Episode 317: 05-21-15
On this week’s show we talk with Ivan Misner on how to get referrals and talk with three of South Florida’s technology leaders for a tech update.
Ivan Misner: How to Get Referrals
Dr. Ivan Misner is the founder and chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. BNI was founded in 1985 and now has 6,300 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world.
Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written 17 books, including his latest book titled “Room Full of Referrals.”
Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and the “Networking Guru” by Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world.
Joanna Schwartz, Matt Haggman, Xavier Gonzalez: South Florida Technology Update
Matt Haggman is Miami Program Director at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In this role, Haggman leads Knight’s communities program in South Florida. The Knight Foundation fosters innovative approaches to increasing engagement skills in the community development field. The foundation funds programs that use technology to foster engagement.
All three are thought leaders in the South Florida technology ecosystem.
Episode 317: 05-21-15 (To download, right-click and select “Save Link As”.)
880 AM The Biz, South Florida’s only all business station welcomes you to Jim Fried on Business. He grew up in South Florida. Has been in business here since the early 1990’s and has closed over $1 Billion dollars in deals. He’s seen it all. He always has an opinion and he’s always ready to share it. Informed, entertaining and connected, he has his finger on the throbbing pulse on South Florida’s business community. He’s Jim Fried, exclusively on 880 AM, The Biz.
To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305-541-2350, that’s 305-541-2350. Now, here’s your host Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright South Florida, see that’s what I get for helping Dee get a car from Larry Zinn and Warren Henry. Larry comes … your head is still spinning from the fancy car you just got Dee, your head is just spinning. You couldn’t get all the timing down. I got that beautiful grin though. Did they treat you right out there, Dee? I got the five on him, it’s going great. So Dee got his car, Warren Henry Automotive, you should too. We’ve got a great show this weekend. We’re going to talk about getting hot referrals. We’re going to have Dr. Ivan Misner on, the king of networking. The guy that founded BNI, he’s the man, the myth and the legend when it comes to picking up good referrals and executing on them and making money by shaking hands and pressing the flesh and meeting people. Then we’re going to have an update on the South Florida technology environment down here. We’re going to have the folks from Early Shares on. We’re going to have the folks from eMerge on. We’re going to have the folks from The Knight Foundation. Three big curators of the Miami technology ecosystem. We’re going to talk about the environment here in Miami and how it’s improving and how this is the place to bring your new start-up tech company to get funded and to grow. We’ll be right back after this short break, when we’ll start off with Dr. Ivan Misner. This should have been enough time for Dee to get the first song cued up. Dee, alright![commercial break]
South Florida’s only business radio station. The Wall Street Business Network, 880 AM The Biz.
You’re listening to Jim Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305-541-2350, that’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host, Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright we are back, we are back and we are on with our regular guests. It’s great to be able to say that. Our regular guest, Dr. Ivan Misner. He’s known as the father of networking. He’s on all the big stations, all the big stuff but what he really is, is a person that can help you convert the people you know into money. And man, that’s what business is all about. Welcome back, Dr. Ivan Misner. I call him doctor but then he makes me call him Ivan Misner. So I’m just going to call you Ivan Misner, Ivan Misner, how are you doing?
Ivan Misner: I am doing great, Jim. It’s great to be back on the show. And yes, please call me Ivan Misner.
Jim Fried: I sure will. How’s your lovely wife? I guess I have to get the personal stuff out. We had Beth on last week, she was awesome.
Ivan Misner: Elizabeth is awesome. I tend to be the reason we get invited places but she’s always the reason we get invited back.
Jim Fried: There you go! That was absolutely, I just underhanded that to you. You didn’t see that but it was just underhanded. There you go. You’re going to have peace at home for the next couple of days.
Ivan Misner: Yes I will.
Jim Fried: So Ivan Misner, tell me a little bit, people come in, they join your networking organization, they get great tips, they make good money from the people they meet but you also write books. You wrote a book about converting referrals, getting hot referrals and converting them. It’s summertime, we figured we’d call it “hot referrals” so, go get them, its summertime. People think it’s slow but it’s time to get a hot referral, how do they do that?
Ivan Misner: Yeah, absolutely. I think the thing that people forget is that networking is an opportunity to build relationships with people. All too often people use networking as a face to face cold calling opportunity. “Hi Jim, my name is Ivan Misner, let’s do business.” And they jump right into it. A few years ago I was at a big networking event and I was the keynote speaker and I had an audience of 900 people, it was in London. I said to them, “How many of you are here today hoping to maybe sell something?” 900 people raised their hand. I said, “great, how many of you are here today, second question, raise your hand. How many of you are here today hoping to possibly buy something?” No one raised their hand. Not one single person. This is what I call the networking disconnect. People show up at networking events wanting to sell but nobody is there to buy and then people say, “I hate networking” because people are constantly selling to them. Yeah, they are and that’s really bad and it’s not the way to build a powerful personal network. Building a powerful personal networking, getting referrals is really about building relationships. And that’s where people don’t want to do it because it takes time. “Build a relationship? I just want to meet people and sell them my stuff.” Well I do too but it doesn’t work that way.
Jim Fried: Well yeah, you know I first really became aware of this, probably in the mid to late 90’s when the Japanese first came and everybody said the World is different. You’ve got to turn it on its head and people would look at the business cards and taught you how to do that. And then I’m down here in South Florida where we have a completely different cultural fit than we did in the 80’s up in the Northern part of the States. We had folks coming in from Latin America and Europe and they had a different pace for business. So if you try to drive New York down their throat you wouldn’t be successful. It was all about building a relationship.
Ivan Misner: Yeah, it really is. And I find that actually that kind of works globally. BNI operates in 59 countries. So we’ve got chapters in Manhattan in chapters in Taiwan and it may be a slightly different approach in how they first communicate with each other because certainly New Yorkers are different than talking to somebody from the mid-west but it’s still about relationships. When push comes to shove it’s about going deep and building relationships with people as a way of getting referrals. If your network is a mile wide an inch deep it will never be successful. The way to go deep in your network is to build these connections and relationships with people. So you want to meet them at networking events and so one of the things people say to me is, “Ivan Misner, if you’ve gone to a networking event and you’re not there to sell, then why are you there?” You’re there to make connections with people and have an understanding about what they do and then be able to take it to the next level. I don’t know if in our last show we talked about the VCP process or not but that’s really the foundation of what I teach. Visibility, credibility, profitably. So you go to networking events to try to be visible to people who don’t know who you are. To work on your credibility with the people who do know who you are but they don’t know you real well. So you’re trying to build credibility with them and to continue with your profitability with those people that you already have relationships with and are getting referrals. So you talk to people differently based on where you’re at in the VCP process when you go to networking events.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah, that’s terrific, 100 percent. And I do that because there’s certain people I have known for a long time, a number of them I have been able to do value creating, I’ll just have to say it this way, favors for them. I have a number of people where I’ve helped them start a career. I was just looking…you know you get those LinkedIn notifications that so and so has been at such and such for X number of years, I got 9 years today. Guys getting married, having a family. That makes me feel good, I can call him anytime and ask for a referral.
Ivan Misner: Absolutely because you’ve invested in that relationship. What tends to happen is that people ask for withdrawal before there’s any kind of investment. And then they can’t understand why is this person not helping me? Well they’re not helping you because they don’t know you. There’s no trust. There’s no relationship. On the other hand, let me give you an example of somebody that I know who just totally did it right. I met him in a business organization and he reached out to me once and asked if we could talk and I said, “Yeah” and I thought for sure he was going to sell me something but we had this conversation and he found out that there was something that I needed on a website and he said, “Let me help you with that.” And I said, “Well okay, how much?” And he said, “No, no, no, I’m not going to ask for money. I can help you with that.” And he did it and then he called me up a few months later and he said, “I’ve got a great idea for you. Would you mind if I set this thing up for you where I do this because I’m testing out this product and I would like to try it and…” and I said, “Okay, how much?” And he said, “No, no, no, I just want to try it…” so he called me, oh it must have been four times over the course of about eight months or a year and he kept giving and giving and giving, never asked for anything. Then one day he picks up the phone and he calls me up and he says, “Ivan Misner, I’ll tell you right up front, I have a favor to ask you.” And I said to him, “Alex, the answer is yes.” And he said, “Well I haven’t even told you what the favor is.” I said, “You have just spent a year contributing, making investments in this relationship and doing nothing but helping me. You’ve never asked for anything from me. I can’t imagine that whatever you’re going to ask from me now is going to be something I’m going to be unwilling to do because we know each other well enough. So the answer is yes. What is it you want me to do?” And he told me. It was totally easy. It helped him a lot but it was very easy for me to do. We tend to try to flip that. We ask for the favor first and then we expect to help them down the road. It needs to be reversed. Invest in the relationship before you take or withdrawal.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah and I have similar stories where I have the big financier who is brought in to run the big workout company and he’s brought in as the hatch man for the big whatever and I just know him and I take him out to my favorite hole in the wall, dive restaurant and he goes, “Oh my god, I love this. Everybody always takes me out to, you pick it…fancy restaurant.” And I go, “I figured you would just want to be down home where you go yourself.” He goes, “Yeah” he leans in and goes, “Let me order some wine, what do you want?” I go, “I don’t want anything. I want to have dinner.” And he goes, “Well everybody asks me something they want something.” I go, “I don’t want anything.” I still haven’t asked that guy. Another guy that built the same relationship, I asked him for a couple things four or five years after I made sure that I met him that I sat with him at an awards dinner, that I got him nominated for the award, that I helped him win the award twice. Then I sat down and said, “Hey can you help me out with this?” And it was no problem. You know, that’s what is important.
Ivan Misner: But Jim, that’s where people get it completely wrong. They think that networking is a face to face cold calling, where you go and you meet people and you try to ask for business or ask for a referral and it’s completely wrong. Instead it’s about building a relationship and the best way to build a relationship is to help someone. If you can help or make…and it can be something as simple as you’re talking to someone and they tell you about some problem that they’re having in business and you said, “Hey I read a great thing on the internet with that, give me your email and I’ll send you an article that might help you with that.” I do that all the time and it’s a great way to start a relationship with people, is to send them stuff that you’ve read that deals with some issue that they’re talking about.
Jim Fried: Well I try to do that a lot of times with Twitter and to curate my Twitter feed to have things like that. I try to do some favoring. I love going to your site and favoring your tips. You’ve always got some great tips. Can you hang out and give me another segment? Can we do another segment?
Ivan Misner: For you, anything.
Jim Fried: Oh I love it. See, I T’d him up. I’ve been doing favors, so I asked him for a favor. We’ll be right back after this. Dee, the board, the man, the myth, the music, it’s yours buddy. You’re up.[commercial break]
South Florida’s only business radio station. The Wall Street Business Network, 880 AM The Biz.
You’re listening to Jim Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guests call 305-541-2350. That’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host, Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright, alright, we are back…alright we are back. We are back with Dr. Ivan Misner. Ivan Misner, I’ve got to tell you I’m getting the tweets. People are loving it, man. You’re giving them great stuff here. We’re talking about networking. Converting your networking efforts to referrals. Which, referrals are how we make money. Welcome back. Ivan Misner, the king of networking, the founder of BNI.
Ivan Misner: Thank you! It’s good to be on the show, always.
Jim Fried: Thank you! Thank you so much for having us. And again, we want to thank Beth for showing up and talking about The Foundation and what you do in the schools. Our next segment, people are going to stay after the half hour. We’re going to talk about the South Florida Technology environments. We’re going to have Early Shares on. Joanna Schwartz, we’re going to have Xavier Gonzalez from eMerge and we’re going to have Matt Haggman from The Knight Foundation. So good things technology after the half hour but let’s talk about converting who we know and who we’re going to know into money. Dr. Misner, okay I’m at the event. I’m looking to leverage the people I know to meet people I don’t. How do I do that?
Ivan Misner: Well I think one of the best ways is to connect with the people there that you’ve got creditability with. People you know and trust you already. And ask them if they can introduce you to a few of the other people that are there. For example, if I saw you at an event and there were a couple of people that I were looking for in particular professions or maybe specific individuals, I might come up and say “Hey Jim, do you know people like this or…” assuming that we know each other and you’d feel comfortable, I’m going to assume that you would feel comfortable referring me or introducing me, I would just say “Hey, would you mind introducing me to so and so and so and so if they’re here.” Or to someone in this position that’s in the company at this even that you might know. And have you introduce me.
Jim Fried: I’ll tell you, that’s the best way to do it. I call it, do you mind if I break in to your little conversational bouquet. And if I see somebody and they’re standing alone like a flower on their own I come in and create one with them. They’re going to introduce me to people that I don’t know and I’m going to bring value to them. I’ll tell you, one of the great things that I’ve learned is the young people. I help the young people. They need jobs. They don’t know how to network, they don’t know how to do anything. The first thing I do is I ask them, “So who is it that you want to meet and where is it that you want to go?” That way I kind of know where their head’s at and then I take it from there and I get them to learn. And to me that’s the first favor I’m throwing out at them. And believe me, every single time I always get a call back and those people are friends for life.
Ivan Misner: And so, your question, if you went to a networking event and you wanted meet certain people how do you do it? You do it by asking people that you do know to introduce you to those people if they know them. And there’s almost always somebody there that knows the kind of people that you’re looking for. And that third party introduction is so much more valuable than just walking up cold and saying, “Hi my name’s Ivan Misner and I’ve been interested in meeting you.” It’s better to have somebody else do that introduction.
Jim Fried: My favorite introduction…my favorite cold walk-up at an event was I walked up to one of the big family office thought leaders and I said, “Hi, I’m Jim Fried, my friend over there wants to meet you.” He cracked up. I said, “Look, he’s a fund manager, all he does is look at screens all day. I’m the guy that goes out and presses the flesh. I want you to meet him.” The guy said, “Your darn tootin I’ll go meet him.” And we’ve all three been doing business ever since that night.
Ivan Misner: Yeah, those kinds of warm introductions they make a really big difference, especially if the person…if you know the person that you’re making that introduction to then your credibility kind of rubs off on me a little bit. Because if Jim knows Ivan Misner than I’m happy to talk to Ivan Misner. And that kind of introduction makes it much more valuable.
Jim Fried: Yeah, well in school…well you’re a professor, you’re going to nail me on this. I hope I get an A on this. That’s sort of like the halo effect, no?
Ivan Misner: Yeah, that’s exactly what it is, the halo effect.
Jim Fried: Cool! High five to my professor from 35 years ago. Now, I’ve gone to the event, I’ve come back with all kinds of cards. I know that if I write on the cards that I’m going to remember a little bit more the next day. How do I convert those cards to referrals?
Ivan Misner: Well, again, it’s about building those relationships. So if you’ve written on the card, hopefully some of those cards you’ve promised to get back to some people for some reason, like maybe one of those articles or somebody expressed the need that they had that you’d said you would help them. So get back to them on it. Follow-up is absolutely key when you get these cards. Start with the ones that you promised to get back to them on and get back to them. And get back to them. I like to get back to them within 24 hours. Certainly no more than 48. People ask me what’s the best way to follow-up. My answer surprises them. The best method to follow-up is the one you will actually do, because I used to say, a hand written note is the best way to follow-up. The problem is, some people are horrible at hand written notes. They just really are. So people wouldn’t do it. Some people prefer a phone call, some people prefer email. Some people love hand written notes. So the one that you’re going to do most consistently is the one that is going to be best. That said, I think a hand written note, nobody is doing them anymore. So, that’s a great way to follow-up. Me, I do email usually. I will follow-up with an email. And you got to do it quickly. Now, for those people that you didn’t necessarily promise to get back with but you want to connect with them, drop them note and say, “Hey it was really nice meeting with you. I’d like to find out more about what you do. Would you like to get together for some coffee? Or get together and just give me a chance to learn more about what you do and maybe I can talk a little bit about what I do.” And it’s that simple. It’s really no more complicated than that. Then when you sit down with them, you want to hit certain cylinders in the conversation. Not just let it wander.
Jim Fried: Oh yeah, I come to those with an agenda. Sometimes I feel awkward but I always put an agenda down on the table and I go, “I hope you don’t mind, this is a really important meeting for me, I had to write down my thoughts to make sure that I got everything in.” Nobody has ever gotten angry with my little sheet.
Ivan Misner: No never! At BNI we use a sheet called the “gains exchange.” And both parties know that they’re coming to the one-to-one meeting with their gains exchange filled out. It stands for Goals, Accomplishments, Interest, Networks and Skills. So you talk about what are some of your personal and professional goals, what are some of your personal professional accomplishments, your interests, the networks that you participate in and some of your skills. It may sound odd, how are you going to get referrals for crying out loud, talking about that. It’s amazing how it work because when you find people that have overlapping areas of interest all of a sudden you have a much better chance of building a relationship. When I was testing this out I tried it out with two guys who thought it was a silly idea. They were both members of BNI. They thought it was a silly idea. They had been member for a year, they hardly knew each other. So they did this one-to-one, they filled it out, they found out in the process that they were both soccer coaches for their sons soccer teams. Oh well, forget about the rest of the stuff. Now that’s all they talked about was soccer and different plays with soccer and they ended up actually scouting for each other. One would go out and scout for the other and learn about each other’s teams and they shared stuff with one another, became really close professional friends and then guess what happened? They started passing referrals to each other.
Jim Fried: Well listen Ivan Misner, your anecdotes, I love them. I can’t take enough notes. The books, they’re terrific and I’ve run out of time. So I’ve got to ask you if I can have you back again sometime soon. And if you could please tell everybody how to get information on your BNI, on the books, where they can network because this is how people can help themselves.
Ivan Misner: Absolutely, thanks a lot. And yeah, BNI, you can get information about BNI on BNI.com and if your listeners would like to go to my blog I have a ton of free content up on my blog. A lot of different material, IvanMisner.com. Thanks for inviting me.
Jim Fried: It’s my pleasure. I follow you and BNI on Twitter. We favorite back and forth all the time. I really do appreciate it, it’s great to have you on. It’s great to have Beth back in the fold and we look forward to getting you back, hopefully before the end of the summer so as the networking season starts to pick up again people can get their tips from the expert. Thanks again, Dr. Ivan Misner, the king of networking, the founder of BNI.
Ivan Misner: Take care.
Jim Fried: Okay, Dee it’s all yours, we’ll be right back after this, talking about the technology infrastructure here in South Florida with three of the curators, Joanna Schwartz, Xavier Gonzalez and Matt Haggman all on the show. Back after this.[commercial break]
Jim Fried: We are on, I’m not going to have notes. It’s going to be the best half hour I’ve done since last week. Actually since I had Ivan Misner on. We’ve got Matt Haggman on, he’s the head of the Knight Foundation. We’ve got Xavier Gonzalez, is it Xavier ? Is the X silent?
Xavier Gonzalez: Yes, absolutely.
Jim Fried: Okay, good. He’s here, he’s the director of eMerge and we’ve got Joanna Schwartz, she’s here. She’s the share person and founder of Early Shares. We’re going to talk about curating South Florida’s technology ecosystem. I can’t believe I got that complex…
Xavier Gonzalez: Well done Jim.
Joanna Schwartz: Great Job.
Jim Fried: Thank you so much.
Matt Haggman: High energy, Jim.
Jim Fried: I can’t match the energy you guys promised. Now, Xavier you just finished the second art Basel of technology…what do you call that? eMerge?
Xavier Gonzalez: eMerge America, that’s us.
Jim Fried: eMerge America, well very good. Well Matt you were a big part of that too and Joanna was one of your top presenters in Women and Technology. So was the event successful and how do you gauge success to something like that?
Xavier Gonzalez: Well I think you can see in everything from the feedback we’ve gotten from the community. The great support that we’ve gotten from folks like Matt and The Knight Foundation. The start-ups like Joanna who participated in the event. It was an absolutely home-run. It blew away all of our expectations, yet again. And this is the second year. Some of things we look at in terms of success…
Jim Fried: Metrics…
Xavier Gonzalez: Metrics…yeah. I got numbers for you Jim. I came…
Jim Fried: Startup beats on…
Xavier Gonzalez: That’s right, so we had the 10,000 attendees that we were hoping for. And it was really the highest quality of attendees and one of the things that we heard over and over again from the businesses, from the organizations that we’re participating, and we were just talking about it just before the show, how much business was done? How much interaction and networking was done at the event?
Jim Fried: This is a business show and we just had networking on, so you would be our two good targets. Why don’t you tell me what you’re really talking about here?
Xavier Gonzalez: Yeah, exactly. You had the biggest companies of the world like the HP’s of the world, they had qualified leads that were happening here in Miami. They were finding the kind of business that they wanted.
Jim Fried: There were collisions occurring?
Xavier Gonzalez: We even heard from one of the start-ups that they signed a $500,000 term sheet on the floor of eMerge America.
Jim Fried: Whoa! Did they bring their lawyer?
Xavier Gonzalez: I don’t know, that’s for them to figure out. All I think that we, as an ecosystem, care about is that those kinds of deals are happening and they’re happening at an event like eMerge America. We have a ton of other metrics that we could go through. But to answer your question simply, yes.
Jim Fried: That to me is the only metric I care about it. And I want to talk to the money. I want to talk to Matt. Matt was the event a success?
Matt Haggman: HUGE success. It was a complete and total home run. We’re proud…
Jim Fried: I cut you off but it’s my show, go ahead.
Xavier Gonzalez: I’m so impressed you’re so prepared for this. We’ve heard collisions, we’ve heard ecosystem…
Jim Fried: All off the top of my head bro! All off the top of my head. I did tattoo it on my hands just to make sure, just to make sure.
Matt Haggman: eMerge America was a home-run. The Knight Foundation, we’re super proud of the fact that we were a founding funder for the first eMerge Americas and we came back and we’re actually a multi-supporter of eMerge Americas. In year one there was 6,000 attendees. In year two, over 10,000.
Jim Fried: Well you know, Miami World Center will be up soon so you’ll have a couple more hotel rooms for the people in a couple of years here.
Xavier Gonzalez: We filled those too Jim. We filled those too.
Jim Fried: Now Matt, first of all, high five on Silver Nights. High five on that.
Matt Haggman: Thank you, thank you, were you there last night?
Jim Fried: I just saw your tweet, so I was not there.
Matt Haggman: I appreciate it.
Jim Fried: I was at the Marlins game. I was praying for the Marlins.
Matt Haggman: Well you know Jack Night started Silver Nights years ago.
Jim Fried: I have friends who went to Silver Night. I actually have two friends. One that won the Silver Night and the guy that came in second to him, they never let each other forget it. They’re both huge doctors here in town. If they’re listening they know who I’m talking about. And they are still…can I say pissing contest? I guess I just did, didn’t I? Okay. Anyway and they’re so angry but that to me…Silver Night is where the technology environment starts because if we can have those young people and keep them here or get them to come back, that’s what is important.
Matt Haggman: Absolutely, you know it’s funny. Alberto Bargainer, our CEO, tells a story about how when he met Jeff Bezos for the first time.
Jim Fried: I was in high school about the same time.
Matt Haggman: Oh you too?
Jim Fried: About the same time.
Matt Haggman: Similar trajectory.
Jim Fried: Very much so. I’m very happy with my media mega show here. Anybody can email me and I’ll send them whatever they want off of my Amazon account.
Matt Haggman: And actually Bezos said that one of his proudest moments was actually winning the Silver Night. It was really cool.
Jim Fried: I was working in a deli back then. I was working in the deli. I won the silver finger award. Just keep that off the scale Mr. Jim Fried. Now, Joanna, you went to Early Merge and you actually…
Joanna Schwartz: Early Merge I like that…
Jim Fried: Early Merge…
Matt Haggman: I think there’s a branding opportunity there.
Jim Fried: Well that’s because I’m so well prepared for the interview. Now, you were a presenter at eMerge. I saw your presentation, well done.
Joanna Schwartz: Thank you.
Jim Fried: You got to get the gerbil to roll a little faster next time when the people are taping, but no it was great. And so, tell me what was your experience as an attendee? Because we got two of the originators. I know you guys were a sponsor but you were also an attendee. What did you get out of going to eMerge?
Joanna Schwartz: eMerge is phenomenal and I echo Matt and Xavier ’s comments on it. And for the fact that it’s the second year in a row, the vision is really starting to take turn into reality and really be the Basel and you can see that the pieces of that actually starting to happen, the offshoots and all of the satellite events and shows that are starting to happen as a result of it, it’s exactly the vision starting to come together. For Early Shares is was phenomenal. I was able to participate in one of the panels on crowd funding where we educated several hundred people who were sitting in the panel, about equity crowd funding and what that means for the future of private investing and then as a company we participated in the late stage start-up events and we were able to meet dozens or hundreds of people walking the floor, potential investors, potential customers, people just interested in what’s going on. And then we were fortunate to be selected into the top ten. So we did the big pitch on stage, the very scary 10 minute pitch in front of the whole place. Which I talked so fast I actually finished in 9 1/2.
Jim Fried: My question is…
Joanna Schwartz: That was the crowning achievement for me at eMerge.
Jim Fried: I just cut you off…did you beat…
Matt Haggman: It is your show, Jim.
Jim Fried: It is my show. Did you beat Pied Piper? I’ve been waiting to get that…
Joanna Schwartz: Pied Piper…
Jim Fried: I know, I know, it’s the same joke but I’m really good in email.
Joanna Schwartz: I don’t think that anyone can beat Pied Piper.
Jim Fried: Those guys are terrific, I love their compression.
Matt Haggman: All of the stuff that we’re working on…can you hear me?
Jim Fried: Yeah, I can hear you now Matt…
Matt Haggman: Working on together, we win or lose with people like Joanna. What Xavier and I are working on together, its early stage start-ups wanting to build their ventures here in my Miami and being in an environment and ecosystem where they can do that well, that’s the key. So if Joanna is happy then we’re all happy.
Jim Fried: And she wondered, why did I invite her, now you think you know why. I don’t prepare but I do think ahead.
Xavier Gonzalez: I think one of the other key parts is that Joanna does just participate in something like eMerge America, she’s like an active hoarder. She’s going out there, she’s finding folks and we’re seeing that a lot and that’s very important to the growth of the ecosystem. You need the success stories to not only be success stories but to go out there and share and be a cheerleader for it and bring more folks in. So, we need more Joanna Schwartz’ for the ecosystem to continue…
Matt Haggman: Just to go on a little bit further about Joanna, so Joanna went off Harvard Business School, right? She could be anywhere and she’s here…
Jim Fried: Oh really, you’re a smarty pants.
Matt Haggman: Yes, speaking for Joanna. She could be anywhere and she’s here and that’s exactly what we’re shooting for. Ultimately, all success studies are built on ability to attract and retain talent and the thinking is that this done well will achieve that.
Jim Fried: Well listen, I got to tell you, one of the things that I do is whenever somebody is looking to help a young person get a job I network all the young kids from UF, the young people down here. I’ve also helped people from other schools, Wharton, UM, FIU and when I’m feeling a little blue and come on, even I get a little down occasionally, I pull out the list of the people that I have helped and it just makes me feel so good that I’ve been able to keep people with that quality of education and that quality of spirit here in South Florida building, and I don’t call them jobs, careers.
Joanna Schwartz: Absolutely…
Matt Haggman: Yep, absolutely.
Joanna Schwartz: I think what’s so interesting is that the dialog is finally starting to change about Miami. And when we started talking about this stuff two years ago it was all about the dialog and in the city things were starting to change but the national perception of Miami was still kind of the old school, we’re missing the culture, we’re missing the start-up ecosystem and we’re missing that business flare that you need in order to create this real ecosystem that we’re not building and now the dialog has changed completely and in two short years Miami is now…I just read an article the other day that all the hedge funds and all the VC’s, everyone is flocking down here for all the right reasons.
Jim Fried: I want to ask a question. I know everybody has a point but I want to ask a question, I want to myth bust. I want to myth bust because when I talk to people about the technology boom that is going to be and is occurring down here, and I’ll go as far as to say, Manny is the Craig Robins of technology, because Craig started Art Basel. People talk about the intellectual capacity of the local indigenous population, or I’ll just say it this way, our public schools don’t produce what the people want to hire. And that’s been an issue that people have brought up for a long time.
Matt Haggman: Myth…
Xavier Gonzalez: Myth…
Jim Fried: Please, Matt, you’re the one who studies this. Talk to me about the college students, we graduate, everything else…
Matt Haggman: Well start with a couple…one is, Miami hasn’t had trouble producing stars.
Xavier Gonzalez: Jeff…
Matt Haggman: Jeff Bezos, Cheryl Sandberg, all products of Miami public schools.
Jim Fried: Jim Fried!
Matt Haggman: Jim Fried! The trifecta right there. So, number two…
Xavier Gonzalez: Now that’s a heck of a…Mount Rushmore…
Joanna Schwartz: That’s a nice one.
Matt Haggman: Number two, if you look…there was a study done a couple years ago, found that Miami actually has 7th per capita number of college students in a metropolitan area. Most people would never think of Miami as a center of high education and yet, if you look across the country it’s got this really interesting and growing critical mass. And so that…and with that, of course the quality is going up too and as that continues to build the talent is being produced. Furthermore, Miami is a place that people come to. And so we see people both North and South coming up from Latin America, coming South from the Northeast…is time out? Do we have to go to commercial?
Jim Fried: We have to go to a break, I don’t have a sign that says we have to go to break…you’re seeing it in my face. Dee it’s your show for exactly however long it takes to bring it back. These people have great things to say. We have great energy.
Matt Haggman: Are we going for an hour?
Jim Fried: Half hour. If you want to sponsor the show we’ll go for an hour. We can bleed over…I’ll talk to them about it. We’ll be right back after this with more fun, talking technology on Jim Fried on Business. Dee it’s yours.[commercial break]
This the Wall Street Business Network. South Florida’s only business radio station, 880 AM, The Biz. You’re listening to Jim Fried on Business. To talk to Jim and his guests call 305-541-2350, that’s 305-541-2350. Now back to your host, Jim Fried.
Jim Fried: Alright, we are back. Everybody’s mic is live so be careful, be careful what you say everybody. We’re here with, and I’m happy to say it, and I think they’re great people. They’re three of the people that help curate our technology ecosystem here in town, Matt Haggman from The Knight Foundation, who can identify and fund the stars of the future. We got Xavier Gonzalez bringing us our big conference that brings all the people here to realize Miami is where they need to be and we’ve got Joanna Schwartz here as the example. How do you like that?
Joanna Schwartz: The example…there you go.
Matt Haggman: And by the way Jim, it’s worth pointing out, Xavier is a grantee of Knight Foundation.
Jim Fried: Well why don’t you talk about that?
Matt Haggman: Talk about funding the stars of the future, there it is. The example, this is another example.
Jim Fried: Well that’s great…
Matt Haggman: It’s not of the future, it’s now.
Jim Fried: Well bringing the future to today is what technology is all about.
Matt Haggman: Yes.
Jim Fried: There’s the other profound thing…write that stuff down.
Matt Haggman: Are we recording this?
Jim Fried: We are recording this. And it will be given to you and you’re more than happy…I’ll even give you a transcript. I don’t pay for the fancy, expensive transcript though, so it comes in 12 days.
Matt Haggman: By the way, did you go to eMerge?
Jim Fried: Actually, I don’t want to talk about what happened. I had a personal family emergency…I love you Mom, I hope you’re feeling better. We’ll talk about it off the air but I told Joanna Schwartz and the answer is, I was jonesing to go. I was on the beach and I couldn’t go and I’m just getting over the rash that I got of not being able to go. But I did watch a lot of the content. I was very disappointed that I didn’t go. I’m looking to go next year. I’m lobbying Xavier Gonzalez by doing lots of …
Matt Haggman: Are you going to broadcast live?
Jim Fried: Well, we’ll talk about that.
Matt Haggman: One of the conversations that we’ve already started having is obviously, you know we have our multi-year partnership with NBC Universal and you had CNBC live broadcasting Fast Money, we had Jose Dias Ballard doing live interviews.
Jim Fried: People say I look like him, what do you think Joanna?
Joanna Schwartz: Definitely!
Jim Fried: Thank you.
Matt Haggman: Wow she is very nice and smart.
Jim Fried: She went to Harvard right? She had to bullshit her way into that. Somebody interviewed her.
Matt Haggman: One of the things that you’re going to continue to see is those live broadcasts, that partnership continue to grow, so Jim I think there may be a great opportunity to get your face on NBC News and really kind of take this whole Jim Fried on Business national and international.
Joanna Schwartz: Syndication…
Jim Fried: With the referral and backing like this, there’s no way I can fail. I’m graveling to the Knight Foundation for pennies here, pennies. Let’s get local inclusion in there. Huh? And I’m taping this, yes, so now you…I’m going to be sending it to you.
Joanna Schwartz: Matt if you give him a grant maybe we can all have headphones next time.
Jim Fried: Hey now, hey now…we have the headphones I just don’t have the adapter. So it’s only $5 bucks. But it’s not, it’s Salem and they’re a big company. The reality is, is that I forgot all the stuff at home because I got so excited about seeing you.
Matt Haggman: For everyone wondering what we’re talking about, we walked in the four us and we all looked for our headphones to put on. Xavier , Joanna and I and Jim said, “There’s just one set.”
Jim Fried: Well there’s only one person that needs to hear all this anyway. So anyway, we’re supposed to talk about technology and we’ve only got a couple of minutes left so why don’t we try to do that. So Matt, I live up by Wynwood. I see the lab, I see what’s going on in Wynwood. I understand that it’s being pigged out on now and the prices are all going to go up. There’s actually a really good question for you. People ask me what started the tech revolution and it was the Knight Foundation gave it a little grease, two minutes that’s it? I got to get to the end of my story. Prices are going up, it’s not cheap to live here anymore. We’ve only one minute left. So Matt how are we going to continue the momentum as prices go up and people can’t live as cheaply or work as cheaply.
Matt Haggman: Compared to other successful start-up communities, actually Miami remains a bargain if you compare to San Francisco or New York, for example. But look, this is always going to be a challenge. It’s never going to go away and we have to find a way through it. And Miami ultimately has to be good. We have to build the jobs that can pay for the neighborhoods, the careers and the lifestyle that we’re creating here. There’s no silver bullet, it’s going to be a layered response but what are we, down to five seconds here?
Jim Fried: That’s why you’re coming back. That’s why you’ll be coming back. We’ll do a whole show with Xavier and with Matt and Joanna, the smart example here. Early Shares we love, eMerge we love you, The Knight Foundation, we keep begging for pennies. Okay, I want to thank our sponsors, Kind Snacks, South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine, Terek Maddox, the CCIM’s, UHealth, Warren Henry, the NFL Alumni, the Miami Dolphins…this is a great list.
Matt Haggman: With all those sponsors how can you not pay for an hour, this is terrific.
Friend: I can pay for an hour but the other half hour was somebody else. Miami Marlins, Lauren’s Kids, Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, Uhealth, but I really want to thank our listeners, thank you to everybody. If you missed the show it will be up on our webpage as soon as I can get it up on my webpage. This is Jim Fried for Jim Fried on Business, look for us at 880 AM, next Thursday at 6: 00. Why? Because I love doing this. Although after you guys I may not have a show anymore. This is not a rehearsal, this is your life you can see it, it wasn’t rehearsed. The person wants to do something finds a way, finds an excuse, now go out there and make it happen. Dee it’s yours. Thank you! Thank you everybody!