Peter Karpas and Matt Martin are the co-founders of Starsona - a platform that provides anyone with fans or followers with their own virtual storefronts making it safe, easy, and fun for them to monetize their personal brands. Starsona has shout outs, Q&As, and direct messaging to their audience – this creates a whole new way for fans to interact with their favorite people. Peter and Matt chat with Chris Snyder about how to market your personal brand in an ever-changing and increasingly digitized world.
Today’s show is sponsored by banks.com – the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products & services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands.
"We don't let roles get in the way of strengths." - Peter Karpas
"Every business I've ever met - it doesn't matter what their funding is - is on a timeline." - Peter Karpas
"They're making money in a way that creates joy for their fans and builds their brand long-term." - Peter Karpas
"Do you have access to your fans and do your fans want to support you and connect with you in some way? And if the answer to both of those questions is yes, you can do really well." - Peter Karpas
[00:00:44] Hello, everyone, Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder Showdown, President at Juhll Agency, and founder of FinTech Startup Banks.com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure told through the stories of the top executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Our sponsor for today's show is banks dot com. Banks dot com is a self-funded fintech startup, and the founding team is building the world's most comprehensive and trusted financial services marketplace built on transparency, trust, connection and innovation. To learn more, you can go to banks dot com. That's Banks.com. OK. Without further ado, I'd like to introduce our guests today, that's guests with the plural. Peter Karpas and Matt Martin are the co-founders of Starsona, a platform that provides anyone with fans or followers with their own virtual storefronts. These store fronts make it safe, easy and fun for them to monetize their own personal brands. Starsona has shout outs. Q and A's in direct messaging to their audience. This creates a whole new way for fans to interact with their favorite people. Peter and Matt are here today to share with us how people market themselves in an ever changing and increasingly digitized world.
[00:02:13] Welcome to the show, Peter and Matt. Thanks for having us, Chris. Thanks, Chris. Nice to be here. I'm so glad you guys are here. Sometimes I get folks on that are not in entertainment, don't do interesting things, and you guys have something super interesting. So I can't wait to hear about it. Matt, what do you kick us off? Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and how you got to where you are today. Bit of an origin story, if you will.
[00:02:39] And I always loved Origin story as well. So I grew up in the same Cisco Bay Area, born and raised in Santa Clara. Got my undergrad at San Jose State University and then spent, you know, a decade after I went to college. You know, either in San Francisco or the South Bay. But, you know, as both a blessing and a curse of living so close to the epicenter of Silicon Valley, you know, there was just a world of opportunity just outside of my literally outside my doorstep. So it kind of hard to leave that bubble. So, you know, needless to say, I've been pretty fortunate to have had a long career in tech. More specifically, a consumer and medtech tech prior to founding Starsona with Peter, which I'll go to in a minute. I was at a company called a Line Technology, and they're the makers of the best line. Oh, wow. Yeah. And I was there for, you know, about 15 years. And, you know, I started during the early days of the company before dentists and orthodontists bought into the belief that a piece of plastic could actually move and straighten your teeth so that they met you.
[00:03:47] First of all, just for our audience. This is on a podcast. But we do release videos from time to time that you, God, is giving you the 10 year younger looks. You look like you're twenty five. But I know your you've got you look what? You look way younger. Well well, thank you for that. I appreciate that compliment. That is. That is an absolute compliment. But the other thing that I wanted to point out is I have two kids, 10 and eight and.
[00:04:18] They both needed braces. It is a gruesome, painful, nasty, archaic, crazy thing that we still do in this country. It's called braces in. Our orthodontist was like, hey, what do you give these kids, these mouth guards for like a football game? Like we were kids. You wear a mouth guards around the house. What's going on here? But not kidding. Did the Invisalign stuff is for real. Now your kids got to keep it in. But that's for real, man. That's a great product and a great company.
[00:04:52] Oh, absolutely. And I was very fortunate to be there early on, especially coming. And I like straight out of college and jumping into that kind of position and role. But, you know, you know, being there for as long at a line, as long as I was you know, I had a really a better understanding, as well as a greater appreciation for the trials and tribulations of a company as kind of growth and development from just starting out to now, you know, becoming a household brand name.
[00:05:18] Yeah, I'm super, super lucky. Yeah. You know, let's golden slate. What do those guys do?
[00:05:25] So Golden Slade. Yeah.
[00:05:26] So that was my first startup that I founded with another one of our co-founders, which essentially was a sassed solution for four businesses to manage their referral referral channels.
[00:05:40] So I more a startup guy. You've been doing startups since the day you left college.
[00:05:45] It sounds like I love to be in that kind of environment. Very fast pace, very decision, data driven kind of environment. I just I love it and I think I thrive in that. So, yeah, I definitely I'm a startup guy.
[00:05:59] Well, and it has not at all diminished or worn you down from an age standpoint.
[00:06:06] My my body would disagree greatly.
[00:06:11] Well, I think all of us we've been doing a lot with our careers over the last twenty five years. So I think we would all we would all attest to the fact that it's tough work, but it's rewarding work and we wouldn't have it any other way. Absolutely. So now that brings us to Starsona. What how did you like how did you figure out, like, okay, I've been doing all this stuff and then we'll get to Peter's story, but then we go to Starsona. What was the germination of this? Because you've been out of company for. Oh, no. I think you said 15 years.
[00:06:45] I love fifteen years. Yeah. Yeah. So the initial feeling of the idea of Starsona originated back in twenty seventeen with one of our co-founders, Randy Kessler, who he he represents, represents a number of well-known clients. And you know, whenever he was out in public with them, whether it's at a luncheon or walking outside of his office, he observed this ongoing pattern where these fans were PCs persistently to come up and ask his clients to record this video, wishing their relative or friend to happy birthday. So we initially started out as a happy but happy birthday. And that kind of sparked the idea. And Randy, you know that anyone should be able to get something like a selfie video, not just those who happen to cross cross paths with their favorite star. Yeah. And he also thought it was a great idea, you know, a great way for his clients to make some extra money. And they'd be more inclined to do so if they were getting paid for their, you know, their time to record a video like that.
[00:07:46] Yeah, that's interesting. So it seems so simple, but I guess you have to be walking around with celebrities. I don't know. You say his name is Randy Kessler, correct? I don't know. Randy Zeon agent or. He's an attorney. Oh, leave it at that. So he's he's got all these celebrities, I guess, for lack of a better word that he hangs out with and he's always getting bombarded with, hey, can you tell my son happy birthday or my daughter? And that was it. That was the idea.
[00:08:21] That was the initial seedling of that idea. And, you know, through a mutual connection of ours up here as well as myself, we had this meeting. And Randy pitched us on on this concept. And, you know, the way if you ever get to meet Randy, he's very passionate and enthusiastic about, you know, what he is of, you know, the way he truly believes and and that that passion and enthusiasm was infectious. And, you know, Peter can speak to, you know, how he felt coming out of that meeting. But for me, you know, I sat on that for for a couple of days and I couldn't stop thinking about it. And it was just it got me more and more excited to be a part of and create something like that where fans, you know, fans can engage with their favorite star. And we call them stars, you know, and different and so much unique and personalized ways.
[00:09:11] That's super interesting. I always love to hear how these things happen. And then you look at it and you kind of go, why didn't not think of that? Well, here we are. There you are. You're not at the restaurant with the celebrity or the person that's getting a ton of attention. We're in the back of the room. Peter Origin story.
[00:09:31] No, I have. I don't think it's fair to say it's a very strange career. Like many people. And so I actually I grew up in these coast Lebanese coast boy. I grew up in northern New Jersey. I had a very normal childhood. And so that's actually not particularly interesting. What's interesting is my whole family is still on the East Coast and I'm like the only crazy one is slowly but surely sort of roll to the other end of the country and and landed in California. And I think that's reflective of both what my parents taught me and also just the opportunity and interest. Right. And so I was.
[00:10:06] I was.
[00:10:08] Early in terms of really using pieces to more effectively do my job, you know, I serve joke that. No kidding. When I was in high school my senior year, I was the MASC manager for a 50 lawyer law firm. Wow. I haven't heard the word M-I. S. I know why I a funny.
[00:10:27] Right. Like what? But it was because in 10th grade I responded to a newspaper ad that said we need a temporary part time typists. And I could type really fast. And so I needed some money. And one thing led to another.
[00:10:41] And they basically paid me to teach myself computers and which was just an awesome experience.
[00:10:47] And and so my background is in marketing.
[00:10:50] And I started my career, Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati. That was like the first move. I lived in Kentucky. I lived in Ohio. And then and then I've moved to L.A., where you are for Activision. And I worked in video games because I'm a video gamer and I wanted to work in the industry that they had a hobby. And then a long time ago, I moved up to work for into it and I was ended up being put into it. Ten years into it, they're the makers of quick books. And then I get Turbo Tax and I had this amazing time it add into it. I ended up being into its chief marketing and product management officer. I ran the Quicken business. It was I had some really great bosses who taught me a lot. And then I moved to pay power. We were talking earlier before the shows around PayPal Mafia was not part of the PayPal mafia. But, you know, I had a couple of big roles at PayPal and I've been sort of in and around technology since. And I talk of time. I talked about sort of the origin story. And it really comes from two things. One, my dad was a serial sort of entrepreneur. He ran small businesses and, you know, and and he taught me a lot about make sure you take care of customers now.
[00:12:06] Right. And he would just you know, I'll never forget him, he say, because he would say to me all the time is like, Peter, if you are talking to somebody inside your company and a customer calls you, stop your conversation and you pick up the phone and you talk to the customer and he's and he would always get angry when people would want to finish their internal conversation. And, you know, I'd come home. And so tell me these stories even as a kid. But, you know, really imprints on you how important talking to customers is and understanding your customer, because these are fundamentally the people who serve. And my mom was a bookkeeper for small businesses. So. So, like in much of my life and career, I sort of worked for small businesses and serve small businesses and small medium businesses. And that's my background. And it actually doesn't apply to star Sonia, which we'll probably talk about a little bit later. So that's who we still who we serve. Yeah.
[00:12:56] No, it's it's really interesting because, I mean, obviously you've had some really. I would say it's a big roles at some very well-known companies. Which leads me to the question. You're at a startup that's been around for, what, three years? In that range. That is a lot different, obviously, than, you know, quick in or into it. You know, pay, pal. These are. I mean, I work for Experian and Gateway. I've worked at some big companies myself in the. The differences are so massive between those companies and and probably Starsona at its current stage. What is it that you like about the startup or how do you compare and contrast the startup in a star sona as an example versus being at a mature company that's been around for 10 years, like pay pal or quick in? These guys have unlimited budgets, they have unlimited resources. They can do anything they want. I feel that way anyway.
[00:14:01] But maybe it's not true. No, I think you're always there. Always limits. And it doesn't matter what company you are. There's always sort of limits and always, always and. And you're always having these tradeoffs. I think. A lot of it is the same. And a lot of it is different, and I think what's the same is what I loved about those companies that I worked at, which is if you care about customers and you talk to customers and you have a culture that is about, do you understand the customer and you understand that in the end you serve your customer and you go into it. Has that paper, has that right? Like, you know, these companies that I worked to, PMG, certainly, you know, sort of aspects of it did it that stays. So so understanding that what differs is how fast we can move. Right. Because there just aren't that many people to make decisions. And so we're not big enough to have eight functions, all of whom really do need to be involved. There's three or four of us. And so you can have a conversation among three or four and you can move faster, make more decisions faster. You're also the much more limited on resources. Yeah. And a lot of it is like, well, who's going to do that?
[00:15:12] And then you look in the mirror and you're like, wow, you're gonna do it because there isn't anybody else to do it anymore. He knows, like I was writing copy like twenty five years ago. Did do my writing copy today. Yup. You might be my copy today, Peter. Right.
[00:15:24] And you know, and it differs in this part of the fun. Right. It's so much fun doing this because like I'm doing quickly, like I'm in quick books running the finances of our company or. Hey. Yeah. And so, like, over the weekend, I'd be paying taxes because it's tax day. Right. Because of the delay. Right. And and you're doing all that stuff. And at the same time you're trying to make sure that is the product experience you've built as good as it could possibly be. Are you talking to husband? So.
[00:15:50] And so the context switching is, I think, a lot higher. And and you just have to be willing to do anything. And, you know, people get out of the habit of doing that as they get more senior in companies. And so it takes a little bit of of sort of getting used to. Well, there's anybody else who's going to do that. And you can't assign that to somebody else because you don't have anybody else. So you're gonna go do it. And I think the prioritization pressures are different because of that. Yeah.
[00:16:17] How is it you know, maybe I'll give this one to Matt. I mean, there's two there's co-founders. I've actually co-founded a couple of companies with my wife, but she's my significant other. So even if we even if we go at it like that's where it stops. Right. It's like, OK, well, we got to sort it out. Right. There's no you obviously, I think you guys have both been involved in quite a few companies are probably seen relationships between founders, co-founders. How do you how do you position like that in your case? What? What are your strengths? Where's the overlap? What do you focus on? And then, Peter, maybe what do you focus on at the company?
[00:16:57] Yeah, I think, you know, when you're when you're founding a team, you want to make sure that you're surrounded yourself with people that, you know, complement your skill set. And I think we did a phenomenal job in terms of bringing people on board that not only shared you know, we have a shared kind of vision, obviously, and what we want how or how he wants star senator to grow at the same time, you know, Peter has some amazing strengths that are not necessarily my strengths and vice versa. So it's a very complementary skill set that we do that kind of get our job done. And so, you know, when we started out, like you said, you're wearing so many different hats and you're out. We have our hands and so many facets of the business. It's just a matter of, you know, prioritizing and then being able to say, OK, you know what? I you know, I'm best suited for this or here's my where my strengths are all I'll take this these kind of tasks and these deliverables. You get those. But there's so much overlap that we're we're very we're a very collaborative team in that regard. And I think it's too perfect. I you know, I you know, I have the utmost respect for Peter and his experience and, you know, and I'm glad he's our CEO. And, I mean, you know, driving the ship.
[00:18:08] How did you guys make that decision? I don't know what the relationship is between the the germination of the idea. Did you guys have a prior relationship in like some you know, somebody had this idea. They brought it to you both at the same time. Or you can someone describe for me how that worked?
[00:18:27] I can, I can. I think no, we didn't know each other. We were brought together by a friend who, you know, who knew both of us. And. And I think it just grew. But the thing that I would try to sort of for people listening for what's interesting about what we did is we don't let roles get in the way of strengths. Right. That's the way we think about it, is it is not. Oh, Matt is head of operations and. And, you know, Dan is head of product. And that's sort of. And Peter's the CEO. Well, that's not how we operate at all. We sort of worked really hard. You know, even early on. And it happens somewhat naturally, but but in other ways, quite purposefully. Which was Matt, what are you great at? Yeah. And Peter, what are you great at? And Dan, what are you great in an agusto. What do you grade it? And once you know what everybody's great at, then you just start feeding things to those people that match what it is that they're great at. And roles become a secondary thing. It doesn't matter what you call it. I mean, it just doesn't matter. Right?
[00:19:27] Just assessing what is the way it is our business and critical need at that moment and seeing how best to solve that as opposed to, oh, no, this is not my area. You know, I'm only operation. So I want you to focus on operations. That wasn't that. There's like who who is the best person suited to fill that need?
[00:19:45] And part of that is, is you also have to. We have you know, we think of ourselves as like we have a culture that is about normal people. Right. And, you know, we've we've sort of normal treatment as normal people. But characters welcome and at which I stole from USA. I love that. I'm going to steal it from you. Can I double steal? Now, you never outright like. But what I mean by that is a lot of times like I'll be like, hey, you know, even though I'm a market, I'll give an example. Even though I'm a marketer, I'm not great at the use of color. And and, you know, and sort of design in that kind of thing. Matt sitting here smiling at so because he knows. And so here's the thing. Even though I like I'm running Mark Good. Because I did marketing for a lot of my career and as I know, like, I just matched better at that than I am. And and and by the way, we have like two or three other people on the team who are all better than me at that end. And it requires having sort of a culture of, hey, we're normal people. That's like I'm like, OK. It's not that big a deal. That's not the thing I'm great at. So let me make sure even when it's a marketing piece of whatever somebody else is going to weigh in on, on exactly how it should look. And so you need people who not only know what their strengths are, but are sort of quite willing to recognize when other people are better than them at a particular thing. And it's just not a big deal because we're all busy. And so that's hard.
[00:21:10] It's just I mean, it's really hard to find the right people. I feel like if money was a commodity, you could get it from anywhere. And sometimes I tell my team to think about it this way. What would you do if you had a billion dollars? Forget. Forget the restrictions. Forget the constraints. I know there's a lot of value in problem solving. There's a lot of value in putting constraints on people. But if you just had to imagine if you had the perfect team and what to do and a lot of the times it's it's really hard for people to come up with that vision or that kind of person that they need to be a member of the team and how they're going to act and behave. And so in in a startup environment. You guys have a lot of a lot of pressure to perform. So are you guys are you guys funded? See, self-funded, bootstrapped.
[00:22:01] Yeah, so we are. We are angel funded. Got it right. So so you're on a timeline, basically. You know, every business I've ever met. Doesn't matter what their funding is, is on a timeline. Yeah. Yeah. You could go raise fifty million dollars and you're still on a timeline right. As you go. And so. But but yes. Certainly for us it is. It is. I mean move fast. Take our customers. Grow the business. And and the good news is, you know, we we manage to meet people and had people who believed in us and believed in the idea. And therefore, we're willing to put in the funding. And that includes, you know, like ex CEOs of some of the companies that I worked at, CEOs of Intuit and Activision and. Yeah. And those kinds of companies. And even, you know, we've got an NBA basketball player who's an angel in us because he thought that this thing should exist and we do so.
[00:22:56] So who wants to take the market? Because one of the things I like to kind of start out with is thinking about the market just broadly is as opposed to thinking about the product just yet. And I want to talk about the product. But if we think about this market, the industry that's in my brief that I'm reading is entertainment. I don't. Is that the right market? Because what market are you guys in? And let's talk about how big that market is and how consumer preferences may have evolved to a point where people are willing to pull out their phone or write stuff down and give a quick thing to someone else and share it, monetize their own personal brand. What what market are we in and how is consumer preferences changed to give you guys the opportunity to solve a problem that might not have been there five years ago or two years ago or three years ago or one year ago?
[00:23:49] Matt, I think your default taking this is like can you repeat that now? So.
[00:24:00] Limato, let's start let's start let's start off with, like kind of a broader question, right? So, you know, entertainment. Yes. Where we've seen this new paradigm shift with the various ways that people kind of interact and engage with, you know, their favorite stars. And I think in the last few years, that whole, you know, star fan relationship has evolved, that it's something now that is something more accessible and authentic for the individual fans to consume. You know, before it was pretty unheard of for a fan to engage with the star in a unit uniquely personalized level. You know, I think, you know, a good example of that is, you know, a fan could tap a star's shoulder, so to speak, on social. But the thing about that star that they're following isn't necessarily going to tap tap on that, given the noise that is social media, because it's so one to many. We're seeing this one very highly unique, highly personalized, one on one interaction, you know, and now it's star. So now we're giving, you know, stars to, you know, just tools for the star to engage with the fans and new and creative ways.
[00:25:07] You think Twitter maybe open that if you had to think about. OK, because you can D.M. people on Twitter. Like, what opened up this opportunity? Because traditionally I'm like forty four years old. So if you there's no way you're gonna you're gonna poke Dominique Wilkins back in the day or be like, hey man, can you pay attention to me? There was no conduit or circuitry for that would open up the space and actually allowed people who we all might perceive to be bigger than life, accessible to the average everyday person. Give them a chance to communicate with them and make an impact on their life, potentially.
[00:25:47] Sure. Yeah. And I think that's why, you know, the whole evolution and people more are these stars are gravitating to this more acceptance of, hey, it's OK to interact with my fans and that kind of personalized way. You know, obviously, social media, you know, had the you know, the the behemoth that is social media over the last couple of years. But people, you know, the accessibility of it is, you know, they just want to be more, like I said, more authentic and more grounded with what? With their fans. They want to give their fans what they want. And, you know, I think the star Sona is a perfect conduit for that. You know, we see it like I said, there is this whole paradigm shift. You know, like we started off a just as a personal video shout out app. And we just months ago, we just evolved the product to doing much more than that. A whole, you know, online storefront that the stars can really engage with their fans and really unique ways.
[00:26:42] That's interesting.
[00:26:45] Peter, you're on mute. Read an academic paper at one point that's I've talked about it as the narrowing of the gap between stars and fans. And I thought that phrase narrowing of the gap was interesting, because if you think about the cultural changes. It wasn't all that long ago when if you put your music in a commercial, you were accused of being a sellout. Right. You were selling out, and that's just not the case anymore. Everybody wants to have their music and the commercial because they want the money and they want the exposure. And, you know, and then stars like Taylor Swift really sort of drove this. I can interact with my fans mentality where now if you're distant, you're perceived as cold a little bit. All right. And so and so there's this just been this cultural change over the last really few years. Right. You know, maybe 10, you know, thing where where where it isn't that stars of these distant things that I've never can see and only see on the movie screen, only here on a record or, you know, back this OCD or whatever it was. We're now with the narrowing of the gap, the expectation is or there's a certainly a desire to be closer. And I think stars want to provide that in a way that is safe for them and an efficient use of their time because everybody needs to manage their time well. And and platforms like Star Son are being born because of that.
[00:28:12] And you'd mentioned safe. I know it's in your copy on the Web site and it was in your introduction. But I just think about, I guess back in the day, giving access to celebrities could be a very dangerous thing. You guys have figured out a way. Do you have any. Ways to describe how it protects them or how. Like, how does that work from a safety standpoint? Exactly.
[00:28:39] Well, you know, it starts tonight where we serve as the intermediary between fan and star. Any fan and star interaction. Right. We want to make sure that both parties are feeling safe and how they interact with one another.
[00:28:52] Yeah. And like you, the the days of, like, super fanzines and stalking. And that's, you know, that's where Star Center comes indicate. Make sure that those interactions are maintained and they they can be at a safe or guarded, you know.
[00:29:06] So do you have. Oh, go ahead, Peter. And what we mean by intermediation is literally every aspect of the transaction goes through the Star Sona system. So. So what? We have stars who offer the ability to D.M. them right now. In some ways, it's a way to monetize fanmail that they can't respond to you on Instagram because there's just too much noise and the process doesn't work. And so and so in that case, all but the texting actually goes through our system. Right. Same thing for if they deliver a video or an audio file or whatever it is that they are delivering to the fan. It all goes through our system. So the fan never sees any of the star's personal information. Neither are our friends. We should have talked about this where we use the word star to mean anybody who has fans or followers. Got it. So when I say star, don't think beyond, say, or just Taylor Swift. It could be somebody like you if you've got fans or followers. We'll call you a star. And that's because you can't use celebrity, because at not all athletes think of themselves as celebrities. Musicians call themselves artists. Call them right. Like everybody calls themselves something different. Business people are business people, but nobody minds being called the star.
[00:30:16] Yeah. You're a star to us. And you know what's interesting, too? I think it's happened over maybe the last three to five years. You think about, you know, people like Gary Vaynerchuk can even even if you think about, you know, Rogan or Tim Ferriss, some of these guys, they have their own personal brands. And now I feel like personal branding, doing stuff for yourself, even if you work at companies. I've seen leaders of growth at larger companies. They actually set up their own kind of personal brands or own podcast or own stuff, even though they work for, I don't know, Quicken or whatever, kind of like. Wow. So are you guys. Do you feel like it's part of the roadmap or part of your vision to include. And I think you just said that, look, not everybody is Taylor Swift, but if you're interested in establishing and building your own presence, your own awareness, your own personal brand, you feel like that's a direction that you guys can head in. So you can serve millions of people potentially instead of just maybe one percent of the celebrities or stars that we recognize on television or recognize on YouTube.
[00:31:26] I think we do already. Right. Remember earlier I said the small and medium business aspect of my background will sort of come in and Matt's background, too. Matt worked with a lot of small businesses when he was in line. We actually think we're a product mostly for the 99 percenters. Not as much the one percenters. Right. We were happy to get the one percenters right. Like those superstars. And we can serve them as well. But for them. But, you know, some of our some of our best customers mean the customers who get the most interactions. They might have even just ten thousand followers. But those their fans want to support them and want to engage with them. And they engage well back. And and and so it isn't a matter of size. It really is a matter of engagement. And do people want to sort of engage? And yes, we can. I mean, look, creating a storefront on Starz on a can take less than 10 minutes. It's not really. And it's free. Right. It's free to set up. Right. And so we we don't we take a percentage of every transaction. That's how we make money. And so and so literally, anybody who thinks that they have fans who might want to interact with them in some way can go set up their own storefront and do.
[00:32:38] So let me let me ask a question, because it's a little bit timely with with Cauvin. And I'll give a really weird example restaurant. Everybody loves to go to this restaurant. You go there because you connect with the people you always see there. You also love the food. The founders, you know, they're working their asses off seven days a week. They've got great personalities and boom, restaurants are shut down. And it's like, well, wait a second. That restaurant probably has. I'll just make it up. Ten people a day that come in. The only reason I'm saying 10 people a day is just for easy math and the average ticket size is 10 bucks. So this restaurant was making a hundred dollars a day and now maybe they're only making five. Could we go to those restaurants and say, hey, become a Starsona thing? Send it. Send out an invite to all of your restaurant coupon email list. And can they start doing transaction? Can the owners of the restaurant start creating videos, engaging with their audience and engaging with their customers? And is it really that easy for them to do this right. On your app?
[00:33:55] Yes, men are looking into this one, and so the answer is, is yes, if they let's take that restaurant owner, if they think that they could sell a personalized interaction with those fans and it could be anything from, hey, I'll send you a recipe. Yeah. Or or tell me what ingredients you have in your house because you haven't been able to go out to the supermarket. That is a great idea. Right. Like and they and they they're like, send me that the five to 10 ingredients and I'll create a recipe just for you. Right. Well, how did they do that today? Right. They can't. They've got no way to take the transaction. They have no way to to monetize. They've no way to deliver that without, you know, sort of sharing their personal information, which they don't want to do. And so, yes, that chef or you know, that the owner of that restaurant could offer that kind of interaction. It could also be, hey, text me if you want some advice about opening a restaurant. It could be a love it. You know, me and your kids love me because they see me every time you come in. I wish your kids happy birthday for ten bucks or your love and extra five bucks. So anybody who wants to offer personalized interaction, they can. And you start with people who are known to have fan bases, which is why people tend to think entertainment. Right. Because entertainment people have fans. Right. And they might be musicians, they might be actors. They might be dancers. They might be right. You know, podcasters. Yeah, but but the platform that we have, the technology that we built. Just allows somebody who has fans or followers to deliver a personalized interaction to those fans or followers for a fee.
[00:35:31] Got it. Got it. Are you guys mad? Are you. You guys selling merchandise or any, you know, anything like that?
[00:35:40] Or is it just the the that's the beauty of our platform and it's, you know, a really robust and flexible and GNB tailor tailored to whatever the stars are where they want to offer their audience, their fans and their audience. So, yeah. So it could be anything from, like, the video shout outs. It could be the pay Ms. We do to personalize merch so that we do have stars that offer, you know, either a signed hat on an episode that they were on or, you know, just a headshot that you can get a personalized inscription.
[00:36:12] And then what we're called fun stuff, a picture just. Right. You know, was talking about just a minute ago. And to kind of just do another example, we have Max Adler, who is a Glee star. He was a star on Glee. His wife was pregnant. So he she cooked a lot for her. So he was offering what he was calling meals for with Max. And he would video him of making dinner based off of some dietary restrictions for his fans. And then she stands by a book I requested for that. So it's our platform is super flexible and designed to, you know, whatever the stars want to offer that are their audience, they can do it.
[00:36:47] How do you feel? Do you feel like this is for them anyway? I'm sure you guys have a whole, you know, class of spreadsheets on unit economics, CCAC lifetime value, the whole regular stuff. But as a person, are they doing this because they're really making a lot of money? Are they doing this because maybe it goes back to Peter's point? They're doing this because if you're going to be a player nowadays and you're gonna establish a personal brand or celebrity or stardom, you better be connecting with your audience. Are they are they making good money doing this or is it something that's like, well, I'm going to do them, I will make a couple bucks?
[00:37:24] Oh, the answer to your question is actually all of the above. I mean, we have we have a star who is well on track to make five figures, just Demming people. Wow. Literally just Deanne's. Well, we have we just got a couple of stars on who I think could easily hit hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales. Right. Because they have a big enough audience that sort of wants. And so and so, yes, they do it for the money. I don't think this is a bad thing. Many of them have lost other avenues of ways for them to make money due to covered. Yeah. Different way for them to make money. And but the beautiful thing about Starsona and these personalized interactions is they're making money in a way that creates joy for their fans and builds their brand long term. And so we do have some people who just do it because they want to build the brand. And we have other people who want to do it mostly for the money and everything in between. But it's not like there's a tradeoff here, right? It's if you can do it all. This is about you're creating happiness for a fan who's willing to give you money, which in the end is what entertainment is right now. Somebody goes to a show, they are paying you money and you are delivering entertainment back to them now. Right. And Joy, back to them. And and this enables the exact same thing just in a very personalized one to one way. Awesome.
[00:38:44] So now we're basically supercharging that that fan engagement experience for them, you know?
[00:38:50] You know, the other thing I was thinking about as I was doing a little bit of research on your company and I dove into some of our marketing tools here, like SDM, Rosch and our RAF's. And, you know, I noticed Terrelle oh, Champ Bailey, Dominique Wilkins, these are people that I kind of grew up with. Even Perez Hilton looks like she gets a lot or he gets a lot of hits on on your site just based on research, on site traffic and stuff like that. But some of these some of these folks, to your point earlier, Peter, they may not have I mean, Dominique, maybe he can still dunk a basketball, but I don't think he's out. I don't think people are craving to have him do commercials for them or or anything like that. So maybe this is a way for some of these folks to actually resurrect their brand because it's meaningful to me. You know, Dominique was meaning's the Tomahawk jam was meaningful to me, right?
[00:39:48] Yeah. I don't think of it so much as Resurrection is building. I would think about it. It's building and you can always be building and and look, people, you know, are have height of fame and sort of lower, but they're still famous as they go. But again, I think a lot of about a lot about people who are famous to some other people. Right. And and I give an example. We just got a couple of members of Home Free to create their own storefronts. And you might not have heard of home free. They are a country acapella band. They won season four of the Sing Off, which was an NBC reality show. They have a million subscribers, over a million subscribers on YouTube. Wow. Which is a lot, but a lot of people have still never heard of them. And I love talking about them because I like to so broadcast them. I'm actually a fan of being a fan of theirs for sort of long time because I like acappella and I like country bands. And and so there's this this thinking around just because. Not everybody in the country or the world has heard of you, doesn't mean you're not famous. To a whole bunch of people. And and that kind of fame, right, or that kind of fan, as I said there, people who listen to your podcasts. They know you. They like you. You may not know who they are. You might not have sort of met them, but they listened to your podcasts and they are fans of yours. And so for that group, it might be small. Might be large. Right. Star sonna can help you if you if you are famous in that way.
[00:41:13] Know, it's interesting. I've seen it all bounces off of both of you, it feels like. I mean, as Google, Facebook, Amazon over the last 15 years, maybe 20, but 15 for the most part, have captured, you know, maybe eighty five percent of the ad markets. And the strategy has been to literally it's been an impression game frequency reach impressions, get as much as you can so you can scale. It feels like, though, what we're headed towards I have a hypothesis or a thesis around this, it feels like what we're headed towards, though, is this ability to capture your own audience, your own micro audience. It just very closely manage, monitor and take care of that. So let's say that these guys I can't remember the name of the band, they have a million followers. Well, I mean, I don't know how many followers is Taylor Swift fab, 50 million. Fuck do they. But these guys and gals from this, you know, nitty gritty country band or Balkam Taliban, they they could probably live a great life and create great music and not be under the same stress or systems of major broadcast media contracts, all the stuff. They're probably doing great with a million followers. I mean, my thesis is we're gonna get smaller from a targeting standpoint, but it's just gonna be more meaningful. I guess that's what I'm saying. Would you guys agree with that? You see that?
[00:42:52] Yeah, I think Peter alluded to that in terms of like engagement. Right. Some of our like Peter said, and with some of our most successful stars out on the platform, you know, have 10, maybe 20 thousand followers. But it's super engagement. Right. That is such a high level engagement that they have that, you know, and that's kind of, you know, when they're promoting their their own storefront starts on a storefront, you know, they're really tapping into their existing fan base. They really know that they're engaged and they want certain things and certain interactions with, you know, with a star that they're following. So to your point, yeah, I think we're going to see something again. Social media is very one to many. I think something that's more meaningful and more, you know, a higher engagement. We're going to see that connect shrink down to something that's a lot more or more kind of in line with personalized and more unique kind of engagement fan engagement model.
[00:43:45] Got it. Same time you get like Terrell Owens, who's like, hey, I'll do a tick tock video with Urana, sort of like. And so you get these are more famous and interesting to T.O. is is a very famous football player. Yeah. And he's on you know, he has a Starsona store front and he offers these fun things because I think honestly, I think for him, he enjoys it.
[00:44:05] Yeah. Oh, yeah. He's an interesting he's an interesting character. Matt, you talked about engagement a little bit in your business. Do you see people coming back over and over and over again? And then are they coming back and paying dozens of dollars? Are they coming back and paying hundreds of dollars? I know if you look across your network, maybe you could average it out, but are people coming back over and over again or they kind of multiplexing with different people, or are they coming back to the same people because they're so enjoyable just to get these messages for?
[00:44:40] Yeah, I think it and we're seeing both of them. I say we do have the repeat customers that for a that are one specific star that they really love.
[00:44:49] Again, Peter mentioned and we have, you know, a wrestler who is on track to make, you know, five digits and just DMSO pay dams alone. And that's the bulk of that was from you know, it just repeat customers that just had loved to have that engagement and that conversation, the ongoing conversation with them. Yeah. Yeah. And we do have people who are making multiple requests to a variety of stars that they're that they're Franza. So we're we're getting this two prong approach for it with these with these customers and customers.
[00:45:17] How do you it seems like it would be really difficult to put. Everybody starts of what they wanted from their celebrity star, whatever. How did they go through the selection process? Do you have canned stuff that says, OK, if you want an anniversary, you want a birthday? There's probably some life events that are pretty simple to take care of. And then I would also think that maybe you give the fan an opportunity to write something and say, hey, please say this to me or my son or my daughter or my whatever. How does this. This has got to be fairly complicated. From a business process, technology, creative standpoint, to think about what I would want a celebrity to say back to me, because a celebrity has to be creative or I have to be creative. Yes, facilitate it. And then you have to like the content because it seems because they have to do it on the fly. Right. It's it's not like they're doing the magic show. They have to get ready for a direct message and say, oh, I'm going to be creative and give Chris a happy birthday. Dominique Wilkins, you find issues and challenges around the creativity and the technology platform. You know, this show.
[00:46:30] And we try to make that as easy and seamless for the star, because luck to your point, you know, there's a lot of thought that goes into, oh, my God, this is a unique what am I going to say? Yeah, we have, you know, in our internal process and our systems, we have a script, something that's scripted. Janet, let's generalize. But then there's a ability for fan who is making a request to add a little bit more details. And if there's something special that they want, they have that ability to say, hey, would be awesome if you said, you know, I loved you. I loved you so much since I was back in college and saw you play in college. So we give that a little bit of a uniqueness in that free-form field to add that little touch of personalization or, you know, that's just shot Charlottes times. Some of the stuff that we do for what we're considering, fun stuff. You know, the stars that we have on the platform, they have their own personal concierge that they work with to generate these and brainstorm some of these ideas that fits their their brand and personality.
[00:47:26] Oh, wait a second. So, OK. So the question I asked is like maybe the struggle around creativity. And what you're saying is you guys recognize that you have you have concierge's for these folks to help them with this stuff if they need it?
[00:47:39] We do. Absolutely. We're there every step of the way with them. And we want them to be as successful as they possibly can on the platform and engage with their fans. So any way that we can help them with the marketing services are helping them brainstorm. I'm kind of up with these fun stuff items to offer the fans where it will definitely help them.
[00:48:00] Interesting. There's a few players in this space cameo grievously celeb VM. Well, whatever. I know cameos on Google. I don't know if that's still a thing. What do you think? If those if none of those guys do what you guys do, like, even remotely, just tell me. I'm not obviously I'm not in this space.
[00:48:23] Right. Yeah, they're there. And so they don't do what we do. But they are in a similar arena. Right. Right. And and what I mean by that is all of us, all those companies plus sort of a bunch of others are enabling these personalized interactions with fans. Got it. But the way I think about Cameo and celeb VM and greets the sort of the others is they're they're kind of like Macy's animal. And and what I mean by that is you can put your product in Macy's and you can convince Macy's to take your product. But Macy's will decide where in the store it goes. They will decide what it looks like. They'll decide which products you can offer. Interesting. When somebody, you know, they'll decide if they're going to promote it, if they put on the bottom shelf, the top shelf, how it's going to look. Right. This sort of control of that when somebody buys it. You have no idea who that person is because it's Macy's customer is not your customer. If you've got a product in Macy's, you have no idea who's buying your product inside of Macy's. You're wholesale, right? And so you get no gift. You get no data about who's buying. And of course, Macy's is taking a large percentage of the sale now, whereas what we enable you to do is have your own store in that same mall. So you can have your own boutique store. And in that store, because it's your store, you can make it look the way you want. So we enable you to change the fonts and the colors of yours, of yours, of your site, in your store front. You can choose to put in whichever products that you want. And and sort of lay out whatever products you want. When somebody buy something, you know who it is. So you get fan data, which is incredibly important in terms of building your brand over the long run and knowing how best friend, you know, most financially supportive fans are. Right. And and in answer, you get and you pay lower fees. Right. So so you mean significantly lower fees if you're selling through your own storefront and so and so you're you're allowed to be on like a star is able to be on all these services. Right. There's no sort of exclusivity. But but what we tell people is you should never promote one of those services to your own fan base. You should be promoting your own storefront. Yeah, of course. Right. Like, if you had a store, imagine you're in a mall for as long as we still have malls and. Right. Like, you've got your own store and you have a few products in Macy's. But where are you going to send people? You're going to send people to your own store because of what we call the three FS flexibility fan data and lower fees. Right. And so that's how we differ, which is we help you create your store for free. Whereas these others are like, ah, like Macy's or in the in I guess in the in the digital world, there would be those other stores like eBay, whereas we're Shopify, Wick's or Squarespace.
[00:51:17] Got it. Got it. That makes perfect sense. How big do you think this platform gets? Are we talking tens of millions of fans and stars, I guess? Or are we talking hundreds of thousands? Are we talking hundreds of millions? How big is this thing going to get?
[00:51:38] Big, it's so it's a goal. So, you know, we talked earlier about the fact that Matt and I both worked in big companies and sort of like big. And so when we started a company, we wanted to work on something that we thought could be as big as those. And, you know, there are millions of what we would call stars, again, anybody who is fans or followers, millions upon them. You know, it's hard to actually estimate, but a conservative estimate is between five and 10 million globally. Wow. Right. And and that doesn't include, like, business people who have fans or followers, which would, I think, pump that number up even more. And and so when you take a look at that and you take a look at sort of how new and the kinds of experiences. Right. So, again, you know, you're an expert in banking, right? Deserves like this forever. Imagine if somebody could just book you for a 30 minute advice and you could charge them for that. And they could just go to your store front. And you when you start thinking about all the possible ways that this can grow. It is a very, very big business possibly right now. You know, it's still small for everybody. But that's because it's so new. But the growth has been astronomical in the category over the last year and a half. I mean, it's really crazy. We're now already hitting hundreds of millions in sales across all of these companies.
[00:52:55] Yeah, no, that's super. That's super promising. One point that you made about being able to sort of charge for your time on a D.M. or these recorded or these live like we're doing Zoom. What do you want to do again? Yes and yes. Oh, wow. Got it.
[00:53:15] That's the out of is flexible enough time. You decide. And so we want you to feel that control over how you set up your store fire and what you offer on your store front. So if you want to do a zoom call like this, you can offer that. If you want to do something that's just, you know, a straight D.M. text message. You can do that as well.
[00:53:33] Or, Kuseni, somebody can video themself asking your question. You video a short response. We stitched the two together and get it back to that fan and everybody gets paid and happy.
[00:53:43] That's interesting. Is there a lot of services work that goes with the production quality of what you're trying to do here? So if someone types a question and says, hey, say happy birthday to my son or daughter, I want to get loans to say it. And then he picks up his phone, I'm assuming, and he records himself saying Happy birthday. And he reads the words, I don't know where he gets the words up to get into the platform. Look at it. But is there any production quality after the fact that you guys have to manage? Or is this just like the show, unscripted? You get what you get. And then they get it. How does that work?
[00:54:19] We provide the store front. The star is the one in the end to provide for content. So we don't we don't deign to know better than the star at their store. And they sell the product. And so, you know, we've had stars who do stuff into cars and they're, you know, they've supplied it. But it's personal still. And it's really incredible. Awesome. And then we have other stars who, you know, want the right backdrop and want it to look great. And they sort of. And and, you know, and as a fan, you you you pretty much know what you're going to get from that star. Both examples on their store front page as well as. Because you kind of know what they're like because you're a fan of theirs and and go through. But no, we don't. Again, we would never we don't deign to try to improve with the stars. It's their product. It's their story.
[00:55:06] So what do you see as probably some of the most successful things that I'll say it this way, that you've kind of guessed that or hypothesizing you were right about? You're like, well, we really thought that was gonna be awesome and it was totally awesome. And then maybe one or a couple of things that you felt was really challenging. You could be with team. It could be with tech. It could be. But you do it quick books on the weekends. All of us have that problem for small. But what, like couple challenges or a couple big wins for you guys if you care to state those.
[00:55:43] Start us off. Yes.
[00:55:46] So let's say I can think about sort of what what worked and what didn't work, because especially early on, there was far more that didn't work than work. Yeah. We've worked is the core premise of the company and the idea that fans want to connect with stars. And again, when we see stars, people who they follow are people who've given them joy in some way, shape or form. And and stars want to deliver that. And and right now, they can't. And so and so the category we're in is crude was clearly the right category. It's growing. It creates all sorts of interest. I think where we got things wrong was like, for example, at the very beginning, we're like we're a new company. Nobody is going gonna give us their mobile phone number. No stars gonna give us their mobile phone number. And that's interesting. And that was just wrong, like that was completely wrong. And it made life so much harder because, you know, like they did. You know, they've got an app which notifies them when they have a booking and then they get a new phone and they don't install the hour.
[00:56:50] They install the app, but they don't log in. And so now we get notifications. And so they miss a booking because they didn't know that they had a booking and we didn't have their phone. And they don't always read their e-mail.
[00:56:58] Right. Like, I can only imagine what you guys have to write it. So it's like stuff like that, which was like, you just have to go get to know the customer around. You know, at first we made it. So we because we're like, it's got to be easy. So all the video is built into the phone, right? They can they can just. The only way that they deliver videos is through the phone now. But there's a whole bunch of stars who have their own rig and they want to use their rig to make a really. So make the video that they want and they're going to want to upload to us and like, OK, we have to enable them to upload a video, too, so they can sort of.
[00:57:32] And that's all like in hindsight, you're like, well, pretty obvious, right? See, the obvious, but it's not obvious until it's in hindsight. I know. Yeah. Everybody's so smart after it all happens. Right. But I wouldn't have thought I would I would actually think that it would be difficult to even.
[00:57:52] How do you get their attention? How do you get them to believe and trust that Star Sona is doing the right thing by them and their fans? And then how do you get the information you get? Like you said before, how do you get them on the damn phone? I would think that they have, you know, administration and, you know, operational crews.
[00:58:12] Let's do this in one room. Depends on who it is. Right. So. So if you start at. At, at. At. Right. So there's the new. That are just sort of, you know, rising. They they don't have managers and saw people there. Then they go sign up and they create their storefront. Then, you know, then they get bigger and they become a micro business. Then they become a small business. You know, once you start heading to mediums, then they have a a you know, they might have a managers of people around them. But clearly, the biggest issue that we have right now is how do we get more and more people to fight? Like. Like for me, the frustrating thing that keeps me up at night is simply. These people can use what we offer them, know, help them. Especially today, when live music isn't happening, when athletes don't have the ability to go to signing's or to go. Right. It's sort of like especially the retired ones when when actors aren't working because they don't have when dancers have. They were so like. We can help them in a tough time. Tough is relative for everybody, but nevertheless, everybody is looking for ways to to make money. And and we can do it in a way that's of. And the problem is they don't know we exist because we're a new company and even more so. The category of being able to provide these personalized interactions is so new that they don't even know to search for it. So, like, if you think if you're an if you're a musician. Everybody was searching for how do I do live streams. And streams are finding is actually really hard, not only because the technology is hard, but because they want to do a second life stream of some have to come up with an entirely new show. And it used to be that, like I could, I had one show and then I toured all over the country and I could do pretty much that same show. Pretty efficient setlist, that same playlist. Well, when everybody on the Internet is able to come to my first show, if I want to do another show two or three weeks later, I can't do the exact same show. And and so but nevertheless, they know, like, let me search for what is the best way to charge for a livestream? Had I do livestream, are they. They don't know to search for. Hey, I want to offer personalized interactions to my fans. You mean nobody thought about that? Right. And so because it's just a new area then. And so we have to break through that. And we have to sort of get them to know about us and and especially at a time when we can really help them. Like, that's the thing that just like it, just like we got to do better. We have to do better. That's what we do. Can really matter.
[01:00:41] We have those cases, too, like we know that the right target. I do very well on the starts on a pop form once they're on. They do. Amazing.
[01:00:50] So who are the use cases? Is it. Musicians. I know you guys have talked about musicians. You've talked about athletes. What are those use cases? So our audience knows. I mean, obviously, this is a great chance for distribution. But, you know, it might not be a restaurant owner doing recipes, although that was fun. It was great idea, but that might not be the best use case.
[01:01:10] So let's talk about one of the things we got wrong. We have like a spreadsheet with probably 20 I think 24 factors, if I remember correctly, where we tried to guess and sort of like be like, OK, if there's this many followers of this kind of engagement there in this sort of thing. And that spreadsheet is really complex and totally wrong. It's just totally wrong. Like our ability. Yes. Matches did like the dart throwing sort of thing, leading to predict who has a fan base that wants to engage and and ah, they actually both engaging in do they come up with the right offerings. Is still, I would say, very nascent. Right. It's all the things where what we do is we encourage people like, look, it's free to set up your storefront. You know, you can do it in very little amount of time. And so part of this is just go do it and see test. Right. Like we are talking about, like starting to write, test and learn, test and learn test to learn. Well, this is a case where it's really cheap to test and you can learn. But a lot of it is just simply, do you have access to your fans and do your fans want to support you and connect with you in some way? And if the answer to both of those questions is yes, you can do really well. And and, you know, if you don't have any access to your fans, well, we're not you know, again, our job is not to go get fans for you. And so so it's hard for us to sort of help you there now. And and if you don't have engaged fans. Right, meaning people who want to sort of interact with serving you do well, then that's again. That's a different problem in their other. You know, there are lots of other companies who help yourself. Both of those problems.
[01:02:41] You're a platform. You've got to kind of. You've got to have your shit together a little bit to leverage the platform. It's like Facebook. You're not going to sign up for it with Facebook, with no friends and expect to have a Facebook feed, I guess. Right. But by it, like by vertical or, you know, it's the musicians versus actors versus business people. Like, we have examples of all of them who do well. You know, it's interesting, I just had an idea because I love marketing and business problems. Like, we flip it on its head, so instead of going after the the the Naison categories, you go after the fans actually. So. If you want to communicate with your number one, whatever, go to this link, go on their Twitter and DMM or go to their Twitter feed and tell them to sign up for because you want to talk to them, right? Yeah. Kind of an interesting marketing experiment. I think, you know.
[01:03:46] It's worth a try. I I'm a big fan of hypothesis tests have a hypothesis hypothesis, see if it works and.
[01:03:54] Well, as we win this thing down, this has been really interesting and. I'm going to really think hard about this and I'm going to bring it up to a lot of people that I talked to, a lot of people, too, just to hear their thoughts and stuff. But before we shut this thing down, you know, the last questions, usually advice for founders, entrepreneurs or, you know, individuals in the C Suite. If you had to give us a piece of advice, you know, you guys have both had long careers doing this sort of thing. What would be the one or two things you would advise our audience as we wrap this up?
[01:04:35] Trial, I'll start. I think I touched on this earlier in the podcast, but I would say just surrounding yourself with people who have a positive impact on your journey. I think when you're high, either whether you're hiring a team or you're bringing on advisers, this becomes essentially critical. You know, obviously, you want these people to have a shared vision and a shared passion for what you're trying to accomplish. But you also want to make sure that these people, one, fit a particular skill or a gap that you're your business absolutely needs. And to that, they're, you know, a cultural fit for your company. I think there's superimportant.
[01:05:15] All right.
[01:05:16] And mine, which is probably again, obvious, but I think it's really easy, which is. Talk to customers. It's so easy to get caught up in the business and the day to day work of the business. Did you forget to actually go talk to customers and then and if you don't, you start making decisions based on what you think as opposed to being informed. And and and so we work really hard to make sure the people carve out time that in some ways doesn't feel productive because it's like, oh, my God, I have to get this release out. Oh, my God. I have to do this marketing piece. Oh, my God. I have to finish this financial analysis for the investor. Oh, my. You know, sort of all those things. But if you don't talk to customers. Right. Or prospects or so people like, it's just it's your guessing and sometimes you guessed right. Soon as you get it wrong. But but carving out that time to make sure that you interact with customers and or spend time with people who also interact with customers and serve time, them, I think is. I've just found that to matter. It doesn't matter whether you're at a big company, a small company. Like, it's really easy to get caught up in the work and forget that your work needs to be informed by customer insight.
[01:06:34] OK. I couldn't agree more. And it's it's it's actually even interesting as marketers and a bit in marketing and sales for twenty five years. And as you get more into entrepreneurial mode, you get we talked about kind of multitasking or context switching or stir. You're right. There's so many things to do. I think that I don't know if I could put a number on it, but I would say most most of the time the customer work is last on that list. It really feels that way, because if you can't afford to hire a professional product manager in a professional SDR, BTR salesperson or this or that, people that you pay to only talk to customers here, you're like doing the Excel spreadsheets, which are a crazy mess. They're super smart. They're super intricate. They're hard to understand. But maybe it's like you put all that shit away and go talk to a customer. But it's so hard to do. But it's so hot. Yes, it's a first principle thing and it's obvious. And we all have to do that more and better. So I so I appreciate that. Well, Peter Karpas and Matt Martin are the co-founders of Starsona, a platform that provides anyone with fans or followers with their own virtual storefronts. I love it. Starsona dot com. Right. S t a r s o and a star son. A dot com. We'll also put LinkedIn profiles in the show notes. Are there any other references you want to point us towards? You have any podcasts, any blogs, anything like that?
[01:08:13] You know, we're creating a company, so the time to do podcasts, blogs. I think I'm here now. I'll do it for you. No problem here any time. Hold back on any time and appreciate that. Just let it rip, you guys. You guys have been great. I really appreciate you being on the show. And we'll see you around and start a plant. Thanks so much, Chris. Thanks for the time, Chris. Really appreciate it.