Transcript for Lowercase Capital founder on 'Real Biz'
Hey guys I Rebecca Jarvis ABC's chief business technology and economics correspondent I am coming to live. From a new location today we're in Stockholm Sweden and we're here. For the brilliant minds symposium. Is a gathering of some of the smartest minds it technology in music. They're talking about everything from the future of humanity to the future of technology in the intersection between the two. And here with the familiar face to especially ABC news viewers and anybody in the tech world. You know him very well Chris soccer who by the way. Was on shark tank so everybody out their who watches BBC you know him from shark tank. But up pivotal investor or somebody who has seen the future and today what we're gonna do is talk about that. And we're doing this for the brilliant minds podcast which you can find on Spotify. This is an actual episode that you're Tennessee between Chris and I. Coming up on spot price you'll be able to fight it there so this is really a podcast that you guys are the fly on the wall so crass as we begin here. It's an interesting time for the world clearly. It's an interesting time for you because you are somebody who is dedicated many years now to investing and you recently announced that. That's not exactly your game anymore you're changing course. Yeah I'm definitely I mean interesting time I think is most understated way adequate I've I've heard anyone put the last couple years for America right now I mean. I think we're in a moment a serious pero moments ago. Donald Trump just you know accused are former drug the FBI of a felony lying before congress. And this is the middle of a constitutional crisis that I think is and implications. For the health of our democracy is walls for the health the literal physical health tens of millions of people who stand as health care and those presidents congress and so. Yeah it is a little harder to focus on some things that seem. Testing more frivolous or just more into around money right now and so I had had a plan in mind too. Transition out of venture capital for awhile but now seem like the exact right time to do. As somebody who was an early investor in Twitter and another company mover that everybody knows. When you think about that investment in Twitter and the fact that Twitter has become four or this president. For plenty of other characters out there are their primary place to start communications. In some cases for example. Ice is uses it at as a recruitment tool. Is Twitter today what you thought it would be and do you feel any sense of responsibility for that. So I don't think anyone thought Twitter could be dense I mean frankly even just watching Khamese testimony yesterday. Every time I heard a question from a senator to coming about the president's tweet. In my mind had exploded with him believe the scale this thing. In the early days a Twitter I would send these text messages to Evan Williams is CEO. And it was if they contain three letters BIG the ache because. We just saw this thing kept getting bigger than our expectations but when I say that I mean the first time Twitter was mentioned on NPR. But where they didn't stop to explain what Twitter wasn't singing about a 140 character micro blogging service that person is that this happened on Twitter and I kept going. We're like oh my gosh they now assume their audience hazardous talking matter the first celebrity on Twitter was. Imaging he'd and we were real beyond belief that she's using Twitter and and as a go through the history of that. Knew we were so focused on free speech on making sure that in a world of repress speech that even the weakest points as were amplified the stones to. Described that way. To Kosovo and Jack Dorsey went on to talk talk about being the world's town hall. We were so focused on. Giving a clear pass for. For otherwise you know minority and under represented voices. That in the mean time. Twitter got tactic that weaponized and I'm not sure anyone really saw that coming. Now to be clear I mean investment company for quite awhile now and I'm not involved with a can be managed wise. But that is a big user with a big following anti care about the platform and it's it's not a danger now to what changes would you make today I mean. I'm I'm the Connick guy who focuses on you know what I would do to make it easier used to fund better content there I think might actually end up having effective prioritizing. Better stuff. And more authentic stuff. But. But for the most part I think they just have to decouple. Twitter still gets value based on how many monthly active users they have. That's the metric that Wall Street uses to figure out outside companies should be. And for as long as they're being measured that way they don't have the pierce incentive. To wipe out as many boxes are on the platform and I don't think there. They're milking that but it creates supports and have them out it resources elsewhere rather than you really. Heating up on the net now we understand to be millions and millions of vodka. Twitters founder at Williams and you mention recently said the Internet is broken and I. Yeah I think part of what he with saying. Had to do with this idea that there are obviously they're bots but it's also what rises to the surface. What is click bait why do people decide to click on one thing over another and when you allow humanity to make choices about what they click on unfortunately when we continuously come back to it. A lot of what's getting clicked on is not the stuff that you would. Hope that people would be ink torts. Yeah well what's happening is that. We have started to understand. We've evolved our technology. Faster than our physiology and we'll keep up. So our technology now understands how to push a little opening triggered every time and make you refresh for more time. Check one more time to see if anyone posts and answer Graham. And we need now in games like they talk became a vacation stuff but. It's all optimize around Huck when you buy one more 99 cent per hour up. Not when you spend a little bit more addicts those time in this app. And you know everyone will find themselves susceptible to a note it's 2 in the morning and I've been playing this useless came on and then you know nonstop treadmill. And I think that's what happened when news is that news got. Product ties and weaponized and targeted around. Applying. Kind of appealing to our most beats. Rep particularly in response to fear and anxiety and some of those of the things like. If FaceBook or Twitter trying to figure out what's the best content the first measure usually it is how many fees and retreats as. Her you know shares. But if you've got millions of bots pushing those things around. And it really starts confuse the platform and they show that more people more people might actually mean we're scared by that lines. And so the attacks to it dramatically and they beat you know they start pushing that around and it's it's. I'm picking these platforms are just ahead of us I think our bodies and our brains and how we react chemically would have caught up. So ultimately the question is how do we correct that and I was actually thinking about the last night. We have a food pyramid. It it has it's issues right that they let but but there. It could be argued that this is consumption to you and the way that you're talking about this. There is there are physiological changes from that consumption we we can measure to some degree. People's responsiveness. Q different types of content and what that means. For you know the Genesis of a human being from being two years old in front of a screen to being and in and being an adult. Should we curse. Or what makes a Cheney I mean just would permit correlates that most. Explosive rise in obesity rates in the history it's a pig got it wrong so I don't know I say that as a lesson eyewitness. Prescribing. You see as I don't think we now. And I am not particularly optimistic on this point of attention. Frank BI's I think we've deployed. Literally billions of dollars of investment across and now we as an industry. And put some of the greatest minds in history. To try and solve these problems that keep your potential on. Something. You know I think just. To be a little futurists. I think and the not so distant future. Only the wealthy will be able to afford Klein. I think that. Because they can escape. He because the vehicle to a Ford Escape. Actually buys. Torre it's like you know we've got that right now. An Internet connected. And serves as they're gonna need to be monetized commerce walls advertising. But news sixers way. Spotify that are it's hard it's. Originally from weighing between platforms and premium platforms monetize. Within Klein on tightening. Visual attention there. Podcast shown to be a pretty robust as. There. And so I believe that contain you. News trying build armies advertising. For new models but the trade up its people who don't have access to the money to pay for these things. And retreating there attention. Trio the distractions and focus. And so. That's a surprise futures. And it. In a release specific detail. How does that look bad if your wealthy and you bot that how is your life different from everybody on government. Your what black hair sure our data show that this took in future and these are real questions to wrestle with some time so. I I I I'm not entirely optimistic. On. The I think we might end up happening today the same way that today we have a digital divide nutritional divide. No we have food deserts. And educational about. And I think we are going to happen attention divide I think the world will be split up into those you can. We have the freedom to focus. And put things down and those who are just constantly interrupted. Defense found that well that's Abby gets heavy but I I think about this U I I haven't taken it to the point where you are but. I definitely think about the the fact that so much of technology and the whole. Point of this conference is looking and humanity this intersection between technology and humanity and how to use it as a means to improve the world verses. You know ruining things ruining relationships like at its most basic level what happens to important relationships how do you manage. Given that your oh we're all how do you managing your life with your wife and your. I mean that's that's a consulate ongoing exercise as I think we're all. New to this I think we just there was an a generation of people who grappled with. Which you're notification view on Wright and so now it's were autonomy. Ago. And there are times and I'm distracted while my phone my weapons. Emory here and yet she does too like I don't think any of us that this community built up. And it and so. You know on the one hand. While we don't let our kids he's their ipads let's were there with them. Absolutely believe that those iPad accelerated their learning they're reading. Mac like there's there's no doubt about it that these are incredibly. Die it will tools and can't be in education. Asian entertainment and art. But out. That. I'm petrified of how to work with my kids a world Lula. Virtual reality is always while talked about but our manager it's going to be weird it's clear conflict seeing the world through lands that's. Another layer information. You know I. So imagine if every single person you meet in real time. You see search career writing about them so before you can get an opportunity to first impression. Hugh. Literally know the Internet crash I mean I mean he never. Which I think Brinkley by the way. If so if we met. Just randomly from where I wouldn't get that information. Immediately yeah but a lot of people are are you doing this for themselves if you think about online dating older people are grueling and figuring out who that person isn't looking their linked to an end everything I spoke account. Before it BO I have I have notes right here that we got from the air but. In it every like in when you go with you walk into a bakery or Starbucks or whatever it is you don't know that person you don't have an opinion about that is that. Lay between when you Google them when you don't right now we still have an opportunity usually to make a child decidedly contenders and they. It's actually have a first impressions of money and he and to find something to talk about I was I was on a jog once. Wear X I jog towards George that's what you are and that's Rollins College. And was like oh I wonder what class you us and I. Hubbard my hand. Over the view of him as I was running like they were Viet mouse pop up at that. Is there anyway here's the class what do it was this real moment right realize this line had blurred between. Without even you know and it and it's pretty low tech wave it blurred I wanted that layer of information from the rest of my physical environment. Now we're gonna get it but again it's gonna come at the cost of detention. Be consciously marketed to you by this we steered to the commerce opportunities that are targeted. You know devices like apple clearly playing music. The guy I Wear these air pots right now and and like I've continues. Continuous audio attention. And a partial basis being directed towards the room but in the meantime I have song on. Might be talking somebody MI beating ways directions brilliant minds pat as his in my I don't podcast going in so. You know we're Gannett news we are going to be NM a knockdown drag out struggle over the future attention. You on your panel here brilliant minds talked about startups. Helping to lead the way on democracy. Tease that out a little bit what what does that mean for people who are listening and watching right now who have what they consider to be a brilliant idea. You look. The way politics have traditionally been done. Large incumbent fundraising organizations that money is all funneled in to buy. TU NAM radio ads and connecting hasn't changed much. Forget it's. And yet if you're gonna find one silver lining in this last election it's that the first time. In recent presidential elections. The end result was decouple from how much money we spent. So wouldn't Hillary's campaign announcement town trump but many many factors. But find traditional television ads cutting traditional spots. Network polished and air brushed it. The message is you know saccharine but starched and and and we lost that election for a variety of reasons but when you go back and look at. The post more of you see that the trump campaign had to some incredible digital tools and really well advanced. Direct target and stuff kind of suffered on the Obama campaigns but. You so it say just a little bit of background for people Christy worked. Whip Obama campaign you where they director of their digital efforts. Bono I wasn't know how I I was I was an advisor to the president for Telecom media okay. An advisor to the president and you are. Your supporter of Hillary Clinton and her campaign as well. And it's interesting because there's a tie in here your background so you studied foreign service at Georgetown and a lot at Georgetown. And I think a lot of don't vote. When I'm a lawyer immediately lose credibility with the audience did you ever consider practicing law I did there will bring you some water and by the way addicts. I I practiced for thirteen months. I was really get it's generating new business but it was a great lawyer who IA I have a tolerance for risk high. I like rolling the dice public making it gases and running model. Lawyers just have to see now there in the no business phenomenon like. No but. Let's if we get it done anyway and so I wasn't Hitler. Maria laid off on. September 7 2001. And so like four days factory job prospects. And then 9/11 happened and the site you on the West Coast in through the devastation in New York did. But our. Party been in a tailspin and just everything stopped. There were so many layoffs out their back then that. You can even get a moving truck out of Silicon Valley back to you wherever you're from because they had all gone one way and not come back. It was just it was a wild time but. I couldn't be luckier in retrospect its first look at a law firm right now like thank heavens he's such a world culture victory so idyllic view it handout. I just. Getting laid off and being desperate for awhile really worked out in. What did you learn from that experience of getting it up and being desperate. I learned I could count on to friends to be helpful to me. And throwing a bone here in there I learned that. There was really no obstacle to me. Just creating my own opportunities. That spun out to media guy I would use to go around Silicon Valley with a business cards to said. Her sock on it. And you know to realize that one for whatever. Matchups is that some guys like you sound like depicted something I'll come through for yeah. You know I sent out seven underneath for residents on reply. One point career but. That I can over this idea I would I would create an entity called Salinger group. And I just came over that name that sounded. It's it's on a kind of familiar you know and so I. I came over this thing goes under here I created. We the whole website for my now wife who is and it's my best Brian created. Logo in the business card. And and I want to sing an iceberg on events and I would say we instead of he and same events as usually sneaking in because they have in mind it's when he box there is forty Boxee business. And there while they were like. The world Internet forum that there were there was like the Chinese offer professional association put on a weekly thing in this afternoon hours. From India and Bangladesh Pakistan army thing. So finally niche communities don't hang out these people. But as I started saying. This artist myself from the sound of your people its name honey after he guys you guys do good work this. That's just panned out for me I I built kind of business around that it in one particular client hired me I will say this is pretty funny. You know during that recession and there just were no jobs intact at all and when tech start picking back up. People have these like tear holes in their resume where they were that you know rafting instructors or something. Along those lines and so a bunch my friends who do you mind if vice network that this our objective during that time. What you had just put put down whatever job responsibilities where that failure is definitely a few people out there who have filled in the. Alliger group's sound I think hired someone from the Salinger but it lacks real probably among U they're incredibly talented people that reminds me of bet Catholics character in boiler room act as if so acting as if it can work it doesn't always and in the iris and yeah we're going to be there. I think. But no it's it's. And it is funny I I don't know if necessary they would write you know vacancy make it book. But I think the one thing that. People really do you attract news and business is speaking with somebody issue. You just know has options has other things other choices. I don't think there's anything that's more conference are knowing. Our choice that we are an agency that died were a lot of these companies are run by. The actual engineers computer sciences. News oftentimes don't out. The pitch and story house. Of an end to yet. But what I found is when you can then really powerfully in cute business negotiations. And you can turn them in negotiators just buyer. Laying out reminding them before the meaning of your your options are. And so much easier flattered by. As much as are flattered by. This company proposing to our view. Honorees money option is to prop up other people. And and when you know keep your options balking at a meeting. Describes you can help it and they can smell. And it's funny I've had a lot of engineers negotiate their own and made deals despise. Confidently. Stating their confidence no options. And it sounds like I mean that that idea could not be more true for you at this moment in your life where. Lower case is doing very well but you say you know what I'm ready to turn the page and try something different Ewart going to be with Zach Braff. On his new show on ABC. Based on the start up podcasts what was that like. Well that you shot wondered few episodes other pilot pilot again. And then ABC just picked it up as a theories. I mean that I think everybody wants its act rap on television. He's he's a legend. Yeah there's that there's that start up podcast season one episode one more out Bloomberg. Comes to pitch means starting timlin media. And I love this guy on the radio like some of the candidates so hey I take the meeting. And it has its meeting starts unfold it's just the worst pitch I've ever heard like this guy he's an incredible story teller can't tell his own story. And you just keep gurgling in falling over himself and where is he stressed link here let's have a beer back. We have a second beer loosen up. And then before you know what I'm giving him tips which I would just never do it up its meeting today tried this week go back and it. But I really want succeeding these are wearing the whole thing which is so sad and desperate. So finally as we got kicked out of the sushi restaurant walking up and industry. And it's like hey let me just keep your pitch hit and I just rattle it off if that yes that exactly. And the next breath. I'm like yeah Abbott on the other hand and I just just take that it's a part so this this was a reelect pockets of this. And listeners just beauty deeply emotionally attached to this so that the anxiety of pitching that fear failure. And that intimidation factor. I would say it people who come to me in public it's still about. If like 28 point 5% wanna community park for that episode or say something about. Start up season one episode one. And and so eBay's instant baht the option this thing and it's now becoming shows that first episode. Zach Braff plays out comes to pitch mean its start up and down the pitch goes horribly. And and the drama hopefuls from there it's really funny showed that pilots and products. As one I had to play I'd have to ask myself. Jones with I was challenged like had a director telling me how moral it myself. Which is. Well what was he saying beam being nice they're being meaner. That there is definitely be a little meaner it's not being if there is doubly some of that. Yet well one thing I've noticed in television. So first season shark tank. When I'm really negotiating I have a blank face because they don't want you know I'm feeling thing that we you'd Wear like gates opening arts. So when that when the offers are coming of the tank. It has had this this apps that focus on when it took my hand Cuban earlier an element right now. And that I watched think rather personable opposites might have a catatonic. I would take I didn't sleep last night and so had to learn how to like if you want. Robert and we see it like it well when Everett's when he Roberts looking it now but now one night and learn watch problem robbers watching him pitch. He's. A home. And I think they're very some theories this learn how to related issue. I can't see what's going on there and putting it in your yeah whereas I'm like I don't want to show them that is really appreciative of that story in almost choked up with I need to get a good price but still. But it's that's a had to learn how to actually below or expressive. And. Before we go I feel a big smile on the podcast. Yeah and you guys. You can see it right now live it's a big deal OK so before we go question I ask everybody. Because most people are so focused on best advice. I'm curious to know what the worst advice you have ever received this. Worse vice that a currency well. I would say stick to keep my head down of the law firm and has put in a good 34 years. Maybe a promoter wants because. Then then people might pay attention and higher it to people's. You know I think the advice. Somebody gave me it stayed cool and not leave when I left. In a right after I left in New York Times are this article that basically read eyewitness Kylie degrees up the world. Hand. I had a lot of friends and a lot of mentors of the company's tumors the ground. And it and you have a plan allows Canadian acts but I just knew I had few. So I think the end of the day you're the only person who knows your own scorecard what really matters specifically do you. In earlier in your life your parents are pretty aligned with your scorecard that date you know but as you grow up and start developing your own personal start to diverge. Your teachers your coaches and professors are all rooting for you but they might not know your priorities but once you're out of college and out there world. There's literally no one who knows that until maybe start buying. You know your partner. And so I often find that the advice that would fit in job situations or Seles companies situations or sell the stock situation or. Was this pouring throughout somebody else's personal experience without context of my life so Aaron so I found out just. It was a good Contra indicator reports amass stakes march probably. And that's worked after. Yes and it's interesting you bring that up because also not only do those people maybe not know exactly where your thinking is at the time. But they are natural inclination is to protect them. If they if it's your parents or it's your coach or it's somebody who is working in a lot firmer at Google they ate they see it that way. And they wanna protect you from the downside risks of what you're going out to do what you said earlier that year a risk taking guy. This podcast is really meaningful oak. This is with the three ago when this generally like with the worst and vital to get meeting cheaper you're the chief business and act. Recover and yet there's like. Getting deeper depth talking emotion I like that yeah there's not enough that it in his weren't such a B when hearing. Death. Goatee. And we would like look we haven't asked me about you know earnings during the night that's day. I'm glad reading that we can talk about that another time on act financial network in the future that a picket hate thing you know really great. Thanks to CEO enjoy Stockholm. And thanks guys for joining us for are brilliant minds for ABC news we will bring you more content right here and I will post links on FaceBook to where you can get a link to this podcast if you want to share your friends thanks everyone take care have a great day.
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