John Hancock 0:00
We came from very different backgrounds, be classy, be genuine, be great.
Unknown Speaker 0:03
I wanted to help out and contribute and sort of give back to the people that had helped me,
Unknown Speaker 0:10
man welcome city in slow, no need for the introduction all about the world and the world where we discuss it where every single time that we had came for something. So it's funny that we made it when we started you were not going to always put up your mind. To find out why. When you got started, Darren's got to turn on the light, no matter what to do, you never want them applied because we find it to be better. And that's why we strive.
John Hancock 0:37
Hi, I'm Cory McKane, CEO of we strive in all in one platform for personal trainers and gym owners to build and scale their business. I want to welcome you to the why we strive podcast where I interview some of the most incredible founders, investors, professional athletes and more from around the world. We do a deep dive into the who, what, when, where, how and why they strive. Make sure you tune in and subscribe every single week so that you can watch and listen to some incredible people tell absolutely amazing stories on how they got here. Now, let's get to this week's episode. John, welcome. We're actually going to be having the first recorded podcast with you.
Wow. First one, by the way, that was some amazing podcast theme music. I
love that it was
beautiful. Very good.
We just built this wall about 30 minutes ago. So we're so excited to have this actually, like done. We were gonna have this. We made it work. So yeah, I love it. So you and I met at a tech beer pong tournament I hosted and you guys crushed. You guys. You guys went so we had 128 teams and you guys got into the Loser's Bracket championship. See what like seven and seven and ones I'm going to LBC that was it. What was your team name?
Team name was stomped. ATX. Very, very original. Oh, gosh. Okay, gotcha. Okay, yeah. Cool shirts with the guy. I don't know. Maybe you could fill up a picture. Now throw that.
Well, it will as nice. Yeah. So do you have a pic? Do you have an actual picture of the actual you guys wearing them at the event? Or? Oh, yeah.
Oh, yeah, we got plenty of those. Okay, I love that. Yeah, it was it was the stocks logo. Love it. playing beer pong,
which I love that. Okay. Yeah, it was I was pumped to meet you because Adam had just left Capitol factory to work with you guys. And so I was excited to kind of learn a little bit about the company and Garrett and drove with pipe dream just left talking about how exciting the emails are that you guys send out every single week. And I'll get a lot I hate getting emails, but I do love your guys email. Some like, like this week you have founders Institute, which I'm a part of doing it. And I were the other two this week got to TechStars to TechStars. Okay, that's what it
was TechStars Boston, which is just amazing. They're doing a best of New England Demo Day. And then we have NYC which we're stoked about.
Very cool. Cool to those. Actually, let's do that. Let's get to your actual company. So what actually is Starbucks? What do you guys do? Obviously a very unique name. So we'll get to the naming of that eventually. What do you guys do?
Yeah. So stocks.com We actually, we own the word stocks. This is sort of a fun fact,
though, does that. Where does that what does that what does that mean? So we
have trademark on the word stocks. Nobody can use the word stocks. But us.
How much? How much did that cost? What was that process?
It didn't cost anything? Well, yeah.
I own the word courier, just
the first numbnuts to go and do it.
So where did you enter the trademark office? Or where do you where do you go to?
So we since we own the domain? It helped a lot. Right? Yeah, domain we started a company we haven't
How much was the domain but by the way. If you've ever tried to use your laptop outside or on the move, you'll know that it's impossible to see your screen in direct sunlight, and laptops will overheat and shut down surprisingly quickly outside. here in Austin, the team at Sun shader have solved that problem. Sun shader is the sunshade heat shade and privacy shade for your laptop so you can work efficiently from coffee shops, co working spaces are with your friends on campus, from the beach, the pool, your backyard or balcony, from airports, airplanes and Airbnb s. I've got one it is now part of my everyday work here that fits easily into my backpack, sunshade or can also be co branded with your company logo, your brand story for incredible and practical swag to give to your employees, customers and partners. Check them email@example.com and use code why we strive for 15% off how much was the domain by the way?
I think it was just over like 10 grand or something. It was early enough. We've had some we've had some insane offers like we've had a $1 million offer for
the domain. I was gonna say the moment it starts being used when you have that like five or six letter Yep, you are it's like crazy. Yeah,
I think there's like November or maybe December it like the you know the height of the the Gamestop craze during that you guys bought it then we bought it right before that. And then it started we started getting a lot of big offers on that. How did you
I feel like that wasn't even a word before that. I feel like that. Like that word was created through that era. Yeah.
So you know if you're a nerd, like myself and my co founder Ollie like, you were you were Using the word on ironically, for six months before it became like mainstream just because Wall Street bed subreddit we were very early. Wow. Yeah, we were both early. It's one of the things that we had in common. One of the very few things we had in common. Yeah. Did
you guys cash in on any of those, like GameStop or anything like that?
I tried a few times. And I I'm happy to say I broke even I broke even cross all that stuff. All the dosages and oh, God, no. Dogecoin Yeah, um, the whole crypto worlds got me so mad right now. Yeah, I don't know what time you guys are watching this. But at the current moment, crypto is worth nothing. Yeah,
that's fair. That's fair. Okay, so you bought stocks for like, 10k? Obviously, that just shot through the roof. Yeah, like, regardless of you guys have a calling company that or not? And then where do you file that? This is your name now? Like the you own the name? What does that mean?
Yeah, we own the word. And so you know, we own the domain. And, you know, we hired a very, very sort of a bulldog of a lawyer. He's full time, full time. And he was at AngelList. Before and did some work with Republic. And he just knew knew how to do it. I don't, I don't know what they do. Those guys just damn a lot. And yeah, and they make it happen. I don't know what they're doing. That's so crazy. gonna work. Okay. You know, the tricks. We have the trademark so so we'll look out. Don't try to just don't say start a name your YouTube channel, your stupid app. None of that. None of that will come for you.
What we haven't got to that point. What is starting to do?
Oh, yeah. Okay, good point, we should, I should go there. So we're essentially, you can kind of think of us as like a social media site. I know, it seems really, really odd. We're, in some ways, we're building kind of like a social media network. That's all centered around startup fundraising. Okay. So Startup Finance. And we're helping VCs and angels find amazing startup deal flow. And then and then learn about these companies at these live events. We call it demo days. Yeah, we didn't create the demo day. We just made it cool. Yeah. And so angels and VCs that come to these Demo Day events that are typically held by partners like a tech accelerators like TechStars, or YC, we do a YC alumni Demo Day. And yeah, and then that's, that's basically what we do. We facilitate these demo days, make sure they happen, we create really good we call it deal pages, which is like all the startup information organized really nicely, the way that an investor would want to look at it, including a deck and a little product video. And then people have a chance to invest live during the event, which is really cool. When that happens. Very, very exciting. And then you know, for like sometimes, like a week after they can they can come and reconsider.
And I actually I really love your as platform, which is why I wanted to interview you in one of the first three episodes one, because you're really relevant right now. And you're growing, it seems like every single week, but just give me two, because because I I've watched your I've watched like your entire full demo series of like 456 pitches. And it's cool, because it's not only just like watching a pitch, which is also good for any founder to do, I think, yeah, I think founders that definitely can't invest right now should just watch your demo days. They don't have to great, great point. It's so cool. I said they're only like, I'm literally taking screenshots of like, slides. I'm like, it's a good slide.
We've had so many founders tell us I am you know, I'm so glad that I watched two demo days before trying to raise myself Oh God, because I had no idea I would have to justify this thing called founder market fit, which is seems to be like one of the absolutely most key details that every every investor wants to know about. Yeah, like they're like, if you didn't explain it in your pitch, if it's not really obvious from your pitch, that's gonna be the first question out of their mouth most of the time, to the right person to build this. And you can just like learn these tips and tricks from just watching other people getting get absolutely plastered by panelists, DCS, they're attending these events doing
it live, too. You can watch it live. It's so cool. Who is your like competition? Right? Because obviously, no one's doing literally what you're doing. But there's other platforms that you can raise money on, right? Yeah,
yeah. Anybody that you know that that would be that would sort of fit into the competition category we're just working with right now. We're just we're collaborating with every single one of them.
Like, like a republic? are you collaborating? Oh, totally
Republic, we funder We do events with them. And we, you know, we're very, very satisfied to, to host the event and sort of draw and draw the audience together, create a really cool bunch of content around the startups that are raising on Republic or on refunded, we're, we're happy to do it, we really enjoy doing that with them. And we so there's also like, AngelList we do the same thing. You know, we we do events with like the the top syndicates on AngelList. And so competition is really hard. That's that's one of those questions that we have not been able to accurately do like when you know, investors back when we raised the seed round, of course, they wouldn't know about it, ironically. And they're gonna ask that question they have to ask and we just we never have a good answer. Yeah, we're in this really we're in this really fun space where, where it's just a there's not much of a business model right now. Just literally, how can somebody desire to compete with you and you don't have a business model? There's just it's very unappetizing. Yeah, that's helped a lot in terms of like new competition popping up. Yeah. But yeah, doesn't seem to be anything really obvious.
That's cool. I mean, that's cool that you can just like kind of embrace your relatively competition to just kind of work with them. Totally. So how do you actually we'll take a step back, because I want to get to get to how you get like at TechStars to go on your platform, like, how did this idea come about? Like it came about in the stocks era? So we can ignore the name for a second? How did the actual idea of live accredited crowdfunding come to be?
Yeah, that's a great question. So it actually goes pretty far back to a shared belief that my co founder, and I have a co founder founded stream labs, and I founded a company called cast TV, they did something really similar. And that was that they helped live streamers monetize their live streams. Okay, that's what
we did. Oh, it's a very solid background to do this category. Yeah. So
we essentially we had this. So we saw things very differently in the space. But one thing we absolutely agreed on, was that live streaming was this really, really powerful tool. And this is actually before clubhouse was the thing and like, early in that
one year, eight months span, I can't go back on that app anymore.
So this is right before clubhouse was a thing, we both sort of agreed that sort of two premises, one that that social media was moving toward, towards synchronous and away from asynchronous. So the synchronous model, sort of like Instagram Live tik, Tok live, all these things were becoming more popular. So we thought, that's the way social media is headed. So we thought livestream itself would would become bigger and more powerful. And then the premise number two is that it was currently being used for just absolute garbage. You know, the primary use for live video was like watching people play video games. Yeah, exactly. And when, you know, we were two founders, multitone founders that have had all the pain that comes with fundraising, and and sort of like this experience with making livestream video very, very, very exciting and easily monetizable. And in sort of, like, dialing up the FOMO and getting the audience engaged. So with that background and the pain points that we've experienced, and what sort of like the premise that that social media is going to become synchronous, sort of all these things come together. Yeah. And, and then the final piece of the puzzle, was that in February 2020, make sure I get this right. Yeah, pre COVID. I'm sorry, I said that wrong. February 2021. Gotcha. Okay, gotcha. Yeah, it's February 2021, the SEC announced sort of a new regulation facelift, that they were going to fix the regulations that are about startup fundraising, and crowdfunding and make things just a little bit easier for the angel.
I remember that didn't have a name or something like that. So is it update to the Jobs Act? God yet? That's what I want to get. Remember that? Yeah. So they
updated the Jobs Act. And they announced that those those things were going to go into effect on March 15. And we just, you know, we were we said, Holy shit, this is it right? This is the time
and you had just bought the stocks domain name or this prior, like really recently.
So the reason that we were actively working together is because we were building the former stocks. Now a lot of people don't know this, but we spent two months building a really, how can I say this? Sort of very rude, insulting, vulgar stock tips daily newsletter.
Oh, just like like it's very specific audience canaries earring.
Very Nisha, knowing no intention of having been like a venture scalable business or lifestyle, because it's just a fun project. Yeah. And it was actually going pretty well. Like we like 3300 people signed up for this thing. Very cool. And it was just insulting. Just absolutely just be little them in their inbox every morning with actually really high quality.
You've little the readers or the sound. Like you dumb as you should have invested in this
came from both of us having such an appreciation for Wall Street. That's crowd Gotcha. That's sort of the point like everybody, everybody's insulting each other all the time. And it's sort of like the brotherhood that comes from that. And we jumped on that train. And so we started building that in January. And then by mid February, they, you know, the SEC made the announcement and that by mid March, we were were full on fundraising.
That's crazy. So you were fundraising with the idea of what you were going to build? Or you were fundraising with? Like, okay, here's our MVP. And here, we're gonna make this into what we're going to make it into. Yeah, we did.
We did what you should never do. We were fundraising. With at the idea stage. We had a promise. We knew we knew. So we had a couple things going for us. We had a really clear, one founder market fit. Like I mentioned before, there's a really obvious founder market fit there. And we were fundraising with sort of the premise that we could use these updated regulation, which VCs absolutely loved. They devour the startup that's based on new regulatory. Yeah. So we had the new regulations. We had this this prior experience with with startup was started fundraising ourselves, and with lifestream monetization. We said we're gonna stick these three things together. And, you know, off to the races, the rest is history.
So how do you even begin that process like I know working with the SEC has to be like incredibly, like not easy. Yeah. So I know you see this bullies awesome lawyers, but I'm assuming you didn't have those lawyers when you first started?
No, we didn't. We sort of just accepted the fact that we were going to operate in this in this like gray area. Yeah, for a while,
early Uber vibe. Like, you're really similar until until we get until we go to jail. We're doing this kind
of thing that actually was sort of the mentality, it's like we're gonna ask for, we're gonna ask for forgiveness, exactly permission, and we're gonna go after this and, and see what happens. And you know, it actually, we never even came close to stepping outside the bounds. It turns out, like sort of the way that we the way that we started operating. Fortunately for us, we started a little bit early. But that was it. Gotcha. Everything else was sort of like, right in step with with the regulations.
Gotcha. Okay. And how did how do those forms work? Like when you're started? Like, is it just like 20 pages? Or is it like ongoing like month after month process?
So the way that we started was was Reese was just researching whether or not we wanted to be what's called a funding portal. So we funder Republic, these companies, they're funding portals, there's SEC registered funding portals. And when we saw how much paperwork was involved, we said, folks that we got to we got to do something different. Like maybe that's a good business model. But it's not us. It's not our sort of speed. So as a way of avoiding that paperwork, we actually just started on clubhouse. So we started doing these demo days on clubhouse, and we thought, here's what we'll do. We won't be responsible for any fundraising that happens. We're not going to be there to see if anybody's verified is accredited or not. We're not going to do anything. We're just going to have a conversation on clubhouse we literally can't get in trouble for that. Yeah. So that's what that's how we started. And, man it was it went really well. With startups raising money through these, these silly audio only clubhouse Demo
Day was that were those called stocks at that point, or what was it called?
Yeah, it was it was literally called stocks. demo days. I think it was called stock demo days or something. Like
I wonder if I was in one of those rooms because there was like an because I was only I really only liked about about four or five months from November 2021. Until No, no November 2020 until 2021. Like March and then I was just like, I'm so done with this plop. Yeah, we were there. We were there like March to April. Oh, I just got off. Okay. Well, I would have probably I'm sure my friends. Were in those rooms.
Yeah, we weren't there very long. I think actually, I just remembered the name is clubhouse stocks, clubhouse stock house something stupid like that. We come up with a good name. I love
how that's led to like this awesome badass company that little
stupid called House rooms. Yeah. But you know we did was we um, so VCs, you know, will are very, very generous with their time often, and in will, will come on these things for you know, for free, and they'll come on for an hour. And Judge startups. That's what they do all day. And they're willing to do it on their own time as well. And so that's how we made it cool. We went we went after like, people that have a name in the VC community. And we said Just please come on clubhouse. It's one hour at this time clubhouse was still pretty cool. Yeah. And, and we and that sort of helped a lot like that got a lot of views, like Andrew Chen from Andreessen Horowitz, for example, came on and, and was a panelist on one of these clubhouses and so cool. Yeah. Worked out. Well.
What um, so post clubhouse? What does that process look like to land a TechStars? Or a Y Combinator? Was it easy? Because you're like, yeah, we can do this so much better? Or was it like kind of a long process to convince them to come on board?
Yeah, that's so that's a really good question. It's actually, I haven't thought about that in a really long time. Yeah, I haven't. So this was, so we got we got sort of funded in March. And, or I guess it came through in April, we raised a pre seed round from Andreessen Horowitz, and a few really cool angels. Okay. sandbar who's Austin, Austin, shout out Sanchez. And so that was March. And then what we did was we started with, we kept user testing, we're like, we've got money. Great. We'll spend it at some point. We kept users
and also pause. I love that. And that's the I think the biggest mistake is I have friends that raise millions of dollars. And they just like those guys, too. Yeah. Well, that's true. But it's like you need to, where's your you got to do something, you got to figure out what you're doing
first? Yeah, like I like I like the startups that do that. They tend to get out of the way sooner than everybody else. They get out of the way. And they clear the landscape for somebody smart to come along. So it's really cool to do that. But no, I don't mean to diss anybody, but I kind of do so yeah. But so yeah, we still we kept user testing. We just kept doing the clubhouse thing. And then eventually we graduated to zoom demo days. We like our first zoom demo day was it was actually pretty crazy how fast it grew. The first one was 31 investors, which actually kind of a lot for your first one, but it is a lot. Yeah, but we had we had sort of enough of a following going on clubhouse and and sort of just called on as many personal connections as we could we get 31 investors there three companies, and one of the companies raised from that crowd
so Okay, so how do you verify that is it like they told you that it happened or like what it would have
worked? Yeah. So this was this company was our first ever company raised on stocks called trip TR I pee pee. quick plug. They are an amazing meditation app on the Oculus. So very cool. Okay, so Neha Reeves Keanu is cousin. And one. Yeah, and Keanu was her lead investor. Yeah.
I love that the connection. Yeah, yeah. Well, she
was amazing. She's so cool in their company is amazing. So they actually raised and they would like told us they reported back I can't remember what it was, but it was like a, like a good seed round. That's so from this from the silly, you know, shitty zoom that we did. You know, I don't even think she was able to share slides. I think it was like when it was her turn to pitch like she couldn't share because it wasn't turned on. Yeah. So embarrassing. Well,
I think that's the best way to show that a company works is like, if we can do this on the super shitty, like, zoom. Let's figure it out how it works. And they raise money. You're like, Okay, well, exactly. Like, that's crazy.
Yeah, the concept was, we're going to do a demo day without a program. We don't have we're not an accelerator. We don't have a program. This is not a batch. Yeah, we just have some investors, and we've got some startups, what happens if you just like put them together? And, and, you know, a lot of investors showed up and asked a lot of really good, deep questions. And, and we did that, sort of we iterated on that we did a few times. And by so I guess we technically started that in in April could have been May when we started on Zoom. I can't actually remember when the first zoom one was. Yeah. But um, we did a few times. We found out it's working great. People love it. We started building a platform. We launched the platform, September 21.
Of 2021. Yep. Gotcha. Okay. What are the co founder roles? Oh, it's obviously. So your what is your role? Then you have your one co founder, right? The two of you. There's three of us. Three of you. Gotcha.
So Matt is he's he's really unattractive. So we keep him hidden away, hidden away. He's not not a handsome guy. And he's Canadian.
Nice. So it's good. Yeah, you're trying to raise money, I lose. Exactly.
We're not trying to scare away potential partners. So Matt is the head of product. And in he's a brilliant, really young product guy comes from his own little startup. And Ollie is, you know, is a business magnate. He's been doing startups for 18 years, or I guess going on 19. Everything he does is a winner. But that's actually not true. When you look at when you look at their last startup, so stream labs 70% of the world who live streams use the stream labs to live stream 70%
It's insane. It's amazing. Yeah, so even like is, is a Twitch, a competitor, like Twitch is so
so every live streamer on Twitch, if you if you go on Twitch, you click on anybody's live stream, there's a 70% chance that person is using stream that's so cool. So So before it was before that startup was stream labs, they raise money on like, on something that was 17 or 18 iterations prior got, they went through every possible startup you can with the same round of funding before they landed on this live streaming software. It's, it's honestly, it's such an amazing story. murti Ali's brother wrote a really good story about it. So it's like a two piece article on Medium. But so there's, there's him. He's the CEO, he oversees everything. He's got, you know, he's brilliantly product minded, brilliantly partnerships minded. He's his focus is on everything. How do we, you know, what's the business model? What do we do for marketing? Like every, every single thing that we do is mainly out of his brain? Yeah. And then there's me I don't I don't do anything. I just, I do zoom calls, I get on Zoom a lot. I'm on Zoom every day. Nice. So my role is head of partnerships, co founder head of partnerships. And basically what that means is like all the demos that all the demo days that you see, are almost always going to be a partner. Yeah. And I've sort of just fostered that relationship and got them to use Dong. So while you're
doing, I mean, obviously, the other two governors are killing it too. But like, let's partnerships perspective, you're obviously killing it.
I think I'm technically doing the best. Yeah.
The three of us. Yeah. I mean, you're doing great. I mean, do you have there are so many every week like founders Institute, I don't even know they did that kind of stuff. And all of a sudden, they're like, they're like, I guess we could do this. I don't know. Like, that's crazy. Like, yeah, we've actually
found that this something that was like really surprising. And it's been really fun. Is that, that, you know, VC funds and an organizations that do not have demo days? Yeah, want to do
that? Because they have so many connections and startups. So it's like, what, why and why not? Yeah, totally.
I mean, imagine there's like so many VC funds out there, for example, that like to write precede checks, and they don't necessarily follow on? Yeah. And they want to be helpful in those later rounds. What can we do? Let's take the ones that are raising the seed round, let's help them with a demo day. So we love all of our partners and we get really excited about every sort of every unique use case for stocks and yeah, and we're having fun,
and I'll be sure to put a bunch of links on like, how you can become a how you become a partner for stocks and how you can like invest in so it's been investing so what is it How do you define an accredited investor? Because you have to be accredited on your platform right versus the other platforms will do two things. First thing is, why did you go with accredited? And then to what does it mean to be an accredited investor? Sure.
So I guess the like the most honest way I can I can answer this is to say that we actually really studied the regulation crowdfunding route, very hard. This is we funder Republic start engine, yeah, these are big successful businesses that we thought that we could compete with by by introducing live video and making an engaging product that people were generally excited to play with. But the business model kind of sucks. Yeah, it really does like the in the regulation crowdfunding world. This, like this is not designed as an insult I would never use like, I don't actually think poorly about companies that do regulation crowdfunding, but in the eyes of the angel investors is coming from like, hundreds or potentially 1000s of conversations now, it seems like the the sort of the angels in the VCs of the world look, sort of rate companies that have raised that way a little bit poorly. In some cases, just because they they are, there's so many on that platform, like anytime you go to Republic or we funder, you're going to find lots and lots of deals like you might find 100 deals that actually don't know the number, you might find 100 Different companies that are raising. And typically when that's the case, there's just too high of an acceptance rate. And when your business model is earning on earning on those that use your platform to raise your, in our opinion, you're there's a misalignment of values there. Gotcha. And so we we decided we will never make money on the founder side. So whatever is raised, we will never earn on Yeah, that was something we decided very early on, we will never break that promise. As founders ourselves, we just we don't care to take money from that side. Okay, and that that automatically ruled out the idea of crowdfunding because the business model really only only works one way. Also, there's the shitty amount of paperwork to build a font I
was gonna say that's probably the main one. And that sucks, too. And I can't remember do a cheers to do the little drop in there. Cheers. I don't know what this is. But we're not sponsored but when or who makes us stupid juice.
Albert's Attleboro, Attleboro, Albert's thank you for the stupid juice
Alberto. Good. Yeah, she is really good. It's really good. Actually. Penta hop. Yeah. We actually will take a pause here. Can you explain what that means? Yeah, so you want to
Yeah, so I'm a big fan of beer. I think that beer is really, really good. beverage. So when when a beer is dry hot, they take a massive tea bag, massive tea bag, like 500 pound tea bag, they fill it with hops, and they dunk it into beer to finish beer, right? And they do is soak it and they basically make tea with those hops like beer tea, you know, it fully ever was the beer with the fresh hop flavor interest rather than the hop that's been cooked. Right? Okay. Okay, so these maniacs did that process five times. Okay, gotcha. In each batch of beer, they do that dry hopping process five times. So a buddy of mine, works at a brewery and tells me how much beer they lose when they dry up. When you do that you lose a ton of beer, because you can only squeeze so much out of the hops once they've soaked it in. So doing that five times, man,
you think you're losing more and more beer while you're doing that? Well, it's good. It's actually it is really good. I'm not even. Yeah,
thank you, Albert's. Bruton Austin. Okay, we did. Now that was done.
We had some camera issues. And now we're back. So the next thing we're gonna touch on was what's an accredited investor? What does that mean?
Yeah, so this is a really good question. Because none of the people are asking this and there's so many more accredited investors than the next you realize that they are technically an accredited investor, you actually don't have to do anything. You don't have to you don't have to take a test. You don't have to get a degree in finance, you have to. So there's, there are many things outside of this. But But basically, it comes down to if you earn yourself $200,000 a year, two years in a row across all of your income stream, so 200k per year for two years, you are an accredited investor. And then additionally, the other thing is, you have a million dollars in total net worth. Yeah. Fun fact. Fun fact. Many founders are now learning that that $1 million in net worth
Oh, because your equity of your valuation. Oh my God, never. How did I ever think about that? Yeah. So if you're an accredited investor,
so if you've got if even if you make even if you're like a typical founder and you make 25k a year, because that's what you can afford to pay yourself a home equity loan is worth. Now, this person might not want to write a 5k check. Yeah, right. But yeah, so so this is people I mean, this is this includes people that are that are fresh out of school and have some sort of, you know, maybe they're not super fresh out of school, but maybe they've they went to work at superhuman, for example, and they've got equity. Eventually that equity is worth a million dollars. Boom, there you go.
That's crazy. Yeah. I don't know when you realize that. Yeah, cuz I mean, I, I mean, I pay myself like 40 grand or less. I'm super, super top. I mean, I'm not Robin. I'm like Costco, whatever, what you wanna call it? But shout out Costco sponsor as please. But yeah, I didn't realize I'm an accredited investor. That's hilarious. Good. Well, good. It's yours. Thank you. Teach me a little lesson. There we go start investing on exactly every founder. Take everything you've raised. That's good. So how many employees do you guys currently have right now?
We're a team of 90 Now I think. Okay, how do you goes up and down all the time?
What's the who does the hiring among the co founders? Or do you have someone that does the hiring now?
So it depends on the role. So we've got so all Lee will typically be a part of the decision process for a dev, okay, that we ever had a head of Dev is does a great job with that. It's so brutal to hire these devs man, it's
impossible. Because how much they how expensive it is now? Because of like, like,
yeah, that's, I mean, obviously, that sucks. But it's, it's just so hard to evaluate them. If you're not, if you're not like a brilliant dev yourself. It's it can be hard to evaluate them. Oh, yeah, for sure. Everybody looks like a genius when you're not a dev yourself. Exactly. Yeah. You're like, How'd you do that? So it takes a really good like, we have a really good head def who does a great job with the interview process. And then all these sorts of just like, you know, signs off on those. I hire everybody for the partnerships team. And Matt hires people for on the product side. And we've got a pretty nice, pretty good group here. We've got a group of people, we we basically narrowed it down at this point to the people that are like super obsessed with the mission.
Yeah, I mean, I mean, you might as well do it. Same thing with, we're actually filming this out of pipe dream labs. So which is what they're calling a pipe dream, but I call it pipe dream labs, the studio. So it's whatever. And I mean, pretty much everyone they're hiring is like x founders of companies that love robotics, and are obsessed with what they're trying to do here. And it's like, so cool. Like, I absolutely love it.
I read this impossible, like this quote that I was like, that's impossible. It was hiring is easy. Just hire people that want to change the world. And it's like, oh, yeah, that everything that it's impossible, like how do you know because, you know, anybody can say they want to change the world. It's kind of like a meme, right? It's like a meme of people in the startup ecosystem. They all want to change the world. Exactly. And I'm changing it.
So what's your role with partnerships? Are you looking for not only like the companies to like, host their demo days? But are you like, are you also personally the one looks for investors to come on and tune into
so I don't I don't handle the investor side I used to and now we have team sort of like investor relations guys, or I'm sorry, private markets. They call themselves the deal guys with sunglasses, guys. We all call them the deal, guys. It's a funny, funny word. But yeah, we have a Private Markets team. And they do all the investor relations. We got like, just under 40,000 investors now. So it's like a really painstaking process, like so many of them to keep in touch
with. Oh, I'm a candidate when you have those awesome emails you have. I'll put up a little picture one of the emails they have. It's pretty great. Yeah, I
think that's that's like the like, of all the confidence. That's like the best one. The fact that you want to open it and read it is like such a, it is great.
Thank you so much. It is cool. I don't write them. But I just love that. Especially because like, it's so easy to read them. I feel like I go on. I mean, I don't really read the subtext. I go on boom, company, company company doing their demo days. Got it cool. Sometimes if I'm not busy, like this week, I can't get I'm going out of town. But sometimes I'll put it on my calendar. Like I'll literally put it on my calendar. This is amazing. It's so cool. And then how much can companies currently raise right now? Like, like, is it like 1,000,005 million? Like, what's the Max said, Is there a minimum to also Okay,
so for a company, we actually don't care. We don't care what you're raising, you know, if you're raising 100k or 100 million, okay, whatever. Yeah, you know, that, that actually doesn't matter. In fact, it's like, it's often the companies that are just like, I just, I just need like, 200k Yeah, absolutely. mauled by investors. Yeah. And they get like, they get like $10 million of interest. That's that's typically just the way it works or you supply and demand.
And, but we're, you know, we don't mind so typically, most of our demo days are are coming from a partner. So you know, we'll do like one demo day ourselves strong social, like, we just like an evolution of the original demo day we did back on clubhouse and yeah, we'll do like one of those a month. And typically those are like a little bit further along. They're typically like a really late seed stage, ton of traction or An early series a series a stage startup in those companies are raising, I think, on average, like two and a half million cool, awesome. Not necessarily because that's like their entire round, but it's most often finishing their round. Gotcha. Okay, it's most often the cap, it's so funny in the round, let's just say it's so funny that you mentioned the 200k. Thing is, that's literally where I am, personally is that we, we have these, we have both LA Fitness and crunch fitness that we're about to close as partners, that's amazing. But we're only making like 3500 a month, because we're not enterprise until the end of the month. So those will start to get to like 3040 50k MRR in the next like six months. So I don't want a million dollars, but I can't go out there and be like, I'm raising 200k It's just like, so I'm trying to like, you know, kind of wiggle my way through that like environment. So it's funny, this is the exact number that I'm like looking at raising, but like, I'm probably gonna do it through through current, like, do have precede extension. But this is funny, you mentioned that
that's, that's really cool, too. Like the it's it's companies in a position like yours, that have that it's most easy for, right? There's, there's obviously, when you're raising so little, there's just so much more demand and so much more money out there that wants to get involved. Yeah. You know, when you're when you're raising such a small round like that is a really great I think tip for all founders, when you're raising it like really small round, even if even if it means you're going into it sort of knowing that you're going to need to raise again and in 1012 months. If you just want to get back to building raise a small round and watch how fast it goes. It really does. I mean, you'll you'll have somebody come along who wants to who wants to do more than you than you wanted to raise, you'll find that I highly recommend it. Yeah, I highly recommend raising a small round. Now, obviously, I don't practice what I preach is not something we do with stones. We haven't personally raised a small round. Yeah. But which is kind of it's kind of backwards honestly, like all the all the advice that we have for founders all like don't do what we did. All we did, we had to do it so that we could build this thing. So you could do it the good way.
Yeah, I was gonna ask you, are you ever going to do a stock's like series A on stocks?
Yeah, we definitely will. Oh, I can't wait. So tune in. Yeah. So for Yeah, I mean, maybe hopefully, some of your listeners will have seen this before. But we raised our seed round on stocks. So we didn't want our event. And we got $12 million in investment interest. So 700 or 800 people so amazing. And then we ended up closing, you know, far, far less than that. But we ended up with 350 new investors on our cap table.
That's insane. So when you say so when you say you closed far less? Is it because you wanted to? or is that like the typical percentage of like, commit to close? So in
this case, we actually were following our own advice. And we were just doing the event to cap off the round. We already had Andreessen Horowitz committed, which obviously, this was your original seed, like earlier, gotcha. This was January. Gotcha. Gotcha, gotcha. And then also, you know, disclaimer, this was right before, things sort of declined. Yeah. This is like, we couldn't have gotten luckier at the time. Yeah, absolutely. So we did this event on stocks. And we invited everybody we knew there are a lot of people that were that were completely, like unfamiliar with what we do, which is actually kind of bizarre. We get a ton of people who have no idea what Stallings was, yeah, who we're super excited to get into, because this was, this was in this sort of, like the problem with with fundraising today that we're actually trying to fix. So Andreessen Horowitz had committed to our round. And this was one of those rare double leads where they, they let our preseason and they let our seed round. So very cool to automatically that's like supposedly mean something.
That's a stamp is.
It's nonsense. It's nonsense. Well, you know, yes, we're probably going to succeed, but it's not fair. It's not fair to to deploy your your cash that way. Yeah. Fair. If you're an angel investor who's spending your own money, you absolutely should not be using that as a stamp of approval.
Well, so it's not a bad thing. Cool. Cool.
But if you think about it, but if you think about it, they're they're going to be wrong, way more times than anybody who's an angel can possibly afford. Yeah, if your angel ran 25k checks, and you were to write, like, let's say you were to write a check into every single company that Andreessen does. You would you'd lose your ass because they can just afford to be wrong. 99 times for every one time you can afford it.
Yeah, Nick a trillion dollars in that one time there, right.
What are those Uber Right, exactly, exactly. So for one of those stocks, angel for the angels out there.
Thank you so much, thanks. To Angel the creds.
Yeah, please don't please don't do this. Please do your own due diligence because that's one of the things that we did, like, our round included a note like a no meeting, cause like we didn't, we'd all you know, 750 people try to invest and we said we're not meeting that's me. So no, we're not disclosing numbers. We're not meeting that they wanted to invest anyway.
Yeah. That's cool. I mean, they probably wouldn't invest more because you said we're not meeting
this problem. I'm really glad they did like I actually really like our invested we, we our investor network, because I said we'd like to benefit the investor You're on our cap table now. It's incredibly useful. Yeah, this is like, this is like the best advice you can give founders, like get a ton of angels on your cap table, if
at all possible, because they're just cutting interest. Like, yeah, you could
get a $5 million check from somebody that's not going to be, you know, helpful. They're gonna forget about you. Yeah, you know, or you can get like a bunch of 25k checks and have just a ton of soldiers.
That's what I tell everyone is like, to be honest, like, in the wintertime, I'm probably going to look into stocks too, once we're doing like, way more numbers and our MRR because, I mean, that's how I've always looked at especially at that point, we're actually gonna be b2c. So we'll have like a b2c side, which public and get involved and use the app. And then it's like, it's like, yeah, you can get a VC fund to invest. That's fun. But then you have like five people, you know, doing their thing. Or you have like, I literally have a guy in Miami that put in like, 50k. And he's texting me like, Hey, I got this new gym owner. That's like, we'd love to see the app. And it's like, just, it's just so it's so it's fun. It's like, so it's just like, I feel like startups, I hate others. Like, you do this, you do that. And then you have to do that. It's like that's, that's the opposite of what a startup should be. I should be able to whoever the fuck I want to, I should be able to, like, I want to raise from 50 to 100 people or 300 people. I love so cool.
Yeah, you're you're living it. You know exactly what I'm talking about. And you know, and sometimes, you know, sometimes these investors, they'll they'll let you know, Hey, man, you've seen it out too many emails. Now, you guys surely slow down with the emails? No, it's
not. And so we're based in Austin right now. So we're in Austin right now. So why did you guys choose Austin? Austin's your headquarters, right?
No. So actually, Austin is my headquarters. But we're a totally distributed team. Gotcha. So I actually, we were looking at office space in Palo Alto. That's where my co founder and CEO he lives. Gotcha. And oh, boy, is that expensive?
I was gonna say, there. There goes your seed
round. We were there with everything. Yeah, everything we could ever hoped. It's brutal. It's so brutal. But we, you know, there's, like, I love remote. I don't want to I don't necessarily like really want to work in office. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend it's not special. Yeah, it's like so obvious now how special it is. That's one of the things you have to like really lose. You really have to lose this privilege to appreciate how special it really is working with your team? Oh, yeah, absolutely. The amount of communication that you have. It just can't be matched in a remote atmosphere. And I mean, I know I know how many companies are absolutely swearing by the remote work, like you got Brian Chesky at Airbnb saying that's the only way but,
and their offices are up into their offices that are gorgeous. And in San Francisco. It's tough. And yet
now they're they just, you know, he's going remote first. And I think that remote, obviously, there's gonna be pros and cons of both sides. In our case, our size, the kind of problems we're trying to solve. At the time, we felt we've probably we probably need to get some office space. And if at the very least, the co founders can be in an office with, you know, a few local employees, but then it didn't work out. We looked around and we said Jesus Christ, nothing is worth nothing is worth this. Yeah.
She is interested in Palo Alto. I can imagine that. Yeah. So the wife and I,
we were in the Bay Area. We actually were only there for like six months. We we grew up in Florida.
Gotcha. For Florida. People. Gotcha. Gotcha.
Florida, man, anybody? Everybody on the team knows like, anytime Florida man launches company. Yeah. Anytime. There's like a foreigner man joke. Everybody was like, wow, that's literally I appreciate it. So John do the same thing last week. And Austin's like this really nice middle ground. Very cool. What were you gonna say you brought up Austin was that? Oh, that
was just a general question. Like, why did you choose Austin? I mean, just
kind of love it here. It's so cool. Yeah, this is like, it's, you know, it's it's the perfect middle ground. It has It has everything that you could want, like, whatever you're into, on on the political spectrum on just you know, being a startup entrepreneur, like, you know, it's it's super, it's startup friendly. It's every it's everything friendly? Yeah. Right. Like you could be a fat guy from Florida who likes eating Gator. And people will think you're cool here you know, and everybody wants to be your friend here. I've noticed Yeah, no, you can't recreate that anywhere else in the in the country that I've seen.
Yeah, that's the unfortunate thing too is it has such an incredible not just like general community but also a startup community. But I hate it because it's so humid here and I can't stand that man you might be more used to it in Florida.
I found I don't find a human at all here.
I'm from Washington State and I love there's no humidity. Oh wow. And here it's so damn humid. So like every day I'm driving I'm covered in sweat like I literally walk outside and my forehead has drops on it with a minute so I
find it very dry here actually do I think it's I think it's quite dry that's that's funny that you say
I cannot handle it so I'm like I wish I could take this can be like move Bikini Bottom and move it somewhere else kind of thing like that's why I was what I want to do. So with with stocks, and I mean, we have the accredited investors like myself, of course, but like, what is the average investor like persona? Would you like who's the person that's putting money into stocks?
Yeah. to putting money into stocks or investing via stocks,
via stocks. investing into a company on stocks epic.
Sure. So a third, a third are VCs. Very cool in that crazy a third like,
big VCs like 5.55% shops or what?
So there's something like, God, I can't I don't do this. I just read today there's like 55,000 VCs
Gotcha. Like, as employees are like, like, like companies.
Like, I have to assume it's like principles and like, gotcha, gotcha. And like, quote VCs. But so on stocks, it's it's roughly like a third or something like that. And we've been diving, sort of diving deeper into the metrics, they're like, who are they? What kind of VCs? Yeah, we're actually leaving some out, because we're not counting. We're not counting analysts and people that that wouldn't be that aren't check writers, we're not counting them. So a third are like check writing VCs, there's like partner level and higher, which is really amazing. So that, you know, that's, that is something that really shocked us, like, we didn't think we didn't think they need they need it. And I'm not saying you guys need it.
But you think they were like already, like stuffed with
stuff to the gills with deal flow? You would think that right? So no, I mean, I guess they get it, you know, for any source that can. So two thirds or angels two thirds, or, you know, the typical sort of, they deploy, I think the most like, if you're looking at our average user, they deploy something like, what was it? They deploy, like a 15k, check, on average, two times a month or something like that, actually a lot like that. That's a that's a big Angel. That's somebody who's very active. And a lot of these guys are on also on AngelList as part of like many syndicates, these, these are the people that want deal flow. We've got, like I said, we've got just under like, 40,000. Now, and I don't know how many are on AngelList that actually participate in syndicates on AngelList. But I have to assume it's less than that.
Gotcha. It's a lot less. Yeah. And then what does that process look like? So like, I, I love this company. They're they don't know if they're some web three company, I don't know. And it's like a 20 million valuation. And I want to put in 200k, like, what do I What do I do 200k? A lot is that little, I have accredited I can't do. That's true. So it's not even close to my net worth. Yes.
So on stocks, it's actually, right. So like, right now, like I mentioned, the very beginning of this, we're essentially building like a social media platform, the way that it scales up is, is similar to like a social media platform, we're not, we're not collecting fees, anywhere, we're just making connections. That's what we're doing. We're connecting. So if that was the case, and you there was a startup that you saw in stocks that you wanted to talk to you, you'd click a button, you click one button. So you've already you've already told us that you're accredited, which is called a 506. B, self identification. So you've already just started like, you haven't proved it yet. You've just said you're accredited. And then now you have a button that says, intro, for example, in some events have two buttons to say one says intro one says invest. That's, that's a rare event type where we're actually doing live investment. The rest of it is actually just live sort of like expression of interest. So you're gonna click that button, it says, intro, you're gonna say my typical check size is, or I'm interested in investing blank, and there's like a drop down where you can select like, 100k, you know, 10k, all the way up to a million cool, basically. And I think it says a million plus whatever. So you do that you put in a quick little couple sentences about your value add, because you gotta keep in mind that the these startups are typically going to get many more intro requests than they're going to take. So if it's a good startup, they're gonna get like 40 intro requests. And they don't have 40 hours to be spending in meetings. So if you write a really good value, add, like, Hey, I'm a VP of sales at Uber, and I would love to help you scale your sales strategy. Gotcha. They're always going to take that meeting something that's like, really, really helpful. If you go, Hey, I write big checks. They're never going to get to you. They're not going to get and here's the thing. Some companies will some companies will meet with you. But those companies you're not going to invest in.
Yeah, okay. Gotcha. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. Very cool. Looking from that persona. And are you guys mainly targeting investors? Are you targeting companies because the kind of that chicken been the Uber again, where it's like, okay, we can't have too many companies and no investors. We have too many investors, no company. So like, Yeah, let's do that. We're
really fortunate. We're so we're so fortunate. We've actually avoided the chicken or the egg thing. So you know, when you talk about a marketplace, the cold start problem. Yeah. Andrew Chen CALSTART problem buying on Amazon today. If you know that problem is the chicken or the egg problem. It's like you've got a hard side of your marketplace. And you've got, you know, less hard side. So if you think of like Etsy, they've got people who sell things and they've got people who come and buy things. Were a little bit different. This is a She's sort of like a little bit more recent realization that we've had. Were actually more we we more closely resemble Spotify. I'm sorry, I said the wrong thing. Shopify. We don't resemble Spotify at all. I love Spotify. We actually resemble Shopify. So Shopify is a meta network, a meta, a sort of meta marketplace. They don't have buyers and sellers. They have marketplaces that come on to the platform. And that marketplace contains buyers and sellers. Gotcha. So stocks is actually really similar. So Stone says partners that would be like the marketplace. And we so therefore we are the men of marketplace. We are a marketplace of many marketplace. So TechStars
done all the work. And they are global founders Institute.
So in their case, they're bringing all the startups and all the investors, they have already solved that problem for us. Gotcha. So the chicken or the egg was their problem, not ours. How fortunate is that? That's really cool. We're so lucky. That's really cool. That's
good way to look at it. For sure. Yeah. I mean, yeah, you like, I mean, maybe in the beginning, but especially now, like you're really just like you want to pitch and you wanna bring all your people and you already have like, 1000s of investors that are going to join on the calls. And yeah, very cool. Okay. And
better yet, I'll make it even more juicy for you. Yeah, because I'm drinking such a juicy IPA.
Sponsor at this point.
What are the battle Alberto's verse with? The D Albert's name my entire life? Remind but they're Albert's? Yeah. So
I fill the fridge with this sponsor me personally, too. We don't ever get it. Yeah. So this is going to be really juicy. So we actually will take it a step further. When we bring on a partner, we typically are asking that partner to do all of the marketing for their event and bring their own network and have in and it works. Yeah, it really does. So like, you know, you can expect a partner to typically bring like 400 people, I think, on average, very cool and 400 investors to the network. So the stocks network is growing, it's becoming a super network. So if you think if you think about how Shopify has billions of customers information, they didn't bring a single one of those customers to Shopify, it's true. All those little stores did.
Yeah, that's very true. Very cool. I love that. Yeah.
No, me too.
So what is the typical day look like for you? Like as a middle? Maybe not today? Because we're actually no, we started this at 6pm. So like, Yeah, I'm gonna
plead the fifth on this one, because I don't do anything all day. So typical day for me is actually just I started. I, I've had this really awful, awful habit. And maybe you've seen this before? Or maybe you've gone through this phase, right? Where I do email all day. So I have I have an inbox I use super. Are you superhuman? Are you I'm just
a Google guy at this point. I know, I know. There's worse, there's work so that you can
be on AOL, I suppose. I got
outlook invite some time. Like guys, come on, what are we doing here?
Teams. Okay. So I've been the type of guy who answers emails all day long. And if you if you were like, see, see it on a bunch of threads with me, you would see that I'm healing. I'm emailing people that nine, I'm emailing people at 11 and one and three and six. And and that's, that's terribly unproductive. Like, you're what you're doing is you're letting other people use up your time and sort of like dictate how your day runs and effect. I've actually stopped doing this finally. And now I'm now breaking up, we're sort of like focusing on my team, the partnerships team is really focused on productivity right now. Okay. crucial. I look at so many, we get so many partners, we were helping set up so many events, that we just have to all focus on it. It's basically like we have a ton of like required reading now. We're forcing the team to become productive. So I'm now timeboxing, my email. So I start by knocking out an hour of email in the morning. And typically what will happen from that hour is one, I'll get through a good chunk of my email usually get through a quarter of my email. And maybe maybe some people who are sitting in my inbox right now will hear this and understand why haven't gotten back to you yet. So I'll get through about a quarter of my email. But what will happen is a is a to do list will will be created out of that. Gotcha. So I don't day plan where I have a to do list before I start today, that first hour of email is is creating a to do list for me. Gotcha. And usually it creates kind of a long to do list. There's a lot of things that I've got to do based on that. And then I'll use that to do list to get me through pretty much the entire day. And then I have another hour planned of email somewhere in the middle of the day. Usually three o'clock right after lunch. I eat lunch at two. Okay. And then and then one more at the very end of the day. Gotcha. So there's three hours which you might get an email from me and that's it. I'm not really I'm not looking at my inbox. I haven't closed I'm not You know, I like that man start doing that has helped so much. I like so much. Revisit all Yeah, what are we thinking here? Yeah, the business model business model is a really fun discussion. That would be great. If it'd be great. It'd be great if it wasn't such a. How can I say this without I don't want to I don't want to offend anybody. But but the business model is very important, right? You must have one, right? We have one or two really fortunate position, we have a ton of runway. So not everybody is in this position. We're very fortunate. We know how lucky we are. But what it allows us to do is just really work hard on building out what we do well, and expanding the network. We're growing this massive network, like 40,000 investors now are just under that. And we don't want to start scaring them away just yet. Right? We don't want to sort of like if you think of this as a social media platform, imagine what would happen in the early days of any existing social media platform, ever. If they had tried to monetize early, what would have happened? Right? So we're in this, we're in this place, where one in some ways, the sort of world is our oyster, I guess you could say, we've got so many available business models. Yeah, like we've we've tested a few things just just as like, one day one offs. Like, for example, we tested a thing where, for every for every startup that's raising on a particular demo day, we set up an SPV, which is a special purpose vehicle meant to basically an LLC with a bank account where we collect all of the money from a particular fundraise, we collect all the small checks, and we give the founder a single check, right. So when you do that, it's sort of just expected, it's the norm that you have some setup fees, some admin fees, because you've got to all those investors that you've brought on, are essentially on the cap table of the LLC, and not on the company that they're investing in. So you've got to manage that cap table, you've got to send out k one sort of tax filing documents for like, 10 years. So there's, there's like an expected setup fee. So we actually tested that for one day back in December. We're like, here's one day we're gonna test this out and see if it's see if it's a relevant business model. I mean, like 195 grand in one day,
I was gonna I was gonna say I'm like, there's there's a lot of ways that you guys are doing so much stuff that it's like, people wouldn't question if you take some money out of
investors. I mean, especially on the SPV side, on the on the actual investment side, all investors are paying fees all the time. Yeah, you're paying, they're paying admin fees they're paying carry that's another way that we can we can potentially earn some money but but right now, I will say we've tested a few things out we like the way they look in case we need them for the future. But right now the main focus is just growing the network there's there's plenty of room for business model
down the road, just that you're just not worried about it like you're
used to. It's honestly I can't tell you how. How grimy that feels like I
don't want Yeah, I mean Well, I feel there's a lot of companies I mean, Instagram did the same thing is it's a yes. Like right. So I mean it's
in we're not seeking we're not seeking an acquisition from meta if that's what you're wondering. That's not on the not on the roadmap,
how much how much would Mehta have to offer you for you to be like let's look into it like when 10 billion over like four 4 billion you'd say no, of course.
Yeah, we would say no. We would absolutely say no for 4,000,000,006 six we wouldn't do it there's no way we do and and Matt probably would Matt would do it. I know Matt with Matt You
fuck pull the picture Matt during the fog No,
no, no, no. No pictures.
he's like a like a supermodel like he doesn't actually monitor he could be a supermodel if he wanted want to.
Cut this part. Yeah. What what um, what is that? What is the 10 billion reason for like, why would you
DECA corn? I don't know. I just like the idea of being like officially a DECA corn.
Gotcha. Okay, gotcha. Gotcha. And you're not in a hurry. I'm
like unicorns, old news. Nobody cares anymore. Yeah, there's so like, back in 2018. There was there was 100 unicorns a year. That's a lot. Yeah. Doesn't matter. Yeah. No, but yeah, yeah. Exact. Exact. No, I don't. I don't know. I mean, honestly, honestly, that would be that'd be amazing, too. But, but no, honestly, we're, we're in this. We're doing something we really care about. We love pretty much every day of it. What are we gonna sell for Then? Then? What do we do?
Yeah, we've got to do something.
Yeah, exactly. Alright, two final questions here. One is kind of a bigger one. So you guys have an allocation and Twitter Correct. Or that? Okay. Yeah, we do. So can you explain to most people because I've had Adam, your employee, my friend Adam valenta. Explain it to many times, explain what that means how you did it, and what that process looks like.
Yeah. So actually the way that we did it's kind of funny. We I don't know if you saw but we
had to go out of town. But I Oh, yeah, he invited you that. Yeah, to go to Dallas? Yeah. So
we were, we had the company sort of do a split, one, one group at the, the Fremont factory and one group at the Austin factory, the giga factory here. And the idea was, we would we would do like a kind of like a protest, but like more of just like a fun picket where we're all just hanging out drinking beers. And we had signs that say, we love Elon, we want to get Tesla allocation or shitting on Tesla. Twitter allocation. Yeah. And, and we did that. And I don't know what we I don't know what we thought would happen. It was just a fun way to spend the day. Yeah. And what happened was some other big firms that had allocation reached out to us that hey, if you want, we'll break you off a piece of ours. And I think that we could have done I can't remember the total, we have million or something like that. I can't Yeah, I think I think we had two options. One was like five and one was 20. Yeah. And, and now these are, these are funds that want to make money on this. So in this case, we would be quote the investor, and they would be the one earning carrier earning fee. So you know, it, which, of course, limits the amount of investors that are interested if there's like big fees involved. But enough people were interested that we filled up our allocation and was really amazing. So cool. And then we sort of went to a holding pattern, because it became like, uncertain.
Yeah. Now now.
Yeah. Who knows? It
doesn't look good. It's still cool, though.
You know, it's so cool. It's like, yeah, and basically what you're doing when this happens is you're just like gathering interest. Yeah, you're getting people to like, sign a letter of intent. Essentially, there's like, Yeah, I'll give you a million dollars if this works out. So cool. Yeah. So we're in a, you know, we're not like, we don't have like a bunch of money that we we've gotten a bank account somewhere that we have to then go and refund everybody if it doesn't work out.
Yeah. Very cool. Yeah. Well, my last question here is what's next?
You? Yeah. Wow. That's the hardest one. So we've got a lot that we want to do it songs. You've been very complimentary on this. And you said a lot of nice things about stocks. And it seems to be it seems to be the standard. We don't have a lot of we don't have a lot of haters. Which is, which is a really awkward position to be in. And as a founder you, you need you need like some people to believe in you. Of course, of course you do. But there's a point, when you get a little bit too much, you get too much praise, you get too much like good PR, goodwill, goodwill, on Twitter, whatever, because we're funny, like, Look at my shirt, like, we don't take anything seriously. Right. Like, and people like that people seem to think that, that it's just sort of like destined to succeed. And this is actually it's sort of like had a negative effect in some ways. Just just like, on a, like a low level for for some of us, you know, for the co founders. And, you know, I think what we need to do is one, like, if you were to ask, if you were to ask us, if we have product market fit, like if you asked the founding team, do we have product market fit? We would say no, we would say no. So like one thing we're, you know, I mentioned before, we're not charging, right? We don't have a business model. So you know, when when can you actually determine product market fit? Yeah, yeah. People tell us all day we have it. We get on meetings with investors, they tell us they have it. They're so excited. We have product market fit.
Yeah. There's not a lot of barriers right now.
Yeah, insert in. That's how we're thinking about it. So we do our best to ignore, ignore the hype, so to speak. And we are we really, really want to change the world. I know that it's such a like, it's such a meme. It's such a founder meme. It's like they made fun of it on Silicon Valley. And almost every episode like we actually really do we want to change the world. And so like one of the things that we think about is, for example, if you know if we can help next year, if we can help 1000 startups rate actually, like raise the money that they need to raise to, you know, to build something cool. In quick context, so we just did our 100th event on the platform. There's an average of about seven startups per event. So that's about 700. Startups.
So awesome. Yeah, definitely will. When did that start? Like November or something
like that? September 21.
Gotcha. Okay, so you might not hit 1000. This year. What do you think?
1000 for this year? Well, we will we definitely oh, gosh, yeah, we absolutely will. Yeah, but but so I'm just sort of thinking like put put a full year together. If it's 1000 startups and we help them raise the money that they need to raise, you know, we're potentially creating 100,000 jobs. Potentially, we could we could Rate 100,000 jobs, and which is 100,000 salaries that might actually make a tiny, tiny dent, like a tiny, tiny dent in the GDP of the world economy, like not noticeable by anybody and take the the most brilliant economist in the world to measure the effect who's creating that? Right? But But uh, you know, we're a little bit older. I think that as a team, we're sort of, or at least all you and I, we're, we're super old, and Silicon Valley. And we, at this point, we just want to make a really massive impact. So whenever we get this question, which is something a question I get, kind of often from, from friends and family and from investors and from partners, everybody, what's next? What are you guys going to do next? The big focus is for the company. This is their five year goal. It's spearhead the mass adoption of startup investment, by making it approachable as fuck. That's the That's the mission. Right? So, so that's what's next. It's anything else you can imagine in that space that would make startup investing, actually approachable. That's what we're working on. Gotcha. So people can't invest in startups because it's not liquid. We're going to work on that. People don't understand how to get involved. They don't know how to judge startups. They don't know how to determine the startup value before writing a check. We're gonna get involved there. Anything you can imagine we're gonna do it.
I love it. I'm so excited. This was such a cool episode, man. I'm glad it's gonna be episode two. What is the first episode we are? We're recording? Very, very, no, that one died. So
I'm gonna very busy when very easy to be your most interesting yet.
Love it. Thank you so much for coming on. And pleasure. There we go. That's a wrap and stop talking. Sounds like sweet. Oh, yeah, we'll do that really quick. Yeah, I was gonna have an outro anyways. But tell everyone how they can reach you what they can do to get involved with your company.
Please don't reach me.
I don't create how you reach talks. To reach me personally. I'm
so stocks stocks.com or on Twitter. We are stocks.com the word.com which actually kind of funny. We own the word stocks. And we don't have the ad stocks twitter handle yet. somebody owns it and hasn't used it in five years,
one of the same as we strive It's so
annoying. Yes. We'll get it. We'll get it. Maybe by the time you hear this, we'll be at stomps on Twitter, but right now we're stocks.com. But if you're interested in investing at all you need to you need at least check it out. You need to watch an event. If you're a startup founder, just like we said earlier, you're going to learn you can learn so much from watching startups pitch these VCs. So come on, come on. Come on stocks.
Boom. Love it. Yeah, it's a wrap. I want to thank you for not only tuning in to this why we strive episode, but for watching all the way until the very end. I put a lot of time and effort into each and every episode to bring you influential and exciting people that tell amazing stories and hopefully you either laugh a little bit or you learn something from each episode. Be sure you head to why we stripe.com to learn more info about the show, check out future episodes, learn about our sponsors. And of course, subscribe. That's all I have for you. See you next week. And don't forget no matter what you're going through in life, keep striving
Transcribed by https://otter.ai