Jose daVeiga did this interview as a way of turning the page on his startup, KlickSports, a mobile game that fans could play while watching live sports. In this interview we covered how things went sideways after roughly 10 years from the birth of an idea, filing of a patent, deciding to build a business, getting traction, raising capital, and its final ramp down.
He and his co-founder, Kent Jordan, raised $1.3 million from angel investors in their bid to make live sports more interactive for fans. I invited him to talk about what he learned from the experience.
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Here’s the program.
Andrew: Hey everyone. It’s Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy.com, home of the ambitious upstart. What can you learn from a business that goes sideways? Joining me is my friend, Jose daVeiga, founder of KlickSports, a mobile sports game that fans can play while watching a live game.
Andrew: Jose, welcome.
Jose: Hi, Andrew.
Andrew: Before we started, I asked you if I should call this interview a post-mortem and you said no. Why not?
Jose: I don’t think that we ever kind of closed the book on it. We did such a soft landing. We kept trying for so long even after things, you know, our resources were out and everything. I actually haven’t closed the company, so that’s why I said it’s not a post-mortem. The patent which is a very key piece of the company that we based the technology on and was really how we materialized our concept is still part of the company, is still owned by the company. That’s why we didn’t close it.
Andrew: You and I talked, I think it was over a year ago, about doing this interview. We both agreed that it wasn’t the right time. Why? What were we waiting for back then, what do we want to be aware of as we do this interview to learn from your experience? I want the audience to know what they’re in for here.
Jose: We talked more than once, you might remember, about doing this. I think that we . . . I decided, really, that it was too close still for me to be able to talk about it. There were talks about buying the company up until early 2010. I think we talked right about around that time and I felt that I didn’t have enough hindsight to be able to talk about it and not be extremely biased in one or another. I’m always going to be biased, I’m one of the founders. It wasn’t that way. If I wasn’t the founder, it probably wouldn’t. But it’s always going to be that way.
Andrew: We’re going to be very open in this interview about what happened as you built the business. At the same time, I want to be upfront with my audience and say that I’m not here and you’re definitely not here to rip into people who you worked with. This isn’t revenge. You were very clear with me earlier on. You said, “Andrew, I just want to share what I learned. I’m not here to start swiping at other people.” We’re just going to learn from the experience that you had over . . . about a decade now. How long has it been since you’ve been running the business day-to-day?
Jose: We really started the business in ’06.
Andrew: ’06, that’s when the idea came to you and your co-founder?
Jose: No, actually, we met at another company, another startup in 1999. We used to go out for lunch. I used to have this group of people that would get together. It was like a think-tank that I casually put together. It was to discuss ideas. This was 1999, and the short story on that is Kent and I, Kent Jordan was my co-founder and we just ended up working at the same company. He used to be an NFL player. I had this crazy idea of tracking players on the field, on a football field. We quickly discovered there was another company doing that. The idea kind of changed to predictive gaming and fantasy. If you remember, or the audience remembers this, but in 1999 fantasy was kind of coming of age. It was actually on the uptake. It was new. We were thinking about realtime fantasy. Then all throughout 2000 we did tests. We looked at the idea and we wrote a patent.
Andrew: You ramped it up and we’ll tell the story of how you did that. You raised $1.3 million from angel investors. We’ll talk about how you did that and the aftermath of raising money. How long ago was the last day that you were working on the business day-to-day? How long has it been since then?
Jose: I would say that day-to-day was probably middle of ’09. We actually had a game going on, every home game of the Dodgers. We actually kept things going pretty much until the fall of ’09. In the meantime, I moved on to other things just to make money. But I kept working for KlickSports, kind of officially, I would say, until early 2010. That’s when I decided I needed to move on and do something else or at least change the chair for a while.
Andrew: I went to KlickSports.com before this interview and I saw the GoDaddy page. Do you still own the domain?
Jose: No, I don’t. I do not. We probably, if there’s a reincarnation, we’ll be called something else.
Andrew: I see, okay. All right. Let’s go back to the original idea. You talked about 1999. You guys were kicking around ideas. What was the one that made you say, we’ve got to patent this thing so no one else takes it?
Jose: I watched Kent, my partner, watch a football game with his buddies. The phone kept ringing and there was no really SMS back then, but basically he and his friends would call each other during the game. I realized there was something here. Kent, obviously, was pretty much the one that suggested the idea initially. Then when we did those trials with the web TV and I watched the game play and we played along, we were convinced. There was also something that ABC and Disney tried, which was called Ultimate TV, I believe. It was kind of a live, online game. We thought they totally missed the mark, which they did. It failed technically. It wasn’t very compelling. We thought we can do better and we know the game and it’s not about predicting. If you go into detail and it’s kind of hard to explain the details sometimes when things have to be understood at the fine grade, but our philosophy to playing the game was really, again, that you played casually.
Jose: It wasn’t really a casual game. It was a game that could you played casual. The idea was really, you’re at the bar and you could be doing this with your buddies. You could be at a golf game and still playing and following the game and playing it casually and that was the idea. Not something that involved you being in front of your phone or your screen and necessarily be stuck to it.
Andrew: You said there was a life changing set of, something happened in your lives around 2005, 2006 that you made you decide to go full time into it. What was that?
Jose: I won’t speak for Kent, but on my end, I did two masters and a Ph.D. I was in throws of finishing my Ph.D. I had been running another company, a small business of my own that we started doing design and actually architecture, which is what I’m formally trained as. My Ph.D. was very technical. I’m also a programmer and a geek. My first computer, I had it when I was six years old. So I’m one of those. I found out that I was basically making a living on the side of my business. I had a design business as a front, but really I was making money managing big technology projects. I had hired people to do software for UCLA, for the Tribune. We were, and I was teaching at Cal Poly for modern Architecture. It was kind of a schizophrenic era. I got tired of it. I said I’ve got to pick one or the other, and I’m not getting any younger. So I said, I already had a kid, he was two years old. It was like, this is now or never. We’re going to go and run for the fences. I had some money in the bank. One of the projects, the project for the Tribune, got shot down by the Tribune. The company actually was shut down. I inherited a team in Serbia that really wasn’t doing much or was going to get disbanded. I started poking them to work on this crazy idea that I had. That’s kind of how it started. It very quickly grew to something day-to-day and that I couldn’t help but do every day.
Andrew: If I understand this right, you were building projects for others and charging them as . . . and you had these Serbians who were developing it. When Tribune said, no, we can’t keep working with you, you said, “I’m going to go and build my own product. Why should I keep building stuff for other people. I’ve got an opportunity here. I’ve got a team here. I’ve got the time. I’m going to go whole hog and build this thing.” Is that basically it?
Jose: I think so. I think a lot of people start companies that way. They realize, why am I doing it for somebody else, if I can endure the pain, and I have the ability, which most of the time those people have to do it own their own and eat that cost. Then at some point, things will breakeven or at least they’ll stabilize. That’s what we did. It wasn’t easy, though. I went for basically, my wife is a saint and I have to thank her, but I went basically for almost two years with almost no income, spending my money and friends’ money, at some point I raised friends’ money as well before I raised angel money.
Andrew: I know that there’s no shotgun that says, okay, day one go, this is your company. But from around that period when that shotgun would’ve gone off to when you launched the first product, how long was it?
Jose: It was about, I would say, well, it was really three months.
Andrew: Three months, okay.
Jose: Yes. The way this happened was about the time that I stopped teaching at Cal Poly Pomona, the end of the school year in 2006 and the Tribune project was pretty much dead by then as well. So things kind of culminated. I found myself, I have to go and look for more work. I had had a pretty steady stream, and I had pretty good revenue in that company and so forth. I really made a radical decision. I said I’m going to go in a different direction and I did. It took me about three to four months to realize where I was going.
Kent and I went to CTIA in Los Angeles at the convention center. The CTIA, for those who don’t know, is the association for the cell phone industry. We got there and I realized, I’m from Europe, so I knew about SMS for a long time. In Europe, it was big thing already for a long time. I had been poking Kent, saying we should do SMS. People can play this at the stadium. In the US, not a lot of people in 2006 were SMSing. If you were technically inclined, you probably knew about it. It wasn’t the thing that my father would be doing.
We went to CTIA and we had an epiphany. We started talking to these companies called aggregators, which are basically companies that talk to every carrier and they allow you to have a short code. This was just starting basically or was just starting to be standardized and implemented in a way that we could access it. Through a lot of wheeling and dealing we convinced one of these companies to give us a free account. With the promise, we forged partnerships there and that really, a light bulb went on. We got back to the office and basically the plan was that Kent was going to call every bowl committee possible. I thought college football was a good start. We started developing the technology. In basically two months, we had a live trial at the Alamo Bowl that went really well. That’s kind of what, it snowballed.
Andrew: A live trial at the Alamo Bowl within two months, and what was that trial? What happened, what did users see when they interacted?
Jose: The users saw an announcement. We called every bowl. We had about four bowls that were interested. The Alamo Bowl, the people organizing it were great, and they were very eager to try something new. They had some big sponsors. We weren’t thinking of it being a money generator. We just wanted to be out there.
Andrew: If I was sitting in the stadium at the Alamo Bowl, what would I see up on the big jumbotron and what would I have to do to play?
Jose: You would hear an announcement. We had one announcement. We had a favorite announcement, it was at the foul in the middle of the second quarter. The announcement, AT&T was going to give away three cell phones and the big screen TV. There were going to be prizes for each question from other sponsors. We had, I think five or six, other sponsors, like Valero, and Steve and Barry’s Sporting Goods and so forth. We did have a coupon for every question and there was a main prize winner was announced at the end. That was it. People joined . . .
Andrew: I’d be sitting there., I’d see a big question up on the screen. If I answered and I was picked from the winners who answered it correctly, I’d get a prize. But I would answer the question on my phone, texting to a number that was up on the big screen.
Jose: Yeah, one call to action, that’s all we got.
Andrew: That sounds like a lot of fun. That sounds perfect. Now, you see yourself up on the big screen, in the Alamo Bowl, how did it feel?
Jose: Well, we only saw a picture because we weren’t even there. We were back in the offices in Santa Monica looking at the people joining. I’ll never forget it when people joining. This is a one event. You get a 15 second announcement, basically, I even drew a graph of it. You can see the people joining. Then you can see the ones that after a while start joining, probably somebody else told them. You could see all that in kind of a graph. That’s what we were doing. We didn’t even see it. We were text messaging and on the phone with somebody at the Alamo Bowl. We had really scripted this right. We even made a code change. There was a final scoring event. There was one of the breaks and there were no questions during that break. We made a code change and a redeployment of the system while this was going on because we found a bug. That’s how agile that we were being.
Andrew: Really quick to launch, really quick to change it. I can see, I can imagine the pride that you had from seeing the first launch. What did you learn from it? What did you, ah, we’re a little bit off here, we should adjust it there? Was there anything like that. or did you feel like this was it?
Jose: We did what everybody should do, which is we tried to get the most out of it. We really were fortunate. We got all these sponsors and actually the lesson we got from it that was the valuable one from the standpoint of knowing that this was something that we should pursue came later. We later found out, doing kind of the post-event debriefing with the marketing people in Dallas and so forth, actually, in San Antonio, we found out that basically Steve and Barry’s had kept track of their coupons. We had had a 26% conversion rate within a month of the event for the coupons that they had, that we had given away. So, 26% of the people who got the question right went to a store within a month and bought something with the coupon we gave them. If you know anything about coupons, this was huge, at least back then. We thought we were on to something. This was not necessarily proper, but I actually called some people and asked them, “Why did you go to a store and buy? You won this question. I’m from KlickSports. What’s going on? Why did you go to a store and buy it?” Two or three people answered that they had basically, their team had won the game and they wanted to have a memory of the game and that’s why they went to store and bought something because this was a sporting goods company. It was an alignment of the stars, and we figured out we’re on to something. That’s how we started out basically.
Andrew: I see, okay. Were you going to monetize by doing partnerships with companies that would offer coupons to your winners?
Jose: That was very much something that we tried. Groupon was not around and all these coupon companies that are now in full swing were not around. Yes, we actually did trials again a year later with KFC FC in Hawaii, for the University of Hawaii college football team. We had this promotion going on with KFC on the radio, and this was a daily game show and then people would play on the weekend. Yes, we gave out coupons and so forth. That was very much part of the model. It was a promotional game.
Andrew: Okay. That was the first thing that you did. Big success right off the bat, within a couple of months of launching. What’s the next step?
Jose: The next step was we realized that we didn’t really have something that was robust and scalable.
Andrew: Why not? It sounds like it was very robust. It sounds like it had all the features that you needed. What was missing?
Jose: Well, we, like everybody that’s small has big dreams. We thought this is going to grow quickly once we get traction. We, perhaps, were thinking more of dealing with bigger companies. Sports is a fairly gated kind of politicized industry for many reasons. Everybody thinks everybody’s a sports fan, but it’s really hard to get the sports fans. We got to the Alamo Bowl because we got lucky, but it’s not easy. There was a lot of business development and sales to be done. We didn’t really account for that back then. We spent quite a bit of time improving the technology. One of the lessons I have is that maybe that shouldn’t have been the case. Maybe enough was enough once you have something. We didn’t think that. We thought, got to make it better, more functionality, better features. We did realize that this could not be a one-off thing. We had planned this model very well, and the idea was to make these in venue, I think you saw the bar screen, we did a commercial for Mixergy at some point, at a bar where we had a screen that people could play along in bars as well. We built a fairly robust and that following year bootstrapped completely, we built a fairly robust kind of event based, interactive technology.
Andrew: You’re kidding me. Let me pause here for a moment and make sure that I understand this. You had this successful launch at the Alamo Bowl. You’re going to be able to tell throughout this interview that I’m not much of a sports fan. I don’t know this stuff, but I pretend to and I write notes.
Jose: It’s no problem, I wasn’t either.
Andrew: I’m going to come back and ask you about that. But you had this thing and it worked. You said, instead of growing it out by finding more bowls, more stadiums, more places for us to roll this out in, we want to add more features to it so that we can earn the right to have a spot in all these other places. Was that the mindset?
Jose: In part, yes. I’ll give you an example. We talked to Yahoo for a long time, many times. The biggest concern they had was our ability to scale because they felt that if they opened the pipe in our direction, and this had happened before. They gave us plenty of examples of something like this happening, where they opened the pipe to the company and then it just crashed moments after because of inability to handle. We had, the patents, it was a method patent. Part of our technology was premised on this ideal scenario where you have . . . you know, it’s Super Bowl, which it just happened again. It’s the last play of the game. Basically a play doesn’t take more than four or five seconds and in between, prior to the last play, people would make a predication and within seconds of the last play finishing, you would get a scoring. It’s a pretty daunting challenge especially when you have groups and you have buddies playing against buddies which was our idea. We didn’t have that in the first game we did. Our first game was very much a question by question, along with the game play, but you got scoring back, that’s all you got.
Andrew: Let me bring it back. What were the features you were thinking you needed to add after you had that first version rolled?
Jose: One example is as simple as the ability to invite other people while you were playing.
Andrew: I see.
Jose: So, I challenge you.
Andrew: Okay. So you said, “This isn’t enough where it is, I need to let people challenge each other.” What else did you say you need?
Jose: I think we also started planning and building the technology to address more the realtime factor. The first game was very much scripted, in the sense that the questions were more or less timed with the events in the game. We didn’t have sports feeds at that point, yet. We cut a deal in the meantime with PA Sports Ticker which has been acquired by STATS LLC in the meantime. We had a deal with them to provide us with stats. We had to build that part of the automation. We tried to streamline the business. But by the end of ’09, like I said, when we were doing the Dodgers, there was very little you needed to do for the system. It basically ran itself. The questions were generated automatically. The games would have to preset, but from that moment on, as long as you had data feeds, this thing was basically a living entity as long as people kept playing, of course.
Andrew: So, you said, we need to have feeds, we need to do more realtime data, so that people can play in realtime. We can’t script the questions ahead of time. We want people to be able to invite their friends, and we want more users to be able to . . . we want the system to handle more users at once so that we don’t have an embarrassment if Yahoo turns us on and our system can’t handle all their users.
Jose: I found out that that was an invalid concern by a lot of people.
Andrew: Which one?
Jose: The scalability of it. I never had that problem. It’s a problem that everybody always says, it’s a problem that I would like to have. One of the lessons I took was, when somebody says it’s a problem I’d like to have, it’s probably a problem you don’t need to address right now.
Andrew: I see. Okay. So if you could go back in time, you’d say, “Don’t worry about scalability issues, worry about growth. If you have scalability issues, you address them later on.”
Andrew: You find a solution.
Jose: You know, Twitter kept crashing.
Andrew: Right, it still does.
Jose: It still does, and I don’t think anybody’s really complaining that much as long as it comes back up and it’s not too long.
Andrew: What about this other stuff here. I’ve got a list here of features that you planned to add to version two after you launched version one at the Alamo Bowl. The feeds, the realtime, etc. If you could go back in time or if you could talk to yourself back then, would say, hey hold off on all these features, or in retrospect do you think, yeah, this does make sense, we needed that?
Jose: If I could talk to myself back then, I would not be here. I would be making money on a time machine. I don’t know, that’s speculating. I think that up until we raised the angel round, I think we were doing what every company should do, which is we were iterating and we were trying to get as much feedback as we could. We were trying new things, and really that whole year was really a product development effort. I think we should’ve concentrated more on the business development efforts. We did try. It’s just that for many reasons we couldn’t. We didn’t find an avenue that would go around the entities, like ESPN and FOX and so forth.
Andrew: Can you give me an example of a business opportunity that you tried to develop but couldn’t?
Jose: Yes. Well, most of it was capital needs that we made a conscious decision not to pursue. That was the bar screen that you saw. We developed this technology where you put up a screen at bars. This was before every coffee bean had a screen and there’s this company called NTN that’s been around for very long that’s does trivia on screens. Basically we figured that we could develop something that was much cheaper, automated. We had already developed it, actually. That’s when we did that promotion at Barney’s in Santa Monica, which you helped launch. Basically, we realized at that point that we could not take the business in that direction because we would have had to raise a significant amount of money to put screens in every bar and have a sales team in every region and so forth. I mean a lot of the billboard companies, the digital, like the coffee bean companies that put the coffee bean on the screens, etc., did that. But it was a fairly capital intense proposition, and we just felt we couldn’t raise that much money that quickly.
Andrew: This was an event that we did with Mixergy where anyone could come into the bar in Santa Monica and play the trivia game on the screen using their phones with their friends, drink, and have a good time. If I understand you right, what you’re saying is you came up with that idea when you said, look, these stadiums aren’t letting me in. It’s a very clubby environment in the sports world. I’m not finding a way through that, into that club. I’ll just go to another channel. That other channel will be these bars. That’s what you were thinking.
Jose: It was part of it, it was part of it. Actually, it was more of a marketing ploy for us. We thought where are we going to find our customers? Who are the fanatics of sports? They’re at sports bars. What do we have? We have something that sports fans can identify, and it happened that because the technology it was very easy to replicate what NTN did with the trivia and so forth. We thought we have something that can be played any time of the day, so bar owners will want it. It’s not just a one time event when there’s a sports game thing. Then when there’s a sports game, it also serves as a billboard and as an interactive screen for people to be playing at a bar.
Andrew: If you’re starting out by going after stadiums, how do you end up at bars? Why shift the business that way?
Jose: Mostly it was because once you start going to the profession leagues, it becomes a completely different conversation.
Andrew: Can you give me an example of one of those conversations that made you think we should try something different, maybe bars.
Jose: Oh, there are a lot of pre-established relationships. It’s a very structured industry. You have to have those relationships.
Andrew: Do you have an example of a time and incident where you said, I’m realizing this is happening.
Jose: I’ll give you an example of what happened later and how we solved that problem. We partnered with another company that was already doing promotions in stadiums and security, like there’s this thing where you can SMS the seat number if you’re having a problem like there’s a fight or something. You see it for example at the Dodgers stadium, at the Lakers, at the downtown Staples Center. There’s the text to screen thing. We partnered with one of those companies. They have the relationships, and that’s all how we ended up doing every home game of the Dodgers for the whole of 2009 was through them.
Andrew: I see. But what I’m trying to understand is why you shifted from stadiums to bars, and it sounds like you’re saying it’s because you tried to penetrate the stadiums and the sports world, and it didn’t work out, so you went a different way. Was there an example that illustrates that, or am I misunderstanding?
Jose: It was just that the whole, it was easier, or we thought it was easier to go to a bar. There’s also a side story to the bar story.
Andrew: Let me stay focused on this, because I want to make sure . . .
Jose: Let me tell you how the bar happened. I went to an event and I met the owner of Barney’s. He was the one who told me, what you guys should do is put a screen in a bar.
Jose: It was so easy that within a week we had a screen at a bar, and that’s part of the reason why we did it.
Andrew: I see. You just came up with this opportunity. You said let’s give it a shot. It’s not going to cost that much. It’s not that tough and the guy wants to give us a shot. He sees an opportunity. I get it. Okay, I see.
Jose: It worked great. The problem is that two people can’t have a sales force that goes and knocks on the doors of every bar and so forth. We didn’t have the capital. Actually, I had boiled down the system to about $3,000, but I tried. I had a contract. I did do this for about a month. We did try to come up with a contract. Bar owners weren’t going to pay you money up front. We could’ve done it, but it was a decision not to pursue that business. It was a different business, basically. That’s why we pulled out of that. We decided this is a completely different business. It’s probably a good business, but it’s not going to be a startup like business. It’s not going to put us in front of every sports fan at Super Bowl one day.
Andrew: Gotcha. It’s too bad because when I’m in a bar, I’d like to play that kind of trivia game. I want something to engage me all the time. All right. I get that. You’re saying that the development of the product and your relationship with your customers was going well right before the funding and then things changed. How was that? Can you describe how you were building the product with your customers, how you were working with their feedback?
Jose: It was fairly scientific in a way, which was we didn’t have a direct line to all the customers because we didn’t have a website. Part of the reason why we raised money was that we had a bunch of attempts at having . . . I think we built about five or six websites until we actually launched something that we were happy to have and it was good to be used. That’s another thing to realize, there was no follow through. We would have these people at an event and then we would do what every other promotional company does which is release them to the ether. We wanted to have what Groupon now has, which is you buy something and you keep coming back for more. You keep engaging, you keep having a conversation. We did have some fanatic fans. We found out that some people will be your most, somebody still e-mails me asking me, aren’t you guys putting this up again? There’s this girl and this guy that used to play basically every game we put out there. It was insane. I did have some feedback. The idea was we would put together these . . . and we didn’t change it very much from the Alamo Bowl game that I described. We basically tried to improve it and make it easier and simpler and more appealing. That’s kind of what we tried. We were trying to do events. We did five bowls in the fall of ’07. We did five bowls. We went, we put some money behind, we went to trade shows, the bowl association trade show. We had a booth. We convinced other people to try it and do it. It was growing. It was just that it wasn’t as fast as we wished. We knew we would have to try other things like television and so forth which we did later. That was kind of the plan.
Andrew: Okay. So, you’re slowly building this out. You’re improving the product, not so slowly but you’re going at a decent pace here. You’re going to trade shows, you’re winning over bowls, but I can see that that’s a lot slower than you have in mind as an entrepreneur. You then decide it’s time for us to raise money. Is that right?
Jose: Yeah, I mean, if you look at the sports, we have this calendar of sports where we stacked up, pretty much every sport that counts in the world from formula one to baseball and profession football, soccer, different leagues and so forth. If you look at it, if you owned the whole package, you actually have a sustainable business that works pretty much every day of the year. If you don’t, then you have the beginning of the season. Fantasy has this where’s there’s a big up and then it goes down, and then towards the end of the season it picks up again. Then you’ve got wait for the next bus to come. That became, we were always running towards the next . . . you know, the next train is going to leave, and if you’re not there on time, you can’t. We had to rush to do March Madness because we wanted to get all these developments and deals. Then you start realizing that the industry for promotional advertisement works about six months at least ahead. We also have to be prepared six months ahead. It was a catch up game basically. It was going to take time for us to be stable and be capable at being a player in this game because, you know, when you’re in development, you really can’t think six months ahead. When you have a business model that requires you to sell six months ahead, it becomes tricky.
Andrew: You need to go after all the sports in order to have a year round business, otherwise you have a very seasonal business.
Andrew: Okay. So, where did you go to raise money?
Jose: Angels. I mean I went everywhere. I asked a friend of mine that had raised money, “What did you do?” I know this guy, typical guy, lived on credit cards, raised money and now he’s going to the stars. Different industry, not Internet but I asked him, “What did you do?” He said the only advice I have to give you is cast the widest net that you can possibly imagine and beyond. What he meant by that is ask your garbage collector if he knows somebody that likes sports and wants to fund a crazy company. I did. I talked to everybody. I basically spent all my time evangelizing and convincing and talking to people about what I was already doing by then for a long time on little money and just passion.
Andrew: Who’s the first investor that you got after your friends?
Jose: I got an angel investment from a group, so that was the first money and the only money I got after I got from friends. The first money I got from friends was actually before the Alamo Bowl. Before we even had a working system, a friend that had worked with me in the past came to my office and wrote me a $20,000 check almost unexpectedly. I asked him, “Are you crazy?” He said, “No, I trust you and I know you’ll do right by me.” I said, “But you realize that this is basically money that you’re throwing out the window and might never come back in?” He said, “That’s okay because I see that you’re passionate about this.” I guess passion is what people fund, at least at the friends and family level. Then we raised money from an angel group that was individual angels but it was about 16 people.
Andrew: How formal was the group? What’s the group?
Jose: Very formal. I can’t, it’s not a group with a name. It’s basically, I had worked for . . . one of the startups I worked for got sold and the people that had started and invested in that company invested in my company later on after a lot of insisting on my part. I was very persistent. I had been talking to some of the people that ended up on my board for at least a year and half. As soon as I started, I actually started talking to people about what I was doing and they knew that I was very committed and we can’t deny it, already gone through hell and back a couple of times to get this thing going.
Andrew: They invested the $1.2 million all at once?
Jose: Yes. It was basically round. It was an interesting story. I can’t deny we’re basically broke, probably Kent more than I was. We were broke. I didn’t have money to pay my own bills moreover pay the developers in December of 2007. I did a big blitz. I went to San Jose. I got lucky. I got a Dow Jones event, one of these pitch fast. I went there. I got some interest from VCs. I had had some advisors that were helping me raise money, some people with experience, friends from Silicon Valley, etc. I had never gotten traction. So I thought this is going to die. I had to get a job and I did. I got a job at an Adconion for about two months, well, a month and a half. I got my job on December 15th of ’07, and I had no idea that I was going to raise money. On December 27th, I got an e-mail. Well, I was having meetings, but I didn’t think that these were any different from all the other meetings that I had. I pitched VCs, we had done the whole thing. We thought this is not going to go very far. We got an e-mail from the investors on December 27th, I believe. There’s something about the end of December and KlickSports. We got an e-mail from them saying here’s a draft term sheet and we’re going to invest.
I quit my job on February 15th, and we closed the round on February 24th. Basically, I had no idea when I started my job that I was going to raise money. The funny story is that in the meantime a couple, more than a couple of VCs, which I won’t mention, got involved and very interested. There was a bidding war. I actually did what everybody advised what not to do. My advice is when you have money on the table, take as much as you can, which is now common place but I completely ignored that advice. I actually closed the round at a million three. We had opened the round to a million six. I had looked at the cap table, and I said I didn’t want to get so diluted, naive, first time entrepreneurial typical mistake. But I did, I closed the round. I actually had $2 million of committed angels that wanted to invest. We closed the round short because we thought, we’re doing so great, things are going great for us. We had a deal with . . . we had done five bowls. We were trying to get a deal actually with a TV show, a sports TV show. Things were going well. That’s why we got investment as well, I guess, at least from the deal side. We closed. The VCs wanted us to up the round and I said no. I would probably take institutional money now that I know what I know.
Andrew: What do you mean? Why institutional instead of . . .
Jose: It’s the ability to do follow-up rounds. Eight months later in the fall of ’08, as everybody knows, the economy totally changed. That was another turning point for us. We were slated to raise . . . we needed to raise $4 million. We had a promotion with FOX. We were doing this KFC promotion. We were talking to actually a quite a big, a number of big brands for a lot of money to do March Madness of 2009. Things were looking up. We had a little bit of a dud on a private beta launch of our site, which we immediately fixed actually. By October, it was a great site, we launched a great site. Things were going good for all intents and purposes. It’s a startup. Not everything is good. But what happened was the economy changed and it changed a lot of things including the investors saw their portfolios getting reduced. Somebody who invested in $100,000 in January now looks at $100,000 in October with completely different eyes. That’s what changed. What I saw happen in ’09, as far as investment, there’s a lot of follow-up rounds and we just didn’t have the ability to do follow-up rounds. It was just basically it. I had to raise a lot of money and lost the confidence of the investors in the meantime because the deals started falling through the wayside and things change. That was a problem to solve that was very big.
Andrew: How’d you get all those deals? I started writing them down as you were talking about them, March Madness 2009 and a few others and I just couldn’t keep up with them. How did they all come at you all of a sudden?
Jose: They didn’t come at us.
Andrew: How did you land them, right? Good point.
Jose: We basically were out there tooting the horn, as you say. We were casting the widest net that we could.
Andrew: So, you’re just constantly pounding the phones, trying to find somebody to use your technology related to sports in anyway.
Jose: Yeah, we would basically pursue any opportunity that we thought was . . . Kent had quite a bit of experience with business development. He was basically ringing the phones. I was bringing in some opportunities as well.
Andrew: How? Give me an example. Tell me a story of . . . I know a lot of people want to learn how to do this and you’ve managed to get in the door at some places that the door is meant to be bolted shut. Can you give me an example of a customer that you developed? From zero, someone who didn’t know, you ended up with . . .
Jose: The bowls are a good example. We realized that the bowls were fairly small. It’s a small organization. It’s a one time, you know, it’s a one event a year. There’s a committee. They have competition. The bowls keep growing. They keep having more bowls. It’s the end of the season. It’s that one month in December that all this happens. They want to get the most out of it. They will try anything because they want to maximize their revenue that day. I mean, that’s all they have.
Andrew: I see.
Jose: They have a couple of events before. They have some stuff like that, but mostly it’s game day. We figured these guys would be open. We did quite a bit of . . . in the beginning, it was basically we were shameless and offering free, we’ll do this, we just want to prove it. It’s great, it’s new, it’s cell phones, it’s games and stadiums, people will like it. Then, you know, once you’re there and there’s no competition. There’s really no competition at that market. We decided very intentionally to go after the bowls. We knew that there was going to be very little competition, and there was none for at least a year and a half or two years. We knew that it was small enough that the big guys wouldn’t be competing with us. When you start going pro or even season long college, you’re dealing with kind of big players. You’re dealing with ESPNs and FOXs of the world and it’s a whole different play because it’s a season long play.
Andrew: Okay. You said after you raised money, everything changed. What’s the first thing that changed?
Jose: One thing that changed is suddenly you have a board of directors. Where I was basically getting advice and input from people that I would choose, mostly advisors, I had very good advisors. My advice to anybody, a lesson to take away is find people that have a lot of experience and are knowledgeable and have gone through it a couple of times. I happened to get to know these people in the process of trying to raise money which was interesting. They didn’t fund us, but some of them said that they would if we were down in L.A. Some of them are from Silicon Valley but I got to some pretty interesting people, got a lot of good advice and that changed. Suddenly those people had to be authorized by the board to get a minimal amount of stock and so forth. We’d have to have meetings about this. It was just a different procedure altogether. That’s kind of one of the things that changed or one of the big things that changed.
Andrew: You could no longer pick who you got advice, well, you could pick who you got advice from, but you couldn’t pick who you got advice from in exchange for shares in the business.
Jose: Or questions about execution as well.
Andrew: Can you give me a specific?
Jose: I would have to think of a specific example.
Andrew: Okay. You don’t have one that’s top of your mind right now?
Jose: I don’t have one. Not that I want to share.
Andrew: Okay. That’s what I was thinking. All right, fair enough. We agreed to that before we started the interview. That’s one thing that changed. Couldn’t get advice as freely and couldn’t take the company in the direction that you personally picked. What else?
Jose: We could take . . . that’s not entirely correct. We could take the company where we wanted, but when you have anybody new, my advice, one of things I learned, when you somebody for example that works for you that you don’t want working for you or somebody that’s potentially a problem or somebody that . . . you need to cut that problem right away. I tried for very long to fix things that really shouldn’t have been even, not one minute should have been spent trying to fix them. We hear these stories sometimes about people like Steve Jobs and they fire somebody and it’s in the moment. It’s not. It’s just that you realize that you only have so much bandwidth, and some things or some people just don’t, are not worth the effort. This doesn’t mean that I am not very giving. As a matter of fact, I think the developers worked even after we ran out of money for about six months without pay.
Andrew: I want to understand this with more specifics. I want to understand what you’re saying. You’re saying if you have one person who’s bad, who’s distracting you, you just need to distance yourself from them when you’re running a company. Are you specifically talking about an investor?
Jose: I’m talking about even people that you hire. I’m not going to mention specifically who or what it was. I’m just saying, even an employee. I mean this happened more than once. You need to learn . . .
Andrew: How specific can you be without being too, without damaging a relationship or without damaging someone? Can you say you had an employee who took the company in one direction or did something that was taking too much of your time away and you needed to stop that?
Jose: It’s more like you know that something is wrong but you keep ignoring your gut and you just say, well, we’re going to work this out. Other people tell you, you should work it out and you say well, maybe they’re right and you shouldn’t.
Andrew: You can’t be any more specific than that?
Andrew: Can you be any more specific than that?
Jose: No. I don’t want to go into kind of soap opera details about things that happened. You just know. I mean, this happens with relationships. I would say this applies even for your personal relationships. If you have girlfriend, I’m married, but if you’ve got a girlfriend and you kind of feel that it’s not right, it’s probably not going to end up right. So you should probably end it quicker than not. That’s kind of the thing, maybe looking back I would have done differently. I would’ve addressed big problems head-on, quick, right away. I wouldn’t have given them a second chance or waited around to deal with it. That’s basically it.
Andrew: What else changed after you took on money?
Jose: What else changed? Well, we had money, and when you have money, everything changes. The saying goes like that, right?
Andrew: What got better? We talked about a few things that got worse. What got better after you raised money?
Jose: Our ability to do things that we thought were not being very, were being half-assed, to use the right expression.
Andrew: Like what?
Jose: We started to gain some momentum. It goes from our ability to have a more robust infrastructure instead of running things off a computer on my desk. To be able to hire somebody that you thought was good or pay a developer full time. By the time we got investment, I still had a very good guy I really wanted to hire. He was great. He wasn’t even expensive. He was a developer in Serbia. He was very well paid over there, but for our standards he wasn’t even a big thing. It was just that ability to hire somebody who was doing great work and that I wanted full-time on the team and I just couldn’t. Now I could, now we could develop the feed. We could try new things, more things, etc. That was basically it. We also made a lot mistakes on using the money.
Andrew: How about one mistake, can you give me one mistake, be specific?
Jose: We needed an office, we got an office. That’s a great example. We didn’t need an office. We got an office.
Andrew: Why not, why didn’t need an office? It sounds like you had a bunch of people who were working with you. Don’t you need a place for them to all work together?
Jose: No. We had a very distributed team, and we should’ve stayed . . . our culture changed very rapidly. Even abroad with the development in Serbia, we paid people more right away, for no reason just because we had money. Some things I wouldn’t have changed. I would’ve kept things . . . the whole team dynamic was what mattered, and it changed because a lot of things changed that kind of messed with that. That’s one lesson I got. Money shouldn’t really change the fundamental relationships and dynamics of a company. You shouldn’t hire 50 people tomorrow just because you have money now. We didn’t, but that’s an example. Or get an office because now you have money to have an office.
Andrew: What should you spend money on then?
Jose: You should keep the money until you need to spend it. That’s my theory. You should wait for the pool. Up until I got funding, you had really, every penny was counted, every dollar we spent. I didn’t spend one dime of any investment that we got before angels, or even after, but before angels. Every penny was absolutely rationalized and rationed. You only spent money on things that you absolutely needed and that were crying for it. When you get money, you become looser about that. That was one of the lessons. You don’t raise your burn rate suddenly because you can and we did. We didn’t do it radically, but we did it radically enough to change things and that was maybe something that we should have done differently.
Andrew: What about now that you have all this money, what about business development changes?
Jose: One of the reasons we raised money was because we felt that our business development required a lot of effort. Imagine you have Groupon, you need a lot of people to make calls and get those deals. We kind of felt that that was the case. We had a promotional vehicle and we needed to build a business team. I don’t think that raising a million two was the right amount of money to do that, so pretty much half the money we spent was spent on technology. The other half was spent on business development. I don’t think that our business development suffered significant changes because of that. We hired somebody to help us and we had a CFO which was a mandate from the investors. We didn’t think that he was necessary but . . .
Andrew: Were you able to open up more doors and get more clients?
Jose: No. We thought that was going to be the case . . .
Andrew: Why not?
Jose: Looking back, I don’t think that anything changed. As a matter of fact, most of the deals that we generated were generated the same way that we did the Alamo Bowl.
Andrew: Why not? I would think that that would be the one place where you could see real benefit.
Jose: I would say that that would have been the case if I would have raised much more money and would’ve had enough money to pay people with solid experience within the industry that we were trying to get deals on. The only problem with that, if you read Steve Blanks blog, is that we were not at the point where we knew what our business model was. I think that the biggest problem was that we had a mandate to generate revenue. By the end of ’08, we really needed revenue because of the economy. I think that our mandate should have been to keep iterating and developing the technology and the user experience to the point where you have a business model. Only at that point it would become a revenue generating business just because you would probably . . . and these things go hand in hand. But it would have been still a very experimental, we were not at the point where we could say we’re going to transition to being a real company and we tried to do that.
Andrew: First, quietly, on a small scale, build out that business model and only after you have that business model all worked out and the product worked out well, would you hire a sales force to take it out into the marketplace and say implement this in your stadium, implement this everywhere.
Jose: Absolutely. We did not have repeatable business model and we in many ways behaved as if we did.
Andrew: I see.
Jose: I think that was one of the biggest issues was that we never really found a sustainable repeatable business model, and that’s really what a startup is all about, the search for a repeatable, sustainable business model, and we didn’t have one. We were trying to find one but we didn’t have one.
Andrew: I feel like we know it but we don’t understand it until we . . . I feel like what you’re saying is a lesson that a lot of us are going to overlook because it seems too basic. I want to understand what you went through that diverted you from that from finding that repeatable business model. So, that when I get in that situation myself or when my audience does, they’ll identify and say, “Oh, yeah, now I remember. Now I’m going through that.” So, what were you doing that diverted you? Because you knew at the time a repeatable business model was the right direction to go in, right? What was it that kept you from doing it? What are the real life practical issues that come up that keep you from getting there?
Jose: Getting to a repeatable business model?
Andrew: Right, exactly.
Jose: Well, I think that the thing that is keeping anybody from getting to a repeatable business model is you have to, well, you have to have luck is one point. You also have to keep trying and iterating. I mean, that’s why the motto these days is iterate, iterate, iterate. I think that we were still iterating. I don’t really know what was keeping us. I think we were in a very good direction. If you look back, when I look back, we were doing all the right things. Even after we raised money, we were in a good direction. Money ran out, we couldn’t raise more money. We didn’t iterate enough times to find something that was sustainable enough. I think and I’m not the only person who thinks this, that by the end of ’08 if things hadn’t changed externally, so the economy and all the things that happened at the end of ’08 hadn’t happened, we had a very good shot at raising the next round and we would’ve kept going. By the end of ’08, we actually had kind of an idea of where the business should be going. Then when everything changed and we ran out of money, then we lost our bearing again. We talked about this before. It’s suddenly the setting. We’re in the scene in a movie and suddenly the setting changes. We were at the top of the mountain, and now you’re at a bar in Harlem. It’s kind of, things do affect you.
Andrew: Looking back in your analysis, you think the big problem was that you either didn’t raise enough money when you raised or I guess that’s it. You didn’t raise enough money when you started out, and when it was time for you to go out and raise more money, the market dried up and you couldn’t.
Andrew: Not enough funding was the big issue, you think.
Jose: Like I said earlier, initially, I’ve been through this cycle in ’99 and 2000. I think that the lesson and I heard a lot of this before that’s why I said I ignore all the advice that I had gotten about, you know, raise as much as you can. Early in ’08, there was no way for us to predict how things were going to turn out. If you asked me in early ’08, did you raise the right amount of money, of course, I would’ve said, absolutely. If you would’ve asked me in June of ’08, did you the raise the right amount of money, I would’ve said, things are looking good. It’s not perfect but that’s basically par for the course. When you’re in startup, it always seems that nothing is going good, otherwise you’re not doing your job. The truth was, things were going, the vector was pointing in the right direction and then suddenly the vector turned 180 degrees without really much of our ability to affect it.
Andrew: The discovery of the repeatable business model, as you say, you would’ve had that if you had more money and more time. The problem was that you just ran out of runway. You didn’t have the time or the money to do it.
Jose: That’s, to answer your question, when you asked me earlier or before the interview, you asked if I wanted to say closure. I said . . . sorry I have something on my screen. You said, “Why don’t you want to say closure?” I said no, because really that’s what happened. We had to deal with a different situation and kind of almost start all over again after the fall of ’08. Early ’09, we were running on very little. Again, we were bootstrapped. W had no office. We got rid of everything. Actually in October of ’08, we started this plan which was called the emergency plan. We reduced salaries. We went back to bootstrap. We tried to stretch the money as long as we could and we did. Things change, we changed, we adapted. We never really got to say, well, you know this is not working out. It was working out. People were playing the game. We did this promotion with KFC in Hawaii and we had a great traction in Hawaii. Everybody that joined our game played, 98% of the people who joined our game played every following week after that. It wasn’t bad. It was just that and we exhausted all the marketing, anyway. This is a different story.
Andrew: What do you mean by that? What do you mean by you exhausted all of the marketing?
Jose: One of the promotions that KFC was making was that they had a daily game that was like a teaser. It was one question, and then people that joined would play on the weekend. Out of all the people that joined, about 98% played every week after that. The problem was that the first month we would have a lot of people join. Then suddenly we would stop having people join and, you know, college football goes for whatever September all the way to December. After a month, we didn’t have any more uptake. I called the radio station and I said, “What’s going on? Aren’t you guys promoting this any more? We’re doing the games every day, something’s going on. I see traffic but I don’t see a lot of people joining.” They said, well, we only have so many listeners and at some point you reached all the people that listen to our show or our radio station that will join your thing. Basically, unless you find a way to convince the other people who listen but would never join your game, you’ve pretty much exhausted it. That’s it. You got to the end of it. So you either find more marketing avenues or find other people that haven’t joined. So that’s what I meant. It was good. We were doing good. We had a promotion with FOX for this basketball preseason tournament for college as well. Things were in the right direction.
Andrew: You said earlier that you’re not a sports nut. How did that impact the business?
Jose: I’m not a fanatic sports fan, that’s what I meant. I like to play sports, but that’s a different kind of person, I guess. I don’t think it affected the business that much because Kent was, he was always the voice of the sports fan in the company. He was a very strong voice because he had been a player and he’s an encyclopedia about sports. He knows everything, all players, even beyond football. I don’t think there was ever a problem. As a matter of fact, that was one of the ways that Kent and I complimented each other was I had skills that he didn’t have. One of the things that he brought to the table was this very deep knowledge of sports. It was good to somebody that was more superficial in a way because I wasn’t an influence for the same things that somebody who was absolutely fanatic and knows everything will be. The majority of people are probably not as fanatic. That’s basically it.
Andrew: We’re pretty much at the end of the interview here. The person who has listened to us to this point has invested about an hour of their time. I want to make sure that they get full value for the time that they invested here. Based on your experience, what advice do you give them?
Jose: The advice I’d give them is that, well, the first advice is when you raise money, just talking to money right away, you should make sure that [inaudible 1:06:21]. I was just saying make sure that everybody’s on the same page as to what stage the company is in. What is it that company should be doing moving on, and that things shouldn’t change that drastically unless you have an absolute cry, which was not our case. If your servers are blowing up and you’ve got so many users and what not, then it’s easy. Then you’ve got to waste a lot of money because you don’t necessarily know you’re doing everything right. If you have that much demand, you’re like Google, who cares, right? Eventually things will stabilize and you just have to be able to keep that going which usually you can. We were not at that stage. We never went to that point. That’s one of the things.
You have to make sure that the people who invest in you understand what you’re going through. To that, you have to make sure you raise money from people who have bootstrapped, lived on credit cards, lived at UCLA housing longer then they should — like I did, like my wife did — and so forth to be able to start a company. That’s one big thing.
Another big thing is you should really listen to yourself. Most of the times when we have a sense that things are wrong or when we have sense that we know exactly what we’re talking about even though we can’t really voice it or explain it, probably we’re right. You should listen to yourself. A lot of people have a problem listening to themselves. A lot of times we let things influence us that they shouldn’t. There’s a bias there. That’s one of the things, at some point that stopped making sense to me. It was absolutely the wrong thing to do, to not listen to myself. The biggest advice I have to give somebody is bootstrap as much as you can.
Andrew: It seems like you get rescued. Some people feel that getting funding is a rescue. Someone’s giving you money, they’re going to help you out completely by eliminating your biggest problem. Then they’re going to have skin in the game. They’re going to have a real need to make sure that you succeed. So you’re rescued as an entrepreneur when you go from bootstrap to funding. Why don’t you think that? Why do you say it’s different?
Jose: It’s interesting. I didn’t think that we were being rescued. I realize at the time, everybody does, the pain goes away of having to live off of charity. The serious part of it is that I didn’t think that or I don’t think anybody in the company thought that we were being rescued. I thought that I was being rescued at a business level.
Andrew: That’s what I mean like the sense that you’re no longer in it alone. That feeling that you’re sinking every day because you’re losing money every day on your business is gone because somebody just injected money. They threw you a lifeline it feels like. You’re saying it’s not. Why isn’t that . . .
Jose: Well, actually I raised money from very specific people. I’m not going to mention why or what. I thought that the people investing in us, and this was part of the negotiations and conversations and these are not people that I just met one day. I knew them for a while, their reputations, who they are. I thought that I was going to get more help than I ended up getting. From the deal side, I thought things were going to move faster and they didn’t. So, that’s why I said I don’t think that the deals we got after we got money really changed much from the ones we had before we got money. That was the main thing that I was looking for. I was looking to get more bodies at the problem of generating the deals and generating the solutions for the business including raising the next round. I wasn’t looking for the board. I had great advice already. I wasn’t necessarily looking for advice. We always get more than we want in that situation. I don’t, that’s not what I was looking for. I wasn’t even looking for operational help, which I got way more than I thought I needed and that I ultimately needed. I was looking really for opening of doors. I was hoping for rolodexes to open basically. That’s what I was hoping for.
Andrew: You didn’t get that?
Jose: I can’t say that I did. I can’t say that I did. I mean the proof is in the pudding. We didn’t. Not much changed from a deal side after that. I mean it’s always good to have money. I’ve got to say I had a job, but the truth is that I got a pretty job at Adconion. They’re very nice. Although I thought the company was going to be closed, I had the ability to keep things going for quite a bit of time on my own salary and so forth after that happened. I could’ve bootstrapped the company longer. I don’t know if things would’ve not happened that way. It’s actually a question mark. If I hadn’t raised money, would’ve things gone better? I think about that many times because I have a pulse on things and up to a certain level, money wasn’t really, I mean it was necessary to hire people full-time, like I said, and so forth. It wasn’t like we were unable to make do. You always make do, that’s what I learned. When you have nothing, you’ll always make do. You will survive is the only advice that I have to give people. You will find a way. Somebody will write you a check. Somebody will open a door. You will figure out some new poll, stay in UCLA housing living longer, you’re going back to them to let you live an extra six months there because rent is cheap and you’ll finish your Ph.D like I did and they’re kicking you out. You ask them for, you know, can I stay longer please. They will. Somebody will listen to you and be nice and so forth. You always, you’ll survive, that’s the advice.
Andrew: I will say it’s true as long as you just keep pushing the way that you did. I saw you do it. I see you still today. I love for people to connect with you. What can we give them as a way to stay in touch and to keep up with your story?
Jose: Well, there’s always Twitter.
Andrew: Twitter is the best way, okay. What’s your twitter name?
Jose: It’s jdaveiga@twitter, jveiga, I believe, @twitter.
Andrew: I’ll include it in a post with this.
Jose: I’ll send it to you. I think you have it already.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s jveiga@twitter.
Jose: You’ll probably see a lot of my postings on my runs because I am training for a marathon, so there’s a lot of running posts there. That’s a good way. LinkedIn is another way, you could probably post a link maybe. That’s it. I won’t give out my e-mail. I don’t want to get spammed.
Andrew: All right. We’ll leave it there.
Jose: I’m always open to help people. I have advised some entrepreneurs in the meantime.
Andrew: I always urge everyone who listens to my interviews, if there’s any kind of relevance, to contact the guest if for no other reason, just to say thank you and establish the basis of that relationship. I hear more and more people do that, but they will not let me tell my audience what comes of it. I ask my past guests, when they e-mail me and say, one of your viewers e-mailed me and we did this big project together. I say, “Can I blog it? That would be great.”
Jose: They don’t let you.
Andrew: They will not let me do it.
Andrew: I don’t understand why they won’t do it.
Jose: I’ll let you do it.
Andrew: You know what? One of my sponsors, a sponsor who people are going to hear at the beginning of this interview had one great relationship came from being in one of my interviews. He said that one relationship made the whole thing worthwhile to him. I said tell me what it is so I can include it in the interview, in the future spots for you. Not only would he not let me include it in future spots, he wouldn’t even tell me what it was. Sorry, Andrew, proprietary business. I don’t get it. I have such rapport with my interviewees except when it comes to stuff like that, which is unfortunate because that’s great publicity for me.
Jose: If anything comes out of it, I’ll let you blog about it.
Andrew: If anything comes out of it, you say that now, we’ll see. Thanks for doing the interview. Thank you all for watching.
Jose: Thank you. Good seeing you, bye-bye.
Andrew: Same here.
Ping me if you think it’s taking too long.