Sponsored by our friends at Veeam Software! Make sure to click here and get the latest and greatest data protection platform for everything from containers to your cloud!

Sponsored by the Shift Group – Shift Group is turning athletes into sales professionals. Is your company looking to hire driven, competitive former athletes? Shift Group not only offers a large pool of diverse sales candidates from entry level to leadership – they help early stage companies in developing their hiring strategy, interview process and build strong sales cultures that attract the best talent for early stage companies.

Sponsored by the 4-Step Guide to Delivering Extraordinary Software Demos that Win DealsClick here and because we had such good response we have opened it up to make the eBook and Audiobook more accessible by offering it all for only 5$

Sponsored by Diabolical Coffee. Devilishly good coffee and diabolically awesome clothing

Does your startup need strategic technical content? The team at GTM Delta delivers SEO-optimized, compelling content that connects your company with technical users to help grow your credibility, and your pipeline.

Need Podcast gear? We are partnered up with Podcast Gear Pro to share tips, gear ideas and much more. Check it out at PodcastGearPro.com.

Tim is CEO of Redmond Growth Initiatives (RGI), an organization designed to help you grow your profits, grow your business and grow your life through Tim’s innovative coaching process. He’s proven himself in starting, running, and growing businesses and is sharing that knowledge through his coaching and mentorship.

It really was an honour to share time with Tim on the show.

Check out Redmond Growth Consulting here: https://redmondgrowth.com/

Sponsored by our friends at Veeam Software! Make sure to click here and get the latest and greatest data protection platform for everything from containers to your cloud!

Sponsored by the Shift Group – Shift Group is turning athletes into sales professionals. Is your company looking to hire driven, competitive former athletes? Shift Group not only offers a large pool of diverse sales candidates from entry level to leadership – they help early stage companies in developing their hiring strategy, interview process and build strong sales cultures that attract the best talent for early stage companies.

Sponsored by the 4-Step Guide to Delivering Extraordinary Software Demos that Win DealsClick here and because we had such good response we have opened it up to make the eBook and Audiobook more accessible by offering it all for only 5$

Sponsored by Diabolical Coffee. Devilishly good coffee and diabolically awesome clothing

Does your startup need strategic technical content? The team at GTM Delta delivers SEO-optimized, compelling content that connects your company with technical users to help grow your credibility, and your pipeline.

Need Podcast gear? We are partnered up with Podcast Gear Pro to share tips, gear ideas and much more. Check it out at PodcastGearPro.com.

Matt Munson is a CEO and Executive coach with Sanity Labs, a boutique leadership coaching firm he founded in 2019 that provides coaching to dozens of venture backed and bootstrapped companies.

Matt draws on his own experience as a venture-backed CEO, as well as a variety of coaching disciplines, to help others navigate the perilous journey of leadership and organization building.

Check out Sanity Labs here: https://www.sanitylabs.co/ You can get in touch with Matt here: https://www.mattmunson.me/

Sponsored by our friends at Veeam Software! Make sure to click here and get the latest and greatest data protection platform for everything from containers to your cloud!

Sponsored by the Shift Group – Shift Group is turning athletes into sales professionals. Is your company looking to hire driven, competitive former athletes? Shift Group not only offers a large pool of diverse sales candidates from entry level to leadership – they help early stage companies in developing their hiring strategy, interview process and build strong sales cultures that attract the best talent for early stage companies.

Sponsored by the 4-Step Guide to Delivering Extraordinary Software Demos that Win DealsClick here and because we had such good response we have opened it up to make the eBook and Audiobook more accessible by offering it all for only 5$

Sponsored by Diabolical Coffee. Devilishly good coffee and diabolically awesome clothing

Does your startup need strategic technical content? The team at GTM Delta delivers SEO-optimized, compelling content that connects your company with technical users to help grow your credibility, and your pipeline.

Need Podcast gear? We are partnered up with Podcast Gear Pro to share tips, gear ideas and much more. Check it out at PodcastGearPro.com.

Scott Danner is the CEO of Freedom Street Partners and the author of Freedom Street. We discuss how to unlock potential in yourself and to define and create your path to freedom. What does freedom mean to you? We delve into mentoring, Scott’s personal story that led him to his current role, and much more. A must listen for sure!

Thank you to Scott for the inspirational conversation.

Check out Scott and his team here: https://www.raymondjames.com/freedomstreetpartners/scott-danner.htm

Get Scott’s book here: https://amzn.to/39vE90S

Transcript powered by Happy Scribe

Hey, everybody, this is the DiscoPosse Podcast. My name is Eric Wright. I’m gonna be your host. And this is a conversation featuring Scott Daner. Scott is the author of Freedom Street. He’s also the CEO of Freedom Street Partners. They’re a fantastic financial services team, and we really explore a lot of the core of what people define as freedom and ultimately finding that personal path to whatever you need to define as your freedom, your future. So Scott’s a fantastic person to chat with, and we don’t go into his own history of what drew him to helping people unlock what it is they need to find their personal freedom. So it’s a fantastic story, and it was a great conversation. If you like this and other amazing conversations, of course you can head on over to youtube.com/discopossepodcast and you can see the video version of it as well. And this is made possible by the amazing folks like our friends over at Veeam Software. I got to give a shout out because if you’ve got data, if you’ve got applications, if you’ve got content, it needs to be protected. So everything you need for your data protection needs head on over to vee.am/discoposse. Check it out. They just had their really cool VeeamON conference, and they had a lot of really great announcements. This is stuff that you need. Look, ransomware is on the rise. We got craziness going on the world. Stop the craziness, get yourself protected with Veeam. So go to vee.am/discoposse and check it out. Speaking of startups and protection and growth, and what do you need to do? If you want to grow, if you want to think about what’s next, then you want to think about bringing on a sales team that has driven, that has culture first. And this episode is brought to you by the amazing folks over at the Shift Group who are turning athletes into sales professionals. So if you’re looking to hire driven and competitive former athletes, or how to architect a real successful go-to market strategy that can scale both efficiently and effectively, head on over to shiftgroup.io. They’ve got an incredible group of candidates, whether it’s entry-level all the way to leadership, and they’re going to help you build culture first sales organizations. So shout out to JR and the team at Shift Group, go to shiftgroup.io and see what they can do for you. With that also – oh, that’s right. You like coffee? Go to diabolicalcoffee.com. With that, here comes Scott.

Hi, everybody. I’m Scott Danner, author of Freedom Street and CEO of Freedom Street Partners. And I’m here on the DiscoPosse podcast today.

Fantastic. That’s like my I always say it’s my on air lights. The moment you hear that, it’s like you press the button and it’s on. So, Scott, thank you very much. This is a fun meeting of employment history. It’s a hilarious thing when I see folks that come up on my guest list. And I think, number one, you’re a great content creator, you’re a great presenter. And I’m excited on that side. But we actually share some background in companies we worked for, which is always a funny – it is a small world, after all, as they say. But for folks that are new to you, Scott, if you don’t mind, let’s do a quick intro. And obviously, we’re going to talk about the book and we’re going to talk about your own history and what brought you to bring that to the world. I’m already wishing it was longer than the time that we’ve got allotted because I’m looking forward to this.

I’m excited to be here. And as I said in the intro, I’m author of a book that just came out at the end of last year called Freedom Street, how I Learned to Create a Rich Life, live my Legacy, and Own the Future as a financial advisor. And I promise it’s way more interesting than most financial advisor stories because it brings in real life childhood, all kinds of stuff that I think makes it relatable to people in all facets of work. And number two, I’m the CEO of Freedom Street Partners, which is a financial advisory company. We clear through Raymond James, and that’s our mutual work history. And it’s a great company, a great entity. And we are in seven States. We have just under 50 advisors, and we manage about just under $3 billion in assets. So I’ve been doing the financial advisor thing for almost 20 plus years, actually over 20 years now. And it’s been really great to me. And what I love most about it is honestly finding the connections between people and helping them solve life’s biggest issues, solutions, problems, whatever it is that pops up. And like you mentioned earlier, it’s always nice to see that there’s usually one thing in common with just about every human out there. So being able to find that and start there is usually a really great spot. So I’m very grateful to be here and looking forward to the conversation as well.

If you don’t mind, I’m going to start off with a big question. And this is always the fun part. I’m going to put you on the spot early. Define freedom. This is one that we often really get stuck on. We use the word, but you’ve got such an experience and history in bringing it in various forms to people. So, Scott, when someone comes to you and they say I need freedom, what does it really mean?

Yeah. So we always say, what does freedom mean to you? Right? What does freedom really mean? And ultimately it starts with what lights you up. What makes you feel good, what makes you happy, what’s a perfect day for you. Where do you want to be, who’s surrounding you? What are the things that really drive you to add more of this in your life. And when you can start to find that you can actually build a life around freedom. I think freedom stands for a lot of things. And I’m always very grateful because I’m always amazed that I could come from very humble beginnings and build something so great and so wonderful with so many amazing people. And so much of that lies in the freedom to create the freedom to be an entrepreneur. I think freedom to me is doing what I love every day with the people that I love doing it with and always putting my family and our friends and our relationships first. So it’s such a big word and it has such a different dynamic to so many different people that I think freedom is individual. And it’s something that you define and hopefully you have the ability to get it.

It’s always interesting. So fellow who I was lucky enough to work with, ironically enough, through Raymond James, his name is Andrew Johns. He is actually currently with a company called Canaccord. He switched teams along the way, but Andrew himself was fantastic. And I remembered him putting a tweet out and it was like just a picture of him. And it was like the classic sort of like nerdy. It says $0 assets under management, zero weeks experience, first day as a financial adviser. And this was, however, many years later, he says, looking back on that, he’s like amazing to see this journey from humble roots to growing. And he had a very strong business and has continued to build a team as well. Which is always interesting in the ability of not just being individually successful, especially as an advisor. There are lots of fantastic individuals. But to also be ultimately a leader of a team to help support a client base and a community. And I think that’s the one thing that genuinely separates. And I don’t want to use the word successful or not successful. I’ll say prolifically successful in that they can scale the success of their clients. When there’s a different mindset that comes into play, you bring that mindset and you’ve developed a team to carry that vision. So it’s always that very just an amazing mix to me of like that entrepreneurial capability and then leveraging a machine behind it so that you don’t have to worry about the clearing house. Ultimately, you bring people towards their freedom and you have tools and techniques and products that help them get there. But it’s vision mapping and delivery on it. It’s quite amazing.

Yeah. Well, you hit on two really big points, I think. Number one, nobody hits success alone. You are successful for a multitude of reasons, and it’s usually an army behind you. And if you don’t realize that truly successful people are very quick to realize that. We have a mentality here at our company that we say we’re better together. We’re building something bigger than ourselves. These are internal cultural taglines that we use every single day. And the truth is, I cannot be anywhere near as successful as I’ve been able to become without the team behind me. And I think that’s the first big point that you’re making. And then you talk about the word partnership. I’ve always used partnership because anytime you’re meeting with a client, you’re creating a relationship to truly understand what freedom means to them. Anytime you’re in a friendship, a relationship of any kind, the goal is to help the person that you’re surrounding yourself with kind of live a better life, have a better experience, enjoy each other’s company. But if I don’t know a little bit more about you, I can’t ever actually have you want to know more about me. And so it’s kind of a mutual respect. But when you talk about prolific success, prolific success comes from actually understanding you did not do it alone. That is really important.

Humility is one of the strongest traits of great leaders. The ability to do stuff when no one is watching, and the humility to understand that you are powered by the adjacent humans that get you there. It is something. It’s funny. I always love the merger. People get like, you know, I work for 20 years across financial services firms in tech. But for me, my success, this came from deeply understanding the nature of the business and what made the business successful and what made their clients successful so that I could develop technology solutions that would then help that company deliver success to its customers. That’s my purpose. That’s my goal. And then in technology now I work for a technology vendor, and I got on the technology space and startups. We use this word. This is phrase all the time, and I was laughing at it. It’s the goal of everybody is to become the trusted advisor. And I say, you misuse that phrase all the time. It’s kind of like the Princess Bride. You keep using that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means. Right. Like it’s an overplayed phrase.

But the truth is that it really is a genuine connection of their goals and their limitations and their comfort. There’s a reason why we have KYC. As a technology marketer, I have a KYC program that I run people through. What is your ability to be comfortable in this type of marketing and this type of sales situation? I have to understand the profile of investment in messaging and marketing and sales. It’s funny, and I learned this from literally working beside trusted advisors who are regulated to KYC and what that means. You already have this mindset, Scott, of being trusted. What drew you to this as a field in the beginning?

Yeah, a couple of things. Number one, trust is earned and authentic trust is about building relationships and developing that trust. Trust is something that builds over time and gets stronger and stronger and stronger as long as it’s not about the transactions. Trust built on transactions are weak, and they’re weakened every single time the person realizes it’s just about a transaction. And I think that I was blessed in the sense that I was working for the state attorney general here in Virginia, and I was assistant director of crime prevention. And my job literally was to travel around the state doing PR type events in crime prevention for the attorney general, especially in the places where he was less likely to go. And so I ran a lot of senior and law enforcement events where I would bring the law enforcement community in and teach retirees how to not be taken advantage of. Identity theft was fairly new at this time, and I was out there really teaching about what to be aware of, and I was educating all the time. But I saw a major gap in trust, in helping people in the financial areas. It seemed like the people that were being taken advantage of were people that didn’t have trusted advisors, didn’t have great family foundations.

I also have a really great backbone of a great family. In my book, I started out by talking about The Lion King and how Simba was held up and hung over the mountainside for the entire village to see. And when I was born in an Italian Catholic family to a Sicilian grandmother and five aunts and an uncle, I was a firstborn grandson. I had this feeling of great confidence and so many people behind me. One of my aunts, who I was extremely close with, I happened to call when the AG did not win the governor’s office, and I didn’t have a job. And I said, hey, I don’t know what I’m going to do when I grow up and I need help, and I just can’t figure it out. And she said, I think you’d be really good at this job that I see these guys coming in and doing every day. She was working as an admin assistant in one of the offices at Edward Jones, where I had worked prior to founding Freedom Street. And she said, I feel like you’re young and you’d be great at this, and it falls right in with what your mission is of trying to help people.

And I remember fighting her a little bit on it. I put in an application. Two weeks later, I was hired, and I had to learn. And I started from the ground up almost exactly like the story you defined where the guy was standing there with zero assets under management. I had no family money. It was one of those things where I was knocking on doors in cold calling. But I was willing to work because I came from a very, very hard working family without a whole lot of extra, and I was willing to learn the story. The last part is I got lucky, Eric, because I came into the business at a time where it was very difficult in the early 2000’s, the 1999-’02 time frame, the majority of people that started, fail. Because not only were they failing because of September 11 and all the stuff that was happening in that first financial crisis, but ’08 and ’09 happened right at the meat and potatoes of when they would be actually finally getting going in their careers. And today we have more 80 year old financial advisers than we do 30 year olds in our industry.

And the reason is, most of them were so transaction based. The old school way of doing it was so transaction based that I learned within the first months of my career. If I don’t build a relationship with these people, nobody’s going to stay with me when times get tough. And when times get tough, that’s when trust elevates. That’s when you develop the next level of trust. And by being able to really have been an expert in something I didn’t even know I was an expert in, it was just really connecting with people and building something that had nothing to do with the business but had everything to do with the success of helping the other human across the desk from you. And so whether it was the early stages of the AG’s office or my aunt and the family confidence, or it just happened to be hard work and hustle of understanding, connecting with more people would get me there. It kind of led me in that path.

It’s one of the most interesting challenges because especially you talk about the timing of it. Right. Like between the financial crash, which was much more prominent in the United States, I happened to be in Canada while it was going on and working at a financial advisory firm and interestingly seeing things begin. I remember signing the deal and closing for a condo in Vancouver, BC, which was sort of known for the sort of disturbing prices of real estate because you’re surrounded by water and mountains. The only way you can, the prices go up and so do the properties. Right. Like they’re all condos. There’s a fixed amount of property. So it’s perfect market economics for the market, not for the people participating in it. But I signed in Halloween of ’08 and people said this is like we were losing a bank a week at that point. But I had luckily, the insight into the way the market was moving and being adjacent to seeing it happen because we knew, the news was figuring out that this was going on. But the financial world, we were already playing it out. It’s sort of the famous scene from the movie Margin Call where it was meant to be this idea of like, imagine. So what you’re telling me is that everybody’s moving around, we’re all dancing and the music is coming to a stop. And then the quant who’s at the table, he says “No, imagine that actually the music has already stopped”.


And we’ve just realized it. And so it was interesting that it could have been the worst thing I ever did. And it worked out to be good, that it was actually the trough of the pricing. But to see that the resilience of good relationship based advisors and relationship based selling in anything to survive those troughs is differentiating, right. Because it’s very easy to get in the game. And like I said, we can do transactional business. And that happens. There’s still a huge piece of that in every business. But the true relationship sellers I’ve learned now in technology, like it’s – you see them and they’re different. It’s like that kid that plays soccer and you’re like, it’s an eight year old kid, you’re like, that one’s different. You can tell. And then now, years later, I’m an older gentleman. I’ve witnessed it in action with folks like yourself or I’m like Scott’s different. He’s got a bigger picture in mind. But it seems like it’s been there for a long time. It started early with you. Now when you moved in and now you’re doing the business, what was your focus when you bring a client on board? What is the thing that said, I’m Scott, and this is my goal for you?

I think it was first connection. So the first thing I wanted to understand is really understand the human behind the money. Our tagline today is life wealth optimization. And we say constantly that life comes first and really prioritizing life all the time first. So it’s like going on a date and they start talking about all the things that have nothing to do with getting to know each other. You have to get to know each other. And that was always my objective, to connect with a human first. The next thing was to establish what was most important in life and help them attain it. Sometimes it’s actually helping them go back on things that they never thought were possible. I used to say that I’m a life coach that specializes in money and people would laugh. You really have two types of people, the people that immediately shut off. It was the perfect elevator pitch because people would immediately shut off if they don’t believe in that. If they’re straight, transaction driven or hyper analytical, they literally are lost in that first phrase. I’m a life coach that specializes in money. But the people that we really served well immediately go, wow, that’s interesting. What does that mean? And I would say, well, I obviously do investment management. It’s something that I have to do every day. The next thing I do is really scenario planning. If-this-then-that. If you do this, then what happens here? And it’s just true financial planning. And the third thing is vision coaching. And they would say, what’s vision coaching? And I would say, well, it’s really identifying what lights you up what are you going to do in your next chapter? What are we working towards? How do we actually measure success on a grander scale? It’s going back to the term freedom again, right? What is your freedom and how can we help you work towards that? And when you go into those types of conversations, it really changed the dynamic of everything. And that’s one of the main reasons that I wanted to put a book out. That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to put all these ideas into the world was because I felt like there really still are not enough of those soccer players, as you define, which is a great analogy because I have a 12 and a 15 year old son who dedicate all their time to soccer, and we love the sport and you can tell the difference.

But I really felt like we needed to change the game. The game needed to go back to connection and humans and relationship driven advice. And it’s any business. And when you can get that vibe and that energy that goes with the right relationship and the right connection and someone actually caring about shaking your hand and looking you in the eye, not robotically doing it because they know they’re supposed to, you start to really tune in to who those people are, and they stand out immediately. And I love that analogy that you gave because it’s really everything we believe in.

The interesting thing as well is the idea of optimization as a word, both in technology, in finance, in life, and anything. Optimization is much more about the scale on which you measure optimization. So there’s local Optima where if I’m driving and I want to get there a little faster, I’m going to just kick it up and I’ll go 10 miles over the speed limit for a little while. Maybe I’ll go to 15. Right, because I don’t see any police around. But if it’s a seven hour drive and there’s only one stretch of highway that I can go 15 miles an hour over, that local Optima is actually risk inducing because you’ve got a higher chance of getting caught by police in this corridor because they know they’re using aerial radar or whatever. Right. So having the broader view and understanding the scale and the timeline allows you to optimize. And this is one of the things that people have trouble seeing because they’re simply thinking now, just the same way that I buying real estate in October. It’s a fundamentally bad idea by any measure of most people. Right. But when I looked at my optimization was a 20 year timeline, I said, this is either the bottom or near the bottom, and I’m willing and able, luckily, to maintain the risk level. It did net longer term benefit. But I had to view the timeline. And for me, most people can’t see that timeline. That’s why I loved your idea of life-wealth optimization. And it’s so much different because you can give them the broader view, but then help them map to it. So, Scott, when you meet somebody, what does that discovery process look like?

Well, I think the first thing that we try to do is we try to make sure that we’re understanding again the things that stand out. So the discovery process is going to be just like meeting for a cup of coffee. Who are you? Not what do you do? That always draws me bonkers. And I know you probably go to a ton of these things, Eric. We go to events and everyone the first thing they want to know is what do you do? And I want to know who you are first. I want to know what you stand for. I want to know more about you as a human. And so all the surface area questions that I don’t care about, I start going deeper and deeper. And a lot of times people walk out and they’re like, I haven’t talked about that ever with anybody. And that’s always been a goal. The goal is not to get people uncomfortable, but to balance the uncomfortable with the comfortable. What are the things that they’re going to think about when they walk away? You mentioned something super interesting to me, and that is – think about the long game. If you made all your decisions on a long-term basis, how much better would most of your decisions be? Even as a young teenager. I have teenage boys and the bottom line is we all were teenage boys or teenage girls at some point in time in our lives back in the old days. And as a teenage boy, I always thought pretty long. I made bad decisions, but I was always playing chess and not checkers. And so the objective is to really make long. You would have still bought that house in Vancouver if you were thinking as you did long-term. Now for the short-term, it was a really tough decision and you questioned it. But in the end, knowing that you were there for the long term. Every time I make decisions, every time we help people make decisions based on a longer time frame, they tend to come out ahead. I always do this drill and I love this when I do town halls. I started doing town halls when I was early in my career because I found that the same phone calls, the same questions would pop up over and over and over again.

And there were two things that really helped people. Number one, knowing that they weren’t in it alone. So knowing that other people had the same questions as that made them not feel stupid for asking the question. And it also helped us answer it once and not a thousand times the same way. And the second thing was, everybody needs when you’re playing a long game, everybody needs a little love. You need a little bit of understanding that it’s still a long game and it’s going to work out and things will be better if we just are all in this together and we talk through it. And I started doing these town halls and I like to play this game where I will ask, any time things get a little bumpy, I ask people in the room how many people have been married for more than 25 years? And then I go all the way up and believe it or not, we often get to just this past week, I did one and we got to 60 years. Okay. They were married for 60 years. And sometimes it’s more than that. Okay. They got married super young, highly successful.

Here’s the point. I ask all those couples how many days were rough? And they all laugh and they say, tons. And I say, how many weeks or months? And they laugh and they say tons. And I say, some of the time they’ll interrupt. They’ll say they were actually very bad years, tough years. And I say, but you’ve been married 60, 65 years. When you look back, what was the long game worth? And they said, well, all those bumps in the road just helped us build a stronger relationship. They helped us build more trust in each other. They helped us serve as a beacon to the next generation of what relationships and long-term success really looks like. And it’s commitment and loyalty and understanding that there’s bumps in the road. And I think understanding that in the process, your question was process driven and what someone goes through. But understanding what we’re really looking for, I think is even more of an interesting part of that process because we’re looking for people that really understand that. They’re working towards that level of freedom. But they’re understanding that bumps in the road, a short real estate blip in the market usually ends up playing to your advantage if you stay long enough. Vancouver is a hot market. Mountains and water, you can’t go wrong with that.

Yeah. And that is always the interesting thing that I’m not sure whether it’s like going through adversity as a kid and watching my dad go through a difficult – he was in the tech market. In the tech job market when there was no such thing. Right. This was when comdex was new. Like that’s the age that he’s at. Right. So here I was watching him through the 80’s lose a job, which meant months of no work and newspaper ads to apply for jobs. So fundamentally different. So I have this really interesting challenge when I see stuff these days that exposure to adversity and an understanding of the longer game and that there’s Optima over time are played out differently. And so I kind of feel blessed that I got that exposure to that experience because it taught me down the road and I’m so lucky. My wife is a great example, she says, I had a financial surprise which my taxes got re-assessed. And they’re like, oh, yeah, it’s like Monopoly. It’s a banker in your favor. It’s never in your favor. It was very much not in my favor. This situation. I was horrified. I was just like, this was a real shock to the system was going to be a financial impact.

And I was worried to bring it down. My God, how do I say this? And I said, this is what happened. And I’m not sure what to do. And she says, well, it’s easy. We just pay it and we work through it. Because she had that ability to see long term, and there are difficult times. And versus you could focus all your attention on that situation. And so living through cycles of market, cycles of jobs, cycles of exposure to adversity for me was healthy. I always say I’m jaded, but the truth is I’m blessed because I’ve come out the other side of it. When you’re in that town hall, those are people that kind of get they’re closer to getting what you’re bringing to them and what you can give, what you can help them to achieve. Let’s talk about the people that are not in that room. What do you see as the risk when people don’t have that insight? How do we give them? Like, how do you put Freedom Street on their map?

Yeah, well, I think, first of all, we have to always have a growth mindset. And so if I’m trying to educate myself and grow myself in any capacity, I’m always learning. And so putting out information that was putting out Freedom Street as a book was part of that mentality, launching all the videos that we do on positive mindset. I think everything starts with mindset for the most part. For me, mindset is everything. I have one of my son’s high school soccer teammates. He had a little injury, and he’s been texting and keeping up with me. And I’m literally like, hey, keep your head up. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to do. Everything’s mindset. Because the minute he gets down on himself is the minute that it starts to change, it starts to feel heavier and feels like you can’t do it. It’s building those good habits to make discipline easier versus because, you know, discipline equals freedom. We all know that. But discipline is a hard word, but habit is an easier word. So we help them establish the habits that end up building the discipline that help them look in the long term.

And I think the insight that really helps people is just starting with that growth mindset. Starting with putting stuff in their brain that helps them think bigger. I also always believe we should always reset the environment that we’re in and look at who you surround yourself with. Eric, you have great conversations, 200 plus of these great conversations. Just think of all the things you’ve learned from talking to a boring financial advisor or a CPA or some of the jobs that other people don’t realize the depth of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it because they shut off because they have one mindset of what that looks like. And the reality is, for 20 plus years I’ve been sitting across from people in an office learning stories, hearing challenges, understanding business fails and business wins, helping guide people towards their biggest successes and being there when they’re not so successful. And the reality is it’s like sitting in and learning and learning and listening. It’s just helping. Developing that in other people and then sharing it with the world so that more people can think in the way that gets them there. And having an abundant mindset doesn’t hurt.

Not thinking in a scarcity mindset is very valuable and it’s something that probably is one of the biggest indicators of success is are they able to shift from there’s only so much of this to there’s so much of this that I need to share it with the world and the world will give it back to me. The universe is there to share amongst each other and build something bigger than ourselves.

Yeah, it is interesting that you say that like the mindset and the I’m selfishly doing this podcast is because I love learning from people and people. I had chat with a friend of mine recently and I said everything I do is to make my grandmother proud. She’s long since passed, but she always said I was a shoe repair man and then I was a landscaper and then I worked in retail and everything I did, she was proud of me because I was proud of it and I wanted to be the best at it, whatever it was. And my ethos has always been whatever I’m doing right now, whatever I’m learning. What if I needed to make a living and support my family doing this thing? That’s how much I want to learn about it. And like you said, I look now, I started this as like a tech podcast. I’m going to talk to my nerd friends because I know how to speak that language and I’m excited by it. But I wanted the story underneath it. And then now to speak with amazing folks like yourself and people who are CPA. I’ve had folks who are sex and relationship therapist way outside of the vein of this text.

But in the end, to hear people react to those stories and say that I would have never known that I needed to listen to this person, but they’re fantastic now that I’ve heard it. Like I said, that’s Freedom Street as a mindset in showing people the opportunity ahead and mapping the path with them. It’s important. Partner. We mention that word before and you talked about the strength of that word. Partnership has been early on for you, obviously in your advisory team. Partnership is incredibly important because it is a journey you map together, not you don’t create a journey and then you hand it, here’s your playbook, do these things and you’ll get there.

That’s right.

Let’s talk about what does partnership mean to you?

I think a lot of what we mentioned when we said the relationship really correlates to partnership, because partnership is sometimes a closer relationship. It’s even more dynamic. And I have partners in the business that we work with. I have partners every day. We also everyday in our affiliate businesses and our other components. And it’s really interesting because when you mentioned the word freedom street, when I wrote this book and I came up with some of the pathways to kind of having a better partnership, not just with the people in your life, but with yourself. That’s something that doesn’t often get explored. We often look at how we’re doing in the world to other people. We spend very little time internal. And the average age of a financial advisor in my industry is 62 years old. Successful financial advisor. I mean, not someone who just came into the industry and is successful because they’re not fired, but somebody that genuinely is making a pretty good living in this industry. The average age is 60 something years old, and it fluctuates 58, 64 depending on what article you read. But let’s just use 62. Here’s what I found.

So many advisers had helped everybody else with their continuity plans. How were they going to step out of the industry? How are they going to sell their business? How are they – they hadn’t done it for themselves. Almost 70 plus percent of independent advisers had never had a continuity plan or a succession plan. And so one of the reasons I put this book out there that triggered us to put it out there was a partnership with the community of which I work in. And financial advisors are somebody that are just like attorneys and doctors and all the other professions, tech professionals, they build this baby of a business, but they never think about what happens when it’s time to move on. The tech world does a really good job of this. I mean, maybe they do it too early. Sometimes they go in and they basically build it, sell it, build it, sell it, build it, sell it. And in our world, it’s the opposite. And what I found was the reason the sub line is to create a rich life, live my legacy, and own the future was three things.

I found that, number one, living a rich life had nothing to do with money. And it was really important to help people define what living richly really meant to them. That’s part of the process. Whether you’re selling a business, whether you’re in the tech industry, it’s not just about a number, okay? Because every time you get a number, if you’re a tech industry professional and you have a start up and 10 million is your number. I can guarantee you that the minute you hit 10 million, you say 20 is now your number. And the minute you hit 20, you’re like 50. If I can get to 20, I can get to 50 and the numbers change. But what are you doing to live richly? Making an impact, living a legacy versus waiting to leave one really important to me. I talk a lot about the daily habit of impact. What are we doing every day that’s leaving an impact, an imprint on the world that my kids and my family can look back and say, hey, dad did this. Dad was working on this. Dad was always trying to, hey, he didn’t have any time the other day, but he spent 45 minutes on with the local board trying to help them revamp so they can provide something in the community.

And I want to have that as something that’s important because here’s what we find. People that are too tied to their businesses, their legacy is all tied to their business. And so selling the business is almost something they can never fathom, because everything their impact relies upon is in the business, not outside of it. And once you can live richly and you kind of get into that, living a legacy versus leaving one, you own your future now. You could set the core, you could set the course, you could set the blueprint. But if you haven’t established those couple of things and what you’re doing to your question is you’re partnering with yourself. You’re actually identifying what makes you click. What am I doing that’s working? What defines my future path of success? Who’s with me, and how can I go ahead and dive deep into this path so I’m set up for success in the future.

It is interesting that partnership begins with being your own partner. And I often think of this idea of, like, goals versus execution. The latest topic that I’ve got a lot of because I say it’s almost rolling my eyes I shouldn’t because I genuinely believe in what it is. What I don’t believe in is people that set these sort of big, hairy, audacious goals. There’s nothing wrong with setting the BHAG, as they call it, right? But sustainability is a big topic in life, in the energy sector, in tech and everything. We should be concerned about the impact we’re having on the world, on the Earth, on our communities, on each other. And everybody says, like, all these press releases come out, that company X has developed their sustainability plan to hit a target by 2030. And we joined the 2030 project, and we do all this stuff. I remember that in 2025, LA was going to have no gas powered vehicles on the roads. 2025 not far away but we’ve kindly hidden that press release, right? So when people say they’ve got sustainability goals, when I get into discussion with them, I don’t say, what’s your sustainability goal?

I say, what have you tactically done over the previous twelve months towards this goal? Let’s not talk about what’s ahead, but what have you already started so we can amplify that. Like, this is you partnering with your goal and then executing on it. And as you said, right. It’s small things. It’s habits that we create. And it’s very easy for us to just say like, yeah, I want to make a million dollars a year. Fantastic. What does that mean to you? Why is that a number? There’s always one thing. But secondly, what’s your habit forming path to reach that? And that’s the piece that’s always missing. I mean, I struggle from it myself, but that’s why I’m excited. I’m emotional hearing you describe this text. I’m like, I’m going to leave this conversation. I’m going to write stuff down and do things. I’ve got to exercise. I’ve got to call my wife. I got to do it. Everything I do is to that long term habit creating opportunity to reach that goal.

Yes. When you talk about making a million dollars. I just did a video on this yesterday, literally on the exact topic. And I used that example. I was like, okay, so you want to make a million Bucks? Can you quantify how you’re going to get there? Can you actually lay out the path? Most people say things like this and they never actually believe that they’ll attain it. They actually say things like this, and they never formulate the real vision. They immediately switch off in their brain that it’s possible. That’s the first problem that people do. Right. We do this on lots of things. I mean, we all do this. Sometimes you go into a new room and you think, I’m the smallest guy here. I don’t know anything. And then everyone starts sharing ideas and you jump right in and you’re like, wow, this is great. I belong here. But you had to remind yourself you belong there. And I think everybody every level, I’m sure Bezos and Elon Musk go into an occasional room and they’re like, man, this is a big room. I don’t know how big the room can be, but there are definitely things.

But charting the path of what you can control is really the next thing. So get your mindset right. But then what are the things you can control today? What is the word? Practice is a word that I love. I have a twelve, almost 13 year old son. And the kid practice every day, right? And he executes upon something in a game. And people are like, oh, my gosh, how does he do that? I can’t believe he just did that. And I go, I mean, he does it in the backyard literally every day. Like, the guy tries this every single day. And we kind of lose the habit of practicing the older we get. We forget that if we want to get to a million dollars, we have to practice million dollar habits. What does that look like?

This is one of my favorite, sort of like a bit of a time waster every once in a while, I’m sure is I scroll through Instagram for fun and just a bit of a distraction. And one of my favorite things is sort of like motivational things, because once you click on one of them, it’s all over. That’s going to be your feed, which is actually probably pretty decent, but I don’t know who the voice is behind it, but there’s an audio and people put just videos in front of it. They reuse the audio. And so fella, it’s almost like a preacher. Practice, practice, practice. What does practice make? And you hear the audience go, perfect. He goes, Absolutely not. Get that mindset out of your head. That is not the case. Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes better. What are you better than yesterday? Do it, right. And that whole idea. And I say even the simplest thing, I always joke on camera. It’s like just like goofy little things that I do because I’m a big fan of card magic. And so I sit there every day and I just fan cards and I look back and the first time that I tried to fan a card set and people look and they say, how do you do that? If I hand them this deck of cards, it’s the same physical set of cards. The difference between me being able to do this now is that I’ve done it 25,000 times. And I literally can’t do it bad now. I say it’s like I’m broken. I cannot show you how to not fan a deck of cards because I’ve taught myself the habit and the muscle memory. So this is the new every day it gets smoother, it gets better, and I can do it quickly. And it’s hard sometimes to impart that wisdom and create that path for people. Because when you have money, when you have career success, when you have whatever, this is what I’m always interested. How do you give people that inspiration and guide them through that journey when you’ve already practiced it so much. You may not remember how hard it is difficult at times and such, because that’s it. It’s very easy to say, like, I’m going to make a million dollars this year. And people like, that’s fantastic. But helping them reliving that path to a million with them. I love this idea. So, Scott, how do you teach when you already know but teach in a way that they can adapt and learn?

Yeah, you said it earlier. You’re very grateful that you had adversity because adversity taught you that you could do harder things. You could actually overcome challenges, and then you happen to marry the right person who, when something adverse pops up, you do it together. So now you’re seeing another skill that’s extremely important. And that is being surrounded by people that make you better, that lift you up. There’s some fundamental things that never change. No matter how great you are, no matter how big you become, if you’re surrounded by the right people and you understand that on the other end of adversity is often success. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes fortunate and sometimes unfortunate. So I had this conversation. We have a Sunday night dinner at my parents every Sunday with our whole family. And it’s a wonderful time. And we were talking about the challenge of how children and young adults struggle with anxiety and adversity. They almost get to doing hard things and stop and pull back now. And what they’re not realizing is that on the other side of that uncomfortable feeling is really good stuff. But you have to actually feel the uncomfortable feeling.

You have to change your mindset. My boys, every time they have a soccer game from the time they were two years old, I would ask them if they were nervous, and they would say a little bit. And I was like, you’re not nervous. You’re excited. Remember, you want to change the words to match what it’s truthfully doing to you. Can you wait to play? No, I can’t wait to play. Do you love playing? I love playing. Then you’re excited. You’re not nervous. See, when you tell yourself you’re nervous about something, you’re giving yourself a negative connotation to something that doesn’t need to exist in your brain. And so when you talk about adversity, the first thing I do is remind people that you want to do something that’s not easy. And that means that it’s going to take work. And work is sometimes really uncomfortable. It hurts. You’re going to fail. Get used to it. If you take a basketball and you take 25 shots and you haven’t shot a basketball before, you are not good. But the more you fan your cards, the more you recognize and level up each time. And I think, honestly, this is where authentic advice comes in.

Being in a good relationship, relationship advising relationship, good quality relationships in general require truth. Trust requires truth. So you also have to be willing to tell somebody when they’re lying to themselves, because that also is something that’s difficult. And we also live in a world sometimes now where people are really afraid to say truth. We don’t want to say that. We want to blame the spoon for eating the ice cream, not ourselves. Right? It’s the Spoon’s fault. It’s the box. It’s so big. They didn’t put it in a big box. Like, there’s always a reason why it’s someone else’s fault. But if you look in the mirror, you’re bringing the spoon to your lips every single time in that really big container. And you know how good it is. And it’s okay. It’s your choice. But the reality is just know that if you want big things, if you want to build the next big, great tech company or you’re building a great financial advisory business or you want to be the best CPA. It’s going to take a lot of uncomfortable adversity and you work through it. And on the other side of that work is usually some level of high performing success.

It is amazing that truth. And that being with them while they’re going through the journey and giving them the little nudge that like, hey, I saw you yesterday or I saw you last week and I can tell it’s coming together. They can’t necessarily see it. Right. It’s often lost in that thing. And like those incremental changes are not visible when you’re the one incrementing. But the honesty and the partnership of going through that with them lets you be on that journey instead. Remember two years ago you said this was your goal. We’re two years in and you’re 20% there, and that’s 20% more than you would have been if you hadn’t mapped out the goal and started the plan and then introducing adversity. That’s why I’ve never been a fan of the sort of the helicopter like, I mean, I’m a helicopter parent. I have four kids. Certain amount of helicopter. You do you’d want to protect them from things, but I also purposefully don’t protect them from everything. You don’t want them to experience real negativity, but you want to expose them to it a little here and there. So that almost like an immunity response that they know how to get on the other side of it.

And you could say, remember like that. Remember how that felt? That was tough. You don’t want to feel that again. Right? We want to try this BMX trick, this snowboard trick. My oldest daughter is a Championship snowboarder for slope style, and it scares me every time I see her doing a backflip off of a 40 foot ramp. I’m like, but what I gave her early on was taking her through a tree run when she was five on skis and having her bounce off a tree. But it gave her the ability to say that I’m willing to test the edges. And I think that’s a real big thing. Scott, you talk about this. So when people go and they want to find Freedom Street, their Freedom Street, what’s your sort of first layer advice you give?

I think the first is we have to ask the question and the questions all lie in what does freedom mean to them? And you start there and a lot of times it’s too big for people and I’m a big picture person and so I’ve got to work it down. So we talk about what’s the perfect day for you? What are you doing? Where are you at? All those types of things are important. But really the recipe is in the book and that’s living richly, living a legacy and then owning the future. And what does that future look like? If we’re going to live long term and we’re going to think long term and we want to have success, it’s not immediate. Anything given immediately is usually something we don’t appreciate. We have no idea where it really came from. It’s why most lottery winners are broke within a couple of years or months because they have no concept of what it took to get that amount of money. So it’s just easy come, easy go. It’s way better to create something of substance. And I think really identifying it when we identified I mentioned earlier, 20 plus years of being a financial adviser.

You know what I’ve been my entire life as I’ve been a coach, I’ve been a consultant. And the reality is I’ve done this for a living, working over and over and over again in this space. But it’s something I feel very comfortable in, something I love doing. Watching the impact Watching your success makes me as happy as watching my own level of success. And when you learn that about yourself, you’re really able to give a lot more of yourself in those types of things. And that’s what Freedom Street was about for me. It was about giving people the recipes to really create each part of this book of creating a rich life on the road to riches, tell stories of things that I failed at. Moments where I thought I was going to get a promotion, and it was the most important thing in my life, and I didn’t get it. And my wife has two glasses of champagne and a bottle waiting for me that evening to celebrate. And I didn’t understand what we were celebrating. But again, surrounding yourself with the right people, having the right dynamic, knowing the path you’re working towards all made that a better situation.

And a learned experience helped me two years later, define the next path, which has been great for lots of other people who have now followed us and built something bigger. And that’s why we created the coaching and consulting practice was to help business owners in any industry really go through these challenges because life is full of transitions. So Freedom Street is really helping to navigate those transitions with ease because you define the most important attributes of what you’re living for.

I’m getting excited because I think I said at the beginning it’s to be able to learn and hear and get inspired by it. And knowing that there are people out there that we can impact through these conversations, people sometimes ask me, like, what do you consider your greatest success? And I say, it’s the success I’ve created for somebody else through a lesson that I’ve given them. So the greatest thing I can do is help somebody achieve the greatest thing they will do. And it’s such a fantastic feeling, and I can see it and hear it. Your background is quickly before we finish up, because if you don’t mind, they’ll just stretch a couple more minutes on this one, because your entry into advisory and financial advisory and this side of the world was via crime prevention, which is very interesting, but your choice in how you targeted it was really about empowerment in community, empowerment in things. And so you went that route. It really genuinely seems to me, Scott, that from very early on, you had that. What can I personally do to empower my community to be better? So how do you go from crime prevention as a practice to where we are today?

I think it really ties with self awareness, understanding what you’re great at, what you’re good at, and what you’re not so good at. And I’ve always had a tendency to lean heavily in what I’m very good at and great at and surround myself with people that are better than me at all the ancillary things, just like we talked about in the beginning. I am the person at Freedom Street that you want to bring in, to talk big picture, to dive into the weeds on your vision, to break down the challenges, you know, to look at, okay, here’s where we want to go and here’s how we’re going to get there, and we can chart it all out. When we get into some of the analytics, I bring in the experts and I have an input, and I’m a part of all those decisions, but I get to have experts that are better at it than me. And I think what I really wanted was I wanted to build towards strengths. I wanted to create a company and a culture that was built around people that were great at their space and putting them in the space that they love doing.

So when someone comes on, I’ve hired so many people that we’re looking for X job, and we find the right human, but the right human doesn’t fit the exact job we were looking at. So I’ll change the job. I’ll change what we’re going to be utilizing this human for if it’s the right person for the culture fit. And we’ve really done that. It’s interesting, to your point just a second ago, when you talk about making an impact. I have been doing these videos on YouTube, and we just launched a new channel. But ultimately I’ve been doing these videos on Facebook and LinkedIn and all these different, different facets and putting things out. And the person that started helping me is a phenomenal PR person. She’s really great with video. And she used to come to me and say, are you getting the ROI you need? She was trying to quantify every single thing. We talked about it yesterday, and I kept saying, no, it’s a long game. I’m not here to make money on this today. I’m here to get better at doing it. I’m here to provide more impact. And you know what I love more than anything? Is I love getting the feedback and the loop back that this conversation gave someone the ability to think bigger.

It gave someone the tools. In the book, at the end of every chapter, I literally have a set of questions that evaluate, do you see yourself as this person or that person? Do you see yourself doing these types of things? What can you practice every day? What gets you to that millionaire mindset? Whatever it may be, it’s about that process. And I think to directly answer your question, after spending almost 15 years at a great company where I was growing and learning, I found out that I was in a box, and I needed to break out of the box and do my own thing. And the reality is that’s where Freedom Street partners came from. I told everyone we were a tech startup. So it’s funny because the connectivity between what your startup is and what we were, and that’s who we were. We started with nothing. We built up this business. We have offices in seven states today, and we’ve developed a path where we’re building something bigger than ourselves.

And it was the vision from the beginning. We had a vivid vision. Cameron Harold wrote a great book called Vivid vision, and I’m in a couple of groups with Cameron. He’s a phenomenal person to talk to. But we created a vivid vision in the first three years, and we knocked everything out of the park, and we did so because we kept putting the right puzzle pieces of human capital in the right spots. And all those people are better at the area they’re serving in than I am. And again, it’s that teamwork mentality that bigger and better together mentality that really helps people understand. But it’s about the impact and part of there’s a deeper thing, and we don’t have time to go into the depths of it. I know, but here’s what I could tell you that I find really interesting. In the beginning of a journey, a lot of times you start out, maybe scarcity leads you to abundance. Maybe my fear of losing it all because I didn’t come from anything in the beginning kept me from spending any money. So that when the bad years came, I was always in a better position. And then when my abundant mindset kicked in, I happened to be in the right position. The same thing goes for failure and affirmation. I think what I found is, I found a lot more comfortability helping other people be the greatest version of themselves early in life because I was trying to find my own way.

I was trying to figure out how to get myself where I needed to be. And what I learned is I just needed to continue to learn from other people. And all that coaching and learning and teaching was actually bringing leveling me up every single time. So I very rarely turn down conversations like this because I learned just as much from you as hopefully you’ll learn from me. And each day we get better and better at this. Right. And so my mindset of just this open learning, open mindset, really learning from the things that I might not have been great at very early in my career are the things I want to be best at at the next chapter.

That’s amazing, yeah, great. And vivid vision, fantastic. Cameron is a great writer. I seem to remember he was in BC as well, another Vancouver. There was some presence he might be Canadian. I’ve read so many bloody books these days, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who, but I do. There’s a fantastic, fantastic book. Cameron seems like a really great human. And Scott, you are, you are doing great things. And as I say, the greatest mentor has a great mentor. And it’s an important lesson that people don’t. They forget. They think that once you are reaching a certain level that you are now at the top of the chain, like, no, you are looking – you get there by your peer group and you get there by your mentors. And it continues up. Even therapists have therapists. That’s how it has to go. Because if you stop receiving knowledge, it’s really not fair in my mind for you to give it out.

Yes. If you’re not growing, you’re dying, right?

Yeah. And they sound like witticisms that you would put on an Instagram post or something. But when you see it in practice and you hear about the people that are being successful at helping people be successful, I’m turned on by that. That’s my thing. If you came to me and said, what’s the thing that makes you wake up and get this? It’s like I’m on this microphone for an hour a week, an hour and 20 minutes a week, and it’s the greatest moment. It just lights my week up because I learn something and I try to put it in practice. And then I share it and it’s so great. Scott, your passion for this is palpable. It’s obvious, and it’s earned. And the success you get from it is deserved. So I’m going to tell people, get the book, get involved, learn. So thank you for spending the time today. So, Scott, if people do want to get a hold of you and of course, we’ll have links to the book and to your team at Freedom Street Partners. So what’s the best way they can get in touch?

The easiest thing to do is, ScottDanner.com, and you can kind of see all the links there. I really encourage people. What I’m extremely passionate about is this YouTube channel we’re building, and it’s just in the infancy stages. But the reality is it’s all about hitting the next algorithms. And I think putting more positive information out there to people is really something that we don’t have enough of. There’s too much of the algorithm that’s putting negativity into our feed on purpose. I’m a Duke basketball fan and taking the loss to UNC last weekend was challenging. You would be amazed at every single UNC fan I’ve ever known in my entire life was in my feed. It’s like they knew how to make me feel miserable and I want the opposite. I want to create stuff that helps people feel great. I want them to look at something that we’re doing and see that we believe in them, that I believe in them that your conversations are there to help people be the best version of themselves. ScottDanner.com the books on all major things. My wife ordered it from target and it was delivered to the house.

Amazon.com audible, we just love for you to get the message out and don’t be turned off that it says financial adviser. I think what you’ll find is that the story is something that was written for anybody and I think that’s the value takeaway. I hope it’s something everybody finds good information and reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you.

That’s amazing. There you go, Scott Danner, thank you. Absolutely. This has been a real pleasure and everybody needs a little bit more Scott Danner in their life feed I can tell you that.

Eric, thanks for having me, man. Such a great conversation.

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Rob Telson is VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at BrainChip and brings over 20 years of sales expertise in licensing intellectual property and selling EDA technology. Rob has had success developing sales and support organizations at small, midsize, and large companies. 

We discuss the incredible capabilities of AI at the edge, the real definition of edge computing, and how that context creates interesting challenges for organizations and people.  The conversation also covers a ton of great insights into building effective sales and marketing teams, empowering people, plus where to find the best burgers in the world.

Check out BrainChip at their website here: https://brainchipinc.com/

Rob also hosts a great podcast here: https://anchor.fm/brainchipinc/episodes/Conversation-with-Vice-President-of-Worldwide-Sales-Rob-Telson-and-Alex-Divinsky-eua3lv 

Big thanks to Rob for a very fun and informative discussion.

Transcript powered by Happy Scribe

Rob, thank you very much. I was first of all, I get excited by being able to see a name that shows up, but as a human, essentially, that is very interesting to chat with. And I’ve been lucky as I’ve gone over some of your your own content and you’re your producer of content, your you’ve got a really solid voice and a great way of of really leading a discussion, which is cool.

And on top of that. I looked at BrainChip and it was pretty darned excited about the potential of what’s there. So before I jump in and I start discussion over the good stuff, I did want to for folks that are new to you, Rob, if you want to give a quick introduction and we’ll then we’ll talk about yourself. We’ll talk about brain ship, the Akeda platform, which is really cool, the technology and kind of what’s what’s being done with it.

And we’ll kind of run from there, if that’s all right.

Yeah. Well, Eric, thank you very much for for first of all, for having me on the podcast. And likewise, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some of your podcasts and you’ve had some pretty talented people on. And so I’m actually excited and honored to be here. And I feel like I have some some big shoes to fill in the discussion. Right. But just real quickly, for the listeners out there, brain chips, the semiconductor manufacturer, and we’ve developed an artificial intelligence processor.

And it’s you know, it’s architected to function similar to a brain. And it’s it’s based off of continually learning as we go on the device that we’re implemented in. And it’s it’s processes without any dependency on the cloud. And that will become a lot of our discussion today. And and last of all, it’s it’s architected in a way that it consumes very little power or energy. And by doing that, it gives you a lot of flexibility and functionality to do a lot of things in the world of compute a lot, that’s becoming very common to all of us.

But it’s going to evolve over time. But before I talk more about. Brain chip and our processor, which is called Akeda, and for those listening, a ketamine’s spike and we’ll get to that in more detail I really want to talk about. The problem that we see happening and why al Qaeda is going to play a major role in solving a lot of potential challenges in technology moving forward. So, so so what what I want to bring up is three words that in my world mean the same thing, and there’s a lot of technologies out there that will give you but ifs, ands, buts and so on.

But the reality is we’re talking about the same thing. So let’s think of Iot based devices. And let’s think of edge based devices and let’s think of end point devices, they all mean basically the same thing, and that is we’re really, really far away from the cloud. We’re doing a lot of compute and in most cases, especially as we evolve. That computer goes to the cloud and then it goes from the cloud back to the device. OK, and I’m going to reference edge based devices and I’m going to reference instead of Khanum, I processers deep learning accelerator’s GPU impious.

I’m going to use the word engine, the engine that’s processing this information. So if we look at the evolution of edX and we look at the evolution of these devices over the next five years, we’re looking at hundreds of billions of devices and these hundreds of billions of devices are going to be demanding easy access of information to the cloud and back. And to put that into perspective, we’re looking at I don’t know, I think it’s forecasted there’s going to be 90 zettabytes of data going from edge based devices to the cloud and back.

So we all need to take a step to the side, put ourselves in the driver’s seat of our car and realize we’ve just hit a traffic jam. And what that means to anyone who has a smartphone right now or has a personal assistant voice, personal assistant at home, like an Alexa or let’s say using Siri, an Apple based device, I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’ve said Siri directions to this address and Siri says, I cannot help you right now or play.

Fleetwood Mac can’t help you right now. OK, so what’s going on there is that the device is trying to communicate to the cloud but doesn’t have access to it. And we’ve all just been accustomed to dealing with that for those that have experienced that and you just wait a couple of seconds or whatever and you move on. But let’s fast forward let’s fast forward to this evolution of EDG based devices and let’s think about vehicles. Let’s think about unmanned vehicles.

Let’s think about flying vehicles. Let’s think about drones. Let’s move into medical device applications. Let’s move into industrial applications. We’ve got an issue. Four doctors in a remote location trying to save someone’s life needed access to the Internet and they don’t have bandwidth to the cloud. The device needs to be able to do some processing on the device, and that’s where we see the key to making some massive impacts. The other thing that Qaeda can do, which gets really excited, is has the ability to learn on the device, we call that one shot training or one shot learning.

So you’re adding new images. You’re adding new functionality to the device as you go. This is the growth and evolution of artificial intelligence. And we’re we’re able to do that because we are architected. In an advanced way, using what’s called the neuromorphic computing architecture and neuromorphic computing is architected to function much like a brain. And what I mean by that is for our listeners and for you, Eric, right now your brain is moving and it’s consuming energy and it’s listening to everything I’m saying that is important to you.

But being a fan of yours, I would hope you have a cup of diabolical coffee sitting by your side. Right. And you can smell that fresh coffee, but your brain is not spending a lot of time on that. And it’s not spending a lot of time recognizing that your hands are resting and you’re touching something and your feet are touching something and or the scene. Exactly. So so what what going back to what I said earlier, Akeda is is, is the it’s it’s also references spike.

We focus on spiking or events and that’s what makes us extremely unique and extremely advantageous as we move into this next generation of A.I. is that, look, we can function and focus on all these different things that are going on, but we’re consuming all of our energy on the event that’s taking place right now. Their traditional engines, as I referenced before, it could mean a lot of different things. Those traditional engines have to process and compute all of this information.

They are burning. They’re consuming so much energy and power and they’re moving faster and faster and faster to solve the same problem that we’re going to solve. And using microwaves to milliwatts and using a lot less energy and and gives us a lot more flexibility. So I know I said a lot there, but that’s giving you a little bit about brain chip.

But and I’d say that’s actually the perfect that’s the perfect segway to something that’s very important about this. The challenge that we’re trying to solve, right. Is that it’s you know, it’s one thing for me to do yell into my phone like Siri, find the closest Tim Hortons or whatever. Sorry, I guess I should say Dunkin Donuts to finally close Dunkin Donuts. And and yeah, I’m sorry, I can’t help you right now. And like, darn it, Siri, like, that’s fine, I, I will I’ll open Google and I’ll say it’s got a slow connection and I can get through it.

It’s very different than system to system, which is where like you talk about, you know, rolling devices that are using Lydda and ultimately need to communicate and they need to do a lot of processing locally in because they have to have certain amounts of asynchronous communications and they cannot rely on every transaction being decision driving. So they have to be able to make decisions locally. So we do all this and it sounds fantastic. Irresistable, it’s easy. Why don’t you just move processing close to the edge, closer to the workload, whatever.

Great. Sounds great, right? It sounds as great as the numbers that we hear when we think about the scale that we’re we’re tackling. But then the first thing you think is how do I drive this like little of the power to do the stuff in the datacenter today or in the cloud, a fantastic amount of power required to run GPU and TP use and all these things when you move the edge. Now, this is the thing like you’re talking about milliwatt, representation of power usage, fundamental shift in the ability of technology to act in the way that what a kid is doing yet.

Not burn the planet down like Bitcoin miners doing this crazy bocking processing.

Yeah, it’s it’s it’s amazing. I’m going to bring up an example again of of a scenario. And I don’t want to get overdramatic, but I think we always have to visualize these types of scenarios. There are closer to us than we than we realize. But, you know, the proliferation of electric vehicles to proliferate, proliferation of vehicles and the amount of compute that’s taking place in the vehicles of today and tomorrow, the cars designed to do a lot of of great things.

And and I’m a geek, so I get really excited about functionality. Useless functionality usually gets me to buy something. So what happens, though, is that the if we don’t have the ability to have some of this compute in decision making on the device, and we’re going to find a scenario where you’re driving a car and that car sees a human and it knows what it needs to do is swerve hard. Right. And get out of the way.

Now, that hard right to get out of the way could actually end up causing another impact. You know, and. If it doesn’t if it’s dependent upon communicating with an external device, whether it be the cloud or something else, it’s going to make that hard, right? Whether it communicates or not, there is a human there and then you find out it’s a plastic bag. We didn’t need to make the hard right. So we need to advance and that’s what we’re looking at.

And the second thing that you what you brought up there in my head was spinning a mile a minute ago. OK, how do I want to respond here? But you start to take a look at devices that do consume a lot of energy. And one device that everybody has in their home is the refrigerator. It consumes a lot of energy and we we look at that as these consumable, these consumer white goods appliances in which al-Qaeda is going to help reduce the amount of energy that’s being consumed.

We look at it and we say, in the future, you’re going to want to have the ability to recognize by odor whether your food is is stale or it has a lifespan. How do we how do we do that and, you know, has that capability. One thing I didn’t mention that I’ll I’ll dovetail on is that we focus on five sensor modalities and two are very common in the world of processing today. And that’s image or object detection, very similar to the plastic bag and what’s out there and what’s going on.

And and the other one is, is voice or keywords. And again, something very common and a lot of the functionality that we have today. But there’s three other modalities that will become impactful in our everyday lives. And one is the ability to smell or olfactory. One is the ability to touch or vibration and which is some somatosensory. And then the other one is taste gustatory. And between all of those five sensory modalities, that’s where brain chip is kind of hung their hat and said, OK, well, if we can process vibration.

Then we can help in industrial applications and make things more efficient, we can save the infrastructure of the roads and bridges and we can actually help with prosthesis. And so people that that have prosthetics can now feel by having vibration detect somewhere else in their body. And we’ve now seen with the olfactory side of things and they always say it’s you hit these these points, inflection points by random. You design it all you want, but these random events happen.

You have what’s called Vox’s or volatile organic compounds, which are breath markers. And by these Vox’s you can detect different diseases. Illnesses, viruses and even different types of cancers. So with the right systems and the right engine, you can do a lot of good. You can start to make a lot of impact in areas that that we only dreamed of five years ago.

And I think that’s the important thing, too, when we think of any of any solution and what I love is enabling solutions in what you’re talking about, what what you and the team are tackling by bringing Akeda to the market is that. You know, the old was this show Halt and Catch Fire? My favorite interviews, watch that one is a famous sort of early episode. He says, you know, this is computers aren’t the thing. They’re the thing that gets you to the thing.

And so we look at what this does. It’s an incredible enabling function now is that, yeah, we can move to enabling prosthetics to be, you know, touch detecting. And it’s like it’s. This is the stuff like the reason why we went to the moon. And people say like, oh, well, there’s no one living on the moon, why did we go to the moon? And, you know, when we said, well, I’m not sure if you’re familiar, but most of the things in your house are were engineered and discovered as a result of research that we did in that we know why we call it a moon shot.

Yeah. And so now you have by giving this capability to the research community, to the industrial community. So as we go from Industry 4.0, which I didn’t realize we were already there to fight or whatever it is like, this is the huge, huge leaps that can be done by those communities and those creators and those researchers that are going to tackle, they said, big problems. This is this is like what quantum is a concept. You know, right, and it was it’s a very it’s so far out of the realm of most people’s mathematical understanding.

That it becomes like, oh, yeah, one day, but it’s. When you show this and you bring this and you show people what can be done now with this capability. This is a lot closer to the use cases that people understand. I think in then those sort of massive concepts like Elon get landing us on Mars and say, yeah, you know. It’s been. Tremendously satisfying on a daily basis, we’re constantly on calls with current customers and future customers and dreamers and visionaries and and.

I try to I’m going to take this conversation twofold, number one is I think it’s really, really important for people to understand in the world of artificial intelligence, it’s very complex. And a lot of people are addressing these challenges and problems and solving them a variety of different ways. So what I’m trying to do and is communicate that there’s an ecosystem out there and within that ecosystem you need. To have sensors that can detect what’s going on, you need to have a data set.

In order to understand what you’re trying to detect and you need to have an engine that can take all that information and actually accurately predict and accurately provide feedback. That you can depend on. So, again, we are the engine, but one of the things I brought up before when I talked about bosses and it’s something that we’ve had some success with, is is, for example, working with a couple of partners, but one in specific that it’s over in Israel, that I was able to develop some type of a breathalyzer that you can breathe into and it can capture information.

And the goal was to recognize different types of viruses or disease. And it just so happened that as they were building this product covered it up. So now let’s apply it to covid and we need an engine. If we get data sets, we get all this information, what engine is low power and operate quickly and provide us the accuracy. Right. And so we were hitting ninety three ninety four percent accuracy on these data sets to determine covid positive cova negative.

And that’s one example what we’re doing.

It’s amazing to think and like you talked about one shot and for anybody that wants to, you know, pause the show and go like understand what it means to be able to do zero shot, one shot and what like the impact in the way this does versus the like, mass data set, continuous learning it. So it’s a big, big change. And now to be able to bring one shot learning close to where it needs to be processed, because the other problem we’ve got is the data sets in order to do continuous training or potentially massive.

And while we’ve got five G in areas like oh five is going to here, that’s going to save the world. Well, no, you know what’s it’s going to happen with five G Instagram. That’s what’s going to happen. YouTube, Hulu. Like, that’s the the reason why 5G is going to be full by the time it gets here fully is because we are always pacing well ahead of the capabilities with the content. And now if we look at we’re effectively going right alongside your latest, you know, Hulu release their Game of Thrones or whatever craziness the people are streaming.

And you’re trying to do like legitimate real time neural processing. This is why being able to bring that processing and do it there, it’s it’s it’s a significant need. Yeah, it’s a huge boost in it, like I said, because right now the devices aren’t capable to do it without a significant amount of power or like these large processing units deemed to be local. So doing this at at a small scale with low power is game changing, to pardon the overused phrase.

Yeah, it’s exciting. And we’re we’re at a point where we have customers and, you know, our business models made up of the fact that we sell silicon and we’re in volume production right now and we also license our our IP. So they’re getting an encrypted IP that they can design into their system on a chip, and that functionality is on that device moving forward. And I think at a time like this, it’s this is this is huge. I mean, I have one of my colleagues says, Rob, you’re on this Jerry Maguire moment where I’m saying we have this semiconductor challenges, manufacturing and shortages.

And and there are a lot of great technologies in the sandbox, all trying to solve specific problems and broad problems. There are only a few of us that are licensing. The technology is IP. So for the others, they’re all scrambling to get wafer capacity and to get in line. And my Jerry Maguire moment is just made up of the fact that how great is it that some of these companies can incorporate our IP into their system on a chip, rely less on the supply chains and the challenges that will exist for a period of time and be able to to make a move as a as a market mover and have products with a lot of functionality on it.

So we we see that. And I’ll stop talking about my Jerry Maguire moment. But I do I do like to emphasize we have we have two two business models that we’re we’re leveraging and we’re seeing success in both of them. And the other thing is, is I look at it and we have two two paths. Right. One is, as you mentioned, there’s a lot of really exciting AI applications and some of them are more scientific than commercial focused.

And we have a unique crossroads where you want to address a lot of these scientific solutions because they’re really cool and, you know, you’re going to do something really good and beneficial. And we use that word beneficially. And I think that’s important. But also we have a business to run and and we are in the process of making sure that we have a commercialized product that all of our customers and future customers will have a lot of success with.

And I got to call something which is so thank you for using the best phrase on Earth, because, you know, the way you describe things here, you can tell that you’re very people focused even in understanding the technology. We talked to the like. Where we can go with how deep we can talk about attack, and first of all, you go far deeper than you would even give yourself credit to be able to. I’m sure we could go further, but.

You call it future customers, that may seem like a throwaway to some people, I worked with a lot of sales organizations and every time I hear the word prospect, I cringe a little. And it’s a difference in the way that you think about it, but by the way, you it’s not even a thing you fight to make sure you don’t say it’s natural. Like you just said, you know, we’re people with work today, future customers.

It’s a it’s I’ve got a huge respect. And so, you know, there’s. Thank you. Something something in you. You’re definitely your solution. And people focused. What what brought you to that? We’re going to dig into the rub portion of the show right now, because I want to unpack this because it’s actually very rare for a senior sales leader to not kind of. This slip up and say we were talking to a couple of prospects today and it seems like small thing and I have a massive respect, first of all, I should say this to I got to catch this with look, I’m not I’ve never, as they say, carried a bag for for an organization.

I’ve got a huge respect. Everyone’s in sales to some degree. I’ve been lucky that I don’t carry a quota for it. So I, I, I don’t live without my sales teams doing what they do. And I furnish them with the tools to do what they do. Right. But but you split this line where you have this and this. There’s something different. I figure out where that comes from.

All right, let’s dig into it. What do you want to know?

So what’s your what was your background? As I noticed that through your career, you’ve actually been pretty consistently in this account, executive sales track like you’ve you’ve always sort of come in there. So where did your what drew you to that? And then kind of what drew you to the way in which you approach it?

Well, you know. I’m going to go back far. You know, it sounds like it’s a short path, but when I just had my my birthday yesterday, it’s been a while. Well, thank you. So I went to school to become a lawyer and I came home. From my final interview to go to law school and I sat down with my parents and I explained to them. That, OK, I start in three months and dad, you’re going to owe X amount of dollars when all is said and done for me to go to law school and as a very matter of fact statement and my father looked at me and he said, oh, hold on a second.

And he said, I never said I’d pay for law school. You’re on your own. My recommendation is you go get a job. They’ll do something and then figure out whether you want to go. So the next day I went out, started interviewing for jobs and and I ended up getting a job. Selling, mailing and shipping systems and learning about warehouses, learning about packaging devices, and and just walking door to door in a suit and tie and talking to guys and warehouses and selling products, the only thing I realized was I was really good at it and I was living at home and I was making a lot of money.

And I’m like, wow, this is who needs law school, right? And and about that time, we were transitioning to two Windows based operating systems. And I had the one thing I really look back at when parents make investments in their children. My father was really into buying computers before. Computers were something that everyone could get their hands on. And he had chosen Apple. So we had Max, so I had learned how to work on a Mac OS, so by the time Windows was introduced, you know, it had a lot of the same feel.

So the company I was working for had introduced a Windows based operating shipping and mailing system and no one knew how to use it. No one knew how to operate, and I sat down and started tinkering with it, and before I knew it, I was part of a Fortune 500 company sitting with the CEO of the company, some in Puerto Rico, teaching him how to use the system. And and my my sales career kind of took off and immediately took me into the most random decision I’ve ever met in my life, which was to move from this company into Edde Electronic Design automation.

And I was I was I got a job with a very large Iida firm that brought two guys in that had no engineering background and said, one of you as a sales guy will learn how to navigate all the way to the upper echelons of senior executives. And one of you won’t. And within six months, most likely, one of you won’t be here. That wasn’t me, I was there and was able to have a lot of success, and then that led to start ups.

That’s when things in technology were starting to take off. The the Internet was becoming something of a thing. And this was back in the day when, you know, you went to startups and you tried to make some money. And I was very I was very fortunate. I use the the phrase I’d rather be lucky than good. I was really lucky to be at the right place at the right time, which led to intellectual property. And again, another startup then, which led to a corporate career of sales organizations evolving into large sales organizations, evolving into sales leadership and being a part of a phenomenal run with a great group of people at a company called ARM and doing that for a long time and running their sales for the Americas, as well as running their sales for manufacturing, which most of it was done over in Asia and then transitioned to the second phase.

I called the second phase of my life, which is I want to do another startup. I’ve done this before. I know what we’re doing and I know what I’m looking for. And it just so happened that an unmanned car was a customer customer of mine. And we’ve done business together. And that car is one of the co-founders of Branch It. And we were having a discussion and he said, Robin, be great. If you could join our company, we need to build a sales marketing organization.

And and I think you’d be phenomenal doing it, which led to. Yes, sure, why not? And here we are months later, and we’re starting to make an impact with things that we’re we’ve we’ve put in place all seem to be executing. So this this to me is a very, very exciting time for brain chip. And to be a part of this this cycle, this revolution is really cool. So that might be a little long, but I just went through.

But Hurford says, you know, it’s a beautiful story because it tells you. You know, when when we choose a place to be. One of the most fundamental parts of the why is because we go there to there’s people that we care enough about to give ourselves to their their life via the startup, like the amount of time we spend supporting each other and support in the organization and, you know, the sacrifice of families. It’s it’s it’s no insignificant, you know, step to move to the startup landscape.

And especially, you know, you went. What was effectively the Oggi startups, right? This is, you know, startups now, you know, I’ve got I’ve got four startups that are running right now. I mean, there are startups. I’ve got a coffee business. I’ve got an affiliate website. I’ve got a podcast. I work at a startup which is not really a startup because it’s a 12 year old company that was just acquired by IBM, you know.

OK, so but you there was no other option like this was there was Fairchild Semiconductor. And it was like the crazy hero story of of how Silicon Valley truly became Silicon Valley. Right. But the story is that we we don’t here are how many did try and get started. And they’re very dominantly in the manufacturing and physical stuff. There was no eight of us. There was no like you could just whip startup at a Starbucks. It’s like so the leap of faith was even more faithful.

In the first one that you did it. And then now so. Are you, as they call it, unemployable, right? You can’t go back to the big company again. It’s very it’s always a very interesting thing is once you hit a certain phase of growth of an organization quite often. You look back and you say, the biggest impact I feel like I’ve had was, as it turns out, growing this company from one million to 10 million or whatever.

And I find a lot of. Folks, they really are like kind of like a SWAT team for a growth phase. You know, it’s but you’ve spanned every phase through different ways in which you’ve you’ve been in the industry. So I’m curious if you’ve got a. Kind of a favorite assize or favorite thing about building the team and building the organization.

It’s funny, I’m reflecting on and I was writing an email earlier today to my current team. We have some really young guys, very talented individuals that that have a lot of development to do. But I have some pretty senior guys that have actually worked for me for a while in different environments. And I was reflecting on a comment by one of the young guys who was was just. Talking about the camaraderie of the team that we’ve built and and how we’re there for each other and and the fact that he was highlighting this this level of comfort and excitement every day, it’s almost like a family.

And I think what I’ve been able to do. I don’t know why there’s no there’s no magic recipe, but it’s it’s a team, it’s it’s an organization and it’s to get everybody in trusting each other and being there and then being able to pick up the slack when we need to pick up the slack, being able to to realize what we’ve just done is not good enough. We have to do better and have that mindset to win. And so that’s carried on with me from very young organizations, with a few people to very large organizations.

And I think that’s part of the fun. And so the other thing, what I at this point in my career, what I really, really enjoy is having the frank and candid conversations almost like a mentor. And there’s a fine line when you’re managing people and working with them and mentoring them about what could be some personal dynamics and so on. But when I look back at people that I’ve worked for me and worked with me and I’d rather say worked with me than for me, we still keep in touch.

We communicate a lot. And there’s a lot of frank dialog about what would you do in this situation or and it doesn’t have to be business related. It can be life as well. And to me, that’s very fulfilling, more like a friendship. And I think that’s when you look back at life, it’s it’s one of the things you have to look at. How are you measured? What did you do? And I I had the opportunity to to do an executive management program called the Program for Leadership Development through Harvard Business School.

And one of the most dynamic individuals of his time was Clayton Christensen. Oh, yeah.

Who lost? Yeah, no, actually, I guess, yeah.

And I had the opportunity to to spend a lot of time with him. For those who don’t know, Clayton Christensen is the author of Innovator’s Dilemma. But then he had a follow on book after he got the he had a stroke and it was called Your Life and How Will You Be Measured? And so as we were all evolving young and aggressive and wanting to capture the world, he was on the other side saying, does it really matter? I mean, what about your family?

What about how what Mark are you leaving? And so when you ask the question, all right, what do you prefer? You know, I know we walk into an environment and determine understand the environment, large or small, and that’s the team. Let’s go. Let’s go be effective. And one of the things that I’m really steadfast on right now is that I have my children that are I have teenagers and I have I know when they’re not teenagers in their 20s and but they’re working and they’re grinding and they’re learning.

And one of the things I think is important that they see some of that same work ethic from me to an extent. I also want to spend a lot of time with them. But I think that they they start to realize, like this podcast, my daughter and her friends will listen to this podcast. So I just referenced my daughter. So, you know, so so from that. And I think that’s that’s what I’m when I look at make my mark, I want to make my mark and and for my friends and my family and for them to to see that this is this is life.

This is what you do. You get up every day and you give it the best that you got.

It’s I often say the I will my greatest accomplishment in life will not be what I achieved, but what I helped someone else achieve.

Yeah, exactly.

And it’s it sounds whenever I say it or remember, you know, write down some of these things in the way that I do a mentoring program and I’ve helped, you know, I’ve been mentored as well and continue. It’s a continuous process. Right. And it’s funny, I started thinking, like, oh, if I start writing this stuff down, it’s really cool to be able to share. But then I’m going to end up being like, you know, what do they call it?

The fortune cookie Twitter voices who just go on there and like they write threads about, you know, I’ve learned five. I’ve talked to five hundred CEOs and this is what I’ve learned thread, you know.

Right. Right, right.

But the amazing thing is we do now have the ability to have a much greater and continuous and direct impact on people because of the way we can communicate differently than like you, you know, by the rarity of the opportunity in your choice to take it on. Got to meet one of the most fantastic sort of leaders and creators. You know, Clayton Christensen is is widely read and widely respected. And, you know, I have a friend of mine and we I was joking about something.

I said. I said I’m like I’m like the guy from a beautiful mind, but a technical marketing. And he’s just like I says, I went I went to school and John Nash was one of my professors. I’m like, oh, wow. You know, it’s. The opportunity to be there is different, but the other problem with abundance is also the ability to find focus. And right now, you know, it’s like when you look at your wall of books and you see, like, I’ve got two hundred, you know, books and effectively they’re all the same, the same middle chapters and just different intro and outro for a lot of business books or whatever.

But I still read them all and I still like. But most people, you know, it they look, they’ve got the Internet, they’ve got YouTube, they got Masterclass. They’ve got this. They’ve got school. We have so much available, but then we don’t leverage it. Like, we don’t listen, like, you know, I, I, I read everything that my dad ever wrote, right. And like, I sat with him as a kid building system, that’s how I got into this stuff, is because, like, we he was learning at night.

And so. Yeah, like, well, that’s going to learn. I’m going to sit beside him, you know, and as long as it doesn’t bother him, you know. And then what happened, I was I was 12 years old, learning DBAs, you know, and then I got a job at 15 years old. Right. Doing data entry because it was on a on a DBAs three system. And I was the only 15 year old kid in anywhere.

I lived in a small like farm town. And I was the only person other than my dad in that town, that new DBAs. And so it was just so funny that that’s how I got the job. And then I got into, like, system development and, you know, diverged, you know, later on for years. But, you know, and then came back to technology. But again, it’s like the reason I say this is.

Just hearing that, like your your kids will take the time to listen to what you said, not from your mouth, but like they’ll go back and like, hey, dad was on a podcast. Let’s check it out. Yeah, exactly. That’s an impact. That’s a profound impact.

It’s funny. One of the things I was excited about on this podcast was the fact that my youngest son, as we hit the pandemic, you know, naturally was trying to keep himself busy. And he really you’re going to laugh in a second. He really got into coffee. OK, I’m going with this. And so, you know, as a dad, I’m like, all right, let’s get into coffee. I wasn’t even drinking coffee at the time.

And we got we got a coffee machine and we got up. And then and then from the coffee machine, we decided to up the ante a little bit and we got a grinder and we were buying beans from little boutique shops. Right. And we were tasting a little bit. And then I got into coffee. Now I’m into coffee and I got a machine that grinds and it brews and I froth my milk. And and then we were buying beans from four or five different outlets all over the country and shipping it.

And again, this was how we were entertaining ourselves. And he became the barista of the family. And he wasn’t drinking it, but he was making it. And I would say, I’ll take a mocha. And my wife would say, I’ll take a vanilla latte. And then my other son said, I’ll take Americano. And all of a sudden the barista was just in action and we’d have family over and everyone say, make us coffee. And so fast forward, he’s not in a coffee anymore.

He’s done with coffee, doesn’t want anything to do with it. And I’m stuck in my coffee machine.

And you’ve lost your barista no more. I’ve got a double half caf Rob yelling across the kitchen, so I’m making my own coffee and, you know, but he’s still over my shoulder every once in a while, giving me a little bit of advice and and pulling up stuff on YouTube. So I will give your coffee a plug. I am going to order it and put it up against some of the other guys that I’ve I’ve I’ve started to build some relationships with.

And we’ll see how it goes. And that leads back to Akito, a smart coffee makers and and what we’ll see in the home. And and I do want to make sure that everyone listening, if you have a free moment, go to the go to our YouTube channel at you, go to YouTube and just type in Brain Chip Inc, and we’ll have the links as well. Yeah, but remember to put them in the show notes as well for folks.

We have these these videos that we’ve put together that really show you where this is all going on. Smart Home and some of the devices and applications we will all find customary in our homes over the future. And I’m going to reel it back now that I said that. And I’ll tell you a funny story. If you ever bump into anyone that knows me. That really knows me, and you say that Rob tells them they will ask you, have you had a burger with Rob?

Nice. So I just want you to realize that there’s a potential that could happen.

Burger afficionado. So I’m going to take you up on that.

Rob, you drop my California dude on you is I’m a burger guy, too, and I’ve had a lot of burgers. So in back in the day, it was a very intense negotiation in a in the northwest Pacific Northwest. And we had a client or customer, that future customer at the time, but then became a customer that wasn’t being very receptive to the negotiation. And as we were sitting there having this discussion and I had a team of about six people who had a team of about six people, we’re four hours into this discussion and we’re getting nowhere.

And we feel all these people up for this meeting. I mean, this is supposed to be the deal. And I at the time kind of made up, hey, look, I’m really into burgers and I we’re in a town. We’ve never been here. I’ve got my team. Why don’t we take a two hour break? When I take my team and give me a burger recommendation, we’ll go get some burgers and we’ll meet back. And the guy on the other side said, You like burgers?

I love burgers. Matter of fact, I’m writing a book on burgers. And he said, well, if that’s the case, I want to take you to my favorite burger place. And we left everyone there in the room and we went off and and we had burgers and we had some French fries and a couple of sodas. And now and a half later, we had closed the deal. Right. And so that stuck with me everywhere I went.

And everyone that that has bumped into me and my professional career has kind of stuck to this. Oh, Rob, I got to take you to this burger place. Oh, Rob. And that has led to burgers in Taiwan, burgers in China, burgers in Korea, burgers in Europe. And I learned over time to to very graciously say, when I’m in a foreign country, I will eat the food of choice, not burgers, burgers or are here.

So I ended up writing a book for a close friend of mine on burgers because this person had experienced a lot of burgers with me as well as my wife. My wife has experienced almost every burger with me, but the first book I wrote I dedicated to my my buddy and my wife was like, Are you kidding me? You didn’t dedicate this book. I missed on that one. And it was for his fiftieth birthday. But yeah, I can I can I can hang when it comes to burgers and talk about burgers and anyone out there interested in giving me some advice on burgers, I’ll take it and potentially experience it.

When we think of like I said, this is why when when I listen to your podcasts and the content that you create and inevitably the discussions that you have with folks. You know, this is why I latched on to, you know, what’s going on with brain chip and the potential there, and that’s it’s it’s incredible to see you’re you know, you’ve got the you’ve got a choice to, like, go to a team and a team that it’s a it’s a beautiful thing because teams, especially in startups, you know, at different phases of organizations, they’re very dynamic.

And what you end up having to make sure that you do is you find this kind of like Top End’s, like that’s that vision, you know, what’s the reason why we’re here? And that’s the thing you say. I mean, Donald Miller sort of fancy is what you call story brand. And that’s it’s so it’s so easy when you when you get used to it and you start to hear it come out. But you realize that that’s it’s much more than that thing because I’ve gone into many companies and I see the you know, the thing behind the administrators desk at the front and I see the stuff printed on the walls.

And and you realize that the only person that took that in was the person that painted it. You know, it it’s not reflective of the culture. The culture is how you will deal with it. If the walls were white, you know, the culture is how they’d be if you’re not looking in. So, you know, knowing why you’re doing what you do, what’s your vision, your guiding principle, and then taking this and then being able to have sort of fantastic technology that’s in an exciting area of opportunity.

But it’s also probably a fun challenge because it’s not massively a lot like the type of solutions that you’re able to enable are still being developed. They’re still in a lot of research areas. So it’s it’s it’d be neat. In 10 years, you’re going to be look back and say like we did that. Yeah. It’s it’s cool to to see that. But it’s also this it’s a very interesting. Dynamic of being in organizations where you’re selling something where, you know, like they’re going to get this one day and then back and to be like, oh yeah, when he explained it to me now totally makes sense.

It’s pretty impactful. And the amazing thing about Akeda, it is wide and deep in regards to applications and and problems we’re going to solve. And it’s it’s you know, this is a unique we can only say so much, but it’s it’s an exciting time. And as you said, in these types of technologies, when you look out in the future, when you look out of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there and the impact that you’re going to make, my gut tells me that brain chips can be impactful and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.

But but it’s it’s a lot of fun. And we’ve got it’s going to be a good ride. Looking forward to it.

And especially to to go to a first principles approach in developing a solution is is amazing because we look at any competitive landscape. And it’s quite often the first thing that most people will do is just turn around. Yeah. And sort of head for head for the door and look for another object, because it’s it’s a big challenge. But, you know, that’s what it is. You choose you choose first principles to attack a problem in a specific way, do so provably, and then find people that can take that and give it an application, give it a place in which it can be leveraged and then ultimately see the as that comes to fruition.

So, yeah, it’s exciting. What’s the what was the most exciting surprise you had after, you know, you were like, OK, I’m at brain chip. I like the idea. And when did it suddenly go? You’re like, oh, hang on a second. What was that? That thing that that really kicked in for you?

Yeah. One of the things we haven’t really talked about is the learning on the device. And for those that are new to artificial intelligence and I brought it up a little earlier on on this podcast, is the fact that the. Training a device, teaching it what to look for and then process that information is not trivial and is extremely complex. It requires data scientists, research scientists, and it requires a lot of time, six months, a year and so on.

So having the ability to have a device where we can add a feature to it added my my face, your face, and then use that for facial detection or or for image detection or in a vehicle or something. To that extent on the fly is huge. And so I think it was day to day three, one of the engineers said, do you want me to do a demo of Akeda for you? I said, Sure. I sat down and started putting some stuff in front of and it was recognizing everything really quickly.

Very low power in Yemen. And then I, I said, well, what if I want to take a baseball and put it in front of al-Qaeda? And it was using a data set that had no idea what baseball was. And he said, sure, no problem. Put it up there. You know, you trained it on the device and all of a sudden baseball is now part of the whole data set. And I’m taking the baseball.

I’m throwing it through the the image. It’s it’s picking it up as it moves through. I’m like, wow, that’s really responsive. And fast forward again. And we just did a presentation about a week ago where we were teaching a kid beer bottles on the floor, had different beers, different brands, and then pulling them in and out of the screen and showing the viewers that, hey, look, it’s recognizing it really quickly. But we decided to show Akeda two beers from the same brand that the label and image was so similar to each other that we confuse other devices.

And we were able to recognize it. We were able to to to to process it quickly. And the whole on training thing is mind blowing and it will become impactful. For all these from from industrial applications through automotive through consumer applications in the future. So that’s the one thing that I get really excited about.

Yeah, that’s it, like on learning is yes, is it? This is where amazing things now are possible because, you know, I’m I literally just I’m overly excited by it because it’s just this the potential is incredible. And this is where I am. I’ve been lucky recently. We’ve had a lot more folks. We’ve sort of divx been diving in a bit more on machine learning and some of the capabilities. And then you realize like it itself is a fairly small community relative to, you know, it’s very, very much in the research phase, so much so compared to the broad computing frameworks, you know, so when you start to show them these capabilities and you hear about how they’re trying to solve the problem, they’re solving it in papers.

You know, it’s still stuff that’s being submitted as research phase. And yet. They can take that blackboard or whiteboard theory now and they can literally put it into place now because like you said, al Qaeda has this capability, like, OK, cool, this is no longer just what is the theory of of driving cars, going to self-driving cars going to be like. All right, let’s show you the other thing is that that and this has happened the other day and my guys were really excited.

They called me into a room like Rob, you got to take a look at this. I highlighted earlier not being dependent upon the cloud to do your processing. And there’s a company out there that that has a phone that most of us have or a lot of people have that has a software update coming out. And they talked about the fact that if you put your phone on airplane mode, you now can run their assistant on device without being dependent on the cloud, providing you more privacy and security.

And and my guys are jumping up and down when we do that, where we do it in hardware. I mean, we’re on to something here. And like we are, we are. And that’s the other thing that you’ll see. There’s a lot of applications and software. And for those that are listening, there’s a lot of great functionality in software, but it’s in software. And what that means is it consumes a lot of energy. It consumes a lot of power because our IP battery, because, you know, the if you’re solving it in software early, I’ve got bad news for what the power consumption levels are.

Exactly. So when we talk about edge devices and we talk about all the stuff that that’s that’s dependent on being independent and functioning without consuming a lot of power, software is a problem. So at the end of the day, so we look at this and we look at what these leading this leading technology company is doing. And we say to ourselves, we’re doing the right things. We are doing the right things. We just we’re just going to continue to march down our path and execute.

And and it’s like I said before, it’s the tip of the iceberg.

And it is and it’s it’s amazing what we can do and the potential is fantastic and yeah, first of all, thank you, Rob. This has been really fun for folks that wanted to reach you to chat further and learn more about brain. Like I said, we’ll have links to the site. We’ll put the link to the YouTube and thank you. And what’s the best way your folks want to get in contact?

Yeah. So if you go to w w w dot brain chip dotcom, there is a link for information. You can fill that out and it will go directly to our sales team, most likely. I’ll get a look at it as well. You can reference that you were part of Disco Posse and I will personally respond to you and start dialog. You can also go through the sales link at Freindship Dotcom. You can contact us through LinkedIn, you can contact us through Twitter at Brain Chip, underscore each.

But for those who are curious, I really, really want to emphasize we’re using YouTube as our platform for education and understanding of the company who we are. So subscribe to our YouTube channel, our Friendship Inc. And that way you’ll be updated every single time we have a new video, a new presentation. And and when this is is uploaded, I’m sure this will be on our our YouTube channel as well. But that’s those are the best ways to reach us.

And we’d love to talk to you and educate you more about brain chip and what we’re doing. But, Eric, thank you very much for having me. And this conversation was great. Thank you.

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Over the past three decades, Don W Long has founded/co-founded six different companies his most recent which was in the top 1,000 companies in the United States in that particular industry.

He is the author of three books The Blueprint of God and the international bestselling book Sell or Don’t Eat and joins us for a discussion on his latest book God’s Blueprint for Nations and we delve into the power of mentoring and community on growing ourselves and our businesses. 

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