I had a very kind of well it's one of those like when you're a kid you talk to your parents and grandparents and family members about like we're GonNa be when you grow up. I was like I'm GonNa work at apple all they're like Oh. That's great kid sure you are always very determined to do that and you know it's funny. How life takes you on crazy? Journeys and I got very lucky to kind of land exactly where I wanted to be <hes> so to that determination point <hes> after high school you went to Carnegie Mellon to study both electrical and computer engineering. I want to note that you got both a bachelor's and master's in four years and then as a junior <hes> before you graduated you had the opportunity she to intern at your dream company you intern at apple working on <hes> one of the first ipods and <hes> my understanding is you as the in turn were responsible for developing the software for the IPOD is that right. It's actually kind of crazy story so summer two thousand four <hes> to put this in context apple had not yet launched the ipod mini that was the product that was gonna come out just after the summer in September that year which just really took it up the next level of the curve in terms of millions of units and then eventually tens of millions of units the team was quite small like the kind of all fit on one one and a half floors have a pretty small office building. How many people maybe twenty five or thirty people it's pretty small team? Everybody knew each other. Everyone had worked together and some capacities Kathy's before and they were all super super heads down and focused on getting this proc shift so the point where like you know the intern mm shows up. Let's give the job that we all think she'd get done but no one's doing so which was building the software for the product building the software for manufacturing bring the product so they give me the intern the job of rewriting all of the software that was used in the manufacturing process to ensure quality control well and to make sure the practice today worked <hes> the intern like to make sure the work so I think they really the thought experiment and like they weren't actually gonNA use anything I built but like I two ish months then they realize that actually this is probably the path to go and <hes> at the time like Tony Fidel and Brian running the hardware team at the time. We're like all right well. Let's let's do this and apple had some weird policy at the time of not setting the interns to China. I guess that makes sense so I worked from Cupertino on Chinese time to make sure that things were getting up to speed be those things were getting installed in line for the that falls launch <hes> yeah it was crazy internship and you are you are offered not just the internship but while you're turning and you were offered your dream job at apple as a junior but you decided to finish school. You didn't drop out you graduated did graduate. I think my mom would kill me and then and then you started at apple the team though that had been a twenty five person team was now one hundred person team I got back nine months later and and like who are all these people and where they come from talking about like explosive growth of of a team I started with an apple not just from a product perspective culturally two's very isolated and kind of separate from the company even physically physically separate from the company and to watch explosive growth was it was amazing and so I got back from from college I was like all right. I'm ready to do it so they put me on like fixing bugs so it's kind of like what you do with the kind of the new college grads of pinch hit for the summer to make sure the ipod Nano got shipped and unfortunately it did a lot though and so then in after it had shipped then of those hundred people that are now on the team ninety eight of them went to work on the next version of the next I pod and they said you you lowly new employees eat. We're going to give you something that nobody else really wants for some reason which is to work on the first iphone. You've it wasn't cold that when you sell it that way. It sounds really good so if you think about being a place at a certain time I'm so like like the fall of two thousand five at Apple. The ipod is seventy percent of company revenue. It is the hot product it is the the biggest consumer electronics Bronx in history to the Walkman so everybody wants to work on the new ipod scraper your career. It's it's the it's the product what apple it's the one that Steve is GonNa pay attention to those kinds of things and my boss is like well. Let's throw the new guy on the skunkworks quirk staying that may or may not ever ship and that at the time was the prototype for what would eventually become the iphone but at the time was really just like five five or six guys in kind of a walled off section of the building you know working away and I was in two thousand five. You shipped it into dozen seven. It ended up being the biggest product out at lunch of all time didn't see coming either. I have to be honest with you. Guys like none of us at apple all at the time realized how big it was that we were building I like Oh. Maybe we'll sell one hundred thousand of these kind of like the level we were expecting like. Maybe maybe if we're going to get you know we really have park. He was like half a million of these is really complex product right. It's pretty expensive but actually like to AH Steve Jobs as credit. There were very few people in the company who actually understood the whole picture. We all actually were working on pieces so like my team was building the hardware you know during the manufacturing building the firmware that low level software for the product and there was a different team in a different building with different badges to get in that was working on the applications and the U._i.. And those teams didn't actually work closely together so like there was only like half a dozen may dozen people in old company who actually saw things coming together rather it was an incredible two years. If you think about watching something Oh for zero to not just launched enormous launch in terms terms of team we went from you know it's like a half dozen or dozen people to about a thousand people when we launched. Maybe more than a thousand you actually hire hire that many people it's not possible so we ended up stealing people throughout the company like people working on Max Max anymore guys come over the IPHONE team <hes> we didn't call it. The time we didn't launch everything was called purple time random color if we could call it avocado to that would be great <hes> on boarding thousand people. It's a lot of opportunity for leadership and for me being so early in my career it was kind of like getting Lexington right place right time and having been early on the team I had some knowledge of how things worked in you know how this this part of the rock worked and you know who to talk to you for this and kind of felt naturally into a leadership role of helping people get started working iphones and things grew from there. If you had to synthesize one learning about leadership from that time what would it be. Yes the hard questions. Oh we're just getting started. I think he's like ah my learning from that point in time was to meet people where they are and people come to the table with wherever their experiences their background their education where they worked on before for their culture and it's really important to meet them where they are when it comes to leaving them on either new project or a new initiative and I didn't get that at the time but obviously get it now Tony Fidel who is credited with designing the ipod was your boss and mentor at Apple for six years <hes> in two thousand nine because Tony wanted to lead all of the development for the iphone but Steve Jobs <hes> disagreed and gave him an ultimatum and they ultimately parted ways and so in two thousand ten after he had left you were twenty six years old. You had worked on iphones for a few years. You were making half a million dollars a year at Apple Chris Fortune Privilege and being replaced the right time like especially thinking about like my might mental state at the time you know as a young guy making really really good money to then quit and walk away from that you know it's kind of crazy right but actually that's part of the privilege that I now realize I they had like because I had a little bit of savings I could I could burn down for two years and that allowed me the flexibility to go start a company. If I want to do it for sure and you went to Tony and said Hey I'm thinking about about quitting walking away from my dream job from all this money to work on smart homes and Tony said Oh oh it's terrible idea some of you guys actually in the audience know Tony and often some strong strong words mixed in with a really bad idea for the record you can swear on the Tony Nine met for lunch at Madeira. Oh my God. This is such a cliche like all right Allie T._v.. Show guys are placing it so Tony I had lunch at Madeira on Saint Hill Road at the Rosewood October over two thousand nine. Guy Is such a cliche now history was was he the T._v.. Show did exist back that was he was he in a McLaren with the McLaren when he was not in a McLaren game. It may have been worse though may have been like an Aston Martin. I actually don't know car he's driving time I saw he he had spent the last year in France with his family kind of taking a break from nine stressful years at apple and was building a house in Tahoe so I had just bought a house in Los gatos pretty close to apple that was built in nineteen seventies ash and as you can imagine had we will be both actually houses on the brain and I was like Tony. I I do my research. There's a lot of forums on the Internet like people are doing these connected home. Thing Ah time I actually the connected home is not really a thing. It was a bunch of hackers kind of string things together. There were no products to speak of really there tinkerers kind of like the computing industry pre apple one and I was like this is a huge opportunity we could go and make great products like we did apple like us the same kind of hardware same type of software cloud services title together and we could make this great smart home. He's like it's a terrible idea. That's not that's not a business. That's not a product. No wants to buy a smart home. People WanNa buy great stuff that was kind of the kind of of key insight from that lunch but that's worth doing and he's like I've been doing this house in Tahoe and buying all the best stuff that's out there and there's a lot of problems and there's a lot love opportunity to build great products so we kind of left that lunch for like hey. Let's spend some time onus and him and I spent probably like six months either meeting in person doing sky types like working drilling down through all the problems in the home that we could solve off with technology. This is while you're still coming apple still fulltime at apple so it was very good very good hygiene. I had different laptops different cell phones. It's important I did tonight. Apple Apple did not only the property I was billing and ill that the key was much like when you build approx do market research we were effectively. We didn't actually realize hybrid effectively the early market research and use your testing like what products are worth doing and end. How could we solve those problems? It's really important. I think to start with a problem statement like technologies in search of a solution. You guys probably hear that cliche shale hot. We WanNa make sure that we were solving a real problem that affected people and that can make a difference in people's lives and through all Lavar kind of drill downs with like we looked at irrigation example. Is there an opportunity to say people water and turns out. It's really hard to do and only about twenty percent of homes pauvres irradiation so we'll do that product. That's not a good place to start and we looked at the energies side and we're like okay. I mean would you some hot water heaters leaders that could be interesting now turns out hot water heating only about twenty thirty percent of energy and really really hard to save turns out hot water heaters pretty efficient the big thermal batteries effectively. Oh heating and cooling half of energy wow beige plastic boxes no uh-huh technology terrible user interfaces seems like an area where we could we could really attack this problem and it seems obvious now in hindsight but at a time like this is kind of like one of those critical moments I found something really cool and we spent the next few months talking to people who had made thermostats before are we called some folks at U._C.. Davis who had done some research in the industry. We actually cult folks at e._p._A.. Who are managing the Energy Star Program for Thermostats Pat's and learned actually that they were sunset the program for Free Energy Star thermostats like Oh this is like right place right time again and then spring of two thousand ten six six months after that first conversation like this is worth doing fulltime? Let's do it and I resigned from Apple. Tony moved back from France. Let's we rented a garage in Palo Alto and it's not like the T._v.. Show again like Man T._v.. Show is so real the cheapest real estate we could get and it was like twenty five hundred bucks a month for like two thousand square feet which is like impossible now all right so this Louis great we got we got we got room to run and we put a little bit of money in ourselves and we started hiring our bodies and we're like let's go hire the best people he possibly could divined to build this thermostat as we did. How much of this decision to leave was motivated by climate change a lot? Actually I mean gene going back to kind of my last year. At Apple I was getting more and more frustrated with the lack of mission and by building the biggest consumer electronics product and history you have actually have a responsibility to and we were saying in an executive review for what would become iphone four and Bob Mansfield who is running the team at the time was asking US questions around graphics performance I how many frames per second for either fruit and injure angry birds one of those two and it just didn't click in my brain it was like we have assembled around us this remarkable team of incredibly talented people putting their all in for Fruit Ninja. That's that's probably a problem. That's that seems like the wrong thing for us to be. Doing that was one of the things that caused me to start looking at what are other opportunities to go to go go attack and I'd always been motivated by climate change. It's one of the largest challenges of our generation next generation and probably every generation soon thereafter that we can count and if we could use an from my perspective the skills that we have to really impact act like why shouldn't we go do that. That seems like the right thing to do and I know you as you said You tony put in about a quarter million dollars. If your own money that gave you about six months runway to do the early puttered prototyping and the goal of the first prototype that I heard and tell me if this is right the goal of that prototype was don't freeze grandma this winter <hes> Yup yeah part of answering this new industry for us. We we have to learn a lot and we quickly learned is AH ipod crashes and reboots like Oh man like I got to start my song over again if your thermostat crashes and freezes and the heating is at work grandma's GonNa be real pests not not not a good thing so yeah we were very insistent on doing extensive testing and field testing before we launched in we had about five hundred homes around the country using prototypes before we actually even interest the product that first winter was tough. The summer was actually even harder. The summer before we launched <hes> was really really hot and Florida and all of my family is from Florida and imagine it's like ninety five five degrees and a hundred percent humidity and you're interesting is not working so needless to say I got a lot of phone calls from my mom which then caused love bug fixes to happen. There's really good motivation really motivation good user testing unlike a lot of startups in clean technology that are selling selling to other businesses. You're selling directly to consumers and <hes> how did you get those first customers. You said so beyond beyond kind of your mom and and the immediate family <hes>. How did you get those first customers and what did you do around press and P._R.? How did you leverage that to get those rose consumers as opposed to utilities or other big energy companies one of the things that we pulled out of the apple playbook effectively verbatim is the power of story the power of a narrative and the power of a surprise launch and we we had done our damnedest to keep secret until we already in one because we weren't ready? We didn't want to kind of blow it off what we're doing but also we didn't want to kind of build expectation before four things ready and actually in today's world old people pre-announce things and Samsung Galaxy fold and where is it now and we have we had learned that lesson of like don't launch until you're ready <hes> and then when you're ready go big so we had we had built the narrative of the why like what's the problem that we're solving and how do we solve it. And why are we solving it and the story of the team and we this is funny so we had hired a really really great p._R.. Person Person <hes> from Logitech catering's incredible incredible P._R.. Leader and she would outreach the journalists and not tell them what we're doing because if she told them they probably wouldn't take the meeting and surprised in the meeting with what we were doing and we would take them through the narrative and the story and we would by the end of the meeting whether it's like a thirty minute our our briefing they were sold. A little later on Kleiner Perkins and Shasta Ventures led your first round series a eight million dollars series a google ventures than lead the series B.. It was fifty million dollars along with light speed ventures and generation Al Gore's Fund Fun Fact You campaign for Al Gore before you could even vote in high school so that Karma came back actually my wife and I <hes> held signs and kind of door to door for Al Gore in two thousand but neither of US could vote and we're not married that obviously <hes> we didn't get married till till like five six years ago but again like climate change is always been kind of part of part of who I am in get B._I.. Bed in the morning and it's just funny how things come full circle and your life like the woman I was campaigning with ended up being my wife and the Guy I was campaigning paying for the investor. My world is way too small. It's really strange again like luck and privilege like I can't can't believe it sometimes coming up why nests co-founders never celebrated success for too long plus why Rogers things the company may have launched too many products at once. I A quick word about our sponsor son growth with more than eighty two gigawatts of converters deployed across the globe son Grow is now expanding rapidly in the U._S. and has more than one and a half gigawatts of projects booked in two thousand nineteen alone. One of those projects is a twenty seven megawatt development for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. That's going to double the amount of solar that the Navajo Abajo nation has in that solar is going to replace a coal plant closing later this year and the excess generation will be sold back to the grid to earn money for the Navajo Nation Sandro grow is not just focused on solar power though it's energy storage converters are integrated into two hundred megawatt hours worth of battery projects across the U._S.. Go check out what son grow was up to at solar power international and Salt Lake this September you can find them at booth to two one or go to their website at Sun Gro power dot com and <hes> so after three years you had two hundred employees. You were shipping forty to fifty thousand units per month. You had just sleighs. You're raised your latest round it an eight hundred million dollar valuation. What was it like being founder at that time and having that kind of success in what type of responsibility did you feel? Oh for the people on your team in the company so we didn't think too much about success or not because we were always looking at the kind of the next milestone. This is also part out of my coming from the Tony L. School of Management at Apple you celebrate success very briefly and then like we're moving onto what's next so we were always kind of looking going ahead and thinking about you know. How can we get this company? The next level we'll turn next product how we are next market but like we had hired almost actually she wants three hundred people at a time and sold them pretty hard and why it was the right opportunity and a lot of them moved across the country three quit their dream jobs upward their families took a lot of risk and for a founder that's thinking about the responsibility and I think about a Guy Kiro Honjo who who moved him and his wife from Arizona and quit a great job there and didn't have a lot of savings and making sure that you know I was doing the right thing for him and his family to so as a founder. It's not just about what's great for your investors what you think about your employees and the risks that they took joining and I I always think about that. I'm glad we've made decisions the way we did thinking about that. Was it a lonely experience yes or no so unfortunately I had I had a co founder and someone who I could really go head to head with. We would talk every morning. We actually still almost talk every morning. It's like eight thirty A._M.. Every day we were driving to work and we talk on the phone in our drive about like what are the key things we should be looking at where things we should think about literally everyday so lonely in that like it's a from a leadership perspective. You can't leave your team because it's not something you can do but it's good to have a partner that you can bounce things off of but yeah actually Tony. I still keep in touch when we talk almost every day. He's again different time zone. He's in he's in Asia now but but <hes> he texts me before he goes to bed and I texted back in the morning and it's like delayed conversation. It's Kinda like telegram talking in the Nineteen Thirties. It's really sweet. What did you do really well? And what did you do poorly. Oh man that's a really good one. What I do really well so I I think extremely good hiring and getting people motivated around a problem and you think about what made a successful L. A.? Yes like the mission is absolutely core but getting our employees aligned around the mission was probably even more important especially as we scaled it became became impossible to make every decision ourselves like we come from this Apple School of management where like Steve Jobs big every every decision on design and the product as we scale the company because we had such a strong mission alignment the team was able to scale with us. I think that was a really really think we got right. I think thing we didn't get right. I think I wish we spent more time on was spending more time in each vertical before the next one. We were very very very quick to start starting next PROC line before our previous PROC line matured and for the first two it was kind of okay but like when we got to the third and the fourth invented the Fifth Brookline became that's stretch of the team very thin and this was going from thermostats to smoke detectors to security cameras security dirty systems other countries because we actually had different products in different countries <hes> became very complex for pretty small team and question on that I know the original vision that you had right and the reason you started nest part was so that eventually you could do this whole not just smart home but a smart grid application but then you kind of you ended up doing the smoke detectors and the security cameras so why the deviation from that original vision also this question is from David Crane by the way it's actually more additive and actually David was a really good customer for us for us. It was additive so we launched a really accessible thermostat product and we're scaling that product at the same time we're launching our utility software services like our demand response service. We Watch energy efficiency service eventually lunch time of you service uh so we were doing that and we're doing all these other things in parallel I think in hindsight we felt it was very important because it's such a new industry that we actually needed needed almost like a land grab each of these key products if we didn't do them someone else will and from a competitive standpoint we wanted to make sure we had it kind of Keith position staked out in each of these key vertical eventually while we bought drop cam to we saw this camera market growing and we wanted to be in that market to make sense and we haven't talked about this yet but what was unique about the nest Thermostat I mean it's actually really simple. It's an easy use product. That's really it. I mean it's beautiful so you don't feel guilty putting on your wall. It saves you. Energy saves money like it's just it's simple. It doesn't need to be super complex and yes we packed it with lots of technology analogy and sensors and machine learning but that's not why people buy it and that's not how we sold it either makes sense. Were there moments that you thought that ness would fail many many many moments. Oh Man Okay so I probably dozens of moments and it's funny how it could be perceived as an overnight success but like back internally there is moments failure on a weekly basis so when we were going to launch our second product thermostat version too so is one year after we launched our first product because there's a lot of things in the first product that we didn't like that we wanted to kind of get right the second time two weeks before we launched like two or three three of our vendors in Asia decided to back out. This business is big enough for us like who's this next company. We're not building for you guys and and if you think about like having spent fourteen months of R._N._D.. Play two hundred million dollars like AH and your suppliers like we're not doing this anymore like two weeks before launch. That's that's one of those game over moments. Fortunately we had an incredible program management operations team and team Honjo called some relationships from people they'd worked with in the past and we're able to get someone else to pick up the pieces and we got really lucky and had a really successful launch. It was very rocky internally but externally looked great our N._p._R.. We also talked about company any moments we launch a smoke alarm that we kind of pushed the limits of what we I should've putting the product for a one point product. We may be added too much. We added a feature that you could wait at the smoke alarm in silence it. If it was going off off you know false alarms happen cooking. The Bacon along was off wave at it great. It's super convenient right turns out if fires happening you're running around the house that could look look like way think not the best thing I've done so crockery call and having been to those at apple like those Zor those are really scary moments and they were scared apple with apple resources and the apple support network as a startup super super hard and despite having a good amount of capital. You're pretty lean like there were no lunches. Shuttles NAP pod yeah also coming coming from the Apple School of Management You know Steve and Tony had gone through the massive layoffs kind of in the ninety s and having gone through that experience you know Tony was very clear. I had never experienced that I was still in school. He never wanted to go through through that so we didn't over higher. We we hired beneath our burn rate. We didn't have the futons and the NAP pods and we didn't have free lunches. Che's although we did have tacos on Tuesday. It costs US two hundred fifty dollars to the entire company frugal we we didn't kind of focus on the frills focus on the mission and people were excited join us because of that mission not because we had free lunch in two thousand twelve and two thousand and thirteen thirteen nest was sued for patent infringement on both thermostat and the smoke detectors by number of companies including honeywell. Do you remember where where you were. When you heard about the lawsuit yeah I was driving to work? I was driving to work and I got a text from chip so was one of our advisers at the time. He was apple's head patent attorney so he was kind of the guide apple responsible for apple's I._P.. And <hes> he was an adviser to Tony in helping US kind of crafter I._p.. Portfolio and tech saying you guys see the news you're getting sued <hes> and one of the is like David and Goliath moment and it's either like really scared and turtle up and just hope it goes away or are you kind of make yourself look bigger than you are like peacock style we decided to do that and we actually hired chip full-time to lead our to lead our our legal team and <hes> we went actually back after them and what happened we won so we it was great over over a very long period of time we actually the invalidated their patents because they should not innovative they were copying something else and they were trying to sue us for using complete sentences in our product. You cannot patent complete sense. It turns out that's not nothing novel. That's obvious we got thrown out eventually and <hes> one of those things that some investors would be scared by that but we had done a really good job of keeping investors loop on all things at all times and they were with us every the way like if you guys want to fight this behind you back here. was that the hardest moment or if not what was the single hardest moment it really wasn't the hardest moment it was scary but at the same time we realized we could use this really scary. Moment also has a positive talking about the power of a narrative like having the largest incumbent conglomerates in this space sue you as a startup with zero revenue and eighty employees is an honor like we must be on to something right like if they're scared by US then like this is probably something we should keep doing <hes> so yeah I actually kind of the opposite we're we're kind of invigorated so fast forward you got through some of these growing pains and as as we said earlier in January of two thousand fourteen when you were raising at a two billion dollar valuation and had about three hundred people on the team Google bought you for three point two billion dollars so two questions one how did acquisition come about and two. How do you feel about the valuation especially that extra that billion bonus bump AH head come about so we were raising our series D. and is one of those fork in the road conversations either this? This is GonNa be a really big company. We're GONNA need to raise a lot of money like as hardware businesses scale like you gotTA. Keep throwing money in it. It's not like it's it's a becomes. He comes immediately profitable so we knew we'd have to raise a lot of money and as we were having series D. conversations we got a call from Larry Page of Google to come in and have a conversation just before Thanksgiving so it's like it's like third week of November and we went up. Wait so Larry Larry Very himself calls. You email okay okay was that was that weird. Little no definitely exciting. It was kind of interesting that was my first time on Google's campus where all these people on bikes and like everything's a rainbow what is going on here. There's like jumping in like what is this place and we took the elevator up to Larry's office of the top floor and he sat down in the boardroom like just the three of us and he explained why he thought we were doing something interesting and like how he thought the smart home was like the next evolution of computing and why it may tends for Google to be there to Goodell yeah and the logistics of acquisition are interesting like usually some sort of corporate development guy comes to your office with a piece of paper. It's called a term sheet looks a lot like You're with a google mindset so it's a really good home for. I'm really excited for the team still there after the acquisition nest bought drop Cam for five hundred fifty million nine dollars and there was some controversy around culture clashes between nest and Google and drop Cam and ultimately that led Tony to leave NASA two thousand in sixteen you stayed on for another two years in time to see US folded back into Google's hardware division. <hes> what did you think about Tony leaving and were you thinking about leaving to at that time in two thousand sixteen yeah. It's a really good lesson in how you could be vision aligned but not be culturally lined and we as you say culture clashes on so many different levels like drop cam came with their way of doing things we had come with this very kind of apple mindset of building products ex google had their way of doing things and it was a little bit of oil and water and it took a while for the kind of the mixture to settle out having Tony leave was was both sad but also I think it was a really good thing for the company because it allowed the company to eventually become integrated with Google and Yeah Tony is he's very kind of top down leader. That's not how Google Works Google is like it's a little bit terror. Cells like I like loosely connected Federation of teams like literally each cell is doing their own thing. They may be doing the same thing like they may not even be talking about. It works works for them. They all this innovation because they allow kind of things to grow from the grassroots. It's not how we ran. The company is a how how Stephen Apple but it works for them and having Tony Leave allowed me to eventually hand the company off to Google what was it like being at <unk> at Google post acquisition like what were the best parts and what were the worst parts best part is probably the access to talent in the access to technology so so for example like we were looking at some new ways of sensing motion using radar and what do you know there's a team somewhere we're at Google in some lab somewhere developed like radar that fits on a microchip holy cow like and we will talk to those guys and they're thrilled that we reaching out like they actually reach out to them before it was great being a kid in the Candy Store Technology Candy store anything you want. Someone's probably working on somewhere. The people working like geothermal heat pumps and like you name it. Someone's working on Google even today like name it nuclear fusion splice. I'm working on. It ain't the hard part. Is that you there's no mandate from the top of what's a priority for the company so let's say like like this year. It's really important that we launch a security suite bronx. We could say that that's our most important thing but there's there's no cultural mechanism John for making sure that happens so you kept your day job at nest for the first year that you launched a new initiative. I should've called insight which we'll talk about. How did you know that it was time to leave? Nests slash leave Google and what was it like to leave. Um So combination things one. The team had gotten to the point where they didn't need as much anymore and I it's kind of being a parent and send your kids off to college. It's both a sad moment but you're like Oh. They're they're they're going on their own the world and we had built an incredible team that could really run the show without us and that me things easier at the same time actually recognizing my own my own failures in like my own inadequacies overseas like I'm probably not the leader that Google is going to want to run this business within Google. You know I'm a little bit against the grain as he has might see a little bit contrarian sometimes and that may not be the right thing for fitting within Google structure so it was kind of realizing I may not be the right guy for this team's probably ready. This may be the good opportunity for me to hand off and head out yeah. Although you're no longer at the company where do you see nest and five years. Oh so google nest cold I think will be one of the two platforms in the home. They'll probably be to Amazon. John will probably be the other one third have a lot of first party products but actually I think more importantly they'd have a lot of third party products and this is one where especially when you put a google had on enabling a vast vast ecosystem of other companies like thinking about what android did to the smartphone space incredible strategy right and apple has like one iphone two or three iphones now but how many android phones are out in the world and how many companies spawned how many businesses were created on the back of Android and last question before we move into what you're doing now within sight what lesson took the longest to learn. It's probably about trust and if you hire great people you know you have to trust that they actually know what you're doing again not to second guess them. I often had Tennessee as a leader nest to like oh I can you take another month of that schedule or like. Can you take five dollars off that bomb and keep asking those questions and in hindsight yes I was pushing them to kind of made you their best but they were doing their best already and I was pushing them all too hard. <hes> actually I still haven't learned it. Actually I appreciate and admire your self awareness so to the present day you you and your wife Swazi who you met when you were twelve years old and campaign for we didn't get married at twelve you campaign for Al Gore together. You have been described as silicone valley power couple so I._T.. Was With Square for four years before joining the investment team at Kleiner Perkins as a partner <hes> You oh you had your first date when you were trying to launch nest any dating advice you wanNA share with the audience based on that experience so I actually got my whole team involved. I don't know if that was a good thing a bad bad thing we would do big team meeting review where we are on the PROC status bugs launch readiness all those things and someone always asks like a personal question going on this date with this girl. I knew from college that smarter than me I think she's awesome and I'm kind of nervous about it and like they're all trying to get psyched up and prepared to go on this date. I probably should have done that. Play a bad idea. It's cool because like now like we're all friends. Friends like my wife and I are friends with all of the other folks that s because they're they're on the whole journey with us when he was a good thing to do that again actually but but actually I won't do it again because my wife a long term thing you don't get you don't really do that again. This real time processing is amazing amazing so you watch launched insight in two thousand seventeen. There's three entities insight ventures tobacco changing startups insight labs is a private foundation and inside politics back political initiatives and candidates. Give us just a minute on what you're doing now and why so we believe very strongly say that if you give rate mission oriented founders and entrepreneurs the kind of the capital the cadillacs the advice they will go work wonders and they'll accomplish does that change in the world and especially coming from Silicon Valley. There's a lot of focus on startups start up to the right vehicle to couples change but they're not the only ones and especially Swazi has been his influence on me from her background working in nonprofits and working in development that there are lots of mechanisms to accomplish change inge and our jobs sort out kind of illegal structures but we want all great entrepreneurs who are on epic mission succumb to confine just to get out awesome. We are going to close with I R high-voltage round. Quick questions quick answers if you were going to be an animal. What animal would you be and why I play dog so my dog Bingley is an Airedale? He's he's a really good dude. He's got a lot of energies always happy to see me. She's like his life is so good and I admire admire naievety but like also like his spunk. If you had to start a new career tomorrow what would it be do the same thing I yeah I think I have no regrets in my life and I'm just I'm so happy to have gone through that journey and I would do to get in a heartbeat other than yourself. To whom do you the trip your success play my mother. Someone who won always was there to push me but at the same same time with Ariza sounding board when I was falling short couldn't do without her for sure. When have you failed every day literally every our day I come from a place like I see lots of new things every day? New Technologies new companies new initiatives new people running for office and I realized allies how many great smart mission oriented people are in the world and like how inadequate massive imposter syndrome and that's one of the things that gets me Ed to keep doing what I do. What's the best investment you've ever made so think financial investment is a company called? Have they make credit softwares for small businesses so as a small business you may not have a credit history and there he created some really cool online online tools like a lot credit Karma for for small business and we did see an investing in a series a. and then we fall in the being the C and I think that's one of our strongest financial investments none cleantech investment but quite good actually good for humanity like small business need help totally. What's the hardest thing the hardest thing is probably the divorce of my parents when I was thirteen is one of the things that made me grow up really quickly talking about like going through college doing Undergrad and Grad and for years like I was forced to grow up really fast and help take care of my brothers and and maybe that was a very hard time but may was really good hindsight and that the leadership skills that way what is something that you thought was true that you no no longer believe the people change so so I I think people don't change people? Don't change you are who you are you could you could learn learn new skills but it's really hard to change what gets you out of bed and what drives you who had the biggest influence on your life and why I think from an outside perspective Al Gore actually someone I've always admired and talk about like someone who's gone through like remarkable luck success privilege but also failure and how he's bounced back from failure imagine having election defeat handed to you by one vote in a supreme court and then going onto build an incredibly successful career as an investor and as an advocate and elevating the issue climate change on the world stage like an incredible story of kind of rebounded and success. When are you your best self everyday always just gotTa show up and do it? I love that answer. What's your worst trait? That's probably the same. Actually I have one speed and I wish I wish I had like like a gas peddling. Push it all the way down and we kind of let up a little bit like I have all the way down off. What's your greatest career embarrassment embarrassment? Oh man there's a lot of them so the team at nest we did a lot of team photos like very candid and she gave hundred emission earlier are head of hardware operations took a lot of candid photos and I think there's I think there's photos of me. In bunny suits and China in very awkward reposes that I'd rather not get on the Internet we can all go search for those after this. What was your the single greatest career achievement? I probably hasn't come yet. Honestly I think back of like you know starting the smart home industry like revitalizing cleantech but I think the best is still to come and I think about the impact we can have insight and the ability to help others accomplish their dreams. I think the best is still to come through them. If you could change one thing about the world what would it be for. One hundred PPM needs to be like three three sixty three seventy really soon so we got a lot of C._o.. Two we got to stop admitting and we got them out. If there was just one person who was going to hear this podcast who would you want to be I think thinking about like these kids growing up and and seeing the world through social media and daunting problem of climate change the spectacle of U._S. politics uh that they could go and they could go their dreams that they actually go and and work great places and built great things and have an impact. I think I'd love those those kids. Did you hear this that they can go do it to finish these sentences for me. Companies Fail because they spend too much money. Success success is in the eye of the beholder. You are the beholder so to you. Successes <music> success number really comes. I think too often people celebrate success. I'm from the school. Maybe it's like the Japanese Samurai School of learning where like you've never never quite the master. If I could have done one thing differently I would have me. I should quit school start athle- earlier. I missed a hell of a year like yes. I probably wouldn't have Madam long-term but I I missed a really fun here that you're if the world knew me for one thing it would be minus fifty PPM. Let's do it. I'm proud of still make it. I mean a lot of adversity the last decade and a half stuck through it last question to build a successful startup. What it takes is perseverance? I never give up and again. I had the most lucky path through everything like I'm not sure. The Nest Path is reproducible but mcnew to pass at the same but you've got to keep persevering through adversity. I think resilience is probably the biggest rate you can have winds during a company agreed with that please give them massive round of applause Karadzic and that marks the end of another edition of what it takes thanks to powerhouse for their continued partnership on this series again go to powerhouse fund powerhouse F. U.. N. D. for more information on future events and help bus out by giving us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your
Hustlin' Tech, Round Two
"Hi everyone welcome today. Six Z podcast. I'm zonal and today. We're releasing the next cycle of Hustling Tech A podcast series. Co hosted by bestselling authors a six and Co founder. Ben Horowitz and Chaka Singapore a leading voice and criminal justice reform. Each episode is a Hustler's guide to a new technology platform that creates opportunity for people we previously released three episodes in the series last quarter and this quarter are releasing three new episodes that follow in this feed over the next few days. These episodes were all recorded right before the corona virus pandemic however given. What's going on in the world? They touch on many things. That are top of mind right now. From their profession of nursing including online communities for nurses and free continuing education from home to taking care of the elderly menu live alone or need other in-home and fighting bureaucracy to get money back or to get help delaying utility bills and rent payments that are now eligible for an extension or waiver of late fees due to the corona virus crisis. You can read more about the what. And the why of the entire hustling tech series and sign up to be notified about future episodes at a six thousand seat dot com slash hustle and tech. The first episode that follows is the Hustler Guide to nursing jobs.
Coming Soon: Do the Thing with Whole30's Melissa Urban
"My name is Melissa Hartwig urban. I'm the whole thirty co founder and CEO and today. I wanna tell you about my very first podcast, do the thing my thing is helping people change their health habits and relationship with food. But this isn't a podcast about food through the whole thirty, I've used as a conduit to open the door to other topics addiction and recovery. Entrepreneurship money, relationships and self care. See all of you right now have a thing, maybe it's something you want to start doing going to the gym working through trauma saving money or pursuing a career you love. Maybe it's something you wanna stop doing eating too. Numb your feelings putting up with toxic relationship or comparing yourself on social media. It's the hurdle, you can't clear, the story that won't go away the goal, that's always just out of reach you need it, you want it, but you still aren't doing it. And you don't know why this podcast is about exploring. What's been missing every time you've tried to do the thing together with my guests authors? Doctors, trainers, therapists, and people just like you. We'll help you find your voice take the first step chart, a realistic PA and level up for good. If your ready to overcome negative patterns and empower yourself to finally do the thing, here's your first step. Visit whole thirty dot com slash podcast. Subscribe, yes, I know I'm starting you off with an easy one, but doesn't it feel good to do something will start rolling on April, thirtieth so subscribe, and stay tuned?
Introducing: Here's Something Good
"Here's something good is a new show. From the Seneca Women podcast network and iheartradio each day. We aspire to bring you the goodness silver lining the glass half full because there good happening in the world everywhere every day. We just need to look for and share it. Here's something good as a short daily show offers inspiring stories helpful tips and shared experiences to motivate and inspire. You every day. We're letting you in on the best advice. We've done the news. That's brightening our day and practical insights from leaders. You know and some that you may not including ordinary people making an extraordinary difference. Here's something good comes to Monday through Friday? It's a great way to start your day on the positive side of life. I'M KVEZIROLI CO author. Fast forward and co-founder Seneca women for years. We've been bringing you power purposing connection and I look forward to sharing something new and something good with you every day. Listen to hear something. Good on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Wherever you listen to your favorite shows subscribe now.
Patrisse Cullors Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter, Artist, Freedom Fighter
"Jarvis Masters has steadfastly maintained his innocence since he was sentenced to death almost thirty years of innocent people on death. Row Newly uncovered evidence posters. Those claims innocence. They found that women. I would not been charged. You be the judge on dear governor. The podcast what a dagoes like innocent on death row. Listen to dear governor. The I heart radio APP APPLE PODCAST. Or wherever you get your. Podcasts are the Hustle. Production of iheartradio own. You're listening to the art of the Hustle. Sure that breaks down has some of the world's most fascinating people have hustled and learn their way into cheating. Great things. I'm your host. Jeff Rosenthal Co founder of summit in today's episode. I'm excited chat with my friend. And a real life. Generational thought leader Patrisse. Cullors trees is a twenty-first-century century civil rights leader. She's the CO founder of black lives matter. She's the founder of dignity and power now in La based grassroots organization that fights for digging even power of all incarcerated people and she is a tremendous contemporary performance artists and the author of the New York Times bestseller when they call you a terrorist. A black lives matter memoir. We're very very lucky to have her on the show today so please. Welcome to the PODCAST. Patrice Patrice thank you for being here. Thanks for having me. I'm excited about your podcast. It's incredible excuse to catch up with really remarkable people like yourself and it also gives me a reason not to just hang out but ask you. You know one hundred questions which also makes me happy. Where are you today? Sheltering in place in my house here in Los Angeles living in Central. And it's such an interesting experience it's Wendy's last almost six weeks. Tell us about it. I imagine that you've had some pretty amazing reflections and learnings from this period. Yeah I mean you know. Human beings were social and were nomadic and to not be able be in community in same ways physically and also not be able to have like you know mobility in the same way is is Jarring but it's also the still miss 'em has a boat. I think created an opportunity for the world to look at the gaps. And you know when we have to flip everything in your essential workers are grocery store. Workers are healthcare providers like it's perspective at I think individually. I've been really like just battling my shadow self at like. I don't get to spend as much time with myself. And General so this time has been like a really just provide opportunity to see the my own gaps as well and like the C. Wear just to get myself like the time to be like. What do I want to be doing? What is what feels important right now. What feels like really healing right now and so both the world and its relationship to this moment and then myself and my relationship to this moment at bills like both deeply compatible and also a lot. I WanNa talk about your background. And what led you to the work that you do your real multi hyphen it. You are contemporary artist. You are a civil rights leader. You're the founder. Co founder of black lives matter dignity empower power. Now you've been you know a real social activists you've been a real radical. Which is the thing that I kind of admire the most. Not those that wear. The robes are talk shit but actually you know get things done and Whether it was with the work that you've done for really the rights of all people but you know through through the prism of black lives matter and then the work that you've done I'm also here in. La For prison reform and criminal. Justice is pretty profound. But I wanNA know like what started you on this journey where you always activists were you twelve year old like getting your classmates to rise up and walk out the lack of rights. I was I was absolutely Pretty rebellious and child. But like it's funny because I really liked rules and I really like structure but I felt like oppression and I don't like subjugation so the rules and structure that I like is roles in structure that help support humanness and are being nisus but I couldn't stand the sight of bullying or people being hurt or people being impacted and so From a child I was always a person who was like challenging the bully or standing up to them or I couldn't help it my first protest ever that I staged I at heart. It was hardly a protest but in my mind was I was a year after high school. I was nineteen. Years old are still eighteen years old and my girlfriend and I were walking in a park and we were kissing and some homophobic dude came up to us and pretty much yelled ashamed us and told us there were children here. Stop Kissing apart and we were like stunned like I just remember my body being like. Oh Shit I I'm going to stop because I don't know if he's going to hurt us but second of all. How dare you tell me what to do with my body and you know with my partner and then you know my partner and I were just like really disconcerted in like but by the end of that evening I was like I'm calling all my friends? You know? This is a free cell phone texting social media like of calling on my friends. I'm GonNa tell them to come to my friend's house and We ended up protesting. It was five of us so it was hardly like a for real protests but it was The back that that was my impetus like the fact that I was like. We need to get out and show people that is wrong. Happened like it just was always my spirit and we walk down. Ventura Boulevard. Because I grew up in the valley had had signs. You know love is love some shit like that and then we went to the park where I was harassed with my girlfriend and put those signs up and It was I mean you know I would have never imagined about two decades later. I'd be leading one of the biggest social movements of the time but at that moment it was healing inspiring important and I felt like I got an agency back and before black lives matter you were already being recognized as a transformative oh organizer wisit around sexual rights or issues of color or like what. What kind of stuff were you standing up for? Obviously this example but like what were you already being recognized for the first ever like cut a social justice. Work that I got into was work that was around climate. Change I was. I didn't know that yeah I was. I did climate change work for the first six years of I organizing work and it was very eye-opening to the second ever people color summit on climate change an on was actually on environmental justice There was a really important and there has been historically a really important. So the differentiation. Between Environmentalists and Environmental Justice Activists Oftentimes the environmentalist are larger part weight and they are actually thinking about the black people who are growing up by fracking or The the the environmental crisis that impacts human beings are taking with environmental impacts animals and so when I entered into by mental justice work at at eighteen years old. I was here in Los Angeles working with the bus. Riders Union fighting for First Class transit system and really pushing for like the ending of the of greenhouse gases which is essentially one of the main toxins. That come out of your pipe. This is getting really science nerd. Climate Change Aetna plays and govern with a carbon monoxide. Exactly and we were calling for the cutting in half of the of the LA. Which is you know auto is King Herod. So we were. We wanted to reduce push to reduce greenhouse gases by fifty percent and we wanted to first class but bus system that had that use clean air and all that like new buses. All the clean air buses we that that was our fight. That was the work that we did and it was really beautiful. It took me. It took me across the country. It made me a really Pushed me to be in deep connection with indigenous communities in this country and across the world Communities I would say the first environmental justice activists and so I followed a lot of their work and their lead and You know folks like Tom. Goal to Just really like amazing leaders in the space and and from there after six years an inside the same organization after six years environmental justice work. I had always been pushing the org to look at the issues of state violence and police. I'm actually when I first joined. The organization might very very first question was. Do you do any work around challenging the police? And they're like now what we do where Environmental Justice Oregon as well as okay. I like I need. I need a political home. I'm GonNa Join Your Organization. I like what you're talking about but After six years we actually started the community rights campaign. Which would be the first sort of state I campaign to to look at policing and it was looking at The Los Angeles Police Department and and the role it played and criminalizing young people And was your was. Your family already touched by that criminalization at this stage absolutely I grew up in Van. Nuys small suburb outside of the inner city of Los Angeles. It's still Los Angeles. People don't realize the valley still la city It's the inner city And and ban is I just. I witnessed over policing the only resource. Our community was given was police We had a dedicated police officer to our block. dedicated police officer to the children in our block guy and he r names. We know we knew his name. He now you know then. It was like When you're a child you don't realize what something is you know the sinister nature now. I look back and I was like he was surveilling. A was surveilling every single child in the neighborhood and I wish you know I wish I had. I wish we had a dignity. Empowering our youth justice coalition are black lives matter them because I think we would have learned. Almost I can argue one hundred percent of the young boys of color. My neighborhood were arrested at least once and at least more than half of them ended up in juvenile hall. Most abandoned graduate from high school It was an impossible environment to thrive as a young person because everything a young person did in that neighborhood was criminalised and so if we were hanging out front of our house if I remember you know when Emma brothers were probably drinking so yes underage drinking legal but I remember the helicopter. Police Los Angeles uses helicopter. Policing is one of its primary modes of policing and I remember. It was public and my child. Brain was probably two in the morning. Who knows if it was that that late but I just remember like hearing the helicopter almost like next to our building and You know I think for people who live on the east coast are Kinda used to like when we say. We all say buildings. Are you from the East Coast? Jobs vitally no. I'm from Dallas Texas. Okay so you're from the south When folks on East Coast here buildings they think like you know hundred stories like thought. La is not that away like a just like a huge sprawl so this is like the story building and the helicopter is sort of like hovering over and all of a sudden. I hear like from the microphone like get out of the bushes and I was obviously wasn't allowed to go outside. I was too young but what I would find out just by like snoot stooping around at the helicopter. Police had like you know. They called the helicopter police on my to child children brothers. They were probably thirteen or fourteen. And so this kind of level of harassment was so day to day that I think most of us were numb to it. Even though we understood that was not okay and not acceptable And then I think what we recognized what I recognize as I got older and as I saw the devastating impact. You know of policing children of surveillance of caging. Children had on adults. I started to realize like Oh my goodness like all of these children including my brothers were set up to fail There was no infrastructure for them. There was no there was no safety net for them and there was nothing for my mother or the people in our community to try to. We have no tools to try to change challenge. What was happening. It was just. It was just a lot of devastation is a lot a lot of devastation. And so that framework for me in in starting to do the other work that I did it. Totally and these. These things have spiraled dynamics right these things build on top of themselves. And when that's your childhood show me your friends? I'll show your future right as quote that bumps around my head quite a bit and like I think that more realistically your environment has such an incredible determinant on the mean the average of where people end up and I remember you know my first exposure to sort of the abuses of criminal justice. Juvenile Justice was about ten years ago. Scott Budnick took me to the Pasadena Juvenile Detention Center to one of the Anti recidivism coalition writing classes and I met these kids who were like smarter and Cooler and now through the reflective period they had gotten from. You know being in lockup where at first they're kind of celebrated for you know what happened and then their friends stop coming and then their girlfriend stops coming than their parents stopped coming and they're all alone and and you know the best advice I had heard from people that were working with. These kids is like hey if you wanna change your life and you out. You can't go back. You can't go back to the environment know the ended up resulting in this. And so my question for you is like you describe this environment and I WANNA get back to the work. But I'm just curious for you personally. You know like you were a fulbright scholar and activist. You saw this happening in your response wasn't like well I'm going to join in. Your response was like no. I'M GONNA I'M GONNA stand up What do you think was the difference maker for you as a parent was it? You know a mentor. It was just you personally. What do you think it was that drove you to be different? I had art ad early as as a young person. Yeah I was. I was labeled as gifted at a really young age and so I was tracked differently than the rest of my siblings and At met that my schooling was completely different I did not go to the same schools as my siblings that they went to all the home schools and I ended up going to mostly all magnet programs. So that you know. In retrospect I write about it. Pretty intensively in my memoir. Just imagine growing up in the same house same neighborhood but being completely track differently from your siblings based off of a label like being gifted and in that tracking I came across people who who saw me as a human being and who were really interested in my development mind you. It didn't mean that I didn't end up in a different kind of trouble. The one time I did have to go to my siblings home school it was the it was the one time. I was actually arrested on campus. I was twelve years old. Someone had said that I had a though way. Yes I was in summer school. It was summer school from seventh grade to Eighth Grade I. It was the first time I went off to some. I want opt. This magnet program was mostly White kids for the first time ever around that many white kids it was very Jarring for me I. I think I fell math or something and so had to go to school so I went to summer school and went to Van Nuys Middle School And in the process of being in middle school I mean in that in that summer school it was a different environment. I went from like this Berry. I was in a performing arts school so I went from this really like liberating freeing place and then I go to is it. It was literally lot lockdown like the the actual difference of of my education of you know there was police on campus. That was not the case with milliken and I remember going to my class at the. It was my science class. An officer showing up whispering the teacher the teacher telling me to stand up and an officer putting me in handcuffs and walking down the hallway and telling me why she was arresting me and she searched my backpack and find anything made me call my mother and tell them you know that that they had arrested me are they had detained me for the possibility of of selling or you know smoking weed on campus. And after that I was like it wasn't even conscious but I was like Oh like this. This could be my life and so I'm going to do the opposite. And be in the opposite places than the places that impacted my siblings and their friends and so while I lived in the same neighborhood. I didn't really hang out in the same place as I. I had a whole different set of friends. I had you know whole different. Art was dancing all the time I was. I had a lot of Africa programming until I saw the difference of what having not even a hobby but a passion did for me and and how it impacted how I understood the world and what what I wanted to do for myself. We'll be back with more out of the hustle after the break I heart radio and the US Census Bureau wanted to do something special for the class of twenty twenty so we made. Commencement a new podcast. With words of inspiration from the biggest names like John Legend during uncertain and trying times we must lean on love to show us our clearest path. Mary J. Blige Tim Cook David. Chen Katie couric. You'll need some very important life skills to move forward. Perhaps the most important one is resilience Chelsea handler and Kesse congratulations. You did it you graduated. This is a time for celebration of an amazing personal achievement. Listen to iheartradio new. Podcast commencement in partnership with the twenty twenty census speeches available now on iheartradio APP. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Remember you can do something that will affect the next ten years so if you lived in a dorm. Don't worry your school will count you if you didn't visit twenty twenty census dot Gov Slash Grad to be counted. I was heavily benefited from your dual understanding of both. You know this. Social justice impact civil rights side of things and are and you know the ability to take really complex ideas and civilize them or make them participatory. I did With you Something that you called Cedar of oppression where you sort of walked us through when we personify these different emotions and experiences using our own bodies using our own facial expressions and I want to get to sort of the provenance of black lives matter and the work. You're doing a day and I intended to get to the creative overlap later in the interview. But it's just so fascinating to me that you had this foundation of art in this understanding of you know telling bigger stories through this medium and I just didn't know that when you started blm and you guys out of that That was already something that was. You know part of your toolbox absolutely. I mean I started to you know. I think I started to be noticed as an artist at a really young age make great grandmother who helped raise us with my mom You know we put on like fashion shows for her dancing for her and she used to always tell me you really need to be in dance classes. And so by the time I ended up getting into The junior high performing arts magnet program I was already really instilled in me like this is what I'm supposed to be doing like I am. This is like the work doing and so I. I stayed dancing all through junior high school and high school and then ended up joining a dance company. West Coast Dance Theater and Northridge and traveled a world traveled you know was on a cruise boat danced on when traveled. No way so different part of my life and like totally was like this is. I'm to be this is the world I'm GonNa live in was really sort of like on the track towards Told so totally like on the track towards like Hollywood dance and then And then I am became politicized in high school and went to. I went to social justice high school in and and while I was also dancing I was I was learning about Audrey Lord and the Panther Party and as I became politicized Sorta to realize I started to look around answer to like look at my life and what was happening and I started to be like. Oh actually like were poor. Not because it's me and my s by mom or or is fault at were being criminalised. Not because it's our fault and I also started to recognize that the track of dancing in the kind of art I was making was so de politicized and that was it was actually. You know really at some point It was very it was very gender. The dance worlds very gendered. It was I felt really started to Berry Used in a particular way like my body was used in a way that didn't want to be used. And so I I I was like I'm GonNa keep making art and I'm GonNa keep dancing but I'm not going to dance in the ways that they want me to. And so I. I kind of like a steered the ship in a different direction and as I steered the ship towards politics. I was like but I'm still an artist and this is similar to our good friend. Mike del Rota like we're still artist. But we're deeply political and those world meaning the Those two worlds are our worlds and I was hell bent on figuring out how to being who I was while also developing a a new Politics and so. That's that's my story around art and I actually studied with Augusta. Awhile which is so mind blowing that the Creator and founder of theatre of the oppressed. I studied with eighteen years old up until I was about twenty one years old and then he passed away but I studied with him. And then I studied with his protege Brent Blair who lives here in Los Angeles Augusta to USC all the time and do a bunch of press workshops and so I did my first workshop with him and fell in love with the practice but art has always always always been my foundation. Because it's it's the thing that saved me. I think from the world that I lived in and it's also the thing that I always go back to no matter what I'm working on what we're what we're so. I know you know L. Him started in two thousand thirteen after Trayvon Martin's murder and it. It was an unbelievable exponential. Ride for you. I'm certain because I know within two years you being honored by the president you know it was Everyone in the world knew what B. L. M. was What were some of the early moments that you know? Let you know informed you that that this was something serious that this was going to have a real impact you know. I always says such a great question. I'm always measured the moment by the People's relationship to black lives matter and I think once I started. We started to get awarded. You Know Glamour Women of the of the world and then you know all of these different Accolade then I said to be like oh. We think we did something that like. Change the globe like I think this is GonNa be a history books But the first sign of like importance to me was people using black lives matter both online like watching the Hashtag Go viral but also people who I really respected trust like Angela Davis and you know Melissa Harris Perry and talking about it on the news and referencing us in their speeches. And the people that I look up to the people that I adore are praising us at. It's still to this day. Just I'm we're in the middle of of suing the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the county board of Supervisors for overcrowding. The jails right now in this Kobe. Nineteen moment and I'm Terry Cooper's Had Psychiatrists who was actually one of the first psychiatrists come out against the building of a mental health jail? He's a part of the. He was part of panel this weekend and he sent an email to all the panelists thinking s and I wrote him and I was like. He's like a big hero to me. I couldn't believe it I was like Coopers and I wrote him bathrooms I love it. That's your celebrity. That's how I know that you're really shake you're not like you. I met beyond saying you're like hey let me tell you about Terry. Cooper's the head of psychology La Tales. Okay email thank you so much. You have no idea like literally. Your work was the work we went to what we were. You know when we were first at the beginning. I know we're going to talk about jell fight but like at the beginning of the GEL fight when like nobody cared about it. He was the person who's like lead psychiatrists like you know. He has like. He's a big deal and he was saying. Do not built this jail like as a psychiatrist and we went to went back to his writings all the time and then he personally wrote me back. It was like it is such an honor to be to be seen by you and I was like. Oh my God like so. Those are the moments when my peer group people and like the people who I just have been using work for so long. Look back to me and say what you what you've done and how you've done it has inspired me and continues to inspire me. I think those were those moments. And then of course the awards are really kind like a really appreciate them in. We got to go to Australia and get the Sydney Peace Prize I love that. By the way you can set the. That's such an incredible example of going so global. I mean it was. I remember when we got the email and I was like. Are you serious? Like obviously had never been Australia and so and they were there ready for us. We got the key to the Sydney like we got the key to the city of Sydney. We were the whole city. Is Sydney stops this this thing this award ceremony similar to the Nobel Peace Prize? I'm Toronto Burke actually got the The Sydney Peace Prize right after us but you know most importantly Jackson. I think what's important for people? Who are listening. It's like all the awards at all. The praise means nothing. If nothing's changed and for me. My measure is is changing the material conditions for the people who are moist most marginalized and this country. And so if I'm moving the needle just a little bit if I've created a new policy that opens up space for people who are an impact policing incarceration if I've created more space for black people tab honest dialogue around race and racism in this country. That's actually what I feel most moved by because there's like I can't. I can't change racism with awards I get. I can't change racism with praise And so I really appreciate it. I feel honored by what we've been how we've been honored like people don't get honored like that in their lifetime you know and we've been honored as young people. I mean we were twenty eight. I was twenty eight when black lives matter when we started black lives matter so like that's been very powerful to see that and you know. My measure is not awards. It's always like how changing material conditions art of the hustle will be right back after this short break. Hi I'm mark compo host of the trend reporter a new podcast from iheartradio. You we know me from TV where I cover any and everything as a four time. Emmy Award winning journalist my passions when I'm not working I am obsessed with what's new fresh and fun in beauty fashion air fitness and nutrition obsessed. But there's a lot to keep up with new trends are popping up every day and it can be tough for most of us to stay on top of everything in my new podcast. The trend reporter. I'm putting my reporting skills to work in the world of beauty and wellness. What are the real skin care secrets of celebrities? That diet actually work. What clothing trends will be big next season? I'm talking to fashion. Stylists makeup artists influencers health experts and more to find out everything you WanNa know about the trends. You should know listen to the trend reporter on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcast. I think that generation -Ly Your Organization. You and your collaborators definitely changed. At least you know I think about from from myself as a white man you know I reflect on our relationship. You've been very gentle and patient with your one on one conversations in your ability to let people sort of recognize their hypocrisy themselves or to kind of come to their own realizations This is on a personal level. I remember you explaining to me. You're like black lives matter like of course all lives matter but if you went to street and one house was on fire you'd probably want the Fire Department to focus on that house. I write off and we didn't realize like one of the things that comes to my mind. This D- These other these other sort of like maxims abundance versus scarcity. Like how do you get into an abundance mentality versus scarce mentality? I guess I never realized how much of a luxury in a privilege. It was to assume that I could just like me. Random strangers and that things would not only go well but they would have my best interests. Heart met mind that is such an example of just a very comfortable life lived. I think for me. I'm curious to like you know you talked about the the measurement by you know what it truly did for the people that you're serving and you know how it has changed people's thinking when you look back do you. Do you think that it has had your desired impact? Do you think that there is some major steps that still remain to be done? And I'm curious if there's any regrets who's anything you would have done differently. Oh so many things but you only do it. You know. I'm yeah I mean a Does it have I? I wish I always wish we could do more I wish by which we could have stopped police brutality. I wish we could have Re-negotiated how much money police were getting. I wish there are so many things but all that to say. I'm incredibly grateful for the. What a what a movement does as it is inspires others to do more Black lives matter as never going to be the end or the beginning of of a of a of a black civil rights movement. Now this is what part of long legacy of black people who've been fighting for our freedom for hundreds of years and so this integration of that was was one format that and I think what's important for people who start things is always realize that you may start it but you may not finish it You will not finish it because it's not your job to finish it. It's your job to start to develop To to curate to create and then to continue and let the next generation develop it and so I feel very grateful for everything we've done. Our job is to not just have a domestic movement. Our job was to to build a global movement for black people when we did that. There isn't a black person in the world that I can that I can go do that. That if I say black lives matter. They won't know what it is and that it's like we have a shared language and when I went to Australia the power of meeting other black people and then saying we've been waiting for you. You know we remember when Malcolm came here. I mean it's like we. We've become historical leaders in that in that part and I feel most excited that we're black women that the next generation of leadership get to see black women at the forefront of a movement and that to me is incredibly powerful. Do you think Yellen will be in the history books as part of that story like the civil rights movements of the sixties absolutely? I mean. There's not a day that goes by that. I don't get a student or professor letting me know that. They're teaching about us that they're teaching my book that there. I think Lisa's book is coming out in October. British her book will definitely be taught. I mean just isn't a moment and in which that isn't the case an that fills it feels really powerful some of these things that you're talking about just so curious. What are the things that you think? American politics will regret not paying more attention to today race. You know. I think there's no way we would have been able to get a trumpet office If it weren't for the deep seated white supremacy in racism that exists in this country The fear that people had with a black president The fear people had with Blackie uprising. And then clearly the backlash at of Donald's of Donald Trump of forty five at the becomes. I'm so obvious. And so I think as we witness protesters in this moment protesting cope nineteen restrictions and risking their lives. Because of it. Really what we're seeing. Is You know right wing? People who are interested in the health and livelihood of people who are most vulnerable We know that what's happening right now with Kobe Black people are that most impacted and the fact that there are people who are saying that we should. We should be able to do what we want. is so incredibly Example American individualism. It's just so disturbing and so yeah I think Americans are gonNA look back and be like what was wrong with us. Why don't we see ourselves as part of a global community instead of as individual Americans Adam Curtis calls at the century of self? And do you think do you think America in twenty twenty still has aspects of a city on a hill for the rest of the world to look too or was it ever is that? Is that just a narrative? It's a good question at think. Part of wet is the Great Myth of America. Is that we you know and I say we collectively created a a sort of look at us like we know all and then first time leaving the country I was like. Oh my God like these other places are so much more. There's so much more humane When I was seven months pregnant in Canada visiting teachers family I had like these really bad pains and I went to the clinic. They didn't ask. So you know in the states when you go to the hospital the first place you go to his where when you enter the hospital you go to billing and this clinic. Not a single person asked me about money. I was like seven months pregnant. I saw a midwife. She was incredible amazing within thirty minutes. I was transferred to go get ultrasound. Thirty minutes like not three hours. Two hours. Four hours five hours six hours eight hours and then after that like you know they did all these things for free happened for free like never got a single bill and then after I had shine I got a call from the midwife and Canada. Six months later checking on me. Do you think Kaiser has ever checked up on me and my child bill. I don't believe so so like this idea that America has it altogether and that we are you know with the best nation is always been a myth. It's the myth that has created America. And we've all lifted the myth up you know but literally just stepping out one country over opened my eyes to a whole new way of how you can be with your citizens. Do you believe in Karma absolutely. I believed in even since I was a child and I grew up. Jehovah's Witness so I didn't know that my God that's a whole nother podcast. Yeah I just watched unorthodox on on Net looks and I was like. Yeah I mean not as I mean not as many ritual rules but that kind of like a very structured berry like we don't talk to the people outside of the world we only talk to our people. We are the chosen people like. That's the kind of world I grew up and And it's very smothering and Berry it's very smothering and also incredibly disturbing at was for me especially for who my but I believe in Karma as a kid and I remember when I first learned of the concept I was like Oh yeah like absolutely I think in love for you to tell us more about the work you're doing today with resists and with with the prison reform work and I want to transition. Your contemporary art is amazing. And I've really been enjoying your work recently. Will you tell you? Tell us a little bit more about what you've been spending your time on for the last twelve months. Eighteen months ya I mean I'm part of a crew of people who started to organizations justice lay which was a which is a coalition of groups across the county and the country fighting to stop a three point. Five Billion Dollar jail plan which we did and to redirect bank you. And congratulations redirect those dollars into community based services and then I lead I chaired a measure color formulae. Jails where we got seventy. Two percents of the vote won in a landslide. A million three hundred thousand people voted. Yes yes on our and Los Angeles County And yes on our is now law. It's grants the current civilian oversight Commission of the Sheriff's Department Subpoena Power. It's also making that commission built out feasibility. Study to Carson rate the jails and so feel very very proud of that work. It's probably some of my best legislative and policy work and it's the thing I was saying earlier in this conversation which is the wars are not going to be things that measure. My success These kinds of moments of stopping jail of creating new laws that that opened up the space for people to get things that they need that that's going to be the measure of my success. So I feel I'm still even though are in in corona virus land. I'm still incredibly proud. We didn't really get to celebrate the measure our win in victory. But I'm feeling incredibly proud right now and tell us about your artwork. The last piece I did was a piece that was dedicated to my brother. Monte who is schizophrenic and bipolar. He is one of was one of my first best friends Big Mentor of mine and I created a set of wings Anna Trump animatronic wing. So they They they went up and down and they were the. They were made out of his used clothing. And my brother's clothes and they had about a twelve feet wingspan and a used a James Baldwin speech about what was happening in America at the time. Which is very if you've listened that speech you like. Oh it's it's the same America and I also interspersed the readings of reform jails Law and James Baldwin. And so I- prerecorded that and then we did a like a soundscape in the background and And then I built I built a nest and I feel like described my arpey Birlik. Wait okay there is like a bunch of salt and then there was honey at so the the actual piece was for the roads. Allegories of flights in collaboration with Serena Sot an Iranian artists retrospective. And so I. I turned into a bird. I built a built a big old bird that had a bird's nest on my head and I created this. Our peace was me building out this nest while we listen to James Baldwin and reform gels and the piece is really a conversation with the just how we understand the intersections of criminalization of intersections of mental illness. And then like living in a place like Los Angeles we just my home that has honestly felt so not like my home and felt like a place that has attacked me in my family. Like how do you build home here? And so I I studied bird nests and I studied the building of nests for hours and hours on end before he uses peace. And you've ever witnessed birds and building a nest their their steadfast like nothing can stop them for building their nest and like yielding home for their family. And that's what I feel like I've done with my work because because my work has not just been out These like people. I don't know you know much of my work. It really centers on my brother my family my community and I built this net. I built this nest that has looked like policies and Organiz ation so that we could a home in a place that has not allowed us to have a home. I love it. What an amazing metaphor for the work that you do and and how you focus your time and to that end it's this new manifestation or visual experience that that can give people an insight to these overlapping complexities that lead to the issues. That face us and I think that you're to civilize these complex ideas to take them. Inform them in a way whether they're you know in your activism we're in your art that make them relatable the people to that allow us to understand Is a really hard thing to do. You know I think it's an into that end. I'm curious what what do you see as your greatest talent or talents bringing people together gathering the team gathering the Mundi I'm a big believer like community. Why yeah that's why. I live the life that I live at all. I'm not not really. I Love Politics. Like don't get me wrong But what I love. Most is the gathering of human beings and powerful things together. That excites me. The most and do we make our own luck. Yes or no I think we can. I think we can sort of like depending on who we are in relationship to and how we are in relationship to them we can build off of how we are how people are doing amazing things like. I love being around other people who are doing amazing things that inspires me but the reality is is that we don't always control we can be around We control usually. It's our circumstances that has to do with race class gender geography and so I could see how you know. I grew up in the same household and I was able to be around a whole different set of people only by circumstance Whereas siblings were not able to do that. I am sorry for the lightning round questions. But this is my favorite part. I get to learn from you in this moment. Deny and you you don't you can always just say pass. But I don't think I've asked anything too risque. I am curious as one of your. You know White friends you know like I don't. I don't self define as like white Jewish American like it's not really about your internal self definition but I am liberal and left leaning especially socially what are some of the blind spots that folks like myself still have we. WanNa be allies. Were educating ourselves. But I'm certain that you know our practice doesn't always measure with our with what we preach. I know that you know the woke left can be a great danger to all liberal causes Has that strike you one of the things that come to mind and you can be honest. Sure I mean I think in general what happens. I think with Whiteness is whiteness. Taught that it's the norm and that it can be in any space and communicate about anything and take up a lot of space. I think that's like one of the biggest doesn't matter like if you sort of been politicized and if you're sort of growing in your anti-racists like understanding in general white people just take up a whole lot more space than people of Color Women do because we're trained not to take up space drain to be quiet to be in the corner to be in the back. Don't talk too much and so It's just a training thing like I can be sort of an community. I can you know whenever I go speak at a university or anything like that. Always always matter the first person to raise their hand or way people. They just can't help themselves. It's actually I don't I don't see it as a. There's no judgment there. It's just a way you're trained. If you're trained to your opinion matters that you should be speaking at that. You should be speaking up so that you get your point across that you can get your needs map. But you're the other person next to his trained. Don't talk too much because if you talk too much they're gonNA notice and then you're GonNa think that you're going. I think that you know those are two different things can be communicated to you and so. I think that that is very like I think being aware of where at environment that you're in and how much you're taking up space and how much you're an. How much other people aren't taking up space like? I always love the white person who's like okay. I'm GonNa actually let this person go because I've spoken up too much I like those are like small socialization things but I think they go a long way especially as we're building community together when it's so funny you mentioned we're taught essentially from our experiences right ready. Fire has worked for me and I remember meeting Philip. Agnew for the first time SELA and spending a little bit of time with him. The founder of Dream Defenders And it struck me how brilliant he is how educated but specifically educated in self educated. And I realized those like you know men. I haven't because you know of my privilege I can just talk some shit and people will just correct me. And we'll keep rolling whereas like many of my friends who are colored. Don't have that luxury. They have to speak very much informed. The you know. Because there's both what you're describing and it's sort of the representative way right it's like I'm representing myself. Whereas like you have this additional burden of representing all black women with your response to this question or something right. So it's like there's a lot more pressure that's really really great insight and advice. Thank you you know I I. I want to be respectful of our time and this has been such an amazing interview but I was in my research for this. I was reading that you. You know you mentioned. Angela Davis I mentioned some of these other luminaries the shoulders in which we all stand on top of but you mentioned Harriet Tubman and I wanNA know why Harriet Tubman a gee why would she. Why would she such a huge inspiration to you? My Wife. Harriet I I. She was always a huge inspiration for me like even as a child. I think it was like the description of her life. She was super choose ascribed as like Just hard and Really Resolute and really clear and I think one of the things that was like really resounding for me was was her visions. She was she suffered from narcolepsy. And she would 'em all asleep during the moments where she would be freeing people and end. Those sleeps foul by the way. That is hysterical. So you're telling me he's free. People just thought people like area come on at the time. She was narcolepsy years. Wow and so she would. She would both asleep while she goes spring. People every boy like carry. It's asleep bat. When she would wake up she would have. She would have had a vision around like what was the next step for them to go. You know she never lost a passenger on the underground railroad so that was really profound to me like this woman who was arguably illiterate could read could right but she could see and she could see freedom and she she left. She led him that way and it was really powerful. I love that and do you have a legacy that you WANNA leave. Is there something that you want the world to know about you personally? Like what what? What would you like to be known for? Sure I think That I tried really hard that I tried really hard to create a set of conditions for the next generation of leaders to do bad ass work and to be in the community and to be artists and activists and change makers your world change your historic rights leader for women for people of Color for our generation. And I'm really flattered that you took the time to come on the podcast and you have my word that I'm committed to supporting you and doing what I can for. These causes that are going to benefit all of us. So thank you again really appreciate you being here. This is amazing. Thank you so much for more. Podcast from iheartradio. Visit the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to your favorite shows renowned Buddhist Jarvis Masters has steadfastly maintained his innocence since he was sentenced to death almost thirty years ago on a new podcast. Dear Governor Jarvis poses the question have to be there by The Hague's accused of one in ten minutes from the confines of his nine by four cell and San Quinton Jarvis will share his riveting life story how he has managed to maintain a sense of communism in the most dire circumstances are pulling their mind by now take on. The rival provide the details of the bloody murder and trial. That landed him on death row. I really believe you're based found that women I would get charged for details from inside. The courtroom is attorneys fight for his final state appeal with newly disclosed evidence. The posters claims of innocence will the California Supreme Court exonerate him a reaffirm. His death sentence listened to dear governor on the iheartradio APP on Apple. Podcast or wherever? You get your podcasts. Hi I'm Mara gave Ocampo host of the trend reporter. A new podcast from iheartradio. You may know me from TV where I cover any and everything as four time Emmy Award winning journalist in my new podcast. The trend reporter. I'm putting my reporting skills to work in the world of beauty and wellness. I'm talking to fashion. Stylists makeup artists influencers health experts and more to find out everything you WanNa know about the trends. You should know listen to the trend reporter on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcast.
Introducing: Here's Something Good
"Here's something. Good is a new show from the Seneca women, podcast, network and iheartradio. Each day we aspire to bring you the goodness silver lining the glass half full because there good happening in the world everywhere every day. We just need to look for and share it. Here's something good. As a short daily show offers inspiring stories, helpful tips and shared experiences to motivate and inspire you every day. Letting you in on the best advice we've done the news. That's brightening our day and practical insights from leaders. You know, and some that you may not including ordinary people making an extraordinary difference. Here's something good comes to Monday through Friday. It's a great way to start your day on the positive side of life. I'M KVEZIROLI CO author fast forward and co-founder Seneca women for years. We've been bringing you power purposing connection, and I look forward to sharing something new and something good with you every day. Listen to hear something good on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts wherever you listen to your favorite shows subscribe now.
Introducing: Here's Something Good
"Here's something good is a new show. From the Seneca Women podcast network and iheartradio each day. We aspire to bring you the goodness silver lining the glass half full because there good happening in the world everywhere every day. We just need to look for and share it. Here's something good as a short daily show offers inspiring stories helpful tips and shared experiences to motivate and inspire. You every day. We're letting you in on the best advice. We've done the news. That's brightening our day and practical insights from leaders. You know and some that you may not including ordinary people making an extraordinary difference. Here's something good comes to Monday through Friday? It's a great way to start your day on the positive side of life. I'M KVEZIROLI CO author. Fast forward and co-founder Seneca women for years. We've been bringing you power purposing connection and I look forward to sharing something new and something good with you every day. Listen to hear something. Good on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Wherever you listen to your favorite shows subscribe now.
Helping Medical Students with Voice with Dr. Neel Desai, Co-Founder of MedFlashGo
"The call for proposals for Voice Summit Twenty twenty is available now having the opportunity to speak at voice summit will be highly competitive this year. So of if you'd like the chance to be a speaker at this year's event fill out the form at voice summit DOT AI and Click on apply to speak. Proposals are only open until January. Thirty first so be sure to get yours in now. That's Voice Summit Dot A. I.. And Click on apply to speak. Dr Neil Desai is the CO founder of MED Flash. Go you'll hear him talk. About how voice. Technology is saving his son's life and how he founded need in the medical community to help medical students save time be less stressed and passed. Ask their exams with voice high inside voice podcast listeners. This is your co host Kerrie Roberts. Today my guest is Dr Neil Desai a family doctor here and the CO founder and CMO bed flash go and dental flash go welcomed the all. Thanks for being here. Let's carry GonNa be her so you've been practicing medicine for about about fifteen years. What got you interested in medicine in the first place so I come from a medical family and my parents positions and almost half? I say half of my family are in the medical field They're pretty much all. We joke that we could probably make our own. HMO PPO it was just kind of like growing family it it was more like this is pretty much what it was kind of expected but at the same time it was something I did find interest in helping people and also science ensue also education just kind of being teacher on the oldest brother and so that came naturally to me kind of guiding and teaching the younger generation. That's kind of on my passions too. I I love that and I had found on twitter because I saw you had posted a video with your son using voice technology and I wanted to share your story A. and your son has a why can you tell us about what that is and what his struggles are and how voice is helping him live a better life. Yeah exactly so for those. That don't know Hawaii are genesis and Perfecta is it's basically it's commonly referred to as brittle bone disease which causes have bones to fracture with minimal all to no trauma but it's really more of a structural kind of connective. Tissue problems really affects multiple areas of his health. So one of the things that ah very passionate about is educating the general medical public about his condition so rare even the medical community doesn't even I didn't see much of diagnosed with it and one of the things that we found that was very helpful as certain monitoring technology especially things like boys technology so one of the things that it does help is is for example with it can affect physical tippy falls or pressures we have like a lot of like we speakers Smarter Sin Speakers in the home so if he falls being it's help you can kind kind of communicate through that way another way like to kind of turn on rooms like light sir appliance like things that are turn off the lights or just kind of help because he has uh-huh shorter stature but this kind of helps her those kind of had to be adopted those kinds of situations and I know you personally. You're co-founder have also created to voice. We skills can you tell us about them in where the idea came from and what they're about one of the things that I also do as a family doctors. I teach medical students. The University of Cincinnati in University Kentucky Person Secure Medical Soon so and one of my co founders also teaches medical students while hand one of the things that were. We're very passionate medical education and this came about from actually kind of hanging out with my son one day he was actually doing a skill on Alexa where he was just asking. State capitals battles. I got the idea of Lexicon Athletes State capitals. I wonder if you could do that. For more complex new learning material like medical board questions and medical exam damn questions so we got looking into that and we ask that question we started kind of looking for some developers a couple of years ago bound developer team out in California which actually turned out being from the same hometown as my co founder and Secretary Brown and wake up Eventually long story short of last year near and a half we created the first goal was met Westcote so basically medical test exam questioning or medical Ford questions medical exams and we're also in the process of creating like dental exams exams rushing banks and a third one is also an underproduction while and so do you have people using this. What has been their feedback? Has It helped them pass the exam. What's Kinda been the feedback in the success? So far right so it's really early. We haven't really start like we just kinda released April. We are just kind of doing the final kind of quality. Ali checks this week actually and now the board exam prep season is going to be start going into high gear over the next three or four months. This is why we're going to start really kind of marketing at more and Kind of promoting medical schools. But we've shown it's a medical students and so we've had good positive response to it so far so it's still very early in the process but this is kind of. We're relying the foundation over the next couple years. Did you find that this also came from the Axa medical students were meeting this that they needed someone to ask them questions. Send that and help them. Maybe comprehend certain things better. Yeah this is more from the medical students biggest problems that we're solving with medical suances. They have they have no time under a lot of stress and they're also have like a lot of financial. Couple is one of the things that we want to do. It was were marking is like the supplement during downtime to save them time like so. It's not a primary learnings where it's more supplemental thing like in the car or taking the dog for a walk or kind of doing the laundry or preparing dinner so it's Kinda like get those couple of extra questions and the other thing is also it's using the voice. Instead of like a lot of times students day they get like is there in front of screens screens all day. So this kind of let's do other things and not gonna like one of my co-founder said one of the big things for him. When News Time per boards was his eyes got really tired strains certain kinds of rest there is this allows them to connor? Restaurant do other things than study at the same time. So it's it's kind of that. Marketing has basically to do it during down sometime to save some time crushes learning on the golf basically. Now where did you first learn about voice because now you're building skills and you do a huge deal for your son to be using everyday but where did you kind of I hear about this. So it's kind of interesting. It was a couple years ago. We just had a couple of these speakers and then it was these assistance and it was one of those things that we had started about. Let's say about three years ago. We had started up podcast actually about all the a happy doctor bow like basically Mike understood about he was becoming like a burnt out. Medical student was basically about like burnout physician. Kind of burn down preventing burn out the medical space. So he's doing that. Hod Casper last couple years. We kind of figured out. One of our tagline was it's the voice of billed as physicians chance and then we kind of learn about through. We got introduced to like. How do we expand our reach? In one of the things was boy skills from like we're learned about it through Garaventa talk and he was a big influence on the space so learn about voice skills and that's kind of that intersection of education podcasting and these voice voice kind of skills Bid just like the next step the evolution of where we wanted to educate the medical public and how to be healthier to be more educated as well as kind of taking on a lot of what's going on in the healthcare space right now and from you know your personal life to professional life. How has voiced impacted you and and those around you and how do you think it's going to help others in the future for me? It's been a great lakes creative project. One of the things that allow me to introduce your near podcast. Another podcast like in the voice face also like to see what's possible for healthcare because just personally and to win the Lens a little bit. I got burnt out a couple of years ago with chronic on a health records but with voice and seeing the implications of what this means for voice technology and like the health records and how it's when impact healthcare and how healthcare delivered and receive. That was really exciting for me. Kind of gave me a lot of motivation to get involved in this space. So that's been really exciting for me. Because I wanted to be involved at the earliest levels with educating the next generation of physicians and that's kind of been very rewarding to build these new things and be part of that as far as personal. Well I think part of it's also just being kind of things like just shaving some time or are reminders. You know reminding schedules kind of more practical things. I would say pretty much. Yeah and do you see yourself creating any skills that would benefit people like your son or you like to focus more on the medical community and the potential doctors coming up so yeah. I think that's long-term. Yeah I could see that. That is one of the long term because you know. I've been the things that I've done with him. Like using technology to help with this kind of rare condition so I can see definitely being long-term on developing those type of things I think right now. The focus is more on education and doctors in the education space. But I think that's a long term goal. Yeah definitely now. People want to learn more about bounce anything we spoke about or connect with you. Where can they do that? Yes so they can just search where on twitter duct Dr and E. The L.. One Thousand Nine hundred ninety three at Dr Neil negative seventy three or Lincoln social media. Also the happy doc cast as well as med flash go those are our channels. So those you'll see us all longer perfect and the last question we like to ask on this show to help promote boys. General is what is the current flash briefing or voice voice skill or experience that you're using enjoying right now too. I gotTA give props to my colleague Dr Terry Fisher. So he's everyone. Premium knows knows wis community lexin in Canada. The He's always kept me updated on things and that's when I was like snow it keeps me informed. Wonderful will thank you so much for sharing your story. Sorry and I love that you know your creation of voicemails as coming out of a need personally and professionally and hearing how. It's helping you in your home life with your son and these medical students just shows the importance of what voice can do. So thank you so much Neil sperry really appreciate your pockets. Thank you for listening to the the inside voice podcast. We greatly appreciate you being a part of our community. And if you enjoyed this episode or you like the Podcast we would love it if you would subscribe follow like like share. Leave a review of the show. If you have any questions comments feedback people you want to see on the show things you WANNA learn. Feel free to send us an email at Kerry ATM. MOTIVE DOT COM. That's K. E. R. I at M. O. D. E. DOT COM and be sure to check us out online at voice summit dot AI. Thank thank you and we look forward to chatting with you next week.
TMBA557: Ascending the Staircase
"The stuff would just come up where I was like I. Think we could literally be out of business overnight. There were just a handful of moments in three and a half years that we ran up before we sold it where I thought this thing might be done. A podcast center even if you're alone in your entrepreneurial journey, no, the today's right now on your ear buds your joined by thousands of entrepreneurs from all around the globe seeking to grow better more audible location independent businesses if you learn more about what we do and download. Your back on check out shopping. Not Do. I gotta be honest with you. Sometimes, these introductions are hard to do. It's like there's so much that happened in today's conversation. How do I sum it up I'm going to take a stab at it right here. Today's show is about answering the question. How does one build a high growth highly profitable business that also serves your lifestyle and then what are some of the emotional challenges that were faced with? Once we take on that goal. Now today's guest someone who has been pursuing that goal and sharing his journey for over a decade through his podcast startups for the rest of us. Where so many useful in sticky concepts have been originated, for example, the stair step approach to entrepreneurship. He's also catalogued so many successes and failures that we can all learn from. It's worth mentioning he's the CO founder Mike COMP, which is a community and conference for bootstrapped SAS founders. He is, of course, ROB walling. As many of you know rob had an amazing exit with his last startup dripped awhile back and his new baby is the SAS fund an accelerator designed for early stage startups called tiny seat, and in fact, they're raising a second fund right now. So if you're looking to do something interesting with your portfolio and invest in a whole crew of exciting early stage startups, checkout, tiny seat dot, com slash invest. Now. I've been reaching out to rob a lot this year just for advice going through a lot of entrepreneurial challenges myself. He's someone I looked to as a sane experienced voice. We dig into everything from high level stuff like the emotional challenges and grind of entrepreneurship to details like finding the right pricing models and even finding the right deal terms for tiny seed companies, which was a big challenge Harada even though he spent a large part of his life focused on building software companies. What a pleasure to speak with rob today his thoughtful sane answers to what are ultimately extremely challenging situations and questions always inspire me I hope they do for you too. So enough of the preamble, let's get into it. We're here talk about tiny see but I was wondering if you could give us some context with your last startup drip needless no the overview of the story there sure drip. Is An email service provider. So competed with male champ and a Weber at one point, and we eventually added automations to it as that whole landscape shafted and so we became a competitor with like infusion soft and part Auden Marchetto, and over the course of about it was from about twenty thirteen to twenty fifteen. We got a lot of traction in that kind of entrepreneurial space in and started in maybe the blogger and the internet marketing space, and we got enough traction that we started getting acquisition offers when we bootstrap the business to seven figures in annual revenue. And so during this time my co-founder and I started thinking like, should we raise a small round because we were re profitable we were growing but cash was was an issue for us and so we started thinking about angel. But as these heck position offers start coming in or inquiries start coming in, you have conversations and it's like wait a minute. I can sell his enough money that I don't have to work again, that starts to become appealing at a certain point, and while that wasn't really on my radar before then we we eventually decided to sell it in two thousand sixteen. was acquired by lead pages I'm sure some folks in your audience may know and then. Essentially became drip like that's the business. Now, all the fundings that goes into drip and they sold lepage's off that actual product to a private equity a few months ago. and. So it's fair to say a life changing exit. When you're at seven figure clip, what were the cash concerns. Fascinating man because when I was doing small software as a service APPS in that ten, twenty, thirty k. a month range I always imagined when I got to one hundred k. a month or two hundred k. a month that they were just be cash everywhere. You know that that it would just be pouring out of the walls. And it was the opposite. was is that it was a fast growing business and this is what I realized is that fast growing startups are rarely profitable. and. That's why the whole venture capital industry really exists. Right is that growth takes money it takes people and when you're adding five percent, ten percent, twenty percent of revenue every month. You need more developers you need more support you need you know your server bill goes up I mean it became a non trivial amount of money each month we're paying debt to Amazon web services. And so that really was I mean, the biggest cost was was people. We could have hampered growth just eased off a little bit grown slower and taking money out of the business that would have been a totally viable thing and it's something. If that's jammed and you should do it. But for me, I had never ridden a rocket ship quite like that and I wanted to see where we can take it, and so we grow five or ten K of. In a month monthly recurring revenue. And it's like we need another developer because there are three, hundred, four, hundred, different email service providers, and there was so much competition that we need to move faster just to keep up. That became. The treadmill of. Profitable or like slightly profitable or break even you know. So we'd become profitable and then wouldn't be a month or two later. And that was the thing and we could have run. Could we've grown that to a five million dollar business maybe more absolutely. At a certain point, it became hey there. I'm expecting a recession soon, which you did nap until years later there's a lot of competition. There's all these factors that come into play of like how long does this business last and how long are willing to pedal to the metal, which is really what I was doing at that time twenty fifteen was a very hard year for me just in terms of burnt out and all that. You start to ask yourself you know. What would it feel like to sell this business? Is that a good thing and I think it's a different process for for everyone and actually. I love your book before the Exit. Which I've read a couple of times because thought experiments in there. Well, I sold my company before I read it after after I sold launched the book and I read it and I thought man this would have been helpful for me. I've never had a day where I regretted selling drip literally not one but. I think that that the lessons in your book. Certainly help founders who are thinking about it. My book never achieved product market fit. It only resonates with people who've already sold. That's funny. Yeah. Have to be through it to get a sense for the importance of it, but it's interesting. Trip I had this story in my mind that you would like chosen this niche and this business. Like sort of back feeling the story like rob was gone for this big exit, he was looking to change his life and he chose right and well done. But recently, like listen back to some episodes and realized that that wasn't what you necessarily set out to do. No originally. So I had sapped just prior to that called his tail. It was a long tail Seo Keyword tool and that was doing, let's say about twenty five grand month in revenue and almost all that was profit. It was like contractor. So it was like eighty or ninety percent net margin and that was fun but it was boring a and I had tried to grow it and couldn't and plateaued and you know it was great but I said, Hey, I've always cash coming in and I don't need certainly didn't need that much to live. What else should I do with stacking it in his bank account and a lot of stuff I? Mean we think similarly about this it's like I could invest in the stock market or I could invest in myself you know and that became. I'm GONNA, Angel Invest In myself I'm going to self fund. In the next lifestyle business though that was the goal was just to build something I wanted to do something that was like five or ten times bigger so I did want to get. You know one hundred hey three hundred k. a month for the experience and maybe prove to myself I could do it but I didn't go into it. Thinking on a building sal I really did think let's build this great business. Let's make it profitable. Let's have fun while doing it. There was some of that. There was also a lot of there's a lot of grind to it. You know and I as much as I'm an operator. I definitely enjoy talking about running businesses I. Think of actually running them the day today. I. Love being at that higher level. Almost in retrospect you think back what could I have done differently but it's like five hired an operating officer of some kind to handle the day to day. I still wanted to be in product and I wanted to be CEO in the visionary with Co founder but. I. Was just doing all the nuts and bolts you know and it became it became a recipe for burn out. was there a moment when there was a fork in the road when you're like, Hey, this isn't what I set out to do but I'm GonNa take this ride. was there an indication or did you just find yourself on the roller? Coaster? There was a point where it was still looking to be a really nice kind of smaller growing lifestyle business and I don't say that pejoratively lifestyle businesses is amazing. Right? There's cash sports lifestyle. But what we realized is we had people using it and they were saying look. Knowledgeable entrepreneurs using the product saying infusion soft is automation, right? It's email plus ability to add tags and do all this automation stuff. And their three, hundred a month in up and it's like two grand to get started. No one else has automation. It was entrepreneur and they were three hundred and up in marquette apart, and all these things were to a month and up and they're like. You are now close enough to feature comparable to mail temper Weber, whatever if you added automation, you can either raise prices or you can split this gap and you can be this like innovative solution. It's inbetween a male champion and infusion soft. And Derek I resisted that for months and Derek, your co co-founder Derek's co-founder. Yeah and I told him I don't want to do that. I. Don't WanNa get into that space. Do you realize what that will require of us like we will have to build fast, we will have to do enterprise sales. It's just. Everything in your office? In our offense. That's right. All Ding Ding I mean it was it's all the things we've got to raise prices we. Just it's a playbook, it's a SAS playbook, but I was like I didn't really set out to do that, and then after literally a month or two of just mulling it over and thinking I said Derek, I think I think we need to do this man i. think there's a lot of opportunity here and that was the moment where I was like, okay that was a twenty fourteen. So it's about a year year and a half before. Really the acquisition offers started coming in. But once we started building automation that was the role, it was a rocket ship rollercoaster where we work enough. I'm curious about the sources of entrepreneurial stress for you and. We want to talk about tiny seed and the idea that. So many of us. At the end of the day would choose to do a podcast or to be professor at a university or to choose to be an investor or run a fund in part because it gets us away from the source of stress we feel as entrepreneurs. What is that stress? How would you describe it? So for me especially during drip, there was one piece of it was I was taking on every task. That had to get done. That wasn't done by a developer or like a sales person support. I was just this big bucket of tasks and I didn't like it as capable but you do that for a long time and you don't like your job. So that was stressful to me the lack of funding I really wished we'd had some money more than just what I was putting into it from the tail revenue. I hadn't run a business before we having more money would have alleviated stress and helped us grow faster. Business I'd say, why would I raise funding? How would I grow this faster with one hundred thousand, three, hundred, thousand dollars the moment we started on the on the rocket ship I was like man I could really use half a million bucks right now because I could hire people I could pay the aws bell and not have shut servers down on the weekends I could just feel better. And the third one was a big one for me and it was. It's this existential dilemma of. I have an asset that is worth millions and millions of dollars. And I can't get any cash out of it and I'm way over exposed to this single point of failure completely under diversified. By the time we were approaching selling I, had sold all my other products. The only thing I had was started to the rest of us, the podcast and Microsoft, but I had sold hit tail had sold five other APPS. I was fifteen years on entrepreneurial career. Every chip was in on drip and I would wake up every morning thinking Oh God is this the day? The Russian spammers which happened Sunday night Russian spammers at two in the morning our time start spamming through our system R I. P's get blacklisted. Suddenly none of our emails being delivered and I thought well, I, guess we've had a good run and. Like I don't know what to do here, and of course, we fixed it but then a month later the server goes down and we're down for this and that in emails and stuff would just come up where I was like I think could literally be out of business overnight. There were just a handful of moments in the three and a half years that we ran it before we sold it where I thought, this thing might be done. I, think we've had a good run and I am too much of stress bucket. To be able to deal with that anxiety. How much of it is appropriate. Man at the time, it felt so real and in retrospect. So much of it I think was in my head specially the existential piece. Whether there was a recession whether our servers did go down all the stuff that happened. We just figured it out like we're entrepreneurs, right that's what we do. We solve hard problems with creative solutions. When the happened you think I'm never going to be able to solve this. That's my reverse reaction, and then I step back and say, well, that's not going to solve it. So let's get in front of a whiteboard and you do and you figure it out and it may not be optimal and you may not keep growing fast or you may not whatever. But the odds of a SAS it's doing millions of dollars in revenue suddenly going literally two zero, very, very small and yet those were the things I was those are the things I was thinking about. To your point. I think I was a lot in my head. I, regret that actually because I had a tough year in two thousand fifteen, it was tough on me was tough on my family because my I didn't work that much that many hours but mentally I was always And worried and that that takes a toll on you. Relate to that. How important is fun to the process? I think it's super important, and in fact. The first year of drip was just Derek and I he was writing the code I was like doing pre sales and like getting marketing stuff ready and it was a blast and he would come over to my house in Fresno California at this. Koi Pond and we'd sit out by it and he code right marketing. You know it's the drink like two dudes with a laptop looking at some coy. It's like this business like pinch ourselves. We're building a company here. And the next year was some ups and downs where it's like, oh, we didn't find product market fit and we launched but it was like we couldn't get traction and that was there's a card couple months but then we got it with the automations and so their ups and downs their. Overall, like I think fun is super important at least for me. If you're going to do this, if you're gonNA play Long Ball, you know to coin here to use your term like if your plan long ball, you have to enjoy what you're doing if you're going to build this. From launch to exit. was three and a half years I believe. which is short, right but even that that's a lot of your life for all your life it's a lot of years to where you can run yourself down. You've had an opportunity by running a fund and I'm asking a minute about what that is exactly because I don't fully understand these things until you explain them to me but the question is is like you had a life changing outcome, I don't know if we can. Say This level of your life you want to share that that's in any approximation would be cool but. I guess the question is if you were to run it back multiple times people in that position on say the final. Step, of the stair. Now you're on the next step I guess the podium. What are the chances that the life-changing exit comes from that sort of Genesis? Story. What are the other outcomes that are that have high probabilities? That's actually super interesting question. Pure first part, which was like how big was the exit? Obviously, you can't talk about numbers, NDA's and stuff. I will say that I differentiate between the term life changing and like sunset money or few money right like life changing I had a conversation with a podcast interview the other day, and he said, you know when you have ten grand in the bank. Accord dollars is life changing. That's a life changing amount of money and he's right. He's right. So I sold his tail just about a year and a half before drip and it was in that you know that. Let's say low to mid six figure range for that. That was absolutely life changing to me at the time. I had this huge wave of a relief of like I can take years off you know and I can fund my next business my on my own versus the term people typically use F. but I just I don't know why that always rubbed me the wrong way to some negative. So I've always said like sunset money right I I have enough money that I can ride off into the sunset meaning I never have to work again, and that's a different some money so I was the sunset money. That's what I needed and that's actually when. started. Talking about the possibility of selling one thing I said to myself. I will not sell this unless it's for that much money. You know it's this specific amount that I had in mind based on my current assets and I'm I'm pretty good investor and all this stuff like I know that can live forever on that and That's what I needed to do it. This is actually a lesson I pulled from Jason Poet and I feel like that is. Perhaps the single most important thing to consider when selling Your Business Yeah you put that in your book I, remember I think it's super important because it's all hard but the really really hard part is getting from zero to. Zero to one zero to ten K zero to fifty K. as much as fifty K. TO A. Five Hundred K. feels hard. It's so much more predictable. There's so many more lovers can pull, and so getting that initial start is is brutal. I think back to original question of like. All right. So there's someone on the stair step in there at two you know and they're trying to get to the point where they have this life-changing exit. Think. The interesting thing about that as a thought experiment is I don't know what the percent is. But what I do know is when I I acquired hit tail for like thirty thousand bucks and it was doing about fifteen hundred a month and I didn't know I thought I might be able to make it a seven figure business I just didn't know. Seo's big figured. I could do it. I cranked on it crank on at could never get above about thirty is where it plateaued. But that in theory could have been my life changing exit and it would have been four five years earlier, but it wasn't. But what it did was it gave me a lot more experience. It gave me more funding that I then used to fund drip. So it was even though it was a sap, it was just another step on the stairs and then starting drip. Drip maybe wouldn't have been life changing for me. There's possibility right that we just never would have done it but then I would have probably used it to parlane to the next one and eventually I think it would have happened. You know and that's the thing is I don't think any individual effort we can say, Oh, it's ten percent or twenty percent I. Think it's like over the long haul over ten years or fifteen years I think your chances are really really high especially if you you start small and you build up and you build the skills and you build the audience and you get some of your own funding and own revenue. And you have the ambition I mean there's that to right some people just don't care and they don't necessarily WanNa go through the pain of building a large business like that. But all those things in place it's kind of hard to imagine that you couldn't achieve that after how many times at Bat did I have you know it depends on how you count but literally somewhere between ten and fifteen software products I've owned run bought sold you know all that stuff. So my built myself so my bought and You have that many bats. One of them is I think bound to catch eventually if you're if you're working hard at it. Right like the stair step might not not always be ascendant. It's something about the fact that there's multiple stairs is important part of it as well. You don't really get that same opportunity in a career. Yeah, exactly. So I think people can hear you're hardworking. Good, experience intelligent but I heard something in there. I heard facial expression come through the audio. I heard some swag. I. Heard that you have a kind of a bravado or like a competitive streak. or a self confidence maybe even some form of arrogance like I'm the guy that can do this is that true? Is that something that you feel when you're building product or building a business. Now that's funny. Put that out. You know no one I don't think anyone has ever said that I have bravado. I mean I. was like Super Nerdy kid growing up and like. Frankly little bit lower self confidence and I probably should have had this one of the reasons. A lot of my early efforts were like these really small things because I was scared of making people mad and. Just scared about everything man I just wasn't raised with the confidence that I think. I wished I'd had and it took me until my thirties to find what you hear. Now you know like my whole I feel like my twenties, we're almost wasted. Just. Not Knowing who I was and not knowing what I wanted and almost hiding my entrepreneurship like my entrepreneurial dreams at an INC magazine. One time at work. I worked at a electrical contractor and like some people started ragging on me like you know the typical stuff, right? Oh, you think you're going to be an entrepreneur I. Think you're GONNA raise your. And it impacted me way more than it should have I shouldn't have cared with those people thought but I did and so I kind of hid that from the world for a long time and then it was in my thirties that I started developing like, Oh, I started doing it and it was working and then I built the confidence that you're hearing right now of like, Oh, I can make this work because before I I didn't know and it took years and years and years. And I'm so jealous when I meet someone at Microcosm for last DC event, I was at and you get these twenty, four, twenty, five year old kid who has the confidence that I do now and I'm so envious because I feel like I, lost decade of my entrepreneurial career Putz around trying to figure out how to do it and how to be confident and I don't think confidence trumps everything I. Really I really don't. But I think it's the ability to just believe in yourself that you can do it and to. Truly. Believe that and once I realized that that I can kind of do anything I set my mind within reason that was a mindset shift for me that has then lasted, and after that I started doing really hard and more interesting things because just took bigger risks because I said, I can pull these off now. There's a kind of a confidence that sometimes leads to conceptual risks like you're willing to cross that barrier of what you're supposed to do to like what you could do. Those things like you see a product or an idea in the space in your like. Do that thing that only exists in my mind right now like I can't find a book that says I should do it or even somebody else and I wonder if you see any correlation with that kind of confidence and it can come from a lot of places, right? It could come from like aggregate competitive sort of confidence or it could come from a nerdy intelligent of there's so many different places confidence can come from I think. But I'm wondering if you see that kind of confidence in the successful founders, mentor? Is that a component that you're looking at the founder of themselves insane. Like is this person someone? Who makes it happen? It depends because I've seen people with that confidence who don't have the hard the work ethic and they don't have the skill to pull it off. So they're like overconfident in their abilities. He homeless have to Suss that out in a founder if you're GONNA fund them or be involved at all so I don't think confidence alone as a signal. I have this trifecta hard work luck and skill that I think are huge contributors perhaps. The most powerful contributors to success building. A startup is gotTa have the work ethic to put in the time and I never almost never worked more than forty hours a week. So what I don't mean as working ninety hour weeks, what I mean is being super focused showing up everyday and getting the work done and focused on the right things. So there's hard work. There's a little bit of luck or a lot of luck depending on whose story it is, and then skill, which is like that experience you build up over time that really don't have early on. Now. Add confidence I mean. I hadn't even considered confidence in that list but. If you have hard work little bit of luck and skill and add to that. Then yes, that is an amazing combination to have start founder. I will say this though we have fun dead with tiny seed, which we'll talk about a little later. We have funded several founders who I would say are not they're not calling their shot. You know like Babe Ruth and pointing to the home run like they are a little bit like I? Don't know what I'm doing. And I don't know what the number may twenty or thirty percent of the companies we found are people who have. Put in the hard work and they've gotten a little lucky and they have the skill, but they're still not confident. Actually that's one reason they're coming to us as you're like I feel like I'm in over my head can you guys give us advice? Can you know lead the mentorship? We need this and that and? So there's a balance there I don't think it's an all or nothing thing. You know I think I think you can. You can be successful with either to be honest as long as you get the red guidance if you don't have that internal confidence. 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It's really empowering to deal with experts who are just straight up and honest about what they can and can't do for your rankings and your SEO in general rather than being walked through some cheesy sales process by SEO services built for people who really don't understand the power of SEO or how it applies specifically to their business. So if you want to have smash digital on your businesses back pocket, just learn more about what they do. Check him out over it smash digital dot. com. We appreciate the team at. Responser in the show. What is the difference between a funder and accelerator? A fund is like typically like a venture fund, you'll hear like andriessen Horowitz or whatever. They go raise buckets of money and. They then talked to a bunch of entrepreneurs who are. Trying to raise funding for their start ups. And then they write a check and there aren't typically on the board and they give advice. But that's the extent of it like they might see that company or talk to that founder once a month on a phone call maybe once a quarter as they get further on. So there's some support, but there is definitely less port in a fun than there. Is An accelerator because the first accelerator was started by Paul Graham is called Y combinator and in fact when he started it I don't think anyone knew he called it start-up school or something like that and he he positioned is like almost a Grad school thing where they invested six thousand dollars founder for ten percent of the company was tremendously low was very It was because he had gotten like I think to PhD's, and so he was just in Grad School for years and years after sold the startup. So we modeled it after that. And later on people started calling, we celebrate about basically an accelerator is a fund and then Like a batch of founders that you're in and there's mentors that you're meeting with on a regular basis. They're typically the general partners that's me and my co founder and are giving advice and kind of really coaching people on a weekly or monthly basis. You know talking to them looking at their metrics much more involved, and then there's the batch aspect of it where. Why see and most of the accelerators three months? Tiny seed is ours a year long and we do that because SAS just takes so long to get to get going. But. You're in a batch with whatever ten other twenty other founders and It's a whole different experience, right because you have that communal experience if you're in person meeting or if you're like again tiny, CD's remote accelerator. So we have slack channels and then we have calls where people hang out and but basically accelerator is. It can be earlier stage than most like venture funds, but there's a lot more resources hand holding mentorship, advice and involvement. and. That essentially allows you to get into earlier stage startups. Is that fair to say? Yeah I would say I mean so. Tiny seed our sweet spot investing is between let's say two K. of monthly revenue and up into. I mean forty fifty k. of monthly revenue is kind of an outlier but. That's where we sit. Most venture funds don't come down that low, but they do have these micro VC funds. Now because that early stage, it's important. If you get in there, you know folks can and do follow on rounds. So there are venture funds that invest then. There are also just a lot of private angel investors that do it I think that's the other avenue is you know? Early. It's the private thing. But yeah, the accelerator I mean I'll put it this way I think the advantage of the accelerator model over just taking an angel track because you could probably go to an Angel Mr Higher Valuation. I should say, probably, you absolutely can go to a group of Angel Investors and get a higher valuation. Then Y combinator will give you or tiny will give you but you won't get any of the other stuff. You know you don't get the the batch, the community, the mentorship network my network is tiny network, right? So when someone needs an Intro to Name the person and SAS like I. Know that person you know and that's an advantage that all accelerators are the good ones. The name brands I think bring over you know just the funding you would get from an angel. Sounds like your sweet spot is say in a partner have a little product selling five thousand bucks a month. We're on the ride of that right of our lives we're excited about it. Holy what do I do? I need some support here basically. But, the question is okay. I'm only making five thousand dollars a month. How do you determine what that company's worth? How To do it? How does tiny seed it? Interesting thing with accelerators since they do a big batch is the the format has been fixed that in general, you make the same offer to all the companies and I know that sounds weird of like wait you're making to cavers. Is Twenty K. get the same offer but accelerator land that's generally how it works and so combinator deal today. I believe you know. I don't remember what they're deal is I'll tell you what tiny seeds deal is today. It's one hundred and twenty thousand for the first founder and then sixty thousand per additional founder and. We do have a little bit of leeway there we take between ten and twelve percent of the companies. So you'll notice we do take more than why combinator combinator and techstars they take mad and knowing that six, seven, eight percent range. But they also bet on UNICORNS and if you take their money, you are on the track and that's the difference. Right? As we say, Hey, you want to grow business slowly WANNA take out dividends You WanNa, make it profitable. Or you want to raise VC. You can do any of these things you know and we'll back you. Venture capitalist value differently with them it really is a market approach, right? If you're a super hot startup than it becomes a bidding war and some of these valuations get ridiculous where someone's doing their hot and it's the second time founder and people think the idea's good and they're literally doing ten k. a month. And they'll get a twenty million dollar valuation because Andriessen Horwitz really wants to get in and that valuation is just insane right I mean it should be a couple million bucks tops. And even these evaluations are way out of whack with acquisition values. Have you actually tried to sell that startup doing five k. a month? You know you get it depends on Prophet right but you get one hundred K. Max right right. But in funding is different, venture funding is betting on the future not on the current value and that's what accelerators due to we are in the venture world. Are you basically saying like look you got product market fit you are in second gear and here's what all the years ahead of you look like and we're going to help you to get there and. So, it's not really a question of mathematics more of a question of how much do these founders need to Succeed essentially. That's exactly it. So I understand the accelerator part on the fun side, what do you need? In, order to have success because. The model of a fun that I understand is you take a twenty percent. Cut of all of the returns that you generate. As the fund manager. And then the two percent is the management fee that you use to send faxes around to all your limited partners and stuff like that. admin assistant to read your email to you exact. Cuban cigars whatever? One of the things I did rob when I was looking into funds and stuff as I started like doing the math on this and it just sounds so sexy like, oh, this is the greatest business in the world and then I realized wow, like you really have to have some successful companies come through tiny seed in order to make any money. I'm curious about when you started looking at the math, how did you determine that this might actually work out? Yeah it's really venture is such an interesting model because I believe it's seventy percent maybe eighty percent of venture funds don't make money or don't provide maybe it's don't provide a return better than the SNP. So it really is this eighty twenty game. And so actually correct. One thing you said twenty percent of all the prophets. Yeah. I guess once the Fund is paid back. So if you're is a five million dollar fund then yeah the companies have to throw on if dividends or have exits that put five million back to the partners you know the investors before Greg any money out, and then it's the profit. Yeah. You take twenty percent of that and typically that two percent management fee. From what I understand. If you have a massive fund, this isn't the case. But when you have specially even think about twenty, million, fifty dollar fund. Two percent on that is about enough to get an office in the Silicon Valley and hire a couple people and that's it. So most funds run at break even on that management fee right so like our first fund is four and a half million, we've fully invested that two percents ninety grand a year I mean that doesn't even pay a fraction of what I was making it my last my last job much less my co founder and the. Program manager who is running tiny seat so As an accelerator, we made a little bit of a adjustments. To that model in which we take more management fees up front and then kind of decrease over time so that it's the same amount over the course of several years. But to your real question it's like how do you even know if this going to work right and what we did we did a ton of modeling. So in our full said is my co founder and he he's a computer science he taught at Cornell and he's a data scientist focus. So you can imagine the spreadsheets and the sequel queries that he was writing to model this, and that's what it is looking at his. We got historical anonymous data for bunch of SASS APPS I looked at all my investments that I've done today my angel investments. We modeled out a bunch of terms. 'cause that was the other thing is it depends on what to invest at. Right. If if you invest at ten million dollar valuation on all these companies versus a one million dollar valuation that changes a huge amount you know and if they can buy back equity versus nod, and if you know there's all these things that you can tweak, and so we were trying to find terms that made the model work but that also fair to the founders. And eventually we were. We landed on straight equity because it's just so simple proven. But that's how we did it and and it's easy I tell you what it's easy to find terms. That favor the investors too much and that only desperate founders will take and it's easy to find terms that favor the founders too much, and then it's not a sustainable fund because. You won't. Get. Investors to. Put. Money. In. Just like with building a product, it's a how do you market two sided marketplace? You know how you find pricing how do you find terms that work for both both parties? Well, it sounds like. That you've come to a kind of a simplicity on the fun side with the more traditional setup that's built to be sustainable for your investors and then on the accelerator side you're trying to provide. Enough value to the founders with the group. I'm going to get into pricing a little bit here in a minute but. With the sorts of Network and information that you're providing them that it can be a win win on both sides whereas I'm seeing a lot of. Stuff come out that I'm running the numbers on. And I'm saying. Well. There's gotTa be another story here that I don't know about. If everybody like starts a nice little business. It's in your fund fund is apt basically, you won't raise fun to that's. The. Coon by calling it is good marketing. I do believe that there are like I. Think tiny seed I do think we're founder aligned like I. do think we we are trying to think differently than a lot of the normal VC's. We are allowing weaving tiny. See we're allowing LLC's and see corpse and any state. Right. When you get venture capital, you have to convert to a Delaware C. Corp, end of story. And we think there should be more you know all that. So there are ways to be. Found a friendly, but you're right. You take it too far. Only raise that one fund you invest it. and. Then it's done and what what good is that it is like building a product artem to build this cat furniture and I'm gonNA sell it below cost man your customers love it, and then you go out of business six months later you know and that's the trade off that I'm not sure people realize when they hear about you know. How to construct a like accelerator, a venture fund. It seems like you guys have really emerged as sort of the place to go in the space especially in your second round of applications based on what I've been seeing in the marketplace. What have you guys done? That's managed to separate you from the other funds in this sort of like early SASS product market fit space. Yeah. That's a really good. Really good way to think about it and it has been deliberate in essence. It's like a we've focused we double down on SAS specifically and so I don't know of another non vc like founder friendly fund founder, I, find whatever you want to couch. That is focused on SAS. And has like the mentor list, right? That's a big thing. I mean, you look at Jason Dha and you look at rand fish skin for MAS and heating Shaw. The laundry list of SAS mentors, and that of course comes from doing what you any of you have been doing for more than a decade, which is just being out there having a podcast, having a conference and just knowing knowing the people. Want to help out. So it's the mentor last. It's the positioning of, Hey, we are the place for for SAS. In addition, man like we've tried to keep our terms really simple and really understandable and if you re dumb, it says we're GONNA give money for this much equity. If you WANNA take out dividends, then we agree on a salary cap basically because you know if you have someone paying them half a million dollars a year. Then not taking dividends out. That's not fair right. So we agree on a salary cap of software engineer in your city, and that's recapping anything you take over that is a did and that's it. It's like four lines whereas the other innovative models when you read through them, it's like massive if then else statements and if this happens, then this happens and if that but if you do this before you sell and then you can buy back and then you this and that. And frankly we have had founders multiple founders sign up tiny seat who got offers from other all alternative E. C, who said, they just couldn't get comfortable with the terms because they really didn't understand them, and so I think that's another way where. Certain. People really WANNA be able to buy back equity and other people really want just simple straightforward terms and that's that's another differentiator in essence. It does seem like a lot of the Columbia models that are coming out are modeling rather than. Funds acknowledging the realities of high growth companies just say not be business partners and best friends, and we'll run this company forever into the sunset and maybe a more traditional model acknowledges reality that like Hey. WE'RE GONNA run this business for two and a half years, and if it doesn't work out, we're going to start another one. We're going to go to a marketplace online sell the thing and we're going to start with a better idea and be done. Yeah. Yeah. I think there is a real danger with. I don't know dangerous not the right word but. When there's a shift like this because really it's just been. It was venture capital for decades and decades. And Angel Investors and accelerators became a thing like two, thousand, five, hundred ten, and now there's this shift to the tiny seeds and you know the other folks in the space and there's always a bit of tumbled when that happens or eight because as people are just trying to figure out how should we do this and you know what are the best terms and early the terms in the nineties we're really awful and they played all kinds of tricks and they put all kinds of stuff in the terms you know and I don't know early angels were like that or not because I wasn't around that space then. And again, I don't think most people are doing it on purpose but I do think that we need to be aware what what is marketing and what is Reality Yeah I think some of our audience would be surprised at how multiples are determined in the selling of SAS companies. I one time I met a guy who Really Cool Guy sold his business for. A lot of money. Big Boat Money and young guy and. Doug and a little bit more we got along and I was surprised to find out about the size of his business in terms of annual revenue. And I thought, wow, they've surely paid a lot of money for that business. So can you give me a sense for how companies value SAS companies differently than say an ECOMMERCE company, our services business Yeah. The interesting thing was SAF and we're talking acquisition multiples is where someone writes you a check you take the money and then you walk away or maybe have an earn out but like money goes in your pocket, right is not fundraising anymore. There's big money and small money right? The big money comes. Typically, when like a strategic investor wants to buy so it's someone like mail chimp wants to buy this email program that's GonNa plug into something else or lead pages wants to by email software. That's GONNA in. Or even like salesforce wants to an accompanying sales to that's when the value is highest and those are almost without exception, it's just a multiple of your top line revenue and it's typically forward-looking revenue. So literally, if you, let's say you're at Eighty K. one month and ninety k. the next one hundred K. in January, you would take one hundred K. and you're just expecting you're going to continue to grow because that's Kinda Housework. And you multiple at by twelve he don't look back look forward. So you have one point, two, million then you just multiple it doesn't matter if you're profitable, there's multiply that by something and that number depends on how faster-growing where you are. Once you get above about a million air are you should be able to get at least two to three times you get two to three million for it if you're going super fast. I have heard of more than one. Right around one million when it happened dollar air our business selling for five or six millions here to starting to talk a four four times multiple when you get up to, you know the ten, twenty, million range. You're certainly and I wouldn't take less than four and I'd be looking for five six probably reasonable multiple. Again, it's on revenue. It's insane. It's crazy. Blows my mind because again when you go to the traditional emanate space you're looking at. Man I got a back my personal expenses out of this business has made it look more profitable. uh-huh. I'm getting three years of my salary forwarded to be basically. The question follows why shouldn't everybody just start a SAS business? So. A lot of people are that is one of the reason that SAS is. So it's so attractive right? It's this recurring revenue that if you can build it into a lifestyle business, it's really solid because. Sales. Don't drop eighty percent when the recession hits they just slowly slowly declined. But. The other reason is obviously these sales multiples. I think it's hard to start a business. It's quite expensive and it's quite competitive these days you can still bootstrap one, but it's not a software developer pretty damn hard to bootstrap one. There are avenues I can talk about like no code and this and that there are ways to build an MVP but the odds are stacked against you at that point if you have a developer co founder yeah, I mean I would say from my experience, one of the hard routes about Gwen like no code or if you're doing it on the back end with spreadsheets and Zappers and all that kind of stuff. It's hard to know when to pull the trigger and that triggers a big trigger. Anyway you know it's like cool. I'm I'm selling five, ten thousand dollars a month. Worth of this thing products in a cost one, hundred and fifty. Grand Bill. And that's not even you know the game. That's the hard part if you need to hire developers to build a sapin to do it well, there's a lot more money involved than I think most people realize and that is why a lot of the SASS APPS you'll see typically have one not all the time I mean, maybe it's eighty percent. If I were to guess five percent have a at least one developer co founder who is writing the code because then it's it's free quote unquote it's their nights and weekends, which has its own its own struggles. But at least then you can spend six months or year and gets them out the door without dropping ten twenty thirty K.. Right I mean a lot of people will ask the question over the years. It's you know how do I find into technical co founder 'cause I want to sell my business for seven times revenue. I mean, the answer might be to stair step yourself into a profitable business that can afford to purchase tools. That's what I would do today I would do that or I would start a productized service or I would consider buying business. There are so many more options today than existed five or ten years ago you know e- concepts like stair stepping and no code but also like I said productized consulting and you know there's a bunch of. Different ways to get there. And if you can cash flow it, then you can prove to a technical person that their time won't be wasted essentially and that you have interesting problems working on. Yeah or you have you build a customer base slash audience and you find out oh, they really need this thing that no one else sees 'cause I have first hand exposure to them. You know you can validate the idea going to technical co founder and saying, Hey, come be part of this and it's been six months nights and weekends writing this code. If I were them, you should say, what have you done to validate this? What are you bringing to the table because just having the ideas nothing right it's like well salesperson and I have twenty context in this space or I'm a really good growth marketer. Here's examples driving ten thousand unique month to another APP or whenever you know you have to bring something tangible because this person's bringing years of development experience. If your pitch to a developer is still it's like this product mixed with this product then yeah. Forget it. Yeah, you just can't. Rabbi though a sports radio. Gag. At. Ya. Someone's coming on your show someone important rob winds coming on the show. So you go talk about him behind his back all the other people that mutually no, me say, Hey, rob's coming on the show. What should I ask him about dig up some dirt on him and so the dirt on you is this. This guy. You gotta ask him about pricing. He feels that you know pricing is where all the action is. Curious if you could pull back the curtain a little bit on that and talk about why this is such an important concept. For founders, understand. Well Yeah I mean. We go through five or six things that are just critical. Critical pieces of knowledge is like pricing sales, just how to do sales to think about sales lead generation hiring funnels all that stuff but pricing is the number one lever of any business, right and especially with the SAS APP why we'll because what do I have to do? There's only there's only three ways to to make more money from. Your Business one is to drive more leads right? It's to drive more customers. The second is to charge those customers more for the same thing, and the third is to provide add on's that you are also selling like accompanied complimentary things or in Sas oftentimes, it's an expansion revenue right where you get more subscribers in Male chipper or drip, and suddenly you're paying them more. So those are the three ways. The finding new customers as you know, it's time consuming. It takes a ton of work. It's expensive. The adding things on is is fine but if you have to build new things to add on or people aren't automatically going up, it's just a ton of work with changing pricing with sap means going on your pricing page changing that one to two and then going. Into Stripe you know and she's going to I'm being exaggerating because it's more than that. But literally, if you can do that, I mean, one of my first businesses I was charging ninety dollars a month for pieces offers one time downloadable. So Ninety eight bucks I wasn't make enough money from it. So from one month to the next, I just tripled the pricing to 295. Sold the same amount. So the same number of copies so the business tripled no one complained no one noticed it was underpriced software. That's the kind of stuff. We see we see folks not just in tiny see but like one example in batch one we had founders coming in and they were struggling to grow. They have a really good tool and they were charging I. Think they're lowest end was twenty nine or thirty, nine dollars a month, and we're like look you're doing enterprise sales and you're selling into. The more the architect interior design space. These firms are willing to pay way more than that like your underpriced. So they were they were nervous about it, but the doubled their price minimum to seventy nine and move everything else up no change in volume. So suddenly their growth is doubling, well, they still were to price. So we said you know we think. She double it again, you can always roll it back. So they doubled again I think it was one, forty, nine, no change in volume. So then they went up again to forget if it's two hundred or two, forty, nine now they started seeing a decrease at that point. So they did see that elasticity not forever but think of doubling or tripling your growth. By, changing a number in a spreadsheet in essence like. There's no bigger lower than like I've hired amazing employees. Amazing Team members at do great things I built great funnels. I've we've done great sales but like all of that takes more work and I'm not saying pricing is simple because it's always oh I'M GONNA raise it too high. It makes me really nervous and what is the right price all that's complicated. But just as a lever, it's the number one way to be able to grow your business faster. What also seems like in software sales, it is a unique lever. And perhaps that's part of the reason why these businesses are so valuable in the end because they can be acquired by adjacent organizations that can then change their lever because they have that feature set. Yeah. I would agree with that software is much less commodity is than I than perhaps a lot of physical products where it really is you're on Amazon and just Kinda cost comparing based on reviews and such and cost is a real factor. especially with consumers and the other thing, right. A lot of the software that we deal with almost exclusively is sold to businesses and businesses shop on value rather than just price whereas consumers tend to just look price and be like, oh my gosh, twenty dollars a month for podcast recording software I would never pay that whereas a business comes to squad cast squad castle. FM, it's one of our batch to investments and right away we were like guys we know that you've heard the feedback you're too expensive. That's because the fly fishing podcast said you were too expensive. But when rob incomes started for the rest of us are Dan comes with Tropical Mba like fifty bucks a month. I would absolutely pay that for high quality. It's amazing quality double ender recording all this and that it is just worth that to me for me it's somewhere between fifty and one hundred, and then there's you know who gimblett meteorite or NPR will they use? Squad gas they shouldn't be paying two or three times. What you are I would pay they should be paying thousands and thousands a month right? There's just different value there, and that's where I'm not saying you should never do be to see right the consumer stuff but insult wear definitely, the businesses are less price sensitive and they're just tend to be in general better markets. One of the interesting things about tweaking pricing and I had A. Kind of a strategy. Training session with a team member this morning and I was finding myself pulling out all these stories about times. I changed the price and my assumptions were challenged and the thing I thought was going to sell people didn't even notice but they bought it for another reason. Some of the most intellectually interesting moments in my life revolve around pricing. Actually I'm curious. Did you have any moments like that with tiny seed like when you started out, you start a lot about the terms you were stepping into a lot of uncertainty. What were some of the things you like worried about that didn't turn out to be. A problem at all or on the other hand did you find ways to deliver value that you know you undervalued yourself? I love that you've equated founder terms to pricing because that's exactly how we were thinking about it is you're basically going to an end customer and saying how does this sound for this product? You know we're going to give you this mentorship in that, but you have to give this up. You're not paying US money, but you are paying us in equity. So the analogy is perfect and that's how we thought about it. That was perhaps the most stressful part of starting tiny seat for me was we would come up with terms we looked at them. We said these are great. The fund will be great, and then I would go talk to founders and I do a skype call and just get like, nope that why would I do that and it felt terrible to me like I don't like rejection anyways. Right I'm terrible salesperson. But I was just devastated. I remember at one point talking to my wife Sharon and I just don't know we iterating iterating iterating I kept talking and nothing was working nothing felt right. It wasn't proud of anything you know that I was bringing to them because they were they were complex and whatever, and every time I get on these calls I was sweating and I was like, oh my gosh, this isn't GonNa work eventually, of course, we we found on the work then that resonated and I shouldn't doubt so much as founders we believe that we can do it. What was it that you didn't know? I would just get questions about specific terms and why they were there and. It was hard answer the questions, but it was also like some of the questions were just like well. Why can't I give up less equity and it's like well, then the models don't work like then the fund doesn't break even or make any money, but that's not the right answer right? They don't care as a founder that care that the investors. So you have to have a better reason than that. It was questions like that where it was just kind of agonizing tab to work through and. I was probably the most stressful. It's been. It's funny. But it almost seems like the more complex terms they're almost structured like more like loans in a way where yeah. Definitely you know you think the founders like spreadsheet thinking about running this business at one point five, million dollars a year in revenue, which is how the investor needs to think in order to make their models work but as a founder. I'm kind of thinking like I got a dream here. I got five month I'm broke you tell them, you get the squad up with rob. For giving up this equity that doesn't mean a whole lot to me right now because it's all this big risk anyway. and. So it's like tapping into that emotion of like I'm ready to do something I need help. And all I gotta give up as something that doesn't quite exist yet whereas it's almost like when you get more detailed about it, then you really dig into. Like. These realities that are realities that aren't quite important to you at that moment does that make sense? It's very complex. It is the loan thing. There are certain people certain bootstraps who really don't want to give equity, and if they do they wanna be able to get it back at like a predetermined price and I've always viewed that as like alone like you said, and it's less about me being in your corner. Are we going to be in the same corner for the long haul because we're in business together or do you really just want some financing that you can kind of pay back at an? Apr It is and then I keep typically even the loan ones they keep kicker I keep up one two, three, four percent at you keep a small amount of equity but its last and that was one reason that we decided not to go with that is it didn't feel right if we had raised funding with drip? Would have raised equity funding because it just makes sense to me. It's simple and everybody knows what they're getting without. After X. amount of years you're automatically paying off of top line revenue backed in almost like a royalty back to pay this loan off and stuff I'm not saying that's bad and that is a good fit for founders because obviously people are taking that but I think the founders jive with tiny seed think more like I would have. I think one thing I'll mention is we've invested in. Twenty three companies from our first fund of tiny seed, and we're now in the process of raising fund to so fund one was about four and a half million and fun to should be many times that we're already on pace I think we raise the four and a half million fund one took like four months five months and I think we raise that in like two weeks time just With momentum and doing it the second time. So we're set to really outpace it, but we've had a lot of interest in investing, and if you're an accredited investor and you're listening to this, this is a way to get into early stage B. to B. Sas you know across a broad swath of companies I'm imagining our fund will invest in literally this fun to will invest hundreds of early stage. Companies. So Tiny seat, dot com slash invest. If you're interested in finding out, you know more about them I look like. We'll tell me what's the emotional value you provide to LP's. You said you raise money very quickly. What's driving those investors? Alive investors are a really interested in getting into early stage SAS in. It's kind of hard to do. But be they want something like this to exist that is this non venture track. We don't need you to become uber or facebook dropbox. You can literally build a ten twenty, thirty, million dollar business. And that's what most businesses are. Alright. These real businesses selling real products to real customers and many of our LP's just want that to exist in the world and want to be part of it and believes. So strongly that they've seen these companies firsthand in your community and mine that become these massively profitable things at at smaller scale without going the venture track that there is absolutely an emotional piece to that we also have to kind of have the numbers you know that makes sense otherwise people would throw it in an index fund. It has been a trip to see the different motivations. You know. It's cool. I mean I know a lot of people that get into it for access to information community a lot of people. Join for Status Yup, because they want to be around people who are doing bad ass things those have been reasons as well. Well, rob thanks for coming by the show we hope to have you back soon. Absolutely man my pleasure. Thanks. Dan. Shout out to rob for sharing so openly. This conversation just could have easily run twice as long if rob wouldn't have had. A meeting at the end of this interview. So enjoyable. I got a mention. If you WANNA be a part of the next tiny seed fund, check it out over at tiny seed dot com slash. Invest I think it's so interesting when you see a lot of these experienced entrepreneurs have had incredible exits they turn around and offer the funding model that they wish they would have had the opportunity to have access to while they were growing what? Was a life changing exit for them, and that's what happened in the case with Robin Drip, and now with tiny seed. Not Pretty cool again, thanks for by the show I. Hope You could tell how delighted I was to be a part of this conversation and things of course to smash digital for sponsoring the show. That's it. For this week, we'll be back next Thursday morning. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening to the tropical NBA. NBA Dot com get access to hundreds of back episodes and all kinds of other goodies load up your ipod that is cheap this way to fly business class on your next international flight he will see you next Thursday morning. Eight am eastern standard time.
E1066: The Power of Accelerators E6 David Brown, CEO & Co-Founder of TechStars on leading the virtual accelerator trend, benefits of going global, sustained vs. temporary changes from COVID & more!
"This week in startups. The power of accelerators series is brought to you by linked in jobs. A business is only as strong as its people. And every higher matters to post a healthcare or essential service job for free visit the Lincoln Dot com slash power and Twi- Leo An Amazing Program for Startups. That includes a five hundred dollar getting started. Credit access to webinars made exclusive for startups and full support via their Twi- Leo Startups team. Sign up now. At Twi- LEO STARTUPS DOT COM slash twist. Everybody welcome back to this week in startups recording this in month three of the Global Corona virus pandemic. We'RE HOPING EVERYBODY. Who's listening to this is safe and your family's safe and if you are going back to work or going out please. Where a mask that seems like a no brainer and You know we. We are very concerned about people's lives also now starting to see people's livelihoods being impacted And as predicted Misses having just a tragic Impact on society in the suffering from losing a job. is not exactly comparable to You know being second in the ICU. Obviously stating that stating the obvious but We are seeing sadly you know People falling into depression mental illnesses spiking and sadly even suicides And we're starting to just start to see that and that is very concerning to me But one thing that does give me hope. Is that in these other down markets. I've seen when there was despair. When there was serious unemployment startups tended to lead the way out and new companies and the entrepreneurial spirit is what creates opportunity in the world creates jobs and over the last greater than a decade actually Now I think going on maybe close to fifteen years David Brown and Dave Cohen Have been working tirelessly on techstars which has over two thousand graduates as of this point And they run a huge business with their accelerator partnerships. And I've had David on the pot couple of times And Brad Feld. I think also gets counted as a CO founder. And he does he does and he was at. Brownfield is a bit reclusive. And I'm trying to get him on the POD and in person only rule but now that we're virtual think he'll probably do it and last time he was twenty thirteen seven years ago. We gotta breath back on but today for the first time. David Brown is on the podcast. And he's the CEO and Co founder of techstars Qatari on the pod. Thanks for having me. We actually have a fourth co founder as well Jared Polis. Who's now governor of Colorado but Yeah so he shows up. He turned up for impersonal demo. Days when we used to have those things but he's pretty he's pretty busy right now. How you doing during coronavirus everything? Okay personally have you been impacted by it? How is boulder? I feel lucky. You know. I'm I'm home. I have a family that seems to tolerate me. Okay and you know. We're all safe and boulder doesn't have too many cases in fact. I don't know anybody in Boulder who is contracted Kuroda virus. So we're crazy. We have a high school senior That is sad for Prom and graduation but in the grand scheme of things where were all doing really well. Yeah I mean for young people. It's really sad. They're going to lose some like formative part of their lives. But they're also going to get that grit and realize that. Hey the world is sometimes hard and you have to rise to the challenge so it could be a great defining moment of For them in terms of resiliency and moving forward to are they going to have a zoom graduation? We don't know yet by the way I tried that line on my daughter and she wasn't buying it the grit and resilience aid. She wants Prom so ten years right. Yes right but it's not helpful today. Not How got there's a? There's a graduation scheduled in July currently. So we'll see what happens. Yeah ooh Oh that's great. Yeah just push back a month or two and I think we're all be going back. I'm curious just right off the bat. We'll get into the history of you know techstars but I'm just at the top here. You started techstars. I think it's called techstars anywhere about four or five years ago correct and I had been lobbied last year by like team members and people like maybe we should do a virtual they announced. Listen this is crazy. Nobody wants us to put money in where from home. They're not going to be able to raise money. It's not gonNA work. And our last cohort went three weeks in person and then to Virtual. Now we have two more. I'm wondering if you could tell us what you're experiencing and what you learned from that. Four year techstars anywhere program. Is there some difference between the founders? Go to that and who go to an in person program and is there some difference in outcomes? The number one outcome that people are looking for coming to these programs is to raise money. So do you see a difference in outcomes were? Have you seen over the last four years? Yeah so so your first of all we. We started as an experiment and the first year I think we only had four companies come through compared to our normal ten and we did that on purpose. Because we thought it's going to be hard and we're GONNA have to learn some things and we're going to have to figure out how to do it. You know over video and so we wanted an extra concentration of attention on the four companies that went through and We got some really good learnings and we've run for like you say four or five full classes. Now thank thank thank goodness we did right because we took all of those learnings and apply to all of our programs but one of the learnings for instance is the need the benefit of having at least an in person bonding moment and so in anywhere they get together during the first week and then again in the middle And and then that's at the rest is virtual and that has proven to be a huge benefit so for your cohort for example. That was together for three weeks. You had that early bonding I think any time we think about going virtual only we have to remember that will be. We would be giving that up the second thing that we learned is. It's a much more inclusive program. Because if you have a family if you live far away if you don't have the financial means to relocate to San Francisco or boulder or somewhere and you your your your startup is in Timbuktu. You can still participate if you're if you're A MOM or a dad. That's taking care of kids. You may not be able to attend the Nick celebrator and so we have more applications for that program than any other of our programs for that reason. And what that means is it's giving US access to And of course it's still early right. Were four years in but we would expect higher returns as a result of that fascinating and so How do they fair with fundraising? Because you know I think. Prior to Corona virus there was a one hundred percent rule that you know. Vc's and seed funds at least putting aside. Angels they really WanNa Break Brad. They WANNA get to know people. They're investing in people. We've you and I have heard this for years now. Of course the same venture capitalists are actually making investments over zoom and they have in Britain. They haven't spent time with them so if forced to they will do it but previously they said. Listen interested that so when you had the program. Virtual with those people able to raise money or was that a disadvantage. Well they were still able to raise money but the in some cases they would still have to travel somewhere and break bread with somebody and so while there wasn't the in person Demo Day most investors aren't making their investment decision solely based on an in person Demo Day. They WANNA break bread as you say you know. At until three months ago we could still go onto airplanes and go visit those investors And now when you look going forward you have programs in. How many cities today ballpark almost fifty forty nine. Something like that different locations and that gives you a unique perspective The pandemic globally Our programs now Coming back online in person and if so in what regions and and how are you dealing with that as an organization because that's fifty decisions you gotTa make? It's almost like your fifty governors or presidents. You could have to make a decision on each one. Yeah although I would say it's been more of an advantage than a disadvantage in that. As we went into lockdown we got all the early warning signs right. The Singapore Exceleron went virtual in January at a time when you know most of us here in the US were thinking. This will never come to us right. And then the Italy if you remember when the Italy went into lockdown you know we were three weeks into that accelerator. So that was the first of our accelerators to switch from in person to remote and so We were able to practice if you will at. What does it look like to switch from in person to remote before the other fourteen that we had running in the US and Europe Sort of all went to lockdown at the same time We're being cautious on the other side about not opening up too quickly and wit while we're considering impersonal as a possibility Were looking at all our future programs for the moment as rowboat. I if we're able to get together in person great but were assuming that we're GONNA have to be virtual have there been discussions internally about. Hey let's make everything virtual going forward or a hybrid going forward. Yeah I think I think you are. Logic is there. There may be are four different types of accelerators. There's virtual only there's virtual I there's in person I there's in-person only the old way right. Those are the four kinds and the way we're talking about it internally as let's be good at all four and then let's see how it plays out and each accelerator in the future will be able to switch its label if you will Or run on in a certain modality G G think things need to change in terms of what you provide You know for this new model like what would you think? What new muscle do you have to flax or learn? Because we're we're trying to figure that out one of them is a and you know. I'm a stickler for you know having done this for a long time and events for long longtime we. I just started a rule in it. Sounds silly but in order to present you have to have a computer. That's under a year old. You have to have an Ethernet cable not Wi fi and you have to have a plugged in headset from this list. A preapproved ones. You know stick microphone. Kind situation And boy when we did that and we had one or two people maybe who didn't present People said the AV was perfect. And I'm like that's because we're not using Wi fi using proper headsets. Not AIRPORTS HAVE YOU. Have you come to any blocking and tack tackling tactical decisions like the one? I made that that are Helping yeah I mean I think there are probably dozens. Yours is a very good one right. Like figuring figuring out sound and video and Wi fi and network connection is super important. I give a different example at the other end of the scale is getting really good at what does eight demo day pitched looked like Over over zoom. I tand and We we ran sixteen virtual demo days simultaneously. It's fascinating Jason. It's incredible right because One of the first ones we did in that grouping was in Abu Dhabi Ray great program but far away how many bay area investors Jato work at travel there to go. Look at the pitches. My guess is you know you. You didn't have your ticket ready to go for that one and two thousand plus attendees attend. you know that. Virtual Demo Day And you can see him. Their DEMO DATA STARS DOT COM. And they're open. You know open to the public but figuring out the logistics of all of that and the technology behind it To to to really have the right experience virtually as different than it would be in person has has been great and we've of course drafted on the anywhere program but improved on it as well right. We'll get back from this quick break. I want to get your thoughts on what start. Ups are going to thrive coming out of You know this pandemic and what you think on a your best advice is to founders. Now let's face it you know. There's twelve year. Run is over and now we're back in. What would be the web? Two Point Oh days like when you started two thousand six or maybe even two thousand eight two thousand nine after the great recession financial crisis when we get back on this okay now more than ever we need people with the right skills to support our communities especially the frontline workers who provide resources and care for those most in need and to help. Lincoln is offering free job post for healthcare and essential service organizations that need to quickly fill critical roles with the people who will help all of us. If you or someone you know are hiring for one of these. Organizations linked ends active of over six hundred. Seventy five million members can help you find the right candidates for other frontline quickly. Lincoln jobs screens candidates for the skills and experiences. You're looking for and put your job post in front of qualified people who meet your requirements so you find the right. Person to quickly fell critical roles. Many of our portfolio companies have had success using Lincoln. Jobs one of them takeoffs dot. Io is an AI. Enabled building materials. Marketplace's recoil. I found them when I was in Australia. And they were looking to hire last year. An AI engineering lead. Which was really difficult because well. It's a pretty unique skill set right. You're an engineer engine. Way I linked in jobs and they found the perfect candidate with a PhD in computer vision and this employee has been with them for over a year and has rolled out several major projects. And it's been a real game changer for for that startup. So here is your call to action to post a healthcare or essential services. Job For free. I want you to visit Lincoln Dot com slash power again lincoln dot com slash power. Okay let's get back to this amazing David Brown the CEO and Co founder of techstars is on the podcast founded the program in two thousand six now by five hundred companies. Go through it a year correct. That's which is more than Y combinator. People think Y combinator is the largest accelerator but techstars in fact is the largest number Kudo. It's it's ten at a time right so it's still an intimate experience but if you add it up across fifty locations that's five hundred so the Max is ten. That's the number you came up with. Yeah recovering have we ever done eleven you know yes but it's never fifteen right. Why what what? How did you come to that number and that realization as opposed combinator which is now one hundred fifty they break up into groups? Or maybe two fifty actually her. You Know I. It's interesting because we randomly picked best guest ten on in our first year and Over the years have experimented with larger classes and smaller classes. And really what it comes down to is the attention. We put very strong. You Know Successful Entrepreneur in as managing director of each class and that person and his or her team are responsible for sort of managing the whole program and you put in more companies. You dilute the attention and IT TURNS OUT. The ten is just about right that you can give everybody enough attention Without dilution and get you could do five but of course then you have excess capacity. Yeah and I interested. I picked seven and the reason I picked. Seven was short term memory. I just thought you know. Short term memory has been when they studied in psychology. Always remember when I was a psychology major seven plus or minus two and. That's how phone numbers became seven. Just did a test of what if you read off a certain number of numbers how many people remember and seven was the average. I just want to seven but some people can't remember ten. If you're taking notes you remember it. You know twenty or thirty probably a lot easier So here we are. We're going into this. What will clearly be a recession? Perhaps and extended recession Negative growth for many quarters to come. What most consensus would be of course? Companies that are virtual are accelerating their growth. Which is a bizarre experience to have. And you must be seeing this inside your own portfolio where you have a group of companies that is absolutely had. Their revenue goes to zero and they've been crushed to a point at which no model could ever predict. And then you have other companies that are looking in the mirror going. Oh my God I feel so guilty. We've doubled revenue because of the pandemic. Is that what you're seeing as well in your portfolio. And then what does that mean for going forward your advice to startups So one hundred percent right like if you're in the business of facilitating business travel Things are not going well for you right now unless you figured out how to pivot but if you are a company that is helping Triage ems to do telemedicine And avoid the hospital. You're on fire right now and So it very much feels like there are huge winners and there are huge losers People who are really str- startups. That are really struggling on balance. Of course it's going along with the economy but it doesn't feel like that what it feels like is Are you in the good category or in the in the hurting category? What do I say entrepreneurs I say? Get A we've had this twelve year bull run And everything has been so great and so organized that we've been dotting is on T. N. Crossing teas that didn't need to be dotted or crossed now. The world has taken this big box of problems in dumped it out upside down. And who's GonNa fix those big problems entrepreneurs and startups? There is a world of opportunity and so those those problems are big problems. Five years from now. We're going to look back at a huge companies. I think that got created as a result of this pandemic and if you're the company that was focused on you know dotting an eye for business. Travelers great opportunity to pivot and pick a new problem to solve the and that is pivoting for founder is one of the hardest psychological emotional exercises to say. I spent three years thirty months even three months working on this problem and building this product to be able to put it on. Ice PUT IN STASIS SAM starting over. I mean it just shows you what the sunken was that sunk cost fallacy. You're just because you spent three months walking in one direction. If you find that there's a cliff there you have no choice but to turn around. You can't just stand at the cliff and go a magically. A Bridge is going to emerge and that's just not going to happen exactly exactly but it know founders are resilient bunch and it's a great way of separating the wheat from the and figuring out who who is resilient enough to Walk back from the cliff and go in a whole new direction. What categories are you looking at now and saying this is a big opportunity and will be a sustainable opportunity because you know if everybody all of a sudden wants to start delivering food and helping restaurants deliver food. I'm not sure that people are not going back to restaurants at the same level in twenty twenty one or two thousand twenty two that they did in two thousand nineteen seems to me that like people will be going back to restaurants and we're going to beat this and it may take two years or may take one year so you don't want to rush into something like competing with AIDS or post meets so no if it's a sustained what things do you think are sustain change versus temporal so a couple of thoughts you know first of all You know I do think an instant card for example you know or Uber eats a lot of people are discovering that that's available for the first time. Yeah Wow I don't have to go to the grocery store or how is that possible that people don't know that it's rare? I am married to one of those people right and There are lots of those people out there. We live in the tech world. Your audience probably doesn't yet know Live in that world but maybe their spouses do or their friends do. And so I do think right that there that yes it will about. It will snap back but it won't snap all the way back. There is an opportunity for The INSTA- carts in the Uber eats to grow to grow business. Yeah but I compare that my and allergy when I talked to entrepreneurs about compare it to say if you're a toilet if you're a company that makes toilet paper and your businesses just on fire right now right like you can't make enough because everything you delivered to. The store get sold out immediately threat. Well the world doesn't need more toilet paper right. That's not what's happening. What's happening is people are filling up their pantry and so far. The Valley That Pity that exists. Today there will be the same valley that exists. Yeah You know somewhere down the road and so no whether you're an instant card or no whether your toilet paper manufacturer it's a IT'S A it's A. It's a temporary non-sustainable spike But but the bigger thing is. How's the world's GonNa Change Right about that? We talked about it earlier in the show Investors for example or discovering that they don't necessarily need to break Brad and that applies to more than just investors that implies applies to business people as well we have a lot of corporate partnerships partnerships. I have to fly all around the world. You know I fly. I flew two hundred thousand miles last year last couple of years because lots of people want that face to face interaction but guess what people are discovering that the zoom thing works And that you're able to have a video conference and not get on an airplane and so you know I think that's going to change the natch the nature of business in the future and depending on what your startup does You should think about how the world is going to change on the basis of the different things that are going to that are happening today. That may snap back but may not snap all the way back so education. Right is a great example if people are learning how to home school their kids. They're finding online tools to be able to us. I think higher education is in deep trouble because their impact model. What do you think will happen in? Not just this fall but next fall I mean if people people could really be expected to pay thirty forty fifty thousand dollars for zoom classes. That makes no sense. What's GonNa Happen? I think that's right. I think they're terrified right because they're terrified. I have a high school senior right. Her whole grade is saying you know what gap year right like. Why go to college in the fall? Because I don't want to spend the you know all that money I WANNA go. She wants to go for the college experience. Right right live in a dorm and go to the football games. And she's like you know if there's going to be social distancing and one person to a dorm room and no football games and I and I have to zoom classes. I'm going to take a gap year but I think for everybody that does that. She's you know she'll probably go back a year later than I guess. You'll have a different problem. Which is you'll have classes twice as big because I've have two years worth of kids going through school but it's GonNa be it's GonNa crush revenues for higher education in the short run and then I think people are going to realize maybe I didn't need to be educated in that way. Maybe I could go to an accelerator instead if I want to have a startup rather than get an MBA and That's a better education so I think I think that enrollment overall is going to drop and I think higher education as terrified. Yeah it it does seem to me that everybody reevaluates the value of each of these institutions. Whether it's the office space. The restaurant The Prom the college experience. Is this all going to be reevaluated? And examined with fresh eyes and maybe examining fifty thousand dollars a year. Seventy five thousand dollars a year all in verses three smart people learning to Code on Free Code camp or Lambda school whatever it is and then starting accompanying getting a hundred thousand dollars. Investment is a better move. We need more founded. This is GonNa lead to more entrepreneurship way more because the problems are Baker right You know a better way of commenting on a blog is what's really needed right now. It's better education system better better healthcare system. You know I'll give great example on that. That's my background. My first startup Deal had Cohen in my first startup dispatch software for ambulance companies So I saw firsthand. How messed up. Our healthcare system is and how many people get taken to the hospital for no reason? If you call nine one one right now. Say My toe hurts. They're going to pick you up in an ambulance and take you somewhere. And and the reason is because they came and you call them and they wanNA close the transaction stated yeah his centers. Don't get you don't get paid for No transport right. So they're going to transfer you and they're gonNA get thousands of dollars based on right. Yeah right you know as telemedicine begins to emerge and you know today. I'm getting notes from you. Know my local provider Dr Right. If you need a consult I can do. A telemedicine consult And as a insurance providers figure out how to reimburse for that yum that's good to transform healthcare. It's going to be amazing if everybody integrate way. I mean imagine if everybody could have the Cossio Dr Experience that you know people who can afford to spend you know whatever. It is five ten twenty thousand dollars a year on cost doctor. Will you can just tax. I can just text my doctor anytime I want. And you know Have an open discussion about that. That's basically going to be everybody's experience and it is everybody's experienced now. The doctor cannot come. You cannot come to the office exactly and you know. Let's keep the emergency room free for covert patients right now and take the stubbed toe people and have a online consult instead When we get back from this final break I want to talk about how you manage the relationship and what. It's like post graduation at techstars. And is that even an important part of what you do or are accelerators just about that? You know initial period when we get back on the streets turnips. I'm really excited to welcome back to being a partner here at this week in startups if you don't know them there obviously the cloud communication platform that's used by people like Uber or airbnb shop. If I I use it at inside we use it at this week in startups and joining with us here at this week in startups to bring their twilly out and send grid startup programs to our listeners. Really will provide you the building blocks for messaging voice and video in your web and mobile applications. They are rooted in start up culture and they are here to help you on your journey. And they give you the ability to build all of this communication into your product without you having to rebuild everything so you need all these to be perfect. You need to make sure they get delivered. You need to make sure you're not falling into spam or getting hits against your phone numbers and your email addresses. Well they do all that for you and it works perfectly so if you want to engage and delight your users while scaling globally all from one. Api Power Platform from SMS. To Voice. You can even go into whatsapp now. I didn't know that. Actually that's pretty cool and this is where it gets great and I'm really excited to attach radio. Make this offer to you our listeners here at this week in startups. They're gonNA you five hundred dollars so I'm not gonNA say they're going to give you one hundred five hundred five hundred bucks in credits right now. Plus you can get access to webinars made exclusively for startups and the full support of the twenty startups team. Plus that's the five hundred. You get entirely. Oh now wait for this. They're also going to give you three thousand dollars in San grid credits. This is unbelievable. I really am thankful for for doing this. Go TO STARTUPS DOT COM slash twist. Twi- Leo T. W. I L. I. Startups Dot Com slash twist twenty startups dot com slash twist. We're GONNA put it in the show notes. You have to go there and grabbed these credits. It's thirty five hundred dollars waiting there for your startup. And they're doing this because they loved the podcast and they WANNA support it and they WANNA support startups because they are big fans of startups and they're big fans of this week in startups Which I appreciate so get the thirty five hundred dollars now. Twilly STARTUPS DOT com slash. Twist all right. David Brown is with us. He's D Brown on the twitter. Ceo and CO founder of Tech's ours active on twitter. A little bit little bit here and there the new fear on their feature where you can only have your followers reply where you can just mentioned it. Yeah they're doing an experiment. Now which I had actually suggested maybe five or ten years ago. I said well if you really want to stop the trolling problem. If you just had a check box that only my followers can reply to this tweet and you can do it on a per tweet basis. It's pretty obvious idea. So if you're not if I'm not following you Then you find following you right so only people I follow can reply to the street so basically is putting a little velvet rope. Every anybody can read the thread but to participate in the thread. So just let you have your own little self reinforcing bubble like I'm so boring that nobody response to my tweets and it doesn't really matter yeah. You're you're focused on building the world's largest accelerator and that's also important It is a very interesting. Yeah did you see the classic feature? It's a pretty interesting feature you. See The clubhouse funding. I'm curious what you thought about If anything no no. I don't know what you're talking about. Actually clubhouse is like the APP that Kinda got heat here in the valley between venture capitalists and. It's like a little audio experience. We can kind of Talk Radio but I'm interested. Hart's put a reportedly ten million dollars into a prelaunch in a bidding war with injuries in. Andriessen was innovative more with benchmark and they had the founders two million in secondary to get the deal or as part of the deal for a prelaunch companies. Kind of a weird outlier in terms of funding. Yeah what was that company? Years ago that raised a million dollars on nothing. Was that A million or not. I think it was a million but it was just like a name. Oh yes it was. Yo- exactly yeah yeah it does the when when founders come to like how come. I can't raise like from us on two hundred million dollars for my idea. Where my like nascent enterprise? How do you explain that to them? These weird things that occur. How do you explain the out liars? Yeah yeah look I mean I think. One of the benefits of Working around the world is Breaking out of the Silicon Valley but a little bit. People don't always have those big stars in their eyes right. There are much more realistic. They understand by and large. That evaluation is what you're able to get and you might think you're worth two hundred million dollars but if the market says your worth four then you know you're negotiating opportunity as maybe go to five right. Not Not to fifty after people graduate is what is it. Do you have a philosophy about accelerators and Best Practices Post graduation? Do you try to continue to help him. More healthier that they graduated. And maybe they can come. See the next batch of companies. But it's Kinda like you're done you left the nest. Do you look all not at all like the way we describe it as the accelerator is at most half the experience with the rest of your life being the other half and our expression that we use is techstars is for life and it applies to founders but it applies to staff and associates in any mentors anybody associated with the program and we have lots of activity we have you know internal intranet kind of tools for founders to connect with each other we have perks for founders that exist beyond the beyond the accelerator that they can use for life discussion forums founder. Con Annual Gathering We'll see when we're able to run that again but yeah I've been to founder gone. It's kind of fun. Lotta come out for that. What's why do Angel Investors Sankei Founder Con? I can't remember which one was. Which city was IT IN SEATTLE? Maybe or was it in so I remember. You said you had a line on stage. Okay all right go from that founder. That I still quote you on what you. Oughta hear it do. Y Y Y you want to be beat be copy instead of a Beatasikh uppity. Okay right and it's because all you have to do is go visit a corporate though a big corporation and in the back behind reception they have this massive diamond. And all you have to do is ask him to chip tiny piece of the off the diamond and give it to you like that. Is Your Business Model whereas B. to see you have two big scrape and borrow for every last dollar opportunity to make not a bad line. Actually it makes sense. Yeah it's it is a much be to be such an easier life. I mean you not get the outlier of being Tesla or twitter or snapchat or whatever you know Amazon you get the brand recognition. The the household name recognition. Yeah easier way to make money for sure. Why do Angel? Investors and seed funds Peck One company versus another. As you've studied this in the recent people WANNA come to accelerate number one reason given as always I wanNA raise money. I want to have that Demo Day. I WANNA get exposure a second reason. I want to get advice on how to my company and he gets pretty universal. Why is it that people pick company A. Over Company? Be in your estimation what were the reasons that investors and angels and it might be different for each of them a seed front versus angels. Make that decision. Yeah I mean. Let's set aside the foam. Oh and the excitement. You know where everybody's piling into The deal and pretend that doesn't exist light Does you know I think. Look my and this is my angel experiences while I angell invested before techstars. Don't do so much anymore but you know it's it's a personal connection with the founder like I there you know I understand them. Were were by JA. I think I can help. I understand the business and I do like to break bread with them. They are somebody that I feel like. I can communicate with because I will be able to help them and maybe also learn from them. Yes he leaves a very interesting. You said it'd very plain English but if you unpack it your ability to like enjoy the business that they're running and that you feel you can learn from them and that they're likeable and that you want to spend time with them all of these things do add up and none of it is in your answer is I'm looking for the highest return and this is sometimes people forget right like you if you're going to make this investment of your high net worth individual who has the ability to write a twenty five or fifty k. Or One hundred K. Check you're going to invest in somebody who really are going to enjoy being on that journey with and that you're GonNa really five with and that you're going to be excited. It's not just about the returns and it's typically that's the third fourth fifth thing that people say. Oh Yeah I want to make more money. 'cause they're already rich if you're in a credit investor. You're already well to do. Yeah I know you're you're not doing it as a charity right and But you're picking amongst the set of people that you think can generate or return. But can you really evaluate whether you joe or Jim is going to create a better startup? You know even if you think. Joe Is five percent stronger. But you'd like Jim twice as much you're GONNA pick Jim Right. Yeah because the fidelity on the five percent is pretty low when you look at characteristics over the life of investing in companies may be you people who are second and third time entrepreneurs and you start to see some really good signaling. What is your signaling for founder characteristics? You know well at the accelerator stage. I think being coach Abol is super important. Rainy sometimes the second time entrepreneur or the entrepreneur that has a little more revenue than the rest of the companies in their cohort have a little chip on their shoulder. And something to prove. And I've already done this and I know what I'm doing and you just know that you're not gonna be able to help as much and look. They have a benefit if they've done it before because they have experienced and And that gives them advantage but if they're not open to learning from others experience whether it's the techstars staff managing director mentors whoever They're not going to progress as much and so. I do think that summed some times the later the multiple full-time entrepreneurs especially if they're exits aren't incredible Can Be at a disadvantage if they let their ego. Get in the way and our coach -able enough when you look at mentors. How do you pick mentors for techstars are mentors? Are you concerned with mentors that the people who have time from enter ship with the people who want to be mattress people who asked me to be mentors in our are we don't have mentors In in our pregnant bespoke thing. I'm the mentor. Like and the other alumni maybe extent. But we don't try to bring a metrics because a lot of times. I find the people who want to be. Mentors are giving horrible advice. And they're giving too much advice. How do you think about mentors and picking them? How do you tell your cities? Here's how you pick a mentor. And here's who is not a good mentor? Did you give them instructions? Unpack at all. Yeah we do. So we have about seven thousand mentors for our accelerators more if you include all the mentors to participate in startup weekends and so we have a pretty rigorous process for intake and evaluation. We do give them all coaching. We have a thing called the mentor. Manifesto which you can google that David Cohen wrote with one of our early. Md's to help mentors To help guide mentor so they don't give bad advice but in the end the most important thing is to survey the men teas and find out who are the most effective mentors. And I'll give an example right. You could be a really accomplish mentor. And you know you built a huge startup. Know lots of things you know lots of people and really you just WanNa have mentorship on your resume for some reason and you show up late to the mentor meetings. And you're checking your email and you take a phone call and you don't dispense of any of that advice or wisdom or connections that will you're terrible mentor. Right and so Though that active surveying process causes us to rotate out The mentors every year you know let the startups pick who was actually valuable when people are deciding between Y combinator and techstars and they say have an offer from both. How do you win deal? What do you say to them in terms of how to pick you know? Look I Y. Combinator is a great program and And and so I don't. I don't think we're in a position where we WANNA say. This is better. Do this do that right. I think I if you WANNA be in Silicon Valley if that is your goal y combinator has a great ecosystem there. If you WANNA be in Chicago we have a stronger ecosystem there. If you you know are comfortable in the large batch sizes Y combinator is probably a great answer for you. If you want a more intimate experience ten at a time techstars is better for you. Is that large class size in the best. Interest of founders. It doesn't work for us. It clearly works for Y combinator. You know they've had great success. So why has had great success but and you've had great success with the smaller version but what about the founders? Who Go to accommodate you. Think it's in their best interest to be one of two hundred fifty companies one of two hundred companies. It seems crazy to me. I want to hear if you think that yeah I mean look I I mean. I don't think it's right because I don't think it's it's not what we do so obviously. I don't think it's the right thing to do. If I thought it was the right thing to do we would do that. why do you think they what what do you what do you think? Why comedy doesn't I? Don't you know those guys probably better than I do that? I don't know that I know why they do it that but I think it's a big bet on Silicon Valley right as And so our ability to scale Maybe as easier around the world because we can just pop up born more cities and add tentative time if you're going to be restricted by geography The only way to scale I suppose to increase the class size. Yeah yeah it does. See your speculation. I have no idea I I mean they do break it into subgroups. I guess but I I think it's my view on. It might be a little bit cynical. Is they've got such a great brand Having been there early that they're just leveraging the brand love to cast as wide of a net to catch an outlier in that. I really think it does a disservice to the bottom third or the bottom half of the class. Because my gosh you know like what are your chances of really breaking out. If you're not in the top half of the class right you just get lost this just too many companies then when you go to the demo days it's just too many companies pitching you. Your mind can never process that large of a cohort. It's it's just it will melt your brain as an investor to try to even try I'm curious your position that Oh I was GONNA say like. I think it's probably a very true statement to sort of be the the worst company and Y C is a lot harder than being the worst company and techstars right because you are absolutely or the bottom third right because You know you going to get lost a little bit. And that's what the more bespoke experiences you describe it. That you provide that we provide Allows us to you? Know we love all our children on the top third. There's absolutely a top third and absolutely bottom third and people are on a journey to the top third might have been added for six months more or they might be on their second company or they might have one key co founder. Who's just an all star? Who got them further in their design or go to market strategy right like. I promise you. There are also companies that at some point. We thought were bottom thirds. That wound up being top thirds. Absolutely tenth could APPS. And that's the thing about being misunderstood if you're doing something truly revolutionary. You know the things at the top at have fifty k. In revenue or tank revenue already are GonNa look much more attractive at that moment in time. Then the person doing something completely speculative like meditation APP or a a cab hailing service or you know whatever it happens to be that you know is just hard to understand And Yeah I lost my. I had add another question. I was going to ask you about. Oh fundraise off. Yeah no no. It's okay I that was A. I'm going to say that was an interview technique to to get you to comment on it Though to ask you about is Why C has a very specific. You do not raise money until Demo Day do you have that same rule and if so why or why not. We don't although it's it's more common than not that they raise money at Demo Day but we're not prescriptive you know our mantras. It's your company. everything from a mentor. A really great mentor tells you to Zag. If you want zag go for it right and you know. Our Coaching Mentor is lean into that. And help them don't penalize them Same for fundraising you. You WanNa come in and fundraise on day one of the Program. You know be my guest. And sometimes they're successful So we can give them all the advice on how it's GonNa work and scarcity and fall Mo and all of that at Demo Day but Sometimes you have a check and somebody that's willing to write one and it's going to you know pay the rent and stuff and I could tell you that those that like were fundraising in February and I feel pretty good about it now. I know a company that closed around while in the middle in the second week of the program. Yeah they feel good about it now for sure. I take the approach of Foam. Oh is such a bad way to raise money. I mean it might be a factor but I do think that you might signal getting the wrong investors and of your only care about the cash. That's fine but most investors the elite ones. You can't use a Jedi. Mind trick on them and try to get them to you. Know Sequoias not going to get caught up in foam. Oh they're not or some great seed fund. You Know Alien Leah Cowboy or homebrew Brad Foul. They're not going to get like foam. Owed into an investment there just masters at what they do. You're not you're not gonNA trick them and so then. Who are you tricking with some foam? Oh that all around closing the file Docu sign is in your doctor. You could if you're going to trickle into investing and maybe the broader point there that is accelerating game right That you have to play by certain rules and you know. Sometimes I if an entrepreneur says to me I. I don't know if I should create feature X. OR Y. Which ones do you think the investor with like right and you know the answer is built a great business the Investors GonNa want to invest in Don't don't create a story to create customers to be able to get craft a story for deb day. It's not a game. I think that's really what the the problem has been over. This last decade is that with all the blogging and podcasting and books everybody's unpacked and analyzed founder investor behavior. So you know intensely that the game has been. How do I craft a chart in the twelve weeks? I'm in the accelerator buying Google ads or facebook ads and then trying to create this moment. Where I manipulate everybody into the round disclosing and it's a party round and you're GonNa miss out and do the foam thing and then you're left afterwards with. I don't know you twenty people who are investors in your company but nobody's lead. Nobody's on the board. What do you think about party rounds in general and just general hygiene of this like manipulation? That's going on now the emphasis on neighbouring this. You know I mean I guess maybe I'll I'll tell a story right. Plays founder a few months ago before before all this lockdown staff and he had raised a ground right from a a well known investor who had put a lot of pressure on him to grow the business at all cost and it hadn't worked to ride and then he had to lay off. You know a whole bunch of people and you know the investor is probably move the next deal but you know. This guy was heartbroken right. He had sort of. He felt like he wasted a year of his life. He diluted himself his ownership in the company hadn't acted in a way that was true to himself and he felt more comfortable growing his business. A little bit slower in a little bit more of a manageable way but in a little bit more of a profitable way and he sort of kicking himself for all this advice that he's getting out there in the marketplace. That you you know you should you. Should you should grow at all costs. Some sometimes the right answer is the answer. That's in your heart right and don't be careful not to take too much advice from too many other people they is. I think this advice about taking advice is is very important advice for founders to here because it is your company at the end of the day it will rise and fall with your ability to show up for work and do your best work and if you're growing it based on the strategy of some investor. Who's on their tent? Unicorn and their sixth house in there. You know second boat or whatever it is like. They're playing a different game. They're playing to hit another winging for a whole. Yeah and you might really care about what you're doing you may really care about the mission and the people and the customers that you you may be just fine with building a fifty million dollar business in ten years and they made only with you building a five hundred million dollar revenue business in ten years and at the end of Day. It is your company. And that's what happened to this guy. So yeah what do you do? Doubt like? He's alive he did. Okay Yeah He. He laid off a bunch of people in Resat last year of his life but You know he's okay. What do you think is going to happen on a global basis you obviously took a bat ongoing Global You have this very strong network effects here in Silicon Valley but the network effect in New York Austin Boulder. These are also very strong network effects. Now Do we think that the pandemic winds up being the breaking point at which Silicon Valley as an operating system as a mindset now it's just not contained to this region anymore. Well I mean I think that was underway Already I think that this is an accelerate You know the way I describe it as entrepreneurship is gene. And you're born with it or you're not and you might not discover it right away. You know you buy yes. Maybe you have a lemonade. Stand when you're six years older yet discovered when you're in college like me or you wait till you're sixty five like Colonel Sanders who's started Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because he couldn't live off his retirement check but I think that's a global phenomenon and it doesn't matter if you are born into Silicon Valley or the United States or Banglore or Singapore or the Philippines. All of which are places that I've been to and you know. Techstars has been a bit become a bit of a magnet for entrepreneurship and like everywhere. I go. It doesn't matter the color of your skin or your political sort of situation you live. In a dictatorship like we see our people there They come out from the woodwork. And they're starting businesses and they're solving problems that For India forcing poor for Asia. That aren't problems here. Like nobody know entrepreneur in. Silicon Valley is going to solve their problems because they don't under stand those problems and so I think In investors entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship in general is a is a global phenomenon that happened to get started in Silicon Valley but will eventually level out and Because that ability is everywhere in the world even if opportunity isn't and when you Look across the globe we have a bit of an anti-capitalism bit of you know Socialist Movement here in the United States or Democratic Socialism Arab. People WanNa really phrase it But entrepreneurship here is. Let's face it. It's it's not looked at the same. It's strong but it's not looked at the same way. It was just ten years ago. Oh yes there are challenges there right. We're in the world is entrepreneurship Vibrant and feels like maybe the United States they ten or twenty years ago where people are just in absolute support of people being successful and building new things. Where where do you see that most Ghetto to name one place yet. Yeah India right. The entrepreneur spirit is just. It's Mike Ness what's it like. Well you know I can't remember the stats but it's something like first of all a million engineers a year graduate from schools in India And you go to India and you go watch a pitch competition and the depth of the tech is unbelievable now often. You know it's in search of a business model her company right behind it But I think that's a lot easier to help with your mentor than the other way around. Like you're you've got a really good business idea but you don't have a mode at all or you don't have any tech capability. That's a lot harder to defend but everybody in India. You know what wants to get ahead wants to work. Eighteen hours a day rate wants to figure out how to conquer the world create a startup. Make a dent in the universe You know we WANNA WE WANNA watch Netflix and chill. Yeah would it. Why is it? Suddenly people are like Hustle is a bad thing. I mean if people want to spend twelve hours a day or fifteen hours a day building. Something that changes the world. Isn't that something we should laude? And isn't that aspirational and beautiful? What had a negative thing in the United States? It's so bizarre to me. You know I remember. I read a long time ago. But the world is flat. Thomas and He talked about traveling with Bill Gates in China. I think it was and you know how Bill Gates you had people like hanging from the rafters to on every word that he and the line in the book was it was like he was Britney Spears right who is big at the time and then Thomas Friedman's line was you know in in China. Bill Gates is Britney Spears and in the US Britney Spears is Britney Spears right and that's our problem right We've gotten soft But you know in in developing countries people. WanNa make a better life for themselves. They want to provide for their children or their aging parents are themselves and their families And they're eager to Create Upward Mobility What are you seeing Europe? I'm curious it's it's so pronounced the entrepreneurial spirit in Asia South East Asia India. You even Australia to me is just amazing. I spent a lot of time there. Last couple years in man the entrepreneurial spirit there is phenomenal. What what's going on in Europe is it. I see the nordics doing pretty well. Germany seems active. But haven't seen you know a ton of companies coming out of region. I think it's emerging Alec. Berlin is a hopping startup. Seeing Right Berlin. If you haven't been as very cool place to go. It's inexpensive very very strong. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem we see we see the same in Scandinavia for sure. London is Great And IT ORG. Different countries have their problems often. There's too much regulation often. It's too difficult to get a startup going or even open a bank account But but the conversation that you hear is it's getting better and to me that's sort of the signal of what's coming. Yeah Hey you guys have been We David Cozier. Still co CEOS. How do you even manner because David seems to be that? We seem to be the person who does all the work joking talking. Dammit we know and we share a brain is how people describe it we work. Oh CEOS for a while. Yeah I run the business. He dropped the coast CEO title. It doesn't really matter in real life the way to think about it. As we share a brain we share an office right We talk every day even even even in these crazy Even in these crazy times We've played around with external titles. It's only an external thing As our we've played around with our titles it's an external thing because people wanna know like what's the dynamic but does matter what our titles are. We treat each other the same way we always have. I saw that Silicon Valley Bank invested for some Group of people invested forty million dollars in the business of providing accelerator in texters. No no it's all one. Stars is all one techstars. So there's funds in techstars like a venture fund and then there is a for profit business of providing accelerators to corporations explained that business and what Silicon Valley's investing investing in the funds to make investments or investing in the core business to own part of it. Because this is fascinating to me. I've never seen anybody. I don't know the ownership structure of why soon program just owns it. I have not no I know there are funds but at Masumi. He owns the mothership. I own launch sue. How does that work now? Now you have ownership techstars. Yup there's ownership and techstars David. I own obviously a good chunk between us and Foundry has invested as well and now Silicon Valley Bank invested as part of our Series be and you know were were real business with three hundred Employees were profitable. See what happens now but we've been profitable I think. Virtually every single year Since we've been incorporated in how do we? How do we make money? We make investments right which could be Kerry From the funds but it's also direct investments in some of our corporate programs we We have revenue from corporate partners. That we Do Things with. We have sponsorships things like that. But fundamentally we are in investing company You see that going public at some point. I mean that is typically the outcome. I mean we haven't seen that since idea lab. Did ideally go public. No just raised the bill back in the day. I mean that does seem like a public Y combinator a public techstars would be in inevitability is talking about that. I wouldn't use that strong a possibility term. Mike could use. I don't you know we're not. Were not desperate to raise funds on the public markets because we're well capitalized and profitable We're also enjoying very much doing But certainly being public policy side if you were public because nobody's ever made one of these things would create like an evergreen funding mechanism. I think that's what it would do exactly so that you could use the public capital markets to fund ongoing investments? That is such an amazing vision if you think about it and I mean. Lp's with then it's very interesting because if you're LP's were endowments excetera. They have a public mark. Investment team and a private market investment team. So now you would have a fifteen year relationship with endowments private market now. You're public they get to just buy the stock or you know you just issue a secondary every now and then raise a billion billion to work as a billion billion to work so it's a credible though so it is Yeah so it's it's certainly not something that's on the near term. Has It ever been done before? I don't know any no. There were no side on what the right compass member Internet capital group was at the name of the one back and web one point zero and vertical net. There were some kind of but it was more the startup studio model where you make the companies you guys have that as well as a startup studio model work. I think you know were investors in Pioneer Square labs for example and Startup Studios High Alpha as. Well we're close to those guys And you know currently what we do is if there are ideas that come in through our network. We have an arrangement where we can spend those out and do a startup studio. We don't run a separate studio Of our own Yum. We you know we we've always you know it's it's a great idea there are there are great. There are big companies that have huge ideas that are too small for them to be able to fund. Now all right well listen. You've been very generous with your time. Continued success and for anybody out there You know techstars is just as good as it gets in the start up world and you can't go wrong Visit any of their cities. Techstars DOT COM. And congratulations on Send Grid. And that was a big one for you guys. That's the biggest threat Yeah we yeah we have. I think seven seven Unicorns yeah in the portfolio Topac was a great. You know six one two is on bought that I passed on that one and I met them and just like this thing like putting a bunch of different pills and a packet. Is that a thing. And I don't take pills so I didn't know and who is just one of the lion spots but it is a thing but but like Tj that founder right like his parents were pharmacists. So he knew what he was doing And I think he incorporated his company on the day he came into techstars. He went through the Boston program. Wow Amazing listen continued success. Thanks for coming on the POD. Stay safe and If you're out there and you looking for a job I know techstars hiring and if you're looking for an accelerator Honestly as good as my accelerator as good as Y combinator is. I'll say that you know as I always tell people you can't go wrong with those three names and I always tell people do too. I mean I people at some point Sam was like I don't know if I like this idea of like accelerator hopping and I was like I. That's like telling people like you couldn't get into Harvard or something so you shouldn't go to Brooklyn College Baru and then transfer after two years or we'll go for your graduate degree like to go to a I mean even the regional programs that aren't techstars. Y combinator launch like there's no downside to starting a great companies know bad. Why not grow your network right? Grow your network and I had people come from accelerators. That took ten percent for twenty five K. provided very little value and they go on to do great things. And I'm like okay. Maybe it wasn't the most optimal decision. But YOU'RE GONNA make a bunch of decisions in the life your company some will be sub optimal. Some will be extraordinarily Dynamic decision that benefit that you get more benefit than the people on the other side of the table. That's just the nature of business economically though. If you're going to go to multiple accelerators come to launcher techstars. Yes those we don't watch delude. Us exactly accurate schools in this. Please let us get credit for you but I always always tell people like do. I suggest you six like no. I have seen people come to us after four or five and I'm like what's up here like. Are you just a professional graduate degree getter. You know there are some people in the world who have four graduate degrees and like okay. That's interesting you really like being in college. I mean if you're using it as a fundraising mechanism because you can't fundraise any other way than a problem. That's what that's That's what it tells me when you've been to six getting investors. The filling of seats was always a problem. I had I know you know I won't name the accelerator but another accelerate that was high profile for a time And isn't as much now like they were just filling seats and I would like go and I'd be like there'd be desperately trying to fill seats and I was like I might team. We have seven extraordinary companies. Then we launched the cohort if we do not have seven shrank four. Push back a month and we'll start a month later and I'll start working with the companies now but I don't ever WanNa fire for cohort where I am not all in on all seven companies. You know like it's just better to wait a little bit. I totally agree. It's okay it's great to see you Jason. Great to see your brother. Stay safe okay. I can't wait to break bread with you again. And go and go to nor will hit the kitchen and see Kimble all right to your house again. Yes combatant you see everybody soon bye.
Murphy Jensen: Co-founder of WEconnect Health Management | #ThePlaybook 184
"On this episode of the playbook I have Murphy Jensen Co founder of we connect health management and the nine hundred ninety three French Open champion. We're GONNA talk about my favorite subject Eagle and the feeling of unworthiness and how it can lead to harmful habits. Join me for all this and more on the playbook book. This is entrepreneurs the playbook each week. I bring you some of the greatest athletes celebrities and entrepreneurs to talk about their personal and in professional playbook to success in what made them champions on the field and in the boardroom. I'm your host and CEO of Sports. One Marketing David Meltzer does with the playbook and I have an incredible guests murphy. Jensen the CEO and Co founder of or disco founder Copa Piscopo founder of weaken health management correct. And I think your company has something to do with what your most passionate about. I'm just taking a guess. Well what I'm most passionate listen about is helping people. And that's what attracts me to the work. You do but helping people in specific space which is a substance substance use disorder addiction behavior health We designed technology to prevent relapse from drug and alcohol addiction in today's world with with the OPIOID epidemic addiction epidemic. It's important work today. Yeah I think most people don't understand how mass the problem is. I was reading one of the most frustrating. I know frustrations in Eagle based emotion. Article Google about the number one cause of death of fifty year old in under in America is suicide and the majority of suicides are caused was because of alcohol or drugs self-medication self-medication in in in some way a majority of those and so here. We are the intent is is to be happy and to live and yet most people are living to halfway point because of drugs and alcohol or checking out checking out of the here we are now. addiction can manifest in gambling. It can manifest in over work I think in feel that you know. Our Society's biggest problem is uncomfortable of being where their food me sacks yeah shopping you know this is GonNa fix it. Do you think so just as a little background to you. Won The French Open in one thousand nine hundred ninety three three yeah 1893. Christopher Columbus coach the nineteen ninety three the top of your game but we were talking about something we both experienced that the whole world thought we were amazing from the outside and we were dying. Well I think the first thought of that I had winning the French Open. Should be what you see on TV. which is a locker room with champagne? Shit flowing but in Pam Louis coming in and agents and a team aim and the managers but I sat there in the locker room and Paris France. It's not like a team sport locker room where you see fifty sixty people. It's actually actually just you and your opponent in my case my brother nine our opponents in maybe some macroom attendants and I remember my hand shaking. Why is that? Why would my hands shaking? I should ask it for me. It was all men. Now the world is GonNa see me for me and my insides didn't match my outside the outside that for that day I was the best in the world but my inside is now the jags up. Yeah I don't have the self worth I don't I don't deserve this. This isn't of me now. Where do I go and I think you know that mountain I climbed was based on fear and ego? The EGO and fear Eagle is the fear of loss void shortages and obstacles. A lot of people fill with addictive addictive behaviors. Now I've different concept to run by you as really exciting to me with you. Because you're recovering addict. YOU RUN A business to help recovery addicts and I'm someone who believes in my New Year's resolution. Almost every year is to be more consistent in inconsistency sometimes get confused with addiction. Yeah I mean you know. The three biggest words of my recovery is. I am responsible barnstable who I am responsible prior to recovery. I had anything about responsibility. You know I wasn't in showing up not only for life for the my loved ones and the people around me but I didn't show up for me and I'm responsible for mean today and by Doing the work that's necessary to stay clean and sober another day to be of maximum service to you. Know the the fellow the people in the world around us. That's what I gotTa dip in pain management whether it's emotional pains logical Japan or physical pain. All three are a cause of opiate addiction. People you remember Jeff Klein John I forget his name at USC had a back injury ended up on. Opiates and then a heroin addiction. which he just can't i? I want to say. Eighty percent of heroin user started with the pain medication. That's that somewhere in. Yeah in there and you know you think going in for a blown knee or shoulder or even to the dentist and you come out a heroin addict. How does that happen? And we've learned a lot in the hardest one as you mentioned which is a common thing that business coach about his worthiness right the more successful you are the more it exposes your own reality of worthiness because people think either too high of you or too low of you which both will question your worthiness they've someone thinks to view. It puts a standard of. I'm not going to stand for this. I'm far too worthy to be around that you don't want to surround yourself with a lower energy or lower thoughts but the same occurs when you hit the pinnacle right in for both of us. I think it's a lot of pressure when the insides don't match the outside and there's this void. What what that pain? How can we help people deal with that separation that because egos that separation? How can we help them deal with it? Or how do you with. We connect health of management. Help them deal with that. Reality that exists at some degree with one hundred percent of the people but now is impacting a lot of people especially in America. Well you know with relapse rates being eighty five percent for people leaving a treatment center hospital system within the first I year. There's gotta be a better way. And how are we not using this phone of ours we use it for every I mean food we look at the phone Greenie directions we look at the from. We need anything we wanted to find out exactly. Why wouldn't we use the phone in the same way where we can support art our recovery and that's mind body spirit activities? It's been proven that contingency management which we digitize within software improves outcomes. Income's rewarding someone for for staying on track and compliant to their helpline. We digitize health plans and we're focused on addiction recovery free today but back to the question I think the biggest thing for me is separating operating the truth in the fall of what's going on not in my life in my mind and how do you do that. You better find someone on you can open up to expose yourself and that's hard to do. There are a lot of therapists out. There that have reoccurring cuffs customers is because they're unwilling to share some of their secrets. What's what's my secret Murph? Because the question I have for myself opens. How do I want to be the more honest? The more open minded the marine surrender the war. I surrendered the more I win. That's been the baseline lying backbone of my recovery. The more I surrender in I in athletics the great shift in my life has been which no one would I believe because I got the opportunity to coach a world team. Tennis Team Billie Jean King's yet in Washington DC. And I had Venus Williams Serena Williams Martina hinges maybe fifteen hall of famers on this team and my First Mentor coaching. This team was our dear friend. Scott g his suggestion gestion was be of service and then my next mentor was Tommy lasorda. I'm about to coach my team. What advice can you give me fifty three years years in the majors? This guy knows teams and he didn't say practice more than your opponents he didn't say Draft the best team. He says if you can get Richard team to play for one another protect one another love one another like a family. You can't lose. What is I'll go with it? That's going to be the backbone of our culture. Why bring that up? Is that at matches when we got the longest winning streak in the history of professional sports parts with thirty four wins. Taking out the Lakers. Thirty three that was that was the mantra within the team and I went so far as in praying aim for my opponents. Yeah I never mentioned the word win or lose. I never mentioned it was all about. What can I get the more more I give this world the more I get from this world and that's just the truth? It's interesting because two of the things I tell people in my coaching when they have these difficulties as with others opponents in some aren't even human. We have opponents that exist in our ego and I said there's two critical things one is to to understand it start with understanding attack when you start with attack. You're going to be attacked right and we see that in tennis right what what comes out. If you have hard hitting attack someone he'd Sir it's coming second thing from understanding to is to pray for the happiness of like that opponent. Yeah instead of creating resistance right we we take all the energy away from her opponent. Yeah when we pray for it Louis Pre we give it in the world the universe not my will. I'M GONNA get my own way in. Had I told the universe that winning a championship was the goal. This season I I we would not have won six out of seven five in a row in that long winning streak. God what I missed the boat right. I don't tell the world or myself of what this interview supposed to feel. Look Act like whatever I asked for a guidance direction and protection to that note. But there's a lot the resistance out there people will watch this and say man. Those guys are kind of wou-wou their way out there. What are they talking about? How can Dan? We effectively communicate at the news. No one in my experience more resistant than than an attic There's defensive did title. Yeah right in the disease right. You removed drugs and alcohol. Now we can get down to the causes and conditions of what's really going on and it was never about drugs and alcohol. I grew up in an alcoholic home. I was very frightened. Child prior to my dad getting sober himself. He'd go away on the weekend. One One dad come home on Sunday a completely different guy and I was terrified. We had a a very scary house. Luckily he found recovery that changed the trajectory of our lives. But here I was this frightened child standing on the Centre Court at Wimbledon Wimbledon French Open or anywhere else. I'm uncomfortable in my own skin. So recovery gave me some tools just about everything that you share with your audience that supports not only my recovery. I don't think about drugs and alcohol. That's the beauty of it. The obsession to drink and use has been removed for some reason and it really came down to when my means hit the floor and I was out of options. I did the thing I was most terrified to do and that was asked for help. Yeah the best thing you can ever do. I didn't know oh I thought everything I knew about recovery or addiction was wrong looking back of what I thought I hated myself that this is where my life life had taken me and that my best thinking my scorecard read zero on the insides in people said. What's your moment of clarity Murphy? And the moment of clarity was I was dying with drugs and alcohol and I was dying without presonal right in the obsessive behavior. I think I saw this my own father who is a compulsive gambler. I saw this whatever your issue is that you use your obsessive behavior behavior to be the world's best. I truly believe you cannot be the world's best at something without being obsessed about it. Yeah I'm with that right. And so how do we. He distinguished the obsessive behavior of something that can be put towards a positive people in charity all the time. My mom is obsessive about helping other people. Yeah to her detriment. Yeah I get that okay. And how do we separate though that behavior that made us the world's best from okay. Well I have a pain so how to heal. The pain would have to be to assess on healing the pain and we ended up picking things. Unfortunately that are addictive as well. You know if I'm going to be obsessed with anything I should start with my recovery. You know get as much information as much knowledge and be as open minded. It's it's it's for me. The way is not having a way. Like I'm not gonNa tell myself with this. What success looks like I? I think that should be redefined in itself. But you know I've known like you. So many professional athletes that were driven by fear. You could be in the boxing. Ring the heavyweight champion of the world and I know some every chance that we're driven by fear there. They grew up in really rough conditions as children. Tight Mike Tyson his lost his fear. He couldn't fight today if he tried. But there's no one more dangerous in the ring when he was nineteen and I actually heard him share that feeder in of all people. The last thing you'd think that that generated you know that fear of losing what you've got or not getting what you want is self off center fear in my opinion and you know you can use it for good or for Ego In my case my job is only to serve in every area of my life I don't I have to be careful is when I get in my way in my. I'm I'm I'm up here. I don't know if you ever have stress but I I still anxiety wars. Yeah Yeah and I manage that stress through a a little meditation. I couldn't meditate take a breath. One Raft Forget about twenty minutes so that was a deep rhetoric and You know today. I'm able to sit still sit comfortably in my skin and not worry about tomorrow night happen. Yeah Yeah we're able to live right here right now moment to moment moment to moment heartbeat to heartbeat not really worrying about and then I'm able to experience the magic orange. This is all been greet theory. But you'd have a practical business. There's a ton of employees back here. Yeah right in. I always make the joke. Don't like someone wish upon them with ton of employees overhead but on the pragmatic side. You know you have to be able to not only create a solution that can help people yup through week and management but moreover you have to get people to use it engagement engagement engagement. What's the key 'cause I think whether whether you're solution there are some other engage? I'd say about athletes and their financial health. I get tons of people hitting me up going all I really care about athletes. Let me take care of of their finances. Yeah but that's not the issue there's plenty of stuff out there to help athletes. Yeah but how do you get them to engage or you know when the NFL blame those guys. Hey we have a free car service. Why would you drink and drive? We'll maybe not teaching them to make a plan when they're gonNA drink to get home. I order the carbon his lawyer who well that's the thing I think recovery for people that need it. It's for people that want good. And what's going to produce behavior very change for me as I was in enough pain to be willing to go to any length for my recovery now for those that want it. We have a framework that's GONNA support as opposed to a piece of paper that the clinician or nurse or the Treatment Center offers you after twenty eight days. Do these ten things for the rest of your Liping. There's no true if you actually do it. There's one of one out of one hundred million or a billion billionaire. You might get to do that. Because it's a proven fact that recovery alone recover along those darn near impossible. You know why take time I believe the easiest way to change your life is just to be grateful. I teach people to say thank you before they go to bed or when they wake up it I say if you can do it thirty straight days you literally can change your life. I personally. It took me nine months. I'm young people out there. Tell me what I can do personally. It took me nine months to every single day for thirty days that I could remember an execute on point one second of an action item to think or say thank you every single day eight for thirty three days. We're so far away to recover for something. That's addictive like those ten things like you said. The odds are insurmountable. Yeah yeah well. And the the drill at our company as this our employees are technologists data scientists. We bring them to support group meetings. They got to meet our patients that are around on the platform. We also our company. That's That works here. People long term recovery. That we're not asking you to do something we're not personally benefiting from so to have access to information and then connect tippety. You have connected to goodness in your book. We connect. Is that ironic onic or they were sitting here today. We can do what I can't like you mentioned mediaweek. And that's the whole drill here. You know all the key stakeholders there's in my recovery. There was no stakeholders in my recovery. Except for that piece of paper but everybody from the clinician to the therapist to mom to dad will get a a perfect view and get notified when my recovery activities dropped below a certain threshold so using technology for good is absolutely the coolest thing and I'm inspired. I'm going Wayne beyond if you told me. Nineteen years ago the you'd be living in Seattle Washington content at not happening told me nineteen years ago. You'd be a CO founder of a Tech Company in Seattle Ron. You'd be funding a tech company. Forty five employees offices in a couple of states holy smokes. Is that beyond Murphy. Jensen more is it. So is short so sold told myself all these years based on fear and a frightening little boy eight years old in last question and I hope I I make sense. Yeah so it won't most importantly I would say there's two things you can learn. One is to ask how you can be service and you live by that your company's built on that but I think the more important part and it goes to yourself worth it goes to your experiences. How do you advise people to have the courage to ask for help? How can I go to places all the time? And there's so much help around and everybody's so oh worried about giving that they're afraid to receive an everyone has something they need help with now where we all have. I don't care what it is. Yeah I'd still today. I have things go fight myself. I make list every morning going. What do I need help with today? Now what I need to do because getting out makes it so much faster you cannot recover. That's why it's we connect not. I can act yeah you can't. You cannot recover without help and the first episode saying I need help but okay. Let's say you get to points in. I need help now. How do you actually do like what you would vice? Would you give to someone to someone in early recovery. It's it's I would say. Let's take a timeout for starters but my mantra at every support group meeting every therapy session the willingness. I'm on the at the sunset Marquis on sunset strip instead of the manager of the hotel on the pleasing luckily called an interventionist and that interventionist asked me. If I'd be willing to get hope for some reason I said yes and then Dr Murphy brought in hospital and Culver City asked me. Would you be willing lane. So having the willingness to take direction so my mantra has been in every area of my life. I need some help. I used used to put on the front that everything was cool. Cool for anybody even Bill Gates as it was as putting on their pants one leg at the time and I got that from my dad you know. He really helped me playing really good tennis players but one they get a time and they need help with stuff everybody needs help with stuff off and what how I perceive this our company in our work. Is You know our mission is to save lives. Our mission is to provide accurate outcome. Stated we are we are generating a new business in a platform. That's going to save. That already has proven with some of our users. Ninety eight percent of over seven thousand recovery activities in three years. How does that happen? They had the tools. So how do I ask them to get someone. I want to ask for help. Humility for hot second humble myself like I don't know is the greatest thing I can share with my boss. Well let's get you the information you need to be successful. I don't know I don't have all the answers. What did I know about? Interface designs designs. What did I know about technologists in zero? Yup but I I I was there to do one thing if it's carrying the garbage out today the day. That's what Murphy's doing I'm bringing. This company was built like you said on one person helping another had. I not taken a someone out pay in an outpatient program to treatments to support group meeting. I never would have met my co-founder never that never would have happened. So being of service being humble enough to ask for help and take direction man you know there is I think the biggest thing I am not to get weird. What keeps me up at night is that we're all striving including myself at times to be some place other than where we're at? The magic is happening right now. What does that mean this thing called? Recovery is the powerball I heard in the support meeting. What dollar dollar amount could I give you to have another drink? There isn't one. There is not one billion dollars. I can make that today. You can make that. Today we own can make that today and my willing to ruin my life over this I I chance so. I don't know you have such great self worth right in and these are my push-up and I love it. And if I I was GONNA theme this out there is no doubt that if you could just be humble and everyone has shortages voids obstacles resistance in their life every every single person and instead of trying to fight through it by yourself right simply take step take time out and think about humility you think about. I can't do this alone. So there's a right there he that's it can't that's need to connect. Yeah when we're asking for help you find somebody to connect with that sits in the situation or has knowledge that you need to waited and not only give you the knowledge but be accountable partner with you to to support you as you consistently create a new behavior and I you know him huge fan of yours as well and I love the fact that you can go from the French Open champion to saving millions allies. which I believe is much more important? This is the most important work of my life. It'll continue on and also that we became good man Merom vents in your friends open champion but more importantly humble radically humble man who bounded sounded. Great Company to help others in encourages you to ask for help that would be here with. We Connect Health Management Day. meltzer entrepreneurs the playbook doc by hope. You enjoyed this week's episode of the playbook as much as me on a personal note. I just wanted to thank everyone for making the playbook such a success. Don't forget to continue advice. Sharing subscribing and listening to your favorite episodes. Is Dave Meltzer with the playbook.