Episode 152 – Dom Einhorn
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to Episode 152 with Dom Einhorn – A Complete Ecosystem Where Startups Incubate, Accelerate & Thrive.
Dom Einhorn is the Founder and CEO of UNIQORN — a rural incubator-accelerator that provides a complete ecosystem for startups.
A serial entrepreneur with multiple startup exits under his belt, Dom created the first online art auction back in March 1996. Five months later, it was acquired by one of the largest auction sites in the world. Then, he created Powerclick—a digital marketing agency with 500+ advertisers as clients.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Dom joins us all the way from the South West of France—a couple of hours east of Bordeaux and an hour and a half north of Toulouse. We also talked about La Rochelle, where we plan to buy a sailing yacht—absolutely a beautiful place according to Dom.
- Two years after moving to Sarlat, Dom is proud to have quickly built 50 startups—becoming the largest incubator and accelerator in a rural setting across the world. We talked about how Dom is excited to expand his business to over 30,000 square feet of office space!
- We also talked about some of the major services that Dom provides: incubation and acceleration for young technology startups.
- Dom briefly explained what 5G, VR, AR, and AI are. He mentioned that technology is a double-edged sword. Technology may save us or it might kill us, depending on how we use it.
- Then, we discussed how technology takes over in the field of education, entertainment, finance, business, health, wellness, and more… Making people’s lives easier.
- Next, we talked about Dom’s origin story. Growing up, Dom spent most of his time with his action-figure mentor—his maternal grandmother who has helped him build grit, resilience, and discipline.
- Dom believes that he was not born with a superpower, but has developed a specific skill over the course of time. 25 years into his career, Dom developed the ability to connect startups with investors.
- He also shared a little bit about the science behind people who speak multiple languages.
- Then, we talked about Dom’s fatal flaw in business. One of the things that he still struggles with to this day is impatience. He rectifies this by surrounding himself with people who are more efficient than him.
- And finally, we scrutinize Dom’s arch-nemesis in business: trend-chasing. It is an ever-growing number of startups and idea-preneurs that creates a problem they ultimately intend to solve, but should not exist in the first place.
Dom mentioned the following books on the show.
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- Voyage Through the Universe by TIME-LIFE
- Rocket to the Moon! by Don Brown
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Dom Einhorn challenged Arndt Schwaiger to be a guest on The HERO Show. Dom thinks that Arndt is a fantastic person to interview because he is one of the premier out-of-the-box thinkers. Arndt is a German AI scientist by trade, who has figured out a way to radically disrupt business and financial planning via a company called Hell Metrics.
How To Stay Connected with Dom Einhorn
Want to stay connected with Dom? Please check out his social profiles below.
With that… let’s go and listen to the full episode…
Richard Matthews 0:01
Heroes are an inspiring group of people, every one of them from the larger than life comic book heroes you see on the big silver screen, the everyday heroes that let us live the privileged lives we do. Every hero has a story to tell, the doctor saving lives at your local hospital, the war veteran down the street, who risked his life for our freedom to the police officers and the firefighters who risked their safety to ensure ours every hero is special and every story worth telling. But there was one class of heroes that I think is often ignored the entrepreneur, the creator, the producer, the ones who look at the problems in this world and think to themselves, you know what I can fix that I can help people I can make a difference. And they go out and do exactly that by creating a new product or introducing a new service. Some go on to change the world, others make a world of difference to their customers. Welcome to the Hero Show. Join us as we pull back the masks on the world’s finest hero preneurs and learn the secrets to their powers their success and their influence. So you can use those secrets to attract more sales, make more money and experience more freedom in your business. I’m your host, Richard Matthews, and we are on in 3…2…1…
Richard Matthews 0:56
Hello, and welcome back to the Hero Show. My name is Richard Matthews. And today I have the pleasure of having Dom Einhorn on the line. Dom are you there?
Dom Einhorn 1:04
I’m here. Thanks for having me, Richard.
Richard Matthews 1:06
Awesome. Glad to have you here. You’re coming in from the south of France. Is that right?
Dom Einhorn 1:10
That’s correct. Southwest more specifically, I’m a couple of hours east of Bordeaux and an hour and a half north of Toulouse.
Richard Matthews 1:16
And you know my wife and I were talking about picking up a sailing yacht for our travels in the future. And I’m gonna pronounce this incorrectly because I’m not French but the manufacturer we’re looking at has their factories in La Rochelle I believe.
Dom Einhorn 1:21
Richard Matthews 1:33
La Rochelle. There we go.
Dom Einhorn 1:37
Beautiful town just a little bit northeast from area Beautiful, a beautiful town right on the Atlantic Ocean.
Richard Matthews 1:43
Yeah, which is where we’d have to go if we wanted to actually see them. And I was looking at tickets, like plane tickets to fly from here to there. And like a straight plane flight to La Rochelle is ridiculously expensive, but you can get them. And we were looking at like if we fly from here to New York, and then from New York to London and London to Paris and drive to La Rochelle. It takes significantly less.
Dom Einhorn 2:06
Yeah usually, that’s probably less. For sure. Or you might be able to fly straight to Paris and just take the train to La Rochelle. Because you never been to France. One of the great things about France is that you can go even to the smallest town by train. And it’s very easy to do and it’s actually a lot less stressful than taking the car.
Unknown Speaker 2:25
Yeah. And I was the drive from Paris to La Rochelle is only like four or five hours or something like that. And I think like the layover is if you’re going from London to La Rochelle or whatever is longer than the drive if you just flew straight.
Dom Einhorn 2:37
Yeah, no doubt. So I would recommend a train great, great experience. Everybody takes the train in France. So it’s also very cheap. Unlike the US we didn’t have the battles between the Rockefellers and the JP Morgan’s. So we got a nice, you know, again, you can get from point A to point B very efficiently very cheaply. by train.
Richard Matthews 3:00
I went to Thailand, once we got to take the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. That was super cool. I think our kids would love it if we ever got a chance to go out there and do that. So anyway, for our audience has been following us around in our travels. We’re still in South Carolina, where we’re going around here. And what I wanted to do before we dive in real quick Dom is just go through a brief introduction of who you are and what you’ve done so we can get into start talking about your story. So Dom is a serial entrepreneur with multiple startups and exits under your belt, created the first online art auction back in March of 1996, which was acquired by one of the largest auction sites in the world five months later, he then created power click, which is a digital marketing agency that you had 500 plus clients that eventually got merged or acquired by a publicly-traded company back in 2001, for an eight-figure exit for yourself, and today you advise and invest in a wide range of technology startups. So with that sort of brief introduction, Dom, why don’t you tell us what it is that you are known for now? What’s your business? Like? Who do you serve? And what do you do for them?
Dom Einhorn 4:07
Sure. I spent a better part of my adult life in the US on the west coast, in particular, in Los Angeles. And my wife and I are very much like you decided to go into an RV, we decided to move away from a big city into a smaller town where you can actually live and breathe a little bit easier. So in nutshell, we decided to leave Los Angeles not to go to Paris. But we took a little step back we spent roughly eight months traveling through France, and we visited physically visited 54 small to mid towns in France. We made a private list and didn’t have to look too far because the same town was number one on that private list. And that town is called Sarlat, S,A,R,L,A,T in the southwest of France for those of you who want to look it up. It’s a medieval town of roughly 9000 people in the winter, and two and a half million tourists this summer, it’s the seventh most visited town in France. If you walk downtown 200 yards behind me, it’s like walking back in the 12th century, nothing has changed. In fact, when they filmed the movie, Joan of Arc in town, the only thing that they did is they took out the cars. And early COVID, we had Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Ridley Scott here. And they filmed the new movie, a new Disney movie called the last duel, which depending on COVID restrictions is about to hit the big screen in the US. But they spent a couple of months here as well because it’s just the area’s known for its pristine beauty. Within a 25 mile radius, you have 1001 castles, we have the highest density of castles anywhere in the world. But we came here so, first and foremost for a better quality of life. And lo and behold, two years later, we’re now roughly about 30 of us going on 50 we built what is quickly becoming the largest incubator, and accelerator in a rural setting in the world. We’re about to expand to over 30,000 square feet of space, also during COVID. And when we made that decision, it clearly was before COVID. And our market research back in 2017 indicated roughly 12% of youngsters were actually looking for a better place to live and work, I’d say so having a better rapport between the quality of life and career. If you are a young startup entrepreneur, obviously some of the key questions, you’re also asking yourself, assuming you either have raised some money already, or you’re about to raise money is how far will that money go. And on that scale, you can live in a place like Sarlat where we are and pay rent per square foot, that’s 30 to 50 times below what you would pay in New York and London. So you have some fundamental questions to ask yourself there as well. Right? Another advantage. For example, two of my engineers are Panamanian from the country of Panama. One of which has worked with me since 2005. I used to have an office in Panama as well. And they used to commute three and a half hours a day to and from the office. Today, they walk for five minutes to drop off the kids at school on the way to the office and to pick them up on the way home. So for them, they don’t even realize what’s happening to them because they’ve never been able to experience anything of the sort. I have four employees that live right across the street. So they just, walk over cross the street, literally 20 yards, I’m at work, the same thing at night. And they’re just loving it. They’re from Argentina. So we’re, again, roughly 30 people today from 18 different countries. And strangely enough, which is rare for tech startups were predominantly female versus male. Not by design, no one had dictate diversity to us. It just happened by way of doing business.
Richard Matthews 8:06
So what is it that you guys actually offer to the young startup entrepreneurs, you guys are a venture capitalist firm?
Dom Einhorn 8:13
We’re not a VC firm, but we are seed-stage investors. So I’m personally more of an angel investor. But the majority of what we provide is incubation and acceleration services for young technology startups. The easiest way to explain what an incubator does to the layman is you probably have heard of the incubator in the hospital. The reason why premature babies are put into an incubator is to ensure survivability. That’s exactly what we do. Because a startup at the onset after the creation, that’s where it’s the most fragile. A lot of the startups need additional help resources and experience by way of accountants, attorneys, digital marketers, engineering talent, human resources, etc, etc. So we provide that concierge service to them. And then once they graduate from the incubation stage, which depending on where they are today, would last three to six months on average. The idea is to take them through our acceleration program. And that is purely meant to take something that’s at the inception that has an initial proof of concept and make it scalable by way of acquisition, customer acquisition, marketing, and sales. And that’s really where we’re strongest. So, in that sense, we’ve taken, for example, some digital-first businesses like mobile apps, from few 1000 downloads to 1.5 2 million downloads.
Richard Matthews 9:49
Interesting. So what kind of companies are you interested in working with?
Dom Einhorn 9:57
Our core focus is on Pure tech place in AI, ARVR FinTech, digital media slowly starting to dabble into agritech. Because we are in a rural area, there is a lot of talent. That’s what I say agritech slash food tech. Anything that relates to wasting less food, being able to grow crops, sometimes in a confined environment, vertical agriculture concepts, things of that nature, we’re also starting to dabble into, although our forte, our history is primarily in the digital media space, the digital media space right now, you cannot be in that space without touching on ARVR because it’s been deeply disrupted by augmented reality and virtual reality, among others. And then you have this trifecta of three technologies slowly becoming one, 5g, ARVR, and AI, right, I don’t think that three years from now we’re going to be delineating between those technologies the same way when I started in this space, the internet was called the information superhighway. We’re no longer using that term. today. The Internet didn’t exist. And you already see obviously some terms that are coming to the forefront like XR extended reality, which kind of, encapsulates those three technologies and taking them for granted as one.
Richard Matthews 11:29
So for the layman who might be watching. Can you do a very brief like, What is 5g? What is VR? AR and what is the AI? Just like real briefly?
Dom Einhorn 11:42
Yeah, I think probably the easiest way to explain what’s happening is by giving your listeners an idea of what is about to happen, okay, and how we are about to be disrupted as human beings. Within the next three 5, 10, 15 years at the most, there will come a time where we as human beings have to ask ourselves some fundamental questions, the most important of which is, do we want to be augmented or not? What’s happening very quickly, is this concept of singularity, where human biology and technology are quickly merging and becoming one at some point in the near future. I know that sounds scary for many. At the same time, once you actually see some early iterations, it’s also life-saving like any technology. It’s a double-edged sword, it can save us and it can kill us, depending on how we use it. Yeah, but I think what you’ll see very rapidly over the next few years is that we will be asked to make that decision as humans. Do we want to remain purely biological, or do we agree to be enhanced. For those of you who wear a pacemaker today, you’re already wearing technology, you’re already wearing a certain degree of AI inside of you, right. And sometimes that provides a life-saving benefit. But some challenges that we will have to face. For example, if you look at Netflix, which is obviously a lot of you know, Netflix, is Netflix in the lab, and other companies at the same time are working on full immersion entertainment, which basically will allow us, humans, to become a character in the plot. The plot is not predefined, it will evolve, depending on our interaction with the characters at play.
Richard Matthews 13:39
So that’s how you get into full-on VR, AR, and AI all talking to each other.
Dom Einhorn 13:44
That’s 100%. Right. So basically, I’m trying to explain to you by way of example the technology, the applicability of the technology, and the progress that it will bring about.
Richard Matthews 13:50
And 5g brings to speed to make that ability happen.
Dom Einhorn 13:58
Correct. AR and VR, obviously, ar enhances existing reality. VR allows you to actually participate in the imaginary world. And what’s been holding both of these technologies back and in particular VR, have bandwidth issues, which we are resolving today. Whereas the AI component is purely the algorithm that tells that technology what it is supposed to be doing, depending on where we apply towards are we applying it towards the field of entertainment, towards the field of medicine, towards the field of sports. So for example, we’re in the pre-incubation stage today with a company called Ochy. That’s O C, H, Y French company, husband and wife, former pro athletes, and they decided to launch an AI and powered platform that allows an athlete to upload a video of themselves running and the AI analyzes all of the connecting points the posture of the head, the shoulders to knees, etc. to do two things, number one, enhance the performance. And number two significantly reduce the risk of injury. So you’ll see a lot of these technologies, and a lot of these applications coming to market that will significantly enhance the way we live. In particular, having ramifications to the field of medicine, what we’ll see in the field of medicine in the next five years, the term that we use internally is health tech, which is short for health technologies. You’ve heard of edtech educational technologies, the ability to learn will be vastly enhanced. So going back to the AR example, if you show a little Amy a book, a flat book with dinosaurs, well, all kids are interested in dinosaurs for some reason, right? So she’s got to pay attention. But we’ve done this test with kids. So you take the book, The Black Flag book, okay, here’s the Triceratops, etc, etc. You know, okay, she’s paying attention, she’s being entertained. And now you’re showing her an augmented reality version, we have the flat book, you’re holding an iPad, or right now a smartphone, which will be disintermediated, as well in the near future. And now all of a sudden, the Triceratops jumps off the page and goes, Hey, Amy, how are you today? My name is Triceratops. Let me tell you a little bit more about myself. While you’ll see that reaction of that kid,
Richard Matthews 16:22
It will blow their minds.
Dom Einhorn 16:25
Mind-blowing, full engagement, which is obviously what’s missing in today’s educational system, where we have to talk heads, we all grew up with talking heads, with us, we’re falling asleep because the teacher is boring. Here, you decide what’s engaging for you. And because you’re engaged, your ability to learn is multiplied manyfold. And that child will never go back to what was before. A lot of you probably remembering myself included, how reticent we were at first when the first Kindles came out came along. I want to hold a physical book. Well, to a certain degree, I still like to hold one occasionally. But more and more, I started using, the electronic version of the book.
Richard Matthews 17:11
10,000 books in your hand.
Dom Einhorn 17:13
I remember the times not too far away, I would say 10 years ago, 15 years ago, at the most where I would travel, and one of my luggage is was full of books, because I had to go somewhere, I had to do research papers I had to do present, etc, etc. And I was paying 50 bucks for the extra luggage every single time for the airline. Right. And today, I would look absolutely absurd, if I did that, I can just have one Kindle with an endless amount of books on it or whatever device you want to use your Kobo or whatever it is.
Richard Matthews 17:44
So what’s fascinating to me is we’ve seen a lot of what you’re being talked about in major motion pictures over the last couple of years. I know, Alita Battle Angel? They talked a lot about the enhancing the human body. That whole movie is about basically adding bionic pieces to human bodies. And what is it the Ready Player One was all virtual reality-like life. And I know I’ve been looking in the last couple of weeks into some of the crypto blockchain currencies are assets that are specifically designed as nonfungible assets so that digital representations of things can be moved the same way that physical assets can and only exist in one place. So it looks like there’s a lot of stuff that’s really lining up to make some of these realities you’re talking about happened sooner rather than later.
Dom Einhorn 18:40
No question about it. I mean, decentralized finance, obviously is growing exponentially in parallel with some of these technologies. Yeah, because I would actually look at decentralized finance, almost like an augmented reality version of money. Yeah, absolutely. What does money look, once we actually take it to the next level, once we actually remove the friction points, and we allow money to move more freely. In that sense, we’re working with a startup called earthtones. That’s about in my opinion, at least, and obviously the founders as well, to significantly disrupt the music industry, specifically for independent record labels and independent artists, who have historically faced a mountain of obstacles when it came to actually negotiating contracts, not to have smart contracts, blockchain empowered, being able to get paid a fair share for their creative work, instead of the record labels taking 95 to 97% of their share without necessarily giving them much in return when they’re actually relying on the creator to come with the clients and with their cohort as an influencer and bring those to the market themselves. So those are some fundamental changes that we’ll see. I think we should probably be looking at these individual technologies as separate because they form part of a holistic whole. And in such a way, where one basically complements the other, where if you, for example, start interacting, engaging with augmented content, which very quickly will do within the next six to 18 months. You know, it makes perfect sense that your credit card that just expired shouldn’t decline because you actually tried to play an augmented game, for example, right? That’s a friction point that can be removed in the process that has no point of being there in the first place. Decentralized finance for me is absolutely going to explode because it’s built upon trust. First and foremost. Yeah, so a lot of people, you can love or hate Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency I’m kind of neutral when I look at them.
Richard Matthews 21:03
It’s going to the world either way.
Dom Einhorn 21:05
Yeah, I’m not a lover. I’m not a hater. But the reason why it’s worth 30 $40,000 in a given day, there’s a reason for that. It’s a lot of big money moving into it. A lot of people, a lot of smart people smartening up to the concept, and also were somewhat reticent in the beginning. But I think what it will produce is a leap of creativity, a leap of inefficiency. And I think that COVID if there’s a silver lining to the COVID situation, I think it is actually accelerating the pace, as a result of us humans not having a choice but to embrace those technologies. Yeah, I have older friends, older clients in their 60s 70s, and 80s. My parents included in their 80s, who would have never touched, Zoom, GMeet Microsoft Teams, or whatever your favorite flavor is, had it not been for COVID. Right? That’s one thing. The second thing is if the crisis had lasted only a month or two, we would have snapped right back because we’re creatures of habit. But as a result, the crisis lasted for so long for a prolonged period of time, that’s now touching upon a year or so soon longer. We’ve actually had to rewire our brains, we’ve actually had to create new habits. And it’s a habit of efficiency, that will carry along for the rest of our lives, including for the older generation, that is literally billions of people. Billions that before COVID happened had never touched a video conference before. That today use them every single day. I cannot tell you how many times Richard, I got clients, older clients to tell me I used to fly from New York to LA twice a month to meet my friends, my clients, etc, etc. I’ll never do that, again. I just realized it’s more efficient. I can be sitting at home in my pajamas, talk to my clients, talk to my investor, et cetera, et cetera, and be more efficient by doing it. Instead of having to stand in line in front of TSA get dressed down twice, having to go back through the metal detector because I had some change in my pocket or whatnot.
Richard Matthews 23:17
Yeah, one of the things that I’ve been really fascinated about over this last year is watching the massive. I don’t have a word for this yet. But like the efficiefication, right? Everything has been made more efficient, when you’re talking about decentralized finance, that makes money more efficient. And our augmented communication, like what we’re having here with Zoom and other things is making communication more efficient. And I was reading the other day, something like 84% of the value in any given market is locked up by inefficiencies. Right? And it’s things like blockchain technology and 5g and what your saying virtual reality that’s gonna unlock a lot of that potential.
Dom Einhorn 24:02
Yeah. And so we work with an amazing woman. Her name is Therese Fässler. She is a chief economist and she works at St. Gallen university as well. And she has her own startup called invested.ch. And basically what she has proven and what basically her life passion is if she wants to resolve global wealth inequality, by inclusion into the markets, because as you know, 20% of the people in this world hold 100% of the equities. So do you have 80% of non-stockholders, right, and they all are currently not holding a share of anything, and they cannot participate in what’s been proven as the number one wealth creator in this world. So her lifelong mission is to actually solve global wealth inequality by way of inclusion in the capital markets and making it easier and systematic for people to become shareholders and promising companies.
Richard Matthews 25:03
Awesome. That’s really cool. So I know this is fascinating talking about all this technology stuff. But I want to go back a little bit and talk a little bit about your origin story and how you got into entrepreneurship in the first place. We talk on this show about your origin story, every good comic book hero has an origin story. It’s a thing that made them into the hero they are today. I wanna hear that story. Were you born a hero? Were you bit by a radioactive spider that made you want to start your first auction company? Or how did that go for you? How did that transition from your early career into becoming an entrepreneur, where you are today? How did that happen?
Dom Einhorn 25:38
I definitely think I wasn’t born with it. I was born in a lower middle-class family. My father was a railway employee. My mom was an amazing pastry chef. Thank God for that. It still is today. But I did have a very early action figure mentor, my maternal grandmother. So my maternal grandmother was world war two resistant. And I looked up to her as a kid, I spent a lot of time with her because I had two older siblings, five and six years older. So for me, that was at an early age, it was almost like a separate generation different generation. And I had this amazing time with my grandmother, while my parents were working, and I spent a ton of time with her. So I think I was shaped at an early age by her. So she built the grit, the resilience to discipline in me, telling me our stories, or war stories, which still stick with me now, almost 50 years later. She also taught me how to read. And as a result of that, I read very early, I’d say probably it was three years old when I started reading. Four, five, I was becoming a voracious reader, and I discovered Jules Verne, for the Americans. I discovered my own first books I read was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, voyage with the center of the universe, rocket to the moon, I’m trying probably bout the translating. I’m in English right now, because I read them in French. And I realize this is amazing. I mean, talk about action figures. I realized at an early age that you could do anything, because here’s a guy that 150 years ago, described the trip to the moon, and actually drew the blueprints of what the rocket ship will look like that will go to the moon, in his books, right? So that’s like, knocks Nostradamus exponential 20. Right. That’s the way I looked at it. The guy is such a visionary, that he predicted what Tesla is doing today. And what many other nanotechnology who would have thought 150 years ago, that you can actually send a robot into your bloodstream to destroy diseases while he did, right. So I think as an entrepreneur, I was very early on, I had this, my mind works in a binary way, where on one side, I had this maternal grandmother as a very strong mentor, and on the other side, I realized that if you set your mind to something, you could achieve anything, right, as long as you have that discipline, that grit and that resilience. So I grew up in a household where we also spoke multiple languages at the dinner table, about the same topic addressing each person in a different language, but about the same topic. So you speak your aunt and French would turn to your grandmother in German or an Alsatian, and you continue on the same topic. And I think multitasking has stuck with me because today I can have 27 windows open, I know where everything is. Overall, I would probably credit these two elements. In terms of shaping who I am. And it’s interesting because those two elements took place 45, 50 years ago, and I’m not so much different today than when I was five years old.
Richard Matthews 29:03
I know I have some of the same kind of things. It was a book that really set me on my path too, when I was a kid, it was like the Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad books. And when I got older, I started getting more into sci-fi novels and stuff like that. And I remember the first time I read what is it Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, he wrote that in 1976, or 78. And like when you read through that story, he’s got a whole bunch of things about these things that they called desks. And then the desks were used to interact with the net. And the net had these things where each individual person had an address and like he was talking 10 or 15 years before it happened about tablets and internet and email addresses.
Dom Einhorn 29:51
And I mean, look, if you look at Aldous Huxley writes a brave new world and where we’re heading right now with CRISPR with gene editing, the ability to create smarter humans, with all the ethical issues, all the philosophical issues that bring about, but again, that was visionary as well. So some bright minds in the past, including 150 years ago, had that foresight, the submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea if you compare two blueprints of that submarine that he drew up, versus the one where you’re looking at today, you know, it’s 80% identical. And now the technology obviously was rudimentary wasn’t really described, but a blueprint itself, and the drawing is almost identical to today’s submarines.
Richard Matthews 30:38
Yeah, it’s amazing. And it’s amazing how that can impact us. And then we actually see those things become a reality. And one of the things I’ve been telling people is, for the last 10 or 15 years, we’re in the golden age of business. And that it’s really easy to get started now where it wasn’t as easy 10 or 15 years ago, and I think, going forward, we’re going to enter some sort of a technological, in health and I don’t know what you’d call like a renaissance where everything’s going to get easier and faster and. The roaring 20s, look back. Yeah, except for technology and health and wellness and finance and everything. I think the next 20 years are going to change the world in ways that the last 20 years will make the last 20 years look like nothing.
Dom Einhorn 31:25
Yeah, so I think a big mistake that people do, and that’s how our minds were constructed is we tend to think on a linear scale. And progress, especially technological progress doesn’t happen on a linear scale, but on a logarithmic scale. Basically think of a snowball that rolls down, the mountain is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and there’s no way of stopping it. That’s exactly what we’re experiencing today. But to your point of it being so much easier to create a business today than 25 years ago, well, I’m living proof of that. Because if I think back in the 90s, I remember in March, I came across my bill in my from my storage room, not too long ago, in March of 1998, my monthly bandwidth bill was $8,000 US, and I use 800 times bandwidth than I use today. So you can see what happened on that front, right? When I first moved to the US a long-distance call what’s still called dollar 50 per minute. Then it became, I remember was, it was a revolution where it fell below $1 a minute, then it was a second revolution while he fell below 50 cents a minute eventually was 10 cents, or you can talk per minute, and then eventually became free. Right?
Richard Matthews 32:42
Yeah. And now you can video chat live over the Atlantic.
Dom Einhorn 32:47
And people take that for granted, right? Because you don’t necessarily have that hindsight to know where you’re coming from. So for example, we’re looking at these devices, smartphones I’m holding in my hand here. When economists calculate GDP, they take into consideration the manufacturing cost of that device, which has become cheaper and cheaper and cheaper and the price-performance has gone through the roof. Yeah. So none of the performance is actually taken into account. So the device initially, when we had the first cell phones, that were this large, we had to hold them in a briefcase, the calls will drop all the time, and they cost an arm and a leg. Then the technology democratized. And slowly demonetized became cheaper and cheaper, became lighter calls will never drop. Right? Today, everyone has one. But we’re making a big mistake is that if we’re just measuring our progress as humankind on the GDP scale, we’re missing the point. Because this device has $10 million dollars worth of technology in it today, that economists say is worth zero, because they don’t know how to calculate that and add it to the GDP. Right? Yeah. But what is it? It’s an encyclopedia. It’s a GPS. It is obviously a voice and video communication mechanism.
Richard Matthews 34:14
Photography, storage, editing, anything in consumption, whatever you want.
Dom Einhorn 34:20
So think about that you can launch your business today on that you could have never done that 25 years ago, you could have never done that 15 years ago. The downside, there is a slight downside in terms of competitive landscape because it’s become so cheap because technology has so democratized and so demonetised every one of the brother and their sister can launch a business today and compete against you. So what has changed is you need to change your business model. As we’ve all experienced, for example, with the music industry being disrupted, or the movie industry, where you don’t have an advantage anymore, not even by way of tech technology, but you have intellectual property, the creativity, the ability to network to promote to hustle is becoming more of a differentiator, right? Because if you’re running all things equal, you know, let’s say you have two competing platforms and whatever space Uber versus Lyft, how do you really differentiate? Right? Because Uber and Lyft today, you know, in most parts, at least in the US, is Pepsi versus Coke, right? So you don’t have a core differentiator, you push either button, the right will show up pretty much at the same time, at the same cost. So it’s becoming ever more difficult to differentiate yourself from the next person, if you’re a solo provider, or from the next business if you’re a corporate entity, and set yourself apart. You know, the old saying in the advertising world is dog bites man is not news, but man bites dog is news. Right? So how do you become that man bites dog and actually get the coverage? How do you differentiate yourself from the peloton.
Richard Matthews 36:11
You have to be in the market of learning how to tell stories because at our core human beings, no matter what we do to enhance and augment we’re always going to be story born people and learning how to tell and engage with and connect your business with stories, I think is always going to be foundational.
Dom Einhorn 36:29
I agree. And before you can actually tell that story, you have to be able to hook and get the authorization, the sign-off to actually tell that story. Because we’re flipping through our social media channels, you have two seconds to grab someone. And if you actually intrigue them enough, and they’re actually engaged, then they’ll give you the right to tell you your story. But sometimes if you don’t have that ability, you don’t even get the chance, of even saying telling you your elevator pitch, let alone the long story.
Richard Matthews 36:59
Absolutely. Which I think I could be wrong here. But this may tie right into our next question here, which is about your superpower. Right? And I say all the time, every iconic hero has a superpower whether that’s a fancy flying suit made by genius intellect, or the ability to call down Thunder from the sky. heroes have what I call a zone of genius, right, which is either a skill or a set of skills that were born with you developed over time that really helped you to do what you do they set you apart and help you to help your clients slay their feelings and come out on top in their journeys. And if you really think about it, your superpower is probably the one thing if you have a bunch of skills, it’s the one skill that sort of ties everything together the common thread throughout all the things that you have built over your life experience with that sort of framing, what do you think your superpower is?
Dom Einhorn 37:43
Well, no one I don’t know should already have one. But if I do have one, I certainly wasn’t born with it. I don’t think I was born with any superpowers. I don’t think most of us are born with superpowers. But we do develop them if we actually hone in specific skills. And if we get people like Malcolm Gladwell, and the outliers say 20,000 or 40,000 hours of practice, I think 25 years into my career, professional career, what I’ve developed is the ability to connect startups with investors, and understanding where to both come from because I started out as a startup entrepreneur, and I’ve slowly morphed into an angel investor over the course of those years. And what I see today is still a huge gap between the two. And I call that the expectation gap, where what you typically see are entrepreneurs looking for funding that are broadcasting on FM, but unfortunately, the investors are listening to am there’s a total breakdown in communication. So Case in point in 1993, 1994, I was pitching my first investor. And I was very excited because the gentleman had sought me out. And I presented my digital marketing project. And I went on for 15, 20 minutes and I see his eyes glaze over. Clearly, I was losing him. So I thought maybe it was time for me to be quiet and let him speak, which I did. And then he did the same thing. And my eyes started glazing over when you started with term sheets, what money are you raising pre seed series A, etc, etc, was completely lost at that point in time. Ultimately, a small deal did happen. I’m not even sure how regardless of how badly we both communicate it. But Fast Forward 25 years today. Fortunately, we have more people that had successful exits as startup entrepreneurs who are now becoming angel investors. But by and large, you still see a very inefficient process, a lot of friction between the entity seeking investment and the entity providing that investment. And that’s, what we’re looking to solve. And this is one of the core reasons why I decided to create Uniqorn but Basically bringing in entrepreneurs under our helm, do a lot of mentoring, do a lot of consulting, making sure that the term sheet looks right making sure the executive summaries are done the right way, making sure that it broadcasts on am where the investor is listening to and not on FM. You know, and I think that’s kind of like a skill that I’ve personally acquired over many, many years of trial and error. And that also brings me to my own definition of failure versus success. failure. And we all hate failure. I’m not a big fan of failure either. But unless you’re willing to live through failure, and to actually use failure as a stepping stone to success, you’ll never be successful. I’ve coined my own little phrase when it comes to failure versus success that I call the rule of 36 over one. And basically, what it means it’s very empirical. When I moved to the US initially, we were selling websites at a time where selling websites was like selling ice to Eskimos. Nobody knew what a website was. And for the few who had heard of it, they thought they didn’t need one. So it took me 36 direct contacts by phone with businesses to sell one website. Right. So 35 failures, on average, followed by one success, yet, I sold a business for seven figures, plus, a few years later, but I was failing 95% of the time. That’s an important lesson to take home, no matter what it is that you’re doing. You have to fail. But you have to be able, today, you can measure everything, right? The worst failure is the one that you’re not aware of. Right, and you’re just losing your shirt while failing and thinking you’re on the right track. So you have to constantly iterate and you have to always measure what it is that you do. So if you’re an e-commerce startup, for example, of course, you’re going to measure your spend, what your conversion rate is, what your customer acquisition cost is, because if you’re not, you’re going to be spending yourself out of business. Hence the old saying any advertising industry, right, I know that half of my advertising budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half I think it was David Ogilvie that had that saying, Yeah, but that dates back to the 70s today, that’s no longer the case. So yeah, to sum it up, I think, you know, if I do I have a superpower, I built it over the last 25 years. And it would definitely consist in bridging the gap between startup entrepreneurs looking for capital and investors providing that capital to them.
Richard Matthews 42:32
It almost reminds me of your dinners at home when you were a kid speaking 6 different languages that skill to be able to talk in one language and translated into another language.
Dom Einhorn 42:33
And not try to offend anyone along the way in that language.
Richard Matthews 42:46
Yeah. It’s this the same thing, right? Be able to speak the language of startup entrepreneurs and the language of investors and communicate effectively between those two.
Dom Einhorn 42:55
You know, what’s very interesting about that. I recently about a year ago, I read a book about people who speak multiple languages. And it’s been proven by science now that when you do speak, if you’re multilingual, bilingual, trilingual, whatever it may be, and you speak a different language, you adopt a different personality. And that really resonated with me, because now I could read the science because, growing up in my 20s, and 30s, I have often had dreams at night where my mother who doesn’t speak a word of English was addressing me in English, and it was actually wake up. Like, wait, a second mom doesn’t speak English. What’s going on here? I’m clearly in a dream, right? But I do feel different. When I speak French, when I speak German, when I speak Spanish, when I speak Alsatian, I do feel like I’m a different person, I’m expressing myself differently. My wife tells me I have a different posture when I speak in a different language, which I had never paid attention to because I haven’t done any out of body experiences yet. And I’ve been able to do that.
Richard Matthews 44:01
That’s why people are uncomfortable learning new languages because you have to actually create a new self.
Dom Einhorn 44:09
I agree. That’s definitely it. And obviously, that gets harder because the older you get, the more I want to see you in case you are but the more rigid you become, and the more difficult it becomes to actually adapt to a new language and a new identity because language identities are defined by language.
Richard Matthews 44:30
Yeah, I tell people all the time that your thoughts, your ability to think is determined by your understanding of your language. And you know, you can’t think without words. And so, learning to expand your vocabulary so to speak, also increases your ability to think so I can only imagine that it gets increased as you learn more languages.
Dom Einhorn 44:54
Yeah, it’s interesting because you know, you’re constantly juggling. I’m practicing almost all of them on a regular basis. And you know, it helps clearly being in a situation where we have 18 different nationalities represented here in our office, right. So I’m constantly during the day speaking multiple languages, so that helps. But I would definitely look at that as a blessing. And for all of you who have young children, you can look this up to science has recently proven is that you should if you have a multilingual household, and let’s say parents speak one language, each or two languages each, you should always address the child in your native language, and not deviate from that within the first six years of the child. So let’s assume you’re a household where the father speaks English, the mother speaks Spanish, the father should only speak English for six years straight to that child, the mother should only speak Spanish, if a grandmother is around, which speaks another language, she should only speak that third language, and not deviate, because the child creates an emotional bond based on language with that person. And when the child is six years or younger, the child has a hard time making the difference and may mix up the language. But if you wait until six, and the child will be aware enough to say, Oh, I get it. That’s American, mom’s Colombian. Grandma is German. Then everything is clear. And there is no confusion in a child’s child’s brain.
Richard Matthews 46:33
That’s really fascinating. I know, my wife is multilingual, but I’m not. She speaks a couple of different languages. And I know she’ll talk about certain things in different languages with the kids, but it’s never like a constant thing. I know like my son picked up sign language really really well. When he was young. He’s he spoke like two or 300 words sign language for it was two years old. Now he speaks Sign Language and English. And he’s learning Spanish and his Spanish class, which, you know, is super cool. It’s one of those online things and they do full immersion. Like there’s not a word of English spoken in the class.
Dom Einhorn 47:12
The only way to do it. So we know the opposite model just doesn’t work. That’s why people that take 10 years of French in high school and university and they don’t speak a word of French, because you’re taken out of context. So what a lot of forward-thinking schools have done in Europe is they’ve actually taken that same child and just drop shipping in the foreign country. Fend for yourself, when your stomach starts growling, you’re going to know very quickly, how do you say croissant pretty blunt. When you go to France, you have no choice.
Richard Matthews 47:47
I know when I was in high school, we went over into a language camp with the Russians. So we went to Moscow. And it was like a spring break thing for them. And we would go over. And they basically would assign each of us a class. And none of these kids spoke English. And none of us spoke Russian. And we were supposed to be teaching, they would give us a whole lesson plan and of like, here’s what you do every day for the week as you’re teaching these kids English. And it was it really interesting thing, but it was a full immersion kind of thing. Because like, there was no translator available to translate English, English to Russian, you just had to figure it out.
Dom Einhorn 48:26
Only Way to go.
Richard Matthews 48:27
Yeah. So if your superpower then is your ability to sort of make that language transition from investor to startup, the flip side of that would be your fatal flaw, right? Just like every Superman has their kryptonite, or Wonder Woman can’t remove her bracelets victory without going mad, you probably have a flaw that’s held you back in your business, something that you have struggled with. For me, it was a couple of things right. I struggled with perfectionism for a long time that kept me from wanting to ship products because I can always make a few more tweaks here or there. Or one of the other ones I struggled with his lack of self-care, which for me, led to like letting my clients walk over me and not having good boundaries set up. But I think more important than sort of what the flaw is in your business is how have you worked to rectify it so that you can continue to grow your business and do what you do today. And hopefully sharing your experience will help our audience learn from you there.
Dom Einhorn 49:14
Without a doubt impatience, that’s always been my biggest flaw still, to a certain extent is today. I’ve worked very, very hard on becoming a more patient person. It’s still a very heavy kryptonite. What I’ve done instead, I’ve surrounded myself with people who have that skill, right? That instead of me jumping in and being maybe too hard for certain people too impatient and being too abrasive, which is what I have a tendency of being with certain people in certain circumstances. I built filters between myself and those people, with people who are more efficient than that than I am and what it taught me Because I have that flaw is to realize that I may have many more flaws, and that my team has many more flaws. And that is a result. What I’ve learned over the years is to build a team consisting of specialists and not generalists. What I usually say that look, if you’re a startup entrepreneur, or if you’re venturing out to do something with real impact, a nonprofit organization that has the potential of feeding a million people or reforestation projects, you want to have a real impact on the world, you need a team, you have to quickly learn to think beyond yourself, in a certain sense, you have to come to the realization that flaw that you may have, yes, you may be able to improve it in my in my case incrementally, and be able to live with it. But tell yourself that should not hurt the team as a whole. The last piece I need on my puzzle is another me if I have a gaping hole left than right, so I need to fill that puzzle with pieces that neatly interlock and they get along with each other. And that’s what I’m working on every day.
Richard Matthews 51:12
Yeah I know it’s one of the things that I’ve been struggling with over my life is figuring out, you know, you hear a lot of conflicting advice in the self-help world in the business growth world of like, do you work on your weaknesses? Or do you focus only on your strengths, and the older I’ve become, and the more I’ve learned from really successful people, is that the most successful among us completely ignore their weaknesses. And they focus only on their strengths, and they fill their weaknesses in with people who have those strengths.
Dom Einhorn 51:40
I could not agree more, because it’s time more well spent. Because again, when you’re trying to solve a weakness, you’re in essence, trying to rewire your brain, which is very difficult and takes a long time. I’m not saying it cannot be done, it definitely can be done. It’s been proven over and over. But if you have a lobe in your brain that’s already extremely developed, it’s easier to further expand that lobe. Right? So let’s say you’re a great musician, and you’re a horrible business person. Right? It’s probably my brother. I’m the opposite of him. Right? I’m a horrible musician. But it’s very interesting. And we’re siblings, right. So it’s much easier for him to become an even better musician, which is what he’s working on every single day, it’s much easier for me to become a better business person, rather than trying to play the violin or the piano or sing, right. But at the same time, if I were in the music business, I would take care of the business part, he would take care of the music part. And now we have something we can work with, when we each work on a turf, where we tend to excel versus trying to focus on our weaknesses.
Richard Matthews 52:54
Yeah, I was talking to someone a couple of years back, and they were talking about just the mathematics behind that. Where if you have a skill that says you’re a 10, and you have a weakness, that is, you’re a level one in that weak area. If you wanted to double your business, and it required doubling your skill in one of these areas, right, if you spent all your time focusing on your weakness, you might be able to get it from a one to a two, right? Where if you brought someone else who’s a 10 in that area. Now all of a sudden, those two together like it’s just you have a significantly bigger impact when you just ignore the weakness and bring someone in who has the strength who’s already put in, because we mentioned earlier, putting in the 10,000 hours or the 20,000 hours it takes to become fantastic at something. You can compress time significantly, by bringing someone else in by filling in your weak gaps with people who are already strong, who’ve already put the time in to become master.
Dom Einhorn 53:58
100% 100%. Yeah, absolutely. So if you have a huge glaring weakness in your team, go get the best person you possibly can. That person has 20 30,000 hours of honing that skill. And you could try to chase that down yourself for invest another 20 30,000 hours and hope to become as proficient as they are.
Richard Matthews 54:19
Yeah, absolutely. So I want to talk a little bit about your common enemy. And I think this will be really fascinating discussion because of the space you’re in. But every superhero has an arch-nemesis, right? It’s a thing that they constantly have to fight against in their world, in the world of business that takes a lot of forms. But generally, we talk in terms of your clients. So in this case, probably the startups that you are working with, or the investors maybe you think to consider both of them the clients in various ways. But it’s a mindset, or it’s a flaw that they have that you have to fight against all the time, right. So if you had your magic wand and you brought in a new client, you could just pop them on the head and not have to deal with that anymore, so you could actually get them the results that you promised. What is that common enemy that you regularly have to fight against in your world?
Dom Einhorn 55:01
Trend chasing basically, because we’re all in a position today where we can innovate. And where we want to push the boundaries further and further and further in this innovation. And obviously, I fully embrace innovation, but only embrace innovation, when the intent is to solve a problem. What I call trend-chasing is this ever growing number of startups and idea preneurs, as I call them, that creates the problem that they ultimately intend to solve. As a result of the democratization, which we covered earlier of the process of actually creating a business today, many businesses are being created that should not exist in the first place. There’s just no product-market fit, right? They don’t really address a need in the marketplace. And they don’t really intend to solve a problem. So usually, what it’s done at is obviously innocuous, but it usually comes by way of young entrepreneurs or wants to be entrepreneurs that have a core passion in a specific field. And they just want to turn that passion into a business. Nothing wrong with that. But sometimes that just does not work. Right. What I usually say is, look, if you believe that your idea, no matter how far-fetched and I’m not throwing any ideas out by definition, right. But proving this to yourself first, show early validation. So let’s say you’re setting out to create a product or service, instead of going down the route of actually doing it investing a tremendous amount of money and resources, and actually building it. And then trying to realize there is no ready market for it. conceptualize the product that service first, communicate it properly, and try to get some early clients first movers that will buy may be the down payment deposit, pre-purchase that idea before you actually go down the route of actually creating it. If you don’t get buy-in at that ground level, you’re not on the right track. Everything that we build internally, we iterate that way, we come up with the ideas, constant iteration, etc, etc. And then we say we believe that this is a service we should create. Here’s the reason why, based upon customer feedback, we’ve realized we hear it all the time, they’re really looking for a solution addressing this problem, etc, etc. Then we basically put together a document, the document outlines the problem that we intend to solve via a new platform, via a new product, via a new service, and we pre-sell it to our clients. Now we don’t have any buy-in, we abandon that idea. If the customers say, Oh my God, if you can build this, I’m your client, and here, I’m willing to give you 10% today for making it happen. You’d be surprised as to how few startups actually do that. Almost none. They all go in headfirst, sometimes on a questionable idea. And ideas, obviously a dime a dozen today, without any real validation. As to product-market fit.
Richard Matthews 58:30
Yeah, it actually makes me feel good about my newest agency that I’ve been building over a couple of years and a half or so, the way that I built that agency was I had all of my existing clients in a spot, and one of the problems we were running into, I was like, Hey, I, I need to solve this problem for our clients. And I went to a couple of my clients was like, Hey, I have an idea for a service that I think can solve this problem. And I was like I want to build it, but I need to be able to pay for labor costs. And I need to be able to pay for the other stuff to actually build it. So I had a whole idea of like, here’s how much I think it’s going to cost. And here’s what I think we can do with it. And here’s how it will go and I got two or three clients to buy in. And actually, it just breakeven for me where it was like I could just build the service with them. And spent the next year building everything we needed to build and got all the feedback on where we’re working, where it didn’t and how we can fix it and how we could move it forward. And but they all bought in and paid for the service monthly and really enjoyed what we’re doing and got a lot of feedback for it and helped us grow our agency to where it is now.
Dom Einhorn 59:35
There you go. That’s exactly how it should be done.
Richard Matthews 59:39
Yeah, yeah. So anyway, I feel good. knowing someone like you who does this for a living is saying that’s how it should be done because I was just going from the seat of my pants at that point.
Dom Einhorn 59:47
That’s a good seat of pants you got right there, young man.
Richard Matthews 59:51
Well, thank you very much for that. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue to grow that agency and do what I want to do with it. So With the trend-chasing, I’m curious, does it also get into the idea where I know it’s really common to look at like, Hey, something is going and building here? Right? You know, for instance, you mentioned the Uber and Lyft. Right, which is the whole sharing economy thing. Yeah. Where people see that trend. And then everyone wants to jump on it and say, Hey, I have an idea for this, I have an idea for this. And they’re building on the idea of either, just like Uber and Lyft. We can use cars, there’s like, RV share and yacht share and other things. Is it that kind of trend-chasing what you’re talking about? Is it different?
Dom Einhorn 1:00:36
We’ll see. Not necessarily because if you, for example, I know nothing about RVs, I know you do. But if you have a real economy where you have a problem between supply and demand, it makes perfect sense because actually, you’re looking to solve a problem by creating a platform that removes the friction, right? What I’m mostly alluding to, are ideas for the sake of ideas, and passions that don’t necessarily should become a business for a number of reasons, because the passion is not necessarily shared by many people it’s not scalable, or by the mere fact that the passion is not necessarily correlated to a problem. So no matter how passionate you are, if the problem doesn’t exist, you cannot solve it. And to the extreme certain entrepreneurs take this is they tend to create that problem by chasing what they believe is a trend, when in fact you should be doing is what you just described a little bit earlier, rather than, taking a crystal ball and say, this is what I believe will happen in the future, try to focus on what’s not changing, that’s much more highly predictable. Alright, that doesn’t sound very smart to say that, but think about it, let it sink in. So tomorrow, we’re going to wake up, we’re going to take a shower, we’re going to eat breakfast for most of us, and those are intermittent fasting like I am, you’re going to get closed, you’re gonna want to be entertained at some point during the day. Those are some core trends that us humans have been doing for hundreds of years, that will not change tomorrow. Yet, in the provision of services, and products within these areas, there’s still a lot of friction, there’s still a lot of problems to be solved. Amazon was the perfect example. Right? So back in the days or Netflix, take blockbuster for those of us who are old enough. I remember bringing a blockbuster movie back late, significantly late and being charged $48 for bringing it back. Right? Well, that’s a little insult, right? Obviously that make me feel do bad, or, two buddy with the blockbuster. So obviously, when Netflix came around, that jumped ship pretty quickly, because I had no, brand recognition, there was no brand trust, the trust was broken as a result of that. So Netflix removed that friction altogether, initially by replicating and incrementally approving among blockbusters value proposition, because as we all know, prior to streaming, Netflix was shipping CDs, you send some back, we’ll send you some more, etc, etc. And we’ll never charge you a late fee again. That was the tagline the initial tagline. The reason why that was the tagline is because that was the pain point that blockbuster was inflicting upon everyone, right? So think about how many potential businesses we could still launch by focusing on what does not change today, where people just get frustrated, when you see people frustrated, for example, in a parking lot, or at a parking meter, etc, etc. Immediately my mind goes off. Well, maybe there’s some friction there clearly. That’s the reason why they get frustrated, and flustered. How can we possibly remove that? And then sometimes when you travel around, you see that problems that you have at home, have already been solved somewhere else. Right? And you have to realize, well, what would happen if I actually brought those solutions home? Now it’s more than visualization, right? I’m not predicting the future. I’m actually looking at something that’s already been done elsewhere, but just not at home. So for example, rocket internet, the German internet giant, all they do is they follow the footsteps of major problem solvers like the Amazons of the world, like the Ubers. And they take it to developing countries like Africa. It’s very successful model, the copycats, right, so they’re actually not visionaries that the opposite of visionary, right, that taking somebody else’s vision. They’re replicating in a different geographical area, and they’re systematically execute the German so they execute well, right. Yeah, and grabbing all the market share. Then you have all the competitors To Uber, Airbnb, etc, etc, and Nigeria and Kenya, etc, etc, Southeast Asia, you name it very successful as well.
Richard Matthews 1:05:08
My boiling down for people who want to get into business is you find a group of people who have a problem and are willing to spend money to solve that problem. And then you develop a unique solution to help them solve that problem. And then your only thing that’s left is figuring out how to get the messaging, right, so you can get that solution in front of those people.
Dom Einhorn 1:05:28
I would add one more thing. And this is an Albert Einstein quote if you have a problem, and you approach a politician with your problem to solve it, then you have two problems.
Richard Matthews 1:05:41
That’s good. That’s good. So I want to talk about the flip side then of your common enemy, right. So the flip side, just like Spider Man fight to save New York, or Batman fights to save Gotham or Google fights to index and categorize all the world’s information, you probably fight for something with your business, your mission, so to speak, what is that?
Dom Einhorn 1:06:02
I would say the mission is one of inclusion, number one, and the mission is to democratize the process of allowing startup entrepreneurs to have impact. That’s really what drives me most. Because I see so many younger and older entrepreneurs with great early-stage business models, products, or services that don’t know how to bring them to market, for example, and or they don’t know how to set up a proper legal structure, a corporate structure, they don’t know how to hire a team, right. But given the right set of tools and resources, they could have an immediate and measurable impact. here locally, I’ve seen some amazing stuff in the agritech space are like, Oh my god, how can this not be done everywhere else? Like how can you grow such a crop in such a small environment? And in one room, you have your fruits, your vegetables, etc, etc, Do you know what I could be done? Of course, it can be done. I’ve been doing it for 20, 30 years. I’m like, well, you got a communication problem, right? How can we take this concept and teach the rest of the world how to properly do this? And the entrepreneur goes, I have no idea how maybe you can help me. Right. So I think the keyword would be empowerment. And the way we intend to empower these people, these idea these entrepreneurs, is by giving them the right ecosystem in which to thrive. And by putting at their disposal a full team that they would not know how to assemble themselves. So now you have any question, for example, if you have a great product or service, and your logo sucks, you’re not going to go very far. Because that’s the first thing people see about you. And they don’t look beyond unfortunately, right? It’s like, Oh, that looks pretty amateurish. Probably not gonna ingest the product, right. So but most people don’t realize that, right? Even the people with amazing products, they don’t realize the value of branding, the value of proper messaging, etc, etc. But again. The trust signals. 100% 100%, but giving the right environment in which they could thrive, the light bulb goes off, we see this instantly you bring people in, you bring you to know, different people around the table with other skill sets, designers, engineers, marketers, salespeople, etc, etc. They all throw their opinion into the hat. And very quickly, the light the eyes light up of the entrepreneur, oh my god, I get it. Now, I see what I can do.
Richard Matthews 1:08:36
The other thing that I think and I’m seeing this as an outsider from talking about what you do is an entrepreneur, they think, well, I would be nice to have all those things. But in order to have those things, I have to have the money to hire them. And that’s where you bring the other side of that is the venture capital, that you can bring the resources and the capital in order to afford those people to get ideas off of the ground.
Dom Einhorn 1:08:59
The beauty is that look, in order to have the same impact today as 25 years ago, you need 10, 20 times less capital. That’s the bottom line. Right? I’m talking specifically, the tech industry, right, it’s not applicable. If I were an infrastructure play and building bridges, that would be way different, right? It would probably be more expensive, but we’re not. So you know, as a result of this rapid demonetization of the process and democratization of the process, we can get bandwidth for a song today. computer hardware, Moore’s Law, doubles in processing power every 18 months is haft in price. You have all these dynamics where it gets cheaper and cheaper, and you become more and more efficient. If you again have the right team. If you have the right environment more so than the actual resources. The resources themselves are becoming less scarce as well. Human Resources probably are the most scarce still. But if you open up to the rest of the world, the outsourcing, offshoring, and some of the platforms that we can identify talent. For example, on the Ochy example, the running app I was mentioning earlier, we just met two PhDs that actually have solved the algorithm already, both on the running side and the cycling side that we’re bringing into the fold right now. And instead of developing this product for two or three years, internally, will have a marketable product within the next two or three months.
Richard Matthews 1:10:31
It’s amazing because you can access talent pools from all over the world.
Dom Einhorn 1:10:35
Yeah. And you can adjust on some reverse procurement sites out there and said, Look, this is our problem. Has anybody solved this before? Can anyone help?
Richard Matthews 1:10:42
Yeah. And so that’s where the driving force then is just figuring out how you can take the impact that, you know, these entrepreneurs can have if only they have the right tools and resources and pushing that out into the world. So you’re, you’re speeding up the process of impact.
Dom Einhorn 1:11:00
Yeah, don’t let anybody tell you that’s not possible. Right? It’s hard to think outside the box if you let someone stick you inside a box. Right? So forget about the boxes, I don’t know, for example, France is somewhat rigid in that way to the older generation. I had a discussion with a lady about a year ago. And I was and she is an intellect official. And I was explaining to her what it is that we’re trying to build the ecosystem, the unicorn ecosystem. And the lady told me after half an hour, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, sir. But you’re never going to be able to do that here. And I would say, my answer was, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, man since I knew you would say that. We just did it. Something. Everything I described to you has been done already.
Richard Matthews 1:11:52
That’s awesome. So I want to talk a little bit about some practical things you use to grow your business. Right. So one of the last things we talked about on the show here is the hero’s tool belt. Just like every superhero has their awesome gadgets, like batarangs or, laser eyes or the web slingers, entrepreneurs have tools, right, I want to talk about the top one, maybe two tools you use in your business to do your day to day work. It could be anything from your notepad, to your calendar, to your marketing tools, to something you use for product delivery, something we just couldn’t do what we do today without this practical tool.
Dom Einhorn 1:12:30
So I use a number of them. I’m somewhat between low tech and a high tech person and probably a mid tech person. And by saying that what I mean is that I don’t use technology for the sake of using technology, I use technology for the sake of making me more efficient. So for example, for anything that’s CRM, contact management, we use monday.com, which we’ve been using extensively for a while now, we still use Basecamp, for general, project management, and keep everybody in the loop very efficiently. And then I use WhatsApp for the web feverishly throughout the day, because it allows me to quickly create groups of people, share links, shared docs, etc, get instant feedback, measure the feedback and incorporate what I think in terms of overall productivity hack. For me personally, I’m not saying this is for everyone. But for me personally, in terms of managing my team, quickly, this batching tasks, looking for updates on certain projects, Whatsapp for web and WhatsApp on mobile as well. But when I’m on my PC, is probably the biggest productivity hack I’ve used in a long time. Then I’ve also slowly started moving away from Zoom not because of the issues that the media is talking about, but purely efficiency. Because of the five to 10 seconds it takes to load. Gmeet’s pops right in my face, I have it right instant, I can grab a quick link faster, I can share it on WhatsApp as well. And instead of waiting for two or three minutes for everybody to connect, be connected in 10 seconds, everybody’s online. So those are some of the hacks I use on a day to day basis. In terms of tools. I think the rest are just more mind hacks that I use. I always ask myself one fundamental question before I go to sleep every night. And the answer to it is not always Yes. Is what have I achieved today? And how much further they get me along the process of where I want to be or who I want to become? Yeah, what it does is it programs my mind to refuse going to bed without having made progress. And I’m setting up my mind via this hack. Very simple hack to say look, if I fail today I’ve actually even taken a step back, which happens sometimes, I will know that tomorrow I’m going to make up for that. And by tomorrow night, I’ll go to bed and say, okay, I’ve made at least 1% progress. I’m on the right path, because I think what creates depression and people disappointment, whatever you may call it, is lack of progress. No matter what field you’re in, where you think you’re stagnating, it’s a very uncomfortable feeling that creates friction, you can actually feel it physically. And that’s one of the easier ways I’ve found to break out. I also am a person that performs at a much higher level if I have lists, right. So I do have, I don’t make the lists too long. And I also categorize the lists in terms of importance. If you read the seven habits of highly successful people, first things first, Stephen Covey books, I think those are great books in terms of making you a more efficient person, especially the four quadrants where you basically have the core difference between the urgent items and the important items. And most people believe that I wanted the same thing. But they’re clearly not tend to focus most of your energy most of your time on what’s important versus urgent, right. An urgency is an emergency, it’s really not an urgency. Too many people spent too little time on what’s really important on what their ultimate goals are in life and on accomplishing those goals. And they’re distracted by these little urgencies slash emergencies. So there was does it some core rules I live by seven days a week.
Richard Matthews 1:16:43
I like the knowing your progress, right? Because I know that’s one of the things that I always focused on in my life is, is I don’t have to make a lot of progress every day, I don’t have to like complete half of a project or complete a big course project. It’s just I need to take the next step. Right, whatever the next step is, and as long as I take the next step every day, I’m always moving forward on it, right? Sometimes it’s as easy as like, today, I just need to write the headline for the next article.
Dom Einhorn 1:17:07
There you go.
Richard Matthews 1:17:07
I accomplished that we’re moving forward.
Dom Einhorn 1:17:10
Unless you measure unless you know where you are. It’s difficult to know where you’re going. In order to know where you’re going and get to know where you are. That’s your baseline, no matter how low that baseline is, right? So today is the first day of the rest of your life. Right? Yeah, that’s, that’s the bottom line. So that is your baseline, the baseline can be low, could be high could be intermediate, but again, it’s up to you to do.
Richard Matthews 1:17:34
It’s like that snowball we talked about earlier where things grow, right, if you can stack a bunch of little progress together, it’s not a linear growth pattern.
Dom Einhorn 1:17:43
A hundred percent. You can look up James clear, you probably know him already. James clear. And just type in Google or YouTube James clear habits is probably the number one habit hacker in the world. And he has the 1% rule of growing 1% every single day incremental, incremental rules. So one of the examples he uses is the British Olympic cycling team, which prior to 1996, had never won a single metal, never won a single Tour de France or anything. And then they had a new coach when still those habits in them the 1% per day progress. And they won every single race ever since. Pretty close to that.
Richard Matthews 1:18:29
That’s amazing. It’s a powerful principle for sure. And I know it’s helped me hit a lot of my goals. So I definitely like that.
Richard Matthews 1:18:36
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Richard Matthews 1:20:14
So speaking of principles, one of the things that makes heroes heroic is that they live by a code. For example, Batman never kills his enemies, he only ever puts them in Arkham Asylum. So as we wrap up this interview, I want to talk about the top one or two principles that you live your life by, right, maybe a principle you wish you knew when you first started out on your own Hero’s Journey all those years ago.
Dom Einhorn 1:20:38
I think first one is probably constant progress. I’m looking This is a marathon. This is not a race. Although marathon can be a race. I’m looking at continuously growing on every single level as a person. The other thing is, I would say, perpetual education, which is so paramount in today’s world, because I think the most important skill and magic tool, not even a tool skill set that you could probably build is the adaptability and flexibility to change. Because the world around us is moving so fast. And everything you’ve come to know as a reality as a truth is quickly changing. So you have to at least open yourself to that fact, first and foremost, and be flexible, become flexible, if you’re not otherwise, you’re going to be left behind. The capacity to change is probably the number one predictor of your success in the future. Right. Technology is disrupting everything, as we know, technology will eventually disrupt the human race to a certain extent, at least the way we know this human race today. And that’s why I’m also a strong believer in the merger of biology and technology. If we don’t embrace that merger, which is imminent, we will be left behind as humankind. Some people talk about runaway AI as a dangerous issue, I look at it differently, because I believe that fortunately, AI initially was and still is developed by humans. I’m also an eternal optimist. And I believe that we will merge with technology and hence AI will not run away. Because we can run away from ourselves.
Richard Matthews 1:22:40
Yeah, where it’s always tied to us in some form or fashion. It’s not become a separate entity, correct? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I know, like, one of the things I joke about is, AI can’t possibly ever take off and run off on its own, because all you have to do is just go in and put a blank return at the end of the line of code, and it’ll shut down. Because like, I know, if you’ve ever done any software development stuff, if like, the line endings are wrong, and right, those things are invisible, the whole thing will just stop working. And I’m like, I’m not really worried about AI at this point.
Dom Einhorn 1:23:17
Or it may decide to self terminate to have if it finds itself too dangerous. Yeah,
Richard Matthews 1:23:23
So it just, I don’t know, we put a lot of human emotion into our fear of AI. that I don’t think is well-founded. That’s true. Yeah. So that is definitely interesting. So it’s been really fascinating chatting with you, Dom. So that’s basically a rap in our interview, I do have one last thing I do at the end of all of my interviews that I call the hero’s challenge, and I do this really to help get access to stories I might not otherwise find on my own because these people may not be looking to do the podcast arounds. So the question is simple. Do you have someone in your life or your network that you think has a cool entrepreneurial story? Who are the first names are fine, and why do you think they should come to share their story with our audience here on the heroes show? The first person, that comes to mind for you?
Dom Einhorn 1:24:05
First person that comes to mind would probably be a gentleman by the name of Arndt Schwaiger, who is a German gentleman, who is an AI scientist by trade, and who has figured out a way of radically disrupt business planning and financial planning via a company called Hell Metrics. So I think you’d find him absolutely fascinating. He’s certainly one of the premiers out of the box thinkers, which is what allowed him to actually build what he has built because his product is officially on the market. He’s not planning on disrupting this industry. He’s actually actively disrupting it. And he has some large clients who are assigned starting to buy into it. But I think in terms of Being able to do business planning, financial modeling, etc, etc. Any CFA and I’ve thrown a couple of CFA’s at that. They’re just like saying, well, we thought we would have longevity in the field of disruption. Our days are numbered. So aren’t Schweiger is definitely one of those individuals.
Richard Matthews 1:25:21
That’s cool. Yeah, we’ll reach out after the show and see if we can get him invited on maybe he’ll say, Yes, we get to talk about his story a little bit. But for this interview. In comic books, there’s always a crowd of people at the end who are standing and cheering clapping for the acts of heroism. So as we close our analogous to that is where can people find you? Where can they light up the bat signal, so to speak, and say, Hey, Dom, we’ve got a new startup thing, and we would need your help, where can they go to get your help? And I think more importantly than where is who are the right types of people to raise their hands on reach out and light up the bat signal?
Dom Einhorn 1:25:53
Okay, let me start with a second question. First, I think if you have a product or service into the technology space that is at or beyond proof of concept, you can knock on our door, right? If you need help scaling it, you can knock on our door, at least an inkling of a proof of concept show that you actually have a product either on the market has been adopted. If it’s a b2b space by a handful of clients. If it’s b2c, let’s say it’s a mobile app, you have 100 500 1000 downloads that you’ve been able to generate on your own. website is the easiest way uniqornincubator.com. That’s unicorn with a Q my email is dom@unicorn incubator.com. Also easily found on LinkedIn. I have a unusual name, first and last. Last Name actually means unicorn and German. Dom Einhorn on LinkedIn is the easiest way last name is spelled Ei n h o rn.
Richard Matthews 1:26:50
Awesome. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story Dom and getting into some of the topics we got to talk about today. It was incredibly fascinating. So again, thank you for showing that. And if you are in that space, if you have a tech startup and that’s beyond that proof of concept. definitely take the time to reach out to Dom obviously just hearing his story and hearing how he’s put together his team. He could probably help you with that. So thank you very much for coming on the show today.
Dom Einhorn 1:27:13
Thanks for having Richard for the pleasure.
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