The Tech Entrepreneur – Cory Warfield
Introduction: The Tech Entrepreneur, Cory Warfield shares business insights
Transcript (software generated)
Thanks so much for having me, Alan, and thanks for everyone for tuning in.
So I’m excited about this, you have a lot of really good insight to the AI, the web 3.0 You want company, you help others launch your LinkedIn influencers. I think there’s a lot of really good content for our listeners today.
But first, before we get down the road and talking about that, I’d like to spend a few minutes here talking about your path in life, your you know, what brought you up to where you are today.
Thank you for that. So I spend the majority of my adult life and working in restaurants. So I was a waiter and a bartender certified as a sommelier. And I did that from my very early 20s Until I was close to 40. And I worked at the highest levels of dining.
So I played on all the cool rock stars and movie stars and growing up idolizing and that was interesting. And it really instilled a hospitality and service mindset, which has served me well in kind of my post hospitality life.
But about seven years ago, I’d finally just got burnt out I was I was kind of tired of being a servant in the castle, although I got to rub shoulders with all these amazing people. And, you know, they ordered the $5,000 bottles of wine.
And poured me a glass, so I was drinking fine wine with the with these ultra high net worth individuals, but I was wearing the monkey suit, right? It just wasn’t, it wasn’t apples to apples, and I was working so many hours like feet would hurt.
And most frustrating was that I never knew when I was working in the restaurant industry, in most countries, at least. And certainly in the US, they may love to do what they call on call shifts and these changes scheduled last moment.
So I did something very uncharacteristic for myself at the time and I started the technology company, I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew that data existed that can help the scheduling of restaurant employees more predictable.
We got pretty lucky we are on trend with some compliance and some legislation that rolled down.
I found a co founder we bootstrapped it to market and then started getting into big accelerators and raising bigger funding rounds and growing the team and growing revenue. And so it was really interesting was a crash course in kind of everything.
It’s you know, I went into this knowing way more about beef and why and then most people in the world and I had to learn to speak acronym very quickly and learn what KPIs are LTV and all these things.
So it was it was a crash course and intrapreneurship that ended up having me mentor others through the founder Institute. And they spent years mentoring there throughout the Midwest. And we helped launch hundreds of companies.
I ended up fine joining them as a managing director for some time and my time became a little short. So now I’m an entrepreneur in residence with them.
But I’ve seen as someone that went through accelerators, and then helped, you know, kind of run a regional accelerator alternatives. I saw a lot of what I didn’t like. So I co founded my own Launchpad.
And we’ve got GE carbon, it’s about 15 web three companies that are all building carbon neutral. And so I’ve kind of fallen into this role where I use my influence on LinkedIn to talk about the companies and people that I work with and loves.
And I’m that’s proven to be a pretty fun journey. And fairly recently, with technology taken everybody’s jobs and we thought, well, if technology wants to do our jobs, that’s okay, as long as we still get the paycheck.
So we started a think tank to turn into a company called uplift. And we’ll be launching our first three unconditional basic income projects and pilots this year.
Wow, you are truly an entrepreneur. Cory. You know, it’s interesting, that is not just one thing, but you’re obviously multitasking a lot and a lot of opportunities.
So like to move down the line, and we’ll circle back to some of these companies later. Now you’ve been quoted as saying the metaverse could be a gateway to the fourth dimension. What do you mean by that?
Thanks for asking that, and that was great homework. I said that at the metaverse, Expo and a keynote they gave, but I believe that the metaverse can help us transcend both space and time.
And so I’m the chief growth officer at a company called in coral world and we’re Canva for the metaverse drag and drop no code, freemium, Metaverse creation.
But we just got a big grant today from the company that made Google Earth and Google Maps immersive.
And so the goal with that is we want people to be able to meet each other in Google Maps, I want people to be able to come to my place here in Rio without having to leave their come to their seat in San Francisco or what have you.
And so that invariably starts to transcend our space, right? If two people can meet at the same time in the same environment, and have the same surroundings and shared experience, that to me starts to not only make the world but potentially the universe much smaller.
And when I look at things like AI is predictive capabilities and using data to forecast the future to rebuild the past.
I mean, look at situations where the technology is pretty close to being able to reconstruct a digital version of grandparents reconstruct their personality based on X amount of data points, be able to come up with some pretty compelling reconstructions of their past.
And you can go into an virtual environment, I’ve got a VR headset right here, put it on, see your grandparent talk to them, although they may have been deceased for years. And retro Lee, it’s a little bit difficult.
Because a lot of them only had black and white pictures and kept their lives private. But as we move into this digital age, where most of us have immortalized most of our life digitally, you can start to see very quickly how our grandchildren might be able to recreate ourselves.
And so to me, that starts to be a way that we can get into the future in the past and potential realities and transcend space. And so I really do view it as a way that we’re changing our reality as human beings.
So it caught me in this rapidly evolving world of AI. Are you concerned with where it’s potentially headed?
Very much so. And I’m a big Maxi, I started using GPT, the day that it came out, I’ve been playing with some earlier versions very limited, prior and played with a lot of the new ones. And I think people are a little bit not everyone, but a lot of people that are interested in AI.
Haven’t quite understood that Apple hasn’t released theirs yet. IBM hasn’t released theirs yet. We’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg of Google’s AI. Mehta has some really great AI products that they’ve been building. So chat GPT.
So far until this week was only based on certain data through September 2021, with all the new models and the llamas and the lambdas, and these different large language models that can access real time data.
And that can project even more in that are getting more emotional intelligence and trying to think more like humans. There’s a lot of potentially amazing or potentially terrible things to call it.
And what I’ve been saying for I guess about a year now is everything that’s AI generated should be minted on a blockchain.
We used to know the source of truth, we shouldn’t have a chain of custody, we should know what came out of somebody’s mind or somebody’s computer. We used to know what prompts created, what things and so long as we have those guardrails, then I’m not too concerned about AI.
I think we’re close to the artificial general intelligence that people say is the first the singularity. I don’t know if have you seen the auto GPT? Yes, I have not no. They prompt themselves. There’s there’s a free version people can play with called agent GPT.
And rather than prompting it and then prompting it again and trying to figure that out, you give it a thing that it needs to do and it figures it out in prompts itself. It uses logic, it can source the internet. That is where AI is going really quickly.
What advice you have for the inspiring entrepreneur thinking about starting their own companies or people with amazing ideas that really don’t know where to start?
Well, taking the first step is the only important thing right now because every barrier to entry is off the table, you no longer need to be able to code.
Google Bart is phenomenal at writing and checking and deploying code, you no longer need to be able to put together a financial model, their AI tools can do that. pitch decks, you don’t need to be great at a pitch deck, there’s AI that can take your idea and turn it into a beautiful pitch deck.
There are several sites but one I like is called framer.com, they can build you a beautiful website that will convert that’s SEO friendly, most of these tools right now are free.
So you don’t need money. You don’t need expertise display, you need two things, you need to be crazy enough to just start. It ends, you need to familiarize yourself with how to use artificial intelligence. And that’s really it.
And it’s so nascent that the quote unquote experts don’t have a huge head start on anyone else.
In other words, someone watching this right now that doesn’t even know how to approach Chat-GPT could become competitively as up on the different AIS and how to use them as many people that they perceive as experts right now in a matter of weeks. Now, Cory,
you one thing you’re very, very good at is obviously connecting people, you’re building communities. And if I ask the question of people that are looking at wanting to build their own community, what is your approach to, to setting out in that direction?
How do you build a community to get it interactive and effective? Well, that’s a great
question, Ellen. And it’s really similar to what I work with people one on one for their personal brands on LinkedIn. And it’s all about having communications.
communities don’t want to be talked at communities don’t want to be pushed and shoved and told what to think or say communities want to be heard, and listened to. communities want to be cultivated.
So people that are in it for the long haul that want to commune create a community that really cares about who they are and what they’re doing. You don’t show up and tell them all about yourself and what you’re doing.
You start to hold space and ask them about their selves, right? All the sudden, people start asking you the same thing.
There’s reciprocity, there’s so many ways to build a community off leveraging other communities if you like NF T’s buy into a couple projects and join their discord, although you won’t see me there because I don’t do discord.
Or if you want to start a Facebook group, join a couple Facebook groups make some friends, right? It’s really easy to cross pollinate communities, because it’s all about collaboration. I’ve started many communities and we always look for other communities to send people to as well.
Right, we don’t want to be the only act in the in the play, who maybe just want people to come see the play.
So as a follow up with early founders that you work for, what are your thoughts for these individuals is are setting out to raise money, pre revenue,
don’t do it. Every investor will tell you, they’re going to write it second, they never will until you’ve got revenue, it’s certainly of de risking it by far, which you need to do is find a way to get product early to market so you can really determine a product to market set.
So some early traction, the best investment any entrepreneur can get is called revenue. The more revenue you have, the more investment you can get if you chose choose to go that route.
But at this point, there’s so many different new legislations and ways that you can raise money, whether it’s an equity crowd fund, and I’ve seen some very successful campaigns get oversubscribed, on platforms like we funder and Republic.
You know, the old adage is friends and family. But I find with these tumultuous times, my friends and family are in pulling money out to invest in people’s ideas, especially if they don’t have multiple exits, at which point they probably don’t need the money.
So I find people over glamorize raising money, right these days, I’ve got this great idea. Let me go see if someone wants to give me a million dollars. And the reality is nobody wants to give anybody a million dollars for an idea.
Right ideas literally come a dime a dozen if some of us it gives you the million dollars, you’re gonna forget all about the idea. It’s all about the execution.
But he get at this point, people can look on the internet for three hours and find a no code tool to build a three AI tool that they can sell in three hours and three hours you can build your own product for free that you can go and sell on the market.
That was people buy that and you want to raise money. Great. Why? Because you’ve got product and you’ve got revenue.
Now you’re investable but I find so many people focus on raising money which is a full time job if you’re focused on raising money when you’re not ready you’re not building products you’re not selling product you’re not growing community to your point.
So I think it’s very binary I think most people just shoot the shoot the gun and or jump the gun rather and really try to raise somebody before they’re not that suitable.
So Cory, what is the But what advice would you have to your younger self?
So I love that one. And I’m asked that often, and I can’t think of Well, other than maybe learn how to code back then because back then it was more important than I’ve spent hundreds of 1000s or more on CTOs in my life.
But other than that, the answer that I always give to just love more, it’s the same advice and give myself today or in the future. And then I give anybody else I’ve never met a single person. And I met some people that have changed the world with their abundance of love.
I’ve never seen anyone that was loving as much as they could or should be. And so had I loved myself and other people even more that I loved entrepreneurship even more. Yeah, I’ll give you an analogy.
If I love myself more when I was younger, I wouldn’t have waited tables 80 hours a week for 20 years. That’s not love.
Well, that’s really good advice, great, someone to reach out and connect with you. I know you’ve got a lot of people currently following you. How would they go ahead and reach you if they have a great idea, they want to engage with your services.
So it’s interesting, the way that I kind of became who I am on LinkedIn with a six figure following of over half a million and all these things is I got on the right influencers radars early. And I think most people were trying to get to him on LinkedIn.
And they all had hundreds of 1000s or millions of followers, we you know, at this point, we all get hundreds or 1000s of messages a day. So everyone else was messaging him on LinkedIn and around got a this person or that person’s not very nice.
They don’t get back to me, you go, Well, they probably got 500 messages today. So I did what I encourage people to do when they want to get on any influencers, radar, including mine, find them on Facebook, we find them on Instagram, find them on Twitter, right?
When you go to their Twitter, and they’ve got 800 followers or 3000 followers, all the sudden you’re in blue ocean, right? They might get a 500 messages a day on LinkedIn, they might get five messages a day on Twitter, right? And four of them are nothing.
So the one that they get, that’s actually someone says, Hey, I love your stuff. I figured I approached you on Twitter. So you’d actually see this, by the way, I’ve got a great idea. Here’s my pitch deck, I love your advice, I’d love for you to consider joining our advisory board, whatever it might be.
And frankly, I’ve probably missed hundreds of 1000s of deals from people wanting my coaching services on LinkedIn because he just can’t scroll through all those messages.
But I’ll tell you, when I get a message on Twitter or on Facebook, and someone says Cory, I want to hire you as my coach so I can get 100,000 followers on LinkedIn and turn it into millions of revenue. So let’s go here’s my calendar, Link. Let’s meet. Alright, let me hear what you’re all about.
Let me first make sure I can help you because I can’t help everybody I have understood kind of my archetype and my zone of genius but that’s always the best way is find that find the people or the other people are bugging out and reach out there.
Other than that, I’d encourage anyone to check out the uplift project you PP lift will be making a lot more noise and more public with that very soon. But if anybody’s interested in universal basic income, or web three as it pertains to AI on feel free to reach out to me directly via email.
I still have my old restaurant email because I’ve had so many companies join me in Korea this address and that address and I can’t put them on my calendar so I just stuck with Gmail.
I’m Corey the wine email@example.com And I like your audience that’s why they’re getting the Gmail because I’m also Corey the mind guy. Yeah, things for people that I don’t necessarily care and either from, but so that’s C O Ry firstname.lastname@example.org.
I check my inbox many times a day. I’m one of the zero inbox kind of guys. I’m a neat freak in that way. So yeah, anybody that emails me, especially if you mentioned American Dreams and Allen, love to have a chat.
Thank you. Great. It’s been a pleasure having you with us today on American Dreams.