Entrepreneurship

John Bocker – FFL Consultants Transcripts

John Bocker is the Managing Director and co-founder of FFL Consultants

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today we’re talking to John Bocker. He is the co founder of FFL Consultants out of Colorado, and they specialize in helping the gun industry actually be compliant. So, John, how are you today?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Great, Rob. Hey, thanks for inviting me.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, I appreciate talking to you. I know you’re super, super busy, and especially with the state of the gun economy right now, it seems a little crazy. But I think we can jump into that in a second. But before we get into that, tell me a little bit about you. How did you get into this space? And what is an ffl? consultant? And what does an ffl consultant do?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Well, if anyone’s inside of the firearms industry, everyone knows the ffl is the Federal Firearms license that the ATF actually issues to gun dealers and manufacturers and distributors inside the United States to actually manage and manufacture and sell firearms. As I tell our clients for the government, the government is not allowed to do that and enter into commerce with firearms, so a licensed gun dealers, around the Americans, you do that for them. So we got into it, JC is a john clock, my partner in this business, we’ve been working with the National Shooting Sports Foundation for about eight years. And typically, we would be at SHOT Show and talking to audiences of about 200 at a time about different things they can do to secure and protect their guns against burglary, and how to deal with how to deal with straw sales and how to maintain that compliance so that they, as we say, stay out of hot water with the ATF just do things right. And one thing led to another and we realized there was a whole nother you know, arena of gun dealers out there beyond the nssf members. So we we started ffl consultants about three years ago, and now We service the entire firearms industry.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how did you get so experienced with the compliance of this sector? It sounds like it’s pretty involved.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
And I get that question a lot so that everyone wants to know, where do you go to school for this? Well, you really don’t go to school, you can come into this business a couple of different ways. You can come in through the government sector, which is working for the ATF for years and working in and around the the regulatory compliance that the ATF imposes and the government imposes. Or you can come from the private sector. And that’s what JC and I did. At one time, I ran compliance for galleon sporting goods. And at any given time, we had 85,000 firearms in stock. We saw over 300,000 firearms a year. I mean, it was a it was a significant company, and that company was purchased by Dick’s Sporting Goods years ago. And then JC did this basically the same thing for sport, the Sports Authority for many, many years. So we’re very versed in the everything from importation to license acquisition, to compliance, security, sales and operations and inventory control. And, you know, we’ve JC and I have both been in the risk management business for companies since college. So JC has a little bit of military and law enforcement background. I’ve been in the private sector for about 20 2030 years, just maintaining compliance for companies and as we say, keeping them out of trouble. So it all evolved into this nssf program. Like I said, about eight years ago, were asked to start that up for them, and just turned into my full time gig.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what are the kind of problems that you see, or at least the common problems that a lot of you know, new ffl? Or even maybe some of the old ones? What do you think they where do they start running into that hot water? What are the things that are they doing that they what are the common mistakes they make?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Every every year the ATF actually puts out a list of the Top 10 issues that they are violations that they see in the management and control the firearms from their auditing programs, and from their results that their field inspectors actually report. But you know, it does change by year. And we see it more so recently in not only demographic but the startup ffl versus, you know, 20 year ffl. And but Rob dancy a question I want to say it probably comes down to training and turnover in every ffl. The laws don’t change that much in the forms, you know, the changing this form this year, the forms changing and as of November 1, but the 40 form 4473 which is the firearm transfer record. That doesn’t really change but once every four years if and if it gets revised and if there’s reason for it to be changed, because it’s a major overhaul a major I want to say process. For every gun dealer to convert to a new form, and train that folks, but what we see is newer gun dealers having a biggest struggle getting up and running, and understanding the very complex, what we call the ffl. guidebook issued by the ATF, it’s 263 pages of laws, regulations, and statutes that, you know, new, a person new in the business has to absorb, digest, understand, and then apply. And there’s little nuances to do. And each one of those right and wrong, there’s a lot of exceptions to the rules, they have to, you know, understand and possibly call your ATF agent about, or just continue reading and asking, you know, veteran ffl, or someone like us, you know, how do I do this? So we always say, you know, your first place to start is with the ATF. But if you don’t want to call the ATF and ask a question, that’s, that’s what the nssf and ffl ffl consultants is all about. We’re there to answer the question, we give real answers fast. And that’s what a gun dealer needs, you know, when they’re selling guns and managing inventory,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Is there like a school or like an orientation program offered by the ATF for these new FFLs?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Not so much any type, of course, or school or, but they do, you know, and that’s where we were actually involved with them as the nssf experts and consultants, we actually were traveling with the ATF and the FBI, every year conducting what we call regional workshops. And I want to say that’s the closest thing to any type of training that the ATF or the FBI in the next division will actually provide. There’s not much if anything available online is not many video or, or training tools online that you would expect from, you know, a perform process such as this. So that’s where we come into, you know, that’s what we’ve started to develop, because we know there’s such a need for that to occur. And it’s the only way really to keep, you know, people on the straight and narrow and doing things right, and getting up and running when they’re new to the business when the new to the business.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So right now, at least from what I’m seeing, it seems like the gun world is a little busy right now?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
That’s an understatement. Yeah, so this is, you know, the fourth going into the fourth quarter of 2020. And we’ve seen more firearm sales in the last six months than we have in, you know, in any in any six month period, actually, in the history since the a test been keeping track since 1968. We’ve had over 8 million firearms sold in since since March of 2020, a stat breaking all records and for a variety of reasons. It’s just not, you know, someone says Well, why? And I say, well, it’s just not COVID. It’s just not the election. It’s just not civil unrest. But I think it’s a combination, depending on where you live and who you are. It’s a combination of a few of those elements that are just, you know, causing people to turn to a firearm for personal safety. And the other interesting fact is this is the first time that we’ve seen such a just an astounding number of first time gun buyers. And when we were getting that information through our dealers or dealer networks and surveys we’ve been conducting, but we’ve seen and it’s a little bit scary because you want training to go along with all those new firearm purchases. But for the first time, we’ve seen an overwhelming number of first time gun buyers, and in states where we haven’t seen high gun sales before.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So with all these guns being sold, it sounds like you know, gun dealers are pretty busy. Do you see a lot of mistakes happening because of that just with like another you know, the paperwork side of things and the inventory management side of things.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
I want to say yes or no. Again, it depends on which who the dealer is how you have someone who’s spiked in business, maybe they were selling 10 guns a week 10 firearms, and now they’re selling 50 to 100. Just because of the run on on firearms and the supply and demand issues. We have firearm dealers we have clients all over the country from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington. But we have everything in between and we’re getting calls from the strangest from the strangest gun dealers and the strangest places but the strangest questions. An example would be you know, customers are some states are running out of firearms, basically, high population, low density of gun dealers, you’re gonna sell out pretty fast. So someone who someone who wants a firearm may have to travel 50 to 100, even 200 miles to actually pick to purchase the firearm they want. So we’re getting a lot of out of state purchasing requests and questions about clarification. There’s a lot of state regulations that that supersede the federal regulation. So you know, a gun dealer in Mississippi, for example, might call us with a question about someone from Louisiana or even Georgia coming over to purchase a firearm in this state. And that is restrictions on long guns versus handguns. There’s restrictions on magazine capacity. Types of firearms for certain states. So it’s caused a little bit of confusion. So on the gun purchasing side, we’re seeing a lot of confusion with out of state residents coming into buying it in a different state where they don’t live. So that that just leads to the paperwork, compliance issues. Am I doing paperwork correctly? Am I legally selling his firearm to those other people that aren’t my regular local customers? So we’re getting a lot of those questions. And that’s probably the greatest area where we’re finding compliance issues. Then it was a big because of the overwhelming number of firearms been purchased. You know, it’s put a real strain on the FBI background checks program, which is commonly known as Nix. And there’s one point back in April and even into May, though it delays the firearms of the next verification division of the FBI was, was backlogged maybe two, three, or even four weeks in getting an answer a determination to some of the firearms dealers for customers who are awaiting background checks. And there’s laws in place that say you can transport a firearm anyway. But there’s a lot of dealers who just don’t feel comfortable doing so. Yeah, typically, the law says you can, if the FBI doesn’t get back to you on a background check, you can transfer or sell that gun after three days, three business days. But a lot of gun dealers, you know, are more say, have more loyal to the constitution and safety aspect of selling and transferring guns, they don’t want to transfer a gun just because the law says they can. The law also says they don’t have to. So we were getting a lot of questions back during April and May about you know, what do I do? Do I have to transfer this firearm? Can I can I not transfer it? You know, because I don’t feel comfortable? I want to wait for your firm confirmation that they don’t have any background check problems. You know, and that was a big that we we were getting several calls for that about that question each week. But then we were we’re out visiting. Now, again, we’re doing an in store audit program, Rob, where we actually go into gun dealers. And we basically review all of their past transfers since the last inspection by the ATF just to make sure everything’s correct. And if we find issues, errors, we highlight them for correction. But you know, we’re finding errors all over the place from dates of birth, not correct. The wrong date, you know, you I’m supposed to put a date of birth on my transfer form, but I’m putting an expiration date on my ID was saying, you know, little technical clerical leprechaun, Clara, Clara’s administration error is not that they’re serious major problems with the gun transfer, but the clerical errors on the paperwork, all of those add up to violations with the ATF and they come to visit. So we try to claim that all up before the ATF next visit. So the gun dealer, we say passes with flying colors.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I, I’ve talked to a lot of gun people and a lot of gun retailers. And there’s a lot of trepidation about the B ATF, in general among a lot of these guys. Do you see out in the field the be ATF being supportive and helpful? Or do you think they’re more adversarial when dealing with retailers?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Well, this is 2020. So if you asked me this question, 10 years ago, I might give you a different answer. But today, I want to say we were very we work very intimately with the not only Washington bureau, ATF office, folks, but we also deal with all more than 50 regional and local offices around the country, for the ATF. And I want to say that it was probably a change in regime over the last 10 or 15 years with new folks coming on a lot of retirees, you know, taking that option. And I want to say the ATF has a new perspective on support for their for their gun dealers. And I think it’s instead of the old gotcha type of scenario, which you might be referring to, I want to say that predominantly, I find that they all supportive. You know, when you do call the ATF, when I was answering the phone is going to try to give you the right answer or get someone to return your call your inquiry the same day. But they’re they’re a government agency. What I mean by that is they go into state fact versus fiction and eliminate opinion and not offer advice, but they will tell you where to go to find an answer. Make your own determination or interpretation of the law. And that’s that’s the I want to say that the gray area that we still find. It’s not like you can call the ATF office and ask a question and get advice. You can get an answer a firm answer based on statute, something that’s in writing something that’s a law. They’ll refer you to a process or procedure that’s already documented and issued publicly. But beyond that, you got to get to rely on your instincts, your opinions, your lawyers, your consultants, your sisters, your support team, your colleagues, maybe you’re part of a buying group where there’s a lot of ffl compensation. That’s the tough part is who do Who do you go to when you, first of all don’t want to go to the ATF. And second of all, you want more than just, you know, a black and white answer. That’s, that’s where we find a lot of our, our support being administered.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So with you with ffl consultants, where would your advice and maybe where would an attorney’s advice pick up from there? How do you work with that?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Great question. Great question. So we are not attorneys. And we stipulate that if you, if you work with us, we tell you that right up front, yeah, we base all of our knowledge on experience, practical experience, work practice, personal experience of being deposed and investigated and inspected, and now being training with the ATF and the FBI next team. You know, we see all sides of that JC and I and our consultants see what we call a 360 view of this business. So we can actually give you advice not only based on the legalities, but based on the business aspect of it profit and loss, you know, revenue generating perspective of what you’re doing as a gun dealer. But we have to, we have to draw a line when it comes to issues and situations of liability. And concern weathers the what if question, what if I do this, what if I do that, you know, we will give you our best experience and advice. But we will partner partner, you as a gun dealer with someone, we have attorneys around the country as well, we work very well with two of the very well known firearms attorney groups that are nationwide. So I pay to also have great relationships with the ATF. But we will with smart enough to stop at a certain point in giving advice, making a determination or proposing a decision and offering it up to one of our partner attorneys. You know, we of course, are insurance insured and bonded and have the right protection in place. But there’s limits to what we what risk we want to take on, especially when that firearm can impact someone else’s life, or be stolen and be involved in a crime, etc. So we want to be a little cautious in that area.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So what do you see what like manufacturers? Do you see the different set of problems? Or do you work with manufacturers very much or more with the retailer side of things?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Manufacturers, most of the manufacturers have been around a while. So we do our work with new manufacturers standing out helping stand up the business on paying the licensing and insurance. And, you know, set up our operations and basically explain the foundational fundamentals of all of the acquisition and disposition record keeping the marking program, make sure they are congruent with the local ATF team so that they understand what they’re doing from the get go is, is 100% we’d rather spend a lot more a lot more time on the front end of a firearms, new firearms business, such as manufacturer and we have some ammunition manufacturers now we’re dealing with and some fellows who have moved from retail into manufacturing of AR type firearms and manufacturing kits into AR. So we have some minor manufacturing. So that’s what I’m talking about in this prior discussion. But on the line in a larger aspect, will it be browning or others and some of the major distributors, we find that they although we do support them through the National Shooting Sports Foundation, they typically have their own in house team of attorneys, compliance folks, people have been with them probably, you know, 510 15 years and or retired ATF folks who specialized in those areas. So we see less of that on our side. And most of our business and support goes to the retail gun dealer and the firearms range operators.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So it’s interesting politically out there. with things like the government changing its mind. Some things that come to mind would be say, for instance, the the recent bump stock ban signed by you know, Donald Trump, and I don’t know if you saw this even recently, but there is a thing with the honeybadger pistol, it’s a race issue. And it seems like sometimes ETF just shifts course, very, very quickly. What do you see? And how would you recommend that, you know, a retailer or something? How do they respond to that kind of shifting political landscape?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
We don’t see a lot of it, but obviously, I think any of it, you know, and a few of the two issues you mentioned obviously, and prior to that was magazine capacity bands, and different things. They what we do see of it, and I’ve been in this business, basically in the business for about 20 years since I you know, worked directly inside the firearms retail business. But we’ve been what we do on a daily basis, Rob is not only stay connected on a daily basis with the ATF open letters and rulings, but the nssf obviously is very intense. And then legal team and government relations team is very astute to what’s going on when it happens, whether it be at the state level, federal level. But I think I think historically, if you go back and look, there’s always an instance, where that sparks this change in demeanor or change in legislation or these these shoot from the hip restrictions, as we saw with the most recent one. But what we see is, if you go back and look at the incident that sparked the change, in statute, a ruling, whether it be a shooting in Las Vegas, or shooting at a school, or, you know, maybe there was a lawsuit in the news with, you know, a major retailer, and a shooting, that’s what we see, oh, is to be the issues that always catapulted this type of of item, you know, in the news. And the first thing, first of all, is to understand what the issue is. Secondly, if there’s an immediate notification, or if this is just something being spoken about, which most of them are, you know, it takes a long time for a bill to be introduced legislation to actually be approved and, and supported and voted on. And a lot of these bills, you know, Virginia just had an overhaul of their entire channel and less last year, I think they put five or six different new rules in place. The one we’re hearing about most across the country is the red flag laws with whether your firearm can be taken away from you for a variety of reasons. And that’s all based on states and municipality. So there’s a lot of rhetoric out there. But I think it’s important for a gun dealer to know what’s what’s impacting this state, you know, locally, are they in touch with their local legislators? Are they in touch with the senators and congressmen help them with some of the these these new call nuisance bills or legislative changes that are going into effect, you know, you really got to be connected, some of the best gun dealers and biggest gun dealers we deal with are connected, and have a direct line to their support legislator who can help them with some of the local laws. But when the ATF comes out with the honey badger, for example, this is this is making news for the last two or three days, everywhere yet, the the conversation is based on not based on anything specific xx except some wording that was used in a website, where the about a manuscript by the manufacturer that was maybe a little bit and probably could be edited or changed to resolve this issue in the description of the firearm itself. But the firearm itself was approved by the ATF design committee, design division, it was approved for manufacture as an AR pistol. So it’s very confusing to the the firearms industry yesterday and today, seeing all this news about it, and saying, you know, which end is up. So there’s obviously a lot of attorneys working fast, including NSSF, right now to figure out, you know, what the determination truly is before we run out and declare a million million firearms to be 100,000 firearms to be boating illegal in the hands of citizens illegally searches.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So tell me a little bit about that case, specifically, I saw an excerpt from a letter from the, you know, in the ATF, but it didn’t specifically state what the problem was. So I, you know, I don’t know what the actual problem was with the honey badger. What is the the issue they’re having with that?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, and I don’t have the I don’t have the website up. But basically, it was determined on their website that because, as I understand it, again, this is I’m not an attorney. As I understand it, this discussed we had this discussion this morning. And, you know, they might they might have built and manufactured and marketed this firearm as a military, they wanted this military, this firearm to be introduced and accepted as a military weapon to replace a very common automatic firing weapon that’s used by the military without mentioning names but long story short, it was not adopted, it was not. It was not adopted to replace the long standing current firearm that was being used. So the website basically advertised as honeybadger. It was an it’s an AR pistols what it is, it’s not fully automatic, it’s semi automatic. But they advertised that as a military weapon built for the military. And I think there’s someone got a hold of that, I don’t know. And they they ran us up, up some flagpole to get some backing behind the argument that it’s not a citizen. It’s not a non licensee, a citizen regulated firearm and it shouldn’t be and should be regulated by the NFA. Now that’s the general discussion that I was involved with as early as this morning. But technically, it has no other reason, because of the design of the firearm to declare to show up our rifle. You know, it’s got an arm brace just like every other approved AR pistol is able to have. It’s got a it’s a magazine fed. It’s a short barrel. But it’s not, it’s not a long gun. And anyway, and it’s not a rifle because the rifle is technically a firearm that has to be shot yet has a permanent shoulder stock on it. And as his shot is you can shoot with two hands. So this is a single hand operated firearm with an arm brace. So technically, it fits the description as as described before and as approved as an AR as a pistol. So this confusion, there’s a lot of confusion, I think within a week or two, there might be some more determination on this, but no one’s running real fast to know we also spending the deal is we are we are talking to or we’re advising him to suspend the sale of that firearm until we hear more about it. If there’s any, there’s some in stock, there are still some available. But the manufacturer has halted production of it and well, you know, it’s Q, I believe it’s in Utah, right. But based in Utah. So, you know, we’ll see what happens with this, but it’s fun to watch.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
It’s interesting. And it you know, I understand a lot of people have these braces. So I think that’s why there’s a lot of concern out there. And some of these braces are not cheap, like the maxim defense or the SP tactical braces are they’re pretty proud of them, those products, so it would be I think, devastating if those somehow became, you know, illegal contraband. Now, I mean, there was a lot of bump stocks out there, but I think there’s a whole lot more braces running around than there are bump stocks.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Well, yeah, and the brace itself is a legal accessory for, you know, a pistol, you know, and, you know, that’s as far as if you go back and look up, if you go to the ATF website and research this, you know, the arm brace is approved by the ATF to be attached to any pistol pistol, and they had an open letter in 2017, that even went on to expand the usage allowance to allow, you know, because there was all this, all these issues about people on YouTube and on video, you know, being shown or being seen using it as a shoulder brace, so to speak. So as long as it’s not designed to be used permanently as a shoulder brace, you know, or substitute stock for the firearm, it’s permitted. So, again, there’s a lot of gray area on this one, because there’s nothing new invented on this as an accessory on us on the honey badger to make it any more than what it is, which is an AR type pistol. That’s, again, my, my experience, in my opinion.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, this is why FFLs have to contact a guy like you to explain all that complicated nonsense and, and kind of diluted down and distill it down into something that like I said, Be distilling, not diluting. But distill it down into something simple, like a guy like me can understand all this bureaucracy and craziness.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, that’s all one thing, we get some panic calls, you know, when the bump stock ban went into place, and in some places they are bands have gotten into have been introduced and approved and made into law. I mean, I’m in Colorado, in Boulder, Colorado, outlawed ar, ar rifle, as of May 2019, a year over a year ago. And there was a surrender day either register it or move it out of the county if you if you reside in the county, and actually city limits, or register with the place or transfer it out or surrender it. And now, you know we get it. We were getting all these calls primarily from the dealers but also from a gun owners. You know, we’re on our website, wherever websites, so we get all types of calls, whether it be gun dealers, or people looking to buy guns or buying ammunition, or trying to license their firearm or whatever they might be doing. So but the interesting thing in Boulder, Colorado, Colorado, is he had a gun dealers had to worry about and no one else really did. I think and I think out of over 1300 estimated AR type rifles that they had in the county, just about 135 or registered. So it just goes to show that you know, some people are reacting, but some people aren’t. And there’s always gray area for discussion. And then there’s always the question of Well, what’s going to happen if I don’t, you know, so we get in the middle of all of it, you know, we don’t never disclose who would call him that we often call police department or they are the ATF or someone and ask the question on behalf of one of our clients. So someone calling, so it’s fun to be in the middle of it without being exposed, personally as to you know what the issue is, but firearms legislation, the laws, you know, are pretty straightforward on a federal level, it’s the state level you gotta worry about.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
It sounds like a lot of fun that they’re not your problems, in other words?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, most of them are my problems but but also services that help people with problems. So, you know, on any given day, you know, because of what we’ve done JC and I have been risk managers for large corporations and companies for almost 30 years each. So as I, as I tell people, I basically kept people out of trouble for all that time kept companies out of trouble and CEOs and but we also protected those businesses from from unnecessary liability. And we just didn’t want to incur the problem, you know, do things right, stay out of trouble and have no problems. And you never want an OSHA or the ATF or the IRS coming to peek in, you know, to look at your business, I mean, and it’s just a disruption and distraction when that occurs. And if you doing anything illegal, when they do show up, they’ll come they’ll look and leave. And that’s all goal is to is to help them do. Let’s do that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So it seems to me like, or at least it sounds like what the retailer is that it seems like paperwork is the problem, like just keeping simple errors to a minimum would impact that a lot.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Oh, absolutely. And the biggest problem in a gun dealership right now is the human we call it the human factor, its people its turnover, training, a lack of training as new hires, there’s a lot of great software packages out and available now for gun dealers to do a couple things for and if you’ve been to a big box retail, like ballasts Academy, or a sportsman’s warehouse, you know, they’ll have you go up to the computer, laptop or the computer screen and fill out the 4473. And that eliminates the nice thing is it eliminates a lot of the human error issues that can be logged at the time at a transfer Can you know that way, it helps the gun dealer speed up the process. And you know, you don’t have to review the form three or four times you can let the software manage that for you. The software has built in controls and filters to make sure you put a date of birth, that’s that’s all of it an 18 years old for longer. And that’s all it and 21 years old for a handgun, those types of filters are really cool. And make sure every box gets filled in and make sure that you know the alternate the optional boxes are filled in with with hints and why it’s important to do that, like your social security number. It prevents the gun dealer from having an empty box and therefore having mistake itemized for them when they have the next ATF inspection. But then on also on the inventory side is great software for creating the databases for acquisitions and dispositions. And, and in most cases, if you if you buy more sophisticated software package, they’re linked. So if I sell a gun, my inventory is adjusted and a disposition occurs and a timing so good. So we do recommend when we find gun dealers with higher volume of transactions, or excessive training issues to implement some of these software packages. Of course they you know, they’re not free. The ATF does provide some free software that helps. But for the most part, it’s the training process, the paperwork process that is hard to harder to manage. And there’s lots of statutes about how long do I keep my form, how even a denials where it was somebody turned down for a gun transfer, I still have to keep it for five years. And we still get questions on what you know what to do with this paperwork in this type of transaction. Because some of it is just confusing. And not everybody can keep up when they’re running a business. You just can’t keep all of those answers. Top of Mind.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
That sounds a little crazy. I mean, we see that a lot in the crypto world to like. And in fact, at least in the gun world, there’s a lot more clarity like we already know what the rules are. In the crypto world, there’s a lot of lack of there’s a lot of I guess cloudiness, there’s not a lot of clarity. it because it’s so new blockchain and cryptocurrencies are such a new thing. Now, and I think that’s one of the things that is hurting the United States right now, a lot of these big crypto projects and blockchain projects are moving to other jurisdictions, because they don’t like the lack of guidance and clarity from the regulatory side from either than the CFTC, the IRS or the SEC in the United States. And so there’s a lot of stress there. And even with us with our test project, we focused very heavily over the last three years that we’ve been around on, you know, making sure we do our best to avoid, you know, regulatory risk as much as possible. But it’s so new and that, you know, you don’t necessarily know what you’re going to do something wrong, necessarily. And I think that’s it’s been interesting, you know, kind of in this space and at least in the gun world, you know, what the rules are, it’s pretty concrete. You know, the ATF changes its mind like you’re saying they let you know, they’re changing their mind. But right now it’s in you know, how this is what’s government paperwork, Number and regulatory enforcement is that the government’s not going to tell you if you’re if you did something, right, necessarily, they will tell you if you did something wrong, or they think you did something wrong, but they tell you, we’re not going to give you advice, you need to figure that out on your own. And then if you screw up, then they’re going to hammer you. And I think that’s actually not good governing in general. Especially if people are open and trying to do the right thing. They you know, if the government won’t tell you, this is not going to work if you do it, or this will work. And I think that’s a big problem. And it’s hopefully again, it gets figured out over time, because I think with these new financial technologies and and technologies that are coming around, I think that the United States should be able to be a leader in this space, and it is changing the world. But

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
You’re asking me all the questions. I want to dig into your stuff in just a bit. This whole crypto world is getting a lot of interest from gun to gun dealers, mostly the you know, the online gun dealers who are hearing about it, whether it be you know, Bitcoin or other type of cryptocurrency, and it being so new. I know it’s been around a while. But it’s still pretty new, especially with the firearms world where our business has been pretty, pretty normalized for the last 10 1520 years. And to your point, the laws have been around the law hasn’t changed much since 1968. With the Gun Control Act, it’s just like, as I said earlier, as some of the state laws that are confusing and challenging to keep up with, but um,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well is what we’re trying to do is we we’ve created with TUSC, which stands for The Universal Settlement Coin, what we tried to do is we’re trying to solve a problem a payments problem, and a lot of people outside the gun world won’t necessarily know this. But in the gun world right now, lawfully regulated, heavily regulated, licensed gun dealers are having a real big time and a hard time with payments. And it’s not because of the loss, it’s because of a designation from politically active as banks have made it that the guns are treated like cannabis in prostitution and gambling. And so banks and financial institutions and third party payment providers don’t want to work with gun dealers and the ones that do want to take the risks charge a lot of basically a much higher fees for those services. And so with TUSC, we’re creating and have created a decentralized payment system. That is much cheaper than any credit cards out there. Right now, our network fee to the network is only half percent, and some of the gateway providers I think, will be adding 1% to that. So the idea is that instead of using a credit card that might be anywhere from three to 6%, depending on who you are, our network fees for every transactions only you can get the max, it’s gonna be as like a percent and a half. And then with a crypto payment scenario, you can’t be shut down. Right. So like a lot of

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, that’s a great glad to leading into this, because that is a question we get very often. And as you know, we’ve sent some folks away just to talk about this, like with credit card regulations, and the banking Institute’s you know, basically becoming, you know, non NIH supporters, non to a supporters rather, it’s very confusing to a gun deal and threatening actually right now as to what to do so. So stay on this topic for a minute what, what solutions is TUSC bringing in that regard?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So we’ve created TUSC It’s a cryptocurrency it’s a standalone crypto coin, kind of like Bitcoin. Everybody’s heard of Bitcoin, but we built TUSC for the gun industry. So we’re a bunch of passionate gun owners and gun builders and, and to a supporters. And we’ve been working on this project almost three years now. But we’re kind of we’re called a decentralized project. So that means that we’re kind of like a cross between a co op and a nonprofit. So no one owns TUSC. We’re not a for profit corporation. And the decisions about how TUSC is operated, are made by the members of the communities meaning that if you own a TUSC coin, you get to vote, you get to have a decision or a hand in the decision making on how TUSC is operated. So it’s it’s basically buy the gun people for the gun people. And the network itself. It’s pretty straightforward cryptocurrencies. Imagine, like a lot of people are familiar with how PayPal works. And but no one really understands how the back end of PayPal works, right? No one really understands how the back end of Venmo works and most people don’t care, right? They just want to have a payment solution. But right now in the gun industry, the banks who operate all those different Different types of Venmo and cash app and stripe and square and all those. They don’t allow gun retailers to use their systems, because of politics, it has nothing to do with legality. And so because they view is the gun industry is, you know, like prostitutes and gambling and hustlers and everything else, which we know is not true. But so what we’ve decided is said, you know, we watched in and as a group, we decided to try to solve that problem. Like right now, for instance, and I’ve talked to a lot of, you know, gun related people, is that there’s this whole, like, political debunking, and D monetization, you’re seeing that on the social platforms with Silicon Valley. You saw that with salesforce.com, you saw that was Shopify, these these CEOs are just activists, and they just basically write an open letter and say, if you’re under the gun world, we don’t like you, and you’re off our platform, they just say we’re not going to work with you. So the in essence, how we we solve the problem problems, one, we eliminate chargebacks, there’s no chargebacks with TUSC. So if you’re a custom gun builder, and someone’s impatient, they don’t want to wait for the gun to be built, they can’t charge you back on TUSC. Whereas with a credit card, can because they’re considered a red flag industry, they don’t get much of an appeal process when they have a chargeback. The other thing is TUSC helps on cash flow. So for instance, right now, if you accept the gun friendly credit card processing, processor, you still might have to wait anywhere from three to 14 days for that, you know, acth to hit your bank account. Well, with cryptocurrency it hits instantaneously hits their wallet, their crypto wallet, so if I bought a gun, or if I bought a gun from you, with TUSC, you would instantly two and a half seconds to three seconds later you have that cryptocurrency in your wallet, and you can verify that it’s there. It’s just as fast as credit cards. But you don’t have to wait for the bank to drop it into your checking account. And then on top of that, it’s like an insurance policy because we don’t have the ability to shut you off. So right now, and you’re seeing that right now, like especially a lot of mom and pops, you know, gun stores will set up a PayPal account, right, but they won’t do it in there, they’ll they’ll set up their business name like JC enterprises or whatever. And it’s a gun store. And PayPal work for a while Pay Pal were for a while, then bam, PayPal stops working and freezes their account. And once because PayPal has ways to figure out over time, if you are a gun dealer or an illicit business and they freeze your account. With cryptocurrency, we’re not a company, I have no ability to shut you down. It’s not even in the code doesn’t work like that. And so if even if I wanted to shut you down, and trust me, there’s some people I’d love to shut down, I don’t have the ability to shut you off. And I don’t own in any ways. I’m just a, you know, a member of the the co founder team, but I don’t control it. I’m not a CEO or anything. But the network isn’t designed to be shut down. So if you host all basically host a wallet on your own website, and you’re willing to accept TUSC, you have an insurance policy against being d platformed. In addition to it. So we always tell people look, you know, crypto is a new thing, right? This is new technology, there’s a lot of pieces, it’s got a little bit of a learning curve. But let’s just say you got a gun friendly crypto, or a gun friendly credit card processing account already set up on your website, you can download a plugin for TUSC, put it into your website, and it’s another backup payment method. So of some day, that credit card processor that was gun friendly decides to be not done friendly anymore. You can still be in business with TUSC. And we don’t have the ability to shut you down.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
So as a gun purchase as a firearm purchase, would I be able to go out and buy I noticed is all new and evolving. But right being able to how do I go out and buy TUSC or get enough TUSC. So then I can go online to use my TUSC currency to purchase my firearm.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So that’s kind of the infrastructure we’re building out right now. So we’re a new project, really. And so one way is you can buy it on set one of seven exchanges that we have were listed on right now or traded. So this is interesting about cryptocurrency is that they’re traded like stocks. And so the value is always shifting. So that’s a little harder for people to wrap their heads around. But right now you can buy TUSC very easily through seven one of seven exchanges and you just log into an account and set it up for free and then you can buy it with a credit card or if you want to buy a large amount, you can do a wire transfer through your bank to whatever exchange you choose. We are in talks right now and we should be on an ATM, crypto ATM network very soon. So I would hope like I can’t give a timeline but we’re in talks with the biggest one right now. And they’re talking about integrating us and so once that happens, we’ll be available on the big ATM network. So you can just go to an ATM and By TUSC, right through an ATM, and it goes right to your mobile wallet. And then we’re currently in discussions with several places where we’ll have the ability for people, for instance, that you can buy right from the website. So, and we’re gonna be working with the retailers on this. But if the retailer wants to accept except TUSC, they can set up an account with a variety of companies that we’re talking to, that they’ll have a little widget on their website that they can instantly buy house great then in there. And so we’re making it as easy as possible for people to get TUSC. But with any cryptocurrency, the we call it, the on ramps are the off ramps to get into crypto and get out of crypto. Those are the those are the things with pieces that we’re kind of building right now. And, and we’re not going anywhere. So we have a roadmap and where we are, we’re still I still think of us like a startup though or not. But there’s a lot of that infrastructure we’re building out right now. But we’re going to have all those pieces, you know, pretty quickly, you know, set up for retailers. So when we go and sign up for retail, we’re like, Look, here’s how you deal with the wallets and the plugins. And this is how your customers can get TUSC and things like that. So we’re gonna help hold the hand of retailers, which you won’t get with any other cryptocurrency, like if they want to accept Bitcoin, there’s no one from Team Bitcoin that’s going to come to your shop and help you set up or, you know, walk you through the process. Whereas with TUSC, we will because we are part of the gun community and we fully support it, and we want to help we created the solution because this has been a big problem.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, you know, we saw you had a SHOT Show, we got talking to you and thought this whole platform was state of the art ever, you know, quickly evolving. What did they got? Did what did the gun dealers, a logic guys that you spoke with on a lot of meetings? What What was their take on moving in this direction.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So I think that’s like how I think it really fell down how you would think of it the younger ffl the guys that grew up with social media, the guys that are you know, you know, a lot of the vets than that community, they get it, it’s not even a lot of them already have cryptocurrency, so those guys already get it, the guys that are already doing, you know, spending their time doing a lot of e commerce and really leverage a lot of Instagram, those guys get it. The I think it’s like the people that are a little more resistant or more the the Fudd guys that they always sell 40 fives in their gun store. You know, those guys, you’re never gonna win over to this. And so but i think i think it is a demographic issue. And we don’t expect every gun retailer to accept us right away. We think this is gonna be a long term process, but we’re going to be a long term project. So we don’t we’re building something that’s going to last and be here in 50 years. And so we also..

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
It also depends on the financial community, right? How many, you know, Citibank, when Citibank doesn’t take care, your credit card doesn’t lie credit cards to be processed anymore, because your gun dealer or Bank of America, I mean, it starts to raise some eyebrows, right. And, again, like I said, we’ve had people panicking, because of their 48 hour a 72 hour notice, you know, what do I do? And, you know, it’s nice to have an answer on the horizon here.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah. And so and we’ve run into that to you and I and I can tell you even as shacho, I talked to a lot of merchants that really had that same problem, that they literally were using something and they got a short notice, then boom, they’re out of business for two months, I was on a website, the other day, I was looking for a component because I build guns as a hobby. And I was looking for something and the website, and I’m just like, I tried to get ahold of the guy. But the website said, we’re down because we lost our merchant processing right there. And it was just like, we got the solution for that. And so and what we’re doing right now is we’re we’re kind of going to be launching this beta pilot program. So we got some, we got a bunch of things that are going to be put into, we’re gonna be launching a bunch of products to support retailers here in the next couple months. But any, if you have any ffls that are interested, we’re going to be launching this beta pilot, so we’re gonna want to bring in a bunch of retailers that want to be guinea pigs, so to speak. But for that, the they’ll be they’ll get some share of TUSC coin for their own risks. So there’s gonna be some compensation involved for them taking the risk and some pre free promotion, free marketing that comes with that. Because it’s going to be a learning curve, we need to get some feedback from the industry. And so we’re going to make it worth their time if they want to come on board and be an early adopter of TUSC. But I think this is the future. And you know, we don’t know what’s going to happen politically in this country either. Right? It certainly seems that one side of the ticket has already told you what they want to do, right? And you know, and you would know this too, just like in a lot of retailers, the words operation choke point come to mind back under the Obama administration back in 2012 2013, when they really put the hammer down on the financial industry to basically mess with the gunnery world. And so you got the same type of people going maybe in maybe in In a couple months, and you know, you never know when they’re gonna try to pull the rug, they’ve already said they’re anti gun, they already said they’re gonna try to come down in the industry. If they can accept task, it basically decentralizes and pulls away some of their tools to screw with people, at least on the financial piece of this. And there’s no. And again, remember, though, like if all of a sudden, the somehow the Gov the Treasury Department or the Comptroller of the Currency or whatever government agency they leverage, tell banks that you can’t let them buy guns with credit cards anymore. What are they going to do? Because if they can’t do that, that affects Venmo, and all those other places, too. So they don’t have another option there? Because those are all based in dollars. Yeah, I think currency solves that.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
It’s been kind of a quiet issue for the last six months to a year overall. But I want to say, you know, we’re not sure what’s going to happen with the election. And, you know, this would be one to definitely watch. It might be something just sleeping on the side. That can be, you know, resurfaced here flooded very quickly. So good luck. How so? What’s the ETA Rob on your, your platform being available?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Right now we are available, we already have a working protocol we already have. I mean, we already have a product out there, you can buy TUSC on exchanges, right now, we do have a cloud based wallet. So if you want to get your fingers wet, and just try it out, you know, people can reach out to us at TUSC dot network or just me, I’m just at Rob McNealy calm. And you could contact us either one of those two websites. But you know, so if anybody’s got questions, I’m really easy. Just plug Rob McNealy into Google, you will find me, and I will be happy to answer any questions for anybody out there. But I think also, you know, even if they’re not the banked, cryptocurrencies cheaper than normal credit card processing, because you still have that issue, right now in the gun world, even when they got have gun friendly payment processing, with credit cards, they’re paying really high fees, with those even gun friendly, because there’s only you know, there’s a few merchant processors that will do the whole gun thing, but they’re expensive.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
TUSC. Yeah, I hear that the risk is being assessed as a premium to those who are staying and, and sad to say, but you know, supply and demand is not there. So the ones who are still in the game are raising their prices, I think artificially, and I don’t think that’s a fair thing to do so.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So when we tell people half a percent charge, or half percent transaction fee, no charge back and you get instant settlement into your wallet, and you get free promotion, and you’re getting insurance against the banking, the economics make sense, just on that to compete with normal credit card processing, and so on. And so like I said, it’s a new thing. But I think it is the future, because, you know, it’s interesting, the CEO of cash app, which is also the CEO of Twitter, jack Dorsey, they this week, just bought, they just diversified 1% of their company holdings into bitcoin. $50 million worth this last week. So corporate America is coming into crypto now. Okay, and this isn’t going anywhere. The crypto world is about a, you know, almost $400 billion market cap right now. Okay, this is not small money anymore, their institutional money, the State of Wyoming just allowed it that they can make crypto banks in Wyoming now. It’s the first state in the country that allows banks to actually hold crypto now as a custodian, okay, the crypto world is coming. Okay. And there’s there’s thousands of cryptocurrencies out there all kind of competing with each other. But none of them are focused on the gun industry, like we are with TUSC. So here’s the thing, it’s gonna happen. And it solves a problem now. So it just makes sense, to at least look at it. dip your toe in the water. You know, if you’re interested in coming on board, let me know, we’ll make it happen for you.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, it’s nice, nice to see you’re isolating and dedicating all of your research and platform development, everything to the gun industry, because I think it’s going to be an industry is lagging the lag behind just like, you know, other industries, you have the cannabis industry, you know, that’s highly regulated, the regulated depending on where you go with the gun industry is not going to be acceptable to everyone in this crypto business. So I applaud you for creating this, this community. So

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, well, then, john, I really do appreciate it. And I appreciate you coming on the show today. Where can people find out more about you? Where can they find out about ffl? consultants?

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Yeah, that one’s really easy. It’s ffl consultants calm, you know what, and that’s how most people find us or Google or when they’re looking for an ffl consultant. You know, we hopefully pop up first, and our phone number is available at our website and all the contact information. And let me just remind our listeners that your first call is always free. So just go online and schedule a call with us and we’ll make sure we get you get we get your questions answered fast.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
John Bocker, thanks so much for coming on the show. And folks, I will have Have all of John’s information contact information and website at Rob mcnealy.com and tune in make sure you hit that subscribe button on all the major pod catchers and our library and YouTube channels. And thank you so much for listening.

John Bocker – FFLConsultants.com
Thanks, Rob.

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Jack Connor – Hospital Flip Transcript

Jack Connor - Hospital Flip

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks, Rob McNealy here. And we have another great show for you today, I am joined by someone who I’ve been connected with on social media for a long time and a big follower of his name is jack Connor. He is the co founder of this interesting company that’s focused on the medical space called hospital flip. He is also a renowned author, a renowned skateboarder. And I think he does everything that most Superman should be able to do. So he’s doing a lot of really fun stuff. And, you know, jack, welcome the show. How are you today?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Thank you for having me on. Rob, great to be on. And great to meet you in person. You know, we’ve talked a lot over Twitter and Social Media had a lot of great, great conversations. So it’s really fun to be here in person.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, it’s good. And one of the things I like about you, and and I miss, like, sound like I got some bromance thing going on. But you’re a tech guy, but you also get business. And I think that’s pretty important. Because a lot of times, those two aren’t in the same person, the business guy, and the dev guy, those are usually different guys. And so when you find those kind of qualities in one person, that usually they’re kind of interesting individuals. So

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I started out as the business guy before, this is, this is also kind of a rare thing where, you know, I had gotten a master’s in business. And I had lived abroad a bunch, I’d started businesses started one in in China briefly and had done startups here in the states and stuff like that. And I was really, into digital startups, and I came from a family that had a lot of programmers I had been exposed to it. So six or seven years ago, I did a whole, you know, did the boot camp thing, and went full career switch by just basically putting my head down and programming about 14 hours a day for a year. And then ended up completely switching careers. And, you know, getting into that side. But part of it is I knew I wanted to do startups and wanted to have control over the product itself, you know, like, I want to be able to build things. And so it was a little bit I mean, it’s like a little bit risky is like career switching as is but found, I also found like, I really loved it. And I kind of knew that about it ahead of time. That, you know, programming for me, is one of the first jobs I’ve had that I really love it on a minute by minute basis where it’s like, you know, really fun solving problems. But when you talk about that business programming orientation, like, I was not a computer science major studied linguistics, really nerded out in languages. Again, there’s a little bit of relation there in terms of kind of like the skill level. But um, but yeah, and agreed. It’s been really fun talking startups and startups in business with you. You know, you bring really interesting perspective from the Utah startup scene. And you know, I’m in Long Beach, red, sad, LA. And neither one of those is Silicon Valley. So we have kind of that to compare against. But yeah, we had some good conversations on the topic.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I think that, you know, and we mentioned this off the air, but I think there’s a big thing about startups that you see that there’s lots of startups out there that have nothing to do with technology, and they generally form differently than a lot of technology startups. So, you know, some I’m originally from the Midwest, and in someone like me, you know, I would just think, oh, if I want to start a business, you go borrow a little bit of money from your data, your uncle, get a small business loan, and then you just kind of bootstrap it and, you know, start up a business. And, and that it’s very, it’s very normal among low tech businesses, let’s say contractors, and construction and retailers and you know, things like that. It’s just a very different mindset of just like, let’s just get to work. Whereas, you know, it’s interesting, especially with TUSC, and getting into the crypto space, I’m closer to like, Silicon Valley kind of software and and that whole culture that I ever been in, have been in my life. And so you know, I’ve been an entrepreneur for a number of yours now, seeing the culture of like, I’ve never done anything in my life before I have an idea and a pitch deck and I’m going to raise millions of dollars is baffling to me.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I don’t know if that actually still exists, unless you’ve already maybe exited a startup. Because when I talk, but maybe this is where I met you know, I I’ve, I’ve had startups never exited. Never, you know, never had some mega success, anything like that. And it’s a, you know, whether it’s accelerators, or VCs or basically anything outside of maybe just a pitch night. They do really like it’s hard to get a seat at the table if you don’t have something that’s in the marketplace, or at least and this is this is for digital stuff. This is not for, you know, medical startups which you know, like a patent can raise, you know, 10s of millions of dollars or, although you’re in the crypto space, so I take back everything I said, Because crypto might actually might actually have that where you’re raising money off speculate, you know, we’re gonna build this blockchain for X, Y and Z. I do not know, confession. I did not know that much about crypto outside of the implementation side, some of the, you know, record sides of it. But uh, yeah, I don’t know. It’s a it’s it’s interesting. So what do you so what’s your experience been like? Building TUSC

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
building topspin interesting? Well, the thing is, it’s being I’ve never managed like an open source project before. So that’s kind of why you guys

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
You open source. So that’s an interesting viewpoint into devote to working with developers as well.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Open source decentralized kind of project. Well, it’s interesting from a start, just from a startup perspective, since we have a coin and have had a token traded in markets for two and a half years. From the minute you start, like a crypto project like this, you’re an internationally traded, you know, an international publicly held company, essentially. And so even though I’ve had a lot of startup experience, I’ve been an entrepreneur, a self sufficient entrepreneur for a long time, meaning that I’ve made a living actually, as an entrepreneur for a long time. And that’s baffling to me, because even some of those things, I mean, I’ve worked when I was back in a corporate MBA guy, I worked for some big companies and big international companies. And so I know what that looks like. But you know, I’ve never been in charge as a as a, as an entrepreneur, I’ve never had like in charge of a mega Corporation. It’s been internationally traded and things like that. So that’s one of the different things about it, and then being decentralized. So when we started as a token project I, we had control, even though we set it up as what they call a low profit, LLC. But when we decided to build our own blockchain and move from our token, den to become TUSC, we became a public blockchain. So what happened is the minute we essentially, before we traded, the minute we let the, the outside block producers come in and take over the network from our test net. You know, I, we, I have no control over the project. I mean, I’m a co founder, I have influenced just because I am, the guy has been with it since the beginning. But it’s, it’s interesting, just from the standpoint that I no longer have control. And so you just got to like, beg. You gotta beg people to help out essentially, and, and, and trying to do deals and trying to sort out partnerships, you know, with these weird nuances. It’s interesting, it’s just a very interesting space, and then that’s

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
fraud and bullshit, it’s, it’s just, it’s just tough space, to be honest, I tend to want to have a lot of control on the digital projects that I build, and especially in recent years, you know, I’ve architected done, you know, majority of the code for a lot of the lot of the things I’ve worked on. And so yeah, that might be that might be tough. I mean, it’s, you know, delegations for the big digital projects, delegations, huge, because you can’t do everything yourself, you have to have people you work with, that you can trust to, you know, build a feature correctly, and not put massive security flaws in it and things like that. Open Source open source be interesting. I mean, I admit, like, I haven’t worked on that many open source projects, I, I feel like when I want to build something, I just kind of like come up with it and just start, you know, Tinker and MVP myself. But it’s a wild, it’s a wild world. Yeah, I’d like to check out your your project a little more. Maybe get involved or something

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
we could put you to work because we need everything, though a lot of good things are happening. And so it’s so we had to structure so how we kind of tried to deal with some of the things like with a lot of I’m not here to pitch to us, but you know, one of the I always feel if I could give it a plug. Yeah. So is how do you there’s just a lot of challenges, right? How did one I getting shit done is not easy, when you know, not everybody is trying to like hope that the tokens that you paid him with, you know, will be worth something at some point. And a lot of people have a hard time and they’re not patient all the time with that stuff. And so yeah, it’s interesting, I always try to tell the..

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I mean, interrupt you, I was just gonna interject that production working and production level and digital. Ther’re in my experience, there’s about a 10 x difference in the amount of time and the amount of code that you need to put in to get something that works well versus something that’s truly production level, you know, doesn’t have even those tail bugs that only happen on you know, Internet Explorer in certain situations or someone hasn’t dated their chrome You know, something like that?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I can I can tell you a chrome problem.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Yeah. And, you know, you’re kind of a, you’re a gun guy. And I think that there’s a, there’s a level of perfectionism you have to have for both of them that actually, you know, sometimes there might be a little bit of overlap, if you want to be really good at it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think so I think attention to detail, things need to work and things need to get done the right tool for the right job. So yeah, I see, there’s a lot of it. But I’ve adapted, and the thing is the last two and a half years, like, you know, we were talking earlier about, you know, serial entrepreneurs being add, and then they, you know, jump from one thing before they finished the other. And, and I can tell you, I’ve learned a lot of patience over the last two and a half years working in this environment. I mean, when you’re not technically employing somebody, but you know, how to get stuff done. And then just, it’s actually made me more patient. Mm hmm. Yes, you know. And so, but I’m still, you know, still I always think like an entrepreneur, I’m not going to change that, right. That’s just going to be how I view the world through those lenses. I’m not a developer. So I don’t think of the world through a developer’s eyes either, right. But I think that’s the same thing with like, open store. syncretized Hell is what I tell people like, how do you explain like, open source and decentralized products to like, you know, a gun shop owner, right? They tend a lot of tend to be pretty low tech, depending on where you are.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I feel like that’s something that we have at Rs with, you know, where I can explain our business as a synchronous telemedicine for physical therapy, and you know, people’s eyes glaze over. But then I’m just like, now you just do your exam at home, and it sends it to the doctor, you know, try and keep it as simple and as, I’m a big fan of not using big words, big words when you don’t have to I because for me, it’s like language. You know, like I said, like, I nerd out in language. And I think at the end of the day, language is all about communication. And so when you’re explaining something, it’s like, you got to know who you’re explaining it to, like, if I talk to you versus a developer, versus a salesperson about my business, it’s all going to be a little bit different. But I think the true communicators, someone who knows how to like, break it down for whoever the hell you’re talking to, you know,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I described us like this, I said, or when someone asked, What’s a decentralized project, because outside of crypto, that’s never really happened, right? Well, that’s a new thing, kind of at least a minor time. But I say, Well, think about it somewhere between a co op and a nonprofit. Oh, okay. That makes sense. Mm hmm. And that’s how I explained it. I’m like, that’s what it is. It’s somewhere between a co op and a nonprofit, because, because that’s what really is, if you think about it, right. You know, and there is no company making money. We’re not profit driven from that, you know, way we don’t even. And so that’s kind of how that’s kind of true, you know, and so I think you’re right. Don’t use big words with you don’t need to. I mean….

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I don’t know if that works. And I don’t think that works. Actually, they’re probably smarter than that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Maybe some ladies I don’t know, didn’t work with my wife. She’s smarter than me. So she knew more words than I did. So it was all good. But I would say this, it’s like, you know, it’s like how writers write, you know, like, and it even in science and business, sometimes people write in a way, I’m, you got an MBA, I got an MBA, right. So it’s like, you know, business writing is interesting, too. But I think, you know, you know, I read this statistic A while back, and it made a lot of sense to me, from a business standpoint, you look at some of the most famous classics that are out there, like Ernest Hemingway, at least in modern times, right? The Ernest Hemingway’s of the world. And they say there was an algorithm and some AI thing to analyze the reading level of some of these works. Mm hmm. And they found that the most successful works, including things like Harry Potter, mm hmm, are written in a very low level. So essentially, like, and I don’t know if this was, you know, done deliberately back then. Or maybe there was just a name that they said, I want it for the common person. But what happened is, apparently old man in the sea, by Ernest Hemingway was written at a fourth grade level.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Let me ask you a question. Do you ever read Stephen King?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m not long time ago.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Sorry. Sorry to interrupt you there. I was gonna say he’s not my he’s not necessarily my favorite author. But I’ve read a million books by Stephen King, and I love horror. I love horror books. The novel is the best form of horror in my opinion. It’s the scariest if you get a really good one. And he also has got to write at a third grade level, a fourth grade level, but in the best way possible, where it’s like, common vernaculars he’s, he’s one of the reasons he’s so effective like you are, you’re never more immersed in a in a fiction book. than if you’re reading something by Stephen King, shining or Pet Cemetery. He describes everything in the room like everything you know exactly what’s happening where you are. It’s one of the most immersive experiences you could possibly have reading a book. And just like you’re saying about Ernest Hemingway, it’s, it’s very simple language. And I think that’s part of the magic of it, you’re not trying to decipher it, you know what I mean?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I would say, it’s actually, they’re actually a little more scientific than that. And I think it’s scientific, from the standpoint is that as you expand your population size, the average reading ability in the United States and everywhere pretty much goes down. And so is, so if you wrote a book at, say, a 12th grade level, and the bell curve of your populations, reading comprehension, is at the fourth grade level, you just lost what, you know three fourths of your potential market size. And so if you bring down that reading level doesn’t mean that you dumb it down, but you bring the reading that required reading comprehension level down, you expand your market. Dramatic, absolutely. And so the more people that may be in your market, you’re probably more likely to win financial success from what you’re doing.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
This is 100% accurate, this is very true. Although I’d say the same effect might be part of the reason that I feel it’s so hard to find a good adult movie these days. Because they’ve kind of when it comes to sort of, especially Hollywood, blockbuster movies, they’ve really, they’ve taken what you just said, especially when you’re taking international markets into account to the extreme, you know, and you sort of end up with like, your Transformers movies that are play in China plan Indonesia play in Brazil, but, you know, kind of the same, just like nonsense, bullshit. And in every language,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
well, here’s an interesting thing. You know, it’s like, depending on where you are, I mean, you know, look at the average IQ, that can get into very political discussion about, you know, different, you know, developed people in some developing countries have lower IQs on average. And so, or they have much lower literacy rates, or, you know, numeracy rates and stuff in those places. So if you’re focusing on a global audience, where it may be playing in developing nations, you bring that down, you did just expand your market. Now the problem is, you might have almost, you know, gone too far on the domestic side. Mm hmm. So, and I think that’s where, you know, a lot of things just seem ridiculous. Like, I have a really hard time. I don’t normally watch sitcoms, and but if I watch any kind of like, national, I don’t have cable. So I don’t really so when I’m traveling or something, I flick on the TV. So I haven’t watched this in six months. I know, I haven’t watched this in six months. But if you look at the I think they’ve almost dumbed it down too much in the United States at this point. And I think that gets annoying to people like…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Sonds you’re watching Two and a Half Men.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I you know what, I never watched an episode of that.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
And that’s one of those TV shows, not to just harp on the dumbing down of TV because that’s, that’s sort of like, I mean, that’s a bottomless well of stupidity. But Two and a Half Men is one of those show that was, it was like, the most popular is the highest rated show for about 10 years. And I didn’t know a single person that could watch more than five minutes, minutes of it without just like, turning it off and boredom and disgust like, it’s so bad. And it’s just one of those mysteries of you know, you’re talking about cultures and populations and things translating and kind of like making something for the lowest common denominator. And it’s still really, you know, we talked about the difference between California and Utah and all kinds of things like that, but like it’s pretty wild. What that like kind of works for everybody is you know, it really is sometimes at that Honey Boo Boo level of just like the really lowest common you know, the Steven Seagal, police reality show things like

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
that, you know, well, well, it’s interesting. I mean, even look at what are the most popular sports, right? I think the two most popular sports I think in fall, I think NASCAR is number one, right? The NASCAR is the number one spectator sport, right? That’s at least it was like not that long ago. And then it’s like NFL and then. So if you look at what are the things that are, and again, it goes back to markets, but the things that have the largest economic, you know, successes, right as far in a given industry. And yeah, sometimes I’m like these people vote. It’s like, you know, the average American is average. And that means, you know, half the people so if the average IQ in the United States is around 100 mm. And that’s the average that means half the people you meet our below True story. So they add that’s pretty scary. You know, thinking about that

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
You ever done jury duty?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I Got, I almost got in I didn’t get picked, though.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I did jury duty in Chicago once that was a wild experience, Cook County, Judge Cook County. And it was definitely like, a diverse, you know, in every way, like income levels, raised blah, blah, live it was that, you know, I forget Where’s in the city of Chicago, but you definitely saw like, and I think a lot of people get this experience where you kind of think that your point of view is like, more or less what most other people are thinking. And then you really get thrust into the situation with, you know, a lot of different people where there’s some stakes to it, and you sort of see like, Oh, that’s not actually the case. You know, what I mean, and I think jury duty is kind of can be a pretty eye opening such situation for a lot of people.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, for my day job, I do forensic consulting, in my field. And, and it actually, I don’t talk about it that often on the podcast, because it’s not, I’m more focused on TUSC, and crypto and small business. But in my day job, I’m actually pretty successful as a consultant, and I work all over the country. And it’s very flexible on time. So it gives me the opportunity to basically commit myself full time to TUSC and only have to work part time on that business. And I used to think that the world was a lot more black and white, you know, 567 years ago, and when I started getting into consulting, were in testimony and doing depositions. And I went through interrogation, training and investigation training, because I do accident claims, like I, I mean, I do occasionally death cases, like people get in an accident, you know, and get hurt. And so so I have this part of my job, I have to interview people, even on an insurance type of claim or something like that. I have to interview people on a regular basis. Like, I did one today. No, today to yesterday, you know, so it’s like, it’s so it’s just like when you then get around and you start seeing how people will lie to cover themselves up, people won’t take responsibility, people are not forthright. And I’ve seen it in court numerous times, where people I thought someone I might respect, you know, or someone a friend of mine, and they testified on the other side of a case. And I’m like, they straight up lied. And I’m just like, wow, you know, you know, I You and I both know, this is not what you just said in court. Mm hmm. And, and then dealing with people, like where they you know, I interview somebody, and then I might do an investigation or inspection, gather data and gather evidence and stuff. And I find that the evidence routinely will prove that the person lied. You know, and you’re just like, it’s amazing how often people are deceptive. And I think, and I also that a lot of times, there’s, there’s negligence to go around. And that was the interesting thing about, you know, working in legal environments as part of my job. Like, that’s only a part of what I do. I don’t spend a lot of our time doing just consulting for people, but, but when I do the legal stuff, it’s like it you will see how often everybody, like, everybody’s like, it’s their fault. It’s their fault. But then when you really look at it, it’s all their fault. Mm hmm. as I’ve gotten older, it is I’ve gotten older, I see that more and more situations in society are gray, they’re not clear cut, they’re black and white. There’s there’s fault that goes around everywhere. And that’s where I usually see the the most conflict is where everybody’s got a problem, and they don’t want it to be theirs. And in fact, it’s, it’s it actually makes my job harder. Sometimes when you guys like…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Solutions, would, you know, people would implement them, I think that that’s, that’s something that actually does occur a lot. And it’s, you know, a lot of anger. And this is, of course, like, you know, pretty topical in a couple of ways. But, you know, when there aren’t easy solutions, and there’s a lot of frustration, or like a problem is just building and building and building. Yeah, man, like, I mean, that’s one of the ways like, you know, where rage comes out where like, anger turns into rage is when like, there isn’t an outlet, you know what I mean? Or there isn’t, there isn’t that solution that you can, you know, if I, if I have, you know, if my faucet gets broken, I can figure out how to fix it. But if it’s like something that I just like, literally, you know, there’s what is the fix? So it’s a lot more nebulous, and it’s a lot scarier.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think it’s even this is what scares me is that when the masses have been convinced that the cause of their problems is not what the actual cause is, and and then people get worked up, and once someone’s been convinced to something, you generally can’t change their minds. Mm hmm. And so they’ll try it. And this is a problem. And this is a problem because if you don’t know the root cause of your problem, you can’t solve the problem.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Yeah, this is very true. And you know, We were talking about this earlier regarding politics, but I come from, I come from a very split household with one parent is very conservative and parent is very, very liberal. And so I get the, quote unquote, pleasure of getting both sides to every issue. You know, a lot of times, like, yelled at me on the phone, like, I can’t believe, you know, whatever. Um, but you know, it’s one of those things where, like, I, and a lot of times, you just don’t have the energy for it. But you know, there’s, and this is I didn’t want to get political. But one example that has come here we got is, and I’m not, I’m not taking any sides on this, but it’s climate change, where one thing I have noticed is that both sides and DM me if you want to talk about this and get more details, but not getting not getting into it, but both sides tend to argue very different points of climate change. in a lot of situations, they’re not even talking about the same thing. And you know, where it’s like, and this is as a person who’s kind of like, I mean, I, you know, for better or for worse, if, you know, you get like both both sides of an issue, and you hear both sides of people, and you see both sides biases and things like that, you know, you kind of and I know that this has happened to you a lot is, you know, you can see where there’s, you know, one we’re both, you know, either left or right or whomever, when they’re picking out straw man, it tends to be pretty obvious. And this, of course, happens a lot. And you know, you and I are on Twitter a lot, which is kind of like the kingdom of the straw man. straw man argument. But yeah, it’s it’s tough man. And it’s, uh, yeah, sorry to bring up climate change. I know, I know that that’s gonna executive get this episode, like censored kicked off Google or something?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No, I think it has to be the opposite side of it. I can say those Dino those damn penguins got to figure their shit out. That’s all I know. of polar bears?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Yeah, I love the polar bears. Yeah, it’s a that’s a complicated and that’s another thing where get not to not to get into but like one of many issues where like, there’s a ton of there’s a ton of things, there’s a ton of big problems that don’t have solutions that we know about. And this is very difficult to deal with. You know,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think there’s lots of problems that we you know, we have big problems that we could solve, that are more important than some other things. And that sense, it’s really tough. I mean, essentially, everybody’s like, Oh, well, I mean, given the like, the whole riots and stuff lately, stuff, the looting and all that. I mean, it’s really hard. When there’s not a good side, like, you can see, like, I can see the points on everybody’s side, and I can see lots of mistakes made on both sides. And so that doesn’t in my mind, it makes it really hard to pick a side. And the one thing I don’t like about our society, especially the US society, Americans, is that we want it to be left or right, black and white.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
By your side, we want it to be like, a sport almost.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
against us. You know, you’re not with me, I even had a friend of mine that we got along with really, really well. And, you know, he was basically taking this position, you know, he got really upset and about the whole Black Lives Matter thing. And, and, and he was just like, Well, you know, you know, and I didn’t I wasn’t arguing with them, just say that, you know, this is not the problem you think it is, and and over some different elements. And he got really mad at me. And he’s like, well, if you’re not gonna, you know, support Black Lives Matter, you don’t support me in blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, dude, we’re friends. I have no beef with you. And I’m like I’ve ever had a different big giving you a, you know, we’ve worked together on things professionally, if I ever given you a hard time about anything, you know, and nothing….

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
It’s very, it’s very volatile right now. And I know that I know that this is not news to you in any sense. But like the story you’re telling me I’ve heard over and over. And it’s and it goes both ways. There’s a lot of there’s that one of the shitty things is like, there’s Black Lives Matter. And, you know, there’s like defending the police and blue Lives Matter and like anti maskers there’s, there’s a half dozen things out there that are causing family breakups to happen right now, like, tensions are high. And I think that part of this is, I mean, one of the you know, if you have, if you have a lot of different hotspots, culturally, part of me that’s like, get to psychological but I think this just in general because of the pandemic, a lot of pent up frustration and a lot of pent up energy. You know what I mean?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I absolutely agree with that. And, and I think it’ll be interesting to see how things Go in the next six months of this curls down to cools down, but I don’t think it’s going to no one’s going to accept the election, no one’s going to accept a cure for COVID. You know, it’s like, we’re at all these impasses. And you know, and now we got this weird culture war, you know, on your opinion, like, riots aren’t riots anymore. And you know, and if you don’t want stuff, your property burned down, you’re like, on the other side, and I’m like, you know, this is just not good for society.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
It’s, it’s rough. And this is, you know, doing the, as a skateboarder I got to say, like, you know, I was thrown in a cop car before I was 12 years old, like, I’ve, you know, had cops, like I’ve seen cops break boards, I’ve seen cops, yell at kids, and all kinds of things like that, if you’re skateboarder you’re basically like, half the time, wherever you’re skating, it’s, it’s illegal, and skaters tend to have water runs with cops. So when all these videos start coming out of like, cops, like beating the shit out of old people and stuff, there wasn’t a skateboarder on the planet that was surprised about it like this is. And it’s one of those things where, you know, in my experience, like, seven or eight police officers out of 10, that I’ve had personal experience with, like, in Chicago and LA, are totally cool, greatest people in the world, you know, like, they’ll come like your skateboarding, they get a call, because you’re in some school or something, and they come there’s like, you can’t do that here. You get out, you know, no big deal. But like, every once in a while, and not as every once in a while as you want it to be. Like, there’s somebody who is power tripping like crazy. And, you know, I’ve known people who’ve worked at that, you know, for the police, military, all kinds of stuff like that. And like, they’ll basically tell you the same thing, like they all know, you know, they all know that one or two people at the, at the precinct, or at least I’ve heard people kind of mentioned that. And this is this is one of the things and so like, whichever way and there’s obviously a lot of backlash, bro, we’re in this really insane political time where, you know, is it Trump in the lead polling? Is it Biden like blah, blah, blah, like everything is switching? We’re you know, if somebody listens to this a month out, like everything will have changed completely regarding 1010 catastrophic events will have happened and who knows where the polls will be. But um, yeah, it’s, you know, I say it’s like, on the anti cop thing, like, I don’t know if defunding the cops is the solution, because that I’m from Chicago, and Chicago’s major crime problem. And this seems to be exasperating the crime problem in at least certain areas.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But I don’t know New York, Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Yeah, but this is also but then you’re getting the thing is like, Oh, well, that if they just defunded the cops that hasn’t even kicked in yet? Like, who the fuck knows? You know what I mean, but like, I’m trying to not take sides here.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think you have to take aside, there’s, I think that at some point that you don’t have to have a side to say that, when a group of people are angry about something that they’re not immediately going to go right and burn things down. I don’t think that’s a racial position. Or it shouldn’t even be a controversial position. But, you know, right now, this is, you know, recorded for posterity, you know, is it is a weird position that…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I think it’s a little bit less, should they do it? Well, I don’t know. I mean, it’s like, what’s the psychological position for that? Because, like, when you say, like, should someone burn something down for this? Yeah. Anyway, I don’t want to I don’t want to get to that continue what you were saying I was gonna read that. I don’t know if it had a..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Don’t go down. I mean, look, I understand. You know, there’s one thing if you literally live under a dictator, that literally is doing all the things that you know, dictators have been accused of, then if you want to fight that system, because that system is unjust. I mean, I true. I have a I have a theory about cops because I grew up white, but I grew up fairly lower middle class fairly poor, did not grow up in a nice neighborhood.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
And cops got a reputation to man we heard about you guys in Chicago.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I lived in I lived in like one burb over but the but the reality is, I know growing up white and poor, we got hassled a lot I and I remember this clearly my first I got not pulled over nine times in eight months when I was 16. Because I drove I had like a mullet and I drove like a beat up old Firebird. And and so I’m in a bad neighborhood. So it’s like, yeah, we just screw with you. And I’ve had cops be very disrespectful to me. I would say about a dozen times in my life, you know, and I’m not a troublemaker is just when I was a kid. You got pulled over for being a kid with a mullet driving a piece of crap car. And that was just how it was. And I think that first Some power tripping cops out there. If they’re going to pay, like they’re bullies just like any, you know anybody else, any industry, they have bullies, right? Well, bullies tend to pick on people they think they can get away with it from. Right? I mean, you know, it’s not going to be the the white shoot guy from, you know, Manhattan that you’re gonna shake down and beat the crap up on the sidewalk, you know, on the side of the road because you’re having a bad day, huh? You know, he won, he’s knows his rights, too, he’s probably got the money. He’s probably smarter than you. And he’s probably got the money to hire really good lawyers. And maybe…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
You actually make an interesting point to where it’s also an unusual target, you know, like, somebody’s hassling, you know, 16 year old you with the mullet which, by the way, I’m ready to see those pictures of you with the mullet anytime you want. So I’ll be digital, I’d have to scan I’m not doing it. I can wait. I could wait. Don’t worry about it. But whether it’s you whether you know, whoever, you know, there’s a million there’s a million different, like, quote unquote, targets for cops, you know, skateboarder, somebody have the wrong ethnicity, whatever it is, yeah, it’s really easy to become a target for that for that type of police officer. And part of it is because like, if some you know, if a cop pulled over you and you’re 16 with the wallet driving, you’re 77, Thunderbird or whatever it was.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Somebody like Firebird with the big block Pontiac 400 Thank you.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
But who would believe you over them? You know, it’s, uh, you’re not just an easy target, you’re a very safe target. Mm

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
hmm. And so, you know, I have to wonder, based on that, and I spent a lot of time in the inner city as well, I had a business in inner city. And so, you know, I saw how people interacted with cops when I saw cops treated people they were interacting with and, you know, did I think that? I don’t know, I would say that. My opinion, most people’s problems in this world are self induced. You know, you and I’ve talked about this on Twitter, for instance, you know, COVID, didn’t make people broke. They were already broke. And they were fragile. And same thing of businesses. You know, businesses should have an emergency fund, just like individuals. And if they’re not putting money away for an emergency, they’re fragile.

JackConnor-HospitalFlip
Mm hmm.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
COVID just exposed that.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Well, this is I mean, the restaurant not to pick on restaurants who are having a really difficult time right now. But this is a really interesting question, which is, if your typical restaurant had, and I think it was something like 12 to 14 days of working capital in the bank, and that was, I mean, that’s like your typical restaurant in the United States. You know, you you invoked fragile, as a very fragile position. I mean, you know, took the, you know, the pandemic obviously caused a lot of closures for more than two weeks, you know, more than a month. But it’s not the only thing in history that could have done it, you know, like, weather events. Who knows an E. coli outbreak, there’s one of a million long, you know, fat tail events that could happen in that. But it does kind of make you think that maybe we are, you know, maybe we’re building the system, that’s just like, based way too much on money coming in to just, you know, just keep things running. Justin times.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, everything’s Just-in-time.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
And it’s funny, because I used to be a big advocate of just in time, because I thought, you know, because it’s like, very clever, and clever is actually what you find out, it’s kind of like one of the, one of the curses of modern life and a lot of situations, but you look at something, you know, like Zara, or h&m, and they have this insane, you know, insanely complex, or not, maybe not complex, but this very well done supply chain. And it’s really amazing. And you’re like, Oh, it’s almost a work of art, you know, it’s so efficient. And then one thing had, like, one monkey wrench gets thrown into the gears. And then we’re in the situation where now I mean, pandemic, you know, COVID was obviously more than a monkey wrench, but, um, you know, and then the whole thing shuts down. Like, that’s the problem of having a finely tuned motor that doesn’t work if anything goes wrong, is that it’s, it’s kind of all or nothing, you know?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And, yeah, and the problem is, when people are ill prepared for change, or for that system to fail. That’s when things get really ugly. Yeah. And, and so, and you’re right, I think, you know, think of all the things that can make things that mean, let’s talk about realistic things. How about an invasion can shut things down for a while. Ruined supply chain..

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Like red, red dawn style,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Like Red Dawn, style. Absolutely. And and I think, you know, whatever. If you had like, a hurricane to hurricanes and a major earthquake happened within a month period, you’re gonna have major sections of the country shut down.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
For that, I mean, there’s so many different possibilities solar flare that they keep talking about EMP is a Is it an EMP?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Electromagnetic pulse?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Yeah.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah. Well, this is or manmade?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Mm hmm. Um, yeah. I mean, there’s like literally, like, you know, if you go back, go back 500 years, and look at all the events of like this that could have shut down society for more than a couple of days, big volcano going off, you know, or an asteroid hitting or something. And I know that they’re all like long tail. But eventually one of these is gonna happen. And we do see now you’re getting me into something that I do feel passionately about. But we need a motherfucking plan, you know what I mean? Like, otherwise? You know, we’re not, we’ve been around for 12,000 years, we 12,000. Or I think that that one that one site in Turkey is from, I think, 17,000 BC, I think that’s the oldest, you know, evidence of civilization we have, like, this isn’t this is definitely not very long on like an earth scale. It’s very not long in a cosmic space scale. And so I was watching, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I really loved the show Doctor Who. And I was watching an episode that takes place 250,000 years in the future, and you know, there’s like, mankind is living on a different, you know, star system and stuff like that. And I just remember thinking, like, if we’re gonna get to 250,000 years, like, we need some robustness, as this pandemic, kind of proved, like, we didn’t have a plan for this, like, we kind of thought we had a plan. You know, I think if you had asked every single person in the world in a year ago today, like could could humanity handle an epidemic pretty well, most people would have thought, Yeah, man, we got it. You know, like, I saw that movie where the who swoops in and they isolate, you know, an outbreak, they isolate the region, and, you know, everything, everybody instantly has other perfect PP Nah, there’s a, you know, one person got stabbed by a dirty needle. But, you know, we got that under control. And the reality is, it was just a complete and utter shit show from day one, and it never really got any better.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No, and, and, you know, I think, and I said this before that, you know, if we can’t come together as a country, to create policies and plans to deal with COVID, which is deadly as it is, it could be a lot worse, is that what happens when the next deadly bug comes around or slightly deadly or bug comes around? Or an actual bio weapon gets unleashed in the night seats? What are we going to do while we’re going to argue our masks can comply, and then politicians are just going to do dumb stuff, because they want to get reelected. And, you know, I think we’re host i think that that expose a cultural and that’s the thing watching, for me watching all this COVID stuff is watching how people are reacting to it. And what are they doing because of it? And I am worried now that maybe Bill Gates is right, because we’re so screwed culturally United States, if we had a serious shit show kind of thing come through. Not saying that 185,000 people dead so far isn’t a shitshow. But it could be a lot worse could be millions. I think we’re really weak. And that’s, that’s scares me as a culture that I fear that we can’t survive something really tough.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
In this in this sense. I agree. I mean, there’s a lot of ways we’re strong, but this like, we really, we really dropped the ball. Also, I need to get that audio drop of you saying Bill Gates was right. I feel like that’s something. I feel like that’s not something you say every day. So it’s pretty happy about that?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No. And and yeah, and depending half the listeners will say that I’m trying to, you know, kill them with chem trails or something. But, you know, ultimately, you know, I think that, you know, you look at the countries that are dealing with COVID the best and how they did that is they came together with and basically back their governments with the unified plan. And in the ones that did the best had the highest compliance with those plans. And I think the problem is in the United States, you know, it became a political I’m not here to judge, you know, Donald Trump, but there was a lot of denial in the beginning and New York, there was a lot of denial with the Democratic politicians there and democrat governor, and so they all drop the ball in my opinion. And I think the fact that they could that everyone wanted to make it a political issue, and then everybody dug in and then the tribal lines were Set.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
And then nothing happened. I mean, we just fought about it. And, you know, the action. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s not like nothing happened, like there was, you know, testing centers, ropin Drive throughs rope and, you know, things, things did go down, but especially at a national level, like I couldn’t even tell you what our federal government did regarding COVID, that was especially useful, you know, what I mean, like, everything I’ve seen, at least, for me is all more or less at a local level, you know, like, the things open here was more or less like Long Beach grants. I mean, I’m sure I’m missing something, because I have not followed the whole trail of money and anything like that, but..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, I and I used to be emergency responder, and I can tell you that most This is like, and especially on the biological stuff, most of that is responded in supposed to be responded to by the local governments, that is how it’s supposed to work, you know, public health is done at a county level of pretty much in every county in the country. And then even additionally, sometime at the municipal, you know, municipal level, like and, you know, so Denver, and a lot of us, a lot of cities have still have, you know, government hospitals. And so that’s where disaster response normally comes from, but with the biological and public health is almost always done at the local and state level. And so I don’t necessarily fault the government for that what I felt the government for, is how generally the leadership did not come together behind a unified plan, everybody dug in and made a political issue. And I think that that shows me that people on both sides of the aisle care more about their tribe than they do solving problems. And that’s unfortunate.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I got a question for you, though, as you know, especially coming from your background, do you think that this this whole event, that one potential upside, could be a big uptick in people kind of like taking control of their own lives, like being like, I mean, something that I had the sort of questionable blessing of growing up in Chicago, there’s like, it’s very corrupt in Chicago, and I was there under like the, you know, second Mayor Daley. And they’d be like, photos of him like having dinner with mob bosses and stuff. Like it wasn’t even in going ice fishing with gangsters and you know, things like that, like people laughed about it. And so I never really, for better for worse, I just never really trusted the government, I was always kind of taught like, it was just all corrupt. And it was all kind of blah, blah, blah. And I’m not saying people shouldn’t trust the government, because Chicago is kind of its own special little situation. But I do think the pandemic I mean, even with everything from the gardening and breadmaking to, you know, you were talking about, like liberals buying guns and people moving to the country, do you think there is going to be an uptick in like decentralization, localization, and basically people just saying, Hey, I’m kind of on my own. So let’s figure this thing out,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
take care of ourselves. And I think COVID showed us very quickly that the technological infrastructure was there. So I would say, a family member of mine, their office went all remote. Mm hmm. And that was really hard for the company to go all remote. And then after like, six, eight weeks, of the company going remote, because part of the part of the company was really trying to get people back in the office as much as possible. And but then they found that most of the people don’t want to go back. And they just decided to like stop leasing, you know, some class A office space. So I think COVID started that. And I think the fact is, I think more people are gonna homeschool people are seeing that. So I think we’re not done yet. You know, we haven’t finished all these things out lately. But you know, but I think the bigger trigger for the one the gun sales, and I know this, and then it’s the riots and the burnings, and and i think that’s going to scare the hell out of people, and people are going to rethink being in an urban area. Because of that. And I think that that’s a different animal. And we don’t know how it’s gonna play out. So the, the, you know, and I think this is interesting about the current protests, riots, whatever you want to call them, right? It and, you know, they never used to allow riots and protests to go on as long as these have been allowed in various cities. Like we’re like Portland and Seattle, you know, three months solid, right. And, and I think the government, you know, if you go back and look at like 92 in LA, and you go back and look at, you know, the riots in the 70s and late 60s in Detroit. Those things only lasted a couple days. And then they’re over with and people cleaned up and moved on. I think the problem we’re seeing and this is why I say I don’t know where I think this is going to go I think there’s a lot of things seems to be getting worse, not better. But I would say, from a prepping standpoint, Mm hmm. The longer these violent riots because they’re violent riots, these are not protests if I when people are getting killed and and people are burning, you know, whole areas to the ground, that’s no longer protest. And and so I think the longer it’s allowed to go on anything about the cops haven’t been shooting anybody with real bullets. Right. And they certainly did in 92. And they certainly did in the 60s in the 70s. And so, you know, I know in the Detroit riots in 68, one of my friend’s dad’s was in the National Guard at the time, and he quote unquote, said we stacked him up like, cordwood Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It’s like, and so if you look at how many people were declared dead during the Detroit riots, apparently that number was like, 10 x or something like a lot of people got shot.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
No photos going on social media back then. You know,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
There are some photos, though. There are some pretty damning photos, but it was like..

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
You know, what the immediacy not like, they wouldn’t get out like that. Unless, unless, you know, next day, write a press. Yeah, somebody happened to get it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah. And so so I think that the fact is governments I mean, there’s no water cannons, right. There’s no alle rats running around.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
So it was the last one. There’s no what.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
LRAD you know, those audible things that are this, you know, noisy things?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Oh, it’s like the the noise yet to basically get people to disperse by playing but it’s,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But it’s the one that has like an acoustic thing to it that, you know, actually has some pressure, I don’t know, something like that. But you have all these other tonic Ray. Yeah, they have that they all rads. And then, you know, they have that microwave weapon now too. Right. So the question is, so far the government has, and these have gotten wave more violent in many respects, and some of those other riots that, you know, 92 and stuff. But government hasn’t unleashed any of that they haven’t been using lethal force. And think about that, and lots of major cities. And so to me, the longer the people that are angry, and and I’m not saying they shouldn’t be angry, and that there’s not problems and they’re frustrated, and I recognize all that. But what I think, ultimately, the longer you let people throw, let’s just say they’re allowed to throw a tantrum. Mm hmm. Every time something appears to go wrong. Okay, because at this point, you know, we got things that are legitimately Bad Dudes, you know, being stopped by police for legitimately bad crimes. And now even though and people are writing over that, so in my mind, we’ve crossed some threshold about how we deal with something in a rational way. So the thing is, the more these people are allowed to get away with it as a group that and any group would do this right, the more they can, you know, torching, something’s becoming socially protected, and politically, okay, which is absolutely, they’re normalizing it. That’s really dangerous as a society that you have, you know, groups of society normalize burning down buildings, killing people, mobbing people blocking traffic from innocent people. I’m a, I’m a very, very staunch like, let’s talk it out guy.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
You know, I really do. And it’s been as like, you know, language nerd. It’s also a big part of it. Like, I love language. I love talking. I love words. I love communicating with people. And I find it very frustrating when there is, you know, we’re discussing kind of seeing multiple sides of, you know, various issues. But yeah, I mean, I, I really, I know, it’s I know, it’s like, idealist bullshit. But like, I really think that like, ideally, there should be, we should talk about every problem, you know what I mean? And this is, and yeah, I get like, the the riots are super complicated. And I actually had an answer for you, when you’re saying like, why is the Why are these less violent? And why are they going on so long? Because this is something I’m thinking about too. And I have a strategic answer. I don’t necessarily have like a political answer. But you know, if the government came in, and we saw those videos of like DHS, grabbing people and putting them in vans and things like that, right government came in now, like full, you know, duerr taste style, and just, you know, full force like military, you know, shooting protesters that posed a threat to people as opposed to like, hitting them with you know, like, whatever the beanbags and the the tear gas and stuff like that, like it would, it would escalate to like insane levels. I mean, I think that not that they not that they wouldn’t and not that they couldn’t have an excuse to but if they if the bodies were stacking up right now, like, it wouldn’t get better, it would get worse like it would be very hard for them to step in and control Portland without Really getting in there, if that makes sense. And I, and I feel like at a local level, you know, I thought I thought it was kind of crazy that these are going on so long to because like, I’d never seen this in the States. I’d seen this in like South America, like Mexico and stuff where there’s, you know, day 187 of riots or you know, of protests in front of the building or whatever, whatever’s going on. But yeah, I’d never heard of this here. You know, I’ve been to a protest that was event at a time and a place and you know, all kinds of stuff like that. And my impression is basically at a local level, like, they’re kind of I mean, you saw the thing with Ted Wheeler, they, they had his whole apartment building staked out, and the cops wouldn’t touch it, you know, they wouldn’t get in there. Um…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And that’s a problem. And, you know, this is, the fact is, I think it’s, I think they’re, I think you’re right, I think that if they came in now, it’s going to be less well received, then, two and a half months ago.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
I was cheering it the way you described it, I kind of pictured, like, as if the military came in, like, willing to shoot, you know what I mean?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think, you know, they could have shut this down. No, no, I think the problem is, since they let it go for so long, people are getting more emboldened. They’re being normalized to violence and destruction now as the response to something they perceived to be an injustice. And I’m not arguing in justices are not and all those need to be discussed on a case by case basis, right? Because the world is not black and white. As much as people want it to be.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
A forensic investigator, you’re definitely not allowed to think the world’s black and white. Didn’t know that about you, either. That’s really cool. That’s very impressive.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m really nerdy. We’ll talk about it off the air. But yeah, it’s it’s, it’s interesting. And they say, Yeah, I think that’s my concern is like, so, you know, kind of back to the startups. Right? How does this impact startup? So I think, since we don’t even know how bad it’s gonna get. We don’t know if this stuff’s going to calm down. Right. We don’t know if the racial relations will improve. And and what timeframe in I think the elections coming up, and I don’t think anybody’s going to be happy with that. So I’m, at this point, I am expecting more normalized violence to occur, then the question is, and this is what’s been interesting what Donald Trump psychologically and is that after he got elected, right, usually the other side’s a little butthurt. They lost, that’s kind of normal. They never got over it. with Trump ever, in four years. And to me, I think so. This goes back to the psychology thing, too, is I think, the longer you’re your best if you’re raging every day, and I see this, on Twitter, I follow I mean, even a lot of Silicon Valley people just rage at Hollywood people every day, day, day day, for years. Mm hmm. Just raging. And to me, I think the law, I think you can almost have like emotional damage as a society, the longer you’re like that, I think it changes people’s personalities. And And so…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
yeah, I’ve seen I have seen politics somewhat ruin people’s lives before because it’sa turned, you know, turn them from, and this is I’ve never done it, I’ve seen this, both sides, honestly. People I was really close to and it just turns like, turn someone into like, a very angry person. And, you know, like, I’m not gonna argue with other people’s, like, emotions, and like the reasons for being angry. But like, that’s a tough way to live man. Like, it’s, it’s hard to just be angry all the time.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah. And I, and I see a lot of that, and, and my concern about our society, right, if we can, again, come back to the table and rationally discuss an issue, like you’re talking about, if we can if the solution is that it’s going to be violence every time and it’s only going to get worse. There will be blowback and and there’s going to be backlash to that.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Well, should we What about what about you and I moderating some right left debates, perhaps maybe get a couple couple of topics and trying to actually have some kind of a rational conversation about it?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Absolutely. And and I think, you know, I think that’s important. And the fact is, it comes back to how do we know our knowledge? And, you know, we could have a whole discussion on knee these issues politically, but I think the fact is, we’re not coming back together. Mm hmm. After the election, we didn’t from the last election. I don’t think that’s going to happen after this election. And so I think so I think, and this gets into your startup, too, right? Like, where do you pick to live? Where do you pick the headquarters for your startup know what hospital you know, flip. It’s like how do you How is that going to impact? I mean, what’s your start? How would How do you think you’re going to view real estate? And where you, you know, put your residence for your startup now? How would you What is your What are your thoughts on that with what you guys are doing?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Well, I mentioned that earlier, I mentioned earlier about the California wealth tax that has been being bandied about, as we’re launching this that’s like, you know, kind of on my head regarding staying in California, but actually do have an interesting answer to that, which is that, you know, our platform like our platform right now, our first product up is for ankle and foot exams, like you literally come, you do an ankle or foot exam from your phone, just videos, very, you know, you’re talking about, like low tech versus high tech. And I actually have your platform as a very low tech digital product. Um, there’s like, almost no data. One of the things is, I, I’m a big privacy guy, because every time a hack comes out, you know, like, Canva, got hacked, oh, Reddit got hacked, or whatever it is, I swear to God, my my name and password always shows up on Have I been poned. And so and I’m one of those, you know, I feel like every time I put a phone number into even some religion, it’s, you know, I put my phone number into spectrum for two, you know, two factor authentication. And three days later, the robo calls start, and you know exactly where that came from. So one of the things is that, you know, we’re, you literally just need an email to get like a physical therapists thing with us. Like, it’s all like, we’re not collecting data, because we don’t want to hold your data unnecessarily. And, and I’m like, I think it’s good to be private, on the where to be located thing, our physical therapists are mostly some form of freelance, some many of that, like, distributed, not in LA, in, you know, San Bernardino County, by Santa Barbara, like places like that. And our platform, because what we do is if you take an exam with us do this, you know, ankle foot exam, if you got a sprain, and we’re gonna be launching more exams, as we go, we’re kind of doing it falling a Lumosity model re kind of come up with one thing at a time and kind of just release them, right? Because we really want to like, you know, as a startup, working on our, you know, our first product here in this space, we’re going to get really, really good. It’s this, like I said, it’s kind of like a low fi product. There’s no fancy technology, there’s no AI yet, although I would like to I’m really excited about the idea of doing things like skin cancer, skin cancer exams, or like eye exams and things like that, which could use AI in the future. Um, but yeah, I mean, part of, part of what I’m stoked about is that one, our physical therapists are really good, I’ve kind of done a session with all of them. And a lot, the the ones we have so far are trying to build an at home, basically, telehealth business. So, uh, you know, people who look, one of them, their clinic got shut down, or it didn’t get, I think it went out of business. I mean, if you think about all the dentists and all the the doctor’s offices that have been closed down, like, since the pandemic started, an insane amount of physical therapy, businesses have closed or, you know, close temporarily. So you got a lot of people trying to start freelance style, um, it’s not exactly an Uber situation, because like, you know, Uber was people who weren’t drivers, whereas all of a sudden, you have a lot of physical therapists that are out of a job, or, you know, some are like working at two or three places, and there’s a kind of a competitor app, but actually, they sort of work in sync with us a little bit called Luna, which is to get in home physical therapy, to do you know, kind of one on one sessions, and that’s blown up since the pandemic, man if you invested in that, that would have been a killer investment. And it’s all because you know, everything’s closed, all the gyms are closed and everything. So, like Luna, this competitor, you you basically say, like add, like a physical therapist, and they come to your house, us you take the exam at the house, and it gets sent to a physical therapists, um, but kind of both of both of them. You know, one of the things I’m stoked about with Luna and especially with us is potentially letting people kind of like work and, like work during the pandemic, as you know, too, and we’re hoping that this will really sync well with our physical therapists, but like, getting customers is hard. And that’s essentially for the physical therapists who are working on our platform. We’re just like shuffling them customers, because all we’re doing is the evaluations. So we get to you know, if somebody signs up with us, every time they they look at one of our evaluations, and then you know, they they have the opportunity you they want To the patient can keep doing sessions with them. Especially if they really, you know, obviously, like you get a physical therapist you like, same thing with like a physical trainer, you know, whoever, like you want to stick with them. And so, in terms of, you know, kind of like locations in the, in the pandemic, like, that’s probably the part I’m most stoked about is that if, you know, pulling this off correctly, would actually be providing work and like at home or, you know, maybe like, we actually one of the things we’re thinking about doing is like renting a space in LA now that real estate is just completely commercial real estate completely plummeted. So we’re kind of like exploring deals where maybe we could build a little, you know, like a little studio kind of thing that if we get some physical, you know, they could come in and film or they could do it from home. And then for us, I mean, there’s one other co founder, you know, he’s kind of like, the, the designer hipster, he’s like a DJ who’s, you know, really, like, helps produce a lot of our visual content. And we’re like, best friends, you know, very close friends going back, we’re in the same skateboard crew kind of old dude skateboard career out here in LA. And then I’m the programmer. So we’re just, you know, we’re just like, building and trying to sell and things like that. But then, you know, also on the, on the topic of like, Where are we? Yeah, the whole thing’s remote. And for the immediate future, like, the only non remote, I’ve done a lot of backing up, I’ve done a lot of remote work as a programmer, so I’m very, it was almost not a transition when the pandemic started, like, I almost felt bad for how little My life changed compared to some other people. Um, but yeah, for the immediate future, like, I would be 10 times more interested in getting commercial real estate, to build a little studio for pts, and a filming studio, where we could do like podcasting and things like that. But like, I can program at home, you know, and a lot of, and I and I think going forward, like in terms of growing out our business, you know, as we expand, if we can, you know, cut down on costs by things like real estate, and having remote people work remotely, like, that’s awesome. And then on our programmers standpoint, you know, a lot of our stack one, if you have a tech stack, you have to find people who program on that sec stack. And we do a lot of streaming and video. So you know, as we as we grow, we’ll be looking for people with some specialties. And, you know, straight up if you can have the whole country or the whole world to look for, for somebody on especially on like a tech programming side, it really makes a difference, you know, opening up your market that way. And if your startup where you don’t necessarily have 180 grand plus an insane amount of stock to give up the way Google or Facebook does, you know, it’s kind of hard to get tough to get top talent, especially in California, especially in LA where everybody, you know, has a tendency to go to Silicon Valley, if they’re, that’s where a lot of the money is your programmer, which is Silicon Valley, you can make 3050 70% more than you can make an LA

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wow. How did you Why did you guys start with the ankles?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Uh, the backing up the It actually started out as a tool for physical therapists. And, you know, for doctors and stuff. I became very interested in aggregator theory, I don’t know, if you read tritech re the Ben Thompson newsletter. Oh, it’s really good. I’ll forward you a couple of really good ones. He gets very deep on aggregator theory. He writes articles and articles on this. And so I because it is unusual, because our, you know, we started out as like, okay, we want to make a tool like I love building streaming and video and things like that. And this was their tech, our technology was actually based off a former startup by hads tech that was, you know, doing translation was doing real time translation for focus groups. That market got killed by the pandemic, and hence the, you know, sort of exploring the space. But, um, excuse me. Sorry, repeat the question one more time.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
How did you get started? Or why did you decide to go with ankle…

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Oh the ankle, the ankle is because I found it to be a lot harder to be a tool that physical therapists could use. And there was already a lot of those around. When I was looking at this, like, looking into aggregator theory that companies like Google is probably the most famous aggregator in the world, but Uber Lyft. What they do differently is they they Cooper could very easily have taken that tool and then a tool for riders and you know, for like you to be a private driver and, you know, find clients and stuff like that, but what they chose to do was own the customer relationship. And that way, they were able to basically dominate the market, because rather than having like all the suppliers on their side, and then they would, you know, make up and this is actually very traditional medical business model for aggregators is like insurance, you get all the suppliers, like all the different medical people on your, under your umbrella. And then you kind of call the shots with the customers. This is this is sort of traditional business model, whereas like the new COVID, digital aggregator model, is you control the customer relationship. And then you rely on the, the providers to come to you. And so looking at this model sighted, like, Well, how do you make a portal for people to come and get checked out? Like, what’s the like, what’s the play there. And so I was looking at injuries, and everyone talked about skateboarding in terms of this. But, you know, I’ve mentioned a million times to you before, like, essentially, like, because I know, very enmeshed in the skateboard culture and stuff like that, not the industry, because I don’t work in skateboarding, but this was sort of our initial target market, because it just, you know, following the Crossing the Chasm model of finding like a niche market that you can really get embedded in, and, you know, solve the problems for people specific as opposed for people, you know, a general problem, you know, which is a lot, it tends to be for no one you find a very specific problem. And then the skate community, you have the big issue of people being under insured, or a lot of times not having insurance. And what I’ve noticed with anecdotally, with a lot of my friends, a lot of people I know they’ve chronic injuries from things that they really should got checked out, but never got checked out. And one of the, the two biggest ones, to be honest, are ankle and wrist. And what almost always happens is somebody gets, you know, you sprain your ankle, you know, at the skatepark, it’s bad, but you know, you’re just like, you know, 23 year old, maybe doesn’t have insurance definitely would struggle to pay $160 copay to go to, you know, a place in Santa Monica, I’m working a couple jobs, you know, day doesn’t have money for this stuff. And then they just decide to walk it off or like, you know, wrap it up or get an air cast from Walgreens or something. But if it turns out that there’s a microfracture in there, then that can be a permanent injury, and a lot of people get derailed for a long time. Like I personally know, several people that essentially can’t skate anymore because of wrist injury is really common. Same thing, it’s like, you know, a fracture or really bad sprain, that, you know, essentially, people take the walk it off attitude towards. And this is a, you know, this is a real bummer to me, especially when it’s someone you like, like the idea of them having a chronic injury, like, That’s horrible. And especially if it’s something where the reason to not get checked out is things like, it’s a little too expensive. You know, you got to drive to the clinic, like LA, it’s an sounds like a small thing. But when you get to drive an hour each way, you get paid 15 bucks for parking, you’re injured, maybe you’re taking Uber, like, that sucks. And if you’re on the fence about it, it’s really easy to say no to it. So we figured with ours, you know, you build something where you just take it from home, it gets forwarded to a physical therapist. And then, you know, it takes a lot of the friction out of that experience. And then for y ankles, it was between ankles and wrists to start with. We want we want to have an exam that’s gonna be really useful that we can, like, get really, really, really good. We want this to be amazing, spa like experience that you’re doing where it’s, and it’s pretty fun. You know, it’s kind of like halfway towards doing a DUI test. We kind of walk and stand on one foot and things like that. Um, but I am..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I can’t pass those sober.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Well, you got to try. You got to try earthing man, I’ll give you a free one. If you want to get checked out, checked out by physical therapist, get you some exercises get some stretches. Sure,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
why not? I would I would love to. So So are you only rolling this out in California? Or is it already nationwide? How does that work?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Um, we’re trying to be very HIPAA conscious right now as HIPAA laws regarding telehealth change fairly aggressively. So we’re being conscientious about doing things in state. So yeah, right now we’re California focused, but that’s going to be you know, kind of rapidly changing it. Were one as you know, if it’s, there’s, if you’re in state, there’s obviously that’s the most over the, you know, across the board way of doing it. But then there’s a lot of states that have these packs and while the pandemic goes on, so we’re going to be kind of navigating these waters. But right now, yeah, right now we’re just focused on getting, basically just getting customers checked out, you know, really improving the flow with our physical therapists, they’ve been really helpful. And that’s, that’s been a lot of fun. It’s kind of improving the product on their side. But you know, we’re in this launch zone. And I know that you know, this well, where we’ve got something that we think that people seem to, like, maybe a little rough around the edges, but you know, we’re polishing aggressively and trying to get it, trying to get really good. But right now, it’s about, you know, really looking for that product market fit by making something that people really like. And so yeah, we’re focused in California, but we’re gonna be I mean, for any of your, especially your listeners who want to who want to want to try this hit us up, you can hit me up on Twitter or anything like that. And let’s talk because we’re, you know, enrolling physical therapists pretty pretty quickly. And on that side, too, because it’s sort of, I know, the gig economy is not like very popular these days. But we essentially become an alternative revenue source for pts. And what we’ve found is, with the ones we’re working with, so far, we’re like, one of several revenue sources they have, you know, so it’s been pretty easy, and they’ve been pretty stoked about it. You know, they like the idea of like, working from home and stuff. So I think we’re signing someone up in Seattle, and we’re getting new york online really quickly.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how does it work? legally? I mean, is this like, so essentially, if you have the, the, I guess, if you’re doing the PT is in New York, and then the patients in New York, then you’re gonna just you’ll probably be compliant. So I was wondering if there’s much worry about crossing the borders for that.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
But yeah, we got a we got to be careful about that. There’s certain situations where it’s legal. There’s heavy implications that the enforcement’s really is, basically they’re gonna turn a blind eye to stuff, but we’re trying to be really careful. And then there’s Yeah, like I said, there’s this like 13 state pact, which is basically a lot of like, mid country, mid country states, where you can do telehealth across the, you know, from like Wyoming to I think Utah’s in it actually, or Arizona. And there’s like no legal issues. And then during the panel, I mean, I keep coming to this during the pandemic, but I think we were discussing earlier, but they they passed something to make, basically every form of telehealth like now HIPAA compliant, and yeah, I’m off to come back and answer this question with with more details. Because right now, we’re just trying to keep it like, I mean, basically, just keep it simple. But as we do this nationwide rollout, it’s going to be we’re gonna we’re gonna have to be, you know, diligent about being careful about this.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And I think that’s probably prudent. course, we’re in very dangerous times. Anyway, right now, so. So how are you funding this? You got a lot of VC money investors?

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
A lot of these see money? I mean, we don’t have any VC money, if that counts as a lot. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah, it’s all it’s all like, you know, I’m doing all the technology on my side. To be honest, at the beginning of the pandemic, I basically like, marathon a couple of freelance projects to to just get a bunch of money rolling. And so it’s all like, literally all self funded, you know, through my credit card. and stuff we have to do. Yeah, just paid, paid to get a trademark done last night. You know, 600 bucks right there. But yeah, you know, at the moment, and this and I talked to you about this, like, we’re focused on this organic, we’re doing a lot of video content, we’re doing a lot of, you know, trying to do original things to kind of make our presence known and get ourselves out there. I you know, I’ve seen a lot of startups throw a lot of money at ad bucks, you know, Facebook bucks, Instagram dollars, things like that, with uneven results. And so it could work but that’s not really I mean, I could see just like tossing a lot of money down the down the furnace and being really frustrated a couple, you know, a couple months down the line. And we have an you know, we’re kind of fortunate to have a product where success and more importantly, things like breakeven for us at this point, is like a couple of thousand customers per month. It’s not, you know, a couple million or anything like that, like we’re a small tight operation. We’re all like you said, we’re all remote and all the programs I mean, all the design is done in house. And so if for the time being, we’re just kind of keeping it scrappy. The other side is, you know, having been in a million pitch rooms and in a lot of, you know, startup scenarios and things like that. I figured if we, if and when it’s time to do VC money, or you know, something of that nature, when you want to have a reason to do it. So for us, it would be it would be, we have product market fit, we like what we’re doing, uh, you know, maybe we just have the ankle exam, or maybe we have two or three exams on the market. And so maybe we get VC money so that we can do, you know, hire sales team to open up like, a bunch of different regions, or maybe we do VC money to open up in a different country, or maybe we get VC money to do because we find out we do to grow from, you know, kind of a scrappy level to the next level up, but we do need a major digital campaign. So I’m not 100% Sure. And I’m not against a diff taking stuff. But I, I do think it should be for a reason. And I as an unintuitive, as it sounds I’ve seen and worked at startups not founded but worked at startups that got way too much VC money, and it was the reason for their demise. So..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you’re never gonna hear me say no to bootstrapping. I think scrappy is a good thing. So I wish you the best success. This sounds really cool. And I do think that in the future, you know, I think projects like yours, where people are taking the technological angle to solving healthcare related kind of issues, I think that’s going to increase and I think what you’re doing is pretty cool.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Thanks, man, I really appreciate it and you know, it’d be really cool. One is this, this kind of, it’s a healthcare thing that kind of adds to the pie. Because a lot of our initial you know, customers are talking about it’s for things that they basically should get checked out for, but maybe aren’t. And so it’ll be really interesting to see. And I think that you know, on what you’re talking about healthcare changing. Since starting this I have talked to so many people that are involved with in home diagnostics, in home health care, like in five years, you know, being monitored, you know, having your doctor monitoring you while at home and as opposed to coming into the hospital and doing an overnight it’s going to be you know, a reality that we couldn’t even believe right now because I’ve talked to some people working on things in the space and it’s all getting it’s all getting you know, pushed really hard because of the pandemic.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think it’s gonna be really interesting to watch so yeah, man. So jack, where can people find out more about you and your project.

Jack Connor – Hospital Flip
Project? go to hospital flip COMM And especially if you especially if you need to have ankle foot problems a sprain want to get that checked out you know, mentioned mentioned this podcast and we’ll hook up a discount, but it’s not very expensive though. So maybe you don’t even decide you want it. And then for me, you can find me at Twitter is jack Connor but the K is a five. Rob, if you post this as a you know with a description, maybe you can drop those things in there, but HospitalFlip.com.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Jack, I’ll have all that stuff up at Rob mcnealy.com. And folks, make sure you subscribe, mash that follow button. Check out our library and our YouTube and guys you have a great day.

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Richard Carthon – Crypto Current Transcript

Richard Carthon - Crypto Current

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today, I’m excited. I am talking to Richard karsan. He is the founder and host of the crypto currency podcast is a longtime community member in the crypto space. And I really like his take on a lot of different issues. So I think we’re gonna have a really good show today. So, Richard, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I’m great. appreciate you having me today. Rob, um, man, we had a before getting on this, you know, just various conversations, I think there is plenty of topics that we can cover and, and it’s just, uh, it’s really cool to see all the projects that you have going on and your involvement in the space and really excited to to be sharing some of what I got going on to share with your audience. So looking forward to it.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I appreciate that, you know, I actually like talking to other podcasters. And the main reason that is, is because I talked to a bunch of people and talk to a lot of projects. I’m also involved in a project but then you talk to lots of projects, and we talked to different ones, and then we compare notes. And I think, you know, the cool thing is is and really Why I like doing this program is because I get to speak to lots of really smart people and I like being the dumbest guy in the room, not the smartest guy in the room.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah, I heard that. I mean, when I look back on when I originally started cryptocurrency, it was to surround myself with thought leaders in the space but then not only just educate myself, it’s educate everyone else right? And I feel that the best way to learn is from people who can break it down for you. So anything new anything, pet causes change, there’s friction and there’s like a resistance to wanting to learn just be like, Oh, that’s too tough or, like, get a good idea. I don’t want I want to talk about this right? And but when when someone sparks your curiosity when someone says something that’s like, Hmm, I haven’t thought about like that. Or Huh, I could do something with that. It just opens the doors to so many possibilities that before a weren’t even on your mind, but then to that just opened themselves in a way that you like, I want to go deeper in this and find a way to get involved. So I agree, man, it’s it’s cool to talk to very intelligent people. passionate people, and and people who really want to go deeper on on what it is that they’re working on. And it’s exciting.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So how did you get into this space? How did you get into doing the crypto stuff? Not just a podcast, but what got you interested in this area?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah. So I mean, I’ve been an entrepreneur, basically my entire adult life. And I was working at this artificial intelligence company. And the first day on the job, my boss comes up and says, Hey, what do you know about Bitcoin? I was like, what’s that? Right? And he’s, like, trust me want to look into it. And so I did. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, why did it? Why didn’t I learn about this earlier? So like, I was a late bloomer. I didn’t I first learned about this January 2018. Right. And the first thing that came to me was one, this has been around for almost a decade. Why am I just not hearing about this? So what does that what does that say about my circles that I’m in, but then to even in those circles, who is really active In trying to dive in be a person that can be a reliable source to educate me on this. So when I in 2018, when I first got into and I was trying to educate myself, I went to all the YouTube channels and these web forms and all this stuff and everything was very technical. Everything was very, like, either pie in the sky get rich quick or like super, super technical on here’s how blockchain works. Here’s how hard forking is, here’s this white paper and I was just like, I just want someone to, like, give this to me straight give this to me very simply. And like do it in a really cool and like, compelling way. And I was like, you know, I was like, I just want to talk to these people. I was like, I might as well like create a way to share it. And so that’s when the concept of cryptocurrency came about. And, you know, it’s it’s been amazing to be able to communicate with so many different thought leaders and then like even today, like being able to speak with you like it is such a easy way to talk to very intelligent people who can not only speak to Several different topics that speak very intelligently to them, but then can also like, challenge you in ways to continue to expand your knowledge. And to give you a new perspective on something that you that you might have felt very differently about, you know, I mean,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Absolutely. And I think, I think part of the problem you just illustrated, like with people, you know, speaking in, you know, Techno ease, right, is, is a function that so many crypto projects are really just developer LED, or super developer heavy. And a lot of times they don’t understand, you know, how to speak to normal people. And I don’t mean that in a bad way, right. You know, would like our test project I’m focused on you know, we’re marketing to, I would say, for the most part a pretty low tech industry. I don’t go in and talk about censorship, resistance and all this, you know, you know, I don’t even talk about I mean, think about that we can get and all that stuff, but here’s the thing that people don’t even understand how How do you explain a decentralized organization to people that don’t understand? And this is how I do it right? I you know, if I’m talking to like a gun retailer about POS, I say this, I don’t say we’re a decentralized project. What I say is we’re like I say, this is how I say it. We’re kind of like a, we’re a, like a nonprofit, kind of a cross between a nonprofit and a co op. Oh, they understand that right away. There’s a connection. In you know, I don’t lead with all this in tech news, I say, half a percent track, you know, half a percent transaction fee, no chargebacks. And you get your coins instantly deposited in your wallet. So you don’t have to wait for an ACH so it improves your cash flow. Guess what? I don’t have retailers say no to that.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah. And that’s what you need, right? When you’re speaking in, especially with any company that you have, and this is definitely speaking to our entrepreneurial background. But when you’re going to Pitch Anything. The first thought in anyone’s head is no, like, whatever you’re trying to sell me just just know just off the bat, right? Is No. And so how do you break down those guards? The first thing is through effective communication. And it is making sure that whatever you’re trying to explain is very clear. And that it not only just concise but I can understand it, comprehend it and then make an intelligent decision. If I don’t understand anything that you’re saying, My we’re done talking like there’s there’s nothing for me to think about because I can’t even relate to what’s going on and what I think was happening initial in the 2018, Ico boom, and all this money flooding the market and we’re at the top of where Bitcoin was before you know, everything started coming down. And you saw all these projects coming in that were just they weren’t building for the future. They were building for the here and now and how can I make a ton of money really quick. And they’re just putting all this technical, legal jargon in these white papers to sound really cool like is because the hardest thing about anything in any industry when you’re communicating with people is that you want to sound smart and intelligent, but you also like you don’t want to seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. So if you’re in this crypto blockchain space, you put in all these super technical words in the soup or whatever to make yourself sound like you know what’s going on. But if you can’t break it down to like to me or your normal person or someone that’s fresh in or whatever, we are never going to connect, and we’re never going to be able to get to that next step in moving forward together. And so that was really one of the things that resonated me when I first got into this and I really wanted to just one break that down and like start bridging the gap for all these thought leaders to be able to effectively communicate what they’re working on so that people can understand it and decide if they want to get behind it or at least share that project with other people.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, I think you’re touching on a real you know point about communication right? And and I think there’s a couple sayings out there is a D want to be rich or do you want to be right? And in market in the marketing world that’s very common like and and I think this is a problem that smart people often have right? Is that especially when it comes to market Especially tech people. So I see this a lot around technical people that are smart. And I’ve been around a lot of smart tech people so I can I can see it. But what ends up happening is they want to market to people in a way that they feel is respectful. But basically, they want to be marketed in a way that they want to be sold personally. The problem is, is that really, really smart technical people are not the normal buyers out there in the world and, and how they want to be bought and sold is not correct. Or you know, how, you know, they want someone to sell something to them. And I think they make that mistake a lot and it gets them mad, like, I don’t want this, you know, and you hear this a lot like I mean, you’ve been around you’re around tech people all the time, right in your in your day job too. And as an entrepreneur, and and I have been as well. And so what I mean part of the problem is you see a lot of developers, they hate salespeople, they straight up hate them, right? And they’re like, oh, that guy is so full of crap or that guy is just bla bla bla bla bla and guess what some salespeople are full of crap, but but um but you also have Have to get people emotionally excited about your product or service. And sometimes it’s hard, right? tech stuffs not. I mean, if I was going to try to sell you visa, right? how sexy is that? It’s not, it’s just not, you know, and and it’s the same thing with crypto for the most part, crypto is not sexy, it shouldn’t be sexy. If you think about it, it shouldn’t be. It should be utilitarian. And I think that a lot of us miss that. That communication piece. And I think that, you know, hopefully more projects like what we’re doing and podcasts like what you and I are doing will help change that over time.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
No doubt, and it’s been interesting over the, over the years I’ve been doing this as well with some of the earlier guests that I’ve gone on versus some of the newer ones and just understanding also the flow of conversation of sometimes when people come on, they know their product or project and everything extremely well or they know a certain aspect of it. Something like a like defy or stable coins or accounting on the blockchain or what does it mean to do a fork on whatever and like they can go really, really deep and be very, like technical and very knowledgeable on the subject but what people want to hear what people resonate his passion is, is the that human element of like when you speak about a thing? Does it like excite you? Like why should I be excited about when you’re speaking to me about this thing? And what I’ve learned is to try to bring that out of people when they’re speaking because I Can I have that that level of connection with you to where now when we’re speaking I’m locked in like I want to hear what this person has to say next, because I can feel the energy coming from what they’re what they’re talking about, because you can you can listen to very, very, very high in the sky. conversations that you know, like are probably highlight intelligent and are solving a problem. And you’re like, wow, these people are super smart, but like I just have, they’re they’re speaking French. They’re speaking Japanese. I was like, What am I doing here? Because like one of the first conferences I ever went to, like, some of the conversations even on the stages, I was just like, how do I even get involved in this space, like if they’re speaking a foreign language right now. And as you can start peeling back those layers, and and just getting people to break things down at their base, because a lot of projects in these developers as well, they can speak to the technical piece of it, but they can’t at face value. I say, Tell me, like in a 10 second pitch, what is your product product? What do you do? Who’s your ideal customer and a lot of them through our conversations over their head, it’s just like, a they start to freeze because they’ve never just broke it down. So simply and it’s, it’s amazing how when you just simplify things, how much more easily In freely, you can speak about something and get more people to buy in.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And here’s the downside of that. And I think this is all part of it, the simpler you can refine it, the easier it is to critique. And I think some people fear that, you know, like, let’s just, you know, I could pick apart You know, I pick on defy stuff sometimes. Right. And, and because I think there’s some, I have some concerns about some of the defy stuff, but you’re like, you know, you know, some of these these schemes, you know, like yield farming some of these other things. They’re so complicated, like, in effect, the developers themselves have a hard time explaining what they’re doing. And I’m like, so you created so you created a token out of nothing. Somebody else gives you this token, and you hold it and then they you give them this other token, and they cash it out and just trying to explain you’re like, and then I just come back and like, and and I always I like I said, I like to be the dumb guy. And I have no trust me. There’s I surround myself with dumb or smart people. I’m the dumb guy around everyone. I want to be that guy. And, and I was like, okay, so who in the real world does this? Like outside of crypto? Can you give me examples of where this is? Or this exists this model that you’re creating? Right? And they’re like, Oh, well, you know, no, I don’t explain to me Give me an example. Is there a bank that I do this at? And, and it’s funny the, how quickly some of those, you know, these really complicated schemes break down, when you ask these really basic questions. And I always take that as a red flag, right, because I’m a simple guy. And, and, and, and there’s a fundamental reason for this. The even with language, okay, I’ll divert like a little story. So, you know, authors. If you look at some of the most successful books in the world in history, like in literature in history, what you’ll find is there’s been some studies done on some of the most, some of the most successful books in history, were written at very low levels of education levels, and so meaning that the vote capillary Just think of it this way, the more popular books use smaller words, more common words for things. I saw thing and I it was like Ernest Hemingway’s old man in the sea was written in like a fourth grade level. Yeah. And, and no most people will be offended by that if you say that but there’s a very practical reason for that. The the simpler the the understanding required or the the lower the education level required for someone to enjoy your work as an author as your book. The more people the bigger the market there is for that book. So if you write a book that only people with PhDs in biochemistry can understand your market is limited to people that have an understanding of biochemistry that also want to read your book. It makes the market smaller. And so I always think of I go back to market sizes, okay, I always try to bring things back down how many so help me understand what problem you’re solving and then How many people can you potentially solve that problem for? And then how do you get that solution to those people’s problems in front of them? And you would see a lot of times, even with crypto, a lot of the stuff breaks down. I remember and things are changing in this industry. But I remember when I went to my first, the first Miami blockchain conference I went to a couple years ago, that was like January or February in 2018, right, right. After I got into crypto, I went to that conference. And I was very new to crypto. And I’m still suspicious of crypto but I you know, some of the stuff in crypto but I was going and talking to all these projects. And we’d already had a product started to but I started saying like, well, we’re doing this, this and this and I’m like, so you’re making Uber so basically someone was making a blockchain based Uber, right. And I said, Okay, that’s interesting. What do you do differently? Well, we don’t take as high of a fee. Okay, but what do you But okay, so Uber takes a high fee. Yeah. So explain to me Do you not don’t think Uber offers value to their drivers? Or to their customers? You know, because they wanted to, they basically make a decentralized Uber thing. I’m not gonna say who it was. But and it’s funny because I was talking to the developers on this, and they couldn’t answer basic questions, they had not like thought out the business piece of this, like, they hadn’t talked to their customers, or potential customers for this. And I just said, I don’t understand the market, like what problem you’re trying to solve other than a little lower fee, but you’re also offering a lot less support, and you’re not offering any marketing and, and so and to me, I saw that as a big drawback, and I think this is the problem with a lot of these tech people is that they’re missing that whole understanding what’s happening on the other side.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
And this is what’s interesting about what is going on in this space right now. And where I think this next decade of where we’re headed in the crypto blockchain space is very exciting. So you have a lot of these projects, who basically went through initial boom, and if they’re still around, basically they’re trying to build some To last right and so now you’re starting get these projects are a little bit more funded. And if they’re not a little bit more funded, they have a little bit more well rounded groups and team that is building it and you’re starting to get like more marketing and sales focused people to get in it to figure out the business model of like, how do we become sustainable? And then with that what you’re seeing is more people trying to figure out adoption. So what is the biggest hurdle for any new person coming into crypto and blockchain space, right? The first one is just basic understanding of what is Bitcoin? What drives its value? Like, what are the five pillars? Like what are the what are the things that make it distinct, right? What gives it its value and then blockchain the underlying technology, like, what is it like just give me those two basics right, and after you break that down, and they can understand that at its core, it’s like, Okay, if I’m going to use this in my everyday like life, you don’t necessarily need to know that. You just need to know that it works. So like right now. I don’t like necessarily need to understand like how it all works on the back end, when I go to a gas station and I put my visa in, I get my gas and I dip out I don’t need to know the technology and everything that’s going on the back end. It works. And what I think a lot of projects are finally starting to put their attention towards is, how do I just get this to work without the user having to understand everything that’s going on. And right now that is the absolute hurdle for anybody new in the crypto space is you need someone to hold your hand to get started. Basically point blank period like you, you are going to have to educate yourself a little bit. There’s nothing intuitive about coming into this space right now. Like when you think about Apple and what made them so successful, especially with the iPhone boom and everything else is you can pick up this phone, not know anything about a phone and clearly understand how to use it right? Grandma, you can give grandma an iPhone, she’ll figure out how to communicate and do everything that she needs to with crypto right now. It’s not grandma. It’s not grandma proof. It is not. It is not millennial proof like you’re not going to get someone just My age or younger, that’s gonna come on initially in the crypto space and just know what’s going on. They’re gonna have to watch some videos, listen to some speakers do whatever to get started. And the one of the points that I really want to drive home right now you’re like communicating this to your potential companies or your projects or whatever that whatever you’re working on right in your business, you just need to be able to be thoughtful in your communication and what is your value proposition? And like, how do you get this to more people? And how can anyone come on in use it without you having to hold their hand? Yes, initially, right? Now, you’re gonna have to hold your hand and that’s fine. People understand, like, that’s the friction that’s there right now. But if you can do it a little bit cooler or a little, like you’re a little bit more friendly, or whatever that like, extra, whatever that you do to like, make me feel comfortable and confident when I’m trying your thing. That’s what’s gonna separate you right now. But of course, as this continues to come on, if I hand you this thing, and I can just use it without you having explained anything you’ve won, and I think you The companies that are building that right now, oh my gosh, whenever like mass adoption truly does eventually come, you’re going to just moon because you’ve already built that infrastructure. And so it’s been really interesting to talk to some of the different types of people in this space, who do have that in mind into just how they communicate. It’s just different.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, let’s, let’s take it back. Like I liken it to command line interface, right? Like, if you go through and people are like, Oh, well, you know, I always say, you know, I’m sorry, you’re not I this is what I say, and people get pissy, but I say, Look, you’re not gonna get mass adoption without mass marketing. And I’m old enough to remember when the World Wide Web came to being and became popular. And, you know, I’m old enough to remember that AOL was the probably one of the biggest drivers of mass adoption of email on the internet. And that was because they sent out millions and millions and millions of CDs that were easy for people to use and get on for free and there you go. And, and there’s a No analog yet for crypto to do that. And abstraction, what you’re talking about is we need good abstraction. And really, this shouldn’t be complicated. There is some complications from getting apps into the App Store, right? Like, well, the wallets and things like that. But for the most part, it shouldn’t be that complicated. This stuff is not that complicated. It shouldn’t be. But it still is. And, and I, you know, I do appreciate that, for instance, recently that the banks are now allowed to do custody of assets. And I’ve heard a lot of people on the DS that are really pro decentralization get pissy about it. And I said to me, banks being allowed to custody, you know, virtual assets is probably one of the most bullish things I’ve heard. And this is why people I don’t think most people are comfortable with or responsible enough to have their entire 401k savings, life savings and have the keys for that where they could lose their keys and lose that. I don’t think most people want that. And I don’t think most people can handle that responsibility to be honest. And and I’m not picking on people but I I’ve seen developers lose their keys and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto. Just in my own circle. Like I’ve seen I’ve known two developers who lose their keys for wallets one from a technical crash one from just not, you know, trying to play some games and doing some other stupid stuff. And and I just don’t believe I mean, if you think about it, it’s one thing you got a $5 free wallet paper wall from somebody right? And you lose Who cares? But can you think imagine this? Imagine someone who’s worked 30 years and saved up a half million dollars in their 401k or IRA or a million dollars right? And now they’re they moved it all to a self directed IRA, then put it all into crypto and they lose their keys. Think about that. Don’t tell me that’s not going to happen either. Because I’ve seen it happen. I know someone that’s lost over $200,000 because he lost his keys doing something stupid.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Oh, I’ve heard of a business right now that’s getting like put up and like that’s all they focus on. Right. It’s like custody just to make sure like having like lawyers Stuff put in place to like, and like, what happens if you die like let’s say you set all this up and like you don’t have like a second key that you’ve put in like a peel box somewhere that’s just chillin. So if with certain instructions like on my death, here’s my key go reveal this liquidate immediately give it to so blah, blah blah like some people aren’t even thinking that far ahead and like that’s like to truly like if you’re going to set this up like as a asset that you’re hedging against whatever and like just a long term play. Those are the kinds of like things down the road you got to think about, and I think a lot of people aren’t, and it’s necessary, and we’re not there yet. Right. So from a separate thing that I think is going on in the crypto space that is starting to evolve more is the operational piece of it. And I use this reference multiple multiple times in my pockets, and I’m going to use it here. And for the last 10 years for the first decade. There’s a bunch of violence being built right Island over here. Hey, I’ve had the best stablecoin come play with me. Hey, this one over here. I’m the best blockchain that you can build all your crypto on top of come play with me over here, hey, I have the best defy company ever, you should come over here. And right now what we need aren’t an another island, we need bridges. We need bridges that are here that are connecting all of these really cool projects so that they all play together. So I don’t need to go play on these different islands, I can come to this interface. And just keep on writing the bridge all the way around so that everything works. And from the operational piece, whoever’s able to figure that out and do it in a very, very clean, effective and friendly way. I think they are going to just lead the charge for everything that come right. So like, for example for right now a lot of people that initially come into the crypto space, most of them go through Coinbase like calm it is what it is. A lot of them are going through Coinbase and if Coinbase were to start allowing options, so that with any and everything that you want to do, you can purely do it from that platform. They have their foot in the door and can just blow things open but right now like Like, I’m sure that’s something on their roadmap, but like, there are a ton of other products that are kind of trying to do it. But again, it’s still so early, we are so early, like, everything in this in these opportunities right now is if you can build the groundwork right now, and like have that focus in mind, like you’re looking at the next 10 to 20 years of what you’re trying to build. You can like not just dominate the space but you can make something so powerful, that is international and limitless, right, like and a lot of projects where people build they build it for our country, or they build it for a certain area. This has no limits and like that is what is one quick story what made me like all in what made me come all in to crypto without my turning point. I had a friend who works in oil and gas and he worked in the Philippines. And he when he got paid he was sent his money back to his family in California but when it happened, between trading fees and time He lose 40% from going from the Philippine money to US dollars and then doing the wire transfers and everything else in fees and all that 40% of his money gone just instantly no take I think like seven business days, he didn’t started just switching everything to Bitcoin and sending it and it would take a couple of minutes and it only cost a couple dollars. I was like I’m so that makes so much sense to me that is that that makes you’ll need some anything else like I’m in I need to learn more. And I think as there’s there’s so many use cases like that where people are using cryptocurrency and blockchain applications like it that as it becomes easier to use and see those international use cases, like again, the sky is the limit.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I think remittances are really a huge opportunity. But it’s gonna take some time. I mean, I saw this I was living in Europe briefly in the 90s. And it was interesting because we already had while dial up was the you know, the big thing there and we were just Starting to get cable modems, right? It was Ty speed was just limited at that point in the late 90s. And I thought it was interesting though, but cell phones are very less common. But in Europe where I was, they didn’t have landlines. They everyone had a landline. But they didn’t have data lines, but their cell phone usage, their mobile phone usage jumped. They leapfrog the United States. So in the late 90s, you know, everybody had a mobile phone where I was versus in the states they didn’t and I think you’re gonna see that with like blockchain, right? Because blockchain does, again outside of Western countries. I think right now blockchain solves a lot of problems more so for people, you have different regulations, different taxing pieces to it. It does end a lot of friction. And I think, unfortunately, I think the US has hamstringing itself from a regulatory standpoint and and since we don’t have as big of a problem, I think we’re gonna lag in the United States from crypto Animation, which I don’t think is a good thing, overall, but, you know, I can see that and you saw that with, you know, the World Wide Web, too. We were We were early, but other people because of mobile devices, you know, they got some much more advanced on the mobile phone infrastructure than we did. And so I think it’s interesting. And I think the united states need to figure this out. Where do do we want to be? Do we want to be a really competitive player on a global level? Or do we not? And then on the developer side, dude, you know, you got to get out of the mindset of Linux desktop, right, you know, Command Line Interface people, let’s just be honest, you know, Windows one that game for a reason. You know, I like Linux. Don’t get me wrong. I have a Linux laptop. And so I understand command line stuff. But I started on dos. But you know, but they honestly you’re not going to get mass adoption of command line interface. It’s just not going to happen. Right? It’s just too much overhead and baggage. And I don’t think all everybody thinks like that unless pianist command line interface. This is really similar to crypto, right? It’s not forgiving, you make one mistake. So for instance, think of it this way command line interface, right? You make one space wrong, one minus sign wrong one exclamation point wrong, it won’t work. I type in a browser like gibberish, and it pulls up the things that I thought it knew intuitively, what I was looking for, I can’t type for the life of me on these little keyboards. So I’m always got like ABC, gx, you know, whatever. And the abstraction figures out what I was trying to find and gives me, you know, suggestions. You don’t have that command line interface. And until crypto starts thinking like that, and there’s more to it intuitive for the everyday person, you’re not going to get everyday users. And to me, I think you’re right, we have to really work on the abstraction, I know is working on our project. Trust me, I am 100% behind you, but we’ve got to get the developers out right if we got to get more people working and helping us build that because I certainly want that I see it. I don’t have the manpower To build everything I want to build, like right now or yesterday, but I do agree that I think the projects that are really end user focus, they’re not only trying to solve a problem, but they’re trying to solve a problem in a very convenient, easy way for a big market. I think ultimately, you’re right. The projects that do that the crypto projects that end up doing that successfully. I believe one, they’re going to be very successful financially, but I think also they’re going to change the way crypto products are evaluated in the market. Yeah. So you know, a lot of projects that right now in crypto are just speculative assets, right. People are hoping they’re going to land and hoping they’re going to get mass adoption. But I think the ones that do are going to definitely be the first ones that make that happen. I think we’re in I think we’re in an arms race, so to speak.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yeah, think about it. even speak to that real quick. Just a quick point. When you first came up with cryptocurrencies Bitcoin was odd, right? But then a theorem came in shook up the whole playing field, right. It’s like oh, like and when I think About like cryptocurrency itself like some cryptocurrencies aren’t cryptocurrencies, they are platforms or there’s something to be built upon, but they are under the umbrella of cryptocurrencies, like at the end of the day most of these quote unquote cryptocurrency projects out there are startups and, and with most startups in anything out there 90% of them fail, period. But that five to 10 that survive, crush it, and not go ahead.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I’m sorry, I was just coughing a little bit.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I was just, not only do they like crush it, like, they build something in such a way that changes the dynamic of where the future is headed. So why like a theorem it made a lot of developers come on and understand like, oh, here’s all of these different use cases. Oh, we have smart contracts, things that can be permissionless and do whatever like, oh, like there’s so many use cases. Let me try to go build out this certain aspect of it. Um, when you look at some of the products that are coming on, and I, I do this comparison and I’m sure a lot of others Do the comparison as well as the internet, like initial internet, how it all came out how was all forming and forming it with with crypto and when you look at when the internet first came out, and all of this money just flooded the market and everyone was trying to become a web company. They all didn’t make it. But the ones that did the Amazons, the Google’s the the AOL, like AOL came out and was crushing it. Everybody knew AOL. But AOL didn’t ultimately make it. But because of AOL, you had innovation that was created around it to make everything after it that much better. You have these early movies, the early adopters that built really great infrastructure for that time, and it is great and it works for that moment. But if they’re not constantly innovating and adapting with the times, then they don’t ultimately make it and what I think is happening right now are happening with again, going back to initial Ico boom, a lot of these cryptocurrencies came out that we’re trying to solve a thing for this immediate moment for warrant trying to survive. And I think there’s a lot more products out there that are building to survive. And the ones that do, I think are going to be spectacular. So I just, I just want to like, really harp on the idea that some of these crypto projects that are coming are learning from other mistakes and are saying like, hmm, they did all of these things, right. But here’s something they did wrong, let me make it that much better. And like, here’s, boom, here’s this new project and like, you know, it works and like, are getting to a point now, where the tech is, the technical debt is being paid by a lot of these first movers and you know, that’s just part of the game. But it’s allowing these newer companies that are coming in or even the companies that are there that are are looking at what’s going on around them, and adapting and allowing them to build and move so much faster. And I think you for it for everyone listening your audience. One of the things to always keep in mind and something that I’ve kind of pulled from a lot of the guests that come on my show it’s As you continue to work in build, and you’re listening to your your customer and everything else is, what can I do? or What did they tell me that if I had to go back and show them my product that I shouldn’t have to explain, like, if they asked me a question about these things like I, in my head, this all made sense. And like, I’m surprised they asked me that question, like, think back on your conversations and think, hmm, why do they? Why do they even ask me that question? I thought that was very obvious. And if the answer is Oh, that’s not very obvious. That is where your attention probably needs to be. And I think that’s been like a really cool, just just lesson that I’ve learned over time.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, I think you’re right. I mean, think about this way. Well, you know, the original way you got on the internet for the most part was dial up, right. And those of us that struggle, you know, back in the dark ages back in the early days in the 90s. We would never want to go back to that. Right and having a Deal with mom picks up the phone and get kicked off the line Mom I’m on blame boo game, you know, stuff like that. But if they’re good stories to tell now but it really it was it was it really was clunky It was hard. I mean if you had to think about like back then like you had to turn on the computer and boot and then you had to open up your, your modem window and then dial the number and make sure your username and password were I mean, now you just turn on the computer works. You don’t even think about that. You don’t even think about the connection. And now you know, we have the wireless you know, everything is wireless now, right and Wi Fi and that was a whole other job like, Oh, I don’t have to sit in my my computer room now to play on the computer. I can sit in the living room and you know, live tweet Netflix or something. Right? I mean, things are very different now, even than it was 2030 years ago. And and you know, I think I try to think about the future as well. And when we’re designing Tosca and working and building this out You know, we’ve heard this a lot of times, for instance, as a project, well, why aren’t you a stable coin? I don’t know if you hear that a lot. And but and I said, we don’t want to be a stable coin. And they and people give me a hard time and I say, look, most stable coins are pegged to a fiat currency. And I can tell you, and we thought this two years ago, and I think it even more Now, can you imagine being attacked, having the value of your project controlled by a fiat currency like the US dollar in 10 years? Tell me what’s going to happen to the dollar in the next 10 years. I don’t know what’s going to happen to the dollar in the next 10 years, but I have a good indication that they’re printing so much money right now. And that rate of printing is just only increasing will eventually drive that fiat currency to oblivion. I’m pretty comfortable in saying that I don’t have a timeline. But I would say there’s a higher it’ll catch up. And and I’m not building something for a week. I’m not building something for a year. I’m building something that Maybe here in 50 years, you know, that’s the goal, right? You don’t build a, you know, who builds a money that’s gonna be gone in 10 years, right? You got to build something’s gonna last hundreds of years, right? I mean, that’s at least in my mind, that’s what I’m trying to

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Build the currency.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And and so so why would I build something on a foundation one I don’t control two that’s recklessly being printed and devalued debased. And so that’s why I don’t want to be a fiat currency. I want our currency to get dropped out, you know, and I also believe, if you look at what was the point why did why do people build stable coins? Right? Answer that.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
The stable coins to mean volatility to make sure you could hedge against volatility that’s going on to make sure that at that time, if your Bitcoin was $10,000, and Allison’s target was going down, you could at least save that value and you could buy back in at a lower but to maintain value,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Stability. Exactly. So the question is, how come cryptocurrencies are so volatile Why not solve that problem? And there’s a very simple reason for that. Why is the US dollar not volatile? For the most part, it’s the most stable fiat currency on the planet right now, right? Why is it not volatile? And it’s a simple answer, because people are using it every day for buying and selling. However, if people only use the dollar for speculation, it would be very volatile. So how do you solve the volatility issue? You create utility, and you get adoption. And over time, it will absolutely stabilize itself and be consistent and hold its value. And so if your project or a project that you like that you’re investing in, does not have a strategy to get people to really use it. It will probably always be a speculative asset only. And it’s going to be volatile. So to us, I yeah, we’re going to be volatile probably for the next two or three years as we grow. But we expect that with tops that we knew this, we knew that was a risk. And we are we have some strategies to Deal with at least early on with the retailers that we’re talking to, which involves things like, you know, atomic swaps and, you know, you know, cashing out right away. So you’re not sitting on it if you don’t want to. But we deliberately wanted to stay away from being a stable coin. And and we felt that for the long term, it was a bad strategy short term, it might be fine. Long term, I don’t think it’s a good idea. And so because you don’t control the underlying value at that point, I would much rather are the people in our community or essentially think about are controlling the value? So who’s better if you’re a project right? Who’s Who should be controlling the value some government agent somewhere or someone in a treasury department at some fiat currency or some bank control the value of your asset or should the people that use it control the value of the asset and to me and to our you know, our group and our team we felt that having the market in our community determine the value is probably the safest way long term.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
I mean the the market the people The community who are using it should be driving the value. Like if you think about what makes the stock market, the stock market, it is perceived value it is supply and demand. And it’s very interesting. When you think about like, stable coins and I was having a conversation about this earlier today. It can go one of two ways, right? And right now there’s a lot of demand for it. There’s a lot of money being fed into it. I think it’s basically expanding to like a $10 billion industry right now. And it’s continuing to grow. There’s a lot of liquidity that’s starting to enter that market. However, depending on what that is pegged to. Even your quote, unquote, stable coin eventually could become volatile. Depending on like, what is your underlying thing that it’s that you’re pegging? So, in a lot of ways, yes, there’s utility to it. It’s, it’s practical, it can be useful, but at the same time to, you’re still always going to be at some sort of risk right? And for a lot of these, for example, like with TUSC, and what you have going on, I do think that by just keeping it the the value of what you’re doing, it should be driven by supply demand and everyone who is using it. So yeah, I would just, I agree with that.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, it’s gonna be definitely interesting to say with, you know, see where things go and in the next couple of years, and, and I think we’re going the right direction with our project, but we’ll see if the market agrees with what we’re doing. And I think, but I think we will be, I’m pretty confident of that. But I think, you know, ultimately, you know, pegging the value of what you’re doing to something else as somebody else control. I just don’t think that’s just doesn’t make sense to me. But, but again, I think a lot of people created those stable coins as a band aid, because and so instead of, you know, creating adoption, and focusing your efforts on truly getting adoption, they spent their time creating a bandaid instead of Solving the underlying problem is that, you know, cryptocurrencies haven’t been adopted yet by the masses. In fact, I would argue they haven’t even been adopted by very many niche markets either. You know, right now, you know, even Bitcoin and i and i own Bitcoin or aetherium. In my own portfolio, I’m not anti any project other than a scam. I don’t like scams, but I’m not anti projects. But I also see limitations in projects. I even see limitations in our own projects. I know where I know where what’s ugly, I know where the words are in our project, too. But if you can’t identify and be open and honest, where there’s a problem or where there’s a, you know, an obstacle that needs to be corrected, or you know, overcome, you’re never going to innovate. And that’s the thing. And I think the problem with a lot of people, especially the Maxis and the different communities, is that they’re so sensitive to any kind of criticism that they feel that their product is above criticism, and then they get really angry about it. But the fact is, if you can’t point out where there’s a problem, how are you ever going to innovate. You know, if you You can identify those issues and I think that and I think that’s natural people get tribal when they wrap their personal identity around something. I think that’s also dangerous. You know? Can you imagine if there were like visa Maxis? You’re like you MasterCard people are bastards visas to real money you know? I mean think about how silly that sounds right? Right. But isn’t that what we’re little sized how, like, Ark..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But think about like, like the PayPal guys are like fighting the Venmo guys on the corner right? I mean think about how ridiculous that sounds this little thought exercise, but that’s what they’re doing in crypto right? It’s like everybody’s got their team jersey on and they got to go to Mass on Sunday pray to the Bitcoin gods and and you know, immaculate conception and all this I mean it really does have elements of you know, it’s not only tribal, but it does have elements of religion. You know, and Satoshi we trust and I’m not like I said, I’m, to me, it’s technology. And it’s software and it has bugs and the people involved have personalities and flaws. And ultimately, the most successful ones may not be the best technology. You know, I’m old enough to remember man, I’m really old now, but I’m old enough to remember VHS and Betamax. I’m that old. And you know what the best technology at that time? Didn’t when the best marketed technology one

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Yes, it did. And oh my gosh, I mean, I did case studies on this back in college and it still holds true just posted the the best tech doesn’t win the best marketing does. And again, I’m gonna say this again, the best technology doesn’t win. The best marketing does. If you think about some of the things that we use every day. It has everything to do with marketing and how it was positioned in like why they made you think a certain way, like the whole concept of like buying a diamond ring for somebody that you’re supposed to use a certain fraction Have your salary and like that’s how much you’re supposed to spend was a marketing ploy by company like they put that in our brains like, however use like the fact that smoking like the reason that smoking became very popular was that the the cigarettes company put marketing ploys out there to show how cool it was at all points like everything and just not to go too far into like the whole marketing piece. But again, like podcaster, that talks to a bunch of crypto and blockchain projects all the time and everything going on, learn to think that they a thing or two, and one of them in the importance of communication and put it out there is that marketing and putting your brand in front of as many eyes as possible and making sure that your story is resonating with people the way that you want it to and in a way that is received from your ideal customer is so crucial. And if you’re not spending time on that right now, I want to challenge you right now if you’re listening to this, and you can Like gut check, I’m not doing this, do it like this should be your focus for the next month, like, figure out how you can get that concise story together to communicate that with others, and just test it. But it’s great to build great tech, it is great to build something that is useful. I’m not going to ever take away from that. But if you can’t communicate it, and if you cannot put it in front of a ton of people, and they can understand it, and then not only understand it take action, like if you can’t, even if you’re thinking it’s the greatest thing ever. And you tell someone and they won’t act on it, and you have failed. And like I know that might sound really harsh and like really like who is this guy but like trust me, you could be putting all your effort and energy creating the best thing ever. But if you do not know how to communicate that and do not know how to put that in front of others, you are failing and that needs to be a focus and that is something that you need to Be refiguring out and putting out there and it’s never too late. You can start right now. And I just really want to just emphasize the importance of we are in a new space where everything is hard. Everything is challenging. And any initial conversation that you have with a non crypto blockchain person, like right now, you probably already know this and feel this. You try to talk to anybody that is not in this immediate world and circle. You trying to pitch it is really hard, and they don’t get it. But if you get to a point to where you can talk to anybody on the street and explain what you do, very simply, and they’re like, Oh, that sounds pretty cool. You’ve won. And so if you can’t, like internalize and like can can tell me that. I want to tell you again right now to go focus and figure that out.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I can’t agree more with you, Richard. I mean, it’s true. And I think the unicorn is the combination right, is that you get both pieces, right? You get the best tech and the best marketing. That’s where your Steve Jobs and Apple come from. That’s where Elan musk and your customers come from. You have really, really good products, really good innovation that people really want. And you have the right amount of hype to grow it, you need both. You could have a Tesla, I used to work in the auto industry in Detroit and from Michigan originally. And there’s plenty of great cars that’ll probably come out to the market that are going to be better than Tesla’s, I guarantee it, they will be. I mean, there’s too many people going into that space. And once the US auto industry and the Japanese auto industries decided they’re going to go into a space they really dive in, they’re not going to come to the market with one line or one model, they’re going to come with 10. And guess what, in a couple of years, they’ll figure it out. Right? they’ll they’ll figure out really good tech, and they’ll figure out a way how to manufacture it cheaper. But the question is, you know, ultimately, you know, Tesla is really good at hype. I mean, the Who do you even know who the CEO CEO of Ford is? Or the, you know, the CEO name of Toyota? No, no, but you know, you know, the CEO of Tesla is right.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Everybody knows Elon.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yeah, you know, the CEO of Apple, the old one, even the new one, right? Cook, the old one, you know, jobs, everybody knows them. Right? You don’t have those kind of personalities in those organizations in like the, you know, the other auto industries that have that kind of marketing in that hype, like you do. Tesla’s and and so I think, you know, I think that’s important to understand. And I think that any crypto project or AI project or any emergency or emerging technology project, you have to, you know, you have to have a good product, no doubt. And you have to understand that you have to have a good product, but you also have to be able to have not only the ability to put that in front of people, but you have to have, you know, someone that has a strategy to put it in how are you going to put it in front of people and that has to be thought about just as much if not more so within the technology part of it. And I and that pisses off developers, when You say that, trust me, I’ve gone round and round with them. And trust me, every time I open my mouth and my developers wins. I’m like, Guys, I got an idea. Because I do have a lot of ideas, you know, because I’m out there. You know, our developers typically, you know, our heads down, they’re pretty most of the team is introverted, right. I’m like the guy with the big mouth. And, and, you know, I’m out. But I’m also the one talking to people like you and talking to other projects. That’s the beauty of what I’m doing with my podcast is I get to talk to other projects and see what they’re doing. Right. And I’m like, Oh, that’s a really good idea. We should do that too. Or do it better than what you’re doing. But you have to have both. But Richard, we’re getting pretty close on time. Before we run, can you tell people how they can get a hold of you and hear what you have to say on your show?

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Absolutely. So if you go to crypto-current.co that is our website. That’s CR y PTO, hyphen, current, c u r r e n t.co. Go check out our website. sight. I’ve got plenty of content educational content out there. We have our podcasts that comes out weekly, sometimes bi weekly. We have videos that we have coming out as well. educational videos on there. We have a newsletter that goes out every single day Monday through Friday part of artificial intelligence that’d be really cool to go and get a part of and then on all social media if you just type in cryptocurrency, you’re gonna be able to find this no problem. And we are always looking for it really cool projects and people who are working on cool things I would like to share with the audience. If so, feel free to reach out to me through cryptocurrency or you can also find me on social media on Richard Carlton. I think probably the one of the easier ways is probably my Instagram so Richard underscore carth on that CA, th o n. You can find me there and I’m happy to speak in and I enjoy speaking with people who are passionate and working on something in the crypto and blockchain space that are looking need to make a difference. So if that’s you, please hit me up. I’m happy to follow up with you.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Richard, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I’ve really enjoyed our time today.

Richard Carthon – crypto-current.co
Absolutely appreciate you having me Rob.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey, this has been Rob McNealy, and we’re gonna have all his socials and stuff linked up at Rob McNealy calm. Make sure if you haven’t subscribed mass has subscribed by button so you can get more content like this and many more interviews are coming. I am Rob McNealy, do you have a great day. Thank you, folks.

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Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip Bitcoin Transcript

Daniel Polotsky - CoinFlip Bitcoin ATM

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 0:01
Hey folks Rob McNealy here. And today we are talking to the CEO of CoinFlip ATM is named Daniel Polotsky. Daniel, how are you today?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 0:10
I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me really quite

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 0:14
well I’m really glad you have time to come on on the show. I know it’s been really hard to like with your schedule my schedule lately to connect so I’m glad we’re finally able to do it. But I think that’s a lot you know, due to the fact that you guys are growing kind of like weeds right now. out there. So let’s just jump into that. So tell me a little bit about what is CoinFlip ATM.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 0:36
I mean CoinFlip is I like to say the world’s largest Bitcoin ATM network by volume. We have close to 800 Bitcoin ATM locations we’re growing at you know, we’re trying to put down 20 to 25 ATMs per week. You know, we’re trying to hopefully move into other region like we’re all already in almost all 50 states. There’s a few left to go on. We want to maybe even make it out to like you know other countries as well like more in the distant future and you know we’re kind of also just trying to be an easy way for people to obtain Bitcoin like the easiest possible way you know to get in get out, get your Bitcoin convenient can speak to somebody 24 seven you know kind of like the old fashioned way you know, it’s like very hard to like even like companies like Uber these days, you know, like they don’t have 24 seven customer service where you can like call someone and they can like pick up. So we try to have that we try to make we understand that Bitcoin is hard to understand for a lot of people and we want to make it as easy and friendly as possible. So that’s what we’re about to do. We’re trying to get Bitcoin as many hands as possible. And we also have like, other options do that now to like we do credit cards online, and we also have coin flip preferred, which we recently launched, which is like a wire transfer service, and you get the Bitcoin same day you get to talk to a person in real life and like we’re just really about all about that experience to try to make Bitcoin as friendly as possible.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 2:07
So when did you guys launch the company?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 2:10
On the company’s launched in 2015? Um, so we probably been around Yeah. So five years.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 2:19
Did you guys bootstrap or do you guys get investors?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 2:22
Yeah, I’ve never we’ve never gotten any outside funding. It’s been pretty crazy. So like, Yeah, I don’t know. I didn’t expect that to be the case. But that is how it worked out. Like you know, that obviously was a popular service. I kind of like you know, the beginning you know, just kind of like put down one ATM and then you know, once it made some money, you know, I like put down another like, I didn’t like, swing for the fences immediately. I want to make sure it was something that works. Because like, you know, I’m like, I am like, you know, like a dreamer or whatever, like entrepreneur, but I’m also like, kind of risk averse, even though like, obviously do take risks, but like, you know, it I want to I want to hit singles rather than homeruns put it that way.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 3:04
Well, I think that you actually just illustrated something that’s real important about entrepreneurs and I’m an entrepreneur, I’ve been around entrepreneurs for a long time, is that I think there’s this like misinformation out there, right? everybody’s like, Oh, I could never be an entrepreneur because of the risks. And I’m just like, you know, I think you got a backwards I personally think that employees actually have more risk than entrepreneurs do. And it’s kind of I think they got a backwards because when you’re an entrepreneur, right, you will, you really are kind of risk adverse, but what that means is least as far as I see it, is that you’re going out and you’re going to take very determined well thought out risks, not haphazard ones, whereas in and you have all the information whereas I think a lot of like employees, you know, they don’t know what condition the companies in they don’t No, you know if they’re gonna get laid off tomorrow, because we’re patient, right? And me, I think that’s way more risky because you don’t know because then your boss is let’s be honest, right? You know, if you’re going to go under the bosses are going to tell you like last thing

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 4:19
Because they want you to give a family whatever what have you, you need to like, adapt quick like it’s not it’s not a you know, yeah,

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 4:27
It’s not and and I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time and and it’s funny because like I’m like people like oh, you must have so much risk and I’m like, it’s not about being risky, right? It’s about yes, we do take risks, but they’re incredibly calculated risks.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 4:43
And they’re short, you know, like, you don’t have to, like, you don’t have to buy, you know, like, you don’t have to nessus like, for example, in my case, you don’t have to, but you don’t have to necessarily raise $3 million and buy 200 machines only to find out it doesn’t work. Like you know, just like put down one machine Find out this is kind of like not really going anywhere. No one’s really picking up on it, maybe like, stick it out for a bit, obviously don’t quit right away, but like, on a small scale doesn’t work, then you haven’t thrown away, you know, millions of dollars, which I guess is easier in today’s society because there’s like a lot of venture funding available and what have you, but still.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 5:21
Oh, well, well, you know that I don’t understand it. Because, you know, I’m old. So I mean, I’m almost 50 now. And I’ve been a self sufficient..

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 5:30
I thought you were 40.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 5:32
I’m 48. I just turned 48 a couple of months ago. Yeah. Thanks. It’s, it’s crazy. Yeah, I got married 20 years for kids. So I’m all fart. But I’ve been a self sufficient entrepreneur for 15 years, meaning that I’ve been able to fully make a living as an entrepreneur for 15 years. But I’ve been an entrepreneur probably for 10 years past that, you know, like who are you try something and fail and I find like the same way right you test and I always call doing it. diligence, where I like I as I’m a serial entrepreneur, so it’s like, I get ideas all the time. And I think you probably are like that too. Because most entrepreneurs I know, the longer they’re an entrepreneur, the more ideas and business ideas pop in their head. And I found the hard part is picking the right ones route that there is an idea but that you got to choose and you got to go through…

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 6:23
You gotta follow through with what you’re gonna do.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 6:24
Yeah, and that’s what you’re gonna execute on. And to me, it’s like, you know, I’ve looked at probably, of all the things that I’ve done, I’ve probably times that by five gone through, like what I call a diligence process where I’m seriously interested in a business or an idea and I start exploring it and they start look, delving into the market and I had this happen, actually, just before we did started. OCC and TUSC. Our little crypto project is I had this idea in the space. It was like a gig economy kind of thing. And I went down for six months researching the market looking at all the attempts that had failed. And before that, you know, people tried to go into it. And I eventually even I was really excited about it. And I had a team where we went to the point where we’re starting to put a team together. And at the very last minute, I told the guys that go, we shouldn’t do it. Like, yeah. And it was a good idea. Like, don’t get me wrong, the idea was sound, but the markets weren’t there. And, and there was some, you know, we found 12 failures in that space that Ted tried to go in that space and failed 12. And I said, Okay, it’s one thing to find one or two, that’s not bad, necessarily. But when you find 12, then you start looking and then you go, Okay, why didn’t then you start trying to answer because why did they fail? And you can’t be arrogant about it. It’s like, okay, because you got to assume that at least some of these people are pretty smart. And like, you know, their diligence too. And ultimately just figured out there wasn’t enough market for that idea. And we had to pull the plug. And so I think sometimes like, what you’re saying is that you got to take these calculated risks. So why ATMs? What got you into that? Did you have a background in finance or ATMs prior to that?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 8:09
I do have a background like not like crazy but like I do have a background in finance I would say when I was in college, you know at various internships at like, you know, big financial firms like Morgan Stanley, or Joe Brian Citadel, but then I was also like, you know, I really like Bitcoin as well. That’s kind of like what got me into the whole thing like the rabbit hole, you know, I found Bitcoin I was like, I want to buy some Bitcoin and I actually used to buy the first ever Bitcoin it was in like, 20 2014 I think, yes. 2014 so it was like, 2014 I was trying to buy the Bitcoin and I went, like, back in the day, it was really annoying to like, use like Coinbase I mean, no, it’s still kind of it’s like, you know, getting on boarded for the first time and whatever. Like, it’s still kind of a nightmare like back then it was like, you know, really, really not smooth to get bitcoins honestly I want the easiest way possible so I went to the Bitcoin ATM first ever one in Chicago I didn’t like the features like I didn’t like the bill acceptor It was kind of annoying like it didn’t spit a lot of bills back like the money came back took a while to get the Bitcoin the fees were like crazy I think they’re really over 10% whatever so 1213 maybe even 14 I forgot but they’re really high so I went on local bitcoins calm and I met up with somebody in person to trade had that feature back then. So I just like that. So I bought my Bitcoin but then like, I started thinking of like, you know, the ATM versus like meeting up with someone and how like the ATM is way safer, and how it’s way more scalable. You know, like, it’s a, it’s not like you meeting up with someone you know, and then like having risk of getting shot or whatever it is or like, you know, meeting up or like $20,000 or whatever having to take orders or people having to do it like that’s not very scalable, so you need the ATMs to be put down. So that’s why I’m like, I could probably like even though that ATM that I use specifically was the best, like, I could probably improve on the model, which is also like a good example of like, you know, like you don’t have to necessarily reinvent the wheel like I I knew about these ATM so I liked the concept of them I liked what they were doing it just wasn’t being executed properly but there clearly was a demand because you know, I was especially because I was a customer you know, like I was buying Bitcoin that was someone there have to be some other people like me right? It’s not it’s probably not like complete fluke

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 10:39
How long did it take you to get from like the idea to do this to like getting a working prototype? What was that kind of process to like, you know, yeah, you manufacturing themselves or you licensing the manufacturing out to somebody else or buying from somebody else? How did they How did you get started with that piece of it?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 10:54
Yeah, of course. I mean, we just you know, I put down some money for floats, obviously, because we need some float for the Bitcoin. And then we start doing research on like regulations because you know, like, at the time there was like a bunch of there’s like the first ever like case of like, you know, somebody going to jail for whatever for like not being a registered Bitcoin MSP or like violating like MSB, you know, AML KYC regulations. So I’m like, you know, I just don’t know, I want to do things by the book. So I started researching regulations, there was no laws against it. I wrote a letter to the state regulator in Illinois, got the green lights, and you know, like, there’s nothing like you don’t have to register as like a money transmitter. I register with fincen everyone, every, you know, company dealing with big one at the time had to do there was like a mandate out. So I did register with fincen as a money service business, I developed an AML KYC policy and then I started looking for the best ATM. So I was just like, you know, just try and try out different models like not, um, you know, there’s a go to one store, you know, try this One, look online. Yeah, what’s the price this what the features are for this one, and then eventually I settled on general bytes. So general bytes was the best company at the time. So we have like a very close working relationship with general bytes. And we still use their ATMs today. You know, we also try to like, you know, have our own like version of the software that we add on. So it’s like, it’s dope. I think it’s been a great relationship. And I think we’ve done great things together.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 12:28
So, are Coinflip ATMs for crypto transactions only, or do you do normal credit card, debit card type or withdrawals as well?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 12:36
Well, there’s no reason to really do like debit and credit cards, I don’t think because why would anybody ever drive to use that when they could just do it online, right. So we do actually accept credit and debit cards on our website. We try to keep the fees really competitive as well. And I think you get Bitcoin in the hour, so it’s kind of cool. simplex. So we have that option but on the ATM itself for now, it’s just, it’s just cash. We do so 10 different cryptocurrencies.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 13:11
Very cool. So, you know, I know a lot of people that have gotten into like vending type industries and typically with that kind of industry, the hard part is finding a good spot, right? Where do you place the units? And what has been your strategy for placing units around the country?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 13:29
Well, I have a sales background, as well as like a financial background. So I was like a salesperson for vector marketing. I sold knives door to door for Cutco.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 13:39
I have a Cutco knife, a Fisherman’s solution.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 13:43
It’s great. It’s great. Right? It’s a great product so I was very down to push it. I think I sold like $40,000 of knives during that summer. And then I also salesperson, the I finish like 42nd in the country. And then there was like a another time there was like Uber when They were just getting started. I mean, they weren’t just getting started, it was like 2014 2015. Like they were definitely around. But they wanted more college people to get involved. So in college, I was just like, hired to onboard people. So just like, you know, post in Facebook groups, like do all this other like guerilla marketing, get people to sign up for Uber. And so I finished like, think first in the Midwest for that campaign. So I was like, always into sales. You know, I liked sales. So I kind of use my experience, like, how to sell from like, you know, what my managers have previously taught me and I kind of like, molded that my approach to talking to stores. And I don’t think it’s like, obviously, it’s hard. The first one’s always gonna be the hardest one, but like, you make 500 calls a day or whatever, like 100 calls a day. Like eventually there will be somebody who’s down to accept money every month and foot traffic free, you know, free marketing for you know, square foot of space.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 14:58
So how are they managed? Somebody has to go put money in, pull money out. How do you handle that?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 15:06
We have a whole operations department like a whole cash logistics armored operations department that always keeps track of where our cash is. We work with obviously the biggest armored car carriers in the country. And we also have like some smaller ones as well. So we have a whole network of people that pick up the cache and take it to our different vaults across the country. So it’s a whole, like logistical operation now.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 15:29
So the question is, you know, I’ve talked to other people who have tried to do the crypto ATM kind of business and they’re either struggling in there I know of a couple of you probably do too, that you know, never got off the ground or, you know, going out of business. What’s what are you doing differently? That’s making you guys more successful you think?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 15:48
Um, we are working incredibly hard. I think that we’re all a bit younger, so we’re maybe a little bit more forward thinking. We never got any outside funding, so we’re just super efficient and everything we do. So, you know, we’ve been able to like bootstrap. So we have that mindset. So we have like, we don’t really have any, as much fat as maybe some of these other companies. You know, we charge the lowest fees, we just try to do the right thing every day. And we hire incredibly talented people. You know, I just don’t have a lot of my friends from past life for like people I know from like working environments that I know are talented, either from school, from Northwestern, from Deerfield, from other networking events, whatever it is, but like people I know that will do a good job. And I think we’ve been able to bring them in because they like, respect with what we’re doing.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 16:36
So what do you look for in a location? Say, when you’re placing one? What kind of requirements do you have for like, say, if you know, a store owner, for instance, what would you want to be like? Do you have like a minimum amount of volume they have to do a month or how does that look?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 16:51
No, I mean, we are like, the machines do well, pretty much everywhere. I mean, obviously there’ll always be some locations that are worse. Some that are better, but there’s always a demand for them. We’re just mainly looking for, you know, someplace with good parking someplace with good security or a gas station someplace, you know, easily accessible. We look for gas stations, liquor stores, convenience stores, some smaller restaurants. So any place that people are comfortable going to can go and have good security and people can access you know, as often as possible. That’s the spot I’m going for. We also pay anyone who does want to find locations for us, we pay them, we pay them upfront and a residual based on the amount that the machine does. So that’s always an option.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 17:44
We need to talk off the air. Yeah, we got an idea. But I think that’s it’s really interesting. And I think that the one of the things is on and off ramps are really hard, especially in the United States right now. And it’s It sucks right now you know and I look at it from being inside the industry to is like you know trying to do things legally in the US is hard I mean it really is yeah and people don’t understand the amount of regulation involved with you know trying to do things the right way you know kind of thing and it’s been pretty nuts so where do you think the the future crypto is gonna be? Do you think it’s Bitcoin Do you think other all coins are going to be leading the way defy I you don’t have I don’t have to hold you to the certainty. I’m just curious. I like to talk to other people and see what they’re what they’re seeing is going on because you’re dealing with real customers. You’re dealing with real people every day and that’s why I think you probably have some unique insights there.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 18:43
Yeah, on the retail side, Bitcoin is king. By far. I can tell you that lunch for sure. So as of now, I think that Bitcoin has a very bright future ahead of it. Just simply be mean not simply because but a lot partly because of its first mover advantage, I think a lot of these other cool ideas from these other networks, they can kind of like layer on top of like, you know, there’s like whatever the lightning network to make it quicker. So I think that Bitcoin for the foreseeable future, you know, I think will be the king I think it’s kind of like the most slow changing, you know, kind of like most resistant to censorship, most decentralized coin right now, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. That being said, Nothing is forever. So it’s got to be the only thing that’s the caveat is it’s got to be like 10 times better than Bitcoin. Like, it can’t just be something that’s like, you know, 1.1 times better or like, you know, like, just slightly faster slightly. This has to be something that like people really want to, like, switch their infrastructure over to, you know, like, there’s kind of like that network effect like, you see it all the time in businesses to like they all use Windows computers, and they all use Microsoft, and they always Excel and That’s what they use year after year after year, even if it’s not necessarily the best product out there, but that’s how it’s been. That’s how it is. Slowly they change.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 20:12
It’s like VHS and beta, right? I always tell people that it’s not the the best product that wins. But generally the best marketed product that wins typically in some of those battles, and, you know, it’s just the way it is, unfortunately, I always tell people, and I get a lot of crap for this. But I say that, you know, the winning grip does whatever winning means, but probably in the future, the most popular kryptos will be the best marketed kryptos going forward. The ones that solve, you know, I call I i dotted this or coined this term, saying closing that last mile of crypto adoption, you know, the ones have figured out how to stimulate the actual demand on the consumer end, and I think whatever those projects are going to be the ones that rise to the top Eventually, the speculation can’t drive everything forever. Eventually. There’s got to be Be a customer involved.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:02
100%

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 21:02
That’s how I see it. So, Daniel well Cool, well Daniel, where can people find out more about CoinFlip?

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:10
I just go to our website CoinFlip.tech. There are plenty of opportunities on there you know, you can use our coin flip preferred service get Bitcoin in the same day you can refer other people to this service. You can refer people to rates yams, you can help sell ATMs for us, you know, we have countless ways to engage the community to work together and you know, make money doing it and helping everyone get Bitcoin. So that’s why

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 21:35
Daniel, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate your time.

Daniel Polotsky – CoinFlip 21:39
I appreciate your time.

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Barbara Bickham – WIFAX Transcript

Barbara Bickham - WIFAX

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos may be present.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Hey folks, Rob McNealy here. And I am real excited to talk to you guys today because we have an amazing guest. Her name is Barbara Bickham and she is an amazing woman. We met here probably about a month ago. And she is the managing partner of the women’s Innovation Fund accelerator, also known as with x. It’s kind of a VC firm. And it focuses on women in tech. And this is one of the things that’s really exciting. Barbara is also the founder and CTO of trailing ventures, which is a blockchain consulting company. So like to welcome to the show. Barbara, how are you today?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I’m good. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 
Hey, you know, I’ve had a lot of good conversations with your last couple weeks and I’m said you need to come on the show because I because I think you have a perspective that I think a lot of people need to hear and I really like what you’re doing and where you’re focusing on you know, tech and bring more women and so look Let’s take a look to take a step back. And, you know, tell me a little bit about your career and how you got into tech.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
All right, well, this is one of the two stories I think you’ll ask me about. The second thing will be how did I get into blockchain? So no, I won’t ask that. You won’t ask them. That’s a famous one as well.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Okay. So it’s always you always have to ask how did you get into bitcoin and I never use that.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
Bitcoin. How do I get into the blockchain space? Exactly? separate question. But how did I become a tech girl tech girl. So um, when I was in high school, I had a project. And it was to make an area of a circle and it was in a computer science class. So my high school had computer science. I went to kind of a private Catholic school, and they had computer science there. And so the, the assignment was to make an area of a circle. And so I did that assignment and I did it in like a week. was to use, we had to print out a flowchart of how we would make the area of a circle. And I did it in Visual Basic. So this is like way back before any super fancy programming languages. So I did that. And I was like, well, this is kind of boring, I need to do more assignments. So what I decided to do was extend my flowchart and do every square error rectangle area of a triangle, because you..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Show off.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
…which one do you want to do. And then you could kind of click and say I want to do rectangle number four, and then it would do the do the flowchart and say, if it’s a rectangle, then compute the, you know, enter in the number and then you entered in the number and then it computed it. So that that didn’t take me too long. But that’s kind of how I fell in love with computers. So then after that I got into Berkeley, I still don’t know how that happened. It’s kind of a mystery, one of those life mysteries, because I didn’t really apply. So I’m trying to figure out how that happened. Maybe that was just on their radar, something that happens I guess, and go They’re not my computer science degree. I have a Bachelors of Arts. So it’s interesting because at Berkeley to get the bachelors of science you have to get into engineering school. And then the engineering school maybe you took all that Kimmy II, me physically and I didn’t want to take all that was it. I just wanted my lovely computers, I don’t need to have an engineering degree and a computer science degree. So I just took the CS part. So I went there, and then I got my first job. So after I got my first job, when I got it, they were like, Hey, we want you to create this program out of nothing. Here’s a blank paper. We want you to do this translating program, and we don’t care how you write it. We just want you to do it. Not when are you sure cuz I literally just graduated from school. Um, I don’t know, I don’t really have any experience writing code or doing this yet. So no, you went to Berkeley. You should printed out. So that became one of their biggest products It was called. It was called a story geometry note. So what we did was is we converted something from editors page planner, this is prior to the fancy internet, you had to actually print out paper, as like newspaper, the newspaper business is very different than it was back then. But this was one of the first computerized ways to actually print newspapers on the computer. So we had this ad makeup station, and then we had the ability to enter in stories. This thing kind of filled in the parts on the paper. If you had if you saw like ads in the corner, I was just like, here’s an ad or you saw like a small story in the corners like, here’s like Joe’s little commentary, that’s that was that was what that particular software did. It helped find kind of where to fill in pieces of paper. So that was my first job. After that I had a very traditional career, a lot of architecting and designing systems, a lot of managing people and and about 15 years into my career, I had an opportunity to start a company. So I started a company called tech deny what tection. I was originally. This is like story of pivots, what tech and I was originally it was supposed to be the ability to do wireless roaming across multiple networks. So Wi Fi network and cellular network. Those were the two back in the day that you were going to roam across. So I figured out how to do that. And I did all these surveys I did all this consumer asking and you know, focus groups and things that you do now in the Lean Startup method. And what happened was people found out I was in the wireless business, I’m in LA, and this is Hollywood. And I was talking to some of my entertainment friends and they said, Hey, can you put that American Idol stop avoiding and pulling in my show? I went Hmm. Yeah, I think I could do that. I knew all the people. So I pivoted, I completely pivoted my company to do that. And, and tech denies actually one of the wireless pioneers in the United States, we kind of brought the wireless into mass adoption. So we helped a lot with shortcodes. So when you texthelp 212345, that’s partially my fault, QR codes, partially my fault. So I work with a lot of the technology to kind of create the mass adoption. Um, so that’s what tech Gemini was. During the time of running that company. I had somebody come to me and go, Hey, I have an angel group. Would you like to run an angel group? And I said, Hmm, well, yeah, that could be interesting. Let me do that, too. So while I was running my company, tech tonight, I was also running this angel group. And so I ran a group called the pcn LA and I had about 400 angels in there and This was during 2008 2007 2008 2009. We all know what happened in there were a few less angels in 2009. And my angels were very great because they said, you know, a bar, we love you, but we’re kind of a little less angels now, right now in this moment. So I was like, okay, so I shut that down and then obviously had this. But then I found an opportunity to work with a private merchant bank, that kind of shut down. And so then I went back to my coding roots. So I went to work for a European company. I was the lone American in the European company. So I had workers in Europe and workers in India, so I was alone American. So that was also very interesting, because during that time, I had a lot of work to do, because you’re working from nine to 11. Because you have the Indian part, the British part, when you talk to them, when do they talk to you, you know, it’s like a lot of coordinating in that. So I did that, for about four years, and in that company, I actually won them an award. So they had something called AI hub IoT. They were an Internet of Things company. And I wrote, they had a contract for the government to deploy internet of things into various colleges and companies. So their first deployment, they needed a REST API and they didn’t have one. So the auditor came because we were being checked by the government. And they said, Well, look, in order for you guys to get your check. You have to have this stuff done. This was in August, and it was the stuff was due in October. So how many months is that? August, September, October, bam, okay. They’re like okay, Mark, who’s gonna write this and then my Maya, my colleague and kind of boss at the time, he’s like, all right, I said, You don’t you don’t have time right that you know, you’re Not gonna write that. So I’ll write it. And then the person I was supposed to write it didn’t didn’t want to write it either. So I said, Well, I’m not even supposed to be on this project, honestly. So I’ll just read it. So two months later, REST API comes out. We win a Gartner cool vendor award. We, the deployment was flawless. I think they found one problem in it, and I fixed it. And it was a very minor problem. Cuz somebody actually put in like, 26,000 requests in a minute. And I was like, well, that’s not good. I’ll wait limit this. And it but it didn’t fall over. So that was that was a claim to fame. So after that kind of ended, that was 2014 2015 popped out of the hole. I said, Well, you know what? I can’t be a VP of engineering anymore. I might as well now be a CTO. So I popped down and said, Hey, everybody, I’m a CTO now. And it’s funny. I went to start networking back and some of my groups and everyone’s like, I don’t You know, hey, they’re like, hey, Bob, what are you up to? I said, Well, I’m doing the CTO thing and they went, you know how to code. Why? Because when you have the CEO moniker, which I had at Tec nine, and these other things, like they don’t think you are, you came from a computer background, they had no clue. So you know, of course, I’m not going to have you know, technical person on myself, I have SEO, because I want you to take me as that. So that’s why I trailing I have CTO as my moniker. I am the CEO as well. But it’s like I want to meet make it clear, like I’m very technical. So you’re talking to a tech, the technical person, as well as trailing like that. So that so now, so like I became a CTO, and that kind of goes into trailing. So trailing is my blockchain advisory company, we kind of put companies on blockchains. We actually work with AI, AR and IoT. We work with all the emerging tech actually. So we have companies innovate on those areas. Um, what about trailing I mean, you know, we have private clients, I think trail is gonna morph a little bit. Because, you know, a lot of people need other types of technical help and strategic level technical help. And the other hand, I wear it with x, and we’ll talk about how that trajectory came as well. Um, I can help apply some of that into startups and I had been doing that prior to starting with x the fund, I’d always help companies raise money I’d always help companies with their pitches, I’d always help companies with their business strategy. How do you make revenues How do you make money What is your monetization because as a technical person, you have to understand like how is that now going to be implemented into your software? Now you can just do stripe easy, but what if you want to put something else in their cryptocurrency or what if you want to do PayPal or what if you want to do Braintree or Amazon or, or other, you know, other payment mechanisms. So you just got to be at work normal b2b, and then I don’t have to worry about it, you’re going to do a traditional, like, send an invoice. But even that can be done by a computer now. So the question becomes, from a, from a technical side, what do we need to put in here? To make it monetizable? What are the revenue models that impact the technology? And then how can we make that scale? So a lot of people never understood this, like, why is this important? It’s important because how are we making money here? You’re not gonna you know, if you’re gonna kind of give up things for free. Nowadays, you have to look at the scale of that what that has to be million people, 2 million people for it to be interesting for anybody. Whereas if you have, you know, 10,000 good people paying you every month, that’s a good thing. So you have to look at it that way. I think.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think one of the things you’re touching on is common in tech is where you have developer led projects. Purchase versus like an entrepreneur lead project, where they kind of see different things, a lot of tech people, you know, they just want to build. But, you know, I always come at things, and I’m not a developer. But what I always kind of see is, you know, find a customer first and then build a solution to their problem and do that first. And I find when I started looking at businesses from that perspective, instead of just building something I had in my head. Now that can work but you know, you got to do a lot of diligence validation before you move forward on that. But I think, you know, there are a lot of developer led projects that don’t understand revenue, don’t understand business development and markets and things like that. And I think that’s important that you as a VC understand the tech side really heavily. But you also understand, you know, the business side, you’re like the Lee Iacocca of tech, right?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
Because Lee Iacocca was so awesome.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Well, you know, a lot of people don’t understand that he, you know, he was heavily involved with Product Development and Engineering. And I think he actually had was an engineer at one point. And then that’s when he developed them, you know, the marketing for developed the Mustang project and then later, you know, went to Chrysler and built all those products but he was one of those rare people that can make that transition from the tech side to the actual business and leadership side, because that’s rare. And and it’s interesting that you..

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I’ve always, I’ve always been interested in business and always said, I wouldn’t have a company even when I was young, a young person I you know, like the technology thing just kind of fell like it just kind of fell into and actually it just became my thing that I’m naturally was excellent to do. And I was blessed to find that very early. But I was always interested in fascinated by business and in from a technology side from a technical person side if you think about systems and how systems work, and how things flow like business is like an ultimate kind. systems level view of life because it’s kind of like how do these things work? What happens if you have to pivot? You know, we have the global pandemic, because I do call it the global pandemic, you know, how you know, all systems are shifting. So how do you strategically pivot or move that or change it and I think like my natural ability to architect and design systems, is is is kind of utilized when you look at things from a business perspective and go Okay, you can architect and design things in your business just like you would from a software or product side as well in my mind. So to me, there’s kind of, you know, it’s not really that different that different, but I agree with you. I think sometimes, you know, tech people are very tech heavy business people are very business heavy, but that’s why you need those alliances. That’s why you really need kind of to build an advisory board, a mastermind, you know, have other people kind of around you and and so you can get the advice of Look, this, you know, I’m building this like, Is there a market for this? Do I have competition? No, I don’t have any competition. You always have competition the way you the way it’s done now is competition. So, no. Hey. So I mean, you know that this is why bringing the business people in the 10 people together is very powerful.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I think so as well. So you you I won’t ask that one question. But you are involved in emerging technologies.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I am I’m in all of them, actually.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So why focus on the emerging technologies versus more traditional programming and, you know, consulting models?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com

In the emerging tech world, Well, okay, let’s take it pre pandemic, and then post pandemic. So if you look at what’s happened before, the global pandemic, what what was what what shifts were going on, you know, we’re, we’re in the US here, so I don’t know how how Global your your podcast as well. But the thing about it is if you think about it, we were talking about like voting. There’s a lot of conversations around voting. So why is voting not on some emerging tech platform where you could validate who you are, you have a slate of people, and then you go, Okay, I vote for this slate of people or whatever you check 1111 on a computer, on your phone, wherever, and then you submit it and you know, it’s you because they validated it was you, huh? Okay, does that sound technically, that’s not a hard problem to solve. But it’s some of this is really political will. So now if you look at post pandemic, we I know many countries that that stimulus. Now I also know many countries were clearly more prepared for stimulus than United States. So if you think about that distribution of money, or distribution period, it could be distribution of food. We have no shortage of those Toilet paper. Why was that? We had shortages of other things. Why was that these are distribution problems. If you look at that, like some of this could have been tracked and traced on these emerging tax and AI could have told you like, hey, you’re running out of toilet paper, and you only have like two weeks of toilet paper in the pipe, you might need to go order 15 or 20 weeks of toilet paper. Now, the AI also could have said the global supply of toilet paper is only five weeks. So for everyone on the planet, it’s only five weeks of toilet paper, something could have told us that. But um, you know, if you would have done a more traditional system, how would you have found that out? Who are you going to call? Who do you want to call you back? How are you going to know? It’s all centralized? So the one with all the toilet paper and we had people that did this, oh, I bought all this hand sanitizer and I bought all this stuff. We had people that were hoarding, so if you’re hoarding they were already mad asks, Who are you gonna? How are we going to find that out? It was going to be impossible. That’s why I work in the emerging tech field to actually solve problems at scale. Because all these things are going to be all infrastructure. AI is already pretty ubiquitous. People ask me about it all the time. What about AI? You know, if you go to McDonald’s, or Starbucks, I don’t know if you ever go to McDonald’s. I don’t really go there. But I found this out. Like when you go to most of these restaurants now and you order, you’re really talking to an AI, you’re not talking to a person. And then you’re talking to the AI and then sometimes they go, Oh, hold on, and then you hear a person interrupt. That is the AI has said, Hey, I don’t understand their order. I don’t understand something and then the person interrupts. So AI is very ubiquitous when you call the bank, which is annoying, or anything now the electric car, anything, if you call anything I called the phone week. That’s an AI. The AI is like, I don’t understand, I don’t understand. I’m like person 000 can I get to a person? No, it won’t let you. Yes. It’s like Hello, hello. So I mean, if you think about these emerging texts, it, they’re going to be all infrastructure. And so why don’t you want to be in kind of the next generation of what’s happening? Because, you know, post pandemic has proven a lot of things, what’s really going to be necessary and what is not and what skill sets are going to be necessary and what is not. I think that is whole other conversation.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com

That’s like a whole other conversation.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com

Yeah, I think politics is a big deal. And I think that that definitely permeates, you know, a lot of different things. And I mean, we could unpack you know, things like the global pandemic and from the political side of it, which it’s been politicized and poison throughout, you know, all levels of Government and, and stuff and, and my wife’s a medical doctor who, you know, works kind of with the federal government. And so trust me, I we view the pandemic probably differently than a lot of people do. But we definitely are concerned and it definitely is a problem. And, and it’s a problem that’s solvable. And, and, you know, it’s like we we seem to the United States, it’s like, we certainly have had a hard time, you know, coming together as a people, I think that’s part of the problem is that you look at the countries that have done the best at like New Zealand, which is virus free now, or Sweden and the Netherlands.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Where they, they’ve come together, and they viewed it, you know, as they viewed it as the country versus the virus. And here, it’s the one side of the political aisle versus the other end versus the virus. So, and that’s the problem. And I think ultimately, you know, if from I think those of us who think in terms of actual solving problems and not all of it sticks. It’s hard for us to like, you know, you know, it’s a head scratcher. It’s definitely head scratcher. Um, okay, let’s, let’s pivot a little bit. Let’s talk a bit about with accent and what you’re doing with your accelerator with women in tech. What’s that all about?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 
Alright, so let me with x it you know, it’s called the women’s Innovation Fund accelerator. So the women portion of with x is that we like gender balanced sea level. So we like an equal amount of men and women, you can have a few more women than men. We do have a few people that are all women. But that’s where we do have one set that’s all man that’s like super rare. We usually don’t take those people. I kind of knew that person. So they they got in, but we like the balance. And I’ll tell you why in a minute, the innovation emerging tech and sustainability so we do the blockchain, ai AR IoT and they will also help the companies become sustainable companies because we believe those are Your next set of consumers, you know, a lot of younger people younger than us, I think, like the sustainability aspect. They like that you’re corporately responsible, environmentally responsible, socially responsible. So we kind of help the companies become that in the accelerator. We’re fun. We’re opportunities on impact fund. So we’re very localized. We’re about creating jobs giving opportunity to underserved, underrepresented people. That could be women that could be black and brown. It could be any income underrepresented people, and then we’re an accelerator. So our celebrator does two things. We help your company become fundable and we make you sustainable. So our fungibility quotient is we run this thing called the due diligence intensive. So I have a very rigorous due diligence package, and it’s six weeks. So we go through this checklist which is six pages. the back part What I have to do is a lot more pages. If you’re a blockchain company, it’s even extra pages. It’s like it goes between 28 and 35 pages that I have to do to, to validate like your real company, this is a real thing. You know, you get feedback on that. And then it’s two weeks of sustainability. So they get one year sustainability plan, which we track internal to our fund. So that’s what’s very different about our fund. You know, we’re not really a traditional, I mean, we are a venture fund or traditional and that way, you know, we like the traditional venture returns, but we’re also very community oriented or socially oriented. We like to work with people that want to scale big, global or global reach as well. We have partners in Korea, my other stuff, people on our board that help us get over into Asia and Korea. So, you know, we’re, we’re knocking that around. So that’s, that’s us in a nutshell. So we we absolutely feel the need to support women in STEM and steam. I mean, I’ve been in STEM and steam my whole life. It’s important, even not from a technological side to be in it, because most companies are tech enabled. But you need somebody that understands that like, Hey, are you going to be Facebook? Where you need heavy tech? Are you going to be something else where it’s tech enabled? So you know, there’s that as well. And then how are you you know, then you have your business wrappings as well. How are you going to monetize? How are you going to get customers how are you going to grow? How are you going to pivot? How you gonna? Yeah, so there’s a lot a lot to business and a lot to run your fund. Because then we have our portfolio construction how are we how are we getting everyone to play together? Then you have your you know, co investors and you have your your investors as many things running apart.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
I can imagine. How many portfolio companies do you have now?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
So we have we have four portfolio companies that we put powder into. And we have about we’ve done 17 companies in acceleration.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Wow. That’s, that’s good. I’m sorry. You focus mainly with your accelerator on seed stage. Are you looking? How many stages Do you want to go to? And are you looking to grow your fund as well to later stage kind of companies?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
You know what, I think we’re probably like late seed early series. So that’s kind of where we want to play. Um, I think leader leader stage there are a lot of people that, you know, now you’re competing with like Andreessen Horowitz is and you know, like earliest bond and many you know, you’re dealing with like, a lot of other more mature funds at that stage. I still think that for women, there is a gap between seed and be like seed and be so We are in our fun we are doing follow on money. So like if you get an A and we do the A with someone, then we’re willing to do the be and be a part of that. And then I think if you get at that level, so we’re talking about 50 6070, hundred million dollar revenue level ish, then you know, you should be able to get either out or kind of, you know, up to the next levels. The other thing that we that we do here is we, we have something called a capital stack program, and we’re testing it on ourselves versus not ourselves, but on some of the portfolio companies. And what that is, is we look at how do you exit and then roll back. So what do we need to do to potentially get you to exit because the IPO market is frothy, like private companies are taking longer and longer to come out nine years, 10 years, 12 years, you know, that’s a long time if you’re sitting there at the seat or a level, that’s a long time to wait. So we say, Okay, how can we configure it so that you can potentially, you know, be attractive for an exit, which could be an acquisition, you’re acquiring, they’re acquiring. So that’s that’s how we see we see exits as well. So that’s that’s kind of how we were working. So far. It’s working well.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
So if you had a project that wanted to come to you, but they don’t have a woman, do you have people in a stable that you can put on teams?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 28:28
Yes, we absolutely do. It depends on what they what the configuration is. But yes, we can put women on teams. Absolutely.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com 
So I really like what you’re doing and it’s kind of funny. My wife and I are big believers in STEM, and we actually homeschool our kids. And we have two we have two daughters and the reason we homeschool primarily, it’s not for religious reasons, which is pretty common among homeschoolers, but we want to ensure that our daughters and our sons but all our kids, got a really strong STEM education. So My oldest daughter is 17. And she’s going toward Chem engineering. But she’s already she’s finishing up her sophomore year college at 17. And so, yeah, so she’s doing that. And so she’s doing all but it’s interesting because all our kids are a couple years ahead of where they would be in public school. It’s just homeschool is just so much more efficient at getting kids through. And we found that stem is, you know, it’s one of the things that I’m concerned about the United States long term is culturally, we don’t value education as a country anymore. And I’m not sure we did for a long time either. But I think that I think we’re beginning to become less competitive as a country going forward. And, and a lot of that stem and I think a lot of the problems you’re seeing with all the people, you know, you see a lot of people like boomers and millennials that are struggling. And a lot of that goes back to, I think, a bad education model that we have in the United States. And in in I’m not trying to get political right. But…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 30:04
This is just factual. I mean, we’re talking about facts here. This is not a political statement, I mean, education that cuts across everything, and everyone, actually.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And what about one of the things that I see as a problem with education, and I think this affects girls too. So I think this is important is that we don’t focus on in the United States in our public school systems pretty much anywhere. We do not focus on science and education. And we don’t, we don’t train kids to mastery. We just push them through the system. And one of the things that we do different with our education, our values, we tell our kids look, it takes as long as it takes for you to master this however, you don’t go to the next level until you master it. We will give you all the tools that you need, including hiring tutors, or what have you, to get you to that mastery, but we don’t let our kids go to the next level of what others, whatever…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
Whatever it may be…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Unless they’re mastering it. Meaning that they basically get an A, you know? And when I tell people this that are my friends that have their kids a post with a like, Wow, that’s so mean that’s so hard. And I’m like, why would you progress, somebody who’s failing at something or just mediocre at something, because things only typically get harder as you go forward. And if you’re not having a good grasp of basics, you’re going to struggle. And and so it’s interesting and it’s interesting the United States on top of that with public school, you have so many people because of the way we do student loans and stuff that they had a lot of bad advice given to kids I think is like they take on so much debt…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 31:37
and a ton of debt…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
…a ton of debt, but…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 31:40
…and no marketable skills…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
…but they take on a lot of debt for no ROI. And so it’s interesting. So I mean, we’ve had a lot of a lot of arguments and time and and discussions, especially with my older kid. But she came around eventually, but we said look, if we’re going to pay for education now I think paying for an education is part of being a good parent, I think it’s I think we owe that. Now, that doesn’t mean that doesn’t have to be a college degree, but we think that you’re gonna move forward. You know, your kid has to have enough life skills to be independent at 18. Like they know how to drive a car, they know how to change tire, they know how to, like, do laundry could buy all those things in work and make money and make good business decisions, a good buying decision. I mean, we we have a very holistic approach, unlike an 18 my kids need to do these things. Because those things are important. And, and so I think what’s happened is you have all these people that for so long, they just like, Oh, I’m gonna go spend 100 grand to get this education that starting pay is like $16 an hour. And my one daughter, you know, she’s had she’s had to work hard to get where she’s getting with her grades in school because you know, stem is hard, okay, you have to do four levels of calculus for an engineering degree. Yeah, and what we said is, but I said it and right now it’s like, it’s kind of a joke. I have an MBA. And I also wanted to learn to be a welder. Because I like to make metal art. That’s my hobby. And last summer a year ago, I graduated from a year and a half long, full blown welding program. I’m a certified welder. I went to school full time for a year and a half to become a hobby welder is kind of funny, but I’m a full welder. And, and it was hard actually, because I’m not I don’t have great hand eye coordination, but but I learned to weld and it’s interesting because I got to be around a lot of kids or half my age. I was like, oldest guy in my class. I was older my instructor and you know, but a lot of these guys are blue collar kids, but these kids are coming out of welding school. They could do so it was a nighttime program four nights a week, right. So blue collar blue collar is again, I but I respect people that work with their hands. But the interesting thing is this this program from start Finished was less than over a year and a half and you paid it in payments $6,000. So, that’s the cost of vacation. Oh, maybe 6500 by the time you buy your welding helmet and all the gear, but it was about six grand is what it was. And you could work during the day. It was designed for people that had a day job. So you’re 18 years old. By the time you’re 19 you can have the certification, have a skill, don’t have to not work while you’re going to school because you can go at night. Now, here’s the interesting. They’re so desperate for welders in the United States right now. This this was interesting, and I was shocked. They had major corporations that are major industrial corporations coming to our welding program, trying to recruit us halfway through to start work bring the day starting at $30,000 a year, you know, or more up to 4030 to 40 K so like 15 to $20 an hour plus full benefits 401k Matching healthcare, you name it. I mean, all major typical corporate Pac benefits packages, vacation vacation, boot allowance, you name it, and I’m just like, oh my god. So, so think so think about this. And I tried to explain this to my kid when she’s like, wanting to look at a different lessor major that didn’t have a good ROI. And I said, Look, you know, we can pay whatever it’s going to be for you to go to the college and get this degree 30 $40,000 whatever it ends up being. And then you make 40 grand a year with this type of major that she was interested in and I said, Look, that’s not worth the money. I would rather you go to welding school. Or, you know, they they’re posting at the school for electronics technicians for a two year degree to be just an electronic repair started at 56,000 a year with a two year basically an associate degree from a community college people were starting. The local rail yard is starting It people at 35,000 a year with no experience to work in the rail industry. And you know, these are more hands on blue collar jobs. But…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I mean, these are all you know, these are all interesting things because you still need some tech, you know, technical ability, you still need to do math, you can’t eld just wherever you are, you’ll need some type of creativity and thinking, you know, like, you’re still gonna have to measure so you’re gonna have to know some math, you know, I’m saying like, so, you know, because we’re talking about STEM and steam. And I think from, from a technology perspective, no matter what it is, you have to have that you may not have to have the science unless you want to do that heavy science like biology or you know, your soil. The problem for COVID-19 you’re trying to make a vaccine. You clearly need science for that. But the you know, the technology in the math part, I mean, as long as you’re a lifelong learner and you’re really good at what you do, and you really understand how systems work and things work. I mean, I don’t believe you have to have a traditional education. I mean, back in the day, we had to have a traditional education because we didn’t have the choice to do a traditional, you know, non traditional, we can go on, you know, now, if you think about it, even prior to everything happening, you could go online and learn anything. Like they have you to me, they had one, yeah, the Khan Academy, they had it they had, you know, like Berkeley and Stanford and all the other people that opened kind of opened up their, their edX platform, and you could go on to anything, so and you could learn anything. Um, so it’s not necessarily about where you learn it. It’s about are you learning? And then how do you then apply it? And I agree with you on mastery, because in this computer science world that I’ve been in a long time, mastery is important, because you could really, you know, I worked for a pacemaker company and That was interesting. But you don’t master have any mastery of what’s going on there, you’re going to kill somebody. So, you know, there are things where if you don’t have mastery, it can really hurt people in a bad way, in a negative way. And so I like what you said about that. And I think that we have gotten away from from that mastery and you know, even in your own craft, are you a master in your own craft, but if you think about education, which kind of started this conversation off, education, it has gotten completely, it’s completely failed. I’ve met multiple people from multiple colleges trying to get a job in the computer world, and they had peace and freedom degree. I don’t even know what that is like, what was the peace and freedom? Like and I don’t know how that relates to computers. And I don’t you know, yeah, you got a degree from Berkeley, but that’s a worthless piece of paper. So I really like you spent a lot of money on Nothing. And now you have to go get some PhD and peace and freedom. I don’t even know how that works or what you’re gonna do. But it’s kind of like, Did you not? Did you not think of this? Did your parents not have a conversation with you? Were you being rebellious and said, I’m gonna go get a piece of freedom degree and they said no, you should really be this Oh, like, you know that and then like did the school counselor really like say hey this is a good idea yeah you’re down for peace and freedom, like it doesn’t make some of these actual offerings of degrees make no sense.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And you’re getting a lot done I guess that was my my long winded tale is that you can get a very worthwhile high ROI education making good money without having to take off anytime and with at 19 years old you have you can make enough money with no debt so you can work your way through like a, I guess, a whole lot of different type of you know…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
It could be many things.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
You know, the lot of things and not have any debt and have be completely self sustainable by the time you’re 20, where you’re if you’re making 40 grand a year and you’re 20, you can easily live on your own. If you bail, if you have decent money management skills in Utah, you can you could run your own apartment, have a new car, and live on that. And, and so, and what I see right now is so many people are in debt for these degrees that have no skills, there’s no ROI. And it’s like it came down to me it’s like it seems like no one had no parent had that conversation about does this conversation to take five years of your life to get this degree where you can’t work and I’m like, okay, we can go to welding school at night and never take off and lose any opportunity cost for working for five years. Work your way through pay as you go. And now you’re self sufficient in 19. But then, you know, and I was talking to like even in welding, that there’s a track to be a weld inspector and then an expert with other things and you can be a welding engineer. They do have bachelor’s degrees in it. Welding engineer so if you decide to keep going, so you can be an entrepreneur welders, like if you bought if you are an entrepreneur welder can make 60-80 bucks an hour if you have a weld shop and then if you are a mobile welder where you

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I mean there’s many different things, there’s all sorts, this is the business side of your actual like creativity. So like I kind of took my tech side and began, you know, in and created a business around that and saying with a fund I mean a fund is kind of like a business on steroids but still a business still need ROI. You still have to answer investors, you still have to make you know, decisions, you still have strategy slam, you know, a lot of things to do…

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But it opens the door to make it so young people have a way to have a very successful life at a young age and still have lots of options. And no one talks about that, you know,

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
You know who is actually very famous for this is Mike Rowe?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Yes, Dirty jobs.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
The Dirty Jobs. Yeah, he’s very, very good. Famous for, you know, hey, if you’re a welder, if you’re a plumber, if you’re, you know, the railroad guy, I mean sanitation, I mean, and they make decent money, they make decent money. I’m like 19 year old you make 40 or 50 grand. I mean, that’s, that’s decent money.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
It’s in Utah. That’s amazing money. And so..

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
You know, money in general. I mean, if you even in LA that’s decent money. That’s above what everyone else making..

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
And you want to hear somehting interesting, it’s like there was like one girl in my welding program and like she was recruited out like twice there would be the guys because because just like any other Corporation right now if you’re a woman or a minority, they do have preferential hiring because they’re trying to fill slots was well, all these big companies, right? They want minorities, they want women, they can’t get them to apply. And it was just really,

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I think you know, back to the education piece. I think that’s partially education as well because One of my very good friends has a daughter. She has two daughters. And they decided she decided that her daughter needed to be opted out of math. And I said, Don’t let them record that on her record. Don’t do that. Because then you’ll always be labeled as you can’t do math. Right. I said, well get her a tutor. I said, we’ll have some other people tutor. I said, don’t have her labeled as that. But I think that this happens a lot. Where girls are discouraged from doing the math and the science and the hard thing and encouraged even still to this day, because this is not you know, this, she’s, she’s out of college, but it still was in the last I’d say, five or six years, which isn’t so long ago, where girls are discouraged and and it’s crazy. It’s crazy. I mean, we have to as women and moms and aunts and grandmas and all those things have to have to stand them in Look, we cannot allow our girls younger girls to go through all these same things. We went through a we’re the pioneers, so we’re going to try and pave away and make it easier for them. And so this is why with x kind of exists, and this is why we’re doing the balance. We’re doing the balance because we said, Look, women are, you know, the statistics are there 2% funding all women insane. And you know, underrepresented founders, even less insane. So, you know, we’re not as representative in all the tech spaces in the stem and steam insane. That’s why we’re doing the innovation. That’s why we do the emerging tech is so that we can we can be a part of the next generation economy. And then you know, like, just like welders. I mean, you’re going to need engineers, you’re going to need scientists, you’re going to need you know, you’re going to need a welder to build the quantum computer. So I mean, Hey, you got to have that happening. And the drones You need the water to build the drones. But then you need somebody to call the drones and program the drums. So there’s, you know, there’s all these things that can be going on, in, in synergy and in an ecosystem way that all these things can play together. But then who’s looking at that? who’s thinking about that? I mean, we’re talking about it now. And we’re thinking about it clearly. But why are we so highly strategic things that you have to be thinking about? And so we talked about on our phone, we were trying to create the next generation workforce, which is all the stem and steam all these advanced tech because this is this is only going to come further and further and we’re concerned about AI replacing us, well, what are these people gonna do? Well, they can well, they can do other things. You know, there’s other things you can do and then they can be a part of the ecosystem. But then we can also train them to create the AI is create the data for the eyes, maintain the eyes. You know, there’s a lot of things you can train people to do next generation workforce next generation entrepreneur. So we’re trying to Get the next set of people to create the next set of companies, whatever those are, and then we’re trying to do the next generation investor. So if you’re not powdering, the people that are going to invest in the next set of people, because they’re successful, then what are you doing?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
No idea. I think what I what I’d like to see is, you know, we create more role models, you know, about women and girls getting stem now, I think, you know, a lot of this and I think you probably know this too. There’s a lot of cultural bias against women being successful and independent in certain certain, you know, circles. Certain religions in certain cultures are very male dominated, and, you know, even the state I live in, in Utah, there’s still the man is in charge. And, and I can get into different you know, I could call out lots of different groups, but a lot of Orthodox groups don’t want women learning anything. And I think so there is a there are a lot of other cultural things that I think keep girls from learning things and discouraging and all I can say is I like to see more role models about what you’re doing. And I mean I’m living it with my own kids I want my girls to not say I think to me I want my kids to be absolutely successful and I want my kids to never have to be dependent or stuck in a situation where they can’t make a living on themselves so they want to be a stay at home mom with an engineering degree. That’s great. That’s a choice I mean, even when my wife laughter will medical school my wife we had to stay home for a couple of years before she went on to her career after she graduated from medical school because we had a sick one of our kids was very sick and and so but to me, I had no less respect for my wife and you know when she was you know being a stay at home mom and and we changed our life based on that and so to me, that’s how I view it is I want my kids to be have more options in life and and even think about like this right as a father and you have kids right? You know, you want the best for your kid right? In and to me. Let’s just be honest. Right on son who is a good earner and successful has a much better chance at having, let’s just say for lack of a better word, options when it comes to finding a spouse or a wife or you know, what have you going forward? Because they’re about they’re more attractive person, a better earner in the society is more likely to have more options. And, and I think it’s the same with a girl, you know, and to me, it’s like, you know, there’s some guys that don’t, you know, they’re still some caveman kind of guys that don’t want a smart wife, I disagree. I would I married up I’m first to say I was blessed, and I’m married way out of my league. And and you know, it’s been very good for us in. And I think I’ve learned a lot from my wife and I have a different perspective. So I’m more of a hands on problem solver. So my wife and I really balanced. We just had our 20th anniversary, too. So it’s working out so far. Thank you. And so and so to me, it’s like I just want those options and I wish that there were more role models out there showing that you know…

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com 49:00
I think girls have a lot more options. And just to you know, since I’m kind of in this, you know, in that space in the space of diversity in the space of diversity inclusion in the space of women. I mean, I’ve talked to many women, globally, like worldwide. And I think that the women are changing it for the women. And so I agree with you culturally, there’s still some, you know, things. And when we talk about things in a systemic way, when I say that this is systemic, it’s complacency. It’s the fact that you’re allowing it to go on and on and on and on continuously until the end of talk that’s that’s to me, was this something systemic is it’s not, you know, that it’s a system and it’s against, you know, the systemic part is complacency, the fact that no one does anything, everyone knows, no one says anything, no one does anything that creates problems that creates a systemic problem, period, whatever, whatever you want to label the problem at But I say that to say this, I think that, you know, globally women are really moving forward in many aspects, and it’s just not seen. And I think like, do you have, you know, role models are powerful and they’re important, but you have to ask yourself, like, Who are these role models? So like, when I saw the Hidden Figures, I actually knew the somebody who was related to to one of the Hidden Figures, but like, Who knew about that, like, I didn’t know, like, so the other the other part of it is, is to surface these people. And these pioneers and these women that have done so many things, and and show like, hey, that you have no limitation, like in like, I’ve never felt like personally I’ve ever had a limitation as to what I could do or not do. And I think sometimes we put limitations on ourselves, but I’ve never felt that my parents never told me like, hey, you’re limited because of XYZ, ABC like that. That was never a conversation in the household. don’t have that conversation with my son. He say, Man, you got unlimited what have you, Mom, I was afraid. I said, I don’t know why I mean, I didn’t do this, this this, this so like, what what made you think I was going to be different? Um, so I think like really, it’s a it’s your mindset and your limiting of yourself in the end. And you know, I have friends with lots of daughters and I said they, you know, they can be Unlimited, but really it’s a factor of the parents. I think your daughters will be unlimited because you guys you know, if from from our conversation, you’re very supportive, very loving, you know, they’re gonna see like, what is a real family? What is a mom and a dad? How does that really work? And I think like they’re gonna have no limitations, because part of it is just being clear on yourself and not being afraid of your capability. I think a lot of women are afraid of capability. I hear about this imposter syndrome. People said, if you have that, I’m like, No, no, that is like, you just do it. I’m an entrepreneur in the end like, I mean, you Gotta get over stuff like stuff happens, you fail, you know, things happen you failed stuff doesn’t work out. Okay, next. That’s that’s entrepreneurial difference in my mind.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But I also think that’s part of the problem with our country with entrepreneurs and it’s even worse in places like Europe where they really don’t like entrepreneurs, which is interesting. Yes, I always tell I think we need to know man, we gotta have another conversation actually.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
Awesome. We will, no worries.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
But I definitely think that we don’t even at least with to public schools, we don’t teach things that are important like financial literacy or entrepreneurship. And I think part of the problem is that you have teachers that are financially illiterate and they’re not entrepreneurs so they don’t understand those things even with my welding program. I know I keep going back to that but it was I learned a lot I actually learned a lot.

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
I’m gonna I’m gonna counteract your your your point there because I have been in some schools and schools are starting it depends on where you are. And it really depends on the superintendent or like really the head top person in the school, because I’m in a couple of school districts where they were really trying to teach the kids entrepreneurship, expose them to entrepreneurship. A few years ago, I was mentoring some kids 2010 I was mentoring some kids and man, kids, kids have some amazing ideas. And they tell you like, Hey, I’m going to babysit. And then I’m going to hire my friends to babysit. And I said, well, is this just you gonna be babysitting? No, and I’m gonna charge this and then I’m gonna only take so many babies. And I was like, wow, these kids have so many. But I mean, or like somebody was trying to sell candy or canvas because they had this candy because their parents were making this can’t. I mean, it’s amazing. Kids haveamazing ideas. The thing that we need to do as adults is go, Well, look, these are amazing ideas and support them in their ideas, because they’re already afraid because you’re like a dis adult and they think, oh, you’re this adult and they’ve not gonna take me seriously. But it doesn’t mean you’re not serious. It just means that maybe you A little bit of boost and a little bit of confidence boosting like, Hey, this is just as good as ideas anybody else that the real question is, what are you gonna do about it now?

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
They’re gonna call you. Barbara where can people find out more about you?

Barbara Bickham – WIFAXVC.com
Ah, so you can find out more about me on a couple of places. If you go to WWW dot with facts VC wi FX DC calm. That’s one place. That’s sort of fun. And then if you want to know about trailing you go to www. Trailing tra Li n com. That’s my blockchain advisory. Find out plenty about me there. All my social media is there. So I’m on all the social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, I’m on everything.

Rob McNealy – RobMcNealy.com
Barbara, I’ve had a really good time today and I do appreciate you coming on the show. Hey, folks, is Rob McNealy make sure you check it out. Check us out on the web at RobMcNealy.com and hit that subscribe button and we’ll catch next time.

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