Kevin Henrikson interview on the Shoemoney Show with Jeremy Schoemaker.
Interviewer: [00:11] Hey everyone, I’m just switching over to my camera’s here. I don’t know why I picked that one up first. Welcome to another Shoemoney show. I am— let me sort out some things here. Oh, nothing never runs smooth. I swear to God. Let’s see here.
[00:59] Okay. So my guest today is Kevin Henrikson, and Kevin is one of my favorite people on the planet. And I routinely talk about, there’s a handful of guys in this industry that I super, super trust and I mean like literally a handful, and I get a lot of them on the show cause they’re good guys and they make great things. Kevin has a crazy successful story in that he was one of the founders of an email application that was free on the Apple store and Android store and I’ll let him tell the story. Kevin, welcome to the Shoemoney skills that pay the bills show.
Kevin: How are you going Jeremy?
Interviewer: It’s going fantastic dude. I think— just thank you so much for doing this. I know you did my radio show, which seems like a couple months ago. And since then we got like sponsors and stuff that wanted video. So you know, webmaster radio was like, “well we can do video.” And I was like, “Oh, okay, I’m not going to give you giant cut.” So anyway.
Kevin: [02:13] Well I think the, I mean the setup, I was going to say going to say the software is incredible, right? Going through process to pick it up and then it opens up three clicks later, it’s probably one of the simplest [inaudible] use this for work, man. I mean you go look at the way you do presentations today or you set something up. This was super easy. And you know, video quality is incredible.
Interviewer: [02:31] Yeah. And so this is WebinarJam, and I’ve been using this for since we started doing this and it’s you know, Andy Jenkins did it as a a typical am launch do millions of dollars in a week. And then you know, but the thing was, it’s such good SAS software that like, over the last two years they’re up to like 30,000 paying customers.
Kevin: [02:59] That’s incredible. I mean, you can see why. I think it just works. I mean I love the fact that it’s based on Google so it’s going to work wherever and it’s like the video tech is going to continue to get better without having to invest in that. So I think it’s a smart approach to it.
Interviewer: Yeah. They’re going to roll out very shortly a version called a WebinarJam HD, which is going to allow you to use Amazon streaming services and will simulcast into every platform that will do live. So like Facebook alive.
Kevin: [03:30] Oh wow. So you can basically fork the same conversation into all the other like platforms and basically spin them off into whatever makes sense. Can you do like vines and stuff? Like, take like little clips and you [inaudible] that like a live editor grabbing like cool little loops and like busting out vines. That’d be a pretty sweet.
Interviewer: [03:45] It’s actually like, I’ve seen some of the stuff of it, but the only issue with Google Hangouts that people have made remarks about is that there’s a delay. So like, if someone asks a question or Anna puts something in there, it’s going to be about 20 seconds, 30 seconds before they’re going to hear the answer to that. Whereas with like Amazon streaming services, it’s about a one second delay.
Kevin: [04:10] Okay. Okay. Got it. So you can make it more real time cause yeah, I guess that would, if you’re really trying to have a really high bandwidth conversation two or three questions a minute makes it a little tough to kind of go back.
Interviewer: [04:20] Yeah. And it’s interesting because people like, I was in Arizona in one of their technical calls the other day and they were talking to someone about like go to meeting, go to webinar. And they were talking about the technical hurdles versus them is like, obviously they built out a lot more interactive stuff, but in addition to that it’s got like, they were talking about webinar go to meeting does two to three frames per second where this, you can’t do real video over that, whereas this is obviously like 27 frames per second or whatever standard it is. But yeah, it’s pretty cool. You know, like we can put up polls, we can put up like, we can put an offer on the side if we want to sell something. Marketers usually shout a bit. But yeah. So anyway, I really, really appreciate you coming on. And so do you mind just giving a— like a lot of times I don’t have people like go too much in background, and my listeners know this is a lot different than like the show webmaster radio and stuff, because it’s not about like how to learn how to make money online. It’s like if you want to listen to people who have done it and been successful and hear their bullshit about stuff. That’s the fun.
Kevin: [05:37] Yeah, no, that’s cool. Yeah. So you know, I got to school in like the early two thousands when just the internet was blowing up and I think I was a mechanical engineer by trade, but decided to do this software thing and stumbled onto software and had been working at startups primarily in the email space for like the last 15 years. And most recently co-founded a company called Acompli, which was a mobile email app for iPhone and Android. And Microsoft acquired that about a year and a half ago. And today it’s now outlook for iOS and Android. And so today I run the the mobile and the Mac team for outlook. And it’s been a crazy ride and I think so bouncing between little startups. Before that I did work at a company called Zimbra, which similarly was an email SAS startup that got acquired by Yahoo. And then subsequently VMware, it actually got sold twice, and learned a ton about email and startups, and it was great. And then my wife and I started a company about eight years ago called Alpha brand media that was initially a side project and then became her full-time gig. And the focus there was really internet marketing and a variety of sites.
[06:44] And so kind of took a bunch of internet marketing skills that I’ve learned through that process of running small content sites and affiliate and advertising and how that applies to kind of launching a kind of larger VC back to businesses, right? So a lot of the things we did, I know you were helpful with our beta program with Acompli and you know, promoting it out to your fans and saying, how do you grow something and use some of the techniques that we had learned you know, as part of our growth process on the internet to how do you apply that to growing like a traditional product or even in this case, a mobile app, right? And what are the notions of virality and how do you get people to come back? And why do people love your product?
[07:22] And so one of the things I’ve focused on a lot recently is around how do you get better, right? So we have over 40 million users use outlook today on their phone, on iOS and Android and we’re adding over a million users a week. But as that happens, with that size of an audience, how do you learn? how do you get better? And so building systems where we can basically collect that user feedback but use that as part of our product development process. So every week releasing new features, but using that kind of, almost thinking of every week as an AB test of making small changes, listening for feedback, and then making changes again and kind of constantly following that process to continue to release better and better product week over week.
Interviewer: [07:55] Yeah, I mean, like it’s crazy. And so for those, I mean, the number obviously that gets everyone’s attention is you guys sold for $200 million.
Kevin: Yeah. That’s what the press said.
Interviewer: You’re not allowed to confirm or deny?
Kevin: I do not confirm or deny.
Interviewer: Yeah, my man.
Kevin: The press was very accurate.
Interviewer: [08:16] Okay. There you go. There you go. So yeah, I think it’s an amazing story. I mean, first you were involved with Zimbra, right? Was that like your first like entry level into the mobile space?
[09:13] And so Zimbra did that. And then we also had kind of our first lead into mobile, but again, mobile was still pretty early there, right? The iPhone launched when we were running Zimbra, right? So there was no iPhone when we started Zimbra. And so as part of that, the iPhone launched and we were one of the early you know, companies to support the iPhone for email and learning how that worked and learning those skills. And a lot of that kind of experience accrued to the point that when we decided to leave VM-ware and start Acompli, that we knew that mobile was kind of the next thing, and we figured starting from scratch and writing a client that was designed for heavy email users and even casual ones, but really people that really wanted to get the most out of email on their phone was a great thing. And Microsoft agreed with us and then and it was aligned with the vision that they had for outlook going forward. And so it worked out really well.
Interviewer: [10:01] Yeah, it’s perfect. I mean, how much did they change because it was integrated with Dropbox and all that? And I mean—
Kevin: [10:06] Yeah, so all that’s still there. So like, we’ve really added to the feature set. In fact, we really expanded it shortly after we were acquired, Microsoft acquired another company called sunrise, which was just incredibly designed, like really polished calendar application, the top [inaudible] application on iPhone and Android. And we were able to take that team and merge it into our outlook team. And so now we have this combined incredible design talent with these great calendar features. If you think about it, you know, the goal for outlook is how do we get to hold the use, right? Like when you wake up in the morning, you grab your phone and check email. You know when you go to the office, you may use a browser, you may use outlook on your desktop, and then in the evening or on your computer, commuting the train, or you’re riding transit or whatever it is, or you’re at the dinner table checking emails, you’re back to your phone, right?
[10:47] So the idea is like this idea that no matter where you are, the interface, your email is the same. And the features that we initially started on mobile and some of the ones that are on desktop are now cross-pollinating. And so things that you know, made sense only on mobile. We just launched focus inbox. We took this crazy cool feature called interesting calendars from the sunrise team. So now you can go into outlook and add like all the Olympic teams, right? So like you can say, “Hey I wanna follow badminton”, or “I want to follow this particular swimming race”, or “I want to watch the opening ceremony” and it’ll instantly overlay those events on your calendar. And so you can schedule, it’ll basically block your calendar so you can go watch Olympic games. And we added it for all the popular sports as well. So NFL, baseball, basketball, etc. So you can add your teams. And so those can block on your calendar and they’re there for you to look at that, which is pretty sweet.
Interviewer: [11:31] I mean, it’s awesome. I’m a big fan. I mean, Kevin, me and you have been on some adventures. And it’s been, I mean, it’s really, really been a lot of fun to get to know you a lot. And I mean, you’re such a fascinating guy from day one that I met you. I mean it’s just so interesting to see like from the first time you ever went to the elite retreat, and you went to the first—
Kevin: [12:03] Yeah. In San Antonio, that was in 2007, something like that. Almost 10 years ago. It’s coming up on the 10-year anniversary, I think, or something like that, which is incredible, right? I mean yeah, it was great. It was one of your first conferences, I think it was the first conference you ran for this kind of an event, really small intimate conference. And I met a bunch of great people that I’m still in contact with, which is cool, including yourself. I think we’ve done a bunch of events since there together. And I think it’s been incredible to learn not just the way you grew your business and the way you’ve built your companies and sold your companies, and then how do we kind of compare notes and sort of “Hey, what you’re doing?” which I know we constantly ping each other for advice and I’d love to reach out to you and say, “Hey, Jeremy, what would you do in this situation?” or “you’ve been on all these crazy trademark things and you know, cool experiences with interesting legal and cases” that I think you’re super transparent around. That was one thing that I think I valued a lot as part of the elite retreat in early days and just meeting you, is that you are incredibly transparent with how you build things and how things worked, and how they and how you achieve success and where you failed, right? And I think you end up learning a lot from both of those. And I think that’s been incredibly insightful for me and something that I’ve continued to cherish and leverage as I move forward and say, “Hey, what would you do in this situation?” I think both of us kind of having those shared experiences sometimes in different technologies sectors, but in the end, both trying to just build successful businesses and finding ways to add value to the users.
Interviewer: [13:32] Yeah, I think it’s amazing. Cause I remember when I first met you, it was in San Antonio like you said, and you were like, “Hey, Shoemoney, I want to talk to you about something”. So you showed me this Google campaign you were doing, which was absolutely brilliant and that you were running very well. And it was just you were buying paid traffic and doing this affiliate offer. And I do remember what it was. But I don’t know if we want to say what it was. It wasn’t anything like crazy sketchy, right?
Kevin: [14:01] No, no. We can talk about it. It was running ad-words. I mean, it’s been long enough now that the algorithms are disabled now. But the motto was Google had this affiliate offer. It was before it was really even called [inaudible] like a product offer or something, it was Google pack. And so you could download this Google pack and included like, I think it was before Chrome. So it was just a toolbar extension for IE, it was Google search. It was a number of things that you could basically add on to what you’re doing and an enhance your PC. Google earth was another one. And what we found was that a lot of the people that would want to download Google pack would want to use Google earth. Google earth was had just been acquired.
[14:41] The company had just been acquired by Google. And so what we were doing was just simply advertising in very simple terms and found out that the word earth, which you could buy for a nickel, converted incredibly well on ad-words to folks to download the Google pack, and they would pay you, I think in the US I think at the time they were paying you $2 for install. And we were buying the word earth for a nickel. And so $2 to a nickel with a very high click through rate made a quite a good little business for a while there. And it was really fun. And yeah, now fortunately they shut that program down and they don’t have— They ended up buying DoubleClick, right? and moved it to Performix, and a bunch of changes happened on that side and now you know, that that whole program doesn’t exist anymore.
Kevin: [15:20] But it was incredible times. I think a lot of these kind of call them internet fads or whatever they were, if you’re there at the right time and find the right connection, it’s really incredible. And I think I’ve always thought about how do you leverage that experience, right? Where when you find something that’s working, you just push on it, right? And in our case we really scaled up the campaigns and pushed on how we were working hard and it did really well for us for many, many months there.
Interviewer: [15:44] Yeah. Sorry about that. My nanny and my kid are going somewhere, and they wanted money and I was like, “I don’t even have my wallet”, but that’s the fun of doing a show live.
Kevin: [15:56] I was like, I was going to say I should have just done this conference walking around the office or went down on markets. I’m in San Francisco, so I can go down to market street and just interview some man on the street kind of stuff and get some opinions of the folks running around on market this afternoon. But I figured I might lose my Wi-Fi we’d really be testing this thing over some bridge LTV, which wouldn’t be as interesting.
Interviewer: [16:15] Yeah, that would be interesting, how it would perform over LTV. I mean, I think, I think Facebook— Facebook fascinates me and also makes so much sense at the same time. I mean, a lot of people didn’t get the Instagram acquisition and stuff, and I was like, “man, it’s just about real estate. Their userbase.” And when they did the live thing, it was like, Yeah, okay. What was that Periscope? Okay, bye Periscope.
Kevin: [16:44] You basically— they have this— like they just announced, right? They have over a billion users on the platform and I think almost a billion or just over a billion mobile only users, which is incredible, you know? Yeah. Something like that. It’s an incredible number, they have a billion mobile users, this is an incredible number of users. And to me this is just this platform that they can build on. So things that they do launch are incredibly interesting, right? And how they keep you interested, right? And if you look at the way that Facebook has kind of evolved, you know, from purely a time-wasting thing to like catching up with your friends, to like time wasting with games, to back to like drifting off into like keeping connections.
[17:23] But I mean, the core value is that richness of that social network, right? And the number of people and the diversity of the people that you would have lost touch with, right? Like my high school reunion, or college kind of get togethers would never have been the same if we never built those networks. In fact the Facebook wasn’t around when I was in high school, right? So we built that after the fact, but the fact that that got built and that now when we can have reunions, you can just go and announce it and list it, and connect to people. And it’s really the power, right? of kind of software, and just kind of SAS in general. And that’s like the social version of [inaudible] And you talk about how do you go build something that’s reachable. [inaudible]
[17:59] And you look at what we built on the phone, right? I mean, we put this thing out there and it’s in a hundred countries, right? 90 countries. I mean, it’s incredible, right? Like the reach it has, and millions and millions of users are able to see it. And I was just in China earlier this month— last month, I guess, in early July. And we’re building a team out there, which is incredible. But some of the things that we’re seeing that they have, right? you you’ve probably heard of We chat, right? And like this kind of chat mechanism, people use it in the US for messaging. It’s like a WhatsApp or Facebook messenger here in the US, but when you go to China, it’s used everywhere. And the thing that was incredible about it was that the trust factor that they’ve built. Like Facebook has this notion of like, “well I’m not sure what my privacy settings are if I post this, I’m not sure who’s going to see it or not.” But in WeChat it’s incredibly favorable to the user. So like when you even connect with somebody, you say, “I’m just connecting with you or I’m connecting with you and I’ll share.” Like, it’s a very binary thing upfront where you can make that decision.
[18:56] And so one of the popular use cases, you walk into a store and you think of like, “Hey, let me sign up for your Safeway card or your Starbucks card or whatever.” No, in this case you just go in and you connect the store with WeChat. So each little small business has WeChat and they encourage it, right? Like if you do this, I’ll give you 20% off and if you pay with WeChat I’ll give you another 10% off, right? Because they’ve built that connection as a marketing. They have like little hyper segment and marketing. They know what you bought and they can track you. But people do it because they’re trustworthy, that they know they’re just connecting with that store. And they know that they actually don’t get your information, like they don’t get your phone number or your email, they only get your WeChat like ID, which is a single token that’s just for you, for that connection to the store. So like, that token is not useful if they sell their business and buy a new one. They can’t take those tokens. Like it’s just good for that instance. Which is very different from the way that we would like sign up for a Safeway card or Starbucks card. Because I have to get my phone number and my email and like, if they go get packed or lost or bought, like that data’s gone, right?
[19:51] And so yeah, so I think we chat has been something that’s just total random tangent. But it was something that was incredible on my visit that I saw that, and then I saw the popularity of DiDi, right? That now they just announced last week, or this week I guess, that now Uber China’s going to get sold to DiDi and they’re merging, right? And so I use both DiDi and Uber and you know, DiDi was just more popular, right? And it was like very clear, right? And the drivers were saying how people were aggressively paying the benefits and the kind of kickbacks and promotions to get the drivers to drive more or use one of the other platforms. And so that was also pretty— Seeing and then to get that, to have that news announced a couple of weeks after I came back that Uber was actually going to pull out of China essentially by merging with DiDi, but I guess it looks well for the rest of the company.
Interviewer: [20:38] So Didi is like, that’s just a overseas thing?
Kevin: [20:43] It’s a local Chinese company that basically launched Uber, right? Think of it as Uber for China. And they’re really— They actually were really smart about it. So they launched in China, and they went and invested in all of the competitors of Uber around the world. So they invested in Lyft, they invested in Ola, invested in all of the national kind of second place competitors and all the various GOs. And then they went and competed head to head and raise billions of dollars just like Uber did. Not as much. I think they were valued at like 37 billion. Uber’s at 65. But they basically made a run for it in China.
Kevin: Yeah. Billions. 35 billion. And then they basically— Yeah, it’s incredible. And then they basically you know, they were able to push Uber to a point that Uber decided not to compete and said, “Hey, just agree to be friends and invest in each other’s company” and now the merge is happening.
Interviewer: [21:28] Agree to be friends. That’s awesome.
Kevin: Yeah, I mean, what are you going to do?
Interviewer: Why isn’t Lyft friends? Why isn’t Lyft in the inner circle there?
Kevin: [21:38] That’s a great question. I think in that case I think Uber’s just got a much more dominant lead. I mean, to be honest Uber’s winning everywhere except in China. DiDi was the only country—
Interviewer: In the Midwest in the Midwest Lyft has a foothold.
Kevin: [21:52] Yeah. It’s got to foothold. I mean, even San Francisco it’s got a foothold. But I was actually— I commute to work a lot of times in Uber cause thos Uberpool has become so inexpensive. It’s cheaper than parking in San Francisco these days because they’ve driven down the cost because you share ride and you split your ride with a bunch of other folks. I’m on the Uberpool. So I mean, like it used to cost, let’s say five years ago, to take a cab before Uber, a cab from my house to the city was about a hundred dollars. So 30 miles is about a hundred bucks. Then Uber black launched and it got it down to about 65, 70. And the new Uber X launched and they got it down to 40 bucks, and now it’s less than $10 to take Uberpool. Now, it takes a little longer, right? Because you may stop and pick people up. But if you think of that scale of like efficiency driving down from like a hundred dollars cab ride down to something less than $10, 95% – 93% discount over just a five, seven year period, right? This hasn’t even a decade. And you know, that’s incredible.
[22:50] So I think Lyft has been a big part of that, right? I mean, Lyft is out there competing, and you know, Uber was only over black and the whole Uber X thing kind of came, at least what it appeared to be, you know, Lyft was much quicker with the kind of community drip drivers and that model. And I think Lyft’s still very popular in the city. But I think in terms of like total ridership, I think Uber is just completely dominating. I know when I was in Omaha for the Warren buffet conference, last time I was out there for the shareholder meeting. Like, Uber was just kind of launching like a year ago, right? Or maybe it was two years ago, and now I’m sure it’s probably getting more and more popular as more folks are using it.
Interviewer: [23:24] Yeah. Lyft has always been— Like Lyft kind of came to the area, they made a big announcement in the newspaper and they, It was like “we’ll put a hundred bucks in your account when you’re approved” they did this giant, I thought it was brilliant, boots on the ground. And I think they probably targeted a lot of cities with population between like a hundred thousand to half a million maybe. And so like they did it in Lincoln and we have no Uber. Like if you trying to use Uber, there’s nobody. They just did like this huge— And if I remember right, it was like an exclusivity thing as well. So they just got like so many people, and then so many people here quickly discovered like, “Oh, there’s no Uber, there’s Lyft.” And so just around here, you just get barely anyone ever mentions Uber. It’s always like Lyft. So I think that that is where a lot of like companies, like I think that that’s where Groupon started to go around.
Kevin: [24:31] Groupon was the hyper-local, Oh yeah, for sure. And I think the interesting thing there is you wonder if there’s a potential, at some point Lyfts starts to come up and build a niche market for these smaller markets. But they do it in a way that’s incredibly scalable, that makes it a somewhat defensible, right? Cause it doesn’t have the foothold for Uber to come make that run at it yet. But we’ll see. Where my parents, where I grew up, and where my parents— In central California, and similarly like— you’d seen like a little bit of action on Uber, like if you’re on the freeway, you can catch one. It’d be like a 30 minute wait. And then over time it became like 15 minutes and now it’s like 12 minutes. It’s still not the one minute like here in San Francisco where you push the button, it’s like boom, somebody’s like they’re right here already, which is great. But yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how it can be. I love the technology, right? And the fact that they’ve been able to leverage, like it’s just this incredible app for today’s mobile phone and kind of a mobile user and so I’m a huge fan of just follow it.
Interviewer: [25:31] I think. Yeah. I was looking at Groupon stock and some other things and it’s— I never even— I used to get forwarded Groupon deals all the time and I don’t remember, it’s been years since somebody has sent me one. They just completely tanked.
Kevin: [25:52] Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it’s a good question. Like, I know the stock was really down for awhile and they had some management issues and the team turned over there. But I haven’t really followed, I don’t even know where they’re at. I haven’t looked at it in a while. But you’re right. I mean in terms of hearing about them or what was the other one? Living social was the other one that was in that same space. Similarly, lots of flash deals and things like that.
Interviewer: [26:10] I know that it’s going because the like, the [inaudible] guy from Omaha, we did a thing on there and they did like 7,000 units.
Kevin: [26:22] So they’re moving products. Yeah.
Interviewer: [26:24] Yeah. So I think I personally think Groupon failed one, they were too greedy from a money perspective, and two—
Kevin: You think they extracted too much out of each deal? Like profit wise, like they were taking too much off the deals?
Interviewer: [26:40] Yeah. I mean you kind of know my model. I wouldn’t have taken anything. I would have just like, I wouldn’t have taken any.
Kevin: Just scale and get the usage. Yeah.
Interviewer: Right. Because most of these— I mean, these companies, obviously, I don’t know any of them that could possibly make money, right? It’s just honestly like to get—
Kevin: [26:58] It’s [inaudible]. “Hey, I’m giving you a free sandwich in the hopes that you like my sandwiches and come back.” But like, yeah.
Interviewer: [27:04] Right, right. Because they take a good chunk of it. So I mean, if it was me, and obviously it’s not, and it’s playing Monday, whatever the quarterback, I mean like, just my basic model would have been to give it away for free, get gigantic market share which they did a good job on that by their own, but then get super local. Like I’m talking, when I say boots on the ground, I mean like people walking into businesses.
Kevin: [27:28] And in every small business and being like, “Hey subway, let’s go do this thing.” Or “Hey Jeff’s Deli let’s go this.”
Interviewer: [27:34] Right, or like hey, local chain of subways. You know, let’s go into Cottington dental and you know, they’re going to give away X amount of teeth whitening, but they’re only going to do 10, you know what I mean? You can get so—
Kevin: [27:47] Make it exclusive or have some kind of scarcity to it to drive that interest around it.
Interviewer: [27:52] Right. And the funny thing is our newspaper, somebody developed software that obviously it’s not rocket science, but they sold it to like our local Lincoln, Nebraska. Called Lincoln Journal Star, has like, they are running like Groupon-esc offers.
Kevin: [28:11] Oh, so some kind of white labelable SAS platform that they can run with it.
Interviewer: [28:15] Right. Yeah. It’s just one of those things, [inaudible] had its day. I still use it, I just 99% of junk on there I just didn’t like, it doesn’t go anywhere, but you know, like buy $20 Chromebook or something, it comes like in this, basically like a pop can aluminum casing. And it might’ve been even power on. So I was just like, whatever.
Kevin: It’s 20 bucks.
Interviewer: Yeah, literally. What do I expect? You know, so whatever.
Kevin: [28:46] I have a question. How’s the website doing these days? What are you guys doing on the website? On shoemoney.com?
Interviewer: [28:51] Oh, it’s good. You know, with my like position in life it’s just more about like, I don’t write that much because— I mean, I’ll write when I have something to share with the world I think is a value, but it’s like the blog posts and stuff, I don’t post just to post, right? Like John chow has a bunch of, you know, ghost writers, guest writers and that works for him really well. For me it’s kind of like it’s my voice and stuff like that. And so I don’t— I used to back in the day like, because I was always learning new stuff and now a lot of this stuff is interesting, but you know, for the most part, it’s more of like a branding thing for me now at this point. I kind of feel like I’m in a position where as far as like me doing my own thing, I’m always going to— I just can’t help it. Because I mean, as of right now there’s a couple companies that I’m just working with, they’ll have me jump on calls and get— you known, like somebody is selling an SEO or they’re using this Facebook agency and they’re blowing like 10 grand a day, but they’re not, they don’t even know how to hold them accountable to anything. They’re like, “yeah, we’re spending 10 grand a day on Facebook.” And I’m like, “what kind of ROI you´re getting?”, “It’s brining a lot of people?” And I’m like, “okay, well let’s set up pixels, you know like—
Classic spray and pray, right? They have no idea what the model is and backing it out.
Interviewer: [30:13] Absolutely. So as far as shoemoney.com when you go there, it’s more like me branding, and also like it gives you access to our free program, which is, I mean, you saw it back in the day and it used to require people to buy web hosting to go forward. And that was because we were paying people to actually build their site. So now we’ve got rid of that, so we don’t pay you, but web hosting is not required. So yeah. So it’s like if you want to do a blogger thing, go for it. You know what I mean? So it’s kind of like, it’s been interesting to see the, like the web hosting refunds are like below 5% where they were up around 20%.
Kevin: [30:57] That’s a great metric to look back at, the refunds as an indicator of how successful the project is.
Interviewer: [31:02] Yeah, yeah. We get a lot of them. I mean, we have a very, very busy Google group from our users. I know there’s a lot of them that are live on here or will watch this. It’s great. I mean, it’s been really great to see all the cool stuff that people build, and I never build it as a, “you’re going to make, this is the thing”, but it’s like it’s there, and there have been more self made millionaires via WordPress platform than like anything else in the world?
Kevin: [31:34] No, no, no, no. I mean, by far the website and again, we talked about this earlier, with just the internet being the scale of the world, right? And being able to like put up a website and you can reach anybody in the world. Like that’s pretty incredible, right? And I think you know, I know that when we started Alpha brand media, like early on, that was some of the interesting things we saw, is that we started to get these sites and write about sites, we were like, people were coming from all over the world, right? Like, yeah, there was US traffic or there is focus on South America, or this area, but the rest of the world is incredibly large. And as internet penetration reaches this, the level that it’s at now, it’s really good. And I think that we saw that again when we launched Acompli, right? Like, we had users on day one from tens of different countries, right? And that’s kind of cool. And now there’s probably upwards of a hundred, right? And I think the mobile kind of space and building mobile apps is a much higher bar, right? Than versus starting a website. But I think you can just see these kinds of things connecting together, and where that goes, which is, it’s really going to be fascinating.
Interviewer: [32:31] So we talked about me, and like for me I kind of just like, I’ve got two little girls that are eight and 10 now. They’re outstanding. I know you, have a child now. And gosh, how old is your girl now?
Kevin: [32:44] She’s six. So, she turns seven on October. So yeah. So just finished kindergarten and she’s in her camps this summer and hanging out and yeah, Brooke is amazing.
Interviewer: Gosh, so fast.
Kevin: Yeah, they grow up.
Interviewer: [33:59] So yeah. So I mean like with me, like I’m in such a different position where like tomorrow I’m going to take my girls to the state fair. You know, today I took them, had breakfast, they went with me, I washed my car, and I was on like a conference call with one of these companies I’m working with. I’m just listening to their onboarding process of this SEO company. You know, I have a field day with that. Because I hold their feet to the fire. I asked the right questions, you know. And the weird thing is like yeah, they pay me a good chunk of money per month, and a lot of people would be like, “Geez Louise, you only have to talk to them for like—”, and I’m like, “yeah, but you got to realize like me on one call asking them the right—, these people are spending 10 to 50 grand, in some cases 100,000 a month. If I ask the right question or something that—”
Kevin: You can make a much real difference, yeah.
Interviewer: [33:53] Yeah, they’re losing— I have a feeling this one company that’s doing Facebook advertising for this other company is probably, I know they’re taking a percentage of ad spend, like 15%. They’re paying like a monthly management fee. So they’re probably, I think they’re probably getting paid like— I probably shouldn’t say this, but for sure. I mean, there’s like six companies I’m working with right now so, but people watch, people are going to guess which one it is. Anyways, I haven’t been too public about that. But right now, like when I sold [inaudible]program it wasn’t a huge windfall for me, but it was cool. But I was kinda like, what else do I have to achieve, you know? I’ve won awards. I’ve done this. I’ve put away a bunch of cash to secure my family.
Kevin: [34:39] What are you doing to teach your daughters to act like you? Like, that’s one thing I think about a lot. You know, we each grew up the way we grew up and assembled into the life we are building companies and working in this space. How do you think about, or do you think about like, how do you teach these same skills to your daughters so that they can have this same kind of path? or at least have the freedom to make the choice that may or may not lead them down a path like this?
Interviewer: [35:03] Yeah. So I have different views on this, like really different views, and I want to write. You know, my first book was [inaudible] my autobiography. The next one I want to do collaboratively with people like you and just all these successful people that have you know, money and probably weren’t brought up with a silver spoon, and write a book called “how not to fuck up your kids”. And so then, they may not be the— That’s a running title. Okay. I don’t know what it’d be called. Working title, right, exactly. So, my thought on it is like a lot of people are like, don’t grow up your kids so that they have this entitlement mentality and you know, it’s okay to lose and you know, all this. And I’m like, “No, you are a Shoemaker. You are the daughters of Shoemoney. Like, you deserve to have like—” Not because of me, but just like, I always thought of me, and this is going to totally sound egotistical, as like a chose, like I was chosen for a reason to put on this earth, and it wasn’t to exist, it was to fucking live. And you know all the adventures I’ve done between the legal system and all this other stuff, like I fucking lived. And you know, and my kids, I want them to know that, like they’re put on here for a reason. Like, I don’t want them to feel like that they have things coming to them. And I teach them all the time, you don’t get stuff because you deserve it or it’s fair, you get it because you take it.
[36:36] So you know, when my daughter was running for class president. Okay, she’s nine, right? This was last year. I was talking to her about strategically positioning things to where like, “Hey, who are the key leaders?” Like in your thing. Like, I’ll come in Friday and I’ll bring McDonald’s for everybody and I’ll have a discussion about “Oh, who’s voting for Juliet?” You know, like who wants McDonald’s like once a week, like just joking, but kind of like— My wife was like, “you shouldn’t do that. You should let things go.” My wife is a totally like “you go to school, you do this, you do this, and then you become an anesthesiologist and you get what you deserve and that’s fair.” Well, okay. And that’s great for her. And she followed the path and she got the reward.
Kevin: Incredible doctor.
Interviewer: [37:25] Yeah, she’s outstanding. And my wife is a play by the rules and you know, you get what’s this, and I’m not. I’m like, you get what you take out of life. And you know, I’m not a— Nothing’s fair, and I try to do that with my girls, is just— it’s hard for me to explain it like right in a second. But I don’t want them to feel like, to take anything for granted, or feel like they are special. Well actually no, I want them to feel like they’re special. I want them to feel like, almost pressure them—
Kevin: [37:56] Yeah, but own it, right? Like you want to own that experience where they can come in and they can have the command to say, “Hey, I want to make this path” or “I want to be aggressive on this” or “I want to take an active role” or “I want to be more [inaudible]”.
Interviewer: [38:05] I don’t want them to think like it’s okay to lose, it’s okay to fail. But at the same time I want to teach them my most valuable educational experiences was what a lot of people would consider failures. And you know, like, you can’t get that education if you don’t fucking try. And so, that’s like what I’m trying to instil in them. And actually it’s worked really, I want to give them, a lot of it is self-confidence. Like, they’re already doing some public— They’re totally fine with public speaking and doing stuff like that. And you know, I love their self-confidence because you know, when you’re comfortable with yourself and you’re comfortable with getting up in front of your class and giving a presentation or other stuff. And, I mean, that was something for me, even through high school that was very intimidating. It took me, I mean a long time to ever be comfortable presenting on stage. But you know, for them, I mean this is—
Kevin: [39:02] But it’s so powerful, right? Once you can do that and once you take advantage of that and once you get used to it, like it’s an incredibly empowering thing both for yourself, but also for others around you, right? To say that, “Hey, we can go make this happen.”
Interviewer: [39:13] Right. And whether they want, no matter what they want to do, I just want them to realize that every opportunity is there. So if you want you can always advance. There’s a book out there called, it’s about shortcuts, but it’s called something else. Something cuts. Smart cuts or something like that. But it analyzes like all of these like, how does a 25 year old kid get to become like this high powered person in this company, you know what I mean? Like smart cuts. That’s what it’s called. But you know, that’s what I want my kids to understand, yes, play by the rules, but you really get somewhere by recognizing when an opportunity presents itself and then take, seizing that opportunity.
Kevin: [40:02] Yeah, I think it’s recognizing opportunities, being able to work hard to go achieve them, right? Cause a lot of them— I had this thing when I used to talk to students that were looking for their internships or graduated in college, and I was like, it’s one of these things, set of rules, right? Like you know when change happens, that’s when you want to work the hardest. When things are moving and things are fluid, you want to just take that extra work to sprint ahead a little bit and then more than often than not, you can come out ahead because you can put the extra energy in when things were a little uncertain, right? Where you get that passive notion where things are uncertain you kind of hold back and chill out, and then you end up four or five steps behind because somebody else who leaned a little forward during that and pushed a little harder.
[40:42] And yeah, it’s an incredible thing. We always think about with our daughter Brooke, how can you instill it and understand the importance of running a small business, or like customer satisfaction, taking care of users and you know, being customer centric and understanding what people need and yeah, it’s great that I always like to ask folks how they’re thinking about that, and what their view is on how they expect to be able to try to instill some of that same spark that we successful folks have like, that have had some success in business to be able to [inaudible] back into your children and say, hey how do they get that same advantage?
Interviewer: [41:14] Yeah. I think I totally like misrepresented my thoughts and I need to actually put them on paper, because it’s not like— My kids work really hard. We have them doing chores and stuff and my wife—
Kevin: [41:29] Do you pay them for chores or is there an allowance? Like, what’s your model for financial incentives around that.
Interviewer: We have a chore chart, and they’re punished if they don’t do it. We don’t like give them— I mean, we buy them shit, you know? I mean, a lot of the shit that I buy them is because I want them to have it, not cause they, you know what I mean?
Kevin: [41:49] Yeah. You need a new drone, or you need a new toy because they want to play with it.
Interviewer: [41:54] Dude, when they were like four, I bought them like the Vulcan Nerf guns, which are like 50 Cal on the thing guns. Like I was buying all this crazy shit for you know, I bought them like the Barbie car that would cruise around.
Kevin: [42:14] All the things you wanted when you were a kid you’re like, “I wish I had this thing when I was seven” or whatever.
Interviewer: Yeah, you know, I got them hoverboards as soon as those came out. And you know, my oldest has had—
Kevin: And you had any battery issues? I’ve always heard people saying they’ve had these battery issues with the hoverboards or whatever now.
Interviewer: [42:32] No, there was one brand that actually caught on fire, and so then that was the big “they catch on fire.” But it was just one brand that did it. And then it’s weird because my kids actually like, I’m always on their ass because they’ll leave them out in the rain. I got them for them for Christmas, so they left them outside in the snow, and these things still work, these ones that we have.
Interviewer: [42:56] Yeah, I’m really impressed.
Kevin: You should just put them on the website and recommend them to people cause they’re like, this one works.
Interviewer: [43:00] So this was a moment that made me super proud. My daughter like— My wife was like “you should teach Juliet how to sell stuff online.” And I was like, “okay.” So I think it’s still, if you go to potholderswordpress.com. Yeah, it is. So it’s potholders.wordpress.com, there’s my daughter Juliet. Okay. This was years ago. And okay, so basically like she sells, I had her do a sales video. Okay.
Kevin: [43:36] Dude, that’s awesome.
Interviewer: [43:37] I know, I had her do a sales video. We did a little copy and then there’s this buy button that goes to PayPal. So I post this like on Facebook. And so there are $15 with $3 shipping and handling. And I posted it on Facebook and it sells like 35, like in an hour or something like that. And so my wife is like flipping shit now and she’s like, “okay seriously, take that off, take it down.” And I’m like, “why?” And she was like, “it took her two weeks to make one.” I was like, “well I don’t know. What do you want me to do?”
Kevin: That’s funny.
Interviewer: “You wanted me to do this.” So Julia looks at me and says, “well we can buy them at target for $4.” And I was like, “that’s my kid, you can arbitrage this.” So we didn’t do that. She ended up making them and sending them out, but over a long period of time and my wife helped out, but I thought that was awesome that she like saw the angle of arbitrage right there.
Kevin: [44:36] Yeah. You fill the orders, so.
Interviewer: [44:38] Yeah. It’s funny that site. I couldn’t believe nobody had potholders. I guess it’s not a big thing. It’s funny cause in her your video actually like it says like “we’re raising money for the bums” or something like that. I told her what to say. Gosh, she was five years old when we did this. Anyway.
Kevin: [44:59] That was what, four or five years ago? Three years ago?
Interviewer: [45:01] Yeah. Well she’s 10.
Kevin: So, so five years ago. Wow.
Interviewer: [45:05] Me and time just— I would tell people this, I’m like— My parents always told me like, your kids, enjoy them cause they go so fast. Once they like move into the asset column you can have a conversation with them, they can get you a beer, you know what I’m saying? Like it does, just once you can do stuff with them. And one of my friends who, well it’s my godson, that kid went from like eight to 18 overnight. It’s just like—
Kevin: [45:37] My daughter was, we’re at this amusement place and they had— It was in Tokyo and they had this grabber, like those grabber machines again, you see them in every mall, the crane machines. And she was like, “dad I’m looking, nobody’s winning. Like, who’s winning here?” And I’m like, “Oh, the guy that owns it it’s winning.” She goes, “well he’s not even here.” And I’m like, “that’s right. He’s not here. And he’s winning.” She’s like, “I got it. So he comes at night, he gets all the money, puts it back in and he can buy whatever he wants?” And I’m like, “and he gets first pick on the toys too.” And so now I’ve been investigating in it like you can go rent these machines their a couple of thousand bucks, you can probably buy them on eBay for $1,000. But I’m like, wouldn’t it be cool to get a machine and set it up and be like, “this is your little business. You load it with the toys you don’t want, kids come in and feed it a couple bucks and they can pick out toys.” But what’s incredible is I’ve been reading about it, there’s actually a setting on these things. It’s like a slot machine. How often do you want them to win? It’s like, basically the claw never works, and then you just set it from zero to 99 of how many weak claws, and then until it does a strong claw. And so it’s just this deep setting. You set the thing in the back and they said “we recommend about five to get people really happy and motivated, but if you want to milk it out, set it to 25 and the thing will only win one out of 25 times.
Interviewer: That’s awesome.
Kevin: It’s all about clustering. And so it’s literally like a binary thing. You’re setting it in there. How often. But I thought that was a great experience. So when she was like, “well, who’s winning here?” And I was like, “yeah, the person that’s winning is whoever owns this. He or she is not here.”
Interviewer: [47:09] So, when you— Okay, so jumping— I’ve wanted to ask you, so I talked about my position where it’s just like what I want to do for the rest of my life, and really, my kids are my legacy. So I try to spend as much time with them as I can. And just yesterday I took my oldest at night or my youngest [inaudible] golfing, it was just me and her and whatnot. And so it’s just like, but you know, you are in a position better than me, like financially. But it’s like what keeps you motivated? I’m sure you have some sort of earnout to stay at Microsoft, or incentive or some part of that deal, I’m guessing.
Kevin: [47:50] Yeah. I mean, the motivation is really about having fun, right? Like, I mean, part of it is you got to have fun with your doing. You have enough that hey, I can make my rent payment. Hey, I have the car that I want or whatever, and you know. But you’ve got to have fun with what you’re doing, and I think you could argue that, “Hey, you could just go home and sit at home and play video games all day” and I’m not a big video gamer, so that would be super depressing cause I’d lose all the time. But I think the bigger thing is you’re having fun doing what you’re doing. And I earnestly like building companies, I earnestly like building things. I love watching outlook grow. I love watching doing what we’re doing and watching the impact of what me and my team have, right? And I think—to me right?
[48:27] Think of it as like when you go to the gym and you work out and you’re like, “wow, I’m getting stronger. Maybe I’m able to keep score [inaudible]” so know, keeping score with how much money you make is one way. But I think there’s more and other ways to do that, right? I mean, what’s your project like? Are you hitting the metrics you want to hit? Can you set like outrageous goals and then chase them down? Right? And so I think the way I like to think about it is the right way to keep the motivation together is you need to make sure that you’re increasingly setting bigger goals, right? Like if your goal was, “Hey, just to get to work every day and get home by five and drink a few beers”, like that’s a goal, right? And there’s people that have that goal and like, “Hey, I just don’t want to work overtime. I want to make enough between nine and five to be able to chill out and hang out with my family”, right? And then you say, “Oh no, I want my goal to be even loftier, I’m chasing like some larger product thing, or I’m chasing some I want to have an impact on millions of users. Okay, well now Outlook is shipping to millions users. Okay, what’s the next change? Right? And I think, I don’t know, right? I think right now what I’m doing here at Microsoft is fun. Like, I enjoy what I’m doing. The team is incredible. We brought an incredible team with us from Acompli, had the sunrise folks join us, which was another gift, which was incredible. And now we’ve been able to hire really, really good people to compliment them, right? And so the team’s growing in a measured way with people we love.
[49:41] And I think being able to do things you love, and you always hear this like cliche thing with jobs, getting up in the morning and Steve would say, “Hey if you look in the mirror and say, ‘do I really want to do what I’m about to do today?’ And the answer is ‘no’ enough days in the row, you need to make a change, right? And I think right now I really love what I’m doing, it’s fun to be part of this. And I think I’m still kind of— As a father of, one of the co fathers of this app, right? You think of like, “Hey, we had this little app and it was our thing and we were there when it didn’t work right? And it was just one or two users, and then it went to tens and then hundreds and then thousands, and now tens of millions. And as that happens, there’s still a part of me that says “we’re not done”, right? Like, there’s still this mission, there’s billions of people in the world. There’s more than 2 billion phones. There’s more than 2 billion people with email. And so to have tens of millions of users using our app is we’re just scratching the surface.
[50:31] And so I think you just need to make sure that as you go through life and you reach success or goals or whatever you think was your initial version of success, that you need to challenge yourself or have the motion to keep learning, right? And learning is another thing, right? You really want to learn. Like it’s not just about like doing the same thing. And I’m still learning stuff every day and I am, right? There are new things that I come up with that I hadn’t thought of before, or perspectives. You know, a lot of it now is like, I could argue that I have heard a lot of things or I’ve seen a lot of things and I’m like, “Oh, I’ve heard that”, but I’m learning more and more to stop and listen. And you may hear something you’ve heard before but with a different perspective, and that’s incredibly enlightening, right? And you can actually learn stuff by just learning more about a topic that you’d never seen from that angle, right? And you never looked at [inaudible].
[51:17] For the same reason that when I go back to places, whether it’s an amusement park or a zoo with my daughter where it’s like, “Oh, I’ve been in the San Francisco zoo a bunch of times, or I’ve been to this museum. But then if you go there with a five or six-year-old, you have this incredibly different perspective and they notice things that you would never have noticed or you took for granted, and so I think a lot of that falls into work, right? Like how the perspective you have on your work and the way you approach it is less of like, “Hey, I’m just trying to get through it as quick as possible.” Like, enjoy the moment. Like, what are you doing? Are you having fun? The team you’re working with and— And having fun, are they having fun? If not, why? and can you go fix that? Right? And so I think it’s a very long-winded way to get there. But I think having fun and constantly learning.
Interviewer: [52:01] I think one of the other things I want to talk about was I don’t think a lot of people realize the “more money, more problems” thing is real. Like, it’s a good problem to have, but a lot of times is like, how do you not lose the money that you kept, right? And so it’s like, I know you’ve talked about your strategy to be before.
Kevin: [52:27] Yeah. I mean, I think so— The strategy, there’s lots of strategies, right? I think that—I’m a huge fan of productivity hacks and simplicity in life and lists and tracking things and like, everything I do, if I’m going to do it more than once, it’s a task and I put it on my to do list and I track it, and it’s recurring and I know that this thing needs to happen every 30 days. I set it to recur every 30 days and I’m overly diligent on that. I’m kind of [inaudible], people would say that I am right. Like in terms of tracking what I do and I have listened processes for everything. And so the way I think about finances and the way I think about investing is similar, right? So when I do angel investing, whether I’m investing in a small friend’s company or investing in something large, I look at it and say, “look, would I trade the hours that it took me to make that money if I lose it”, right? Is that a fair trade? And so putting that in the right perspective helps. But just being methodical, right? Like when I go on trips, like I have an app that tracks the hundred and something different things that I could possibly check and pack, and I make sure it’s there, and you know, to the point that it’s robotic, I just go through it and it sounds a little boring, but it also helps me be— It reduces anxiety, right? Because you don’t have to worry like, “Hey, I’m leaving for a trip and a couple of days,” no worries, I’m just going to bust out the app the night before, the morning of, and go through it and make sure I got everything, and half the stuff’s already packed so I don’t have to worry about it, because I’m always kind of ready to travel. Or at work when I’m going to kick off a project, I have a template for that and track through it. And similarly with finances, right? How do you track through kind of the strategy that you’re going to take?
[54:00] And the best advice I ever got from somebody, a mentor of mine, was “just don’t change anything.” Like the first thing you do, “Oh, I made something, or I made a big—”, don’t change anything. Like, I don’t need to go buy a new car or go buy a bunch of new clothes or go buy fancy sports tickets or whatever. Like, yes you could. But the first level is don’t make rash decisions. And so I think the ability to just not do anything, it is actually hard, right? And so I have to keep reminding myself like, “Oh, don’t go do that.” You know, I could take this extra vacation or buy something nice for my family. [inaudible]. So don’t, right? I think that’s the easiest part of this strategy, from explaining it, to don’t change anything, but it’s the hardest thing to implement, right? Because it is easy. And then you know, the number of people that are like, “Hey, you have ten, can you give me one?” versions of that that are sometimes comfortable and sometimes joking, and sometimes just uncomfortable.
Interviewer: [55:02] How many people have you had hit you up for money?
Kevin: [55:02] I mean, not counting like investment advisors and stuff, like tens and tens of investment advisors. But I would say like, I don’t know, I mean people— I think it’s kinda weird cause I am an angel investor, so I’m kind of advertising for people to hit me up for money. So I think from that category I discount those. But from a generic money requesting thing, I would say tens of people, not hundreds, tens of people like, but they all come under, they’re not just like, “Hey, give me $10.” They’re always like, “Hey, would you want to invest in stuff that’s clearly not an investible product?” Like, “Hey, I’m—” you know, they’re more like donations, right? So I think of it this way, people that are pitching investments that when you look at them, they’re really donations. Like that’s the part of it where I’m like, “um”. Those are the ones I categorize, people asking for stuff that they probably shouldn’t.
Interviewer: [55:54] I mean, you’re in the hub of it all. Like me, that would be my ultimate thing that I would look at. I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to like— cause I know I enjoy the growth aspect of a company. I’m used to doing everything myself though, and I struggle with a team at times, unless it’s like [inaudible], I can get my hands in and do, and then they can do it right. And so actually that’s one of the things I’m going to do is fall, is take some PHP [inaudible] classes, just because my PHP is cutting edge for 2004.
Kevin: [56:36] Yeah. We, we always call it, yeah, like the 2004 era PHP, or like before objects existed and you know, back when you had to [inaudible] yourself and yeah. [inaudible] Yeah. I mean, the learning thing is awesome. I’ve been taking some machine learning classes, which just picking things up that keeps you fresh, and even if you don’t use it everyday in your work, just understanding some of these modern concepts is interesting. And it’s great to kind of be in school again, right? Because even when— It’s like going to conferences, right? You go to a conference like, “Oh, I know everything about X topic”, and you know, you’ve probably heard of it, but it’s incredible to hear other people talk, and the number of ideas that just sparked from like, “wow, I should try that for this.” You make these kinds of connections, right?
[57:18] And so even when I go to my wife’s company, Alpha Brand media, runs this conference every year, right? And from her website search engine journal. And you know, time over time again I go to the conferences and I’m like, “well, I’ve heard everything about SEO or Facebook advertising” and every time, every speaker I learn something, right? I learn something or I find something that I want to throw a note down to go apply it to my business or a project I’m working on, or just something that’s just interesting. And so I think that’s a great way to kind of keep fresh. And whether it’s conferences or taking classes, I think all of those are really, really good ways to kind of keep yourself and not letting your brain rot.
Interviewer: [57:53] Yeah, for sure. And you know, that that sparked a thing with me because I’ve gone to a lot of these guys, like whether it’s Andy Jenkins or Frank Kern or you know, even Anthony Robbins, okay? So you guys all like [inaudible] Like, Anthony Robins is mostly I’m talking about here. Like you can’t talk to Anthony Robbins, right? He’s on this pedestal appear with a rope around him. And you can talk to, you can be one of the peasants right around below. And also, he never talks money, right? So he’s just like that role. Whereas like in some of the info marketers, the bigger ones, they’ve always got to put themselves on a pedestal, right? And they don’t— If you want to talk to them, it’s like 10 grand to be a part of their inner circle or war room or double diamond platinum group or whatever you want to call it, right? Those things aren’t for me. You know me. I mean like, every conference I’m in the trenches, I always say like I’m a guy of the people or a man of the people or whatever. I love talking with everyone. I pound that expo hall and just— I mean like, John chow too, that dude is—
Kevin: [59:02] Run into whoever and man on the street kind of stuff, and just see who you’re [inaudible]. I mean, that’s how we’ve met some of the greatest people we know, right? Is through that process, right? Or go to the bar hanging out at some after conference thing, the unconference next door type of stuff. And we’ve met many of the people we probably spend more time with today then the speakers or the people that were “famous” 10 years ago.
Interviewer: [59:22] I saw a guy speak at Pubcon and this would have been like 2005. He went on stage and he talked about how there were all these domains out there that were expired but still had incredible links but just had expired, that weren’t registered anymore. And a lot of people were like, “yeah, but how many could there be?” You know, blah, blah, blah. Just easily dismissed it. And me, I built this like, basically a crawler of the internet, I added all these things and I found 10,000 plus, and we had an open marketplace that we sold them, and the best thing was is we were basically selling air. I mean, we didn’t own them, we just gave you the name. But sorted out like, if they had military EDU backlinks, like total backlinks, PR backlinks, whatever. So people would go in there and they would buy like 50 at a time, and that was back when Google, like a lot of them, I redirected like 400 of them one time at a sub domain of Shoemoney just to see what to do. And it was ranking for high poker terms, like really high poker terms. And it was because all these guys had made these sights and just turned and burned them, and then it occurred to me, okay Google bans sites, but I don’t think it bans links. So when you three o one them, like, they still carry the anchor tag, link juice, everything.
Interviewer: [01:00:52] So, we’re running late here, and I also just got a text from you too. So we’re actually right on the same page. I really appreciate you coming on so much, and I want to catch up with you sometime soon.
Kevin: I’m in Lincoln, or if you’re out in the Bay area, we got to connect and kind of go from there.
Interviewer: [01:01:10] Yeah, for sure. I just just spent days out there driving up to LA and I thought about driving all the way up to San Francisco. But cool, man, I really appreciate everything. Thanks everybody for joining us and we’ll talk to you next week.
Kevin: Cool. Take care of that. Bye.