April 8, 2020

Nordic Business and Marketing Strategies to Dominate 2018 | Arctic15 Keynote 2018


– [Announcer] Please,
give a warm, warm welcome and big applause to the one
and only Gary Vaynerchuk. (audience applauds) Welcome.
– Hey brother. – Take it away.
– Morning. – Jan, hit the stage. – Good morning Helsinki,
thanks for having me. I’m gonna introduce Jan,
one of the co-founders of this event. Let’s bring up the chair. Do you guys have the video prompted? – I hope we do. – So before–
– Good morning, everyone. – Before we go into our keynote, we have a bet to settle that we created a couple of months ago. And there’s some video footage for context for this audience. I’m awfully excited about what
I get to do in a little bit. Do they have the video,
’cause I’d love to play it. – [Jan] Yes, we have the video. Could you roll the Finland video? – Oh, this is gonna be good.
– All right. – [Gary] How much would it
cost you to shave your head? No no, shave the head. Shave your head, I mean,
that’s an interesting one. You’re fine. What about you? – I’m cheap.
– How much? – So how much?
– A hundred dollars. – [Gary] This is Jan and I in
Sweden and I was asking people how much it would cost to shave their head and Jan said all he needed was $100. Where’s Baben? Get on it. We’re doing this, it’s a 100%
blog, we’re shaving his head for a hundred dollars. (Baben speaks indistinctly) Oh, even better. So, this is Baben, one of my video guys and he’s now running around trying to find (chuckles)
a razor. – [Baben] How’s it going? Do you guys have razors, like, if, in theory, I needed
to cut my hair off? – [Jan] In theory.
(chuckles) – [Gary] In theory, to cut people’s… – [Jan] But we all– – Blog, I’m very upset, Baben has failed. Leb, one, Baben, zero. We are very fortunate or unfortunate– – Unfortunate, I want to do
it for Finland, you know. One hundred, one hundred, boom. – We should shave a hundred in his head. How much would it cost for
you to shave your head? Alright.
– Alright, thank you. – Jan is–
– So… – What I respect about Jan is
that he’s a man of his word. We made a bet to shave his
head for a hundred bucks. He said, when you get to
Helsinki, we will take care of it. So, I’m going to pull
out my hundred dollars. (audience cheers) – [Jan] Alright, so I
remove my microphone. – [Gary] Here you go, my friend. – Well, it’s done yet, is it?
– Well, go ahead, here you go. – That’s for you.
– Alright, thank you. – Go ahead, put that on.
– Thank you. – It’s a real hundred dollar bill. – [Man] We didn’t even get euros? – Not even a euro. – [Jan] Well, I’m going to
excuse myself and you can– – I’ve never shaved a
man’s head before, so… I hope this doesn’t hurt you. (chuckles) Good?
– Don’t worry– – Alright, I’m going to
do the first cut, then, I’m going to move you on
over, give the keynote ’cause that’s what you’re here for, but. Are you ready?
– Yes. – Let’s clap it up for this gentleman. (audience cheers and applauds) Hello, D-Rock. (clippers buzz) – [Man] Yeah! Yeah, whoo! – This is actually fun. Just do a little more. – Don’t post it anywhere.
(audience laughs) (audience murmurs) – This is fucking awesome. (audience laughs) Alright, that’s good,
let’s clap it up for him. (audience applauds) You’re a real sport, you look great. – Yeah?
– Great. – Good morning. – [Man] Morning. – So, the format that we’ve
set up here is I’m going to give a 20 to 30 minute, kind
of, 20 or so minute keynote and then, I’m going to open
up for about 20, 25 minutes of Q and A and so, the
thing that I really wanted to talk about this morning was
a couple of different pillars that I’m seeing in the
marketplace that I think will help the individuals in this room
and I think the word that I want to focus on most of all
this morning is practicality. I think, when I think about
the makeup of the individuals in this room, whether they come
from a corporate environment or in a startup an entrepreneur, two years into their business,
20 years into their business, I think the thing that
really resonates with me is, especially at this point in
the evolution of the internet, which is really what we’re
all kind of sitting here and talking about, there’s a really interesting
delta of the people in this audience, in this
market of Helsinki, in Europe, the U.S., mainland China,
the people that are clearly accelerating are the ones that understand the practicality of the moment. Not where Blockchain is going, not what television commercials
used to do for them, but who’s actually marketing
and executing in a May/June 2018 world and taking
advantage of where all of our collective attention is
and what to do with it based on their business objectives today and within the short term. And so, for me, the thing
that’s most interesting is that in a world where things like Ai and AR and the emerging Blockchains
that I think are going to be built in the next couple of
years and in a world of voice, which I’m unbelievably
passionate about and really, I do think that the apps
built on top of Alexa and Google Home, Apple Pod
are, no question, going to have the same impact on our
society the way that Waze, or Spotify, or Shopify,
or Instagram has as apps on top of the iPhone. In that whole world, to me,
that feels like 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 months from where
it starts making an impact. To me, if I have any impact
on this audience today, the places where I want
to go on or where I think you can have the biggest return
on what you’re trying to do. Regardless of what you’re
doing, whether you’re developing an incredibly large project
that you’re working on, whether you’re selling
sneakers, whether it’s T-shirts, or your services, whether
you’re a SaaS company, a media company, no matter
what anybody does here, running for mayor, no matter
what anybody does here, the currency is attention. The currency that we all
strive for is attention. And then, once you have the
attention, the game that we all need to play is the ability to
create words in written form, audio, video, or pictures
to inspire an action that we’re intrigued by. For me, that plays out very simply. When I look at the landscape today, this is the remote
control and the platform of our attention. And when you look at the data
of how much time is spent on YouTube, and Facebook,
and Twitter, and Instagram, and LinkedIn on this device, social networks or content
platforms that we now call social networks represent
almost half the time humans spend on a cell phone. I think we can all agree
that the amount of time that we spend on a cell
phone is staggering and continues to grow. For me, if you are not producing audio, written words, videos and pictures for those seven to eight
platforms today, on a daily basis, consistently, you are
on the beginning process of complete irrelevance in our society. And for me, not having a
complete religion around that is a grave, grave mistake. The other thing that becomes
unbelievably interesting for me this morning at this
keynote is the fact that in this market, Helsinki,
Finland, and the Nordics, as a whole, the two platforms
that I obsess the most over today for scale, Facebook
and Instagram, the ads, the influencer marketing
market and the organic reach are all dramatically more
interesting in this market than they are in other parts of Europe, definitely than they are
in the U.S. and Canada and other parts of South America. If I could really get you
to a very simple place this morning, the only thing
you actually, fundamentally have to understand is that Facebook ads, both in Instagram and
Facebook form, in this market, are so under-priced that
even if you are average at the creative that you
put behind those ads, you will get disproportionate
return on your business whether you’re B2B or B2C. To me, that is a moment
that I haven’t seen since early Google. When I think about my career, when I launched an e-commerce
wine business in 1996, I was able to build a
business that was doing three million dollars a
year on 10% gross profit. So, $300,000, before expenses, a business of that size
with a $14,000 a year marketing budget in year
one, I was able to build that business from a three to
a 60 million dollar business in five years, 100% on the back
of email and Google AdWords. When I look back at that
story, I have enormous amounts of regret because I genuinely
believe that should have been three to 200 million dollars. The mistake I made in my
youth, the mistake I made that many people made was
I just didn’t understand how good of a deal Google
AdWords were from 2000 to 2004. They were so remarkably under-priced that I wasn’t able to quantify,
especially since I had no prior experience, that I
was buying beachfront property, that I was digging up gold
at enormously low prices. That underlining
understanding, in hindsight, is what drives me this
morning to suffocate anybody’s excuses in this
room to why Facebook, to why Instagram doesn’t work. Or for the people, actually, watch this, how many people here have run Facebook ads and it didn’t, for-say,
work as well as you wanted? Which, I’m sure is for
a lot, raise your hands. Actually, raise them high,
please, I want to see this. So, I think this is
what’s super important. There’s an enormous
percentage of people here who’ve already done what
I’m spitting as the thing you need to be doing. But I want to make sure
that 20% of this room that just raised their hand understood that there’s so many variables
that go into something not being successfully, most
of all, the biggest variable is you probably did not do a good
job executing the campaign. At the end of the day, when you
think about ROI of something the ROI of anything is always
far greater for the people that are good at it versus bad at it. The ROI of a piano for me is zero. The ROI of a piano for Elton
John is over a billion dollars. So, to me, the concern I
have is that we’re sitting, right now, in this prime era
where everybody in this room, and I mean everybody,
government employees down to entrepreneurs selling
a tie on the internet, all have unbelievable
white space in this medium and I believe that there’s
a gross misunderstanding. And I challenge and predict that everybody in this room
that doesn’t run a hefty amount of Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and Instagram influencer campaigns during this next 24 to 36 months will look back at this speech and this era with the same regret that
I have through my body to what I did from 2001 to 2004. Which is, you may win and do quite well but, please, don’t misunderstand it, you’ve left an enormous
opportunity on the table. It’s so funny, in the U.S.,
I’ve been pontificating this for about three or four
years and, by the way, just for those who are scoring at home, the cost of the CPM on Facebook
has gone up substantially in the last 24 to 36 months
globally and, definitely, in the U.S., yet, still
grossly less than it deserves. It’s interesting, I pontificate
this and big companies see, wow, let’s clap it up,
this is fucking clean. (audience applauds) (laughs) – [Jan] Alright, thank you, guys. I’ll be back a little bit later. – In the U.S., I have the
biggest COs in the world arguing to me that this platform
doesn’t sell their product, that Facebook’s not ROI positive, meanwhile, in the other
side of their mouth, they’re complaining to me
that it’s bringing down the American democracy
and things of that nature. I mean, you’re talking
about a platform that is so fundamentally powerful,
that the CEO of the company had to present in front of
congress over a two-day period on it’s impact on the
psychology of the end consumer. This is not, this is not a platform that everybody here should be underestimating. I would argue, including
me, who is, no question, one of its biggest
cheerleaders, everybody, everybody at this conference
is underestimating it. So, first and foremost, very simply, in a very practical way, taking a step back and
understanding what’s happening for real, on Facebook for real, in both its media capabilities
and its creative capabilities is something I implore
everybody here to do. As far as practicality,
the other thing that I want to really talk about is how remarkable this era actually is. In a macro, we are living
through what is now a 20, 25 year invention in our society. As much as we underestimate Facebook, I believe the we underestimate
the internet as a whole dramatically more. Everything is being played
out on top of this platform. And, for me, how many people
here are entrepreneurs or startups, raise your hands. Amazing. So, for me, one of the biggest things
that I want to talk about is the ecosystem at this
moment around this platform. Meaning, it’s never been more practical to actually make money in a world where, one more time, hands. Startups, entrepreneurs. In a world where all of
us over the last decade have been pushed enormous
propaganda around raising money and me watching as, you know,
I made my first investment in 2007, my first three
investments were Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and,
as you could imagine, that worked out tremendously well for me. But it’s interesting
to see what’s happened in the 11 years since. In invested in Tumblr after
it had tens of millions of users in it’s B round at a
14 million dollar valuation. Now, based on a lot of your
reactions to that statement, as you know, in your
idea phase, as the seed, in the U.S., companies are able to get four to 10 million dollars valuation. The insanity and borderline
fraud that is going on with ICOs in the crypto
world, I mean, this is just a completely non practical,
10 years of global economic growth, broken
landscape that absolutely has nothing grounded in
practicality, I want to remind everybody in this room, when
you’re building a startup, you’re building a business, not a financial arbitrage
machine that has to hit web economic data points
of raise your next round based on users and all
this other horseshit that VC propaganda has
pumped into the system for their selfish points of
view and what they’re doing. And, by the way, I’m a
capitalist, I love all the VCs, I am a VC but I need the
founders and startups in here to understand their business
model because their advice is predicated on what they
need to be doing for themselves and their shareholders, not
for what they should be doing for you and, more
importantly, the VC landscape is littered with, at its best, has-beens and people that have never
done it and the advice lacks the practicality of the
current landscape and so, I hope everybody heard me very clearly and when you re-read the transcript, I have no problem with people
that are deploying capital. As somebody who’s on the other
end of emails like the one I got the other day when
somebody who lost $300,000 of my hard-earned money
said it was no big deal and he was glad that he
learned and I was like, “That’s nice that you learned, fuckface, but you lost my money.” There are both sides of the
ecosystem that are at fault, both founders and VCs,
right now, lack practicality in a 2018 world because
the world is too flush with money and many of you
in here are not actually building businesses, you’re
building a house of cards that falls the second there’s
any economic slow down or an algorithm change
by one of the platforms that you’re actually building
your company on top of. So, again, and very much
my hope this morning where the Q and A goes,
as I try to navigate through Jan’s hair, I hope that what I can put in the ground is what has serviced me super
well for the last 20 years and will for the next 30 years which is, are you grounded in practicality? Do you actually live
and navigate in the year that you actually live in? Are you factoring in
enormous economic prosperity for a decade and when does that go away? Are you factoring in that
you’re building your business on top of somebody else? One of my favorite things
that’s going on right now, back to building on top of somebody else, is how many people complain,
how many people six or 12 months ago started seeing
their friends or startups complain about Instagram or
Facebook’s algorithm change? And I would sit there and I
would laugh as people would cry about this and I would
remind them and I remind you, Helsinki, this morning, those platforms are free. The platforms are free. All the people that are
complaining that they’re not getting as many likes, or
engagement, or the organic reach went down need to be reminded
that you built your content on these platforms. You built something on the free attention that these platforms had. You selfishly took that
attention for your interest and then, when it started to
decline at the cost of free, you got fucking pissed. That makes no sense, practically. And so, if you’re building
your business on top of another company, and you’re
getting the benefits of it for free, take the goods while
the good are being given. Take that data and then make it your own, build your first party
ecosystem around that and then move on your
merry way but, definitely, don’t be at the reliance of the platform. There are many people here
who will continue to navigate off that free and then be
caught and I just am struggling, and actually, that’s a
good way to set this up, I’m struggling with the lack
of practicality and naïveté in our ecosystem about
what’s going to happen. My favorite day, recently, in the tech world was
when Amazon and America bought Whole Foods, a large food retailer. Everybody was stunned. Like, shocked. Like, all the big CPG companies, the Coca-Colas, the Pepsis, the Quakers, the Campbell Soups of the
world, all of a sudden, who were poo-pooing Amazon
for only representing 1% of their business,
now, had a new problem because they owned one of
the most important retailers and I read all the comments,
and I read all my emails, and I just watched the world,
in that world react to it and I was taken aback by people’s naïveté as if we don’t understand
what’s happening here. Guys, do you understand that
Apple could buy every company that you think is awesome? Multiple times over. I don’t think people
understand what the Alibabas, and the Tencents, and the
Amazons, and the Apples, and the Googles, and the
Facebooks are about to do. Their going to buy the full stack. When you wake up and you see
that Alibaba bought Tesco, or when Facebook buys Target, like, this is where it’s going. And so, again, the framework
that I’m trying to create this morning is one very
simple thing which is this has just started. The internet’s the middle man. The internet’s the middle
man and there’s seven to 10 companies in the world, globally, who’ve been able to build
the layer directly on top of the internet. They’ve won. Our jobs, all here, is to be
the next layer after that. The people in this room that
understand how to navigate Amazon, and Apple, and
Google, and Tencent, and Facebook best, in a
world where you extract the value from it before it
extracts the value from you, will be the individuals
that are most successful. And so, the reason I’m
building this framework is knowing that I’m going to have
a lot of time with Q and A, and when we get to Q and
A, please ask me an basic, very needle-in-a-haystack
question, that’s what I’m here for but what I’m trying to do this
morning is get everybody’s mindset into what’s
actually happening here. And what’s actually happening
here is Uber, and Amazon, and Airbnb, they’re the preview,
they’re not the anomaly. Every industry that every
one of us are in is on-call. And the internet is lurking. And somebody and something
is going to attack where we’re doing our thing. And so, that leads me to
the place that matters to me the most. In a world where you’re
like, okay, if you believe what I’m saying, if it makes sense to you, the question becomes, now what? And the now what of all of this gets to a very interesting
place which is the following. The number one thing that
I would implore everybody to be thinking about in
this room is your brand. The reason your brand matters so much is it’s the most ownable asset. It’s also the thing that
will protect you the most over the next 20, 30 years. Let me explain. One of my biggest theses
at this point, right now, is that voice is going to be
a fundamentally, game-changing technology for all of us
because we all value time over almost everything
else, besides our health. Everybody here that, now,
takes out their phone to do many actions, will
be doing it directly from their lips to not a
device like an Alexa pod or things of that nature but to the integration of
speakers in our everyday life. For example, all of you that
are wearing clothes today, whether it’s a tie or a shirt,
it’s a very highly likely world where there’ll be
voice activated capabilities in those products, or in
your ear, or your earpods, or wherever it may go. The friction between you
saying something, like, there’s information you
want or a transaction that you want to create, and
the ability for that to happen, is going to be almost zero. When that happens, there are many things that are in trouble. First of all, and foremost,
the reason Google has to win this game is that Google
text search is in deep shit. The days of you going to
your phone and typing in a search query a decade from
today are going to be over ’cause it’s going to take
you longer than saying, who was the president in 1967,
how many miles before this, is my restaurant open and, I’m sure, how many of you saw the
Google Assistant demo a couple of weeks ago,
just raise your hands. That’s some crazy fucking shit. And that’s today’s technology. Where do you think that’s going? So, in a world of voice that
I think is going to eat up buying decisions, are you
in a place where when I say, “Alexa, get me a black car
or Alexa, get me an Uber”, that becomes a very
interesting conversation. In a world where we know Kleenex or Xerox or things of that nature,
they’ve won this game. If you tell Alexa to
send you a pair of jeans, Amazon is going to have the leverage. They’re either going to
send you a private label or they’re going to make a
brand pay through the nose to be the default jeans
to all of our language. The number one thing that
will protect your business over the next decade is building a brand around your business. Building a brand that
transcends all the advancements that we’re about to make in technology that eliminate friction from
the decision-making process. We’ve gone from the Yellow
Pages or any directory that you had in this
country to Google and, next, it’s going to play out in
voice and I wouldn’t bet against Amazon, and when
you think about Amazon as a retailer, that becomes
unbelievably dangerous. One could be sitting
here and say, fine, Gary, but I’m not in the consumer
space, I’m in the B2B space, which is great but I promise
you, the way that many will pick their lawyer,
pick their contractor, their I.T. developer, will be
the same way they do today, which is through utility
based search or word of mouth. Both, which will play out in voice. Both, that will require
everybody here to create brand. And so, where am I going with this? Here’s where I’m going,
there are way too many people in this room that are
over-reliant on math. They are in the sales business,
not the marketing business. The way they succeed is
through the digital age of transaction and they
look at things like KAK and LTV and quant-based
metrics and that’s great and incredible to get you to a point. But the point of my existence
in the marketing landscape and where I see all the
opportunity going forward has far more to do about brand. There are very few people
here that are thinking about how to spend five to 25,000 dollars to make a video that’s
two to three minutes long that tells the story, emotionally,
about what they’re doing and then thinking about how
to distribute that content in a Facebook and Instagram
world for another $20,000. The amount of people here who
are willing to roll the dice on $50,000 on a video on
Facebook to make their world work is quite low. It’s high risk. It’s not as measurable. And it’s something that most
people aren’t investing in. At the same token, I personally
believe that’s exactly what people need to be
investing in right now ’cause at the end of this
war, which is what it is, don’t get confused of
what Apple, and Facebook, and Google, and Tencent,
and Alibaba, this war where you’re going to
see more walls put up, not sharing data, that’s
where all the money is, this war, what’s going to happen is our worlds are going to become
unbelievably frictionless and we’re going to be doing
things that are completely predicated on brand. The number one way for
you to get ready for that because I’m not interested in
telling you what’s going to happen in seven, or nine, or 13 years, ’cause that is totally not practical. The quickest way for you
to understand that world is for you to, right now,
become a practitioner of Facebook advertising
and Instagram advertising in this market or any market
that you’re marketing in outside of mainland China and Russia. You have to, have to become a practitioner
of influencer marketing, of Facebook media spend, of
creative in these platforms. The outsourcing and relying on others in social media marketing
is the mass vulnerability of this collective room. Being a headline reader
versus a practitioner is the thing I’m most
worried about in this room. Do you know how many people
in this room have opinions about Facebook, and Twitter,
and Snapchat, and Instagram, and their add product
and their capabilities to move their business
without every running an ad on the platform? My friends, it’s almost 2019, like, the days of putting
your head in the ground and hoping this isn’t happening,
or having a very basic point of view on these
platforms is coming to an end. You’ve been able to get
away with kind of knowing about the capabilities, I do not believe that we
have the luxury of that. And because of that, and then we’ll go into Q and
A, Jan, I see you hovering. Because of that, for the 30% of people that raised their hand
earlier of being entrepreneurs or startups, because of that,
this is the greatest era to be an entrepreneur or startup ever. Because the rules are so
extreme that the incumbents, people that have been successful, don’t have the leverage that
they have historically had because infrastructure costs
were deployed against a world that doesn’t exist anymore. You have to understand that. The advantages that Bruce, and
I, and others have been able to succeed in, those values are
not as valuable as they were if were navigating 50 years
ago because the property we owned, or the media we
owned, it was more valuable. The speed in which your
attention is moving in to where is remarkable and the reason you’re seeing such incredible change,
politically, at a geo level, and emotionally, and the issues
that we’re facing as humans and talking about, whether
it’s racism or sexism, or nationalism, is happening
strictly because of this. Because, as a boy that was
born in the Soviet Union, I’m unbelievably aware of
what propaganda and media do. We’re all becoming a hell
of a lot more aware of it. The fact that you have fundamental control at incredibly low cost to do that for your selfish business ambitions with all good intentions,
it’s nice to build a business, it’s great, the fact
that you can do it too and you’re not taking
full advantage of it, is the great miss of your life. Thank you. (audience applauds and cheers) – Alright, alright. So, it’s time for Q and A.
– Okay. – And for this year,
we’re going to start– – [Woman] Tell me, Obi-Wan Kenobi– – We’re not gonna go straight to audience, we actually have people
from, I don’t know, future, past, and we’re
going to have them appear on the screen and they’re
going to ask the question, so. Can we get the first question, please? Let’s see what’s going to happen. (electricity buzzes) – [Woman] Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. (laughs) You are my only hope. (electricity buzzes) Excuse me, sir, I was traveling across the
galaxies to find the one. Can you help me? – Yes.
– Oh, that’s me? – [Gary] Shit, sorry, yes, I can– – [Woman] R2-D2, bring me back. – Oh, she’s gone.
– I love it. – Alright, that was quick one. Do we have another question and not Star Wars interrupters? (electricity buzzes) – [Alexei] Oh, hi there. My name is Alexei Habarki and I’m here to ask you a question, Gary. So, my question for you
is what is the next thing that marketers will ruin? – Huh.
– Thank you. – You’re welcome. So, I often talk about marketers
ruin everything, right. My career is trying to figure
out where you’re spending your time organically, and
then, I’m trying to figure out how to penetrate it and sell shit. And so, I think the thing that, you know, there’s nothing that’s
very black and white to me but if you look at email, the
reason we’ve all protected our text messages so much
is we gave up our email and marketers ruined it, right. I think that the next thing
will clearly be voice. But, I think, what we’ve
learned from Facebook is, the great misunderstanding
of Facebook’s era is that the algorithm changes
because the only asset Facebook is your attention
and as soon as they see that they’re putting too much ads
or things that you don’t want, they start eliminating
it to keep you there. I think that has changed
my historic point of view on marketers ruin everything. I think everybody here is
starting to intuitively understand that through marketing, we
need to bring more value. It’s less about interrupting
and being selfish and it’s more about bringing value. But to answer it directly,
I think the voice space is going to be the big
battle ground where we’ll get a lot of value and then,
marketers will come in and try to figure out how to
get our attention and buy shit. – It’s like you’re going to
ask Alexa or something, first, going to give you an ad before
it gives you the answer. – I don’t know if, I don’t
think Amazon’s going to give us an ad, I don’t think when
Bruce says, hey, I want some toilet paper or toothpaste
that Amazon’s right move is saying, Bruce, you
should try the new Crest. Nobody’s going to want that. I think where Amazon has
unbelievable leverage is when he says, I want
three tubes of toothpaste, they’re gonna just send
whatever the fuck they want. Because I think the thing
that you’ll be stunned by is there’s very few things
that you actually very much care about to stay on the same brand. And everybody’s different. Somebody in the audience here
may only use this one shampoo, others won’t. I… Is this the pair? Yeah, so, I can’t believe
that I bought three pairs of jeans on Amazon
without saying the brand. I thought I cared about the
brands of jeans that I wore but, in the moment, as my behavior’s changing, I was taught by myself
that it’s not a category where I care versus cereal. I would never say to Google:
Google send me some cereal. I’m going to say, send me
fucking Captain Crunch. So, I think it’s going
to be interesting to see where it goes, but I don’t
think it’s going to be an ad, I think it’s going to be
the leverage of sending whatever you want. The blue bar at the to of Google is not going to be suggestions anymore, it’s where you’re going to go. And, as you can image, that’s
going to be very expensive. – [Jan] Alright, thank you. Next question, please. (electricity buzzes) – Hi Gary, nice to meet you. My name is Benoit, I’m from France. I live and work here in Finland
for a project called Marco, a club for foodie. Very glad to meet you. I have a question for you, Gary. I was wondering, do you
believe in teleportation? (scoffs) – Uh, no. (audience laughs) I mean, the reality is is
that, I like to talk about shit that I know. I have no knowledge or
expertise in teleportation, so, the answer is no, my
friend, but I like your shirt. (laughs) – Okay, thank you for the–
– Oh, wow. (laughs) – That’s great. (electricity buzzes) – Okay.
– Okay, bye-bye, Benoit. – Are you somewhere here? Oh, over here.
– You wore the same shirt? (laughs) – He loved that. (chuckles) One more here or we go to the audience? – We have couple more.
– Okay. – Hi Gary, hi Arctic 15.
(laughs) My name’s Matthew Manetta,
I’m an entrepreneur living up here in the
Nordics from the states and I have a question for you. So, what are the three
main points you look for in a project before you
devote time and money into it? – So, this has been an
interesting transition, thanks for the question. My biggest, so, early
on, I wasn’t an investor. I invested in those three
very successful companies, then, I started getting
high on my own supply and thought I was special
because of those three bets and I became an investor. In hindsight, the very
obvious mistake I made is I’ve had a good entrepreneurial
career, I’m an operator. I’m probably even more
a COO than I am a CEO, if you really look under
the hood of how I navigate. So, the biggest mistake that I made was I would look at a business
and I believed in the thesis and I would invest in it
because I knew what I would do. But what I didn’t take
into account was that the entrepreneur or the CO,
that she or he wasn’t capable of doing what I would do. So, in today’s world,
and I invest very rarely, ’cause I think everything is
overvalued and I’m just kind of waiting for the next
cycle, but once in a while. Robin Shapiro walked into
my office, she blew me away with her concept on cricket protein. So, I did some homework on it, she was unbelievably passionate, I believed in the thesis
that cricket, as a protein, as a food source, has a lot of upside. Then, I spent a lot of time asking myself, do I believe she was
in it for the long haul and could she move the
company into a totally different space if it didn’t work out. I am, now, at the point, to
answer the question directly, 51% of my energy is based on
do I believe in her, or him to be able to win, the jockey, 49% on the horse, then away I go. I have to fall in love with the person. I prefer, at this point,
to mitigate my risk, so I’d love to invest in
somebody who has done it before, so I can look under the
hood of how they did it. And then, of course, have
to believe in the thesis. Like, no question, I can
already feel and you could see from the talk this morning that the apps that are going to be built on
top of Alexa and Google Home is going to be a place where
I do a lot of investing. And so, the jockey and the
horse, only those two variables. – [Jan] Okay. – I’m not worried about
could Google copy this, or Facebook beat this, competition
doesn’t factor in at all. I definitely don’t want
to see your bullshit math, metrics of in three years
we’ll be doing 28 million, it’s straight, black magic bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. Like, fucking bullshit. (laughs) Sorry, I mean, just like– – [Jan] Bullshit! – Business school
dynamics in a 30 page deck based on the reality of business is like fucking outer space,
it’s like teleportation. (audience laughs) So, the jockey and the horse. – [Jan] Okay, good. Oh, Matt’s still there. – Hi Gary, hi Arctic 15.
– Next one. – My name’s Matthew Manetta. I’m an entrepreneur living
up here in the Nordics– – [Gary] I know, Matthew, you
already asked your question, dick, get off the stage. (audience laughs)
– [Jan] Next one, please. It’s modern technology.
– I get it. – Before you devote
time and money into it? – [Gary] Alright, Matthew,
what I look for is the– I’m just kidding. (laughs) Can we go into the audience? – [Jan] I think we have one
or two more good ones coming. – Okay.
– Yep. – Hello, Gary, I am Roman
from Estonia but I’ve lived all over the world and I
have a question for you. Is there any business area that
you would never invest into? (sighs) – Yeah, I mean, I don’t think it’s a good idea… (stammers) This is where it’s a little
tough, I don’t know if he means geographically or in genres of business. – Genres.
– Genres? – [Jan] Yeah, yeah, yeah. – Yeah, I mean, I don’t
invest in things that I think were passed by. So, I would never invest in
search engines that are print and written based, based
on what I just said. I don’t think it’s a
good idea to invest in retail companies that have
too much of their capital tied up in their locations in
a world where e-commerce is, no question, generating disruption. I mean, the actual answer to this question as I’m going through my mind
is actually a ton of shit. I think in a world that
we’re living in right now where technology is sweeping our lives, it makes so many areas vulnerable. So, to me, I probably spend a lot of time eliminating things and
I think there’s probably way, way, way more things I
wouldn’t invest in anymore. I mean, I wouldn’t invest
in a social network now. It’s just so hard to penetrate
in a world where Facebook and the incumbents. I think we all saw what
happened with Snapchat. Enormous growth, in essence
ended up being a feature and now has to innovate to succeed. So, my answer is, most
things I wouldn’t invest in because I think they’re getting
disrupted too aggressively. – [Jan] Okay, thank you. Thank you, Roman. – Thank you, Gary, that
was a good answer, bye. (laughs) – Way to guess, Roman. (electricity buzzes) – Oh.
– There we go. – [Man] Oh, hello, how’s everybody doing? I was reading this amazing
book by you-know-who and I had one question for you guys. Actually, this one goes to Jan. Jan, how’s your hair? (laughs) – [Jan] Oh, it’s pretty awesome. (loud slap) Oop.
(laughs) – [Gary] Nice work, Jan. Thank you. – [Jan] I think you have one
more left from the future or the past, let’s see. (electricity buzzes) – Hi Gary, my name’s Jonathan Herchon and this blur that you see across my face is actually deliberate, there’s
no technical problem here. It’s just that I’m kind of
famous for the fact that there are no pictures of me
on the internet and I would, very much, like to keep it that way. – [Gary] That’s cool. – So, my question for you is this. We’re both from Silicon
Valley and we’re both here in the Nordics and I’ve been
involved in public relations for 20 years in the tech
scene and I’ve been working with a lot of different Nordic
companies over the years and I’m actually very
surprised that more people in Silicon Valley don’t
know about the Nordic tech evolution and the fact
that we actually have great technology up here. So, my question to you is this: Why do you think more people
in Silicon Valley don’t invest in Nordic companies and
how can that be changed? – Thank you, my friend. I think America has an
enormous America bias. I think Silicon Valley
entrepreneurs live in a bubble. America is unbelievably not
global, it’s quite insularly and I think that there’s
friction in location and cultures that they don’t
think they need to deal with because there’s an abundance
of opportunity within the U.S. in the same way that I think
you’ll watch over the next hundred years China do very much the same. The market’s so big,
there’s no reason to address other markets, and so, I
think that’s the reason. And that’s why I really get upset about the VC pedestal Silicon Valley thing ’cause there’s so many
great entrepreneurs here whose biggest dream is to
get funded in Silicon Valley and win that game, where I
feel like that’s pandering to something that is not as
practical as all the opportunity there is to actually to
build a viable business in your market or your region. So, to answer your question, my friend, I just think it’s a U.S. bias
and the U.S. Silicon Valley investment ecosystem has more
than enough opportunities within it where they can
fly to Chicago and New York, or drive down the street
versus having their company seven hours away. – Okay, gentleman actually right here. – That’s a great answer, thank
you very much for your time. Very appreciated. – Alright, that wraps up
our hologram stuff, so now, does anybody here have
any question to Gary? – Let’s do it.
– Alright. – [Jan] Let’s do it. – Hello.
– How are you? – [Taylor] Good, I’ve been
listening to your podcast for the last couple of years, so huge fan. – [Gary] Thank you. – [Taylor] My name is Taylor,
I’m from a company called Valuer, Valuer Ai, we connect
startups with corporations. My question’s kind of two-fold. So, you’ve talked about these
unicorns that are looking into buying up these other larger
companies and other markets and basically this unilateral takeover. – [Gary] Yes, yes. – [Taylor] How do you
encourage fortune 500 companies to start figuring out they need
to start shelling out money now to not be left behind? – The problem is I’d
yell at them every day. They don’t want to do
the capital expenditure because it hurts them in a
90 day window on Wall Street and they are actually very
aware that, often, their culture is not a good body for
the organ on the outside that they bring in. So I think, you know, when
everybody wakes up in three years and realizes that Unilever
paid a billion dollars for Dollar Shave Club, and
it failed, it’s going to make Pepsi, and Proctor and
Gamble, and Kelloggs nervous. On the flip side, you know,
just back to your question, just so you know, fortune 500s right now, are unbelievably aggressive
on the M and A front. There’s so much underlining
M and A going on right now. Like, they’ve been convinced. Like, the way you asked your
question, it’s happening. You’re going to see an enormous
amount of M and A right now from the haves and the
have-nots in the digital world. The problem is 95% are going
to fail because what they do, you have to understand, you
have to follow the money. In the same way that I was
like ranting a little bit about VCs, that’s Wall Street. You’ve got the biggest
companies in the world doing everything in their
power to make profit in every 90 days. Because the CEO, she and his bonus and stock equity is tied to it. Nobody’s building businesses,
everybody’s pandering to fucking numbers. Got it.
– Yeah. – [Taylor] Second part is, how
do you tel tell the startups, hey, don’t worry about getting absorbed, this is good for you as opposed
to, hey, I don’t want to do business with the big man
on the block or something? – That’s a good question. I mean, I think too many
startups, that’s ego and audacity, right, startups think
they have this clever IP that if they do a deal with Dell or Pepsi, I usually remind startups
that they’re not as good as they think they are. I love when startups tell me,
like, Gary, you don’t get it, we developed something that
fucking Facebook doesn’t get. And I take a step back, I’m like, real quick, just let me
understand this right, you and two developers
over the last nine months created some technology
that Facebook and Google and Apple don’t get? Get the fuck out of here. And so, I think that
there is way too much ego in the startup community around
this special IP they have and they’re not doing it at a… It looks like they’re doing
it, not doing it out of fear, they’re not doing it out ego. – Thank you, Gary, what’s
up, Victor from Slovakia. – [Gary] How are you, Victor? – I’m great, how about you?
– Very good. – Nice. First of all, thanks for
your content inspiring our community in Slovakia. So the question is,
imagine you are no-name, you are just starting, would
you rather focus on one project or would you try to be
involved on two, three, at the same time? Thank you. – The answer, brother, is both will work. I mean, the reality is
there’s no right answer, it depend on the skill in here. For me, in my youth, I
focused on one project. It was a family business, it worked, I leaned a lot of things, great. But, as you probably know
consuming my content, some of the biggest things
I’m pushing right now is be very aggressive in your
20s and try a lot of things. Some people are naturally self-aware and have a very clear vision. Others are still trying to figure it out. I think the answer, if I can
bring value to the most people here, is if you’ve 100%
conviction and you know exactly what you’re passionate about
and what you’re good about, well then, go. But if you have any doubt, early on, this is where
you can take the most risk. What most humans do is
start making money and then, start creating debt or overhead that puts them into a box. The beauty of being in your
20s is you don’t have money or stuff, often, and so,
that allows you the freedom to try shit and during an era like this, trying shit around Ai, or AR, or crypto, Blockchain, is a great thing
because you may stumble on your passion and what you’re good at. So, both can work. It comes down to the individual. And let me give you one
other piece of advice, if you’re saying to yourself,
fuck, then what do I do? You’re never going to
know the alternative. If you go all-in on a
project, you’re never going to be able to figure out, if
you tried other things, so this is more about being
optimistic or pessimistic as a human being. In 10 years, if you
didn’t try something else, even if you’re successful
and you’re a pessimist, you’re going to make up in
your own mind that if you did something else, it would’ve been better. So, I think this is
about making a decision and not dwelling or pondering on what if, ’cause what-ifs cripple people. – Alright, we have time for
one more and then we have one more thing after that. Sam, if you’re here, come near the stage. – [Woman] Hi, Gary,
great to have you here. – Thank you.
– I’m a huge fan. – [Gary] Thank you. – [Woman] You’re actually the
voice of my bedside stories. (laughs)
– [Gary] Thank you. – [Woman] Thanks for the
podcast, I’ve been listening for years and we actually
started with my team a podcast, to start with, to learn
and build a community. – [Gary] That’s awesome. – [Woman] So now, we have
about 300,000 listeners. – Wow, congratulations.
– Thank you. – More than you.
– It’s quite nice. – Not more than me but,
fuck, that’s a lot. (laughs)
– [Woman] Thank you. So now we’re building,
what we learned is that, we started on a female
sexuality and talking about sex in a humorous way indirectly
and now we learned that we also need to include the guys. – Understood.
– So, we’re building our– – And what, before you go any
further, why have you learned you need to include the guys? Because you want a bigger
audience or because you feel like there’s things that are missing? – [Woman] Well, to make the
every day life of people in relationships better–
– Right, I understand. – [Woman] We need to include all parties. – Okay, go ahead. – [Woman] So we want to build
this and we are building this digital foreplay with an AR
twist called More and Better. It’s for couples or
people in relationships and now we have this
audience here in the podcast and how do we get it to our app? – Very easily, you throw right hooks. Like, you basically, I mean you
listen to my podcast, right? – [Woman] Yep. – As you know, when I
have things I care about, whether it’s my sneaker,
my book, my voice con, I will read my own ads in
the beginning of my podcasts before I go into my podcast. I think the most interesting
thing that people struggle with when they’ve figured
how to build an audience which is to bring value,
is to then get the gear to ask that audience for something. I would have you and whoever
else is part of the show or whoever is in the show to read ads, like, before you start
the podcast, you say, hey, we’ve got our new app
and before you listen to the rest of this podcast, it
would mean the world to us if you go download the app. And then you just keep on fucking asking. – [Woman] Keep on fucking
asking, thank you. – You got it.
– Thank you. (audience applauds) – We have run out of time
for the questions part now but we have a really quick
startup pitch to you. – [Gary] Okay. – So, Samsa from Kee-eh-co come on stage or pitch from the microphone. Let’s do this. (audience applauds) – Hey, Gary.
– Come on up, come on. – What out for Jan’s hair.
– Yeah. – Nice haircut. Hey Gary, thanks for the chat. – Hey, how are you?
– Good, good. – Yeah, I appreciate you
being very vocal about the voice coming up and
I share the passion. I’m building a voice
community and, basically, what I’m thinking here is that, there’s two things in the voice. There’s the complexities of
finding good stuff to listen– – [Gary] Yes! – That’s all over the place,
then, there’s the length of the content.
– Yes. – That makes it difficult
to consume on the goal. And then there’s the one
direction idea of it. There’s no conversational
dialogue, so that’s what we are trying to solve, build
a dialogue between people. We call that mini-cast. So, what I’m wondering is that do you see that there’s space for my direction of conversational
service around the voice? And, if so, shall we
partner or shall we comp it? (laughs) – You know what, I think
that’s, so I want to, let’s keep going here
’cause I want to make sure I fully understand. You want to build a platform
that allows Jan and I to communicate through voice devices? – Um, basically, you can
think of it as an Instagram of voice or Twitter of voice. You can do your mini-cast
which is short voice commentary on your phone,
others can reply and comment. And Ai helps to build
the conversation threads. – My belief is that that’s
going to be more friction than you realize. Meaning there’s a reason
that we text each other and don’t send each other
voice memos back and forth. Because it’s faster to text. I think when we communicate
with an Ai voice device that replies in real time,
that’s more of a utility or it could be entertainment. I think when it comes to
peer-to-peer communication, text is faster than voice
which is why we’re doing less phone calls and why
we don’t do voice memos. So, if you asked me, that
wouldn’t be the place that I would first go to
because, if you think of Voxer, if you think of other things,
there’s been other things. You can layer Ai on top of it. I’m not so sold that that’s
the consumer behavior that is obvious to me yet. Now, what may happen is,
as we get sucked into engaging with voice devices
in an everyday life, we migrate because we use
it this way with a device, to the way we talk with
each other, to more voice, but I feel like that
is a secondary behavior built on the back of us
interacting with Ai devices, not the primary thing that
we’re going to start with which would then, make
me believe that what you’re positioning is
seven to 10 years away, if it even happens, more so
than the thing that I would believe happens next. One man’s point of view. – Very quick follow-up.
– Yes. – So, my point is that,
when we do podcast today, they are studio productions. What our claim is tech is
ready that you can do that from you phone– – Have you seen Anchor?
– Sure. – So, I think they’re the
ones who are claiming or, at least, are early in the U.S. market to be doing that and I’m
watching it very careful, I’m not an investor or
advisor, I know them but not really all that
well but I like them. I do think there’s something to that. I see a lot of my fans when I bring it up start their podcasts
on this and I do think there’s a space for that, for sure. – Yeah, exactly, that’s
what I believe as well. – Understood, awesome.
– Thank you so much. – Nice to meet you. – Alright everybody, let’s
take a quick group selfie to wrap this thing up.
(chuckles) Can you, a little bit
warm it up and get up and cheer for us, yes? Oh shit. (chuckles) Alright, thank you. – [Gary] Helsinki,
thank you for having me. Thank you.
(audience applauds) – [Jan] If you want Gary to
every come back to Helsinki, clap a little bit louder please. (audience cheers) (slow electronic music)

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