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The Jason & Scot Show - E-Commerce And Retail News

Join hosts Jason “Retailgeek” Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Founder and Executive Chairman of Channel Advisor, as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.
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Now displaying: November, 2021
Nov 23, 2021

EP281 - Mark Mahaney, author and top internet analyst 

Mark Mahaney is Senior Managing Director at Evercore ISI, Research Division, he’s one of the original and longest lasting internet analysts on Wall Street. He recently published “Nothing but Net: 10 Timeless Stock-Picking Lessons from One of Wall Street’s Top Tech Analysts.”

We cover a variety of fun topics including the beginning of his career with with Mary Meeker. His initial evaluation of EBay. His long positions on Amazon, Netflix, and Priceline, and butting heads with Jim Cramer over Google. We also discuss what’s next for Amazon, and where the best investments of the future might be.

Episode 281 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, November 18th, 2021

http://jasonandscot.com

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Transcript

Jason:
[0:00] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 281 being recorded on Thursday November 18 20 21.
I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scott Wingo.

Scot:
[0:16] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners.
Jason as you and the listeners know I am a huge scene in b.c. junkie and you can’t turn on CNBC Durning Earth during earning Seasons without seeing Mark mahaney he is one of the top internet analyst.
He was actually on recently talking about the artist previously known as Facebook meta
Mark has a new book out called quote-unquote Nothing But net and is joining us tonight give listeners an early peek of what is sure to be the best seller in the bookmark covers some of our favorite companies including Amazon Apple Facebook / meta Google Netflix Twitter and Uber
Mark welcome to the show.

Mark:
[0:56] Thanks for having me on guys.

Jason:
[0:58] Mark we are thrilled the chat with you is you know Scott is a huge Amazon fan boy so I anytime he gets a chance to talk Amazon he’s excited.
And I’m super excited because after tonight show I’m going to be smart enough to get rich like you and Scott so that’s pretty pretty exciting for me.
But before we jump into all that we always like to give listeners a little bit of a feel for our guests background and in your case I know I think you’re officially the the oldest analysts on Wall Street is that true.

Mark:
[1:29] Well that’s the oldest and longest lasting internet analyst on Wall Street but I don’t look the part
so how about we do that yes I’ve been covering Internet stock since 1998 do a series of bank said I started,
working with this tremendous analysts her name was Mary Meeker her name is Mary Meeker and started the first Friday I was on Wall Street I got a call from the CFO of this tiny little online auction company that sold Pez dispensers and was looking to see whether any banks would be interested in their IPO that company was
eBay so I wasn’t there at the beginning of the internet but I was there pretty close to the beginning of the commercial
for the public market to internet and it’s been a fascinating ride and I thought there were a lot of lessons I could draw both from the successes the market and failures in the market and my personal successes
and failures as a stock picker.

Scot:
[2:20] Cool what’s so name some of the firm’s so in my recollection you’ve probably worked at six firms like how many firms have you worked out over or that career.

Mark:
[2:30] Yeah now I don’t want you to think I you know I jump around too much but I started off at Morgan Stanley also worked at Citibank Royal Bank of Canada.
A small boot wonderful Boutique called American Technology research and I’m currently at evercore isi but I’ve been doing nothing but net.
Hence the title of the book that’s been my email tagline or always online is one of those two it’s been my email tagline for 25 years but nothing but net and that’s just
doing my best to try to stay ahead of these internet stocks the early ones the the eBay’s the Amazons the Yahoo excite if you might remember them infoseek.
And then and then AOL and then and then later on some of the more Dynamic ones
came out ended up with names like uber including most recently one you talked about Warby Parker so it’s been a fascinating span and arguably one of the most dynamic.
Parts of Wall Street I guess if you were working as an analyst on Wall Street.
Or portfolio manager portfolio manager if you could have picked two sectors to be a part of to track over the last 25 years one of them has to have been the internet just how explosive it’s been a been plenty of
– explosions in there but there’s been some wonderful wealth creation the other sector would probably be software just just too wonderful Industries I got lucky I was I was part of the internet.

Scot:
[3:49] Yeah I’m glad you didn’t pick Mall Focus treats that would have been a bad choice.
So you know as Jason mentioned there’s kind of this auspicious title that you have of the oldest
I would say wisest and most longest lasting internet unless.
Tell us about some of the as you reflect in the book is kind of got some really good stories and you’ve been kind of on the front row seat of a lot of cool stuff maybe tell us what was your worst pick and best pick in the span of the career there.

Mark:
[4:22] Well I had a sale on Google it close to its IPO
I was brought on to CNBC show and told by none other than Jim Jim Cramer that I was an analyst with a three-egg omelette on my face because of my cell phone call he was right I was wrong
so you know one doesn’t pretend one doesn’t tend to forget moments like that on public television being told that you know you’re pretty much an ass.
But it does happen you know there are axes and then there are you know others and so I made plenty of mistakes I had to buy on Blue Apron
although the lessons from that turned out to be different than I thought I got the call wrong but the lessons were different than I thought I kind of dissect that a little bit in the book.
So those are some of my some of my worst calls I think my to my three best calls have frankly been sticking with a buy on Amazon for pretty much the last 15 years
Netflix for the last 12 years and Priceline and now now booking for.

[5:18] For a solid 12 years both Netflix of all three of those were really decades-long S&P 500 Best in Class stocks for a variety of different reasons and in the book I try to call out
what were those reasons what were the what’s that what’s the pattern recognition so that
you know we as investors can find the next Netflix and the next Amazon doesn’t mean and Amazon and Netflix can’t perform well from here but what are the things you can see in common that can help you as a stock picker you know kind of see ahead what really kind of started a lot of the the insights the idea of the book was this wonderful book that was written in 1980 called that one up on wall
by Peter Lynch kind of a Bible
or primer for anybody really looking to invest invest in the market with some wonderful advice and I really had any wrote it based on some wonderful examples of successful stocks and companies of his generation
and I thought somebody needed to write one about our generation and you know these phenomenal money-making we know wealth-creating stocks that have.

[6:19] That have soared the charts top the charts over the last 20 10 5 and even two years that have been dramatic dramatic winners from the covid crisis to I try to keep it long term in duration and frankly that’s one of the big lessons I have in my book is.
Is you know long-term I’ve found stocks do follow fundamentals they just do companies get bigger more Revenue more profits their stocks go higher
almost always that’s the case if you’re a patient long-term investor so you can make money just investing you don’t need to day trade and I think that was the last thing that really inspired me to write this book there about 15 million new.

[6:53] Trading accounts that have opened up over the last two years you know the mean Traders the Robin Hood accounts
and I just wanted to step back and say look you can have very good returns in the markets by buying high quality
companies especially Tech and growth companies you don’t have to day trade you can sleep better at night I got plenty of examples of companies that created wonderful.
Shareholder returns over time and their stories you can take your time and really understand and stick with
and anyway that’s it this is this book is a little bit of little bit of personal Memoir but really more of a history of the Great.
Companies and the ones that failed and then what are the lessons you can draw to apply going forwards.

Jason:
[7:32] Got it so I know it’s not in your coverage area but you would have a buy on GameStop is that what you’re saying no.
I Nostalgia requires me to ask though I am staring right now at a pets.com.
Puppet still in the box that’s like sort of a Memento I have on my on my desk like we’re you covering like those guys at the at the.
Dot-com boom.

Mark:
[8:00] No no I didn’t but I refer to that in the book and I make this I draw the comparison
you know pets.com and smoke you know pets.com went public with trailing 12 month month revenues of 5 million I don’t know if you heard that right five million dollars.

[8:16] Trailing 12 months they had been an operating company for under
two years I mean how that thing got out you know in hindsight is is is pretty shocking but wait a second go you know go forward 15 years and what came out.
To e.com chewy.com went public with 3 billion in trailing sales and you knows the same sort of
basic value proposition to Consumers it’s just that the market was a lot bigger it allowed for a lot more scale and a bunch of other things came out o like cell phones smartphones cloud computing which allowed companies to scale up at much lower costs and so the markets really were proved out at that you know the time of pets.com there were three unknowns is there really an internet Market are there really good management teams
and other really good business models
today the first question is emphatically yes they are huge Market opportunities and they’ve been proven in in the Internet space advertising retail entertainment a lot of different ways you can cut it and there’s some business models have generated enormous amounts of free cash flow and then there are yes of course there’s always a few select
excellent management teams who find that right combination it can be it’s proven to be a great path to making money in stocks and chewy
has been a stock that I’ve really liked since its IPO even though it’s the next pets.com and that’s the cynicism that people be placed in front of it when they went public.
This was a very different puppy.

Jason:
[9:39] Yeah it does it seems like timing it seems obvious but timing is such a big.
Part of all that you referenced Peter Lynch and I know you know there’s.
There’s all the old Netflix stuff I actually started my career at Blockbuster entertainment and so in my in my industry everyone makes fun of Blockbuster that we got Netflix stand and all those sorts of things and I always have to point out.
You know we sold Blockbuster for 18 billion dollars in 1995 like five years before Netflix was invented.
Then it was a good business with a good exit you know every every business has it it’s it’s moment and it’s time and you know the the railroads aren’t the investment that they once were either.

Mark:
[10:28] Netflix is a fascinating story so let me let me let me jump to it a little bit you know one of the things the punchline of I asked people if you’re going to remember one thing for my book I hope you’ll still buy it but
if you’re going to remember one thing from my book it’s dhq it’s not DQ That’s Dairy Queen dhq is dislocated high-quality companies and.
You know time you mentioned timing I was thinking in terms of stock timing I thought those were your going to take us I think it’s very hard to
the time stocks but you know you can clearly see when stocks are dislocated I either traded off twenty Thirty forty percent so that’s usually you know time if you think it’s high quality asset and it dislocates them they all dislocate from time to time even the best highest quality names.
That’s when you can kind of Step In add the positions by the stock knowing that you in a way mitigated some of the valuation risk as investors your tries an investor you’re trying to do two things
mitigate valuation risk and mitigate fundamentals risk you know the chance that Revenue falls off a cliff margins get crushed the way you mitigate that fundamentals.
Risk is to focus on companies with large Tam’s excellent management teams
great product Innovation and superb customer value prop and Netflix screen so well for me on those four things I’ll just take this off super quickly if you don’t mind.

[11:42] The industry Vision so let’s see Reed Hastings invented or started Netflix back in 1997 Netflix the name itself sort of
implies that somehow we’re going to be doing some streaming thing and this is a 1997 when it would have taken you four hours to download the first five minutes of Terminator like there was no streaming Market there but yet.

[12:02] That was the premise of the company in 10 years later you know you look at the first initial interviews with Reed Hastings I mean this is where he was going to take the company all along so I was just giving him kudos for
industry vision and the fact that he was willing to cannibalize his existing DVD business first dreaming business
very few entrepreneurs can do that so management you know checks My Box customer value proposition the best way to tell whether a customer a company has a great value proposition is
do they have pricing power will do people love it so much that they’ll pay more for starting in 2014 Netflix started increasing pricing just about every other year
and there’s some ads accelerated that’s a compelling that’s evidence of compelling value proposition third is this product Innovation and you know they just don’t have a lot of things not just streaming but there’s a lot of these little tweaks that the side like binge watching
you know kudos to Netflix for just rolling out new series all at once I mean practically invented binge-watching and of course you know they sort of invented the streaming thing or the people who
founded music really did that but but Reed comes in a close close second on that and then you know I’m finally in terms of Tam’s large Tam’s total addressable markets.

[13:13] You can add it up a couple of different ways but you know home entertainment video consumption it’s
it’s a couple of hundred billion dollars in total you know Market opportunity and then who knows these things come along like smartphones and all of a sudden the majority of usage is on smartphones
that tells you that these markets could be a lot bigger than we traditionally thought just like Spotify blew out the market for what really could be
music advertising revenue and music subscription Revenue
Netflix is did the same thing with me with Video subscription Revenue they blew up the tan they made it a lot bigger so that’s right
you know I love that story about the stories about Netflix I gave him a tremendous amount of Kudos I think the sometimes people under appreciate just because it’s kind of a singular company just you know video video streaming I think they I think they don’t get enough credit for what they’ve done and what they could still do because I think there’s still one more
one more trick up Reed Hastings sleeve and I think it’s gaming and he’s reached they’ve received such so much skepticism about this
pivot or missing expansion in the gaming but you know management team to figured out dvd-by-mail streaming original content International expansion mount give them the benefit of the doubt that they can figure out an Innovative new way.
To deliver gaming and therefore further increase their value proposition you’d want to stick with a company like that I stick with the stock like that.

Scot:
[14:34] Ever kind of a random question let’s say there was I’ll pick something at random a company that was Reinventing Car Care and making it mobile and digital would you call that a dhq.

Mark:
[14:45] I think that yes yes absolutely.

Scot:
[14:51] All right leading the witness.
I do have to give you Kudos because in the Netflix section you do have a Star Wars reference you talk about the Disney death star which is which is appropriate because they now own the Death Star it’s got a part of there is one of their IPs.

Mark:
[15:09] But by the way that was you know there were a couple of Netflix there’s a rocky stock Rocky stock here that’s right
that’s a that’s a rocky stock for you it’s had there were two times they miss Subs because of
uncertainty over the price increases and they got some pushback it was an obvious that they had pricing power but they proved it over time and then they’ve got this great competitor risk with Disney and I think what the market missed on that
this is just kind of leaving aside the book of just talking about stock picks is you know
people are going to sign up for multiple streaming services now not now not five six or seven but they’ll sign up for two or three if there’s original content and they have original content I mean there’s some things you will you have to sign up for Disney Plus for if you if people are like use God and you know dramatic.

[15:52] Star Wars fans of course you can sign up for Disney plus but you know there’s because its original content
if you want to watch squid game there’s one and one only place you can go for that and you know there’s going to be another squid game or you know another show that just
kind of breaks through the site-geist and by the way that’s where Netflix is so I’ll leave Netflix aside but I’m so struck by is this company
shapes the Zeitgeist whether they can cause a run on chess board sales worldwide with the Queens Gambit a year ago where they can cause
more people start studying Korean on Duolingo a language app which I actually like is the stock because they can you know they’ve introduced this show squid games like when a company reaches the Zeitgeist when they when they become almost like a lucky lexicon like they become a verb like I’m gonna google that or you know it’s the Uber of this that or that
you know that’s that’s something special and those are usually stocks that have gotten very long runways.

Scot:
[16:44] Yeah and I’m here in North Carolina and we have all these MBA we have all these universities and I was actually speaking earlier this week at MBA class over at Duke.
And you know I have this whole little joke track that I do where I talk about my first company was profitable and I learned I could never raise VC because
get the TV season that’s a your profit we don’t invest in property companies so yeah I often joke that I’ve been doing it wrong and ever since then I haven’t made a dime.
And I kind of thought it was those funny because you kind of.
The internet sector was kind of early before SAS where and you point this out where there’s kind of
you know what we learned is there is an investor that loves Revenue growth and in a way that the opposite side of that coin is it can actually hurt you if you start to make profits
maybe share with listeners that that you know probably many of them come from traditional businesses where that sounds nonsensical maybe maybe explain kind of what happened there.

Mark:
[17:41] Well I want to be I want to be on to get nuanced here which is you know I that chapter that says the most important thing out there is revenue revenue revenue you know for tech stocks and growth stock.
But of course earnings and free cash flow matter
it’s that sometimes the public market is a lot longer term focused than people give it credit for Netflix is a great example that also is Amazon.
I mean those those businesses had if you look at near-term valuation PE metrics price to free cash flow there’s no way you would have bought those stocks.
But what I think long-term growth investors realized is there’s this you know when these get these assets that can grow their Top Line twenty to thirty percent Plus.
From scale for multiple years like that can
that creates an enormous amount of value over time and it’s so rare I came up with something of a 20% rule you know it’s one to two percent of the S&P 500 that can consistently grow at from scale their Top Line 20% which is like five times faster or six times faster than Global GDP growth so it’s rare for good reasons
but those companies dramatically outperformed the market because they’re rare and it’s not like growth and scale solve everything but
geez they solve a lot of things I’ve yet to see it’s got you know you go way back on this I’m sure you
had these comments like Amazon will never turn a profit my first year on the street.

[19:04] There’s a person who’s not one of the most influential investors out there put his finger in my chest.
And said you know Amazon will never be profitable and you know I guess he must have been writing he was so smart but he was wrong because he didn’t realize just what how powerful Amazon could be as it’s scaled over time I mean you generate billions and billions in revenue and
you can you can run over a lot of your fixed costs as long as you’re not selling dollars for 95 cents
you know if you’re you know if you’re selling them for a dollar and two cents and then you get scale against your fixed cost yeah scale will solve just about anything and I look at what happened with Amazon
and I’ve looked at more much more recently its bring it up to up to date to Uber Uber just printed its first free cash flow quarter ever even though it’s Rideshare businesses like down 40% since Pre-K covid levels how the heck did they do that
because it took a lot of costs out of the business and then they had this delivery business that really scaled so look earnings matter it’s just that when we look at tech stocks and growth stocks you know especially early on is IPOs they rarely go public.
As profitable businesses the question you have to answer yourself is can they be profitable long-term are there companies that are already you know similar business models that are already are that’s one way or their segments of the business that are already profitable.

[20:19] Is there a reason that scale can’t drive profitability for the company and the fourth what I call profitability Action question that detail this in a book is
yo Are there specific steps steps that the management team can take to bring the product the company to profitability so I’ve yet to see a company.

[20:36] And I’m sure there are some but I’ve yet to see one that hit the public markets that couldn’t scale itself to profitability now some blew up.
Well you know that’s because they couldn’t hit the enough scale so that’s that’s kind of my
answer to the question of yes of course earnings and free cash flow matter at the end of the day that’s what they’re going to be valued on but just watch these companies that they really execute well they can take what looks like really aggressive valuations and overtime
those valuations can turn awfully awfully attractive and a lot of times the stock wealth creation goes from point A to point B it doesn’t start at point B.

Jason:
[21:10] Yeah the you know it’s you mentioned then the Netflix.
Effect on the cultural zygous fun fun stat on Queen’s gamut it drove the sale of millions of chessboard and caused hundreds of people to start playing chess.
I do one of the things that comes out strongest in in the book to me and that you alluded to upfront is sort of the difference between trading and investing.
You know I always have people come up to me and they’re like hey you know a lot about these retail companies what’s a good investment and I’m like.
I have no idea can you can you talk a little bit about sort of what you mean by sort of fundamental investing versus trading.

Mark:
[21:56] Well I sum it all up in the pithy expression
don’t play quarters I find playing quarters is almost a Fool’s game the number of times I get questions you know what should I buy for the quarter
and for little sophisticated institutional investors that could be I’ve got a position in.

[22:15] Amazon or Google or Twitter and you know do I should I be you know heading into the position prior to earnings or you know
facing back and adding to it more afterwards okay that’s a different setup but if you’re just playing a company for that quarter pop the problem is
quarterly earnings reactions there’s two things that drive them.
Fundamentals great get the fundamentals right that it’s expectations so the quarter trades are really about expectations you may get the quarter right you may be right that
Nvidia or Roblox are going to have super strong quarters because I see how many of my friends kids are all over Roblox you maybe
well right on that but you have to know you know what the market is actually expecting and numbers can go Revenue can accelerate
but if the bar is higher than that then you’re going to see these stocks trade off it happens a lot so I just unless you’re unless you’re a pro less you’re in day in and day out.
You know working working these stocks and really have a sense of where the expectations are.
I think it’s just a Fool’s game to play play stocks just four quarters instead you know you want to stick with stocks for the you know you want to find an asset that you think is going to be.

[23:29] Materially bigger in two to three years down the road and you think it’s high quality based on some of the screens I threw out then stick with that name and don’t try to play around the quarters and it’s in fact sometimes you can use weakness or strength around the quarter
to adjust your position but don’t use it too
initiator close out a position at the then you fall trap to these expectations game that is very hard to participate in if you’re just a regular you know retail investor and you can make just as much money just staying invested in some of these great assets.

Jason:
[23:59] That is great advice and it’s I certainly resonate with the sticking with the Investments I am curious though on the other end of that on the really long Horizon you mentioned you’ve you’ve been had a buy on Amazon for like 15 years.
Wait.
Like are you going to have a buying them for the next 15 years is that how I mean like does there come a point when they achieve their potential and you have to start worrying about them getting on the other side of the Hill.

Mark:
[24:26] Yeah I think you can I think you can one look for the fundamental towel and so I’m going to I’m going to spin over to another stock I talked about in the book Priceline.
Which is actually the single best performing S&P 500 stock for like a 10 year period 2005 to 2015
phenomenal stock travel name everybody knows it William Shatner excetera although they’re real secret sauce with what they did in European markets but.
But that’s a company that you know sustained premium growth like they were growing their bookings in the revenue 40 percent year over year for years and years and years and years and that’s what powered that that
that stock and when it stopped materially ah performed Market was when the growth rate decelerate it below 20%.

[25:10] And so I don’t want to you know create a hard and fast rule but I do feel strongly about this twenty percent rule 20 percent you know we’re close to it
you know don’t don’t Nick me at 19.8% you know could close to twenty percent is unusual rare growth.

[25:23] And the markets usually pay up for that and when you see a company over time either because of Miss execution it happens
or Market maturity and their growth rates you know kind of slide below 20%
then that’s when you reconsider your position that’s a simplistic rule as a lot of caveats to that when I see with Amazon here is despite the size of this business I think they’re still growing 20% for the next five years so in that if that’s the case.

[25:48] You know the simple rule of thumb is companies that can grow like.
They can I like to see stocks that can double in in three years in order to do that you kind of have to do you know 20 to 25 percent earnings growth that’s what a Maps out too.
And you know you can double a stock in 3 years your handily beating the market in almost all time periods.
And so when I see what it’ll change my opinion really on Amazon is if I believe that
this company is going to go X growth it’s going to go you know well below 20 percent Revenue growth I just don’t see that in the next couple of years given how much growth they have in retail in NE ws and cloud computing and in some of these really newer areas that I’m really interested in
whether they really can crack the code on groceries and they can that’s a large opportunity and business supplies Industrial Supplies I think that’s a very underappreciated part of Amazon’s business so I don’t see myself changing my opinion on Amazon although
you don’t want things that we talked about this earlier that I love to see your founder LED companies
that’s no longer the case with with Amazon so that’s you know at some level I’ve got slightly less conviction than the in the by case but I’m going to stick with it as long as the numbers prove out right and long as I can see this path that’s consistent 20% Revenue.

Scot:
[26:59] Yeah and this is kind of breaking out of the book thing but since you brought up Amazon it wouldn’t be a Jason Scott show if we didn’t
kind of double click on that what did any thoughts on the Q2 and Q3 earnings feels like they’re slowing down a bit and feeling some of the labor and see what we call Supply pain on the show
are you are you getting nervous about it or you think it’s just a little one of their little kind of investment phases.

Mark:
[27:23] I called the six billion dollar kitchen sink that’s how much lower their guidance was for operating income in the December quarter
then then what the street was looking for like she was looking for close to eight billion and they guided to billions six billion dollar kitchen sink and they threw it all in there
wage inflation you know you right you drive that route 95 on the east coast and you’ll see Amazon Amazon is hiring Billboards up and down the East Coast Seaboard I did it recently
so yeah they’re aggressively hiring at higher wages that’s impacting their margins there still some covid related cost shipping they’re just not able to a sufficiently source and bring in
product and so they have to bring in product into the the ports that aren’t optimized for their distribution Network so just a lot of.

[28:14] Positive blowing up now the question you have to ask yourself as an investor is are those are those cost increases elective structural
discretionary temporary it’s kind of like which of those are they the more that you can make a determination that the cost bikes are temporary
the more you stick with the name if you think there’s something structurally changed about Amazon okay that’s different I don’t think there’s anything structurally changed about Amazon and certainly not its competitive position and then the last thing what I really like to see.

[28:44] Frankly is this company.
I mean the level of investment this company is making its distribution Network you know you talked about Facebook earlier they’re dumping 10 billion into the metaverse which I think there’s a there there but I don’t know
Amazon is dumping billions and billions into its own Logistics Network like they’re doubling down on their core competency you bet I’ll stick with that and what they’re going to what’s going to come out of that
is even faster and faster delivery and they’re going to prove out this concept what I call shipping elasticity the faster you ship the more that people are going to use you in a more of their of the more of their wallet and per-share you’re going to Amazon’s going to get so we’re going to actually going to Super up one day delivery and then they’re going to Super up super same day delivery
and I think they’ll be able to just grab more and more and offer more and more products to people so I like those kind of investment initiatives so I think a lot of that
margin pressure by the way it was really due to these kind of elective investments in the infrastructure they added more distribution capacity the last two years than Walmart has in its history.
That’s how aggressive Amazon is being an eye you know my guess is that
third we’re going to see dramatic market share gains from Amazon in the next 12 months so I like those companies that kind of really lean in bendin and the double down on our core competency that’s what the Amazon is doing now.

Scot:
[30:00] Yeah.
The Press is making a lot of noise around Shopify versus Amazon and Shopify is kind of amplifying that with they’re arming the rebels and everything.
Jason Connor makes our I won’t say his thing but he’s not a believer in that I think it’s kind of interesting in there’s definitely no love lost between the company’s what what’s your take on that is that a real battle or is that just kind of genda by to kind of raise awareness for Shopify.

Mark:
[30:26] You have a quick point of view on that Scott.

Scot:
[30:29] I think Shopify becomes a Marketplace adjacent thinks that’s crazy Jason what do you what I’ll let you state your own opinion.

Jason:
[30:38] Yeah I mean I think Shopify is a phenomenal company and a good executor so I’m not throwing rocks at Shopify.
They’re to me they’re not a competitor to Amazon they don’t acquire customers they have no traffic there there.
Piece of infrastructure and a great valuable piece of infrastructure but a piece of infrastructure.
Doesn’t draw any customers in so I call these people that are like oh man they’re like Amazon they have all this aggregated gmv and they could sell ads to it and they can you know recruit more sellers because they have this
this audience and all these things will they don’t have any of those things they don’t have a single b2c marketer.
In their company and I would argue that’s that’s been one of Amazon’s Court competencies is they’ve they use the flywheel to build this this huge audience that they get to sell all the.
Their goods and services to so I just I don’t think.
They compete in any in any meaningful way and I think if Shopify were to try to become a true b2c company like Amazon.
It would just be a phenomenal pivot it would be you know.
Can’t you know obviously they have the resources to fund trying for it but I’m not sure that’s the best move for them.

Mark:
[31:57] Yeah I don’t so I Do cover Shopify I’ve been really impressed with them I don’t know them as well as I know Amazon but I’ve been super impressed.
With them and terms of the product development and they are just providing more and more services to small Merchants so I think there’s an are now bigger than eBay in terms of GM vo but I can never
there’s not enough disclosure to figure out so where’s that GM D coming because I think some of that probably does come through eBay so a little bit of double counting that goes on in there but it’s really impressive what they’ve pulled together
whether they can actually aggregate demand in a way that Amazon has
I think that’s I think that’s unlikely I think that’s a very hard thing to do it’s possible they do have a shop app I just,
yeah I guess that’s the action question we often ask ourselves do you think you’re going to use the shop app to shop.

[32:45] I don’t think so I don’t think people are going to do that but you know if they can get enough people to do that boy they will have really
they will have some really circled it that you know because they got the infrastructure
okay they’re talking about building out fulfillment and doing fulfillment for people and spending a billion dollars on it
sorry my friends you’re gonna have to spend a heck of a lot more than a billion if you if you really want to you know compete.
Because the bar is getting higher it’s not getting lower it’s getting higher in terms of funeral the speed of delivery eBay learn this the hard way and so shockfights Memphis spend a lot more than that so anyway there’s a lot of wonderful things about
Shopify and I don’t know whether if you listening to slammed on by if you think they can build up an aggregate an audience I don’t think they can so does it make doesn’t make it a slam dunk by it’s it’s you know it’s a deep three point shot put it that way.
And you’re not Steph Curry.

Jason:
[33:41] I think we’re going back to the basketball references in the book.
Yeah it you know I tend to agree I’m not I don’t think the shop app you know has attracted an audience that uses it for shopping yet it’s a shipping trapping tracking app at the moment.
But the it is funny like there are lots of companies that facilitate huge amounts of gmv so I think of like.
Excuse me and Akamai is a.
Is a CDN that’s that used by almost every retailer to help help sell stuff right and so if you said well what’s the CD the gmv of Akamai well it’s bigger than Amazons.
Um but that doesn’t mean that Akamai can compete with Amazon so yeah I don’t know.

[34:28] I do want to go back to Amazon earnings just briefly because I you know I think a lot of the Slowdown is kind of a covid blip and I don’t know if you ever think of it this way but.
They’re there their times in history when.
It feels like the external factors aren’t a big influence and and you know some companies perform really well and other companies struggle so you know there could be a year when you see Home Depot doing really well and lows struggling and you say.
There’s something special about Home Depot that I might be interested in investing in at the moment it feels like the external environment for retail is having a.

[35:07] Sort of a consistent effect on everyone right and so you look at the industry average is you look at all of them is on Spears and they all have sort of the same shape of deceleration.
That Amazon has so it’s to me it’s hard to attribute that to some.
Some fundamental flaw in Amazon but there is one thing I noticed this quarter that it was interesting and I wanted to get your opinion about because I know as an investor you like seeing companies that have pricing power.
And you know of course Amazon famously raise the price of prime a while back and seems like that was wildly successful this quarter.
They’ve raised the price for grocery delivery there now charging ten dollar delivery fees even for Prime members.
And then this week we saw that they made a pretty substantial increase to the cost of f ba which is you know the fundamental service used by almost all marketplace hours
and they they just raise the price of that by like five percent and I’m curious do you look at that as a good sign that hey.
They have pricing power and they’re doing so well that they can command those prices or to me it’s a potential warning sign because I feel like Amazon is so.
Zealous an advocate of the flywheel in the flywheel is all about driving costs down to get scale up I just was surprised to see some of these like price increases in in you know.
Especially grocery which isn’t super mature yet.

Mark:
[36:33] Well I’m not sure really of the answer to your question Jason it’s a it’s a it’s a really good thoughtful question on the on the groceries I think they raised it because the unit economics were just not working for them in terms of grocery delivery
that’s that’s my guess they also you know yet to have that get to really crack the code on the grocery business and so I sort of see that as
they tried it and it just can’t right size the economics of they got to charge more for it so I read that kind of negatively
what did the raising fees to sellers.
But my guess is it’s a mixture of things but it’s largely driven that my guess is that this largely driven off of Just Rising.

[37:17] You know Rising infrastructure costs have been rising shipping costs I mean Rising the two costs that they called out specifically on the earnings call my recall is correct is our steel costs
because of all of that dish construction they’re doing with their fulfillment centers and trucking services
and so my guess is that they’ve they’re doing is not necessarily the right size the economics is I think the economics are working but because they want to try to keep their unit economics relatively intact.
And that’s sort of the way I think they thought about the raising the price of prime it wasn’t they did it because they could.
It’s they did because they sort of had to like the costs are rising it’s just that what I found interesting in terms of pricing power is
van acceleration in in Prime ads you know post that price increase like that and so does Netflix to me Netflix is
essentially raise fees use the fees to you know generate more Revenue by more content is like a flywheel that they’ve worked with their make the service more bringing more users
allows them to get a little bit raised money just a little bit more so it’s not so much raising fees to extract excess profits
it’s raising fees to further accelerate growth and the value proposition is strong enough that they can do that and not lose customers that’s
that’s that that there’s this is subtle nuance and maybe it’s too salty but but I think it’s an important it’s important difference it’s not it’s no it’s raising pricing not to raise margins
it’s raising pricing to fuel growth.

[38:46] And when you so either way it’s good I happen to think you you want to the the better one is the latter one is a more impressive the latter one is more impressive because you’re raising pricing just to Goose your margins you know you just put a Target on your back.

Scot:
[39:03] Reading the book made me nostalgic and maybe we’ll do a little bit of a lightning round but one of the companies you wrote about that I kind of forgot about and those interesting was Zulily I remember when they came on the scene and we were all like.
They were all blown away by how fast they could just get product up right they had this thing where they could.
They could have most of those kids so they’d get like all these little kid models in there and throw some clothes on them take a picture and then like changed outfit take another so they could do something like you know thousand different products an hour or something.
What’s your recollection on Zulily.

Mark:
[39:40] She really is that was one of my calls that didn’t work and.
So I and I learned some lessons from that I think to me the lesson I drew a to do with value proposition
they had wonderful cohort disclosure in their S1 when they went public I mean it was truly impressive.
And you know the they also raise kind of an analytical question because the first it’s not too dissimilar to stitch fix today
the first three or four million customers were extremely happy the question is.
Were there another three to four million customers that could be extremely happy and the problem that Zulily faced is that it
customer value proposition had one major flaw which is that you couldn’t return product if you didn’t like it
they didn’t they didn’t accept returns oh I’m sorry there were two problems and there was no Speedy Delivery you know you could get stuff in seven days and 20 days.
That was good for the first day of the first three to four million customers who are fine with that you break into the mainstream and you mean I can’t return something if I don’t like it you mean I gotta wait how many days until I get something like that ended up.

[40:45] And it was very hard being the survey you really had to go with gut instinct on that to realize in advance that they were going to hit a wall in their growth.
Geez when you saw what happened to their growth rate when they went public it was Triple digits six quarters later they were doing 10 percent Revenue growth they hit the wall because the value proposition.
Wasn’t strong enough and then they end up going going private that to me was kind of a lesson which is you know the.

[41:10] Growth was impressive but that value proposition if it’s not if they hadn’t they didn’t have it nailed down and you knew from the beginning I knew from the beginning what the two Falls were I just
I didn’t know when it would hit them and hit them earlier than I thought so you know it gives us another reason to really focus on how compelling do you think this value proposition is how many you know will that can the can a customer base double given the existing value prop.
And that’s one of the big lessons if I spin it a little bit I mean that’s to me is
and Scott you look through this entire history like you know the first decade of the internet the king of online retail wasn’t Amazon it was eBay and they had like six times seven times the market cap of Amazon that’s completely changed
and why is it change and I think in part it’s because of the value prop I mean Amazon just beat him on price selection and convenience year in and year out and that really mattered but a more recent example in my book.

[42:02] In literally and figuratively is doordash and GrubHub and that’s example many people will
will know but grub have that great business model wonderful investor Centric business model High margins and doordash had this you know generating tons of losses but they had the better value prop because they had more restaurants selection and
the end of the day that they want and they were able to scale up and generate serve reasonable profits over time that was the case where my quick tag line is you know customer-centric companies.
Beat investor Centric companies most of the time in market cap and market share Amazon versus eBay,
GrubHub versus doordash those two examples really drilled that less than to me.

Jason:
[42:48] Yeah I’ve been fighting those companies because you know there.
They’re like increasingly overlapping with a lot of my Commerce clients and like you know a big.
A big sort of disruption and commerce right now is all these ultra-fast delivery services and you know it seems pretty clear that doordash and Uber are both gonna want to play directly in that space so it seems like some of those those sectors are on a collision course to chase that Tam.

Mark:
[43:15] I think you’re right Jason I also think Amazon I mean you’re talking about logistics like that’s Amazon’s competency so whether you need to.
Whether you’re going to vertically integrate and do that or whether you going to do that virtually you know Foo you know a gig economy Network.
I don’t know which which is going to work better long-term but yeah and you know it’s going to raise the bar and make it more and more expensive for anybody to operate in that
in that segment I have a bias that Amazon in the end wins that but it’s big enough of a market it’s so early stage that you can have multiple winners for the next five years I don’t know that you can have multiple winners for the next 10 years.

Jason:
[43:56] Yeah there was a funny question in the Amazon earnings call someone asked about ultra-fast delivery in the CFO kind of I thought brilliantly threw some shade on it he’s like.
He said something to the effect of we like where we are and ultrafast like we have one hour delivery on about 178,000 skews right now and we’re you know we’re going to continue to scale that
and I don’t know how many people follow this but all of the competitors in this space are are desperately trying to figure out how to do one hour delivery for like 7000 skus.
So so like they’re you know they definitely are gonna be able to leverage the infrastructure there and I’m sure they’re making some big investments in that space too.
Another area that’s that’s been kind of interesting lately and I know you’ve been following this little bit is obviously there are all these privacy changes and the depreciation of the third-party cookies and especially the IDF a you know mobile privacy changes.
That Apple has instituted and that obviously had a pretty pronounced impact on the value of some companies like Snap recently A View you have a opinion there is that.
Is that a blip or is that a systemic change.

Mark:
[45:08] I think it’s a big pothole in the road.
But it’s not there but the but the it’s a big pothole in the road but it’s not a bridge that it’s not a collapsed bridge that get that mountain out.
Yeah so poor that hey yes.
Yes it is yeah that’s it that’s pretty I mean that’s a big pothole that idea Fay allowed Facebook to offer amazing attribution to millions and millions and millions of businesses
and now that’s gone and and and to their credit to Facebook’s credit they warned about it for a year two snaps discredit
they didn’t warn about it ever
and so that’s why their stock went off you know 22 decline 25 percent whereas Facebook stock even the numbers came in weaker than expected you know kind of fell off to the 3% and by the way then is traded up above where it was at earnings time so
what I mean very intrigued by is I think it will be a son of that idea of a.

[46:12] You know child of idea say I like I think there’s so much at stake here both from the advertising platforms like Facebook you know and Google’s to some extent a little bit and Snapchat but also for you know the millions of marketers out there who
you don’t you were able to thank thanks to Facebook use of people’s privacy data
you know from right or wrong I mean that’s what that’s what they they did I mean this help Merchants really know which of their campaigns worked and allow them to you know run creative
and that creative could be automatically you know a be tested abcdefgh like 8 times 8 different ways in which ever those creatives work best.
You could actually beat successful one of them then you can just pivot all of the dollars behind that one campaign you know campaign h
for campaign be your campaign e.e. and that’s just a wonderful way to help these small businesses you know really succeed
and that’s been taken away now you know there’s I think there’s first a little bit of shock shoot I can’t get the attribution I had I’m going to pull a my marketing dollars but marketers got a market.

[47:13] And I think you’re going to see those dollars come back and my guess is that Facebook and other companies are going to find some way to do.
Better targeting they may not quite get to idea that a type of levels
but they were going to be able to do some sort of audience targeting they also have a lot of first-party data but they’ll be able to do it in a way that doesn’t that you know respect people’s privacy and yeah you’ll see those dollars come back so that’s why I referred to as a pothole I
it’s a big pothole it’s but it’s not that it’s not a bridge that just collapsed you know you’re going to be you can they can they got stuck in that pothole more than anybody else
but you know the cranes there whatever they’re getting a tow trucks they’re they’re getting out of it they got to do some nobody work they’ll fix the car and it’ll be back on the road
in part because
they’ve got the talent to do it but in part because there are millions of small businesses that are given to going to give them the incentive to do it because they’ll get those marketing dollars back once they figure out some of the idea that a.

Jason:
[48:09] Yeah I always like to remind people that are like The Skys Falling on the advertising industry that you know.
It wasn’t very long ago that we had much worse targeting than than we have in digital even with idea of a I mean targeting used to be deciding which publication you were going to print your ad in.
And they still got a lot of money in the advertising industry so like I kind of suspect that that marketers are going to figure out you know the best ways to invest their money even if it maybe isn’t quite as.
As real-time as people got used to for a short while.

Mark:
[48:42] I think you’re right Jason.

Scot:
[48:45] So Mark you in the book you recap kind of this awesome 25-year career and you know one of the things
I’ve learned is if you’re in the game of making predictions you know that it’s kind of humbling
but then you kind of slowly but surely get better at it right you never get to kind of you know a hundred percent but over time you get better and like like for example you learned the lesson of.
The companies that are customer focused to do better than investor focused think founder based in that kind of as you as you take those
backward 25-year learnings and project them forward what are some of the things that you get excited about looking out the next five or ten years.

Mark:
[49:23] Well in terms of Trends even the next year or two I think whoever solves.
Marketing attribution is going to be worth a lot more in two years than they are today just because there’s so many businesses so many marketers that will pay for that.
So I you know so that’s that’s kind of a debt that whoever whoever fills in the pothole that’s going to be a very valuable company it’s going to be a lot more valuable to years and it is today
my guess is that there’s gonna be Facebook so I’m interested in that then there’s thing this thing called The Medic verse
which I don’t know this is just virtual reality just renamed do a Google Trends search on metaverse just watch that just spiked up in the last love so you know you kudos to the person who came up with that idea may be excited maybe Jason or Scott maybe was you I.

Jason:
[50:09] It’s just a rebranded second life.

Mark:
[50:12] Okay and.
But but you know the fact that it was two things that kind of struck me there’s some pretty big companies throwing a lot of big money at metaverse you know Facebook Microsoft there’s a bunch of others and then there’s this Roblox generation
people young people who are perfectly comfortable living in the meta verse in virtual reality and.

[50:38] You know participating in concerts safely and you know and shopping and communicating and entertaining and learning.

[50:49] And learning through the metaverse and so you know we knows 8 18 year olds you know get out into the real world
you know they’re going to be perfectly comfortable in the meadow verse maybe not the way you know not the way that we will naturally be but you know though they’ll help us figure it out
and so so I’m really intrigued by the metaverse I think it is going to take 5 to 10 years
because that to really develop and I’m trying to trying to figure it out who the big winners are but but I’m very intrigued by that.

[51:18] Yeah I’m also got one of those oculist you know I’ve gotten two different versions Generations the it’s the iterations of the Oculus Rift and you know i-i’ve always
it’s kind of like when I first saw the Kindle you know the first Kindle I ever got was pretty darn
kludgy but you know I just love the idea that you could just download any book on the your kludgy device will you know whenever you whenever you were
in a Wi-Fi area and and I and you and you just saw how that device got better and better each iteration and so I just think about that with these with these virtual reality headsets I mean
they’re clumpy their clunky their kludgy it’s kind of embarrassing to be have a picture of you taking them but you know just you can imagine already know how much they’ve improved
over the last couple of years and just think ahead is it possible the next five to seven years it’s going to be just it’s going to be like putting on a pair of sunglasses
I think that’s what we should be thinking about if you can easily put on a pair of sunglasses and and enter the metaverse and have
you know share a virtual you know in presence experience that sounds but that sounds odd or not but you can do that,
I think a lot of people will do that and you know the education the work applications around that so I’m very intrigued by that.

Jason:
[52:28] So you’re saying that that could be chewy.com to Google Glasses pets.com.

Mark:
[52:36] Yes yes I love that yes I hadn’t thought about that way yeah and by the way I’ve got my Google Glass here you know I’m.
Got that I got that early version I got the Amazon Fire Phone you know but just be the the early failures sometimes see these I mean they’re kind of in the right direction
I don’t know exactly what there’s a there’s a backstory to Google Glass that
we only partially know but anyway they have the concept is there and and you know the big iterations that these products do get better and as they get better easier cheaper lighter cooler
you know like Main Street cooler not Silicon Valley cooler then then markets can appear.

Scot:
[53:17] I think that’s something the three of us have in common I think the three of us are probably the only people that ordered and probably still own an Amazon Fire Phone.
Jeff Ellis.

Mark:
[53:29] And I’ve Got My Socks.com puppet to it’s in my office I put the hits I got it as a warning.

Scot:
[53:31] I have one of those too yeah we all I guess we all have one of those too.

Jason:
[53:36] That that puppet ended up being the most valuable asset from pets.com sidenote like I don’t know if you followed it but there was there was there was a whole intellectual property fight with Triumph the comedy dog and all that stuff yeah.
Unattended value unintended value creation.

Scot:
[53:53] Mark were you you know we’ve used up about an hour of your time we really appreciate you coming on the show to tell us about the book
when’s it come out where can people find it do you do you want them to order from that Seattle bookstore that we’ve been chatting about.

Mark:
[54:09] So yeah and thanks Scott Jason I’ve always enjoyed listening to your show I did tell you it beginning I
your analysis recently all birds and Warby Parker I took the heart because I initiated Warby Parker as an analyst but I after
after I’ve seen what your thoughts were on it.
So thanks for having me on the show and to talk about the book nothing but Net 10 Timeless stock-picking lessons from one of wall Street’s top Tech analyst I just like to nothing but net on a big Hoops fan.
And my kids are hoops and that’s been my email pack lines there’s a lot of meaning for me in that
that title it is available wherever fine literature is sold it is available on Amazon it’s the it’s a top bestseller now and in the business category so I’ve been I’ve been just it was just a it was a labor of love for me and
throw like a chance to talk with both of you about it because you’ve lived through the sister just as much as I have and it’s fascinating the lessons we can draw from.

Jason:
[55:01] Well Mark is been entirely our privilege and it’s a great sign that you know just halfway through your career you had enough material for an amazing book so I can’t wait to read the the sequel after the next half.

Mark:
[55:13] All right I will talk with will do it again in 25 years.

Jason:
[55:18] I’m booking it right now.

Scot:
[55:20] Bring our sock puppet are and pets.com puppets in our Amazon Fire Phone.

Mark:
[55:24] That’s.

Jason:
[55:25] Yeah everyone else will be living in the metaverse at that point in no one’s going to get it but it’s cool.
But Mark really appreciated your time and until next time happy commercing!

Nov 22, 2021

EP280 - Anker Innovations Head of Global Communications Eric Villines

Eric Villines is the Global Head of Communications for Anker Innovations. Anker is one of the most successful brands to be started on the Amazon platform. In this broad ranging interview, we discuss the origin story of Anker, their evolution from early Amazon FBA seller to Global Omni-channel brand. Eric covers their incubator, Anker Innovation, and their Amazon FBA consulting service OceanWing. We also discuss his recent book, Get Funded!: The Startup Entrepreneur’s Guide to Seriously Successful Fundraising.

Episode 280 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday. November 17th, 2021.

http://jasonandscot.com

Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Transcript

Jason:
[0:00] Welcome to the Jason and Scot show this is episode 280 being recorded on Wednesday November 17th 2021 I’m your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I’m here with your co-host Scot Wingo.

Scot:
[0:15] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners Jason is a fellow Gadget addict one of our favorite brands that we love from
consumer perspective is Anchor and then we also spend a lot of time here on the show talking about anchor because it’s a very interesting brand that is one of the few that we call kind of
digitally native Amazon born so today on the show we are very excited to welcome
Eric villines he is the head of Global Communications at anchor and is based out of Sunny Seattle Eric welcome to the show.

Eric:
[0:50] Thanks for having me we’ve also been having about two months of rain so we’re living up to our our cliche.

Jason:
[0:59] That for the last two months that might have sounded bad but being here in Chicago I have a feeling that rain is about to start looking pretty good to me.

Eric:
[1:07] Yeah means known cold and wind.

Jason:
[1:09] Exactly all of the above although it’s been pretty mild so far.
Eric before we jump into all the anchor discussions we always like to get sort of a brief background about our guests and maybe you could tell us what your role is an anchor.

Eric:
[1:25] Sure so I run Global Communications at anchor Innovations which is essentially a fancy way of saying public relations.
Which in time it’s sort of corporate Communications you could be crisis Corporate social responsibility and then obviously the most exciting part of what I do which would be product PR dealing with the media on reviews and,
I’m getting the word out of on the cool gadgets we.

Jason:
[1:51] That’s awesome so does that mean you have one of everything.

Eric:
[1:55] I have two of everything.
It’s a funny story I’ve worked in consumer electronics for a long time and I remember Steven Yang who hired me personally for the role,
I remember I was in China and I said I want to make sure that I’ve got budget to give everyone on my team,
you know one of the products and he giggled and I’m absolutely serious,
we all have to you know live it and breathe it and love it and know the good and the bad aspects of all of our products because we’re talking with the media all the time so I kind of.
I’m kind of insistent that everyone on my team has the products and then the other part is we all we can never run out of battery that’s like that’s like a major faux pas here,
if I ever hear the words even coming out of my own mouth that my phone is almost out of juice that’s super bad as a charging company.

Jason:
[2:45] That does seem off brand I am I have a little bit of a fetish for your products and the thing I’ve noticed is every time I have a family gathering I get completely cleaned out.

Eric:
[2:57] Oh yeah there is.

Jason:
[2:58] So I yeah I didn’t realize you were in such a replenishment category but it’s ended up being one for me.

Eric:
[3:04] It’s funny because I started out an entertainment before I came into consumer electronics and one of the first things I did here because I’m just using my own family Dynamics as I have three children.
And my wife of course is involved in this as well and we steal each other’s cables constantly and then we lie to each other,
about you know and it’s gotten so bad that people take you know colored Sharpies and all sorts of things but we had done a survey,
on you know what are some of the most irritating things that happen in the family and this came in like is a top four.
People stealing each other’s charging components and then lying about it so it’s a national issue that we just haven’t spent enough time talking about.

Jason:
[3:48] Yeah we’ll have to dedicate a whole nother show to solving that problem one last product related question do you have a favorite anchor products.

Eric:
[3:57] Well gosh I so we have these new cables that you said fetish I don’t want to take it too far but it’s.
It’s the material that’s made out of is reminds me of certain things and that Dominion but it’s a super soft latex like,
cable that seems to never because of the material it seems to never not up.
And that’s one of my favorite things and they come in all these super cool colors and that’s really new for us we’ve always offered two colors a beautiful white and the Beautiful Black Version,
and so this year we started getting into more colors and that’s been really exciting because that’s a really easy way to distinguish your product from say your son’s
because you can have different colors but the material it’s really nice I keep them in my bag I’ve got him for all my products.
Those are really cool we launched a new line of Mag go products which we have a desk version which allows you to,
put your phone against and it’ll you know magnetically charged it but the battery is removable so you can actually bring it with you,
so it serves two purposes and I keep that like in the kitchen so when I’m cooking and I have my recipes but then I can grab it and go.
So those are really cool but I mean man we launch new products every day so you ask me next week I’m going to tell you something completely different.

Scot:
[5:23] Yeah this is an unsolicited but my favorite is there’s a little Hub you guys have for the Macbook so I can just plug in one USB C and I’ve got this thing I’m looking at it now it looks like a mutated octopus with with 800 things,
poking out of it that I no longer have to plug into my MacBook so you’re you’re saving me a lot of ports which I really appreciate.

Eric:
[5:40] Yeah as they move to usb-c only but you still had a myriad of other things you needed to connect to it.

Scot:
[5:47] Yeah well now the magsafe is a now they’re back yeah they decided they’re giving you guys too much Martin said so now they now they have like they’re like oh man when you need to add more stuff you know.

Eric:
[5:57] Well I’ve talked to a lot of pro users and they’re really excited to see the HDMI cable come back it’s just a you know it’s a strong connection that cables is still different.
And sometimes it’s a huge hassle putting a hub attached to the computer and then attaching your HDMI cable and everything else to it.

Scot:
[6:16] Yeah absolutely especially when you’re traveling and you’re popping into someone else’s conference room you’d never have that one little cable,
so we obviously we talked a lot about anchor on the show and we can just kind of stopped fan blowing on the on the user side would love to hear kind of your view of the founding story of anchor,
you know we kind of classify it as you heard is this kind of like Amazon born would love to know how you guys tell that story.

Eric:
[6:43] Yeah I mean it’s you know I had relatives that move during the Dust Bowl and move to Pasadena and built.
You know a chain of gas stations and it’s this true Americana story but he what’s interesting is I think Steven Yang story is very similar it is that
that’s story of an idea and perseverance and building and Global brand that.
People have in their purses and backpacks even if they don’t know it’s anchor there’s a strong probability that it is and that’s that’s one is exciting the others a branding dilemma.
But Stephen was a senior engineer in California at Google and he had he was trying to find a new battery for his Toshiba laptop.

[7:32] And as he was looking online including Amazon and the Toshiba websites he realized he had sort of two choices you either going to buy the one from Toshiba that was super expensive,
for take a chance,
on all of these other versions white-label versions and unknown brands on Amazon and and purchase one from their sort of buyer beware.
And he kind of had a light bulb moment and thought you know this is this is ridiculous like who are the people that are putting these online how they’ve been tested how can I know that,
what I’m buying is going to work with my laptop and you know give me a year of battery life.
Long story short he moved back to China with his wife who was then his fiance he took a small loan from his mom.
And he started anchor and in the beginning what Stephen did was go around to different factories and and Developers,
and with his engineers and they went and tested all these batteries so in the beginning it was a white label play was him finding and filtering through.

[8:38] I’ll just say it a lot of garbage and trying to find the absolute best,
alternatives to all of these laptop batteries and they started selling those through Amazon and that was the first point was the easiest place for them and selling specifically and exclusively to the United States.
A year later it was a massive success beyond anything that he had ever imagined,
and the next logical step was to take that concept and move it into mobility and start looking at mobile phones and chargers and portable batteries and all these things that were at the time,
really starting to come out but the big difference when he went into Mobility is the idea was we need to get as fast out of,
the white labeling as we can because we have some ideas that even these these smaller factories and people that were producing,
can are doing that we can find ways to make it better,
so that sort of unearth the world of you know contract manufacturing where they’re Engineers were developing and designing,
you know the specifics and then Contracting manufacturers to develop those products and the rest as they say is history.
Ironically today we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary actually last month.

[9:58] And that’s a pretty big deal so we went from a guy and his wife.
And a little mama money from his mom to a you know a multibillion-dollar company.
With multiple Brands and over 3,000 employees all around the world.
So in addition to charging which is still a huge huge part of our,
DNA we’ve developed a number of Brands subsequently over the last three to four years everything from robotic vacuums and future robotic products,
to home security high-end true wireless headsets.
Smart Home Entertainment pet products baby socks I mean like you know smart baby socks I mean just like the whole gamut.

[10:45] And the sort of the common line through all of this is that Steven and his team are constantly looking for areas within an emerging or establish consumer electronics area where they can bring value.
And you know usually we might come in and the play might be okay we’re going to come up with a really great product that’s going to be,
a little lower cost and that gets our foothold and then the the long-term strategy is then to LeapFrog over the competitors with something truly innovative.
And this is kind of a phenomenon that’s worked really really well.
For Stephen and his engineers and the marketing teams and all of our sales people around the world.

Scot:
[11:28] Did he have an industrial design background hurry just had the pain and kind of cheeses and created the company from there.

Eric:
[11:37] Well he’s a Hitman he’s a True Blood engineer so I mean he’s he’s right at that right at the hardware level and into coding and all of that so the industrial design.
Was not his core competency so bringing in people that that could fill in,
those areas and ultimately well they say 10 years later we brought color right but of course then we had great devices that worked really well but we’re but when we look at industrial design,
I would say that you know that’s what’s going to propel us over the next 10 years with with the Thinker charging.

Scot:
[12:14] Yeah it’s been the you know I really like kind of the functional but still kind of modern kind of vibe you guys have with your products it’s really nice is he still with the company is you still still involved.

Eric:
[12:27] Yeah yeah I mean I talked to him regularly he is very approachable.
It’s interesting because he shares his office with two other people at the company and it’s kind of this kitchen table set up he doesn’t have a private office,
because there’s so much collaboration and you look around the company we’re all like that even though I’m in Seattle,
and in my office I do the same thing with my team we just take some long tables and we connect them up and everyone just sits on them because it’s like jazz we’re just constantly.
You know coming up with ideas and talking and it’s just more efficient.

Jason:
[13:06] I do want a Lobby by the way I feel like you have some cool colors now you have like a like a lavender and a mint but what you really need is like a retailgeek blue I think would be.

Eric:
[13:18] Retailgeek blue yeah.

Jason:
[13:20] Yeah I could send you the PMS colors at that.

Eric:
[13:22] Okay yeah send me the Pantone colors yeah the,
yeah I mean we I would think the colors are sort of muted so they’re they’re a joke they don’t offend anyone so they’re not they’re not super striking their kind of muted across the color spectrum but so far they’ve been.
They’ve been received really really well there’s there’s an old joke and consumer electronics that people are always screaming for color.
And then when you look at the sales and you find it’s the white and black that sell the most.
So it’s like you need to have the color but in the end most people end up choosing the the kind of safer black and white.

Jason:
[14:05] Yeah now I actually I’ll be honest the style of the colors fine and actually think they are attractive kind of pastel colors but the it’s just nice to have a diversity because I actually have a system like I have one color for my USBC cables.

Eric:
[14:19] Mmm.

Jason:
[14:20] One color for my lightning cables so that I can you know quickly distinguish them in my back.

Eric:
[14:24] You’re not messing around man.

Jason:
[14:27] I have a little I have a problem.
So I it’s funny in the early days of these kind of digitally native direct to Consumer Brands there used to be this religious battle there were companies that were like.
And the path to the customer through Amazon we’re going to sell this stuff on Amazon and I would characterize anchor as the poster child for the most successful brand that was born.
By primarily making themselves available on Amazon and selling through Amazon’s traffic.
But for every company like that there was another company that’s like that’s crazy Amazon is going to steal your customer and knock you off and they’re all these you know potential,
downfalls to Amazon and you know we should own the customer ourselves and we should have our own website and so increasingly that became the Shopify contingency and so it used to be,
you know a company was either an Amazon company or a Shopify company.
And more recently I feel like the increasingly the answer is not or it’s and that.
You know the consumers on Amazon so you need to be on Amazon but you also do have consumers that want to buy direct and you should have your own website and.
My proof point for that is I want to say in the last year or so anchor has launched its own Shopify site so I now can shop anchor on Amazon but also on your own direct website is that like.

[15:54] Like you got did you guys have debates and conversations about that and was that a very overt decision or is it just something where you just swept up a Shopify side at some point and you really still think of yourself as an Amazon only company.

Eric:
[16:07] Well there’s a lot to unpack I’m going to I’m going to try to I’m going to try to find the question in that statement,
the first of all we started definitely start on Amazon and one of the things I would argue about Amazon is that it is direct,
so whether you’re selling on your website you know or you’re selling on Amazon you’re ultimately.

[16:29] Selling direct through the Amazon platform and you’re engaging with your customers and your you know you’re dealing with customer service and all the things you would normally do
so I think Amazon has been a great partner and it is it continues to be definitely a big part of our DNA.
But as we evolved into different regions around the world you know that there are different channels,
that in our sort of different stages of development but the omni-channel approach meaning,
you know in our case Amazon which is always a big part of us our own website which is great for Branding and direct connection and through our Retail Partners because in the United States were sold everywhere we’re sold at you know Best Buy Walmart Target,
Etc you can go to medium art overseas,
so we don’t see ourselves as just a single Channel we definitely are see ourselves is an omni-channel but I think you know Amazon is provide us an incredible platform to launch on,
the ability the ability I think for a person that has a great product looking to sell something and any part of the world where Amazon is is so convenient and so easy.

[17:41] And you know the financial Commitment if you’re just starting out and you’re Distributing your products the platform has evolved its improved.
And it’s ultimately pretty easy to get going on the platform without you know a tremendous amount of financial backing.

Jason:
[18:02] Yep and it is interesting because you have you know been a heavy practitioner on the platform from the early days in it does feel like it’s evolved a lot.
From your guys’s perspective do you still feel like there’s a.
Competitive advantage in knowing the platform better than other sellers like it feels like there’s a lot of levers to pull now and I mean you know different companies with different levels of sophistication in their Amazon presents.
Why does everybody learning all the best practices now and they’re sort of parody or do you feel like you guys can still kind of win more than your fair share of eyeballs on Amazon.

Eric:
[18:38] I mean we we’ve been doing this for you know for 10 years now and so they’re the they’re the tools and there’s the Instinct and then there’s the the lessons learned from the billions of mistakes that we’ve made,
along the way and I don’t know those things are those things are harder to I think grass for people that are just coming into the space so I think we absolutely have an advantage,
but you know I mean I think it’s not magic it takes a lot of work and a lot of patience,
and a lot of observation,
you know if you’re putting a listing on Amazon and you’re putting that listing in Italy or France or the UK or whatever,
you know simply Translating that listing into the local language is just the bare minimum I mean you’re dealing with customer service and being able to communicate.
With customers being able to deliver products on time being able to answer their questions be able to take returns and then that’s you know even before you’ve really thought about marketing because there are.

[19:44] Something like nine million sellers on Amazon right now and that is a huge ocean,
just filled and filled with Fish And you are you’re battling against the the those eyeballs every day.
Organic search or even direct search you’re going to you know if you go up and look for toothpaste I mean you know,
in the search engine you’re going to see a myriad of players in there including you know ones that are common Brands to others that seem interesting and what’s going to draw the eyeball away from the common brand that everyone knows too,
the new brand what’s going to make the consumer just try and reach out a discover you and take that extra effort so everyone going on to any platform,
that may deal with a bunch of Brands is dealing with you know millions of competitors and it stopped.

[20:39] I think getting set up on the platform and getting started is easy but that’s that’s you know that’s step one,
but then you got to get people seeing your listings and you got to get people reading your listings and you got to get people putting stuff in their shopping cart and clicking the shopping cart and,
fulfilling and then you know being there at the end of that process to give them great customer service in every language,
where you’re selling that product because if you can’t do that and that last part is critical,
you’re going to get bad reviews and people don’t buy products with two and sometimes even three star ratings when you’re dealing with you know consumer electronics they’re looking for four and five.
So you could have the greatest product in the world but you could have a lot of mad consumers out there where you haven’t done right by them and they’re not going to give you some great star ratings and you can pretty much.
You know kiss your Prosperity goodbye.

Jason:
[21:33] Yeah I sometimes describe it as a.
A darwinian meritocracy that like you know if you think about old school if you sell a product to Walmart and they give you shelf space and you screw up and run out of stock,
you lose all the sales while you’re out of stock but the day you restock your back on the Shelf your kind of entitled to that that shelf position.
The duration of a program but you have to earn that visibility in the front of the Amazon shelf what every minute through a wide variety of best practices and if you screw up,
you fall off that shelf and when you get back in stock you don’t get your spot back you got to climb back up the hill.

Eric:
[22:10] Yeah yeah I mean especially now in today’s climate there’s a lot of.
Material shortages and other things and that’s been you know super painful for four people across every,
line of business not just consumer electronics and that very same thing you know you’re working hard to develop customer base and then,
you don’t have the materials to produce the products or the factories that you’re working with and then you can’t fulfill you been all this great marketing you brought everyone to your front door and then,
grab we don’t have any products,
and that’s it’s painful to see for especially you know entrepreneurs and people new to the game because they have brilliant ideas and great products and.
You know they’ve done an amazing job building word-of-mouth and it’s super sad to see that fail at that last step.

Jason:
[23:03] For sure that actually is a great segue we’re recording this in mid-november double 11 day just happened Black Friday is next week.
As we sit here I think there’s something like ninety one container ships off the coast of Long Beach either a bunch of cool new anchor products like trapped in those boats what’s holiday looking like for you are you guys well well stocked and well positioned.

Eric:
[23:30] I think we are with some things and we could be better and other things I mean again we have the advantage of having a lot of skus so we I would say it’s easier for us,
to adapt,
then than others and you know I can say from my perspective if I go out on a media to and September and I show a lot of really cool gadgets.
And then we reach the end of October and I’m like well crap so that isn’t coming we’re going to we’re going to delay that because of something it is what it is what we’re used to it.
But we have so many skus that you know we were Prime day or Black Friday or Cyber Monday or just basic Christmas shopping or Hanukkah shopping we’ve got something,
so we can adapt it will get past it.

Jason:
[24:23] Yeah speaking of which I given that you’re in the consumer at Rackspace is CES ordinarily a big part of your marketing mix.

Eric:
[24:32] I would say it is I think in the new world order it isn’t as important for us.
But we you know we’ve done Big Boost and we’ve done stuff and you know our sales teams of gone out there I think it’s wait and see.
This January we’ve done some some interviews with with media and I think we found that maybe forty percent of those that normally attend are coming,
the rest are waiting and seeing we didn’t do a booth this year I’ve also heard from our sales team that their counterparts at some of the retailers may not be coming in January as well.
So I don’t know is it going to be like a bad prom or nobody dances.
I think we’re going to have to wait and see I think maybe for many it’s going to be a real last minute decision.

Jason:
[25:25] Yeah it’s interesting I’ve attended like 28 CES has and I’m not going and,
talking which I used to catch a flu at CES every single year so it’s the I’m not care.
I think Tom Clancy wrote a book where like the terrorist likes bedspread the biological Weapon by disseminating it at CES just for.

Eric:
[25:47] Perfect yeah I think it’s you know I think people I think you have to have a vaccination card this time around to get in I think that’s what I’ve heard but yeah I mean from point A to Z you know your.
There’s a lot of airplanes.

Jason:
[26:02] I’m kind of curious I think less people are going to but then the magic question is.
Does that kind of will they discover that the world didn’t end when they didn’t go and put your point like does that accelerate the changing World Order and CES becomes less important or you know is this just going to be a down year and next year they’ll be back to normal I think,
that’s going to be interesting to watch.

Eric:
[26:22] Yeah I mean there’s CS is just the beginning you’ve got Mobile World Congress you’ve got aoife you’ve got you know as we move into next year and all of them are going to have to be making those tough decisions.
And then I think that the repercussions of companies that didn’t go in the world didn’t sink either going to be wondering you know what are these what’s the value of these trade shows.
To us as a business you know I think for us they’re valuable you know on the one end of the communication Spectrum it’s super beneficial to scale our pitching by having an enormous number of people from all around the world in ones.
But it’s also very noisy so you know you’re competing with a lot of large names.
And we’ve always been very Scrappy so we tend to do a lot of are moving and communication before CES.
And after CES or even entirely outside of the you know the wake of any of these trade shows.
So and that’s that’s generally how we’ve been successful.

Scot:
[27:27] Brickell any other interesting holiday Trends or anything you guys noticed as we’ve kind of gone through covid and or kind of hopefully coming out the back side.

Eric:
[27:37] Yeah I mean I you know not to sound boring but charging is always a big thing during the holidays people bought their new iPhones people are buying new MacBooks people are buying peripherals.
And you know around that time usually you know a couple of weeks later when they lost their cables already or you know they realize they won’t one for travel and they wanted to stay home and they want one in their home office and they want one in the kitchen,
so it’s always a good time for us in that category,
so charging definitely the other big part of our business right now is audio so our sound Core Audio brand,
we develop a super popular line of true wireless headphones the Liberty series,
and one of the things that makes it unique is we work with a bunch of grammy award-winning Engineers to help us tune them,
so they would come out of the box sounding like the mix that the engineers originally in planned versus over based or over traveled,
that’s been really really popular for us all around the world I mean as far as India hugely popular in the United States the UK Germany,
Emerging Markets that’s a big thing and then I’d say home security that’s been a big a big Boon for us we launched our home security brand yuffie about three years ago.

[28:59] And you know we’re developing a lot of unique products in that space that separate us from the rest for one we don’t we don’t use the cloud when you buy the product at your.

[29:12] All of the footage is captured on a secure SD card that’s integrated either into the base station or the independent products that you put outside the house.
Which is really cool and we have millions of users around the world right now,
using that product because they see it not only is protecting your security but also their privacy.

[29:32] You’ll see a lot of people do personal gifts to themselves during the holiday so a lot of those those big,
tend to be you know people in a house saying hey how about we get this for ourselves for Christmas,
and and we recently launched a super-smart robotic vacuum called the X8 it’s are you fee robotic vacuum.
That’s super smart so instead of bumping into walls and trying to figure things out at uses both Visual and Laser mapping.
And will actually draw up a map of your house that you can look at on your phone,
and see it’s how it’s found the most ingenious way of cleaning around chairs and couches and other things and making sure that it can do everything and then you can create zones,
I didn’t say well I just want to let stay away from the baby room because the baby’s sleeping but you can clean this Zone and that zone and this Zone.
That’s been really popular and we had been doing kind of lower in robotic vacuums until that point.
Entry level and this was one of our first push and super-premium summarize forleo some but that LeapFrog,
so in the beginning we might find Our Place coming in as as a lower-cost alternative that still is super quality,
and then with the X8 we’re doing the LeapFrog moment and trying to jump past the competition with the technology.

Scot:
[30:59] Frankel,
so one of the things we want to do is Pivot you guys have some other innovations that are not gadgets or charging or anything like that,
you guys launched a new division that both Jason and I were excited to learn more about called ocean wing.
My guess was it was drones but I think that’s wrong tell you tell us more about what ocean when you.

Eric:
[31:24] Yeah so I say first with the title but when I first started working with anchor Innovations in the United States over four years now,
I was actually working for ocean Lee that was our that was how we presented our Corporation,
and the the story is that it was ocean Wing to essentially take our technology and fly across the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean and bring it to the United States.
So when the idea came up of developing a Consulting business,
under anchor Innovations the ocean Wing name came up again and simple it’s actually makes a hell of a lot more sense for this than it may have Hazard LLC in the United States when we were bringing anchored to the United States.

[32:14] But long story short we established in 2019 so we’ve been around awhile we have about 200 employees around the world.
And the long and the short of it is that we’re trying to take the the decade of experience that we’ve developed.
Again with all those mistakes along the way to become you know the 7 billion dollar,
consumer electronics company and give people an option to improve their business lines,
so that’s from the beginning to the end of the process and what we’re looking for is companies that have already gone in and let’s just say made their first 10 million,
and they’ve hit a wall.

[32:55] Because they haven’t been able to expand the business or scale either through supply chain issues through fulfillment customer service maybe the advertising has become,
complicated and convoluted because they’ve developed so many skus there’s just so many problems that when someone reaches a certain point and they want to get to that next 10 or 20 million dollars when they’re doing business,
it’s a different skill set,
you know what they’ve done is worked it to a certain point and they is try as they might they can’t get past that threshold and that’s where we come in,
so we’re developing essential overall Amazon selling and operations processes that could be digital marketing marketing insights,
advertising management helping them develop their Brand store and their product pages to customer service and relationship management which I mentioned earlier is.
Reticle to get those star ratings in a good place through good authentic communication with your customers in a great experience with the products.

[33:59] Obviously e-commerce and all the financial systems,
and then what we’re dealing with a lot these days is supply chain and Logistics management so you get yourself to a certain point and there’s a lot of people that are coming to us and that is the area,
where they’re really hurting the most and they need help they need help developing new contacts new supply chain partners,
for how do I deal with the issue if you’re dealing with something that might spoil like we’re dealing with a company that,
deals in collagen and when something spits on one of those tankers out in the middle of the ocean for too long when it arrives in the warehouse,
it’s past its fresh state so you’ve just lost all that inventory so each client is unique,
but with this kind of broad scope of things that we can help them with and we can help audit the business and hopefully help them transcend whatever’s keeping them from moving to that next 10 and 20 and 30 million dollars.

Jason:
[34:59] Very interesting so going back to our earlier conversation this is sort of a way for other young young Brands to leverage all the expertise and skills you guys have have built-in staying on top of this ecosystem.

Eric:
[35:14] Exactly it’s an opportunity for us to take what we’ve learned and apply it to that young brand I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Jason:
[35:22] Yeah and it at this point is ocean Wing primarily focused with Amazon distribution or would they also leverage all the other distribution channels that you guys have expanded into.

Eric:
[35:36] Yeah I mean I think I think our sweet spot is definitely FBA so specifically Amazon.
That is not to say that we can’t help them with other things like supply chain and Logistics but for us,
it’s a recipe and you know where we’ve had our success with the clients have come in or people that have been focused on Amazon and then we can kind of look at what they’re doing and we can evolve the recipe a little bit,
and and get it all the ingredients in place and help them be successful because they all work together,
so but I would say Amazon is definitely our primary focus right now at least dealing with businesses that are on Amazon that isn’t to say that these businesses are you
solely focused Amazon because they’re not but Amazon is a key Channel especially if they’re going globally and that’s where we come in.

Jason:
[36:31] Got it and obviously over the last year there’s kind of been a lot of Buzz around these I’ll call them FB a roll ups where you know these,
these companies have raised a bunch of money and they go out and acquire Brands and aggregate them and try to help them with their Amazon presents and we you know we’ve followed thrash Co and perch and,
and all of those is,
is this kind of your version of that do you see your value prop being different than those other companies or is it just that you have.
Sort of more experience and and product scale than some of these companies.

Eric:
[37:05] How to say this without sounding like it like it’s not a jerk but the again we this is what we do,
this is how we built our business so we can take.
The lessons learned the hard ones too and we can apply it to our clients and I think that alone is super unique that we’re a company that’s already done this and you know in spades,
and now we can apply those learnings to irregular company the other part of it is that most consultancies are focused on Consulting,
and but we’re a consultant that actually you know rolls up our sleeves and gets into the nitty-gritty of the business and helps and and and that’s really depending on the level of the contract or the engagement but you’re not only dealing company that can come in and,
say some pretty words and show you a powerpoint of what you should be doing,
but you know we’ve already done it and we can roll up our sleeves and get deep in there with you and help you do it or do it.
And then that last part in terms of supply chain and and Logistics and you know dealing with manufacturers around the world or suppliers and stuff I think that’s a definitely a secret sauce because of our relationships.
In China and around the world that we can bring to bear that others can’t.

Scot:
[38:23] So I’d be remiss as the entrepreneur on the show if I noticed in your bio on LinkedIn you have written a book and it’s very much in my wheelhouse it’s called get funded
the startup entrepreneurs guide to seriously successful fundraising I wish I’d had this 20 years ago but I’m glad it exists now tell us tell us about this book and how it came to be.

Eric:
[38:46] Well my writing partner John Biggs is a little bit of a media icon we’ve known each other for I think I took them on a media tour maybe 12 13 years ago and.

[38:58] We just became very good friends and our families have subsequently traveled the world with each other and we just kind of dig each other and we both have the same kind of sense of humor and sensibilities.

[39:10] A couple of years ago he reached out to me that he had been approached by McGraw-Hill to write this book,
and thought that I could help provide sort of the second part of the book so the book is broken out into two parts one is is about financing but written in such a way that whether you’re trying to develop a taco truck,
or you know a retail store or something else what are the different options out there from let’s say SBA Loans to even using cryptocurrency,
22 you know set up fundraising all the way down to the meetings and how you value the company how do you pitch people,
how do you put presentations together,
so very very very this is not this is for the person that was really starting out with very limited knowledge,
on the fundraising process and how do you present yourself at the end of the day so John really focus more on the fundraising side and I focus more on the presentation skills,
how to pitch how to talk how to prepare how to answer questions the technical aspects of doing a presentation when everything goes wrong.
Obviously if I could if I could rewrite a whole section on this now since the book was published last year in September I probably be a whole section on how to pitch during covid because that was.

[40:35] That was definitely not it was not a reality when we were writing the book but it was definitely a reality by the time the book was published and I hope and we’ve heard,
the people the industry has adapted that investors and seed funders and people are hard at work and investing but,
for the person that might not have the background in this I still think the book for evaluating your company,
getting all your ducks in a row building your presentations and how to pitch is still very valuable.

Scot:
[41:12] Very cool yet this kind of books I think they’re kind of Evergreen and it’s kind of a little snowball kind of effort so be patient it’ll it’ll catch up.

Jason:
[41:22] I am curious it does feel like there’s a little bit of a disruption in the fundraising World why you know there for a long time there’s this kind of traditional VC path,
and obviously there’s still a lot of money that flows through that path but I feel like the the role of Angel Investors and sort of other untraditional fundraising.
Is becoming more common than it used to be like you guys try to cover that those kind of approaches in the book as well or is it mostly focused on on moving through Sandhill Road.

Eric:
[41:52] Well it’s we wanted it in some ways to be the antithesis of Silicon Valley so for those people that are going down that road you know inevitably they’re going to partner up.
Let’s say at the app generation.
They’re going to partner up and kind of go down that road our book really tries to focus everything from the pros and cons of using your own credit card friends and family,
crowdfunding as I said SBA Loans if you’re a minority or women owned business looking at options they’re looking at.
Prices and options like through FedEx has a great program for entrepreneurs and trying to cover the whole gamut,
so we could make fundraising more reasonable and open to the entrepreneur is opposed to.
Yeah the tech bro going to Silicon Valley and looking for for someone’s bill.

Scot:
[42:45] Awesome I had one follow-up on Ocean we just took kind of clarify it for listeners you guys are your kind of more in the agency side of things you’re not going out there and finding,
new brands that are also born on Amazon and acquiring of in kind of rolling them up like the thrashes of the world is do I have that right.

Eric:
[43:04] We’re talking about anchor Innovations right.

Scot:
[43:07] Yeah the ocean Wing synchronization set.

Eric:
[43:12] Well on the ocean on the ocean Wing side it’s definitely consultative but I mean those things are going to evolve as the business comes in and I don’t know if you mean like Financial stakes and the business and stuff but.
I mean who knows right if if something came along that looked amazing and a great partnership I’m sure we would consider that.
On the anchor Innovation side I think you’ll be seeing and you know in the future probably incubator initiatives and things like that,
it would be to me it would be a personally exciting to get involved in as seeking out and finding you know exciting.
Developers all around the world we tend to be very myopic here and look at the United States as being,
where everything’s happening and I’d say you know maybe from apps and things like that might be true but when you’re looking at Innovation and medicine or innovation and Robotics or innovation and Farm Technology or whatever,
you really have to look outside and around the world and you’re going to find that Innovation and really unique an unassuming places.
So is is if we do get into more ink you know becoming more of a global incubator,
I would imagine in our direction would be all over the place and looking in places like India and Africa and you know wherever cool things are being developed.

Scot:
[44:34] Cool so no almost boundless growth opportunities for you guys it sounds like an exciting time.

Jason:
[44:44] Well this is certainly going to be a exciting and different holiday season and this is going to be a great place to leave this conversation because
it is happen again we’ve Perfectly Used up our allotted time,
But Eric we really appreciate your time and enjoyed hearing about anchoring some of the exciting new initiatives there.

Eric:
[45:05] Thanks God and thanks Jason.

Scot:
[45:07] Yeah if anyone wanted to follow you or you are you big on Tick-Tock or I said it’s usually or Twitter or LinkedIn or you publish their and then where should they go for some good the latest Anchor Information.

Eric:
[45:22] Someone can connect with me on LinkedIn my focus to be quite Frank with you as I’m So Married to my work as I tend to focus my communication through work as opposed to myself.
I think it’s one of those things when you work in Communications you got to be careful about what use you say.
So mostly I’m just talking about my company in the things that we do.

Jason:
[45:49] Awesome well we will put a link to your LinkedIn profile in there and certainly some links to Anchor and until next time happy commercing!

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