Hey welcome, everyone. Welcome to imagination action. Great to see you all.
Tonight, it's gonna be a great show. totally excited about it. Really excited about it. And thanks for coming every Tuesday to these events.
Hey, David, great to see you. I hope you're having a good week. Good to see as well. Yep. David records these. And David is a great entrepreneur and a real pleasure to be working with you on this. Welcome, everyone to imagination and action. This is where we have really interesting people on stage talking about how they've used their imagination and put it into action. And tonight's going to be an awesome night we got four great guests. Hey, Emily McManus, I see you in the audience. Great to Great to see you. One of the most clever people I know. And I see Cecilia Smith. Great to see you in the audience. are good people. He can all thanks for coming today. Can all founded a club I think you have like 100,000 members of the club on clubhouse Is that right? No. 130 now. Wow, that's great. And we're proud to be connected with your with your network. Hey, ruchika Ruta has a five oh at MIT and wants to go into medicine and as a great heart. If anyone wants to see what it's like to be a doctor before they go to med school. Follow Ruchi I see she's in the room. And Davey, I know you lived in Scotland. You have a bunch of investments in AI. Great to see you. Jennifer Jordan, early investor. I see you're in the audience. Brandon, I know canal speaks really highly of you. Great to Great to see you. David, what was your week like anything interesting going on?
On the summer program at Babson, and we had our kickoff week with 15 fantastic new entrepreneurs and so it's great energy.
Great, David, you're coming in and out. Hey, Stephanie. Stephanie is one of our featured speakers. I call her the Navy Seal of Thrasio. Stephanie, I don't know how new you are to clubhouse, but there's three dots in the upper right. If you click it, you can put higher quality audio. Hey, Alison, great to see you. My favorite futurist. How's your week been?
Hey, John, great to be with you.
Yeah, I'm really excited about today's show. Got a lot, a lot of good stuff. What, what what things did you track this week? Alison, I know, you helped a lot of clients out with stuff.
Um, it was a big week for uncertainties. So lots of climate. Lots of clients are addressing climate issues and all kinds of cyber uncertainties after $5 million was paid in ransomware. So I wouldn't say the future it's getting a lot clearer.
Yeah, no, it's a you know, these are definitely strange times. Hey, Evan, Crystal, great to see you. If you ever want someone who has 800,000 followers on Twitter and LinkedIn, and you need someone to help you with the Starship Enterprise, or is it enterprise business? I get the two confused. I do both. Both. Both are equally interesting to me. Thank you, john. I was talking to a dad who was visiting his son today at Union College and I told him you should look you up. He does enterprise business. And I said, you can't do anything in enterprise without connecting with Evan. So great. Great, James. Thank you. Yeah. Oh, when I see Stephanie Simon in the audience, Stephanie is one of the architects of clubhouse. You know, clubhouse is quite a phenomenon. I think 100 1000 years from now, people are gonna look back at this tool and say, Look at all the interesting things and important things are facilitated. And Stephanie is one of the key people behind that. Hey, Norman. Norman, is one of our other speakers. So we have Stephanie Fox, I call you the Navy Seal of one of the fastest companies to get to a billion dollar valuation. I don't know if that's official, but you're you were employee number one and I can't wait to interview you. And then Norman, you run a fortune five club. I wonder kind of like the government you know, g sevens do the fortune fives get together like do you hang out with the head of apple and others norm? norm you're new to clubhouse you have to take off your mic. So as norm is figuring that out,
hey, I'm here. I figured that out. Thank you.
Yep. And to and to Norm. And Carlos and Stephanie in the upper right, there's three dots where you can click to have higher to have higher quality audio. And I just invited Caroline up, she's going to play a little bit of violin, she's a, like a child prodigy and music, and it'll help kick off today's show. Before we officially go, I do want to say, this is imagination in action. You know, the world is an exciting time to be alive. But also there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of challenges. And we'd like to hear from extraordinary people and hear how they've used their imagination and put it into action. We have a website imagination, inaction dot club, we specifically use club because we feel an affinity to clubhouse. And we passed our 200 speaker this week. So if you go to our website, you can see all our speakers. And at the end of tonight, the whole transcript of tonight will be up. So if anyone wants to look back at it, and this two and a half hours, we're going to edit it down into a nice podcast. And then we're going to pull out elements of what our speakers say and make it into audio grams that we're excited to share. This week, Peter Diamandis is signed up to be one of our future speakers, founder of XPrize, and bold capital, and singularity. We also signed up Randall lane, who's the Chief Content Officer for Forbes, he's the guy who came up with 30, under 30, and a whole bunch of other things. And he decides what goes on the cover of Forbes. And he and I co run the event at Davos the third week of January at the World Economic Forum in the second largest venue. And a lot of our speakers on this weekly show will be there. We also signed up Rohit who runs stealth, which is a great startup for for immigrants to get funding. We also signed up cc pleasants, who writes comedy in Hollywood. Who's the guy who does the karaoke the English guy that everyone loves?
Jason the Hollywood guy, anyone?
Isn't a James Corden James Corden?
He's his comedy writer. So we saw so we're going to do a show with her and with Ellen DeGeneres' senior comedy writer. He just stepped down. We also have a show with Mark Hodash. And I think Mark said some clubhouse record this week. He helped co host Anthony Fauci. It was the largest show I think clubhouse has had, at least that's what I heard, and we also signed up Rosabeth moss Kanter. She's excited she's gonna be next week. We're doing a show on longevity. And, and yeah, we got a lot of good things happening. We also signed up Srimad naenae, who's modry diksha says husband modry is like an amazing bollywood actress who's had a real resurgence. I tell my American friends who don't know her. She's the Angelina Jolie slash.
Meryl Streep of India, amazing person. And we also have tall Zach's in the pipeline. He's the Chief Medical Officer of Madonna. And we're really excited. We're pairing him with the founder of wired. And we're going to talk a little bit about that. But tonight, it's about retail and retail disrupted. And we're going to hear from a fortune five leader who helps lead CVS. And we're also going to hear from someone who ran Diane Von Furstenberg retail and is just a incredible thinker, and she has a farm and has eight rescue horses. So if you think you're you're doing good with a rescue dog, think of someone who has eight rescue horses. And she is just so smart. She's helping the Latinx community doing extraordinary things there. And she grew up wanting to be a CEO when I think she's been a CEO a few times, she's going to help lay the groundwork for us to fully appreciate this company called thrive co which I think is hitting the land speed record and is doing some really important things. I think it's a $14 trillion market when you think of retail, and it was like 7% before COVID. Now it's close to 10 or 11%. of of online activity is retail is done online. And these guys are a key part of that. And I think they're they're going to be showing what the future can be. And I'm so excited to hear from these guys. But before we do, Carolyn, can you see Carolyn's in the room? is Carolyn on stage? Hey, Liz, want to say hi to you. How are you doing today, Liz?
I'm sorry, I had to mute off. Doing good looking forward to this conversation.
And so many others that are coming. So I would just ask also to please ping your friends because it's gonna be great. And thank you for being here, including me. Thank you. I know you've been a great year, my West Coast. You know, leader you you help do extraordinary things for us. Hey Carolyn, can you play something for 60 seconds inspiring. And then I'm going to introduce Norman and the fun is going to begin. Yeah, sure. JOHN.
This is the ray from the party's number three and E major by JS Bach. Yes.
Thank you, Caroline. She did not push play on a CD or a tape recorder. She's playing line. And at a few different points tonight. We'll have a musical interlude. But before I introduce Norm, Sandra, are you here?
I am. Can you hear me?
I hear you great. I'm so excited for you to contribute to the dialogue. You're so clever. And you have so much to say. Carlos. Are you are you here?
I am here. Yep.
Yep. This is not an R2D2 of you. This is really you?
Yeah. And are you in Oklahoma where you're from? Are you are you in Tulsa? You're you're in mass where you live with your kids? And are you on a mountain bike?
No, I bought. I'm actually home in Dover Massachusetts. Great. Well, so exciting
Yep. And then Stephanie Fox, are you here? You're the Navy Seal of Thrasio. After Carlos shares his vision, what he's doing. I look forward to going deep on your role and how you're building this juggernaut?
Sounds good. Yep, I'm here. And Carlos. I don't know if you heard but john gave me a new title, which is navy seal, not CEO. So I like it.
Is the brains behind the operation? So anything's good. I know, I
talked to her. She was employee number one for Carlos and she was talking to me about employee 8000. As you guys are scaling up, and I know, you're nowhere near that, but you're on a mission. And then Alison, my favorite futurist, I'm convinced you have a DeLorean and you go into the future, you check things out. And then you're like helping to make sure we don't screw things up in the present.
That's a big mission. But it's wonderful to be with all of you tonight. And this is going to be a great show. So thank you for joining us.
Yep, and canal, you have some of the most amazing emotional intelligence and looking forward to you kind of weighing in on some stuff and being a, you know, guardian angel for imagination and action. And then I know Evan has like 800,000 followers in Twitter, he'll be tweeting out and David Chang who's recording this is also going to be tweeting real time. Alright, so let's, let's have at it. So this is about retail, the rise of large players like Amazon and companies are figuring figuring out models for profitable growth. And so norm, you are a child of Dutch immigrants. You were president of digitalis when I met you, that was an agency that took pride in helping with analytics. You became a national leader, some of your customers were like GE and Bank of America, you help them with digital transformation. You ran that. And then suddenly, someone tapped you and said, Hey, come be the CMO six years ago of CVS. And I know CVS was founded in 1963. And lo, you know, just yesterday, it was like a moment, you know, little operation drugstore. Now it's the largest health care company in America. How much did you guys buy Aetna for the other day?
A lot. Billions and billions. 65 billion.
So you know, you guys are not a mom and pop operation anymore. And you know, you you you are, you know pushing. You're setting the vector of retail in some ways. And I know you like to mountain bike, as does Carlos, you guys should go mountain bike ride at some point. And I know you're going to ride about 2000 miles this year and you coach, a mountain bike team. So are those like people who are in their 20s in their prime? Are those like little kids? Are those grandmas who you coaching?
It's great. It's the grandma mountain biking team. It's excellent. Now there are their kids, anywhere from fifth to 12th grade.
Yeah, great. So I have a few quick questions. This is like Family Feud at the end. What is CVS stand for?
Oh, that's a good one consumer value store.
Okay, I know Sandra is interested in value stores. So we're going to we're going to come back to that. What's the most popular item in your stores? And have you How have you changed the range of offerings? over over the last few years? I'm sure COVID was a factor there.
most popular items are things like it depends on time of year, of course, but you're gonna get allergy, cough, cold, all the stuff you think about beauty is big. I mean, it just really depends on the time of year, Mother's Day, you're getting flowers and candy are big. So it just depends on the time of time of year. And what was your next question? How we changed in the store?
Yeah, you know, you know, how has it changed? Or, you know, how's it gonna change?
Man, I mean, think about it, like it actually started as consumer, consumer based versus convenience store. I mean, if you go back to 1963, we added a pharmacy, because that drove traffic. And now we're changing the whole thing into a health store. So you're gonna see many more services. So we're 20% of our space is now going to go to services, health services, health and wellness products in the front, it's going to, over the next five years just evolve into a completely different sort of store much more on health and wellness.
Great. And then what role is advanced technology playing in your stores? Like investing in I noticed, you know, self checkout? You know, how's that working for you? Are there smart products? How are you using big data as a CMO? You're probably asked about, you know, what, you know, what should we do? I know you got I know the receipts lists have gotten longer and longer. I don't know if that's a big tech.
I, you know, like you said, I ran Digitas, huge company, digital all the time I come to CVS, these paper receipts that are you know, we're on Jimmy Kimmel with these paper receipts, they're they're they're they're kind of a joke, they drive a tremendous amount of sales. Americans still use paper receipts, not all of them, but a lot of them. And it's just really amazing. But anyway, back to your question about technology and analytics and data. You know, the the core of what we're trying to do is you got in the front store retail business, where we're trying to, we use all kinds of data analytics, we understand what people buy, we have 20,000 SKUs every everybody, we want to give them offers that are relevant to them with the right product for them with at the right time. So you can imagine that billions and billions of combinations so that we use AI for that, most importantly, we're using all kinds of analytics to help people understand what they should do next and their health. Because now that we own that now we can see all your health information, and we can understand your next best health action when you come to the pharmacy, we can help you figure out what you should do. So we're kind of combining the data, the analytics and then the trusted personal connection of the pharmacist. So it's really core to where we are it's a it's a very exciting time at the intersection of retail and healthcare. Yeah, and and I'm excited for you to meet Carlos because as you're sitting on all this data, Carlos may have some ideas for you what you could be doing within vice versa. Can I meet Carlos because his last name is cashman. And I just think anybody with that name I'm excited to meet.
Carlos. How did that work out for you growing up with Cashman value add or Did he hurt on the playground?
Uh, you know, no one really thought about it much as a kid so you know, it's it's more interesting now and I you know, pay for restaurant bills or check into hotels, I pretty much always get a some commentary on that.
Before I go to the next question, Carlos, you know, this guy norm, fortune five companies sitting on all this data, any free association, what comes to mind that you may not be thinking about or you want to come back to that later?
Oh, man, that's some we could dive into that for ages. I mean, I don't know if there's any free association. I'm sure they're doing pretty amazing. Company. I absolutely love what they're doing. Very forward thinking. So, you know, for us, it's about the digital first. It's the correlation of the data of what they're doing with what we're doing online and how all that stuff works together. And that's what gets pretty exciting. So I actually have norm just got a good buddy of mine is a futurist who works with your CEO. And just emailed me this afternoon asked me to come talk to a bunch of the execs about together.
Yeah, I also want to point out we're intergenerational. I mentioned ruchika. She's an MIT. She wants to go to med school, she's going to be a great future doctor. And I see Jim and Kelly are here. They're a dad who's really proud. Kelly is just Lauren just joined the kind of clubhouse team. I think it's like a small team of people making this amazing platform happen. But it's nice to see dad and daughter on on together, you guys can have something to talk about after the show, and love to get you guys to have some questions for great speakers as after we dive in here. And as everyone knows, this is a little bit like improv, I'm interviewing the four speakers. And then I open it up to questions. And I'm also going to ask the speakers to ask each other questions, you know, are Sandra to play back what you just heard? Or if she has a different take on something and vice versa with Stephanie, norm and Carlos. So my next question norm, you know, with COVID, how did CVS change? And are there any new normals coming out of, you know, the Twilight Zone episode that doesn't seem to end?
It is ending, it is ending, they the end is near, I'm telling you, we're all gonna, GDP is about to go to 8% we're gonna have a party for the next six to 12 months, it's gonna be incredible, then hopefully, we keep going and don't wake up with a dead hangover and crap the whole party. But COVID I mean, the COVID changed everything is as we know, taste how we work, change what it means to be in stores change what brick and mortar means change with digital means, change the commerce, change what people relationships people have, I mean, it changed, changed everything. And so change health, telehealth, I mean, really, now, some of those behaviors are going to be sticky, and some of them are going to recede. But I think that for the most part, what you're gonna see in commerce and health is that the relationship that they increase is at least 50%, sticky, it just, it works for people's lives, they're busy, and they want digital, it makes their life easier, and it's more convenient for them. So I think it accelerated us and we're gonna stay there
9-3-14. That's a big date in your company's history. I know people know, 9-11. But 9-3-14 is the date that you decided no more tobacco. Okay, and what came out of that decision? You guys started stop peddling tobacco? Did you lose or gain sales? You know, was that the right timing? Should you have done it earlier? And do you have something else up your sleeve similar to that, or that's it.
That's easy in the in the, in the two years, after that, we we increased our revenue $16 billion. And so you'd say it was it was a good idea. It was also the right thing to do it, that move fundamentally changed this company, and drove that future growth, and then drove our future growth because it inspired and engaged all of our employees, and everyone could figure out what what else they could do. And that led to so many more innovations, everything from getting trans fats out of all of our food products, to getting bad chemicals out of all of our beauty products, to getting sunscreen with SPF 15 and below that wasn't effective out of our store and so, etc, etc. And that, that if we had not done that, we would not have been able to buy Aetna, we would not be the largest healthcare company in the country, we would not be building 1500 Health hubs. And so that one move changed the entire future of our company.
So my mom passed away and lung cancer and I thank you and, you know, I think the future generations I think you helped a lot of people. So at CVS, you have like a secret building with a pharmacy of the future like one of your locations what its gonna look like 5, 10, 20 years in the future. And if you do can you reveal it on clubhouse exclusively?
The pharmacy in the future, not in a building, John. The pharmacy of the future is online.
Awesome. So yeah, Sandra likes that. She's She's, she's saying Good, good, good going. So what is your company look like 20 years from now?
It is mostly digital. It has local in person connections, because they matter for health. But it is mostly digital, digital pharmacy, digital tele health, digital diagnostics, everything integrated, seamless, proactive recommendations on what you should do for your health and wellness based on the data that you provide frequent communication, data collection to devices, analytics, and the next best action. And then then then a human connection to be reassuring and to be caring and to be there with you.
Great. I see. Guy is in the audience from Israel did air traffic control in Israel. He now works for Google X. I don't know if he's allowed to tell you this. But he works on the everything robot. He's working on the computer vision. This is like Alexa at Google, but it's going to sort your garbage. So maybe you'll have some of those in the audience. And Liana is stage four lung cancer and she's lived 15 years. And I know she goes to CVS all the time. And she's an RN. Normally and, and we're going to build an imagination action show around her. And I mentioned Jim is here, I also see that Carol Kelly's mom is also here. So we're definitely gone inter generational. Alright, so my next question to you is, how do you see retail evolving in an increasingly digital world? Who do you think will be the big winners and losers? I know that brick and mortar had a tough time, you know, recently, and I think we're at like close to 10% of online retail, what's going to happen to retail as a fortune 5 guy, what do you see?
I think the way you need to think about retail in a digital world is two words easy or worthy. Anything a consumer doesn't get excited to shop for in person needs to be as easy to get as possible. And the places that make it easy for them will win that shopping trip. And then worthy anything you do enjoy shopping for it, you've got to create physical experiences that are worth someone's time. And you know, their shopping can be a social activity that is a lot of connected can be connected to people. And so there are certain things that social shopping makes a lot of sense for. But for the most part, if someone doesn't want to shop for it isn't get excited to shop for it, that the entities that make it as easy as possible are going to win. That that trip. And you know, I think in some ways, that's why you've seen Amazon grow so much, right? It just it's easy.
Who are the competitors for CVS today? Is Amazon on that list? And how do you see this changing going forward? And you know, we have we when we get to thrass? Do you know, they've found a way to work with Amazon? That's incredible. And they become one of the fastest growing success stories? You know, are you watching things like this and trying to figure out how to use these channels? So who's your competitor? How do you make sure you don't fall out of, you know, fortune five and become GE or something?
Well, I think today, if you take just the retail piece of our business, no, no, remember, the retail part, like the front store, retail part of our business is less than 10% of our overall company. So so so you know, just put it in perspective. But you know, you'd have to say that Amazon is a competitor in that and, and so our job is not to try and be Amazon, our job is to lean into what we're trusted with and what we're known for, which is health and wellness. And how do we use authenticated information to help people be healthier, and so that's the path we're gonna go down, we're gonna, we're gonna spend more of our time focused on that more of a kind of book focus on services. And what you've seen in the health space is there's been a lot of digital apps and companies that have come up and want to tap into this space, the key in health is you only have to do two simple simple things. One is you have to know everything about what someone's going to do. And the second thing is you have to change it. And if you don't do both of those things, you're not having a big enough effect on someone's health or on the health system, that the problem is get changing behavior, it is incredibly difficult to change human behavior, and it is where part of the human connection comes in. Many companies can deploy the AI, but you need the AI combined with techniques that help drive changes in behavior. And so are our you know, we might be getting a little disruptive from Amazon in the front of our store. But we are the disrupter and help because we're convenient or more value oriented. We have the in person connection where you need it. And we'll have the digital offerings and the telehealth and all the analytics.
Yeah, you guys I mentioned guy in the audience asked to see Richard is in the audience. Richard has all of like Billy Joel, and a bunch of other musicians, assets. It's like Dropbox for for musicians. And I think he's trying to do NFT's Are you looking into NFTs, Mormon or that's not part of your marketing?
Near Field communications, NFC is what you're talking about?
No, I was kind of throwing you a curveball and trying to be funny, but I think I did neither. So listen, before I ask our other speakers to ask you questions, and then go to interview. Sandra. Let me ask you, what do you see the future of e commerce because at the end of the day, I think what rasio is doing is really revolutionary in the e commerce space. And I think what Sandra knows about is as a lot to do with e commerce. What do you what do you see is the future you know, you've been there six years, that's like dog years. You know, I don't know where you go from there. You know, I, you know, you go to heaven. I mean, you're, you're some miracle work, they're running. And when you showed up, it was like a fortune. 15. So, so nice work. You can mark it that you were the reason behind that.
Yeah. 100% all me That's right. You know, the future of e commerce like we are. So at the beginning of this journey. I mean, you pointed out the percentages at the beginning, depending on the numbers you look at and it really anywhere you look at to say 20% or less, I mean, that's just incredible. There's so much more that should go online that should be analyzed. And it should be subscription oriented, that shouldn't be easy for people that they never have to think about again. So we're at the beginning of a journey that is going to go on for a long, long time, frankly, our lifetimes, pretty much you know, here's mine, on this phone call. And so that that I see is the future because it's just got a massive growth trajectory of private now, the the the value is more and more what what can you learn about me? And how can you proactively serve somebody up to me to help me make my life easier, which is called loyalty, but it's actually called utility a lot too.
Yeah, so should norm thank you for running this like American Ninja Warrior. You did great. You ran up the the red dwarf wall with all these questions. Five stars if this was an Uber, Lyft driver. Hey, Stephanie, Sandra, Carlos. Alison, any questions for Norm or anything you want to call them on or for double? Yeah, on our playback.
So Norm, one is, what are you in Christian Cruz and I get together?
Oh, Christian Cruz. Well, he was great. We just had him today. I love that guy. He's that he's like a futurist. He's not a kook.
Yeah, he just, he's, he's my cousin in law. Yeah. I love him. So so so john, we're already planning to get organizations together to talk about how we can you know, disrupt the the future of retail and online together. So it'd be pretty exciting.
Yeah, no, I. if you know, the two of you, the Venn diagram between the two of you is awesome. So any other observations or questions of what norm stand or anyone want to ask him a question?
Norm, I guess one thing that that stood out to me was just you said, if if something's worthy, if something's you know, someone's buying a basic product, we always use a spatula as our example. So someone's buying a spatula, they go to Amazon, they don't care, right? They don't need an experience around that. When you said, If something's worthy, then there needs to be an in store experience. I don't know that. I agree with that, and was just kind of curious, I think that you can definitely create, I think there's a lot of direct to consumer brands out there that have created really awesome online experiences. So yeah, just wanted to get your thoughts.
So that was the Navy SEAL of Thrasio. She's the COO, employee number one of like, over 1000, and she is awesome.
Stephanie was more than employee number one, like she was part of the whole founding ethos, and team and everything. So Josh, a little while to put things together. But this wouldn't happen without Stephanie. So she's awesome.
My point was, if, if people do want to shop for it, then the experience has to be worth their time. And so that I wasn't saying if the product is worth it, but if they do want to shop for the experience, it's worth the time. And I see exactly what you're saying in the digital space. Totally. There. Yeah, there are also things that are social occasions for people to shop, where they want to immerse themselves in those products in those areas they want to play they want to discover they want to be with friends, and physical environments do that. Well. My point is that you got to have if you're gonna have a physical environment going forward, it has to be an experience that is worth someone's time.
Okay, totally, totally agree. Yep.
Norm anything what's on your imagination these days, and I see shriya, who is 27, building robot limbs, and she's creating the pacemaker for the stomach. And she's now made amazing device to help in India multiplexing, ventilators. She was a speaker, we have 8000 people in the room with the CEO of Forbes, I think it's all because the tree I just brought her up on stage. She's in the health world. Alison, do you have a question for norm?
I do. I mean, norm. Probably everybody on this call has spent a lot of their life in a CVS. And we're excited about online. But I wondered if you could help us parse out the sort of health and wellness trends like how do you decide the fads versus the fundamental shifts? And you bet on all of them? Or do you think we're actually going to conquer obesity in our lifetime? Or do you think there's enough bad behavior that health and wellness will just keep growing? Maybe you could just give us a little bit more given your insights to that trillion dollar trend.
And remember, this is being recorded and at 8:30, the transcript will be fully available. So keep that in mind.
Well, the health and wellness trend has been going on for a while and you know, fundamentally we see it in our data, we see it in the purchases, we see the engagement we see in the connection to services. And so that accelerated in the COVID time which was really interesting, sir, of course, going into the darker as much but other things accelerating. It's accelerate in a world where there's high deductible health plans, and so people feel like they have to take care of themselves some more, it's accelerating, because you've got a combination of Apple seeing the trend and other Apple people like Apple making devices that engage people more in the trends. And so there's certainly a segment of people that are really engaging more than health either because they're really into it. And they want to see the benefits and or because they want to take some more proactive measures as a kind of protection measure, you can kind of see that the COVID way, but outside of COVID, you're seeing you're seeing that as well. So and within that, there's no question that there are fads and things that come and go and and, and we'll see that it's, it's a little hard to, you know, be a future Teller, a fortune teller about about all these things, but, but you can see the areas, just if you just pull the retail data about what's really growing like crazy, and then you've got the demographics of an aging population, and you're seeing all the services grow in that area. I won't get too far into that. But but that that marketplace has been growing ekata it was accelerated in some areas, I don't see it slowing down. It's a trillion dollar market worldwide. And so I think there's just so much room to play.
Hey, Norman, thank you for for sharing and feel free to, as other people say things
I have questions. I'm like, I have a lot of questions for Norm, but I'll just stick to a couple of key ones that I have. So first of all amazing things that you guys are doing and all the transformation. It's really interesting to hear. But I have a couple of questions as it relates to, you know, even Allison was talking about trends. But one major, I don't know, if you want to call it a trend, it's not exactly positive one, but the focus around mental health. And I'd love to know what CVS is proactively doing about it. Because obviously, it impacts every generation. So this is something that, you know, you're seeing a lot of startups around it, you're seeing a lot of discussion around it. It's impacting, you know, everyone, especially this past year, that has been so challenging for students at every age level, and people in general, obviously, but in particular, I'm focused on, you know, high school, middle school, college age students and the mental health, that's, that's really kind of changing the dynamic of how they, how they operate these days and what their world looks like.
Yeah, that's great. Let me just go back to that. Let me answer the question on obesity, which is, which is just a really good example of human behavior. And somebody once said, chronic conditions like obesity, people don't become chronic overnight. It's it's years of a certain set of behavior, and it takes heart and so you can't just show up and say, I've got this new, cool, cool idea, it's gonna change. And so those are really, really hard. I think you got to keep your eye on the prize of helping to change obesity and chronic conditions. But it's, it's not an easy thing to solve. And you just said, there's many, many experiments going on there, and many will die, but some will be successful. The mental health thing? Absolutely. You know, you know, the most prescribed drug class in America is anxiety and depression. It is the most prescribed drug class in America. And I think that that reflects a greater comfort with people going to doctors and having those conversations, I've got a comfort with prescribing Of course, and a new generation that is very open a conversation. So you see a lot of new models appear for mental health. We are testing a bunch of stores and a bunch of our minute clinics, about 30 stores, we're testing mental health, and, and seeing good results. The but I think it's going to be a I think that that mental health word is going to be just dramatically changed by I can see it when I talk to young people and talk to people in their 20s and how they think about mental health and what they want. They want the digital coach they want that person is easy, like easily accessible, the text relationship, the back and forth fundamentally different than people in their 50s and older. And so I just think the world a great news, it's it's the stigma is going down, be there's going to be so many more ways for people to engage in it in very, very instantaneous ways, which I think will be will be really, really helpful. And we're gonna play in that market as we figure out the right model to do it.
Great. So you guys, this is imagination and action. Our next week show is on longevity. The week after that it's gonna be on the new economy, Sandy Pentland and green and he's one of the top five data people in the world. The week after that circadian rhythm, when to eat sleep and exercise guy from Satan in his lab from the Salk Institute, and then June 15, we have something really special I haven't put it on the website yet, but June 22, we have comedy. We have the writer for James Corden, cc pleasants. And we have Jason Gow 12 years head writer for Ellen DeGeneres Still, he says he's going to tell us some really interesting stories. So tune in for those three Can you for 30 seconds? I described tree as the Leonardo da Vinci at 27 if you want to know what it was like to be Leonardo, you know, he's dead, but you can hang out with Shreya she's working with Eric Lander or no, not Eric Lander who's the guy. Bob Langer. Yeah. And and do an extraordinary work for 30 seconds. You use your imagination, and you're not sleeping like you the the the nighttime, you're working with India, on getting this tool that's that's ready to go. There. Maybe just say what you're doing. It's fitting, you know, the CVS health guy just spoke, it's fitting to go after that. And then Carolyn, if you could do a 62nd musical interlude, and do something kind of weird. So people know that you're not playing it off a CD, or an mp3. So it's really you line. And then I'm going to interview Sandra. And normally, the opening act normally did great. Sandra is going to be awesome. Can't wait for her. So shriya 30 seconds. What the hell are you doing these days?
Yeah, sure. So my primary research focuses on electroceuticals. So interfacing with the GI tract, the gastrointestinal tract. And not only putting in information into the nerves, but also listening to them and hearing about, you know, ways we can utilize the cues that they send off to modify behavior, eating and things like that. And, you know, with the rise of COVID around the world, last year, I worked on a ventilator multiplexing solution. Right now, my team at Project planner foundation is as all hands on deck trying to deploy in India, and we're just a few days away from shipping on our first units to a double Respiratory Care capacities in hospitals. So
For like $600 to $900 bucks, you have a device that will take a $65,000 device and spread it among many people. So it's not a one on one. Is that right?
Yep, that's right.
Yeah. So if you're not following Shriya, you should just so you can, you know, follow her do great things. And I think this thing is a game changer in a country that could really use some support these days. Alright, Caroline, can you play something worthy? Yes. And if I don't think it's good enough, I'm gonna ask you to play something else.
Okay. Sounds good. John.
Norm, do you think that was a music interpretation of your interview? Did you accept that?
I thought it was amazing, so I'll take it.
Yeah. Great. Caroline, thank you for that. All right. Thank you. Sandra is up next. And Caroline is like a child prodigy. She could grow up and be one of those characters in a James Bond movie that goes evil, but she's not. She's just gonna be a musical prodigy and not go evil. So thank you for being awesome.
I know there's more to come and I just see some other cool people. Pam is in the audience. That's Alison's like one of her best friends. I know. She's the leading expert on deception detection if you need help with that. Alison, do you want to say something about Pam or is that enough?
Pam doesn't need any introduction. She can introduce herself.
Yeah, well, she's not on stage. So she can't until she's on stage. Do you want to say something to her until she comes on stage?
I think Pam's a shy person. I think we'll we'll stay focused on the program unless she went
okay. All right. Here we go. Sandra. Her goal was to be a CEO. She's first generation Mexican grew up in Texas. Kelly, who just joined the leader team of clubhouse will appreciate Texas. That's a big state. That's, you know, one of the 50 in the US, and Carol and Jim will appreciate that. Her parents ran a tort to making company my wife was Mexican. I 52 aunts and uncles. I got married in Cuernavaca, they'll appreciate that. She learned supply chain stuff there. She moved to New York City. If anyone saw the movie Devil Wears Prada. She said that was you know, she experienced that stuff, but she kind of just their magazines aren't as influential. Today, she worked for DK and Nautica. And Ralph Lauren, I think she just mentioned things that I would know. And that if she mentioned really cool stuff, I probably wouldn't have understood it. She then helped a little lady who was 15 at the time, Selena Gomez have a social media presence. And for six years, she was the key behind that. And I don't know if you guys would call it Selena Gomez, but she's considered one of the top influencers, especially that period. And a lot of that was because of Sandra. I mean, she just totally rocked it. And I think Kmart and getting to access customers that that appreciated. Selena was important. And she did some extraordinary stuff there. During COVID, she recently had to close 68 Diane Von Furstenberg stores. She was a CEO of an operation for her. And I think 1000s of employees work there. But she used her imagination, she created videos for all the interns that didn't even get to show up to work. And she's been really thinking about continuing education for the retail space. So she said the fashion Launchpad is was her brainstorm, and that there are ways that you can help people going into retail and fashion kind of move along in their careers. She's doing really special things there and, and really cares about the Latinx community. And as I mentioned at the beginning, you know, and some of you may have hopped, and didn't hear this, but she owns Bernie, Lily and peaches, that are eight horses, she owns a rescue horse farm, she has a barn, and she goes and rides only three of them. I don't know why she doesn't write the other five, they're probably jealous. But this is an extraordinary lady. And and when I talked to her, she really knew her stuff about retail and in business, and she is a total, you know, a semi she's gonna steal the show everyone, but be careful for everyone else on the show. All right, what's involved building brands these days? Sandra, tell us.
Alright, first of all, john, you went from like tortilla making all the way to horse. So, first of all, thank you for you know, highlighting some of the things that have been important as it relates to just my own trajectory and why I'm actually able to talk to you and about anything in retail. So I did always, you know, thankfully to my parents who were entrepreneurs, I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and hard work ethic, but also, you know, with their tortilla factory, it was very much I was on the production line, we were there, you know, like anybody else has had entrepreneurial parents getting involved and we were there for evenings after school weekends, etc. And I didn't realize until much later how much of an impact it was that I was actually out there packing boxes, I was taxing jersey as I was making the dough I was back there when the trucks would come in, and you know, all the types of things. So it actually has really kind of registered a lot of those memories. But I'll go back just to one thing to clarify, because you mentioned about Selena, Selena, actually, her and her family at the time did the social media. So what I did was I had a joint venture with my business partner, Tony malolo, at the time, and we created a brand management company for her and her brand that we'd launched at Kmart stores. And so we had it in six different countries as well. But for six years, we had 14 different categories with a business that was targeted to what she called her littles It was a team consumer, we did it at the time, it was 2009, right after the big 2008 time period, there weren't a lot of celebrity brands at the time at retail, and there wasn't for the team consumer. So we really focused on that that actually happened because I had three young kids under the age of four together. And I was working, I was a senior vice president rapport and traveling a lot to a single mom at that time, right, and a single mom. And it was just, it wasn't what I needed in my life. And so I decided to be an entrepreneur instead. So I could actually really focus on my kids at night and be there for dinners and other things that I needed to attend, which was great. So Selena was the vehicle, it was an amazing idea ended up being a great business and a solid one for a long time and put a lot of things out there on the map. And we had some great experiences. But she, you know, this was again, like 2009 when it was only Facebook, and she had less than a million followers. And so just look at how far we've come in such a short period of time really think about everything. And now how business has changed so dramatically. But that was also you know, at a time when it was I was mentioning in terms of Selena and how I did it because I had three kids and all they were watching on the weekends was Disney Channel. So I knew slated I knew Demi Lovato and I knew my Cyrus I knew those kids. And so I started to become a a student of the Generation Z and millennial kids and then everything about youth culture, marketing, and it became a really incredible learning situation following her because she's truly authentic, very authentic and her family who was managing her at the time as well. It was all about being true to her fan base and being true to herself. So all of that was a great learning lesson. Also, you can learn from anyone doesn't matter if they're younger, older, same peers, it doesn't matter you can learn everywhere across the board. So, so I just wanted to clarify that.
Yeah. You know, and and on this show, you know, I may say things quick and fast. And if I don't get it right, please, you know, clarify. You know, I think on clubhouse there are a lot of people who've given these huge compliments, and some of them are fake and not real. And I thank you for clarifying that. But you are extraordinary. And, you know, you know, a lot about building brands. So maybe talk a little bit about what's going on right now. And in the build brand in building brand space?
Well, well, I actually will go back to something that norm said, because, you know, he said, it needs to be easy and worthy. And to me the easy part, absolutely check the box, right, everything we want on demand now. And we've all become very spoiled in that. But the worthy part to me is really about the purpose and the mission led businesses. And I do believe that this next upcoming generation, Gen Z is very focused on that we see it all the time we see it happening across, you know, all different industries, but having a purpose and a mission and something that they can align with. And that is whether or not you know, we You and I were talking earlier about the fact that there's been such a shift in terms of even local regional brands and businesses that you can actually align with because it's, it's the local meat that's coming from the camel's Valley, Utah farm that you know, from ballerina farm, and you want to get because you see what they're doing on social media. So you see that their cows are pasture raised, and you see what they're doing theory, but to get that you're supporting them. And I think that's been a big part of last year as well in terms of looking at these businesses that are worthy of our of our wallet and worthy of our time on following them on social media. And you know, there's a whole host of them, there's so many, and I've actually been really immersed in that in the last year, because I find it incredible that there's been so much innovation on a larger scale, but also a lot of innovation on a smaller entrepreneurial scale. So a lot of different businesses and marketplaces like fair marketplace, which is, you know, a lot of wholesale oriented, businesses are there. And so it's been quite interesting.
But building a brand to me, especially, you know, always needed to have a DNA, but it used to be you could get away with things that were just names on a label. And it's not that way anymore. You know, everything does have a mission and a purpose and a reason for being and their point of differentiation. I think that's the real key, like, what is the whitespace in the market? What are you adding value? Where are you adding value to the lives? You know, Norman also mentioned that as well in terms of like, how are you helping somebody live, either to make something easier for them to enhance some area of their life, all of that goes into building a brand. But then I think it's really important to have that point of view. And the DNA that doesn't change, it's very hard being entrepreneur, there'll be lots of tug, lots of pulls from different whether it's retailers telling you, oh, we want to do this instead. And that goes again, industry agnostic, or other, you know, investors or partners or just different things. And really being consistent with that DNA being consistent with a point of view. And just staying the course i think is another part that makes a good brand and a great good brand, a great brand. You know, and there's I have a favorite brand, which is Patagonia. And that isn't my favorite brand. Because everything that they do goes back to their mission or purpose. And they do not there. They did such a great example. There are a lot of other ones too. But that one is a really great example to me, always have a business that is super authentic, and from A to Z really walks the walk.
My son is going to Bates College and the founder of Patagonia went to Bates he's getting an honorary degree. Oh my god, three weeks, I saw that john, my niece is going to Bates as well. Oh, awesome. Can although they'll be great next generation buddies. So Sandra, let me let me ask you this. I was gonna ask you about luxury customers and value stores. But before we get there, you mentioned Gen Z, social shopping, peer shopping next. They're the next workforce. They have mobile phones attached. It's like an extra limb. They do it themselves. They're demanding that companies have mission and purpose. They're selling their own products. What do people on this in this room? What should they be aware of? Gen Z, I feel like you have like a PhD in street smarts on this and you could help norm go to fortune five. If you just tell them you know a few things that he may not know. Because your norms busy coaching his grandma mountain bike team, so
I think he's getting a great education and that same Gen Z from him. He's coaching as well. Listen, I think that from a retail standpoint and from a retailer's perspective, I can certainly see say that I experienced this most recently as well, when you're running brick and mortar stores, or you have a group of people there, it's very different, right? The Gen Z, and even millennials for that matter, but certainly Gen Z in terms of what they're looking for what they need in terms of coaching, continuing education, you know, learning, development, promotion, etc. That's one part. But I think also, especially when you have brick and mortar stores, they grew up with the phone, they grew up with technology, we haven't even caught up with them yet in terms of what tools we provide them to be able to work on a sales floor, but yet they're going to be the next salesperson, they're going to be the next manager, they're going to be the next, you know, VP, and we need to be able to have technology up to date enough to be able to keep up with they are. I mean, I'll tell you that I had examples where I had people that were in their early 20s, who were actually creating an app just to be able to keep up with their own clients, because we didn't have a strong enough CRM system that would help their customer base and help them from a loyalty standpoint. So you know, there's there's a lot of things that I think we can do to really put ourselves in that perspective. I think that's one. I think the second thing is that onboarding. And you know, we you never had, I'm very passionate about this part. Because I think that you never have someone as excited as when you give them the offer letter, right. They're super excited, they want to join the company, that's like the time that you want to get them super engaged and give them as much information as possible. But onboarding for a lot of companies is a little archaic. And everything, the tools that we have, and the access that we have on our phones to be able to digitize and make things simpler, and provide them with visibility and videos. And you know, the message from the CEO and a message from their leader and other things, I think there's really a lot that we can do to be able to change how we onboard this new generation, as well. And obviously, you mentioned about fashion Launchpad. You know, retail employs more people in this in this country than any other industry,
or unemploys more people right now.
Well, yes. But you know, we have this massive acceleration of digital that you have been speaking to, and everybody's gonna speak to tonight. But what that does is it requires new skills and new thinking and new innovation. And so you have a lot of people who are either interested in so pre professionals who need to learn the right skills, you have people that are in the industries that need to be upskilled, and you have some that need to be reskilled. You know, there's a whole host of different things. So the reason that I actually conceived of this digital education platform was exactly that. Because I was seeing an over 20 years of being an industry, I heard various things like, you know, it's an industry where you have to learn on the job. People don't teach you anything, you know, X, Y, and Z. And then I would have people who would come to me, and I'll give specific examples, one woman who had reached out to me whose husband passed away, suddenly, she had been home with your kids for 10 years, she'd been in the fashion industry before and she had, she called me Sure What am I supposed to do? How do I learn what I've missed for the past 10 years, and a lot of people are not going to go back to school, they're not going to pay $54,000 to go back to school, and specifically learn skills. And they might not even have the ability to do it on the weekends. So giving something that's more on demand in a micro course, way to partner with organizations, whether it's a CVS or it's at the red CEO, or it's a diamond Furstenberg, you're hearing and learning skills from leaders, industry leaders in every single function. And I think that's an important part of what we need to be able to do to help democratize learning. Because I always say that knowledge is confidence. And once you have confidence, you can have a voice at the table, you can have a seat at the table and you can make an impact. And that's an important part. You know, I've Canvas people would say, you know, ask somebody wanted, you know what I meant when I said KPI making this up. But like if I said Take care, did you know what I meant? They say no, but I go back to my desk and google it will, you know, these are the things that if you know and understand that we have tons of acronyms, and every single discipline of our of our industry. And we're a very complex industry, anybody that creates product and gets it to a point a distribution has a lot of complication in there. So learning all that and providing knowledge around that I think it's going to be another pivotal part to help this next generation. Because what they're learning in college even from the schools that are specifically either design schools, special schools or retail programs are not learning the day to day skills that they need.
Well put Sandra, and we're building up to a few questions that are going to set Carlos and Stephanie up and I'm really excited to hear from not only the CEO but the CEO of a really exciting company that I think we're all going to be watching and we'll write in our diary we heard from these guys today. You know, and they're just getting started before I asked you a few questions there. Luxury customers and value stores. You know the word value is in CVS the the V is for value. You know, maybe talk a little bit about what what what our country You remain in this room might want to know about that. And before you answer that, I want to just point out that there this is imagination action where we hear from extraordinary people who share their their imagination, and how they've been putting into action, whether it's examples in the past or how they're doing it towards the future. And we also have a lot of great past and current speakers in the room. I see Michael, he was on our sports show. He's, he's one of the 12 leaders of the Canadian wheelchair rugby team is going to go into his fifth Paralympics. He's in the room. I mentioned. guy who works at Google X on the everything robot. I see Liana who stage four lung cancer survivor, and she can tell you the double edged sword about, you know, having clinical trials worked and how expensive that is. We're going to do a show with her. I see a bunch of our other speakers and I see Cory, who's has the world record for the longest accordion play 32 hours and 14 minutes. He's not going to try to break that on our show tonight. But he's a Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, LeBron James Simone Biles of accordion and he'll do some music tonight. So luxury and value. What do you think, Sandra on that, before I get into some of the logistic questions?
Well, obviously, you've got two totally different ends of the spectrum. And when I was speaking with you earlier, we were talking about the fact that, you know, luxury is it's not immune to a lot of the issues that are being challenged out there today, whether it has to do with diversity, inclusion, etc. Or, you know, or it has to do with your brand representation. They're not immune to that, but I think the luxury consumer is always going to be there. And those brands, you know, the Louis Vuitton, the Hermes, you know, the Christian Dior, like, these are brands that and businesses, luxury businesses that are around for decades, Chanel, etc, and the quality, the status, all that is going to continue to be really important. And even within this, we were talking just because there's even Gen Z consumers of luxury, because you know, you've got kids that are teenagers making millions of dollars on TikTok, and they have the ability to afford these luxury items. And it's cool, and it's great. So, you know, luxury is going to continue to be there. But there's also been this real shift in terms of high low. And that's been happening for some time. It used to be the Devil Wears Prada days where Vogue magazine would dictate what fashion was, and it would dictate what trends were that hasn't been happening
Just in terms of the Devil Wears. Prada was what you experienced? Was it equal to that? Was it like less than was it half of that? Or was it like 10 times more intense, like laws shaking and bags being thrown at tables?
Yeah, no, I mean, I hate to say this now. But when I was kind of grown up in this industry, and it's even not that long in terms of how some of these things transpired. But that was tame Devil Wears Prada that was tame, there were lots of lots of things that are much, much worse than that. And in some cases, they still, you know, they still happen, but you have to, you know, there's a lot more eyes now. And there's a lot more vocal sharing that goes on out there that, you know, obviously, businesses and leaders need to be, maybe to me, they need to make changes bottom line. So anyway, so what I was saying as it relates to luxury, and just how, you know, that's gonna continue, especially if you look at Asia, the Asian consumer, and how much they're really focused on the luxury business. That's one thing but the shift also in terms of suburbanization and how so many people have left cities and they've gone to the suburbs and you know, now you're discovering stores like a big blob stores like you know, the dollar stores and they're elevating and they have a new division that's also elevating, you know, what dollar what dollar stores has, so there's a lot of great value to it, it's not a negative anymore either. Because, you know, they're also catching on to trends and they're doing it at a better price and they're being able to do it in 1400 stores around the country when you know Walmart, Target etc. Those are also value prices, but like targets and amazing job of really having chic fashion forward trend type of items for years now. And they've really kind of evolved how we how we see that store, they've done a great job and hold different load levels, but I think there's really, you know, you don't just because you're a luxury customer doesn't mean you can't also enjoy going and buying value. I think Amazon has also helped with that. Yeah,
no, well put so everyone is imagination action. We're hearing from Sandra composts and we're building up to the thrive to crescendo I think that's the right word. So a few questions, Sandra, same day delivery front end back end of e commerce wayfarer, Amazon Walmart. Where do you find yourself shopping? What are the trends that will reshape retail in the next 10 years? what's real What are fads? What role is AI and machine Learning claim, take any of that. And just riff. This is improv This is jazz go.
So I think the last 10 years have been focused on front end, customer journey and the consumer purchasing and acquisition of the consumers, for e commerce. And I think the next 10 years are going to be all about the supply chain, the back end, keeping up with the acceleration that we've had on the front end. So that goes into the different three piles, which are third party logistics providers, warehouses, all the hundreds and 1000s of nodes that are going to exist around the country in terms of micro fulfillment, so that it's closer to the consumer, new innovations and last mile delivery and companies that are becoming challenging to FedEx, UPS, DHL through regional carriers and regional options. So, you know, to me, that's like that really big next focus, not that the other part isn't going to continue, because it will and the front end is what everyone sees. But the back end is what gives you that experience. If you want to get it in a day, the backend has to be functioning, AI, and machine learning is all going to absolutely impact that because a business is profitable, more profitable, if you get your inventory, right, and you know, where it needs to be, how much you need to have and when it needs to get there. And so technology is playing a big role in that.
Great. So before I asked the other speakers to ask you a question or call you on something that you said they may have a different view on or, or just playback what they what you said so they can now telogen so they can be like you. What do you think the future of e commerce is $14 trillion market for retail and commerce? What's the future of e commerce?
Oh, I I agree totally with norm we're just at the beginning of this journey. And I think you're gonna watch out for Carlos and his team and and like minded innovators who are going to really take a look at where the customer is, and who they're shopping and try to really create some some bigger bangs with it. So I think I very much agree with northmor at the beginning of this journey.
Can you build some excitement? I know, I know, Carlos. But why is Carlos so?
No pressure here, guys?
Sandra, well, why is Carlos so unique? What like what makes him ridiculously special?
you don't have to answer that?
I mean, I think definitely we have a lot more that she can say working with him day to day, but I will say that. Yeah. Thrasio is a company and certainly Carlos as a leader, the things that I've heard from the people within his organization, and people that work with him on various fronts is always that they've joined the company because of Carlos. And that's an incredible thing to hear about a leader. Number one, number two, the rasio as an organization who really kind of got out there and is the biggest player and is the one that really is the one to beat at, you know, they're doing things differently. They're thinking through things, they're doing it quickly. They're excelling. And, you know, they're kind of leaving everybody else in the dust. I'm sorry to say that if anybody else the competitor was is on this clubhouse, but right now they they certainly are. And so I think it's I love innovators. I think that it's super exciting to watch what they're doing and taking something that's so that has such a mass appeal, but also trying to then say, Okay, now how do we grow that to? How do we give access? And I won't speak for them, obviously. But that's how I see it.
Yep. So the other people on stage any one want to ask a question to Sandra or playback? Something she said that resonated? She said so much. Thoughtful stuff.
Yeah, I was just gonna comment on again on. You know, it's interesting, you were talking about onboarding, and using technology and stuff like that. And, you know, it's not something I'd ever really thought about. And, you know, you have to certainly when you grow it, our skin our scale, you have to, and you are so right about like, you know, this generation being looking at it differently, but also like, what, so so I basically put people from this generation in charge of that, right, so we've got some young folks who built the most amazing onboarding platform, I've repeatedly hear from people, you know, older and younger people, like I've worked for 20 years in different organizations, from McKinsey to wherever. And I've never seen an onboarding like this before. And you know, it's really, it makes a huge difference to our ability to scale but to the ability to make people part of your, your team, right your culture, and how you do that. And you use everything at your fingertips. It's ours, it's mobile uses text, it's got video, you know, brings you into your wiki. It teaches you all this stuff, and it's pretty cool. I can't I want to just stress the importance of what she was talking about there. It's pretty amazing.
Great, thanks, Carlos. We should probably dorm or Stephanie or Alison, or Carolyn, or Liz, anyone want to comment or ask a question to Sandra, before we get across?
I'm kind of interested in your perspective on fast fashion. Is it going to keep going? Is it going to be totally different? How's it going to evolve?
I think it's already is different. And it certainly has been different and think they've really been put to the test a lot because, you know, the sustainability conversation is not going away, it's only getting stronger. and sustainability now doesn't just mean in the fabric, it's in every part up and down of an organization. So, you know, was our, I think, has fared a little bit better than h&m and they've all had to really think and dig deep in terms of what they're going to do to the for the future, but they've definitely been reducing stores, reducing their footprint, and they've been impacted. I don't think that, you know, the forever 20 ones of the world where they were just, um, you've seen they went through bankruptcy, they were acquired. So it's telling you a lot in terms of where the customers going.
Yeah. So I want to ask Pamela and then Alison asked question before we do, Sandra, what was it like working with Diane Von Furstenberg? I knew her son, he and I were in kindergarten together. But after that, I lost touch. But I certainly know the brand. You know, anything you want to share what it was like working with her? Yeah, so
the reason that, you know, one of the reasons certainly that I went and probably the most important reason that I joined Diane, was because I didn't want to lead a business any longer. That just had a name on a label. As I was explaining earlier, this is a brand that has a purpose, and she's had a purpose for 45 years. So it was really much more and it was about empowering women and really providing confidence and sharing that and so building a platform that was building a community around that woman in charge. So that I think is the most exciting part about being with Diane Dvf. Like she truly wants to empower women. She truly wants to share her magic wand which she calls it which she does have one and she has these incredible wisdom bombs, as I called them, which were really her quotes that you know, things like fear is not an option. Love is life, you know, ship a lot of them which he said over many, many years, but they're inspiring to women. And while she's, she's done a lot for herself. She's also never walked away from other women or other people. She's very authentic and will definitely
thanks, Sandra, let me just remind people, this is imagination. Actually next week, we have a 15 year old that went to Harvard, who now is an investor in longevity we have that's Laura Deming, we have Nyer, who ran the one of the most respected centenarian studies. A friend of mine, Irving Kahn, he lived to 114 was in it. His sister was 113 and his son is like 100 right now. He's from Einstein College. We have Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who is like one of the star professors Harvard Business School written like 20 books, and she hasn't quit working. And I was at her 75th birthday a long time ago. And so we're going to be talking about longevity. If you plan to live long or want to live longer, you should tune into that one. Alright, Pam, you know, you're so respected. For your you know, the area that you are a thought leader on? Curious on what you have on this topic.
Hi. Hi there. How are you? Yeah, I'm not here to talk about deception. But I am really, really interested in something that I thought maybe Sandra or maybe Alison, Liz, you guys might have some thoughts on, which is this trend of live streaming ecommerce that's completely taken off in China, where you have these virtual shopping malls and these huge, like four or five, six hour shows going on with influencers that are, you know, creating incredible entertainment and selling direct over and over and over again, and we're looking at, you know, $60 $70 billion in sales. And I just thought, you know, when COVID hit that we would see that trend really shoot up in the United States. And I'm really curious as to why you think that hasn't happened? Are we just at the beginning of it? Or is there something about that experience that's distinctively Chinese?
Oh, it's on the way. It's coming fast. I would.
Yeah, I agree. I mean, I've been seeing in China for the last six years, that I've been dealing with all the hundreds of stores that I've had, within the brands that I've that I've been a part of. But I agree it's definitely coming. It is slow going right now, but you'll see much more of it, but it is entertainment. It's entertainment.
A friend of mine, Devinder was the CMO for Wayfair. And left to join a startup in Toronto. I think it's called stage 10. That is trying to prepare for this. And he's been tracking China and telling me, you know, $10 billion this and, and, yeah, it's definitely coming. And you know, Carlos say, I'm sure you you and Stephanie have a strategy on that. I know, Stephanie, you're overseeing a lot of the China stuff while Carlos is like building out India and doing all sorts of cool stuff. Alison, before we do the musical interlude and going
I have one question. Can
I ask you, Alison and then Liz, Alison, what's your question? Perfect.
Super so Sandra, you have such a fascinating background and I feel like you bridge all kinds of different divides. So I can't resist asking you a little bit about what it means to sort of be fashion with purpose. You know, as you can tell, I'm sort of a fleece wearer, so I've kind of missed the whole fashion world thing. But as we have more and more global divides, I'm personally fascinated that you stand for such a purpose, respect Patagonia, and how does the fashion world play in all that, like as we we go to a world where environmental causes are so much more critical, where the haves and have nots get divided? How do you see fashion really being critical force for good and all of that?
Well, I think there's, listen, the fashion industry in general has been very behind, very archaic in a lot of ways. And I think COVID really gave a big shock to the industry overall, to say it, things have to change. And some businesses didn't survive, because they weren't changing fast enough. And the businesses that are moving forward are the ones that truly focused on their consumer truly focused on what was important to their consumer. And they're the ones that are really thriving right now who they built their community, they focused on their needs, they didn't care about, you know, what X, Y, and Z or who X, Y and Z was telling them and the devil boy prototype of example, they didn't care about that, either. So I you know, I think that there's a lot that our industry needs to do better, and everyone is scrambling, scrambling to get what is sustainability, you know, DTC brands and businesses, really, also shook up the industry because they all of a sudden came in and these were, you know, founders of businesses that really have not, they've not been in the industry before, but yet they came in to Warby Parker's of the world. You know, I can give you a whole range of different examples. Were Parker away, you know, you name it, lots of them. New Business Models, like Rent the Runway, they've never been in the industry, but they just came in this and why do you have to do it the same way, we're gonna do something different. I think that's what has been a bit challenging. While the beginning of COVID, some of the designers said, You know what, we're going to do things like Gucci, we're going to do things our way we're going to forget about the calendar, the seasonality doesn't make sense anymore, and it doesn't. And I think some people have continued to go to make some change and forget about the past and just try to do something different. But there's still a lot that are still lagging behind. So I think that there's some good that can be done to answer your question. I think there's still a lot that are further behind and we need to be we need to accelerate it. I think some of the ones like allbirds and Patagonia are really pushing everybody to to be better.
Great to Liz Heller. Want to call on you. But before I do, I want to point out that Krystal Emery just joined the room. She was one of our guests on the empathy show we did and drew was one of the guests on that show. And then a few days later, she was the face of a clubhouse. So go figure maybe if you're a speaker, on our show, you could become a face of clubhouse for a month. And and I also want to point out that you know, when we did that show, we had the world champion Whistler whistle. he happens to manage David Rubinstein's social media and communication and, and David's going to be a future guest on our show. And when he mentioned that he was a Whistler, so don't want to come on our show. And here's the guy who can whistle like no one else can. And then crystal who is a quadriplegic, hooked up to a ventilator, who's incredibly wise, you know, spoke on the same stage. And you know, that that's kind of I think, that was special and, and crystal, I love the work that she's doing. She's raising awareness for STEM and women in science, and she's a film producer. And if you want to hire someone to produce the film, I can't think of anyone as amazing and creative as as crystal. So crystal, it's great. Great to see you. And I think you told me the mechanics of your wheelchair broke, and you're trying to get it fixed. If anyone wants to help her out. She's in Connecticut, feel free to DM me. But Ladies and gentlemen, before we go to Carlos, who's sort of the main draw, I kind of built the room around him. Not that norm. You weren't any good. Or Sandra, you weren't a good you guys were awesome. But I'm so excited to introduce our next speaker. I think his story is something that a lot of people aren't aware of. But we'll find interesting. But next I want to have Liz, who's one of the co founders, with Alison and David Chang and others of this room, asked me a question and then Cory and Caroline, if you could play something together, you know, violinist or accordion player to celebrate what we've just said by Sandra and as Sandra thinks it's not worthy of what she said. You're gonna have to try again. So Liz, what's your question? Live? Are you in Hollywood? Are you New Mexico
I'm in New Mexico. And I'll make it quick because I'm also very excited to hear from Carlos and Sandra. I also wanted to say that crystal really extraordinary extraordinary please check her out. So amazing when she was here. So and I just want to use sort of top tapped into a little bit with Alison. But I kind of wanted to talk about e commerce and small business and the incredible amount of innovations and products coming into the market, especially post pandemic, you've tapped into a little bit with Warby and I worked with Tom's for a dozen years. But I'd love to know any thoughts and trends to sort of support small businesses, new businesses coming into product launching, and if there's any prioritization that you could recommend around the many channels and marketing and decisions that have to be made when you have so little resources, and you're just starting out, maybe even beyond just the Facebook advertising model? I'd love your thoughts on that. Thanks.
Sure. Well, I mean, again, these are my perspectives. But, you know, it's become increasingly more expensive to acquire a customer and the more that there's an acceleration of e commerce, from bigger retailers, the more expensive everything's going to be. So there's, I think the the growth that I think is when you know, the last 20 years, how are you going to grow your business, you are going to grow it or 30 years, you're going to grow it across New brick and mortar channels, because there were dozens of retailers out there in the country, even and now it's really it doesn't exist anymore, but how are you going to grow your business to grow it online. So there's marketplaces now that exists, that gives you a lot more eyeballs. So as a brand, or a retailer who wants to expand, you're expanding across demand channels. So those demand channels are things like, obviously, Amazon, Walmart, Target, wish zulily, you know, a whole host of different marketplaces that exists far fetched depending on your product category. And there are companies like the one that I lead now, which I'm the CEO of this company, project there, which we do technology, one of the things we do is also demand channel management, which is basically getting your brand or your retail store across different demand channels. So you're able to, to have more eyeballs and look at look alike businesses and how they're doing on what demand channels exist. So that then you can kind of target more specifically where you want to go and where you need to go. So that's on a global basis, because marketplaces exists throughout Asia, throughout Europe, throughout the Middle East. And so you have access to be able to have a global customer base through marketplaces. I think that's, that's something that I will definitely show is going to continue to become more and more important and more relevant. What was the other question? I got off track with my thought there.
Maybe you're gonna say something about the US. I don't know you kind of went to global. But thank you.
Look, you're doing great. Ladies and gentlemen, this is imagination and action, where we hear from extraordinary people sharing how they've used their imagination, or they will in the action they're doing with it. We're now I'm going to now introduce Carlos and Stephanie at the same time, and we're going to hear about razoo and what they're doing. If you haven't heard about it, you sit back, buckle your seatbelt, it's pretty, pretty awesome. If you have heard about it and want to really, you know, kind of understand it better, you're gonna get a front seat opportunity. We're recording the show at the end of the show at 830. The show will be up so you can listen to it over and over again. And there will be a transcript. Thank you, David Chang, for coordinating that. And then we're going to pull out elements of it. And we're going to make a podcast and by the way, if you think that Sandra is trying to pose for a Ralph Lauren Polo ad, she's not. That's one of our horses. She She rescued eight horses. I think she she may have personally gone and found them on the west. No, I don't know how she got him. But I know she has eight horses. Bernie Lily and peaches are three of them. And she's a really wonderful lady. All right. Cory and Caroline, if you could play something worthy of Sandra.
We know you're trying to text back and forth there when you said that because it could be a little dangerous to try to do something together since we're at different times. Where I don't know how that would sound being at different places.
Okay, so Cory, you like something? Yeah. Why don't you just play some? Yeah
Yeah. We could try to figure this out later. I don't think I've ever in all these we've done enough I've ever done any kind of a tango thing. So maybe maybe something Tango was good for her daughter's at Yale the other kid is, is that at Loyola and the youngest is at ballet. I don't know if you can play ballet.
I can pull out the Nutcracker later or something like that. Let's see.
Thank you, Cory. And Cory has been every continent but Antarctica, playing and winning championships in the accordion. And he designed his accordion, he created the color the flashing lights, and he wants to play in Antarctica. He's gone every continent but that one so if anyone's going to Antarctica, someone who can play any kind of music, any kind of genre, he'll be he'll go with you and entertain. Okay, so Carlos. Oh, wait. So Sandra was that worthy?
I loved it. It was so spicy. I loved it. Thank you.
Great. Okay, so Carlos, and Stephanie. You know, I've been building this show up. I know, a clubhouse has a new algorithm they added. They added Android, you know, discovery, I still haven't figured out totally how to discover, you know, now that we're getting close to, we're over 200 speakers soon, we'll have 500. You know, I feel like every show, I'm gonna have like 10% of my speakers tuning in. I'm still figuring out how to get our audience, but we're recording this. And so this will be a podcast. So 10s of 1000s. And hundreds of 1000s of people discover it in the other form. But But this show, I'm really excited for people learn about this. And I want to thank everyone for coming. You know, you have a plus button, you can add people to the room, I've been so focused on trying to, you know, keep this flowing, that I haven't been doing that. But if people could ping someone for me because I'm not doing that, because if I did that I might lose my my focus and take us into a rut. But bring some people in if you think they might appreciate this topic and definitely follow our speakers. You know, they're really special people. Alright, so Carlos is an inspiring leader has lots of ideas. He's built many businesses. He's very practical, logical, and he's a brilliant orchestrator. He grew up in St. Louis, Pretoria and, and Tulsa. Steph Simon, who's in the room at the beginning. I know she's from Oklahoma, so she'll appreciate you. He hacked MIT, while he watched a lot of his classmates working really hard. And taking the hardest hardest courses. He said, let me create my own major Information Systems Engineering, to get the best kind of preparation to be the serial entrepreneur he always wanted to be. He moved to New York City to make movies you want to write screenplays and whatever. And he tried to get a job at CompUSA in the 90s, and they wouldn't hire him even though he was coding at Bell Labs, AT&T. So big mistake. That's kind of like pretty woman. I don't know. Yeah. So they should have hired him. But he used the the white pages found his first job and hasn't looked back. He created a Kickstarter, I had a Kickstarter idea before Kickstarter, he was upset that Family Guide was going off the air and he remembered Star Trek was saved. So he's thinking of starting Kickstarter before Kickstarter was even created. That's the kind of guy this is he spent two years biking around the country when my business partner called him up and said, Hey, I need you. It's kind of like the Blues Brothers. We got an idea and he came to Boston and he ran a company called course advisors ended up selling it to, to Washington Post and, and in college, they tell you not to copy. In this case. Dave said, hey, let's copy TripAdvisor, but do it for education. And they copied it and did something very well. And then he hasn't looked back. He's done a lot of internet things since and Thrasher was founded at the end of 2018. I think it's named after Greek mythology, Amazon something. And he's bought over 100 companies to date. He's vertical agnostic, he's not buying fad project products. He's not interested in founder risk. And he wants companies that have had at least 500 positive reviews. So if you have a company and you want to sell it for a million or 100 million, you know, he's your guy. He's bought over 100 companies, but I think you know, there's, there's no end in sight. He's gonna buy hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and 1000s and kajillions of companies and once he acquires these companies, he has a multi step process that's really special to turn these into juggernauts and and he's using the Amazon channel and retail is going from physical spaces to thrash do and we're going to learn more about that. And I think with COVID the pandemic, society has moved to 10% online and I think it's, there's no turning back. And he's right at the middle of this. It's kind of a complicated business model, but he's crushing it. real special guy. And we also have one of his early teammates was right there at the beginning.
You know, when they were just a few people around the table, I think now they're over 1000 employees, and I call her the Navy SEAL, the COO. She grew up in London and lived in Scotland. I know Norm you lived in Scotland for like four years, so you guys may have been in a movie together or something. And she's in Austin, Texas. I know the Youngs will appreciate that. And she got to know Carlos because she was one of Carlos, his first customers for one of his earlier companies, an agency and she had something called the bracelets, which she was giving back, you buy some bracelets, or had something to do with cancer, her mom had breast cancer, she's okay. But it was a really nice business and crows helped it do really well. And based on that connection, you know, this example we're entrepreneurs get to know each other, and then they when they get the team back together, they kind of say, hey, let's let's do let's work together. And it's been a match made in heaven. And thrass do. She attrazioni Stephanie Fox leads operations culture, motivates a lot of people and run suppliers in China and the Philippine Coleen office, she oversees that she's doing a lot, a lot of stuff. So these two are an extraordinary group Carlos. He's co CEO. So if anyone's out here thinking he's the sole CEO, he doesn't want you to think that that just shows the kind of leader he is and and what he's about. So Carlos, how did you decide to develop thrash? Do what's the approach? And what's the core idea and opportunity here? Because I don't know if I did it justice. I did. Like little highlights. I know Dave Blunden is also going to join the last 45 minutes of the show.
Hi. Well, look, first, john, you guys are way too flattering. I appreciate it all. But like, way too flattering, I feel lucky to be up here and talking with, with Sandra and Norman, all these other frickin amazing people. I mean, Norm's budget is multiples of the size of Thrasio. So, you know, it's a different thing, we were doing something pretty neat, we had a pretty cool idea. And it's gone pretty well. But you know, I just want to kind of put it into its place. You know, I get it, I appreciate it. But uh, I'd be so amazing, Sandra, Norman, and Stephanie are all amazing. And look, you know, it's funny, you say, you know, like, I've done these things I've done, you know, acquired 100 companies, I've got this process for putting them on our platform, like, you know, obviously, it's not me, and I, you know, can't take any credit for it, it's definitely can certainly take a lot more credit for it, you know, all I've done is put together the team here, and, and make sure they, you know, had a clear one runway to run. And we've just got an amazing team or my partner Josh Silverstein, you know, he's, he's our level 100 wizard, and you know, in the back and can just make anything better by looking at it for five minutes. So anyway, I just want to get that out of the way. Thank you very much. And also, the music was awesome, made me think of Ratatouille and big night. So now I'm hungry. And it's dinner time. So thank you for that. So anyway,
maybe explain your model like? So for people who don't know, assume that there's some people who don't know and kind of like US Congress, we're not all the cabinet members there. Your co CEO is not here in case there's like a joke and something happens to your leadership.
Exactly. It's built in redundancy from the start. Let's look at a high level when you buy something on Amazon, like, you know, 60% of the goods sold on Amazon are sold from what's called a third party seller. Right? So Amazon's a marketplace, think of it as a mall, right? Or a flea market, they own the land, they put the boots out, they say come sell your stuff here. And 60% of the stuff that's sold through that marketplace. If you read Bezos, his letters, which I encourage everyone to read just for the masterclass on investing and compounding and Len and speaking to investors over the years. You know, he's always talked about their desire to be a marketplace in 1997, he was talking about in 2001, he was talking about saying, Hey, we're not a bookseller, we were a marketplace, we're building a marketplace. And what that means is, you know, he had to, you know, be a wholesaler to start he had to buy, you know, shoes from adidas and sell them on the marketplace, because no one knew how to use his marketplace. And I hadn't built the tools to make it possible. But over the years, they did that. And they're getting better and better all the time. So these third party, this third party seller ecosystem, this marketplace they built has been a phenomenal engine for entrepreneurship. And it has allowed millions of people around the world to get onto their system and sell product. And you know, wherever they can, they can figure out a source and they can figure out how to get it to Amazon's warehouse, and Amazon takes care of the rest. I think some of the hardest parts getting the people there and getting the product to the people. And so it's created this platform that allowed an enormous number of people To become us entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs. And let's face it, the hardest part of building any company is the people. And as making that all work together, and you know, as a solopreneur, as a small entrepreneur, you got to start at that without having to have a lot of people, you know, most of the businesses we've acquired are, you know, one to two people, you know, maybe they've got a handful of virtual assistants, but it's really a couple of people who had the idea. And what they've done is they've, they've sourced a terrific product, and they've gotten into Amazon's warehouses, and they made sure that happens every month, and they keep selling them and, and they're, they've happened to grow with Amazon's ecosystem, so and they do a great job. They're super smart, folks. But you know, that when we so we've figured out was, you know, these businesses are hard, are hard to grow. Sorry, my son is telling me dinner's ready, these businesses are very hard to grow, once you get to, you know, one to 5 million to 10 million in sales, there's just so much to do on the Amazon platform now that it gets really difficult to manage. And the person who started this as a solopreneur, a side hustle, like, they're not looking for this to build a huge business that has expertise in supply chain, and marketing, and legal, and brand, brand, management, creative, and all these different things we have to do. So, you know, the insight we had really was that we thought, Hey, we know, we know, we can find experts and all these things. And if we put them all in one place, quote, unquote, virtually right? one or one entity, one organization, that then we could probably take all these products and improve their performance. And so that's what we do is we, you know, we went out into the Amazon Marketplace and found these third party sellers and said, Hey, do you want to sell your business, you want to sell your brand and your product to us. And that's what they like, when they agree to it's great, we do a great deal for them, we've created, I think, over 100 millionaires already, which that's what I'm super excited about. And I can't wait to create many more. And we, you know, are giving these people who've worked so hard at their business and exit, and a place to go with it. And then we take those products and put them onto our platform, and we improve the performance across the board. And that means everything from you know, improving the Amazon performance itself, but also moving them into other channels, you know, into you know, other marketplaces, retail, things like that overtime
is where we're gonna go to So Carlos, thank you for summarizing that. And Stephanie is the CEO slash Navy SEAL love to hear your take on it. But Carlos, maybe make it real, maybe list a few of the companies, you know, the companies that they you bought in now you're scaling. And I just I gotta imagine you guys are like ordering everything that sold on Amazon, you know, 1000s of things and you're sifting through them do Thumbs up, thumbs down? So tell us about some of the products? And then and then how do you decide which ones to commit to? And which ones and how do you decide which ones do like, oh, we're not going to do that one because it's not going to get lift or it's not worth our energy.
So it actually doesn't work that way. And that we now we do have a ton of products coming in all the time. And we're looking at but really as we started this, we went through Business Brokers to start because that's where the Amazon sellers were going to sell their business. So there's a lot of these Business Brokers out there that list businesses for sale, any kind of web business, whatever they were had these Amazon businesses, they called FBA, right, fulfilled by Amazon business, right? So we found them there. But quickly, we knew we didn't want to be dependent on anybody else for sources of leads. So you know, we establish our own our presence in the industry and our own lead flow. So you know, what we try to do is be a great accurate ecosystem, we try to share knowledge, and we've got podcasts we we talk on other people's shows all the time, we talk about what we do, we go to events, we publish stuff, and we just put ourselves out there we went to the net. So pretty soon people started learning who we were these FBA sellers, oh, these are fairly smallish communities wherever they are. And they talk to each other. So people got to know us. So they started sending, you know, coming to us and saying, Hey, we're interested in selling. So that's where the vast majority of our businesses have come from. So with this 500 million products on Amazon, we couldn't just be sifting through and saying, Hey, this is great, great. Now we do that now we're larger than 1000 people. So we have a whole group that is dedicated to good ideas, taking a look, finding stuff, you know, merchandising in the sense of picking what we might want to go forward looking at the categories, but still, the vast majority is people raising their hand saying, I'd like to sell and they bring it to us. And then we look at it, we look at the space, we look at the competitive picture and all that and we determined if the business fits our qualifications for purchase, and if it does, we move as quickly as we can to do it. If it doesn't, we try to help them make their business better recommend them to somebody, or, you know, or hand them off. So anyway, I mean, that's, I think over time, we'll we will do now you're gonna see probably the better mix of where we will start doing outreach a little bit more. But you know, I still think that there's just a huge inflow of leads for us and great businesses for us to acquire.
Great and so Stephanie, I'm gonna call on you to maybe you know, add, just complement what Carlos, your colleagues, said about the company you're so proud to have helped build. I also see Dave Blunden joined, and I'll call on Dave to see if he wants to comment on what do you appreciate about Thrasio? And also looking at the room, I see Mark lodash, who's one of our future speakers is here, Mark, I think set a record. He had the largest room I think ever on the history of clubhouse, which is saying a lot. This last week, he had Anthony Fauci, I know he's going to be hosting an event in California and in in San Diego, that's going to be really spectacular in the coming months. And this was sort of like a preview of that. And, Mark, it's great, great to see you. And I see a number of our other speakers are in the audience. But Stephanie, what would you add to Carlos before I throw you guys another question. And then Dave, we had, we had norm, who's the CMO of a fortune five company, CVS, we interviewed him first and we have Sandra, in the room, we interviewed her amazing leader. And now we're doing the thrass do story. But yeah, Stephanie, Fox, what would you What would you add to what your colleague said?
I think Carlos nailed it with, with the what we do, I'll just add a little, I guess, personal anecdote, which is, from day one, we've always said, you know, our business, we're in the business to make money. And of course, and maybe we don't have this, the social mission that, you know, on the surface, but we actually really do because all, ever since we started, we've made entrepreneurs dreams come true. So like Carlos said, we've, we've created over 120 millionaires at this point in two years, two and a half years. You know, as an entrepreneur who didn't successfully exit my last business, I know how hard it is. And I think that's what's really special is that we've had these conversations with entrepreneurs that are an Uber driver that started this business to, you know, help pay for something or a student who started this business to help get themselves through school. We believe people, we bought their business, and they paid off their parents home, all sorts of just really heartwarming stories. And so I think that side of the business is just is really special.
Great, thanks, Stephanie. And what what, what do you get to do with threads? Do we have a sense of what Carlos does?
Stephanie does everything man.
Speaking too flattering, so no, I am, you know, on the surface with our acquisition team, finds and acquires these amazing businesses. Once the business is acquired, it comes over to my team to basically run and grow those businesses. And so we have a team of brand managers who basically take over from the entrepreneur to run the business day to day, we have our conveyor belt team, which is essentially our onboarding migration team. And so you'll, you'll hear us mention our conveyor belt. But that's basically, when we acquire a business, we have 400 500 things that we, we check the box on every single thing and make sure that we're doing it for every business we acquire, to grow that business. As Carlos said, you know, most of these businesses we buy the entrepreneur is really good at a couple things, right? Like they're just awesome at PPC marketing, or they're really, really creative. So their branding and their packaging is beautiful, but they're usually not good at everything, right? The person who's really good at creative and branding usually isn't as good at, you know, supply chain and inventory forecasting. And so that's kind of what our processes is, we bring them into our ecosystem. And then through a really systematized conveyor belt, we make sure that we check all of the boxes and we create centers of excellence on in each of those areas, to grow the businesses. And then also, you know, we're doing a lot we I oversee our international nddc team, so we buy a business that's, you know, a number one seller on Amazon, but they may only be selling on amazon.com I can think of an example of a product right now that was a automotive product that we acquired did 4 million in revenue trailing 12 months when we bought it in the first year, we got it to 24 million, and that was only on Amazon us. And now we're looking and we're launching it on Amazon internationally, we're launching it on direct to consumer Shopify websites and so there's just so much expansion that we can do with these products. That's what makes it so exciting.
Great. So before I call on Dave, I did ask you Carlos to share some of your favorite products that you guys bought and now sell and I also want to point out to the audience that you know, buying these products is easy part they figure out how to scale them and you know the supply chain and the marketing and that's where the real magic that conveyor belt list that they mentioned but Carlos and Stephanie maybe share three products that you you bought or or didn't buy. That might be interesting.
I bet Stephanie and I share one we both have extreme fondness for which is cafe Casa frothy, which was the first deal we did right Stephanie
Yeah, Donna Donna Donna.
Great, yeah. So this is tell tell us about the product is you talk about that.
It's a handheld milk frother. So if you want to make a latte or something at home, but Carlos learned that you can also use it to air a wine, I use it to make salad dressings or all sorts of things. So it's just a little handheld milk frother. But it was our first acquisition back in 2018 did not know what we were doing with, you know, a lot of this stuff. And it was it was just awesome. So really, that one,
it's important to mention that it's battery powered. It's got a couple double A's because I have all these handheld mixers. They plug in and they just blow things up. Like you can't stir a glass of you know, wine or you sir or a bulletproof coffee with it. This thing is just the right power. Couple settings. You can stir bulletproof coffee, you can whip up eggs, you can do whatever within, it's always available. Because it's a battery, no plugs, no complications, and it's really small, it'll fit in a drawer. So we love the product. That one's a great one. And then I would say there's another one. Like, I don't know if I can, like tell too much about my life here. But there's a there's a corkscrew, that I love the why it's a waiter's corkscrew from Hicoup, h-i-c-o-u-p as I say type it, it's the number one corkscrew and in the in Amazon and it's just a freakin awesome corkscrew, and I use it, I shouldn't say I use it every day. But let's pretend I use it quite often not every day. But when I opened wine, like it is just really great. You know, we see in restaurants all the time. That's what's amazing. We had our team, our team dinner one night or one time restaurant, and the waiter came out with our with our corkscrew. And I mean, of course we all went crazy. So that's another really awesome product of ours, we
like one to 100 million for these companies. And these companies during a prior generation would have gone on QVC and not scale, but you're taking them in and scaling them and using the Amazon channels that is that right?
And you're at like over 100 companies, how many companies? Can you see getting to in the near future? Is it 200? Is it 1000?
So look, again, I mentioned these are solopreneurs. Right We and what we're really acquiring is a is a product and a brand, right, that are tied together intimately on Amazon. So you know, with we're not getting people in tonight, we have to integrate, you know, 100 acquisitions of 20 people each and it's complex. And there's all sorts of mess and culture clash. So it's the number of product we can do, it's really only limited by how much we can how much throughput we can handle right now. You know, I don't know where we end up with this. And how long goes a lot of people aren't in this market. But I think the markets getting bigger, right? Amazon grows enormously every year, when we started this, there are about 24,000 businesses doing a million a year and up, which is really the target sweet spot. And now best estimates are probably closer 35 to 40,000. And that's in just a couple of years like and we've acquired, you know, 100, right, 120, 130 or whatever. But um, you know, there's a, there's a lot of them out there, and there's more every year. And even if there are people in this space, you know, there's room for a lot. And it's not just Amazon, and it's Amazon all over the world. And it's also Mercado Libre. And so there's other places, right? I think the whole marketplace phenomenon that Sandra and we talked about a bit, you know, is inspiring this creation of these solopreneurs these mini entrepreneurs all over the place. And I think there's gonna be tons that's just gonna keep going for a while and you get a sense for how big e commerce is and how big the world is. So to give you an idea of
$14 trillion, right? Isn't that the number of people thrown around?
I think that includes a I think that includes cars and durables, you take that out, it's like 12 trillion in territory but it's it's you mark it so we got a we have a lot of room a lot of room to go. So I'm you know, like I see us ultimately, you know, the difference between us and a traditional consumer products company like a PNG or Newell Rubbermaid really, maybe a better example that like, you know, they can only they structured the organization, but company, everything they do, in a in a completely different way for a different era, right to own big factories to keep those utilize as much as they can to generate to create big brands that drive people into stores to look for their products. So they have a very different structure, and they can't, they can't handle a product that makes under 50 million. Now get rid of those, right? Whereas word is were designed to follow as it were designed to handle, you know, 150,000 products that make 20,000 a year on, you know, 80% of them and a few big ones also beyond that, and we can do that profitably. So it's really different. And it's that's the kind of the way we think about this.
Hey, Dave Blunden. I mentioned you at the beginning saying that you called up. Carlos says he was on a motorbike driving around the country he had done taking a company public around the.com bust and boom, boom and bust. And you said hey, you know, let's get the game back together. I got an idea. Let's do internet. That was the course advisor thing. You said let's copy TripAdvisor. You have a real appreciation for what Carlos has done. I think a lot of people in this room and we're gonna make this into a podcast. You know, maybe new to this. Can you share it from your perspective why you think this is so revolutionary and unique? And what this says about the future of retail and on e commerce and online?
Yeah, I think what makes it unique is not so much the business model, which is unique by itself, but its place in history in entrepreneurial history. Because, you know, I tracked these things closely. And the time, from inception to success is getting shorter and shorter and shorter on great business ideas. And this kind of broke a record and the records are just are staggering. So I think this is the seventh time in the history of all companies ever created, that founders have created billionaires out of themselves and under four years, and the other names on that list are Facebook, and Snapchat, and eBay, all these household names. And it actually broke the time record by a pretty significant amount. And so I think, you know, that only happens with a particularly creative entrepreneur, a very special team. But one thing would be nice to hear about is the I know, a lot of the team was getting the band back together from prior companies, you know, some successful some interesting stories by themselves, but I'd love to hear about that.
Yeah, and I also want to say, we don't have an accountant here to like, do an audit of, of how much and this show today, what I want to celebrate is that these guys thrive to we're creating a new kind of platform, that, that I think there's going to be a lot of imitation, but they're leading it. And so I don't I haven't looked in the numbers, but but these guys are successful, and they're going to be able to be real players in the global economy. But yeah, Carlos and Stephanie, do you want to answer that and, and I want to also open up to other questions from the stage as people, you know, come on and want to engage here.
Well, look, as always, we did something Dave said is always super insightful. And you know, what I think is, so we've had a pretty incredible revenue ramp. I think a lot of people know, in our second full we did 100 million in our first full year we did 500 million our second full year in revenue, we're profitable on that, you know, and we're ramping from there. That's That's amazing. That's what I'm most proud of not valuations or anything like that, that we have a great business but what's incredible is that someone's coming right behind us and it's gonna pass that they're gonna go faster than we are in some other business like the way digital has accelerated the ability for us as Dave just said to for entrepreneurs to build value enormous Lee quickly and to build revenue it's it's stunning. I just sort of figured the other day that I think maybe it was Tick Tock in bite dance river in China and the first year now this is okay existing company with assets but very flexible, and they move like a startup, their first year of doing e commerce on their product in China. They did 27 billion in their first year. 27 billion. I mean, get your head around that. It's freakin crazy. So you know, the speed with which things can move now in the world are everyone's connected. Everyone's got a device in their pocket is really something to marvel at. So now I've lost track of the question you were asking john was
Dave? Yeah. What's the question?
Oh, people working? together? Look, it's all about that. So that's the only way you can do this from startup. Right. I mean, you know, I think we always we, we've laughed, Stephanie and I, and she was my first customer, my previous company. We were friends. We stayed together. She kept saying, hey, she, you know, she waited for waited around. Well, I kept trying to say I'm coming up with something. Give me some time. And you know, of our first 21 people in the company, I think, what Stephanie 20, 19, 20 of them were direct friends of ours, people we'd worked with, right.
Yeah, I mean, I think it was we were sitting at I think was our second all hands. It was maybe 25 of us around a table. And Carlos stood up and was like, I'm the reason that everyone is here at this table. You guys need to bring more people in and start recruiting. And it was it. Yeah, I mean, Carlos, you're a great connector and really got got all of us here. And then and then I think we've tried to do the same. And we have a lot of these sort of getting the band back together stories. I can think of five companies that people have come to to do that. There's probably five to 10 employees back together from those previous companies. And it's fun, and they have their own little, you know, work groups and it it creates a really cool culture.
Norm for Alison, do you have a question for Carlos and Stephanie, and then Dave, I definitely want to get another quick break from you. And I also see Shawn sandlin in the audience. We love Sean he's been a buddy of a lot of these people. But norm fortune five company anything to learn from these guys are you know everything.
Definitely don't know everything. What are the characteristics of the most successful people you acquired?
Most incorrectly I don't think he acquires the people. I think he the people sell on the companies and then he grows them.
Right But what Yeah,
yeah, I got it. Okay, I got I got I'm kind of curious what what are the characteristics of the most successful kind of entrepreneurs who have really They're growing their business as well.
You know, Stephanie, why don't you take that? I think you probably know better than I do.
Yeah, I mean, I think it really all starts. And this will sound kind of cliche, but it's just a high quality product. So that's number one most important. So the products that we've been able to scale, the best are the products that are rated, 4.9 stars, 4.8 stars, that they really are just that the previous entrepreneurs took the time, over the years to improve the product with every PEO, they, you know, a hiking pole that they kept tweaking the latch to make it just perfect. And they kept updating the color scheme to make sure it was what customers were really wanting. So a high quality product. And then I would also say a large space, right? So we've we've been very successful in the bedding category. It's just a big space, everyone needs pillows, everyone needs sheets, everyone needs, you know, mattress protectors. And so those are the types of products that, you know, we've been able to scale just because there's a large audience for that level.
And what I think Stephanie, also pin up into your asking about the person to when she got out a little bit is she covered I mean, these people really have a passion for the product, why they really get into it. And there are people on Amazon and other marketplaces who make millions by kind of filter through them, right? They just source stuff from Alibaba and ship it through and sell. I mean, how there's people who buy stuff at Kmart, just sell it on Amazon, right? But these people who have been very successful, are passionate about the product, whether it's a yoga ball or hiking pole, like it's crazy, they're really into it.
Great. Any follow up questions before I go to Sandra or or Alison, or list?
Welcome. I've got one for Carlos and Stephanie. I mean, first of all, this is such a fascinating business to to know about, because you're kind of aggregators of what we assume are kind of mom and pops everywhere. He mom and box. So thank you so much for bringing this model to us. And then I have a couple of different questions. I don't know maybe I can pop them out and you can pull the one that interests you. But I'd love to know how you rate us ecommerce sophistication versus China sort of building on Pam's question. The second question that I'm curious about, as you described, your great model is, do you see any ways that Amazon would ever intermediate you? Or do you think that it's such a win win situation that you won't be disruptive other than by other people doing what you're doing? And lastly, I'd love to know what you've passed on that you regret?
Yeah, sure. I mean, look, let me start with the US versus China. I mean, look, I have not even been to China, although my head of China just slacked me. But I spent a lot of time looking at studying and studying the companies and talking to people there. And I'm learning more and more, and I can't wait to go. But it's definitely has been just she can tell me, everything I hear, we're probably two to four years behind China. You know, I mean, like, again, the example I gave it bytedance, just the enormous enormity of the market, and the speed with which it can be reached. And the way their companies their companies build at scale. And the things they do is really stunning. I mean, you look at a company that can you know, you can help. They have all these companies as one like Uber and Open Open Table, and Yelp and all that it's one company, it's may 20, on pain, right? So you can, you know, you can find them the best, the best certain type of food in an area, you can order to be delivered to your house, or you can go that you can pay for it book a table at the place and then call a cab all on the same app and pay for it. Like that is freaking mind boggling. We have to open 10 different apps to do that. Sure. And that sounds kind of like you know, high class problem to complain. But you know, it's real. So look, I think China has just grown up mobile in a way we never did, and and has therefore jumped us in a lot of ways whether we catch up with all that or do that even it may, you know, some of those things may not work here in our in our environment, but they may but I think China is years ahead of us. In e commerce is certainly and in attack. I think overall. Stephanie, I think that you've been there.
Yeah, I mean, I agree. And I think in your hideout kinds
of people there when we spoke earlier. We are
Yeah, so we we've opened an office in Shenzhen and finding some great talent across our supply chain teams, our product launch teams, and then we're also recently testing some brand management over there as well. So I mean, you know, 40% of Amazon's three p sellers are are Chinese. So you know, there's just a lot of talent over there. They really know what they're doing in e commerce.
Great. So everyone you're listening to imagination inaction. This is where extraordinary people share the imagination they've had and how they put it into action. And they model for us so we can be inspired. And they also show how they're using it today to kind of do the chest moves for their future and inspire us on how we all could live. We have 200 speakers to date signed up, you can go to our website, imagination inaction dot club, and this is all being recalled. At the end of this at 830, this whole show the transcript will be there thanks to otter.ai and you can listen to it long form, and then we're going to edit it down into a podcast and we'll pull out things that each of our speakers said. And some of our latest speakers. Peter Diamandis is signed up. This week, Randall lane, the Chief Content Officer, and the head of content for Forbes, he created 30 under 30, Rohit, the CEO of stilte. We signed him up, he's going to be a great one on his company, a founder. We also have cc president who is the writer for James cork. Well, who is it? Everyone? James Corden? Yep. And we also have Ellen generous is head writer for 12 years. You were he retired last year, but I bet he has a lot to say. We're going to say in comedy, and we have Rosabeth moss Kanter next week on longevity. And we have the guy running the longest, the most respected study on centenarians. And we're gonna learn a lot about that. And we have a venture capitalist who's investing in longevity. She went to Harvard, I looked it up at 12, not 15 as a as I said, but this is imagination, action. We're talking about retail and online and e commerce. Dave, before we open it up to others. And Sandra, do you have anything you want to ask or comment on on what these guys are doing?
Oh, they're just amazing. And I will say that no, in all seriousness, they are but I agree completely with what they were saying as it relates to Asia, China, we did a whole again, I've been there. I was going there every six months for years and managing hundreds of different stores. They were managing businesses, hundreds of stores, I should say. So they're 100%. Right? They're so much further advanced from us. The playbook is there. Don't have to reinvent things because they've done it already. We did some case studies on some recent things. And they basically have created these ecosystems Alibaba, j. d, those examples of the ecosystems they've created. It's just pretty amazing. So all through acquisitions, and all through technology and things that are helping to make people's lives easier. ie going back to norms. norms came in earlier and yeah, I think there's a lot of a lot of potential a lot of room for growth, and they're gonna do it.
Yeah. Evan Evan has 800,000 followers on Twitter. I don't think he has 800,000 followers on clubhouse yet. When he speaks people, listen, I know you're an enterprise guy Starship Enterprise and enterprise. You have any comments here? And then Dave, and Liz, I'll circle back to you guys.
Thanks. I'm just live tweeting. So let's take the conversation over to Twitter here and afterward. Thanks, john.
Great, Liz. You know, you're you're Miss LA, I know you're in New Mexico. But you know, you have your posts on the future. I think a few people mentioned that social ecommerce is big. And that may involve some of the celebrities that you've worked with.
Well, there are a lot of celebrities that are definitely interested in developing products and become and being entrepreneurial. I don't know about their the entrepreneurs themselves. And but my question would be there. And there are a couple of people on this call who are absolutely potential feeders for you. And I know a little bit about some of your smaller competitors. So I guess my question is, what's the process for reaching you? And how do you evaluate it? Because I think there are probably a lot of people interested in talking to about their products and ideas that they're developing. Thanks.
Want me to grab that? It's pretty easy. Go to our website. It's designed to get sellers in and get them quickly talking to somebody.
Yeah, I mentioned to Carlos, Hey, I know a friend who has a portable blender. And he said, Oh, well, you know, I'd love to learn about it. So, you know, these guys are receptive. I think they make I think they spend most of the time scaling these companies. So once you get it through them, then they go to work. That's where it gets really interesting. How big is your your, your list? What do you call it? Stephanie?
Our conveyor belt. So it's a it kind of evolves and changes, but I think it was four or 500 steps, the last time that we we published
the Coca Cola secret that your your secret sauce that that that conveyor belt thing?
Oh, you look I, I would say, look, we work for that we say first off comparable to something we do to get the product onto our platform. Like Stephanie's team picks up the work after that even it keeps going. There's a lot more after that, that just ensures that everything is standardized, and then all the real efficiency that you can get at the start is squeezed out and that we have the right priorities set in place for the product for the next six to 12 months, right. But then there's an ongoing operation that is all the time learning, growing, sharing knowledge among the organization and rolling with the changes that are marketplace rules and marketplaces. Right Have you got something?
back? Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, Amazon and e commerce changes every single day. And so that's core to what we do we have a fail forward culture, we have to always be trying things always be, you know, testing something new seeing what works, if you fail, that's okay. Like, that's the message that we give to all of our brand managers. Because if you're stagnant, that's the fastest way to fail in e commerce. So yeah, constantly testing and improving.
So, Dave, any observations and questions? You know, at the end of the day, I'd love to elevate this conversation to e commerce in the future that Allison is a futurist, any thoughts and I texted Ben Gordon, a good friend of mine, he's the guy who came up with the word prime for Amazon Prime. He's been on the board for over a decade and Amazon I said, Hey, we're talking about this company, and, you know, this, what they're what they're doing. And he said, FPGA is good for all and love, love, you know, love the activity here. So that's a vote of endorsement. So Dave, and then Allison. And then let's open it up to questions from people who've joined. And then before we open it up to questions, Cory, and, and Carolyn, maybe Carolyn, a lot of people here lived in Scotland. So maybe you could play something set with your violin, some, some Scottish music, and then well, then you guys will will really do improv for the remaining half hour. And thank you, for everyone for your time. This is a very expensive room given, you know, all the people who are awesome doing amazing things. Today, if any, any more comments or questions.
I have a bunch. But also, that's why I love to ask you guys to do a little bit of visioneering if that's okay, cuz I was out in Amazon, I don't know, if you remember this, but as added Amazon in 99, and 2000, they were my big customer. And they were doing from books into books and CDs. And, you know, they they had this view of many, many, many products, much more variety in the economy than had ever been there before. And now that's become reality. But I don't know, if you remember, Erickson, from Walmart, who just moved over to Amazon and at Walmart, they were they were capped at 1000 products, because that's just what the shelves would hold. And of course, the internet makes that unlimited. And I think you mentioned a minute ago, something like 300 million skews. So the amount of variety of different things that are in in American households must have skyrocketed since this happened. So where's it all going to go? How many different distinct types of items will people have?
Cheese? First off, I think I remember a story you told me about that other company in Bentonville what they did when they knew you were talking to him. Yeah, he flat out said wait all day in a meeting. That was pretty fun. But anyway, you know, I look, Amazon claims, I think 500 million, you know, skews are more and growing. I don't think there's that many active, but I know people have scraped data and looked into it, but it's still hundreds of millions. And that's, that's actually a phenomenal question. That's really interesting. I don't know, like, where this is going. I mean, I don't know how much stuff I need. But then every time I go on, I need something that I I didn't think I needed, like we've got this fin thing that floats in our pool and wirelessly connects and tells us how much what the chlorine level is the temperature of the pool, like, Sure, I didn't need that. But it sure makes my life easier. And it's pretty awesome. I know. That's the kind of stuff you find on there and elsewhere on the net today. So
For those who may be listening late, if you listen to earlier, in the show, which the transcript is posted, Sandra mentioned what she thinks is going to be going on with Gen Z and their buying habits that can explain some of this stuff. Pro starting.
No, I was done. That's great. Stephanie, you got something out of that. You have any ideas on that?
Yeah, I was just gonna I was actually gonna say what you said, john, but I think it is that the experiential shopping, right? Yeah, you go to Amazon, you want an umbrella you type an umbrella, you buy it, that's intent based shopping, we've got the influence shopping, that's I'm on Instagram, I see an ad, oh, maybe I do need this thing. And I clicked and I buy and I think what we're gonna see so much more of is that experiential shopping, which is more of that, you know, six hour event in China where they sell this product and you know, it's just gonna be really interesting. So I think, will that open up opportunities for new types of products? Or will that just you know, allow certain types of products to sell way more than they ever have? I think probably both but certainly it's shifting. We're seeing a lot of success with Amazon live and and Instagram, Robin some of those platforms already which which are exactly kind of Sandra, what you were talking about earlier.
Did you want to add anything? And then Dave, any follow up and then let's go to Allison and then play music and open it up?
No, I think you know, exactly what has been said and especially when Stephanie's said that ecommerce is changing every day. I mean, digital marketing changes every day you cannot miss because there's so much newness happening all the time. So Hence continuing education and continuing to learn.
Dave, any other comments? And then we'll go to Alison.
Yeah, I am just always fascinated, you know, I, at our incubator here at Cogo Labs, we try and track every type of good idea that gets into true hypergrowth. And you seem to be able to navigate to these things faster than anyone even that even our team here at the incubator. And, you know, you've been doing it for years and years and years. So just anything that we can learn about your process, how you how you always find the hot dot first and move to it so quickly.
Who is that for Dave?
Oh, that was that was for you, Carlos.
I thought it was for john. I don't know if I do. First I wanted to comment on what Sandra said, and I, I couldn't get off mute fast enough. But we actually are truly working to increase the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We're learning. And we are announcing that we're going to be giving 1000 scholarships to learning programs to teach people how to become Amazon entrepreneurs. And I hope that's just the start of what we can do here. So I'm very excited about that. And you'll see more about it on Thrasio's site
like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck when they said, you know if you want to make a movie, but a little different.
Yeah, better opportunity.
Yeah. Alison, my favorite futurist, you know, billion dollar companies get your advice. You know, I know you tracked a lot of things. Any any thing here before we go to the musical interlude and open it up to the improv moment?
Definitely, well, this is just such a rich conversation. I mean, we're getting all kinds of pings from listeners, just saying, this is one of their favorite shows. So thank you guys. I'm fascinated, given the different products you have in a couple of things. One is, you know, how did COVID require you to change your strategies for companies? I mean, does everybody does buy more of the home products? So were there any that you just couldn't get to work in our COVID year? And then the ecosystem seems so rich at the moment, but then you say we're at our earliest days, I mean, what's fundamentally missing? Like what, you know what? Not not in products, but in the whole value chain? Like what is it you can't do now on the internet?
Yeah, I mean, I can I can take this one. So I think as far as COVID, absolutely changed our business. We had, you know, Italy, Amazon, Italy, where we we had historically not had crazy sales that like went nuts overnight as those lockdowns went into place. And that was kind of across all products, we sort of just could watch it happening across the globe, it was really crazy. Obviously, certain product categories went crazy, I think fitness is the biggest one that stands out to me. So we have, you know, some exercise balls, and like yoga wheels, and Pilates rings and things like that, that people could exercise at home, obviously, you know, standup desks, and we have lots of products that that really, really went went nuts with COVID I think what's gonna be really interesting, though, is to see which of those trends are here to stay. So, you know, I do, people are going back to the gyms but there's also a lot of people who have set up their home exercise set up and and they're going to continue doing that, and, you know, work from home, like, you know, at the rasio, we've completely changed where it's, there's no longer a requirement to come into the office, we have cool offices, and but it's a very work where you're productive. And, you know, I think a lot of companies have have gone to that. So definitely some lasting changes. And then I think your second question of just what's what's still out there, you know, with I guess, there's just, there's so many different channels online, I think, you know, so when we acquire a business as Amazon focused, you know, there's International, there's all the other marketplaces, there's direct to consumer, there's, you know, retail, there's just so much we can do. So that's where it really feels like we've scratched the surface with
Sandra, you mentioned earlier that Gen Z is going to, you know, they're not going to wait around to work for Procter and Gamble or Goldman Sachs, they're going to start selling things themselves making things how does does this mean a lot of Gen Z's are going to be active here, creating companies that places like thrashy are going to get involved.
Yeah, I think so. Absolutely. You know, shopify.
As an LatinX leader, what does this mean for the, you know, if you look at the demographic trends us is going to, you know, go to, you know, like 30%, or something in the near future, Latino community, what are some opportunities there as a as one of the first Latin CEOs in the fashion industry, what, what opportunities do you see there?
Well, actually 80% of entrepreneurial businesses and startups are from Latinos. They just don't know how to scale the businesses. So the opportunities are to be able to create, create those learning centers, and you know, sharing the knowledge so that they can have mentors and there can be opportunities to scale their businesses, because that's where the community the LatinX community is really lacking, obviously, as it relates to funding and raising capital, we know where that is that you know, less than 3% for women and less than 1% for women of color. So you've got that, that needs to change as well, you know, we can't really help improve those numbers if we don't start all across.
And Crystal is who's in the audience, who's my favorite filmmaker. She's was in France, and in the in the artist community, she got a degenerative disease, degenerative disease, she's now a quadriplegic, hooked up to a ventilator, but she still makes movies. She just DM me saying, hey, I want to talk to Stephanie and Carlos, I got an idea that will make them money, big time. So you know, this is the kind of platform I think of those first, like, cartoons that says, you know, an MIT professor, and then a miracle happens and something accelerates. I feel like thrash do sort of that accelerant for a lot, a lot of ideas. And in a world that's going online, you guys are at the right place at the right time. So, Caroline, Carlos got into internet because Dave called them and said, Hey, you know, get off your bike and come run a company. Carlos went to Scotland for a wedding. And because it was on the way back, he stopped at Boston to connect with Dave so I feel like thrash do want to happen if it wasn't for that. So can you play something Scottish? So Caroline, this is your cue.
Hello? Yes, I'm playing.
So Carolyn is a prodigy. Not like the ones in the James Bond movie that turned into evil people that James Bond has to fight against. She's a musician product. Yeah.
Alright, what do you want to you want it you said your Scottish fiddle tune?
Here. Okay. All right. Well do Scottish fiddle tune. And you say that?
And Cory, can you play something dramatic because these guys are being so innovative. And then then we'll open up to questions. So Cory just play something dramatic. And if and if and if Stephanie and Carlos don't think you guys are worthy. You might have to play again.
We can do Chardonnays after that. Yeah, we could do we could actually go after you. Oh, are you gonna do something else? I want to say to norm you've been with CVS. That's incredible because my hometown is one socket and Cumberland Rhode Island's awesome. Top birth
Cory's the Michael Jordan Simone Biles, Tom Brady of accordion, he's the world champion. Three times three different venues. Digital acoustic, he's done it all. And he's played for 32 hours and 14 minutes setting the world record for longest but he won't try to break that tonight. Yeah, so just play something and then and then house and maybe call on some people I'm driving to pick up my daughter from the gym.
Yeah, yeah. Norma, CVS needs any music for anything. I'm probably three minutes away.
That's awesome. That's fantastic.
Caroline, I'll just do the whole cadenza intro and then you could enter pretend we're actually doing this we've never even played together in person. We're gonna do it here on clubhouse for you guys.
I don't know if I can hear you well enough.
Time I want to get to questions to Cory. Just play something dramatic.
Carlos and Stephanie, do you accept those two musical interludes to celebrate you doing the American Ninja? Getting through all the questions we have?
Awesome, totally awesome.
All right. So Alison, can you call in some people? Let's get a bunch of questions. And again, these will be in the transcript, and there'll be in the audio file. So aliens from the fourth dimension 10 generations from now they will know about this meeting. So let's hear what people have to ask.
Absolutely. So I think I'm gonna take two questions at a time. And as you ask a question, let us know if it's for norm or Carlos or Stephanie, or Sandra. And I'm going to start at the top of the canal. And Liz, do you guys have additional questions?
I have a question. For norm, if that's okay. Yeah. Norm, you know, India is burning right now with the COVID crisis. And one of the biggest problems I think, in you know, the United States living in America, in India, is this inability to effectively translate science communication, meaning, teach how intelligent people should get vaccinated. It's become such a massive problem. I mean, intelligent people are saying, I'm not getting vaccinated because they believe in this, I don't know whether to call it anti vaxxer. just sheer disinformation. And I'd love you know, as a CMO of one of the greatest companies on the planet, thank you for telling me what CVS was I never knew, which is really enlightening to me. But one of the you know, as someone who is in that line of leadership, what can we do to change the narrative so that people can get vaccinated and save their loved one, save the elders, you know, and really, you know, come together as one.
Ask their doctor, there's so much in the news. There's so much on Google, there's Why don't just ask the doctor, ask a doctor that you trust. That all the research says that doctors will have the most impact on convincing people to get the vaccine. And I think you're very right to point out that they're intelligent people, when the first thing we've learned about people who are hesitant to get this vaccine or any vaccine is that they want to feel heard. And they will have questions they would like to have answered. And if you approach it that way, I think will be much more effective now that people that they trust, and will listen to are medical professionals. So they can actually be the pharmacist and everybody has got a pharmacist to go in. And ask the pharmacist or ask your doctor. But don't don't don't just rely on what you hear on the street or what you see on Google or what you hear on the news. Go ask a medical professional. I think that's the that's the biggest insight we've had. It's not even celebrities, by the way. It's It's It's medical professionals. It's a serious question that people have and
no, Norm, thank. I just want to add one thing to this real quick, we've mentioned this a couple of times, there's a great organization we're working with called mission oxygen.org. If everybody wants to see it, I've got to put a plug in here for it. It's legit, they're terrific. They're helping get oxygen to the communities in hospitals directly with the hospitals in India that need it. They're very effective and thrass do is participating and trying to help them and I myself am as well. So just want to put a plug in for that.
And also shriya, who spoke earlier, the 27 year old who I described as a modern day Leonardo da Vinci or or Dean came in type she is working for has created something that's very remarkable if anyone wants to know about happy to send for ventilators. But yeah, let's get a bunch of other questions out to keep going.
Sure. And I'm gonna do two at a time. So that means that those those of you who are speakers will have to kind of take notes. So Liz, did you have a question? Okay, if not, I'm gonna go. Pam, did you have a second question?
No, I'm good. Thanks.
Okay. Todd, do you have a question?
Guys? Sure. Do. Thanks, Alison. And thanks for the room. JOHN.
I love Todd, are you in Japan for this?
I'm not different. Todd. We look the same with the haircut. Oh,
yeah. No, this is the other Todd cotton. He's a friend of ours.
Definitely the other Todd.
So Google came out with some big announcements today that I think impact retail and i'd love the opinion of the speakers. They talked about social ecommerce and influencers for sure with a YouTube play. They talked about Shopify and an increased partnership and Shopify went up four and a half percent today and then receded a little bit, but they're the big thing that I was looking at was there. AR enhancements, and I haven't heard a lot of conversation so far around augmented reality in regards to your business. And I'm wondering what the thoughts are about the future of e commerce as it relates to AR?
Perfect. And if you guys don't mind, I'll also ask if nilesh has a question. leash, Nellie?
Yes, yes. I'm sorry. Yes, I do have a question. Should I
ask? Please do? Yep.
Hi, first of all, I just want to express some comments to what you said about India. We're a nonprofit organization, at least I'm the founder of one of them. And we're raising lot of funds for the ruler parts of India. And one of the issues that we're seeing a coup now is in the poor villages. What's happening is lot of even the farmers and the daily wagers in India, they're afraid to take this vaccine because they're thinking that they're going to get get sick for a couple of days. And maybe they may not be able to work and because of it, they may not be able to provide for their family. So there's a lot of fear also is one of the issues that we're dealing with. So we're providing them, we're providing 500 families, three medicines, as well as a lot of the IRA, the ancient medicines, to these 500 families. So if any of you want to support us, please, DM me, and I'll be happy to to, to talk or discuss with you offline
amazing knowledge with your question, though, because, you know, I want to make sure that we go down with everyone.
My question, thanks, the norms that Sandra, Stephanie and Carlos is that I'm about to launch a wellness brand. So my question is, if I open an e commerce business, is it a good idea to open my own site? or sell it on Amazon? Or Shopify? What do you recommend? And my second question is, if I have to launch the beginning of my product launch, or how many, how many items? Or how many products do you recommend that I should focus on in the beginning of my launch? Thanks for your answer.
Wow, those are great questions. Who wants to start? Step?
You should take my question.
I can take the second one. augmented reality.
short answers, because we're coming to the end. And I want to get a few more questions.
Sure. Yeah, I'll go quick. I am, I would suggest starting on Amazon, I think it's much easier and much more profitable to test a product quickly. I think Shopify is great. But I would prove out your products on Amazon. And I would focus on one at a time I honestly, I don't think you need to worry about having a big selection, I would get one winter under your belt and then launch from there. Related Products.
Great, Allison. Let's get a bunch of other questions. Let's get three more questions. And then we'll have a musical play out. And again, thank you, everyone, imagination, action is about retail and the future of e commerce. And we had norm who has 10,000 stores, he goes to each one of them, and turns the lights on. He's the head of marketing for a fortune five company, I'm sure he hangs out with the other fortune fives like the g7. He's a tremendous leader. And we were asking him for the few you know what he thinks to the future of e commerce. And then we had Sandra who is a CEO, she grew up in Texas wanting to be CEO, and she's been really wise leader in this space, kind of helped lay the groundwork. And then we showcased thrash do, which is a real rebel that's doing amazing things and, and really pushing the envelope of innovation. So let's get three last questions. And let's see if our contestants can answer them.
Well, and just before we go to the next three, I think Todd had a question about Google's Shopify announcement. And AR Does anyone want to take that one on before we take in the next three?
I think he says, you
know, saying I would give a artist someone else
to give my own opinion, but I you know, I have to say, it's not something at the top of the list. There's a lot of other innovations and a lot of other needs for business leaders to focus on that. I don't think AR is in the top five, that's for sure. Perfect. Okay.
So now we'll go to the next three. I have Gareth Evans and, Gary,
do you have a question?
Good evening from London here. Thank you for the great room. Quick question for you, Carlos, this question to, to Carlos. And and also Sandra, my question is, how do you maintain the quality after the acquisition? Because my guess is you're taking over not only the product for the production, and how do you manage the, the language barriers to end for Sandra, the question is, how do you see future brands for goods, you know, from from the retail sector? Because everyone seems to be, you know, still doing similar things, because they are not in control of the whole process. Thank you, Gareth out.
I'm gonna collect three questions, and then we'll, we'll turn to the speakers to answer them. So Evan, did you have another question?
Oh, for services. I got the skip button next to it for years one if they could ask a question, but if not,
I'm so sorry. You didn't show up on my thing? Sure. Go ahead. Ask a question.
Okay, cool. Yeah, I think thanks so much for having me on stage. Joe. This is a row. My question is for each of you, I guess. But like the answer, that works as well. But if each of you could travel back in time to and have 15 minutes with your former self to communicate any lessons you've acquired with intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache? What would you tell yourself? So? That's the question.
Super. And let's take a couple more just so we don't run out of time. Evan, did you have another question? Oh,
Allison, it's Lindsey on the horse here, too. I just had one as well.
We're just going a little bit in order. And maybe it's the the sequence that set up on my phone. So hopefully, if we get quick answers, we'll get to you. But you're at the end of my list, Lindsey. So Emma, do you have a question? If not that, do you have a question? Yeah, thank
you. This is a bit with the yellow background. So my question is to Carlos and Stephanie, around how What challenges do you ever see in getting people to want to sell and the perspective that I'm coming from is we're looking to do m&a is different. We're looking more at owners that are retiring. And so it's different demographic, but just in general, you know, challenges and people saying, maybe I don't want to sell to you or whatever. And then how do you overcome them? Thank you.
So we basically have four questions. As a quick recap, how do you maintain quality after acquisitions? What's the future of brands? If you could travel back in time? What would you advise yourself? And what are the challenges in getting people to want to sell? So Stephanie, do you want to go first?
Sure. So I think I'll start at the back the challenges when people don't want to sell I think one of the things we often will see as my business is growing, it's doing well you know, Should I continue running it for another year or two and then sell right is now the right time? And we I think always encouraged sellers first every deal we do we try to make it Win Win so that we say hey, if we do you know, grow your business to these crazy levels, we'll split profits with you, we'll we'll have an urn out. We'll have a revenue share where where you get to participate in that win. And then also just you know, it's a good a good way to diversify and take some take some money off the table for successful entrepreneurs. So I think the the why now question can be solved with deal structure and creating that win win.
Super parlous Do you have additional thoughts?
No, I i've i've told I mean those are the great that's how we do it. I've also told these entrepreneurs sometimes Look, don't you know I want to do the best thing for you. I really do want the entrepreneur to win like one of my one of my good friends in this space was one of the first businesses we tried to acquire and he didn't sell to us we tried it three times. And he ended up selling to someone else but he felt badly about it. We were talking I said dude, make the most money if we're not if that's what you want. That's what's important to you on this this deal. Go with the other guy, that's fine with me. I want you to be successful. There are other businesses for us. This is a big deal for each one of them. This is life changing for each one of them and I want them to have the right deal. And if we're not if I'm not the right deal, they shouldn't go with me. That's fine with me like you know, I'll be the first one to tell him it's our job to make our deal the best deal on the table. Right so that's that's what I tell them about that.
Super and norm.
Norm I don't know if we still have you with us but love to hear if you could travel back in time what what insights you would have picked up.
He may have gone back in time. So this is what I'm thinking. It is a third too, and I want to be respectful. Our speakers have been with us for two and a half hours. What I'm thinking is, let's have the rest of the people who have have questions just to ask them. And there'll be in the transcript speakers, if you want to peel off, I know, legally, you didn't say it would go to 830. And you're not going to sue me, or, you know, you go over, but I want to be respectful if you want to peel off, and you could read the questions in the transcript, but I want to release you guys. And then I do want the musicians to play out. And then I also want to thank the leadership of clubhouse, I saw of the C suite like for them in this room tonight, you know, I feel that validates that we're doing something right. Stephanie and, and Kelly and then some of the other leaders, and this is going to be up in a few minutes. And feel free to, to, you know, read it and so on. And then Allison, also, you know, does something brilliant, she kind of organizes some thoughts. She's like a savant it that tracking conversations, and she'll share some high level observations. So your speakers if you want to listen, stay in for that, or otherwise, I'll pull that out in the transcript. So, anyone want to ask a final question before we go to Allison and then the musical interludes?
Lindsay, I think you've been waiting on the horse. Go ahead. Thanks. Yeah, my horse was getting ready to try to weigh there. Thanks so much. Thanks, john, for always bringing awesome content. And fellow Sandra horse rescuer Same here. I just wanted to ask Carlos and Stephanie a question. Hoping Stephanie is still here. I think this is something that she can answer. But I'm just curious how much the the weight and I mean, statistical weight that throws your puts on audience alchemy. And what I mean by that is, it's clear that Stephanie is very keen on the concept that Amazon is a place to go for things, you know, so that is oftentimes difficult to tie, you know, Facebook or tik tok brand, you know, necessarily to that type of sales mentality. So I'm just curious if they are really looking at persona and tying audience kind of to the alignment of the brand and like the or the persona of the founder, you know, if sort of the pitchman kind of kind of like what you see an infomercial is like some of the ones that like shamwow, and slapshot, things like that.
I'm gonna send that email to Stephanie. Are there any other questions on the stage? Yeah. Richard. Yep. Yeah, I had one last question. So I have kind of a similar thing. I've done millions on Amazon FBA and and other categories. We actually have a marketplace as a service platform that's kind of kind of go around the limitations of the Amazon last mile with delivery and labor and stuff like that. And as we expand into other verticals, I had, I had a question of what, verticals that that you guys are cross expanding into? And if last mile tactics have any bearing on future growth plans, plans?
Great. So let's, so those will be a last questions. We'll get them to our speakers. And then Allison, why don't you sum up, and then we'll do music?
Absolutely. So first of all, what an incredibly fun and engaging session. And thank you all for joining us, as john told us, it's retail disrupted and reinterpreted. $14 trillion in motion. We had off music from Caroline and Cory, which played us home and took us across the different parts of the world. I think norm started us off when he described CVS, the largest health care company in the world. And he talked about the fact that the front of the store, which is the part of CVS, we all think we know, with 20,000 skews is less than 10% of their sales. So that's kind of gets you curious about the the other 90% he talked about the power for CVS of create creating an intersection between retail and healthcare, where the future is going to be a function at CVS of data plus analytics, plus a trusted pharmacist, plus health plus wellness plus services. And then john reminded us of the importance of nine 314, which was the date that CVS committed to sell no more tobacco products. And according to norm that led to $16 billion in revenues two years after, and fundamentally changing the company in ways that allowed for their $65 billion acquisition of Aetna unlocking innovation and purpose and employees and really creating a much more engaged company. Then we talked about the future of retail, which will be definitely in a digital world where everything will need to be, according to Norm, easy or worthy of customers' time. We talked about the future in the $1 trillion Health and Wellness Business, which definitely accelerated under COVID in a time where people are much more engaged with their health that requires personalized health, but also the much harder challenge of behavioral change. Norm also talked about our mental health tsunami, and mentioned that anxiety and depression pills are the most prescribed drug class in the us right now, which I found shocking. All speakers agreed that we are at the very early stages of e commerce. With the journey just involving less than 10% of retail sales online today, even though it feels like an explosion. Sandra described the shift from the last 10 years which were focused on the front of the store and customer acquisition to the next 10 years. It's going to be about the back end of the store, supply chain and all kinds of last mile delivery and being able to keep up with demand from the front end of the store. Sandra also talked about Gen Z, which is very focused on purpose and asking every single company How are you adding value, demanding that companies take on not only mission but also live their purpose? She reminded us that digital and e commerce change every single day. Digital requires new skills, new thinking and innovation upskilling and rescaling and that we need to work to democratize learning. That knowledge she reminded us is a form of confidence. And then we heard the amazing Visio story from Carlos and Stephanie. JOHN called the company and accelerant for fabulous ideas. But it It runs on Amazon having built a marketplace as Carlos told us, which has become a phenomenal engine for entrepreneurship. physeos taken 120 solopreneurs and turn them into millionaires, centralizing the skills and support services needed for entrepreneurs to really scale from legal services to supply chain to marketing with a 400 to 500 step conveyor belt checklist that allows a standardization for efficiency to really get that ability to profitably scale up. Stephanie talked about how COVID changed everything from sending waves of demand pinging across the globe responding to the latest crisis in Italy, and driving demand for whole new products from fitness to standing desks to Pilates rings. Stephanie and Carlos described how the US is years behind China on e commerce given the scale and speed of their market. The fact they have a playbook. And the fact that 40% of Amazon's three p sellers are Chinese. So all in all, well, we think there's been a lot of disruption and reinterpretation. It seems like there's much more ahead. And thank you all for joining us for imagination and action. Thank you, john, for the amazing 200 speakers to date.
Great. Thank you, Allison. And I also want to thank the audience. I mean, we're not really sure how to get the word out about this show. But we had some really special people in the room tonight. And you know, I think people surf clubhouse and it looked like a lot of people stayed a while. And I think there were a lot of really thoughtful people and the kind of people we are excited to inspire and have them. You know, our show is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get last week was music The week before that was sports. You know, we had the brain before that we had empathy before that next week, it's going to be longevity, then it's going to be digital economy, Web 3.0 and then after that it's going to be asleep. And then after the two weeks after that, it's going to be hollywood comedy. Liz Heller. I want to check with you to see if you have any leads. And please come come to all our shows. And as always, we have a musical play out. We have the great Cory in the great Caroline Yeah, what what are you so moved by this will be in the recording. You guys decide how you want to do this and if people want to go to sleep or four or drop off, no worries, but there's a nice classy way to end it. Stay classy, be excellent. Live long and prosper.
Any particular thing john or just relaxing ending
whatever you feel so moved, you know. So the balls in your court, okay.
Under relaxing, resilient buy them something like that. hey thank you Joe.
Clap clap clap. I want to scream. I want to scream. It's so awkward when you can't like clap at the end of these things.
People do the mute on mute off thing is kind of. Yeah.
The clubhouse clap. I think we lucked out on this job though we lost john there for a second.
You can play something Carolyn.
I really liked your pieces. So beautiful. I'm gonna end with just a little piece by for a and then we can close it. This is a very soft diminuendo into nothing.
Thank you, everyone for joining us. Thank you, Caroline. Thanks.
Have a great French dinner now. Goodbye.
Thank you guys for a great evening. Thank you all. See you next month.