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From his early beginnings in gaming to the creation of the cutting-edge brand network, Carro, David Perry’s professional journey is exceptionally fascinating – and full of invaluable lessons to be learned. In this episode, we talk to David about some of the most pivotal learning experiences he has had throughout his career and how committing to lifelong learning can be one of the most impactful decisions you ever make.

—David Perry

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with David Perry

Topics covered in the interview:

  • How David got his start in the tech and gaming industry.
  • The concept of “mystique marketing.”
  • The value of lifelong learning and curiosity.
  • The present and future of Carro.

About David Perry

David Perry is the founder and CEO of Carro, a revolutionary brand partnership network used by over 30,000 Shopify brands. In addition to his status as an “e-commerce disruptor,” David is also well-known as the creator of the famous Gaikai gaming brand (from which he made an impressively successful $380 million exit). He is consistently motivated by his desire to learn, grow, and expand his understanding of every possible aspect of our world.

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Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that dares to bring the no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow, and scale a business. Here's your host, entrepreneur, investor, and best selling author Susan Sly.

David Perry 00:15
Well, hey, what is up? Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And I just want to give a shout out to Ireland. Ireland popped up in the top five, and then you're not in the top five anymore, but maybe after today, if you're in Ireland, I'm 17% Irish, I don't know if I've shared, by 23andme. Lately, it just keeps expanding. I don't know. I think I'm every nationality. But please share this, especially if you're in Ireland. Let's take Ireland back to the top five. But anyway, wherever you are, I love you all. I'm so excited you are here for this episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. And my guest today is the CEO of Carro, which we're going to talk about, which is, in my mind a very disruptive way to look at E commerce and a sense of collaboration, which is very interesting. And so this is a partnership network used by over 30,000. You heard me right, Shopify brands. I grew up in a town that had less than 30,000 people in it, and get Carol helps brands gain attention sales and new customers by partnering with other brands in the network. The goal is to keep users on your store, adding all the things they need directly into your cart, which we are going to get into. In addition to this, my guests may or may not have done work for Disney, may or may not have received a personal request from Sir Richard Branson, and may or may not be the father to an amazing young actor who just got a huge role. And he did. This is a fact, formerly, this is not fake news. He formerly had an amazing exit, multiple nine figures with a previous startup in the gaming space called Gaikai. So my guest today is the founder of Get Carro, the one and only, hailing from Ireland, now living in California, Mr. David Perry. David, thank you for being on Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

David Perry 00:22
The best intro I've ever had. Sound cool. No, I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

David Perry 02:17
Well, I, we were talking before the show and for the listeners who had heard the interview I did with David Salinger, so, David Perry, there's a certain age group of us in Gen X, and we grew up coding in the 80s. And so if you heard that show, I'm really all about geeking out about those of us who were first exposed to computers in the 80s. And before we get into Carroh, and how to have a successful exit, and all sorts of different things, when did you write your first line of code, David?

David Perry 02:54
You know, it's a good question. In our school, so imagine I'm in Northern Ireland, and the school has got some computers behind some door. And I hear this is the computer room and this a great thing. And so I go and they won't let me in because I'm too young. And so they basically say you got to be 12 or something come back later. And so when I finally got to go in the room, it was, it's one of those situations where it's kind of exciting, like what's in here? And what are these computer things, and somebody sat me down in front of a little 1k computer. In America, it was known as the Timex Sinclair 1000. So it's 1k of memory, it's black and white, little membrane keyboard, but they taught me how to type in, you know, it'll print hello, what is your name, input, and then you can type in whatever you like. And it says, Hello, David, for example, if I type in David. This, even that simple, two lines of code, and you've got something that actually does something was quite captivating. And in Northern Ireland, you know, in general, it was a joke, we have that it'll rain twice this week, once for three days, and once for four days. The idea of doing something indoors, it's kind of fun is always very, very interesting. And so your brain just starts immediately going, Well, what else can I do with this? And I think that's the, I don't know, if you, if you've had the same feeling. But when you're learning to code, and you learn your first instruction, it's like speaking a language, you now have a word, you can say hello to people. It's like going to a foreign country. And you keep saying hello to everyone, because you know how to do that. And then it's like Goodbye. And it's like that with coding. But this is moment in time with coding, that you get enough words or enough commands that you understand to actually do whatever's in your head. So whatever your idea is, you know, I want to do a little soccer game or I want to do a game of zombies. You can immediately think, Well, I think I know how to do that and off you go and that, there's this moment where you're completely stuck all the time to, actually, I think I can maybe get that thing working and it's really quiete exciting. And so, I explained to people, that coding is a bit like puzzle solving. And it's, even that sounds kind of boring, right? Oh, you're sitting there solving puzzles. But because it's the puzzle that you created, like you're trying to solve something you want to solve, then when you do and you get the same feeling is finishing a Rubik's Cube, for example. It's really, it feels you take to want to learn more and more and more, and that's the trap that happened to me and I, I just fell in love with it.

David Perry 05:28
I heard you say, David, on a show where you were talking about likening coding to be being able to write a story, right or, or even the sense of creating, you know, creating a movie and, and what we could do back then. And for those of you who maybe are younger, because we have a lot of children who listen to the show, because I love when we have our 12 year old entrepreneurs that I get to interview. Those old computers, kids, they were big, and they were very noisy. And they were, they ran really hot. And they were constantly like, it was like a race car really like, I think there are cars in Ireland that are actually, you know, the same size as those initial computers we coded on. And I think, I think back too David, when I first started coding in the 80s. And the first thing I did was, I want to create a game. And that was huge for me. You went on to build a career in gaming. So when did you fall in love with this notion that games would be something we didn't play on boards anymore? We would somewhat play on boards, but we would actually play them online.

David Perry 06:38
Yeah, you know, it's funny, because if you think about your, for your audience, if you want to know if you're actually compatible with the game industry, there's two roles that you can play. There's lots of others, but there's two key ones. Are you making designing games? Or are you programming and coding the games? And of course, there's art and animation and things like that, but the design, the way I define that to people is if you close your eyes and think of something, some location or some some place, can you describe that place to me? So can you see it in your mind? Can you actually see it in your mind? If you can, you have a, you have a direct path towards potentially being a game designer. And I don't mean just by saying, well, there's a house and a tree, that's not what I'm saying. You should be able to go in the house and tell me about every detail of the house. So can you really see it, it's there. If you can, you've got a path to be a designer and then coding is, you know, you have a choice, you can go off and do AI research or you know, financial accounting, coding or something like that. But honestly, games are so much more fun. It's like, it's like, you're gonna be an attorney, you can go you know, have people fighting over divorce, or people fighting over property lines, or you can do entertainment, or you're doing movie deals and things like that. Trust me, it's more fun in the entertainment space. So with games, I just felt that it was something that I would happily do for free. And that is quite commonly a definition you hear of people saying, you know, you want to, you want to try to find the things that you really like to do, and then go do that. Because you become a problem for the people who have to be paid to do that. So this someone else is like, I'm not going to do it until I'm paid. Like I'm leaving at five o'clock. I'm typing 'til 3am because I'm having fun doing this. So what happened to me in a very long answer to your question is I did actually start getting paid. And I didn't realize that you even got paid for this. So it was never, I wasn't invoicing anybody. I just got sent money from a magazine that was publishing the things I was sending them. And I literally didn't have a bank account to cash the check. So I you know, I got the money, and I cashed the check. And then I went, you can make money doing this, like this is a thing? So you know, now I'm going to be up all night. And, and so that's, that's what really got me going was, I didn't quite guessed that this was something I could do as a career or, or how to actually generate money. But it turned out I joined the industry just at the time when it was at its inflection point and really growing. So it turned out to be a really great career decision. My teachers at school thought it was the worst decision ever, by the way. They just like, you're doing what?

David Perry 09:21
I was just gonna ask you too. I don't know if they do this to children or not anymore. But did you have to meet with someone and they gave you some kind of career assessment to tell you what career you would be best suited for? Did that happen? And what did they say?

David Perry 09:39
I was, my goal was to be a pilot. So I had, that was the path I was on. Everything I was doing education wise was to be a pilot. My dream was to fly Concorde. My mother worked for British Airways and so through some contacts, she got me a chance to go in sit in the cockpit of Concorde. And you can imagine if that's what your sort of dream career is, and you can actually get to go and sit in the cockpit. It's the most exciting day ever as a kid, and I grew up there and I get into the cockpit, and I'm 6'8". And I don't fit in the cockpit of, of Concorde. I mean, I'm like, literally like, this doesn't work. They just didn't design it for people like me. And it was very depressing, like coming off the plane was like, Oh, I can never do this. I don't, I don't fit. And so my mother's, my mother used to sort of work with dentists. And so there was a second career path, which was maybe you become a dentist, but I wasn't thrilled about that one at all. And so in the schools, they tended to focus very much on, in Ireland it's kind of this sort of running joke is, you can be whatever you want to be as long as you're a doctor or a lawyer first. So you know, whatever your career is good stuff, but you're going to be a doctor or a lawyer first. And, and that's, that was sort of the path that your grandparents and your parents and everyone generally would love you to go down. So this was very much an escape vector to me to, to head out into into this weird video game world. But they were cool and supported it. So it all worked out.

Susan Sly 11:16
Well, and then you know, you can you didn't fit in the Concorde. But you can create games and design experiences. And that's the thing I love about gaming, David, is that the accessibility, right? Someone could be in a wheelchair, someone could be, you know, in a, in a horrific circumstance in their life, and they can have that escapism. When you were talking about the career assessment, so my father is Chinese. And I was raised in a very strict Chinese Canadian household, and I can be anything I wanted to be as well, as long as it was an engineer, or an engineer, or an engineer. And I could play any instrument I wanted to as long as it was the piano, and I could get any grades I wanted at school, as long as they were straight A's. So I had lots of options in my life. I brought home, I've never told this story, but I brought home the career assessment. And my grandmother was like, rip, it didn't matter what it said. I can't even remember what was on it. Because it just wasn't an option. I didn't become an engineer. And I went into the health space and wellness and sales. And just recently, like, actually, last month, I just graduated from MIT at 49. So which is, thank you. And I just bought my dad the MIT dad sweatshirt. So um, you know, still, still have, I clearly still have issues around wanting to please my dad. So no, just kidding.

David Perry 12:44
Sorry, I was asked to talk at MIT once. And so I flew out there. And, and I couldn't find the room or the building that I was supposed to speak in, I kept asking people and no one seemed to know where anything was at MIT. There was no signs. And so I ended up literally going, someone thinks that maybe it's over there, I end up going down into some nuclear lab, radiation signs and everything. I'm like, What is going on? This is wide open, anyone can just walk in. And and then I did finally find it. But that's really great. I'm very impressed that you did that. That's, that's really, really fantastic.

Susan Sly 13:18
Thank you. Well, the the motto, one of the mottos at MIT is challenged driven leadership. So there are no signs on any of the buildings, because that's part of the challenge, right? It'ss just to get to where you're going. It's it's a test. So. So how did you end up starting Gaikai?

David Perry 13:36
Well, it was, it was an interesting one. I got asked to do a keynote speech at a video game conference. And I'm thinking to myself, What am I going to talk about, like, because I gotta say something interesting. And I, I was, I felt like, I'll talk about some of the things that are interesting me and where, sort of where my mind is at on where things are going. And I'll cover all of that. And at the time, I thought, well, if I'm gonna explain all this, I want to patent that core idea of, of how I think games are going to go. And I have this, this thing that I didn't really do, which is, if you ever want to brainstorm an idea, just, come up with your idea and say, there you go, I think I'll do this, but then stop for a minute and say, Well, how would I beat that? And so how would I beat that? I would do this. Okay, how would you beat that? And you keep doing that until you've got nothing left. And the concept was that everything is streaming, so movies, music, television shows, even books now, you can just get through the internet instantly, you know, full libraries. And so the idea is, why not video games? So then then the concept became, well, how would that work? And we sort of finally come up with the idea of everything, everywhere instantly. So can we have every video game ever made on every device instantaneously? That's where I wanted to have, I can't beat that. That's pretty good. So, you said to yourself, Well, if that's the end of the track, what can we build today to start going that direction. And if you start building towards the future that you really can't think how to beat, it's actually a very good direction to head off in. And when you do it, people will think, Oh, my goodness, you're pioneering because you're actually going in that direction. So I gave the speech sort of talking about this idea of how I thought it was going to be. And some engineers reached out to me from the Netherlands saying, Actually, we've been working on some technology that does this. And, and I was literally like, no, like, you know, really? And so they sent me a link and I was playing Mario Kart, from, from America, in America from a computer running in the Netherlands. And so I said, Guys, let's start a company, we're going to do this thing. And the three of us started Gaikai. And off we went building it. A little funny story is the name is actually a Japanese word. And one of the three co founders really loved Japanese words. And everything in the company had Japanese names. Every server had a Japanese name. And it was just so funny that the company that ended up acquiring us was Sony, which is a Japanese company, and they just loved seeing how we really respected their culture internally. And the fact that the company name was also Japanese. It was, how fortuitous is that you get bought by a company who's, who's obviously going to find all of that much more interesting. So that was, it was a great, it was a great situation for us because we built enough for them to want to put it into the PlayStation. And it's now been built into the PlayStation. It's called PlayStation Now, and they have millions of people paying for it. So that was a fun, fun ride for us.

Susan Sly 16:52
Well, clearly, firstly are gentlemen Secondly, my research skills are horrid because I was looking at the pronunciation and the Japanese language came up but then the pronunciation that, first one on Google was gay chi and so it's Gaikai so just everywhere you are, just don't pronounce it the way I did pronounce

David Perry 17:12
Let me cover that for a second. So I got invited to a very high end Marketing Conference in Texas. It's really almost cult like. A friend of mine was speaking at it. And he said, you want to just come along, you could sit at the back and just see what happens to these things? And all these Coca Cola kind of executives are sitting there drinking wine while they're being taught about marketing. And, and I, and they talked about Mystique marketing. And they said there's a trick, which is to have a name, that's very hard to pronounce. Because if people, everyone that pronounces it correctly becomes part of a group. So you can say, Versace or Versace. And if you say it the wrong way, then people go, Ah, you see, so you're not part of the group yet. And, and it creates this, it's just called Mystique marking, it was just something that at the time. I was, I was sitting there going, you know, one of my guys wants to call us with a name that I know is going to be really hard to pronounce. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. Just because I went to like conference, I came back going, that's actually okay, if not, I probably would have fought over the name to make it something that everybody could pronounce. I had the same thing in a previous company. It was called Shiny Entertainment. And I would say 50% of people spell shiny differently. So some add an E and some don't add any. And that was interesting as well. Just trying to choose words that you know, everyone is going to type it right and spell it right and search for it correctly is actually matters these days. I heard once with James Bond, what was it? I heard that they were going to call a movie license revoked. And then they were like, oh, people are gonna have a problem with that word. So they changed it to license to kill beginner. So it actually matters. It's something to think about. In the video game industry, what we learned is idioms are very valuable. And what that, what that means is you choose something that somebody else has already taught the world. So Grand Theft Auto is a term that's just out there in the ecosystem. And you can call your game Grand Theft Auto and you don't have to sort of pay to teach everybody that word. So music lyrics are great places to take names from because, you know, somehow it's in our DNA that we've heard that, those two words together over and over and over and over. And so idioms are pretty good place to go hunting for for names. I see that Apple is doing this. If you go to Apple's website, you'll see that a lot of the phrases they use now are an idiom, but it's the word on it. So they'll choose the saying that we've all heard a million times and then they'll change one word on it. That seems to be their their core marketing strategy. Word things. So that's something just interesting to play with. If you ever trying to think of what to call something, don't start with, with nothing as far as you know, like, you're gonna have to teach the whole world this new, this new phrase, if you can.

David Perry 20:12
Well, I even think what you said earlier, like, how can I beat that? Right? Like even thinking whether it's naming convention or the design of something. So at Radius, one of the things we're doing, David, is we're using computer vision AI, to gamify shift performance. So instead of a person competing against another person, it's a team in, you know, the quick serve retail space, competing against another team, and they could be competing against teams, and you know, wherever it is, Iowa or Miami, or whatever, working for the same chain of enterprise retail. And it's been fun for that experiment, because I've always seen that if we could make performance fun, not in some kind of HR way, but in a way that the employees really found valuable. So in this particular customer, where we're doing this, these shifts can win all sorts of incredible prizes. So we worked with the frontline team to say if this could be gamified, what would this look like for you? And what, you know, how would you want the points to work? How would you want to scale this? And so that's one of the things that we're rolling out. And it's lots of fun. And earlier when you talked about 1k, so when, when we're doing a deployment, we can't use 1k cameras even more, and to think you would I used to have computers that were 1kcomputers, right? It's mind blowing to me. So let's talk about Carro. So, it when I when I look at Carro, it's this, the first word that comes to mind is collaboration. And so I love, how did you start the company? And is it you know, what is the big vision for it?

David Perry 21:57
What happened was originally I got sort of interested in, in influencers because I could just see the potential energy of this is getting out of control, because influence was just, keep growing and growing and growing. And the one of the key moments for me was I was at the Rose Bowl watching Ed Sheeran in concert. And I was like, so many people here, how many people is this? Like, they're like ants. And I'm like, how many people is this, and I looked it up on Wikipedia. And I think it was like 90,000 capacity, maybe 60 or 70,000, because they don't use that every seat. And I'm like, Okay, so that's what, that's what 60 or 70,000 people looks like, like, that's, that's a lot of people. And then I'm like, hold on a minute, some of the influences I follow have like 15 million followers, and they talk to them every day. They don't have a concert every five years or something. They talk to them every single day. I mean, like that's, like you're trying to visualize in your head, how many people that is, that's just so many people. And so, to me, that kind of got interesting. And I went down the rabbit hole of asking influencers, what they liked, and what they didn't like, and they love being influencers, but they don't enjoy selling their soul. You know, please buy this candle. Because it's the best candle in the world when we know they don't even have any candles in their house, because we've seen their house a million times. So that authenticity was what drew me in. And we did a lot of research in the space. And then we realized that influencers are actually becoming brands and brands are becoming influencers. And we're like, influencers are really brands, but brands really, actually are starting to become tastemakers too, and what is that, and where's that all gonna go. And so it gave us a chance to come in fresh and look at the whole space. And what we realized is, is brands, they obviously have a desire to grow. And so the way they always think is I have to create every single product in my store, which means R&D and you know, designing the product, manufacturing the product, shipping it to warehouses, ensuring it, freight, there's people touching the stuff, it all costs money, and all of that money comes out of their margin. And so they get stuck because they only got two products on their website. I mean, there are lots of companies with two products or one product on their website. And that next one is just as heavy lift as the last one. And so what we said to them is, is there anything that is related to what you're doing that people are then going and buying the complementary items, like you sell makeup, you don't have any brushes, you don't have any cases, you get nothing, you just got your makeup, they're gonna go and have to buy this stuff off Amazon or somewhere else. So, you know, is there anything that we can help you because we have 30,000 brands like, like a million products, whatever you need, we have it. So just tell us what you're missing like, what would your audience need elsewhere? An example would be like, say you're selling bicycles online. Do you sell helmets? And very commonly, you'll find they don't, because they're not in the helmet business or in the bicycle business, they make the bicycles they sell. So we're like, well, we have great helmet companies, let us put those into your store. And then you can sell those too. And that increases your average order value. And then they come back and say, Well, do you have locks and socks and gloves? And, yes, we have all of it. So let's add all of those. And now you get 10 more categories of products on your store. And that increases your average order, every single time if you think about it over time. And so

David Perry 25:30
what it really, it's caused me to sort of step back and go, Well, what is this really? It's a bit like in physical retail, if you make something, you get so excited because target just picked it up or, or Whole Foods is gonna sell your new crackers or whatever. That's really exciting, because you've got distribution that you're not paying for, that they're, that they have lots of traffic, and you're going to enjoy Whole Foods traffic for as long as you can maintain that relationship. So basically, we do that exact thing online. And turns out that doesn't exist, there's no one out there saying, let me get you into lots and lots of online stores, like who's doing that today? And so, what we found ourselves in this sort of very interesting, very valuable, very important space, where, you know, any brand with products, is going to want to partner with other products. And what, what happens is, when you're doing something new, it means you're kind of at the tip of the spear, which means that every day we have to invent answers to the questions that come up. And the questions are endless, you know, how do you, how does this work? How does that work? I don't know, we're gonna have to, we're gonna, let's talk about that. And let's try to find a way to make that work. But we've been having a lot of fun, as you can imagine, building this, and it's very exciting for some brands. We have, I was just talking to an investor about this, but we have a marshmallow brand that we, that came into our network, and we paired them up with another company that's great at selling snacks, and their, their, their GMV or their, basically their sales went up 63% in that first month. And so we were saying to an investor, have you, in the history of being an investor, ever seen anything you can install that will increase your sales 63% In the first month? And he's like, never. And so that's, and so you say, Well, how does that work? Why is that? And the answer is, is because we've attached a small brand to a brand that does a better job of selling. It's a bit, it's like, it's like there's a shark and then there's these little fish that I think a room or something like that attached to the shark, and then they can travel and feed from the shark. If we can attach you to a brand that's killing it, you get their traffic looking at your products and buying them which increases your sales immediately. And and as long as you can maintain the relationship, you're good to go. And that's it. So then influencers are now doing this too. And influencers, very interestingly, I think are brands, and so they had a really interesting problem was they think of themselves as musicians. So the way to explain that is music artists have merch. And they're pre programmed, all merch has to have their name on it. They just, of course, of course they do. So they have to print the T shirts and store the T shirts and it's a whole thing you know, or the, or the jackets or whatever they're making. And so the idea of, of making merch, if you think about Bono, does he have to write Bono on the sunglasses for someone to want the sunglasses? And the answer's no. In fact, any picture that a music artist is in, if Taylor Swift's in an image, people are looking at everything in the image. I like that. What, what cup is she drinking from, and I love that design of that thing, her bag is great. She's not even trying to sell a bag. People just see it and want it because they hadn't ever seen that bag, and they think it's great and maybe, or influence is actually part of it, too. But that idea of the influencers, realizing that they're tastemakers and they can place anything in their store, as long as it's, as long as they've curated it, and it's cool, people want to buy it. And so that's, that means we can stand up and influence a store without them ever touching products. But they're not dropshipping. So we're not, they're not sort of selling things that are being sent from China, from unknown companies, they're actually choosing to work with their favorite brands, which created a problem for us because that means we've had to create a dating kind of concept in this paradigm, because both sides have to actually like each other. So they have to say, you know, can I work with you? Yeah, you can work with me and they both double opt in and then the whole thing, just like dating actually works.

David Perry 29:33
It's that too. It's that last mile problem where then it's the brand wanting to know, if I invest in this influencer, are they going to create a result that is going to be in alignment with what I think the result is for that outcome? And so there's, I love how, if I looked at this from you know, a Clay Christensen, you know, what problem are we trying to solve? Um, For those kids out there if you don't know who Clay Christensen is, he's he was an, he just passed recently. But he was an MIT professor. And some consider him one of the greatest marketing minds of all time. His milkshake video, if you're interested in learning the concept of marketing, is on YouTube. But Clay would always say, you know, what is the problem we're trying to solve? And it seems to me that as you've gone down this road, David, which is genius, the collaboration, allowing the influencers to selectively partner. And some influencers, I have friends who are in that influencer space, they make millions of dollars a year, they genuinely use the products they recommend. And so you have that cohort of influencer, like I'm gonna put in my store what I actually use, and what you can see in my photos on Insta, or my Tik Tok videos, and so forth, and then it's that constant next layer, next layer. So let me ask you this, I, you know, when Dave Salinger was on, we were talking about his latest venture, Deep Sentinel, and what Silicon Valley is saying the valuation of this company is going to be in the market he's disrupting. Where do you see Carro going? So let's go, you know, let's fast forward five years from now.

David Perry 31:11
When I'm talking to potential employees or investors, I explain that in general, is three scenarios to pretty much every startup. One is you get acquired, there's usually if you're in an interesting space, you're going to get acquisition offers. And it's because they don't want to have to rebuild and do everything that you've done, and it saves a lot of time and, and to them, the value can add to them, their valuation, they, some companies, if their value goes up, because you join, then they go up enough to cover your entire cost of your acquisition, that cost nothing. They get you for nothing, and to some extent, but you get the concept is that there's someone out there that looks at what you're doing, and says that perfectly with our needs. And, and so you'll get these acquisition offers. So that's, that's, and that's what happened with my last company with Sony, they just come in and acquired the company. The second option is going public. And that's what every investor wants you to do. They want you to get to the billion dollar valuation, go public, and maybe 2 billion, that would be wonderful. So that's the path you're on. But there is a third option, which is considered to be the moonshot. And the moonshot is actually one that causes people to go, that's interesting. And so the question is, is, what if someone gives you enough money to acquire other entities around you that you think would sort of position you for a much bigger, as a sort of a much bigger idea than just the current iteration of it? But what if you were to add these other companies to it, then what do you have? And, and those people are out there. So we have those conversations with usually large private equity firms, you know, the minimum investment they'll put in, a lot of them is like 50 million, 70 million, depending on who they are. And up to hundreds of millions of dollars, whatever's necessary. So there are, those are three very different scenarios, and they sort of come online, the more you create momentum, so the more, the more exciting things get, the more you sort of you'll start getting offers for certain and then you'll get the you know, people saying let's, let's, let's get you public, and then there's going to be some people saying, what if we were to give you rocket fuel? What would you do with it? And and it's a very fun conversation, because it causes you to think bigger than maybe you were originally thinking, like, what could this be? And I just find that stuff really fun.

David Perry 33:37
It is, it's fascinating, because there's that aspect as a founder, where, the analogy I always go back to and we use this a lot in tech is it's kind of like dating. So that, you know, I think I'd like to go out with you and have a coffee, right? And it's kind of that early dance and m&a. Like, I think I'd like to put you on my m&a list or let's go for dinner, I want to see if you're a complete get or if you're like a good human, and can you really run this company. And it's interesting to go through that and to the, what you said earlier about entrepreneurs and essentially all of the entrepreneurs who do take a company to that unicorn status do have to have a face for the company. They become a form of their own celebrity. If we look at say Elon Musk as an example, Steve Jobs was in his day. Absolutely. Apple wouldn't be Apple if it wasn't for Jobs, if it was only Steve Wozniak who I've met who's lovely and darling, but I think that you know, to your point at some, someone's got to be the face of the company. They've got to be out there. They're having those conversations, they're representing the company, they're doing all of those things, and creating that attractive factor about it. And I love how you broke it down. So I have two final questions for you. Before we started the show, we're talking about the element. And this was a conversation we're gonna have where you were going to share, you know, what is the element?

David Perry 35:14
There was actually, there was this guy once. I used to go to the TED conference every year, I loved it. And there was a speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, who sadly passed away now. And Sir Ken Robinson gave a speech about creativity in schools. And, and he got a standing ovation. And it was sort of accepted as being the best speech ever at TED. And the fact that they have the world's best speakers, and this is the best of the best, makes the guy pretty fascinating, right? Like, who is this guy? And so I once got invited to an event. It was like a British event in Los Angeles, and he's British. So I walked in, this was at like, the Consul General's house in Beverly Hills, and you walk in and standing in the back garden is, is

David Perry 36:05
Sir Ken Robinson. And I, like I literally made a beeline for him. It's like, Dude, I was in the audience the day you gave your speech. And he's like, that speech changed my life forever. And, and we had a really nice chat. And what was funny, was, he said to me, what do you do? And I thought to myself, What do I do? Like, how do I explain this to this guy? Because he's older, and he's like a university professor, and whatever. So I thought, well, he's British. I made a game once that was quite popular in Britain. So I said, I made this video game, the earth. It's called Earthworm Jim. And he literally goes, Are you kidding me? I'm like, what, you've heard of this? And he goes, he calls his wife over. And his wife is like, Oh, my God, this guy made Earthworm Jim. And his wife freaks out, oh, my god, I can't believe this. And so it turns out their son's favorite video game was Earthworm Jim. And as a parent, you'll know that how your different kids lock on to things that they're really into. And, and so as a parent, you know, that would register with you. But I had this really interesting conversation with him because he was writing a book called The element. And the idea was that we're all built to do something. Like there's something you're meant to do in this planet. And it's the saddest thing ever, if you never work it out. There's a lot of people in England, dads were boat builders, or ship builders, and now they're shipbuilders, because they're in the same town doing the same job as their father. They, you know, they're, they're digging coal like their father did. But maybe they're not actually built for that. And one of the great example's Sting from The Police, he was, he famously talks about getting out of the shipyards and going in being a rock star. So what is it you're built for? And what was interesting is he said, The problem that he had is everyone loved his book, but said, How do I work out my elements? So he was working on a second book, how to find your element, which I think he did release. But so that's really the question is, what is your element and have you worked it out yet? And it actually requires you to try everything, and do everything that you possibly can, because you can't really know what it is until you discover it. So you have to sort of, you have to take the time to investigate and experience things. And then if you do this, it's actually kind of a fun adventure because someone will say, Do you want to go parachute jumping? You're like, no, and then you go, well, maybe I should. Right? So maybe there's something there for me that I just don't know right now. And, you know, you said, with the piano, I think the piano was a great example, because a lot of piano teachers will teach you the formal way of playing a piano. I saw a piano teacher once say, can everyone raise their hands that wants to play at Carnegie Hall? And no one raised their hands. And it's like, why is it all piano teachers are trying to teach you to play at Carnegie Hall. Whereas Who here would like to just learn to be able to play your favorite hits, happy birthday, all that kind of stuff. And all the hands go up? Because well, I can teach you that right here. This is on a cruise, I'll teach you during the cruise how to do that. And so this is this is just an interesting thing, whatever your element is, and however you can sort of impact the world with whatever your you know, your creativity is, I think it's very enlightening. For me, I remember one day just sort of finally realizing what it is for me and it's for me, it's learning. Ihave this thing where I love to meet people who've done something for a long time, and you remember in the matrix, they said like, I need to fly a helicopter and then it's like, and then now they can fly a helicopter. That's my fantasy, right? If I can learn things that fast but because I can't learn it that fast, I want to get as close to that as I can. So you'll meet, like I'll say I want to learn woodworking. Okay, well how do you do that? Am I going to spend 30 years woodworking? I don't have time for that. Who's amazing? Okay, it's some guy out in, in Idaho. I'm on a plane. Like, can I spend a week with you and you just do a download so I can learn what, you know, how to do this properly, and you end up making, you know, beautiful furniture from it and then you go, Well, what about welding? I want to learn that too. Photography, I want to learn that. And so it's this idea of feeding from people who love to share. And the video game industry does this too, by the way, the people in the video game industry love to share what they're doing and how they do it. There's conferences, you'll see them telling you about things they're working on right now. They don't keep the secrets that you think they would want to keep. They're happy to share. And so name your subject, like if you want to become a great photographer, yeah, you can buy a camera and spent 30 years trying to work out. Or you can take, I don't know, five or six classes from some of the best people in the country. And in no time, you're going to have all kinds of epiphanies on how to do what they do. So for me, it's trying to work out what it is you are finding very interesting, and then let the people in that space, whoever they are, teach you what they've learned over a very long time. And you can learn that right now. It makes you deadly, it really does. It's a, it's a fantastic way to sort of get to where you want to be, but very quickly, and you just you have to be willing to go to go do that. But it's really fun when you do.

David Perry 41:15
Thank you for sharing your element. And I love the story. And here's a quick story for you, since you love to learn. So when I was on campus last at MIT, there were a group of us. And so we're out, you know, on a coffee break, David, and we had to start to have this conversation about Duolingo. And so this is the executive education program. So all of us are, there are some people who are in their 30s. But most people are in their 40s and 50s. They've been in their career. And I believe it was the head library from Princeton. He's like, I was a Duolingo addict. And I'm like, I'm addicted, I can't miss my streak. I have this many points. And then we all started talking about how we're all using Duolingo, and which languages we're learning. And you know, we're all founders or C suite executives, there are people from all over the world. And it just lends to that point that whatever it is you're doing, maintain your curiosity, because you're never going to get better, you're never going to beat that idea. You're never going to make that impact on the world unless you're constantly learning. And so that's why I love that, in addition to my role as a company founder and all the things that I do, that I get to do this, and learn from people like you. And so David, I want to thank you so much for being here. I, I you know, thank you for sharing your heart and your wisdom. And I would just encourage everyone to check out David's latest venture Carro. And you can read all about David on Wikipedia, you can listen to interviews he's done. And I guess final quick question for you, David is, if you could answer, I guess in one or two lines, what is your, what is your soul goal? So we're fast forwarding time, and perhaps you know, all the guys who are working on us living to, I don't know, 500 or whatever. But you know, 121 is supposedly the max. But let's say we're there and you're so close to that and you could look back and go, that was my soul's desire, and I accomplished it. What is it for you?

David Perry 43:28
Well, my thing is actually to not age mentally. And what I mean by that is keeping up. So what I don't want to do is to get to that point where you know, the way older people quite commonly, they just are absolutely just confused by modern technology and where we're at. I really don't want that to happen to me where I'm, at some point, just let it all get ahead of me. I want to stay with it. And there's a researcher in Cambridge Sir Aubrey de Grey, I think his name is Aubrey de Grey. I saw him give a talk once and he said the first person to be 1000 is alive today. So that's an interesting piece of the puzzle too. If they can, maybe we won't, maybe the timing isn't perfect for us. But they're, the research that's going on, some of the wealthiest people in the world and now investing into life extension. So it's like, he continues and it's 120 than 130 then 140, 150. For me, I just want to, I want to still be participating and still, you know, again, again, it's learning to some extent but understanding and keeping up with what's going on to me. To see the future and to actually, and not to be in the future but be comatose watching television and just waiting for me to get old and pass away, but actually participating in it that to me would be absolutely fascinating.

Susan Sly 44:55
Well, that day will happen soon. I mean, it will happen when we transfer in our consciousness onto our avatars and we're living in. That's a topic for a whole other conversation.

David Perry 45:06
Happy to have that conversation.

Susan Sly 45:08
Yeah, that'll be. We'll have David back for part two, when he and I talk about Metaverse technology.

David Perry 45:16
Playing games in your head, that whole thing. We'lldo that.

David Perry 45:18
Yeah, that is, that is a must. Maybe I'll have to, where you live is one of my favorite spots in the United States. So maybe I'll have to come over and we'll have that chat over wine or something. And that would be a fun show to do. Well, David, thank you so much for being here. And to all of you listening, David and I would love if you would drop a comment. I read all of the comments. And by the way, if you leave a comment and I read it on a show, I will actually give you a $25 amazon gift card. So only as long as it's a nice comment. There's no swearing, this is a PG show. So there, there are, I do have some rules but if I do read your comment, I will, we will send you an Amazon gift card and you can go participate in commerce and do whatever you would do with that Amazon gift card. So anyway, with that, thank you, David, so much for being here. Thank you all for listening. God bless. Go rock your day, and I will see you in the next episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship.

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Author Susan Sly

Susan Sly is considered a thought leader in AI, award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, best-selling author, and tech investor. Susan has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime, ABC Family, and quoted in Forbes Online, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and more. She is the mother of four and has been working in human potential for over two decades.

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