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Disruption With IoT And Voice Command with Chris Voss
My guest is Chris Voss who is a powerhouse in the world of podcasting and social media. He is recognized as being a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer. He is also recognized by the Consumer Electronics Show as being a massive influencer. The reason why I invited him to the show is we have a lot of common friends. He lives in the same city I live in. He and I share a lot of the same interests. It’s because of his insights into the world of the Internet of Things, which has a massive impact on how we are going to be creating and consuming data. Chris, welcome to the show.
Thanks for having me, Mark. I appreciate it.
Let’s talk about the Internet of Things and how it is so disruptive.
The kids call it these days the IoT because they don’t know how to spell, considering our public school education these days. Let’s talk about IoT, Internet of Things. We’ve got the CES Show approaching here in 2019. I got my media invite from the CES Show and I’m excited because it’s the funniest show I go and do all year.
The Consumer Electronics Show essentially previews what is going to be impacting the world over the next two to three years and that’s an important show.
They either feature that or they feature all the things that are going to fail in the next year and people and companies going upside down.
It’s going to be one or the other. You can either be disruptive or you’re going to disrupt. They’re both happening. It used to be that we had COMDEX, which was the computer show. At that point in time in the world of COMDEX, we were watching the technology the companies would buy that would influence the rest of the world. COMDEX is no longer. It’s been replaced by the Consumer Electronics Show because consumers decide what technology is going to be implemented in the world. That’s no longer determined by corporations and that’s a massive shift.
We're probably going to get replaced and just be blockchain elements one of these days. Click To Tweet
It’s interesting to me the technologies that are going on here. I have a lot of conversations with my friends in the technology futurist business. What’s going to be the most disruptive in the future? What’s going to be making a big difference? We were talking about how everyone’s going on a drone and that certainly hasn’t happened. In fact, no one seems to care about drones anymore. Then it was AR and VR and that seems to have been a bit of a dud so far. Maybe we got here too soon with the technology or it’s too costly or too cumbersome. One of the problems I had with AR and VR is I like what it is but wearing a headset and sweating bullets in the nasty face headset for an hour isn’t my cup of tea. I can sit for hours and game on a console, but wearing that headset, it’s dripping sweat for me after a half an hour and that’s not fun.
We’re at the early edge of that. Imagine the original desktop computers being luggables now. We do everything on a mobile device. The same thing’s going to happen with AR/VR. We’re still early in the technology that’s massively disruptive. With that said, it’s not ready for primetime.
I’m not sure when it is. We’re starting to see some interesting things with augmented reality advertising, but that’s still going to come about with people. We’re seeing more adaption with the phones. The phones have to make augmented reality a workforce. To me, the real futurist’s things and I’m watching what’s going on in cryptocurrency and some of the different offerings they have there. We seem to be in this hype phase of cryptocurrency where we were in the app phase when the iPhone got released where there are all sorts of these crazy startups that are like, “We’re going to make Bitcoin for how to flush your toilet,” and you’re like, “Do we need to do that? Do we need a cryptocurrency technology to flush toilets or something?” It’s like they’re applying, “You need an app for everything.” They’re doing that with cryptocurrency. In fact, we should probably be on the blockchain. We’re probably going to get replaced and be blockchain elements one of these days.
That’s going to happen for things such as identification because it keeps things from being stolen. There are true places where blockchain makes a hell of a lot of sense. 99% of the applications out there don’t yet make sense. We’ll get there.
I’m seeing lots of startup things that you’re like, “I don’t know how you’re going to make money,” but what do I know? It’s the future.
Isn’t that part of our job as executives though to figure out the technology and exploit in a way that our current customers are going to say yes to?
That’s pretty much the Silicon Valley way. What we want to do is we want to come with technology and exploit it in a certain way where enough people sign up that we can sell it to Wall Street or one of those giant fund corporations before anyone figures out it’s a turd.
That’s what it is. Part of it is are we creating real value or are we creating sustainable value?
Are we throwing wishes into the wind, I suppose?
Part of that’s the challenge with venture capital. I know you’ve been involved in funding companies through the years. Venture capitalists think they’re smart, yet one out of 30 other companies they invest in do something. How smart is that? I’m not sure they are smart.
It’s a numbers game. I’ve heard Fred Wilson talk about a percentage, but it’s 3% of your portfolio is going to turn into a rock star. That 3% of your portfolio turns into billions if you sell it and upload it to Wall Street and hedge funds. The other thing I like that I’m seeing a lot for IoT that was big is the IoT stuff, the integration into all of our appliances where everything in our house has got the Internet of Things plugged into it. My house is wired. You heard me earlier when we started our pre-show where I commanded my lights to come on. I like that feature. I’ve got these cool noon switches throughout my house where I literally don’t have to touch them but if I walk by, they light up. They have a touchpad sensor on them as you would have with your iPhone and you can adjust the brightness up and down. You can have settings.
The future is amazing. If I have my way, I don’t walk through my house and touch a light switch all day long and I talk to Google. I’m not a big fan of Alexa, but it is what it is. More of that’s going to go on, knowing what’s in our fridges. I saw a lot of cool fridge concepts at CES. I saw the cooking concepts where people bought the app Yummly. When I went Vegan, I used Yummly to do recipes on meals and stuff and I lost about 75 pounds. They bought Yummly and it’s a manufacturer of stoves and other appliances. They integrated with Yummly where it will read the Yummly and it will prepare the meal. It will run your timers and everything you need to know, the temperatures, right off the data. You’re like, “I want to make some mash potatoes.” It gives you the instructions. Just throw it in the oven and the oven thinks it all through for you when it comes to the stuff.
The Internet of Things, as far as household appliances, is starting to reach the place where it makes a lot of sense. The refrigerators you’re talking about have cameras. There’s another layer there that we need to bring into play, which is not quite there yet. That would be with the readable radio tags where every product has its own unique license plate. We can go to the internet and find out what that product is and when it expires. The string gauges in the refrigerator shelves can measure how much is in the product. It measures when you put it on there. It measures when you take it off. It knows how much you’ve consumed. The refrigerator can tell you what’s in there, how much you’ve got and therefore Yummly can tell you what recipes that you can make right now with what’s in your house. What we have to have in that particular case are those RFID tags and the license plates. We’re getting close. There is printing technology that allows them to put that on any device on any product and it’s less than a penny to do it.
They’ve been close for all the years. I remember when I got the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S6 or S5 when I got it years ago. Samsung sent, with a review in it, these RFID tags you could use. It’s a matter of adaption and getting people to utilize them. I know Amazon has those self-ordering push button things.
It's just amazing what you can do through IoT and what you can ramp through it. Click To Tweet
The Amazon Dash Button.
It was Whirlpool who bought Yummly. I looked at the Whirlpool oven and I was pretty blown away. It literally takes the data right off Yummly. You go on Yummly and pick what you want and it will communicate with your unit. They have some microwaves that are the same way where you tell it what you’re putting in and the size and scope of it, weight and it programs itself. It cooks it itself and away you go.
A lot of that stuff is getting better and better. Let’s talk about the Dash Button for a minute. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Amazon Dash Button, it’s this little device, not big. It’s about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long. Amazon has these for about 4,000 brands. The most popular one is for Charmin toilet tissues. The second most popular is for Tide PODs. With the Tide POD one, not only can you order laundry detergent, but you can also order snacks for your Millennial kids. The idea is you take these little buttons, which connect to your internet and you put it where you use it. For example, the Tide POD goes into the laundry room. If you’re running low on Tide PODs, you push the button and it automatically places an order to Amazon for replenishment. If your spouse happens to push the Tide POD button after you do before replenishment shows up, it ignores it. They figured out how to do this. The idea is you put these everywhere you want. If you want water, whatever you want, including condoms. You can get to snacks. You can get fruit, whatever. There’s one for Trojans, no kidding.
Those dash things, I hope you put it out of reach of small children in the house because they’ll sit there and pound that thing.
There is that. That’s how come they’ve got that one time only type of situation. Otherwise, you’re going to have cases and cases of Hi-C. The thing that’s interesting is first of all, Amazon’s embedding themselves into our life. One is you can order that simply. The second thing is when somebody pushes that button, are they thinking about price?
It’s Amazon. You’ve sold your soul. You trust them because you’re a Prime customer. I’m not sure how the buttons work if they pick Amazon Choice products.
You program it. Here’s the way it works. You pay $5 for the button and the first time you use it, they give you $5 off the next order. When you get the button, there’s a short little process that you go through to program it using your mobile device, your mobile phone. You will tell it what it is you want to have it order when you push the button. It’s within that branding. They also have generic ones that you can assign to anything that Amazon has online as a replenishment strategy.
I’m a single guy so the button I’m waiting for is the Tinder button.
You live in Vegas. You can hook that up to any service you want.
Have you seen the new IoT stuff from Amazon that they released where they have a microwave and they have a whole mess of pretty much generic appliances and products but they have Alexa built-in. They don’t have the Alexa voice built into the microwave, but if you want to tell Alexa to turn on your microwave or to program your microwave for popcorn after you put the popcorn in it, you have to do that. With this microwave, you can tell Alexa, “Cook my popcorn,” and the microwave will do it. It doesn’t have the voice technology in it. Otherwise, you’d have 50 appliances yelling at you all at once every time you said, “Hello.” It works with your Alexa, which is pretty brilliant. Most of the products that come out were the generic Amazon’s Choice, the cheap stuff everyone will buy that’s pretty featureless, but it’s got the Amazon built-in. I literally could command most of my home, aside from the fact that I have to put something in the microwave and take it out. It’s pretty well-automated.
That’s the Internet of Things applied to real life and disrupting everybody that doesn’t include some functionality for programming or interface that Google or Amazon or anything else that’s out there. Executives, here is the whole point behind our conversation. Are you getting this frictionless control of what you’re building and creating for your customers into your products? If not, you’re not viable.
Even now, I’m trying to build my Amazon voice-enabled command for my podcast so that you can say to Alexa, “Play XYZ podcast,” and it will play my podcast. I don’t know if you’ve done that yet with Amazon, but you can literally go in with your podcast and play it. People that are podcasters are doing that. They’re setting up Alexa. It’s a little bit of programming. You got to go into Alexa’s system to do it. Your customers or people listening to this show can queue it up on Alexa and have it spoken to them.
Everything you’d need. It’s that interesting connect-the-dots in new ways that never were thought of. What else do we see coming up to the Internet of Things and some of the massive changes that we see going on there?
I can talk to my robot vacuum and tell it to vacuum the house to a schedule. I can talk to that. It’s amazing what you can do through IoT and what you can ramp through it. They have light bulbs. They send me these light bulbs to review and they’ve got Wi-Fi in there and the hubs and everything. You plug them in. I walk through my house in the morning when I wake up and I’m like, “XYZ home, turn on my lights, turn on my coffee maker.” It starts warming the coffee maker up downstairs and it starts running the plugs for different stuff. I have a bed warmer. I get a lot of these review units for beds where they have warming coils or cooling coils inside them. I have that on a plug so at night it’s warming the bed for me. I tell it to turn that off so that it’s not dealing with that in the morning. Literally, I can walk through my house. I go down in the kitchen in the morning. I don’t touch a light switch. I go, “XYZ, turn on my kitchen lights,” and then my coffee is there ready to go. Usually, as I have my coffee, I’ll ask XYZ to read me the news and it will start spouting off to me what is the news in the morning is while I’m sitting there enjoying my fine cup of beverage Java.
It would be awesome if we could figure out a way to have a push button for folks where they could get stuff when they needed it. Click To Tweet
More and more labor savings so that we have more time to do stuff that’s meaningful.
I can watch viral videos on YouTube. One of my favorite shows is Live PD. I can watch more of cop speeding criminals because God knows I’m not doing enough. At the end of my life, I’m going to be like, “If only I’d touched fewer light switches and watched more videos of something on YouTube that will add zero value to my life.”
Part of the question is what does the Internet of Things to bring to our lives? What’s the impact of that?
What does it do? For Amazon, it makes them richer and spends more of our money. Mr. Bezos will be able to buy another yacht. I’m glad that we can help him out because he’s suffering right now, only having ten yachts. My friend Robert Scoble wrote several books about IoT and the future. In 2011, I had walked into the Hilton here in Las Vegas. As soon as I stepped onto the casino floor, I got a Bluetooth push message. This was before the days of privacy and all the rules we have for this. Somebody stepped up their game early on. It said, “We noticed you’re stepping on the floor of the casino. Can we send you push messages and coupons and whatever else we want to do to get you to spend your money here?” I was like, “That is the future where I could walk into a restaurant or I could walk into something and get greetings and get interactions.” That hasn’t quite come to fruition like I thought it would have been by now where once I walked into a place like a hotel knows that I’m on the schedule and I’m coming and like, “What does Chris want?”
What my friend, Robert Scoble, talked about in his book and his speeches was if a hotel knows I’m coming, they put my favorite wine out before I arrive because they know that’s the wine that I like. It’s a great way where companies and brands could personalize that experience. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. There is some of that signaling that we do on social media that big brands will pick up, but usually, it’s on the high-end, high market cost thing. If I spend $1,000 a night at the Hyatt, I’m sure they might have a bottle of wine they have for me. I’m not sure that Motel 6 is going to have that bottle of wine for me.
It all depends on the experience that somebody wants to have, whether that makes sense or not. I see that we’re at the early edge of a lot of this. Part of it is that we have a generation that’s still running the world, which are the Baby Boomers that still respect their privacy. They want to not be tapped into. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got Gen X and the millennials and now coming onto Z Gen that trade privacy like currency.
They realized that probably everyone has their data and they don’t care.
An example of that is that you probably have seen these Bitmojis. I don’t know if you use them or not. There’s a cartoon representation of the person in a variety of situations. My kids and my wife use Bitmojis. I don’t and there’s one reason why. It’s because to use Bitmojis, I have to give them permission to read my keyboard presses. That’s how they figure out how to serve up which Bitmoji to suggest to you. It’s the only way that it makes it work. It gives you a whole series of things you could pick. Essentially, what I’m doing is giving them permission to watch everything I type. As a Boomer, I’m still a little resistant to that. My kids and my wife, they say, “It doesn’t matter. They’re listening to me anyway. They’re watching me anyway. They’re reading everything I do anyway. Why does it matter?”
They get everything anyway else. I’ve got a friend of mine who has his birthday on all the social media sites as January 1, 1980. Every January 1, I get this message like, “It is so-and-so’s birthday,” and I’m like, “It’s not his birthday. He’s lying.” He thinks he’s hiding his identity. People don’t realize there are huge supercomputers around this nation that are pulling this data and comparing it and analyzing it. They’re picking up your data everywhere on there. At this point, I pretty much figure everyone has my birthday, my address, my Social Security Number. I’m pretty sure it’s all out there, especially with all the hacks that I’m on. I get the “You’ve been Pwned” emails all the time every time my password and my data has been posted on the dark web. Everything from Walmart hacks to Uber to everything else. It seems I’m involved in more hacks than I am in applications that haven’t been hacked at this point.
Just assume it’s all out there.
The FBI and the CIA and the NSA can watch all they want.
It has been released that if you have an Intel i3, i5 or i7 processor.
I feel that’s where we’re at.
It’s about privacy.
Privacy in the IoT era is a big thing. Years ago, I went to CES. I used to go to AT&T’s pre-conference that they do where the CEO of AT&T and other executives get on stage. They talk to the AT&T developers here about the age of privacy and the issues that we have. It used to be there was one central point to breaking into your house if I wanted to get your data and that was using your Wi-Fi router. Once I got in there, I’d get everything else. Now, I can get into your stuff through your lamp and access your iTunes Cloud of all your pictures that you took if you’re Jennifer Lawrence or whatever from the hack that you saw with those guys with the nude photos There are big issues with all these layers of technology and security. Sometimes the little light bulbs they send me, I’m like, “Are you going to be the one who is the breach unit that they get through to steal whatever pictures they want off my computer data or whatever the case may be?”
These small devices do not have firewalls or security strategies. They’re essentially easy to hack into. If you live in any a suburban area or urban area, there are 50 Wi-Fi ports pounding at your devices. The Internet of Things can be an interesting challenge. We’ve got a lot of different things to think about. How do we use this? How do we make money from it? How do we benefit our humanity? How do we secure ourselves from it? We’ve covered a lot of ideas and a lot of topics in this conversation.
I saw a charity where they have figured out where different homeless people are working certain corners or certain areas in a city like New York City or major cities. This charity is figuring out a way where since this person is constantly there, they can have people donate through Amazon and send products to the people. You want to send a coat to someone who’s freezing to death in the winter. You can send a product to them and you put in the notes, “Tell the UPS driver that it’s the homeless guy sitting on the corner of 10th and Vine and give that package to them.” If we could figure out a way to have a push button for those folks where they could get stuff when they needed it or some food. You mentioned humanity earlier and that’s why I’m bringing up the topic. If we could figure out a way to feed the homeless and feed kids in school that is showing up hungry. Somehow have something on those lines that would make a difference
That would be a great way of taking IoT to a whole new level of supporting the human condition. Chris, how do people get ahold of you if they want to have a conversation with you?
They can go to TheChrisVossShow.com. You can find my emails on there. You can find me all over the web. Google me, you’ll find it. My emails and my phone numbers are everywhere. People could call me. I’m pretty open.
You’re pretty easy to get ahold of. You’ve got a lot of interesting guests on your show. In fact, you and I have a number of guests that we have had on both of our shows. I encourage you to go check out Chris’s show. As you can tell, he’s reverent, he is leading edge and he is interesting. Thank you so much, Chris, for joining me on the show.
Thanks for having me, Mark.
About Chris VossChris Voss has been a CEO, built, managed and invested in Corporations in various fields of industry for over 20 years. ChrisVoss.net
His experience of Business Ownership and Controlling Interest Investments range from Mortgage, Real Estate, Stock Markets, Investing, Mall Retailing, Computers, Clothing Lines, Talent Agencies, Courier Companies, Personnel Companies, Telemarketing Call Centers, Construction, Pay Per Call Industry, Club Promotions, Social Media, etc.
At 18, he started his first company. In 1992, with a mere $2000, he started his first Multi-Million Dollar producing company, that ran for over 13 years. A year later, with $4000, he started his second Multi-Million Dollar company that still operates today. After that, he oversaw 3 Companies simultaneously while building and investing in over 22 different companies.
He is proficient in most all aspects of Business Management, Operations, Start-ups, Sales, Motivation, Training and overseeing thousands of Employees. He brings Vision to a Business.in his ability to “think outside the box.”He can innovate outside the paradigms of a company’s self-limiting belief systems. Given his breadth of diversity, he can assimilate a business quickly and assess its good and weak points. In one case, he took over a company going into bankruptcy, turned it around, saved it from bankruptcy.
A successful Entrepreneur of Multi-Million Dollar Companies, he’s consulted people and business’ alike on a wide range of Business and Personal Life issues. On Twitter, his advice is followed by over 100,000 people and growing. He is in the 1200 of the Top Twitter people followed out of an estimated 20+ million users daily He has become the Social Media Marketing Expert other “experts’ call for help.
He currently writes a blog, The Chris Voss Show, in which many of his market predictions come into play. He predicted the current recession in 2007 and that it would be the worst since the Great Depression.
“Thank you for joining me here with my thoughts. I hope you leave positive, impressed, inspired or at least the better informed to make your world better, thanks.” – Chris Voss
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