In this episode, learn some great takeaways from innovation expert, keynote speaker, and futurist Scott Amyx of Amyx Ventures and Michael Yorba, the CEO and Chairman at WFN1 News Corporation. Scott talks about some success myths and shares the reasons why he wrote his book Strive. He shares the key tips on how he gets people to focus on succeeding and getting things done, especially when dealing with global issues. He also dives into the fourth industrial revolution, including ways on how innovation and technology impacts jobs, today’s generation, and the environment.
Michael Yorba shares an interesting concept in market pattern recognition, which involves looking at the past to forecast the future. As interesting as cryptocurrency and blockchain may seem, he compares learning both to learning markets or astrology. Talking about technology, Michael explains how it can impact relationships and generations to come with regards to money management, job creation, and personal growth.
I’m so glad you joined us because we have Scott Amyx and Michael Yorba here. Scott is from Amyx Ventures. He’s a top 10 Global Innovation expert keynote speaker and futurist. Michael Yorba is the CEO and Chairman at WFN1 News Corporation. I’ve been on his show. I know that Scott does a show. We’re going to have a lot of people talk after this.
Listen to the podcast here:
Getting Things Done Through Innovation And Technology with Scott Amyx
I am here with Scott Amyx who is the Chair and Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures. He is a Forbes New York Business Council member, Singularity University Smart City Accelerator mentor and startup board member, South by Southwest pitch judge. You’ve done a lot, Scott. He’s a Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow. His TED Talk is amazing. He talks on exponential technologies, fourth industrial revolution of success. He’s an author on Smart Cities. He’s got a couple of podcasts. I don’t even know where to start with you. I just thought I’d say welcome, how are you?
Thank you, Diane. I appreciate that.
I gave a little bit there, but if I read your bio we’d be here for the whole show. Why don’t you give me the background on you? I know that you’re one of the most requested speakers, that you’ve won all kinds of awards. How did you get to this level?
People don’t realize I come from a product management background. Years ago, I was one of the first pioneers when it came to something called Robo Advisers. Around 2010 or so, the company that I was with was acquired by Blue Chip company. I had the opportunity to run the position as a general manager, but chose to leave to pursue my own endeavors. In terms of my speaking career, it’s been somewhat not planned by any means, nonlinear. In my quest to share my thought leadership, I began to be invited to more and had an opportunity to speak. That led to one after another. After several years, I have easily probably a couple of hundred speeches under my belt. Now, I’m represented by some of the biggest speaking bureaus. I speak on innovation and technology.
I saw that. You have the who’s who of speaking bureaus going for you. You got Harry Walker, London Speakers, Big Speak, Thinking Heads, The Sweeney Agency. That’s quite a resume you have. Everybody is wanting to talk about innovation right now. You and I talked a little off-air that I work a little bit in that realm as well with my work with curiosity. I’m curious about some of the things that interest you. In your TED Talk, you talk about myths about success. I thought that was an interesting place to start. You obviously are very successful. I think a lot of people are trying to do a lot of the things that you’ve been able to accomplish. What do you think are the biggest myths about success?
In my book, Strive, I lay out a few examples of this. We’re told that, first of all if you have enough passion and if you love something, that success will follow. That’s certainly not necessarily the case for everyone. If you look at examples of artists or actors who are passionate about their art form but will never become famous, YouTube is a perfect example where they’re full of them. Another example is if you put in 10,000 hours and certainly millions of kids play soccer or some other sports for ten, fifteen years but will never make pro or go to the Olympics. Unfortunately, that is the reality.
Other times, it’s the fact that there’s something special about you. Maybe you think that you’re the smartest or maybe you have great pedigree. The example I give is Sammy Langley. He was a professor, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He was a member of high society and received major funding to develop a piloted airplane. What was interesting was that he was beaten by the Wright brothers who had no pedigree, no connections and no money. Then authors like Malcolm Gladwell that should get success to other hidden things such as the year that you’re born, your family upbringing and even luck. Unfortunately, those things are not necessarily available to everyone. The reason I wrote Strive is to help just about anyone, no matter what their walk of life, their background is that success is possible. The secret to that success is something I called strive. It’s about doing the things that’s most uncomfortable that forces us to create new spheres of influence and power.
That’s interesting because I always like to push myself to some place that makes me uncomfortable because I think that makes me grow. I get bored easily. I’ve had people say, “You’re so lucky.” I don’t think there’s luck. That takes tenacity, it takes grit, it takes a lot of things to be successful. I think that a lot of people think if you do what you love, you’ll eventually make a lot of money at it. That doesn’t always happen. It usually doesn’t in the people I know. What I find is a lot of people don’t execute. They have ideas, they plan the plan and then they do nothing but planning. How do you get somebody to do the job? Somebody asked me, “How do you get what you’re doing done?” I look out the window. I see squirrels and I want to play with the squirrels or whatever it is that she wants to do. How do you get people to focus and get things done?In order to get things done, a big risk has to be taken at some point. Click To Tweet
It’s easy for people to say we’ll take small risk, that’s certainly fine. If you want to propel yourself and go outside of your comfort zone, it actually requires taking a sizeable risk. When I say risk, it isn’t just unnecessary risk but specific to your personal, professional or relational goals. You’re deciding to take a risk that you know is going to take you to the right direction. Let me give you an example. When I was in fourth grade, I was an immigrant from South Korea. I didn’t speak a word of English. My mother had less than fourth grade education. She would work two jobs. I was home by myself. Here I am trying to figure out how to do my homework. I can’t make sense of it because I don’t understand the language.
At the age of ten or eleven, I was fearful talking to anybody. I took myself to the nearest train station at the age of ten or eleven. As four passersby were coming out of the train, I approached them and said, “Excuse me, can you help me with my homework?” You should have seen some of their faces. They were shocked. They’ve never seen a kid come up to them and ask such a question. Fortunately, at least one person was willing to help and take a look at my homework. I was able to solve whatever I was trying to address. The point is that is the kind of discomfort that we’re talking about. As much as I want to sugarcoat and tell you and your audience to take small, baby steps it will be okay. No, you have to take a big risk at some point.
That ties into what I found on what keeps people from being curious. Fear was definitely one of them. The factors I found was fear, assumptions, the voice in your head, technology and environment. You went to the bus station. I’m curious, what made you pick that and not the library or someplace else? What was the thought process behind that?
It was around urgency and need. By the time that I recognized that I had a need in terms of tutoring help, it was at a certain time. It was probably after library hours. That was what was available to me. I knew that there will be massive people that I could approach.
I’m interested in everything you do. I don’t even know where to start because you deal with VCs and you fill market gaps in a unique way. You learn how to systematically and consistently create innovation. What’s your favorite thing you work on? Is it your speaking? Is it your writing? Is it working with VCs? What is your passion?
I would say my common theme that cuts across all those functions as well as roles is innovation. Innovation within a corporate environment. Innovation within an entrepreneurial startup environment. Innovation with finance and investing. We’re at an interesting time period in terms of where we are with the fourth industrial revolution and how that’s overlapping with some of the environmental issues like climate change, for instance. This is a time when we require some interesting solutions to solve some hairy, audacious goals and challenges that are out there.
This is why the United Nations, for example, has outlined seventeen sustainable development goals, for instance. One of the challenges with the STGs, and this is something that I’ve heard with the UN halls is that a lot of money, hundreds and millions of dollars are deployed to large-scale housing, energy grids and infrastructure and so forth. Both with the developing as well as least developed countries. The reality is that they’re still relying on technologies that are 50, sometimes 70 years old. Low cost tends to have a higher party than innovation. When in fact what you need to do is to incorporate innovation so that you can lower the cost structure.
I’ll give you an example. It’s common to build low-cost housing, but what happens is if it’s not developed properly and maintained properly, it becomes an urban slum. Whereas the kind of technology that we’re talking about, everything at the nano materials, material-science level, to communication and stands and protocols, all these can make buildings more sustainable, more resilient. They could actually withstand hurricane level four for instance. Floods and rain, as well as abuse of the heat and the temperature. There’s a lot that can be done. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing that enough. There’s lack of innovation in terms of using the latest, truly commercialized built technologies. The other side of it is making sure there’s sufficient amount of new capital that’s coming into Greenfield projects that actually enable some of these projects to come alive.
For some people who many not realize what you mean by the fourth industrial revolution, can you give a little background on what that means?
When we think about the first industrial revolution, of course we think about the Rockefeller standard oil for instance, electricity, transmission. It was a large-scale infrastructure, transportation like railroads. Fourth industrial revolution is combining the best of physical. Manufacturing, robotics, drones, with cyber, AI and data as well as other things like blockchains. You can take something that’s practical like robotic process automation, corporations start to realize that they can automate many of the processes that people do in front of computers using something called RPAs. It simply records what the humans do and they repeat that on a 24/7 basis on repeat. That’s the thing that we’re talking about.
When you lay that with new touch data, that’s coming from IOT. Then the analytics, that’s coming from AI. It provides incredible insights. Then you’ve got the automation. Automation can manifest itself into physical forms like often dynamics and some of the robots as an example. We’re seeing some interesting things happening. Some of that is everything from robots that are picking certain types of fruits and vegetables in the agricultural land. Automatically, we’ll be using computer vision as an example. Automatic robotic arms to things that are starting to think about completely replacing cattle all together by being able to reproduce cow cells within a lab environment such as meat and beyond. You don’t have to think about extra knowledge that comes from having a large cattle and growing any type of farm animals.
There are so many different ways that technology is going to impact the jobs. I know everybody’s worried about 50% of the jobs are going be taken over, some of them even doctor-level physicians, surgeons. What do you think are realistic numbers? Is that what you’ve been hearing? What have you heard?
It varies. There are many different reports that are out there that are at the national level, at the sector level and at the skill level. Generally, at an aggregate level, the more developed nations are they’re better able to be resilient and able to transform lost jobs into new job forms. The lesser developed nations are going to have a harder time to be able to withstand some of the transformational changes that’s coming as it relates to labor force. In terms of changes, the big thing is it’s not that change is new. To put some context, we take books as an example for granted. The printing press as an example came about, it allowed for people to be able to read things like the Bible on their own. Without having to rely on priests and bishops as an example. There are many simple yet profound innovations and technology that has come and changed life, but at the same time that also means certain people that were doing those tasks had been replaced because of automation.
One of the perfect examples that they teach in economic school is the buggy whip. It doesn’t matter how you invest into the buggy whip and how great it’s handmade and some of the best quality craftsmanship. If people are not using horse-drawn wagons, it’s a moot point. The point I’m trying to make is that there is going to be a significant transformation. What’s different about the fourth industrial revolution and the state that we’re in is this notion of exponential change. A good example is if you think about Microsoft and the rise of Microsoft and the correlation with PCs. It’s taken some 30-plus years for it to get to where it is. If you look in mobile, smartphones, part of the reason Apple and Samsung are struggling, and have been for several year, is because it saturated the market. Mobility has become so ubiquitous and the vouching has been so rapid that it’s caught and gone past the peak. Now, they’re trying to figure out what’s next.
We’re starting to see more of these innovations that’s happening rapidly but not standalone but in conjunction and convergence. AI working with blockchain, blockchain working with data analytics and cognitive AI and so forth. They’re all working together and is creating this hockey stick of innovation where things are happening rapidly that the conversations that we have is going to be vastly different from the conversation that we have years from now. That is where the biggest change is that the rate of change is so rapid that if people are not willing to invest themselves and continually, we find our skillset and our knowledge, they will be left behind. There will be some people, a small section of the population that’s going to be structurally unemployed or displaced because they either refuse to retrain or can’t retrain themselves.
That was what I was interested in was to get people more interested to explore areas by developing their sense of questioning things without fear of people making fun of them, not listening to what they had to say. We’re hearing about the same kind of issues as you were saying, these issues that keep coming up. One of the things that I’ve noticed a lot of people on the show have been discussing lately is security. I had Richard Stallman on the show for example who created the new Linux software. He was worried about our freedom being infringed by technology. We’re hearing people worried about facial recognition software. They’re getting around different ways so that you don’t lose. They don’t exactly know your identity, whether they can recognize you. What do you know about those types of technologies and where are they headed? Should we be worried about our information being out there?
There’s quite a bit of research around this topic. One in particular that’s come out is researchers are able to take anonymized data. Anonymized data is something that most data collectors including social media and others will say that they do, which is they take your information, strip out personally identifiable information. When they sell it to a third party or data brokerage, they’re providing something that’s thorough or anonymized so that they don’t know who you are. The reality of this research, and there’s other research prior to this but also point to the same thing, is if you have enough handful of data points and they know nothing about you, they can still use random data and be able to identify more or less you. In other words, I’m not going to give you the specific data parts per se, but if I have six to a dozen or more anonymized generic data that’s available in public, they can take that and be able to find out more or less who you are and where you are.How you perceive yourself and your interaction with technology determines how comfortable you are with sharing information. Click To Tweet
The point is that depending on who you talk to the notion of privacy, there’s a wide spectrum on how people perceive that. Many times, one argument is that we knowingly give away data about ourselves in exchange for free services. Facebook is a good example of that. Though people see the privacy or the concern, their behavior actually says otherwise. We also know from research that it is vastly different depending on age group as well as psychographic. Meaning, how you perceive yourself and how you perceive your interaction with technology would determine how comfortable you are with releasing and sharing information.
Most young Millennials and Gen Zs have become accustomed to the fact that when they’re utilizing certain applications, they are in fact giving away data. That’s a known given. They’re not as concerned as Baby Boomers that are less comfortable and did not grow up on social media as an example. With that said, you have things like GB charters coming from Europe that’s providing a standard around how companies should be able to collect that data, inform and allow for granularity of individuals to be able to actually manage that data, so that there is that privacy that is within the control of the user. It’s complex. As much as companies try to strip it down and simplify and you could see all the privacy settings within LinkedIn and Facebook and so forth, it’s granular. Few users actually bother to go in and make all those minute changes. More importantly, change goes on an ongoing basis depending on their priorities and their preferences. There are a lot of issues.
Facial recognition, certain countries like China, for example, are going full ahead. Because of the type of government that they are, they don’t need permission. They don’t have the kind of institutional constraints that the US has. They are making facial recognition available to all their law enforcement. One of the funniest examples that we heard is she’s a famous businesswoman. She’s well-known, successful. Apparently, this automated facial recognition system sent through a traffic violation for crossing a street when it was a red light. It turns out, what the reality was because she’s so famous she has posters of her face all over different parts of China. The camera must have detected her face against the wall and assumed that she had crossed the street when in fact it was just a poster. That’s the kind of issues that we’re seeing.
They’re even going as far as providing quotient. It’s almost like every individual gets a score in terms of how civil they are and the government keeps tabs on how good their citizens are. It’s incredible in terms of a Big Brother effect. It is dangerous and it’s scary. We haven’t talked about friendly AI or good AI, which is something that some organization and cities are working on as well. You have actors like in Russia who are incorporating AI into machinery. You have tanks, robots that can automatically shoot and fire and attack without the intervention of a human as an example. A lot of ethical, moral issues that is something that we’re being confronted that we haven’t had before.
If you’re still attacking each other, if you’re doing it through not face-to-face, the ease of pushing a button would be versus if you had to do a hand-to-hand combat type. The things you talk about are all interesting topics. You have a couple of podcasts. You and I talked about it a little bit off the show. You have one that deals with business executives. You like to talk about climate change. What got you most interested in climate change? Why do you think some people do not believe that there is a problem with climate change?
Climate change is something that I’m passionate about for many different reasons. They are some hard science. There’s an interesting article that came out where he was quoting some of the work by an Israeli professor. He was indicating that some of his work and his research was being understated because of climate change momentum. He is positioned, based on his research, that the solar or the sun has more open effect in terms of the CO2 and the greenhouse emission and the rise in temperature than necessarily manmade CO2 emissions. He’s not necessarily saying that we haven’t contributed, but the percentage that comes from manmade may not be as big as others are saying.
I’ve also interviewed personally those that’s been involved with IQCC reports and studies. I can tell you that across the board those reports are not necessarily on any particular political events. They intentionally go out and summarize and synthesize. We search across the spectrum of both view and perspective and political. What they come back is that we are in fact accelerating something that normally this Earth would have taken thousands of years for it to accumulate. We’re essentially doing that in about 100 years or so. Every year, we’re starting to see higher average temperature all around. That’s going to lead to a rise in ocean level.
If you’ve been to Europe for summer, people have felt the heat. Tokyo has an incredible amount of people that were injured and hospitalized because of rising temperature and heat. We’re getting a lot more hurricane level four and some fives. We’re seeing more intensity and frequency. There’s a popping casualty damage, including real estate loss and property loss. It’s significant. If you have a vacation home in Florida or Southern California as an example, those communities are already recognizing the damage that is coming from this extreme weather. You’re starting to see the deterioration of some of the property value in anticipation. It is serious and it has real economic cost associated with it.
The areas that I focus on is around adaptation and mitigation. Some of it means, what can we do to mitigate or reduce our effects? What can we do on a day-to-day basis? The adaptation is some of it is already happening. For example, my house was hit by lighting. We’ve had so many extreme storms. We’re losing literally window frames outside because of wind. It was not like that before. I’m originally from California and I moved to the New England Tri State area. The first couple of years I’ve been here, we have pretty heavy storms or snowstorms. I bought a snowblower in one year and I never used it once. It’s an incredible change where it’s going to affect everyone. If you think that it’s just some scientific myth, look at the data. All you have to do is go outside.
I’m in Arizona. I don’t know if it could get any hotter than it gets here in the summer in Phoenix. We had one of the coolest summers I’ve ever noticed. It does seem like it’s different than normal. Is it affecting it? Does it always get warmer? Does it have different effects?
During the wintertime, I don’t know if you remember, there was something called the Arctic Snow. What happens is above the Arctic area, there is this cold zone. Because of the rising temperature, some of the warmer weather knocks the Arctic cold down. That’s part of the reason why we had this incredible cold, extreme winter storms in the Midwest closer to the lakes. What’s interesting is that climate change isn’t necessarily always cold or always hot. What it does is it creates more oscillation, variability and unpredictability.
If you don’t believe what I’m saying, simply look at the historical data around flights. One of the things that IBM did was they purchased the Weather.com data because they have one of the biggest data sets when it comes to capturing information around everything from temperature, rain, moisture. Some machines even look at the sky in computer vision of projections and broadcasting clouds and so forth. The reason they require that weather data set is because much of the Wall Street’s earnings reports, a big percentage of their earnings reports, especially when they lose money is attributed to weather. It has real implications and there are flight cancellations, reroute and traffic issues. The data is there if your readers are willing to take a look at it.
You touched on so many fascinating things. I’ve watched a lot of your videos. I was curious about your different topics and all that. I’m dying to know why they were dancing, doing the floss and all that. What topic was that in your speaker reel?
I have spoken to an organization in Australia. This is an association of insurance brokers. When I spoke with the organizer and what they’re looking for in terms of the keynote, they wanted to provide something that was very practical and also not necessarily technology for, but something that was easy for them to understand and to comprehend and be able to use on a daily basis. They also told me that you need to be fun. Some of the things that we did was I’m for experiential and interactivity when it comes to presentation. Presentation, where it’s a monologue, can be dry, especially if you’re talking about a subject that’s either technical or scientific. I’ve learned over the years to get down to the quintessential points. Break it down in a way that is practical and useful so that if you were to leave after the session, they have one of two points that they tell themselves, “I know how to actually apply this in my life or my work.”
Some of the things I did in that particular session was I had an ironing board and I actually did a little skit where one of their colleagues somehow came to Pasadena, California and went to the surf shop and didn’t want to pay for the surfboard and the rental cost. He decided to take his ironing board out to the Pacific Ocean to surf. That’s an example of making foolish decisions because sometimes you don’t want to spend the money on automation or new technologies. You’re choosing to do things. Not even to put this in a wrong way and ends up putting your business at risk. That was one of the examples that I did.
Another one we did was we had a competition. We had two volunteers come up and they have to fill this cup with rice. The difference was that one person was given a pair of chopsticks, whereas the other one was given a spoon. You can imagine the person with the spoon quickly filled up the cup with rice. The other person was struggling to pick up the uncooked rice kernels with chopsticks. That’s an example of what happens when we work hard, long hours but we’re using the wrong tools. As a result, it doesn’t matter if you work from 8 AM to midnight, you’re not going to be as productive or successful. You have to think about your processes, your tools and people. That was the point. One of the things I do is I want to get people up and moving so we have them listen to some of the Beach Boys, do a little bit of dancing and singing, a little bit of jumping jacks. They had a good time. It was a lot of fun for me.We knowingly give away data about ourselves in exchange for free services. Click To Tweet
A lot of what you talked about though is so important. It was fun to see you add fun and everything to the mix. All the work you do is inspirational. I know a lot of people are going to want to find out how they could get your book, Strive, or listen to your podcast or even contact you. Are there certain ways that you’d like them to reach you?
The simplest way is to visit my website, ScottAmyx.com. Then there is all the information about the podcast that I run, as well as my book and my Speaking and other activities I’m involved in including Forbes.
Thank you, Scott. This was fun. I enjoyed having you on the show.
Thank you, Diane. It’s been a pleasure.
Predicting The Future Through The Past with Michael Yorba
Thank you, Dr. Hamilton. It’s a pleasure to be invited on to your show.
You can call me Diane, thanks. It was fun being on your show. I was impressed with the whole process. You have a video and audio setup, which we do just audio here. You have a nice group of serious people that you interview. I was looking at some of the past shows that you had. I’m interested in what led to that. I want to get a background on you. Some people might not be familiar with how you got to this point. Can you give me the Reader’s Digest life version?
I started off my career in the investment industry back in 1980. Then throughout the course of the next 30-plus years, I’ve picked up several investment licenses mainly printable and futures, private equities and equity options. My forte in that part of my life was a technical analyst. I used to have strict mathematical formulas to forecast turning points in the market. Later on, it led to me becoming an astrologer. I happen to find that was a real passion of mine. Then at this point, I had met an Indian. I decided to take a break from being in the financial world and I became a cowboy. It turns out she was from Burbank and I was from Newport Beach. We went in the middle of the desert in Nevada. She said, “Let’s blow this one-horse town. Why don’t you get back into what you’re doing?” She ended up prompting me to develop a television show that focused on trading, which I did. Then it morphed into what we have now, CEO Money. A private equity show that talks about the latest technologies and processes that we can find worldwide. People come in from Africa, Australia, Switzerland and domestically. We talk about the newest, latest people process and technology that we can find on the market.The downside of technology is fewer interpersonal relationships. Click To Tweet
I think Rich Lofgren had introduced us. I watched him on your show. I was watching some of your episodes. What I find interesting is that I know you deal with mostly money-related things but not all. I was thinking of somebody who was on my show. I’ve had others I’ve talked to who have created algorithms to figure out the stock market. Have you talked to a lot of people about that? What do you think of that? Some of them I’ve seen do how to get outright when they start to fall so that you don’t lose more generated towards that than making a ton of money, but making sure you don’t lose a ton of money. I find the whole algorithm thing interesting.
That’s market timing and that’s my forte. I’ve run across a myriad of people. When I had one of the first shows it was called Commodity Classics. That’s what we did, we did market timing mainly for futures. We did some equities at that point. I had run across so many people that are world-renowned experts. I’ve got a friend of mine out of Vienna that uses astrology for market timing. I’ve got some other people and there is a whole different type of people that get into that. Some are price-pattern recognition. Candlesticks are one of the things that people use.
It’s how the markets have been up so that you can get a look at the past to forecast the future. I’ve learned price-pattern recognition. WD Gann is a very famous person. I ended up meeting so many different people that were good at market timing using math, modern AI and some classical trend lines or classical technical analysis. You’ve got to have a talent for it and you’ve got to have a temperament for it to be able to do that. If you’re not built to do this, meaning psychologically, it’s best to do something simple, buy and hold. Otherwise if you’re not meant for it, it could ruin a marriage. Does that help answer your question?
Yes, it does. It’s interesting to see what the slant that everybody has. You even mentioned astrology, which I find interesting. You mentioned that a couple of times now. What’s your interest in that?
It’s been a personal passion of mine for a long time. My family has been involved in parapsychological studies since the twelfth century in Spain. That’s ingrained in my DNA. The reason I like it is because it gives you an insight not only into what’s going on a macro level but also a micro level because it’s humans that make the world go round. Being able to understand yourself and other people in that environment is easier to work with. If you can figure out why the clock works, then it doesn’t make the clock any better, but it makes the understanding of time just a little different. You have a more in depth understanding of what it is that you’re working with because you know the whole men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It’s hard to figure out what they’re thinking sometimes. I found astrology gives me an insight into not only the markets but daily life and then the interaction with other people.
I studied emotional intelligence for my dissertation. A lot of that is understanding yourself and understanding others in terms of emotions. It’s similar in some respects of just self-awareness. By understanding other people, you know how to relate to them in a better way. I’ve never heard about astrology for use in timing of markets and understanding it in that respect. That’s an interesting slant. You have a lot of interesting things you’re into. You’ve tapped into cryptocurrency and blockchain. I had some blockchain experts on the show. I met with somebody in Salesforce who’s working with the local university using blockchain and education. How are you dealing with blockchain? Is it just in the cryptocurrency realm? Are you looking at other ways of keeping track of things?
I like blockchain a lot for not just cryptocurrencies but smart contracts. Smart contracts are where everybody’s going to end up going. When it comes to tracking, their daily business, when it comes to being able to market and advertise, that’s where we’re getting humans out of the business process when it comes to tracking. I think blockchain, smart contracts are where we’re all going to end up. Our children are going to have to learn to code in order to stay up to speed on what’s going on. That’s our next evolution is having children understand how a smart contract works in hand with blockchain. I think the whole world is going to end up doing that.
Explain that a little more. We understand somewhat in the realm on this show we don’t get that deep, more than understanding there are ledgers involved. If you lose your password, you’re in trouble. It’s that level. How about the smart contracts? Give a little bit more of background exactly what that would be for those who are not familiar.
Let me give you a big example everybody can relate to. You’re familiar with MLM, Multi-Level Marketing. How do you keep track of somebody fifteen-tiers out just writing it down on a ledger? It’s like, “What are you kidding?” That’s super complicated. A smart contract can tell not only who brought who to the table fifteen tiers out, but what was the event that occurred that made a transaction happen? I’d then be able to analyze that so that you do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. That’s just one so that everybody gets their part of a penny. We all get paid.
That’s similar to an affiliate realm or wholesaler realm for those who do that. They have somewhat, not as deep as multilevel as that. Is that better because it’s so many levels?
It’s better because there are fewer humans involved. Less room for error.
A lot of people get confused by blockchain because we think of it as cryptocurrency. A lot of people don’t realize all the different applications for it. What other applications do you think are there? I thought it was interesting to keep track of education, what you’ve taken at this university versus that university. You keep it all into one location situation. I thought that was one way. What other things have you seen?
Mainly in my world that I get a chance to talk to people about it, it’s tracking transactions. I’m involved with an app company that tracks behavioral processes. Use blockchain to not only track, but just like the markets or astrology, you can use past events with artificial intelligence to forecast future events. If you have a pattern that can be tracked, developed and then analyzed, you can get the forecast. I’ll give you an example of how AI and blockchain can be used in advertising. I was talking to a good buddy of mine in Los Angeles. I’m going to leave all the big names out. Normally in old advertising, you had somebody try and take out a message that was received by the masses and hopefully you’ve got as many people, millions of people that follow the ad would fall into a funnel that could then be turned into sales.
How can we increase that? Everybody is psychologically and emotionally bound to some things that are familiar. They’re either positive or negative reaction. It’s a positive reaction, a lot of things like grandma would listen to Frank Sinatra, but the teenager would listen to some heavy metal band, just a big genre. The same words would be spoken in the ad but they would put Sinatra with grandmas driving the car to sell Pellegrino water. They would put the heavy metal when the teenager, the great grandson is driving the car. It’s the same message, but they would get both people to buy it, versus grandmas that turn that noise off and not hearing the message. That’s where blockchain and artificial intelligence come together to create more commerce and adapt to the changing case of the masses.
I wrote a marketing course with Forbes years ago with the biggest issue they had in marketing, which was trying to reach people in the way they want to be reached with the message they wanted to hear at that scale. This is helping it scale, which I could see would be huge. Is that one of the big benefits then, I would imagine?
It is. That’s the brand-new thing that’s coming out. I’m going to launch it on my app as soon Apple and Android give me the go ahead. I’m going to put that marketing behind not only the shows but the advertising that runs through the shows. I was going to ask you what have you heard that’s new and exciting in the world of getting the message out? That’s what you do, right?
I do. I haven’t been in the marketing realm. When I wrote that brand publishing course, it was based on what Bruce Rogers has had created a great research called Publish or Perish for Forbes when he was there at Forbes. I used his work. What he was doing was looking at the vendors more than anything, who everybody uses and which ones work. The biggest issues I heard was the connectivity of so many vendors not all talking to each other. It was confusing to know which ones to pick and how to get their messages out, to navigate with so much out there. It seems to me the biggest issue would be to find some way for them all to communicate well.
I was on a trip. I went to California. One of the guys I met on a shuttle bus was a guy, Abu Moniruzzaman, who was creating a company. He had a company that he was talking about that was going to compile a lot of different things into one. You wouldn’t need Slack, you wouldn’t need DocuSign, you wouldn’t need all these organizations because whatever he did combined a lot of different services into one thing. It’s interesting to think about how can we eliminate the barriers from everything communicating together. Is that what you’re trying to do too?
Yes. You’ve got to drop the threshold, the entry out.
Tell a little bit about your app. You’ve mentioned it and I just want to know more about it.
The app is made by a company called Skylab. It’s a tribal behavioral rewarded process. In other words, I want people to watch 30 of my shows. If they do, Disney will give them a weekend in Orlando for doing that. I want children to finish their homework and do something nice for their family. They keep their room clean. They cook breakfast for mom on Sunday. They finish their schoolwork ahead of time with good grades. Then you have advertisers that will give them rewards for positive behavior, which end up turning into commerce because the mother says, “You’ve got those off of doing for finishing your homework? That’s a great brand. I think I’ll go out and I’ll buy more of that.” If you reward people for good behavior, you’re changing society to do what you want them to do and it ends up creating better people and more commerce.
It seems like you would have heard somebody doing this. Gamification and different things are so popular. Why do you think we haven’t seen more of them?
We’re talking about blockchain before, how to take social media. The technology putting it all under one roof has been brought to the surface until Skylab has showed up on the scene. They’re going to be changing the world with being able to create incentivized, positive rewards for behaviors that run from children to the elderly. You haven’t heard it yet because of it. How come the straw never got invented until it showed up?
I was interviewing some interesting people about technology. I think it was Adam Alter who was on my show who mentioned that when he was doing his research about technology. The highest levels of tech people, like when he researched Steve Jobs when he was alive and different people like that, didn’t have their kids use that much technology that they were worried about them over-utilizing it. Do you look at the chance for abuse at all when you decide? What’s the upside and the downside to this?The rate of change is so rapid that if people are not willing to invest in themselves, they will be left behind. Click To Tweet
The downside is fewer interpersonal relationships. In other words, a kid doesn’t go out on to the playground, they’re stuck on their phone. The upside is that they have a broader spectrum of what the world is relative to what we grew up with when we were three, four, five, six years old. Our world was our block. Their world is the globe.
It came to mind when you were talking about what kids could earn from this. I remember when I was moving from one house to another, I told my daughter, “You’ve got to get rid of all your toys.” She threw out one. We had old toys that she didn’t need anymore. “Let’s just not move all of them.” The minute I said, “You can get whatever they pay on the garage sale for them,” those toys went flying out that door. Some kids are incentivized by that. Do you see it having an impact on their sense of money management or entrepreneurship later?
It’s the basis for their emotional growth. If it’s structured right so they don’t turn into greedy people, but they turn in to be able to do good with the money that they have and go through these lessons that we learned the hard way after we got out of school. Money management skills, investing, charity, doing good for others with some of the money. They say give one-tenth back to the church. It’s been a big mantra forever, but saying it and doing it are two different things. Being able to put this new process in place is going to be better. I got voted the board of directors or chairman of the board for a foundation out here in Dallas that we are completely restructuring the way ghettos are. You take the people out of the ghetto through education and put them in middle-class neighborhoods and make it affordable to have middle-class people invest in a redevelopment of the ghettos. It’s dispersed. There are no more pockets of poverty. Being able to show that process to children would give us a real legacy that we could be proud of. That’s where this technology is going is being able to do good for other people while you’re doing good for yourself. Does that answer your question?
Sure, I like the charity aspect. If you could find a way for the kids to see how to take some of what they’ve earned tied into charity. I know Scott Harrison is a guest of the show with Charity Water. Sometimes some of the charities that could come from some of this technology is fascinating to me. I’m always fascinated by what people are able to create in terms of companies. I have the guy that created Literati on the show who basically was taking pictures of trash. It was cool on his Instagram. It got more and more. They found out a way to monetize it through tracking the trash, which companies it came from. What we can do through technology are things we’ve never thought of. As we talk about technology taking over jobs and worrying about those jobs being lost, who would have thought of that job? It creates new jobs.
Everybody gets worried about the aliens or military technology that’s going to annihilate all of us. They don’t think the positives, “This stuff can be used for good too. Let’s not just rule that out.”
You’re into a lot of interesting things now. I want to talk a bit about your show. What got you interested in doing your show?
The next stage evolution for the show is, I created multiple shows, I don’t just have one. To be able to develop those shows and bring them into the app so that I can have an entire network and a channel. Bring your show into my app and be able to incentivize and do rev shares with the advertising that comes off of it. I’ve got a buddy of mine that is working diligently to get my show syndicated on PBS. It’s a unique process, which I’m not going into right now. To answer your question directly, elevate the level of presents, elevate the level of quality of both production and guest and be able to be more prolific in my delivery that gets to the real target market. In other words, people that are genuinely interested in what I’m doing, be able to find us people so that they can become enriched by the product. That is, at the end of the day, what we do. Does that answer your question?
Yes, it does. Many people who have been on my show who have either a show, a podcast or a radio show or some of them have YouTube versions, whatever they have. A lot of them are struggling to monetize them. Some people use them as lost leaders for speaking, for other issues, to find clients or whatever they’re doing. For me, I like to interview interesting people. I know a lot of people are trying to monetize in certain ways. How have this helped in that setup?
By being able to find more content that is actionable and relevant because it’s all out there. Can they afford to take the time to help enrich the airways, the society by being able to make money on it and devote more time to it? Coming up with ingenious ways to help other people monetize their brilliance is to me the key to making the whole thing work. That’s what I’m working on, to do that without creating an extra workload for somebody. Let them deal with their passions and their interests. That’s when you’re going to get the best work product, whether it’s a conversation or it’s building a widget. We’re close to being able to find that little magic key where everybody gets to say what they want to say. Whoever is interested can get rewarded for listening to it. People can get rewarded for producing that work product.
There’s so much content but I don’t know who’s listening. Some of it you can track and some of it you can’t. I think that would be one way. I don’t know how you would track. I guess they would listen through your app instead of through iTunes or something else. You can’t track iTunes and certain things well. That’s a frustration for a lot of people who want to have their shows and know their data and who they’re reaching in certain ways. Some of the podcasts are hard to do.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the people that were listening to your show got rewarded for listening to the show? That also you got rewarded for more people listening to the show? Both sides got rewarded.
How have the advertisers felt about this? Have you been doing a lot of discussions with them in the process? What’s their insight?
Their insight is that’s a win-win for everybody because they buy my products. You get a bigger audience and the audience gets paid for watching your show. That’s a win.
People have to be only on your station then to be part of this. They would not be able to host their show anywhere else. Is that how it would work?
You could provide them their own platforms. You could host your own show on your platform. You could cross-promote by hosting your show on your platform and my platform. It’s not closed.
A lot of people might be interested in that. This was an interesting show, Michael. Thank you for being on. I think a lot of people want to probably know how to reach you if they want to find out more about everything you’re working on. You want to share any links?
This was fun, Michael. Thank you. It’s fun to be on both ends of the show with you. I had fun on your episode. Thanks for being on mine. This was great.
It’s my pleasure, Diane. Thank you.
I’d like to thank both Scott and Michael for being on the show. What a great show. We’re on all the different outlets out there such as iTunes, iHeart Roku, you name it. You can find us just about everywhere.
- Amyx Ventures
- Scott Amyx’s TED Talk
- Smart Cities
- Richard Stallman – previous episode
- Speaking – Scott Amyx
- Forbes – Scott Amyx
- WFN1 News Corporation
- CEO Money
- Show – Dr. Diane Hamilton on CEO Money
- Rich Lofgren on CEO Money
- WD Gann
- Publish or Perish
- Abu Moniruzzaman
- Adam Alter
- Scott Harrison – previous episode
- Take The Lead Radio on iTunes
About Scott Amyx
Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures, Forbes New York Business Council Member, Singularity University/ Smart City Accelerator mentor and startup board member and SXSW Pitch (formerly SXSW Accelerator) judge. Scott is a Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow, a disruptive innovation awards program of Tribeca Film Festival. Scott is a national Sloan Fellow/ Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has spoken at TEDx on exponential technologies, Fourth Industrial Revolution & success.
Scott is a global thought leader on breakthrough innovation, voted top 10 international innovation keynote speaker, & author on smart cities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative and was voted Top Global Smart Cities by Inc. Magazine, HP Enterprise, and Postscapes. Scott has been nominated to the World Economic Forum as a committee member for the Future of the Internet. The Republic of Korea nominated Scott to present at the ITU Telecom World, United Nations. Sovereignties, governments, multinationals, and international consulting & research firms look to Scott for unrivaled insights and pulse on the changing landscape.
About Michael Yorba
Michael Yorba is the CEO and Chairman at WFN1 News Corporation and the Host of CEO Money, where he showcases CEO’s of companies from around the world in all business sectors. He helps you find the best partnership opportunities no matter what your industry focus.
Michael interviews the front-page Titans about the latest in capital markets, CEO milestones, trading tools, acquisitions and market trends. It’s a fast-moving, high-energy show that presents, technology trends, crowdfunding and impact investment insights in a new light and keeps the audience asking for more… shift your thinking and join us as we deliver “tomorrow’s ideas today”.
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