As an entrepreneur, you need to make enough decisions, get into enough trades and investments, and build enough relationships so that there is enough in your life going well that they make up for the things that don’t. Brad Hart became a successful real estate developer where he developed the mindset that he would rather make more marbles than take everyone else’s. He believes collaboration and cooperation should be the driver to make and grow a business, rather than the cutthroat concept of capitalism.
I was skimming Daniel Pink’s new book, When, and I came across this quote, “We are far more likely to stick to a goal if we have someone holding us accountable. One way to surmount a slump is to tell someone else how and when you will get something done, and make sure they hold you accountable to your commitment.” Brilliant advice from a master business strategist. If you don’t already have an accountability partner, go get one at ResultsBreakthrough.com and sign up for free. You need this. Don’t procrastinate. Get someone to help you now.
Collaborate, Cooperate and Make More Marbles with Brad Hart
In this episode, our guest is a new friend I met this summer at Yanik Silver’s Camp Maverick. While there, I found myself drawn to this gentleman surrounded by people as he spoke to the group. Smart business owners all walks of life, spellbound and silent as my guest generously shared his experience with the group. I joined right in and soon found out why. He’s only 32 but he’s already been a successful real estate developer, started an investment banking company, and is focused on helping people understand the cryptocurrency market. He helps people with his simple, no-nonsense strategies to increase their income and impact. Welcome, Brad Hart.
Thank you so much for having. I appreciate the opportunity to share my message and to help our audience.
This thing with cryptocurrency is going crazy. Cryptocurrency is on TV. It’s gone from being completely obscure to now you can see it on TV if you turn on the news. What does that mean? Does that mean that it’s almost coming to an end? Is that the typical warnings you see about stocks?
You have to compare it to what? Compare it to the stock market, it’s still a drop in the ocean, certainly. Compare it to even some Fortune 500 companies, it’s still relatively small. As far as potential goes, we can make comparisons to things that have happened in the past. If we can pay attention to the lessons of the past, we can learn from it. Let’s go back to 2000 when the tech bubble crashed. We could all agree that the internet is now a thing that’s here to stay, but it went through cycles. It wasn’t what it is today right away. There’s some wisdom to be had. Let’s look at these two and let’s use some actual numbers. The size of that bubble in 2000, when it burst, was $3 trillion roughly, before it created 40% overnight. That was US market that was mostly centered around Silicon Valley stocks and tech stocks. It was mostly fueled by US investors and it was mostly limited to people who had access to US exchanges.
Let’s compare that to the cryptocurrency market. The cryptocurrency market is around $800 billion. The size of each one of these coins individually is much less. The largest one right now is Bitcoin with a market cap of $223 billion. Ethereum is $110 billion. Ripple is $72 billion. Bitcoin cash, $41 billion. If you add all the top 10, you’re still at about $600 billion. Theoretically, just dollar for dollar and not even accounting for all the money printing that’s been going on, especially since 2008,they’re printing $90 billion in US a month. Not to mention all the other currencies around the world that they’ve been increasing the monetary supply ever since quantitative easing to a place as a stave off the inevitable market crash measure; declining interest rates and all that. If you take all that out, you still have room to grow right before a real crash in bubble could happen.
Additionally, what we’re seeing in the exchanges, which are the places people go to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, many of them are shutting down. They literally cannot handle the amount of demand for accounts that’s being generated. This is across the entire industry, Coinbase, GDAX, Gemini, Poloniex. All these major exchanges that trade cryptocurrency are so concerned with demand and security that they’re not taking on new clients. There’s no way in. The demand is certainly much larger than the supply. There’s a saying in trading that the trend is your friend. One of my own personal rules that I gained was from a book written in the ‘50s by a guy named Nicholas Darvis. It’s called How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market, which1950s today, that’s more like $20 million nowadays. One of his rules, which is really fascinating to me, is he never sold a rising stock. That was one of his rules. If it was going up, he would never sell it. I borrowed that rule in cryptocurrency.
I managed to get into Bitcoin at under $100. I lost most of that. Then I bought it again at$200 because it was very notoriously difficult to trade back than to store and keep. I was in very early. I was in Ethereum at $8 to $11.I’m looking at $1,100. It’s been as high as $1,400, so huge gains there. Bitcoin Cash you get that if you had Bitcoin since the fork, which is not a split but it’s like a split, then Litecoin at $25. I got in early. That was the way I made quite a bit of money. That outpaced all of my earnings, which is cryptocurrency investments, which is kind of cool. It shows you the power of this hype, this mania that’s happening. Most people haven’t really even heard of it yet. We’re moving out of the early adopter stage and now into the zeitgeist where people are beginning to understand what Bitcoin is as the progenitor, as the Model T in the space, but also what cryptocurrencies are.
Then finally, where I want to help people get to is understanding that Blockchain, the technology that empowers us to be possible, is the thing to be paying attention. That cryptocurrency is exciting. People are making money. That gets people’s attention. Blockchain is the thing that might change the world just like the internet did in real estate, finance, insurance, smart contracts, legal, identity. There are so many different applications that are possible with Blockchain that weren’t possible with the internet as it currently stands. I see this as being one of those game changing technologies like the internet that might affect the fabric of our society for many generations to come.
Your perspective is very valuable because you’ve been in it for a little bit of time now for a while. There was an article called the $150 Million Pizza. It said that for the price of a pizza in 2009, the number of Bitcoins that would’ve taken to buy that pizza would now be worth a hundred and $150 million. Clearly, we’re in some form of a mania. It’s gone crazy but it’s a lot of fun and people are making money. I’m making some money. Not a lot, but I got started in it because of you. I’m enjoying the ride so far. I want to go back to where you really got your start in business. Can you talk a little bit about how you emerged?
One very clear disclaimer is that I don’t recommend that anybody buy or sell anything. I’m not a fiduciary. I’m not a registered financial advisor. It’s important to me that you understand this is a very risky space. If you do decide to invest after you’ve done your own research, invest the money you can afford to lose. It’s like ten out of ten risky and it could go up in flames in a lot of different ways. That’s important from a leadership perspective, to recognize, “This is exciting, it’s volatile, people are getting all up in hype,” but don’t get caught up in something that you don’t understand. Truly seek to understand before you make any decision.
I got started really young. I was an entrepreneur accidentally when I was twelve years old, when the mower broke one day and we didn’t have any money to fix it. I had to go to my neighbors and say, “I’d like to borrow your mower, also we need this thing called money. I know that’s important to fix our mower. Can I mow your lawn for $20?” They graciously said yes to both propositions. That was my first business was mowing lawns for my neighbors. I went around the neighborhood and I would make money doing that. Since then I’ve had every type of job you can think of. I’ve worked in restaurants and bars, I was an EMT for a couple of years I worked on an ambulance. I worked at a shooting range for three years. I’ve done everything and the biggest careers I’ve had, as far as I’ve grown into what I consider it mastery. You mentioned real estate development. I never got into development, but I was a broker and I ran a team of agents. I worked as an agent in a brokerage. Basically, I would help people find their homes, buying, selling, and renting in New York City. I did that for a couple of years. I got really good at it. I finally had mentorship in business and the owners took an interest in me. The head of sales of that company went to school with his daughter, so he took an interest in me. My boss at the time took an interest in me. From the ages of about 22 to 24 after I gave up in bartending and went through a brief stint on Wall Street, I ended up in this real estate office and I was being nurtured and it was awesome. I grew very quickly. In two years, I got five promotions and six people working with me.
One day I was on my way to visit my mom out on Long Island. I was on the train on the Long Island Rail Road and I got a phone call from somebody I had never talked to before from my dad’s number and he said, “We found your father, he passed away. This is the number that was left to contact and he passed.” That changed the trajectory of my life because even though my dad never had any money growing up, we were very hand to mouth. Social security, disability checks, he was injured from when I was young kid. My grandparents did have a bit of money that he had inherited and for the last few years of his life. He did the best he could with it, but he lost a lot of it. Especially 2008, his portfolio took a real walloping and he lost a lot of that. He kept as much as he could and did what he knew how to do and gave it all to me when he passed away. In his will, I was the sole beneficiary and executor. I had some money, more than I’d ever had before. I felt an obligation because my uncle had passed, my grandparents had passed, and my dad had passed. My cousins basically stopped talking to me at that point because they were upset about the money thing. Although I tried to make it right, there was no reasoning with them.
I had this obligation I felt to learn as much as I possibly could about real estate and learn as much as I possibly could about finance because that’s what my great grandparents had done. That’s what they were successful at. My great grandfather owned orchards because he had a lot of real estate and a lot of lands, but there wasn’t a lot of demand for housing so he would build orchards. He had a great saying. He said that, “An orchard is not one tree. I don’t plant one tree. There’s my orchard. I plant a thousand trees knowing full well that some will live and some will die. I have no earthly idea what you’re worth beforehand, so I must plant a lot and then water them all in order to have a thriving orchard that bears much fruit.” I took that lesson to heart. It’s like, “It’s not about any one decision. It’s not about any one trade. It’s not about any one investment. It’s not about any one relationship. It’s not leaning on any one thing to be make or break. It’s about having enough going on in your life to where the things that work out make up for the things that don’t work out. Over time you have an orchard that bears much fruit.” That was called Hartwood by the sound was one of his orchards. I named my fund Hartwood Capital as the result of that.
When I got good at trading and investing and I got into Forbes for a couple of things that we did, 3D printing, etc. I was part of a mastermind. I was giving little investor group discussions on Google Forms or Google Groups. One guy reaches out and says, “I took that one stock you talked about, and I ended up paying for my wedding with it.” I thought that was so cool. He’s like, “How do I give you money to manage?” I’m like, “Money to manage? I don’t even know what that looks like.” I went to some smart people and asked them and they said, “He started a hedge fund. It’s really easy.” I’m like, “What? Hedge fund? What do I know about that?” I was this broke kid growing up. I didn’t know anything about hedge funds. They said, “It’s easy. File in Delaware, LLC, LP, that whole thing. Here’s the Blue Sky laws, here’s the Reg D, regulations, the SCC, here’s an accountant, here’s a lawyer, you’re off to the races.” I’m like, “I guess we’re starting a hedge fund.”
I went to 200 people, ended up calling, that may or may not have a given me money at the time. People I felt like I had strong relationships with and seventeen of them were kind enough to say yes. They took a shot on me and inside that year we more than doubled their money, which is great. We did 106% returns that year in 2013. 2014 we lost a little bit, but nothing crazy. I ended up winding them the fund after that because I didn’t feel called to do it anymore. It was interesting to see how your ego can drive the bus so hard and scarcity can drive the bus so hard that you end up being successful monetarily, but you end up losing yourself in the process. I was working eighteen-hour day. I was stressed out all the time. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt so disconnected and burned out by the experience that I just wrote everybody a big check. I was over it and I ended up winding down the funds.
In 2014, I was already hot on crypto and I was like, “I should really just make this a cryptocurrency fund.” Everybody thought I was nuts but I’m like, “No, I feel like there’s something here,” and I could have. I had the lawyers drop a quote and talk about what it would look like, and how we could structure it and all that. I never pulled the trigger on it because I was so burned out. Had I done that, I would’ve took a few beatings in the years in between but we would have crushed it last year. I’m up several hundred X in aggregate and I could’ve had my investors come along with me, but I wasn’t ready for that at that moment. I needed to balance my life out at that point and I had some money kicking around, so I started investing in programs like Tony Robbins. Everybody in our audience knows that Mitch is very much involved with that story as well. I ended up going to ten Tony events over two years. I’ve been bringing people to events now. I brought 47 people to the last UPW. We’re looking to bring more than 50 next time. I believe in that man’s message and what he stands for. I want to support it as much as I can because I know that it helps people. I know that he has a skill set that I may never develop and that is not my strength, but I believe in the work. This has been some of what I’ve done so far.
What I’ve been focusing on the last few years is mentoring, messaging, masterminding, and getting clear on who it is that I can help create leaders with. Who are the leaders I can invest into that will have the biggest ripple effect in the world? One of Tony’s aphorism is that, “Leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.” That’s what I want to do in the space. That’s then the focus with Make More Marbles and it’s all around collaboration. Don’t grab for all the marbles, make more marbles. We’re not the hungry hippos here, we’re humans. The number one defining trait of successful species as per Darwin, people get this wrong and they think it’s all about survival of the fetus and that’s the message that’s been broadcast. He only talks about survival of the fetus twice in that book. I’ve read it. He talks about cooperation being the number one trait in surviving species about 90 times, but we all tend to glance over that fact. Human beings need each other to survive. That’s the reason we’ve thrived is because we collaborate. It’s a better strategy overall. Capitalism in politics teach us to be cutthroat and be afraid of each other, but that’s not the world that we live in today. It certainly isn’t the world of the future that I want to create.
You said that mentorship was important to you. You said it when you were talking about getting involved in that real estate company, how someone came and took you under their wing and guided you, and helped you to become successful. We know that that doesn’t happen unless somebody shows potential. You obviously showed some potential and these people were able to work with you, and help you become the success that you were in that particular situation. How did that affect the rest of your life?
That was everything. I’m grateful every single day that Bruno Ricciotti and Noah Freedman decided that they’d take a chance on a kid like me who had a lot of fire but didn’t know how to direct it whatsoever. The rest is history as they say. There are a lot of ups and downs in between certainly, but I’m grateful for that and that shapes everything. That was the first time anybody believed in me, I didn’t even believe in myself.
Most of the time, when we are in the position of being mentored that is a common situation. I’ve mentored several people and I still do. The first element is to get people to believe in themselves, to get them to see their unique strengths in this world because we all have them. Everyone has a very special gift that if they were able to recognize that, it would shine as bright as can be. It’s that unconscious competence that we all seem to have but sometimes don’t realize and it’s a mentor that helps bring that out. I’m all about helping people in that regard. This whole thing about how much money we make and how that projects to the Facebook world, to the plastic world of social media. Where do you stand on that? You don’t seem to show pictures of Ferrari’s and things like that, but you know many people who do. Where do you come down on that?
My goals are very different than a lot of people I know and people look at me like I’m crazy. I routinely go out on dates and tell women that I don’t own a car and they think I’m a loser. I’m good with that. It shows me exactly what they care about immediately. It’s like a perfect way to look at like, “This isn’t going to work. Sounds good.” I can literally go buy a Tesla for cash right now. I don’t want to. I don’t need to. Maybe one day I will when it’s fun money at that point. Right now, I know that every dollar I earn can be better utilized in a different manner by helping. Most of what I do around money is I focus on the three Gs: generate, grow and give, and really more about the giving nowadays. Make More Marbles is a contribution and what we do with the greatest foundation, building houses and schools around the world and working refugee camps, that’s a contribution.
We want to continue to contribute in the way that we do. Daily content, messaging, etc. To answer your question with regard to the Ferrari’s and this and that and the other thing, I know exactly what you’re talking about. They have their message that works with their people. I’m not looking to attract the same type of people in my life but they are. Yes, that will cost me money. I’ve made a very reasoned decision that I’d rather have the relationships with the right people that actually might change the world. Not to be discarded like so many others as a huckster or a charlatan and actually telling people about how I failed more than I’ve won. Telling people that I’ve been almost broke. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve lost a lot of money, I’ve missed out on countless more. I don’t need money now, thankfully. Went through that period where I thought objects we’re going to make me happy to prove myself to anybody.
I feel as if that, particularly at the age that I’m at now, I’ve reached the ambassador level, the investor age, where I’m here to represent humanity to the young people in this world and to prove to be a role model. You’re doing it at a much younger age than me, which was great. When I was your age, I was still in warrior mode, as Tony talks about. What’s nice about being an ambassador in this role is that what you get to do is feel great about the people you help. You see the product of your work every day when you’re in the mentorship position, in helping people, in teaching people and in doing all the things that we do. You and I together and separately, to both keep people accountable and making money, successful and feeling good about who they are. That’s what I love about it. You are a very generous guy when it comes to sharing your information, your skills and your knowledge. I’m going to make the assumption that everybody in our audience has heard of cryptocurrency and who knows what things like Bitcoin and Ethereum are. If someone want to get involved, what would you say would be the best place to start? People are just wanting to get started. Where do they go? How does that begin?
I want to ground it with a story. When Mitch and I met, it was at Camp Maverick. I gave that speech to about 120, multiple seven-figure earners there. There are no slouches in that group. That was about Bitcoin, Blockchain, and cryptocurrency and it was a partnership with Roger Bryant, who has an index fund for Crypto. Yanik came up to me an hour before that and said, “Are you ready for your Blockchain presentation at 4:00?” I’m like, “It’s 3:00. You failed to tell somebody about that?” He’s like, “Yes, you’re giving a Blockchain presentation at 4:00.” I’m like, “Okay, cool.” I went in my notebook and I wrote down everything I thought people should know quickly. Then I gave the speech and it was fine. It was low maintenance Q&A. I don’t get too upset around crowds. I like talking to people. What I realized that there was still so much to tell and that given any amount of time, 10, 15, 100 hours, I couldn’t explain everything that people needed to know. It was always different people and I was always having different conversations. I truly felt my inadequacy to help as many people as I wanted to help in that moment.
I made a commitment. I said, “I know you have more questions. I’m going to make a cheat sheet. Just keep asking me questions. Keep asking questions and I’m going to just keep updating it and updating and updating.” Since then that that cheat sheet which people raved about, ended up going up on my site and getting downloaded tens of thousands of times, and I can’t even track. People share it all over the place. I hear about it from this one, that one, the other one. People ask him questions all the time and I update it accordingly as time goes on. It’s just a Google doc that I’ve been collecting all the best resources. There’s a link to that that will help people the most. That is at MMM.MakeMoreMarbles.com/crypto. That’s where that lives. You can go ahead and grab it. It will tell you what you need to know to get you up to speed.
If you’re going to be successful investing in any asset class, you have to understand the risk. The risk in cryptocurrency is because it’s very not user friendly. It’s very easy to steal from people who are very sophisticated and are hackers, crackers, coders or people that really understand how the system works. It’s essentially a public and a private key, so you have to protect that private key at all costs. Whoever owns that key owns that money and once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no way to get it back. When the transaction is recorded on the Blockchain, which is essentially just a ledger, it’s recorded and that’s it. It’s gone and there’s no way to get it back. That’s the first and foremost, most important thing is that you need to understand how the private key and public key system works. I go into detail on this in the sheet, but first and foremost what I wish everybody knew was protect your keys at all costs. If you have $100 in crypto and you’re looking to spend ten hours figuring out the best security protocol, I don’t think that’s a good use of your time that you wouldn’t put $100 bill in Fort Knox.
At the same time, if you have a lot of money in crypto, you want to take multiple measures of security to make sure that those keys are or not compromised. I use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet. This is specifically designed secure element device. It looks like a USB thumb drive that stores my keys offline so that nobody could ever access them and they have multiple layers of security on them. Even then I split it up into multiple ledgers. Ledger is a brand name and also what the Blockchain, so I want to make that distinction. There’s also other type of devices like this like TREZOR and you can also do Paper Wallet, but anything that’s offline as opposed to online. What I mean by online is storing your keys on an exchange. An exchange is a place that people go to buy and sell but if you keep your keys on there, you run the very real risk and it’s happened before, of that exchange getting hacked and you lose all your money. That’s first and foremost, understanding that piece.
Coinbase is probably the most popular platform for trading cryptocurrency. Are you saying that the money that you keep in Coinbase is potentially something that could be stolen? Or are you saying that because it’s Coinbase, that likely wouldn’t happen?
Any system has a weak point. Coinbase is one of the better ones, but any system has a weak point. The smartest people in the world who understand security, who understand Blockchain said, “Keep your keys in your possession.” Coinbase does something a little bit different that is really good. They keep 98% of their currency, allegedly, offline in ledgers and all these things. Those are locked up in various banks around the world, that’s where they store it. Then 2% is online, which is insured at any given time, which is why it takes so long for you to actually get your coins a lot of the times. Sometimes you can wait seven to twelve days. I wouldn’t even call Coinbase an exchange. GDAX is an exchange, which is run by Coinbase, in the sense that it’s more trader-friendly. Coinbase is a place for people to buy and sell small amounts. I wouldn’t say it’s a robust trading platform or exchange. They do a great job of security and that’s their obvious top priority. I met the founder of Coinbase randomly on a walk at Burning Man and we started chatting. He mentioned that he was ex-Goldman Sachs and this and other thing and it finally came to be that he was one of the founders of that. He was a little bit protective of his privacy, so I won’t mention his name. It was interesting to see where it all came from and talk shop with somebody who had literally built something that is probably one of the more popular companies in the world right now.
We talked a little bit about things like Coinbase and you said if your money is stolen, there’s no recourse. What about the law? What about in America? When something is stolen, you can go to the police and report a theft. Tell me how that differs in the world of cryptocurrency.
It’s like a one-way street. Once it’s on the Blockchain, it’s locked in. If that’s transferred from one wallet to the other, that’s it. However, once it’s on the Blockchain, it’s there forever. Law enforcement refers to Blockchain as a prosecution future. They joke around like, “We may not know who you are now, but what you did is in the record forever. One day we’ll figure out who you are and we’re going to get you.” The FBI has more Bitcoin than any other wallet in the world at this point because they took down Silk Road and they’ve been sitting on it the whole time. I don’t think that’s necessarily right, but that’s what happened. It’s incredible to see how they’ve approached it. Yes, but it’s exceptionally difficult to track who is doing what, where. These hackers, crackers and coders are very, very smart and know how to exploit weaknesses in the system, but to benefit, too. The white hat people are also fascinating. It’s like the Ether scandal with the Parity hack. Parity is essentially a wallet configuration that had an exploitable loophole in it that allowed somebody to go and steal $31 million worth of Ethereum, which is a lot of money.
However, it could have been a lot worse. $180 million worth of Ethereum was at risk. When $31 million had been stolen, enough people were white hat hackers. There’s black hat, people that are using their powers for evil like the dark side. Then there’s white hat. They’re the force of the Jedis that believe in a better world, want to protect this ecosystem. Sprang into action and pre-stole “the money” before that black hat hacker could get to it. It was a freaking fascinating. We’re talking about $150 million that they protected. It’s wild to think there are people out there self-policing this network and paying attention to what happens. People are communicating at such a rapid pace, which is part of the reason it’s growing so fast. Also, they realized that there’s no trusted third party. There’s no daddy government. There’s no central bank. There’s no federal whatever that’s going to come and save us. We have to save ourselves. We have to make this okay and consistent and safe so that more people can transact. It’s only going to get better over time if that continues and I’m encouraged by that. That makes me feel good.
In many ways, it is the Wild West in a good way. It means that we’re at a point now where there’s still this modicum of privacy where there’s still self-responsibility for the actions that we take, that we’re responsible for. At the same time if you are not careful, then you could lose everything you have and it’s going to be your fault. For the most part, it’s going to be your fault. That’s a good thing in a sense because it’s the way the world works. I’d rather take full responsibility for myself than rely on some third party or government to monitor my transactions with some illusion of protection. I’m glad it’s this way.
I think it needs to be. The power structure has been manipulated for so long. I’m not pointing fingers at anybody, we’re doing the best we can. All of us, including the wealthy, elite and powerful. I get it but I think we can do better, too. There are better systems available that serve more people than the wealthy and elite. They truly care and accept the responsibility of being wealthy and powerful that they should want to promote those systems and make sure those systems do in fact benefit more people. Even if it means taking a minor cut themselves.
I listened to the Tim Ferriss podcast on Blockchain and I have a good understanding of it, but I don’t want to get into that. What I want to get into are the implications of it. Blockchain has been called the next internet and that’s an overgeneralization. Would you be able to explain for us in a more simple fashion why Blockchain is so important? How does it function as a communication vehicle as well as smart contracts? How did those things work?
Smart contracts refer to a self-enforcing contract on the Ethereum Blockchain. It makes sense to point out that Bitcoin has a Blockchain. Ethereum has a blockchain, Litecoin has a Blockchain but they’re not the same Blockchain. Blockchain is the technology. It’s like the road that these cars run on but they’re not all the same Blockchains. Then the other piece to understand is that with Ethereum and smart contract specifically. They could theoretically upend a lot of what we currently look at as the legal system and also the way that we distribute trust. It allows very simple protocols to be carried out and enforced by a system that everybody agrees upon, where no one individual actor manipulate or insert their power, their opinion or their sense of their needs into this ecosystem. Everybody’s working on the same ledger. Everybody can see transparently what’s going on. They can see if you did what you say you were going to do on this contract and the contract can self-enforce. You either get paid or don’t get paid based on your performance of said contract.
That’s automatically logged, cataloged, executed by code in a very simple way and then recorded on the Blockchain, which is essentially a long ledger from the beginning of time until now. That’s a cool application of what a theorem Blockchain can do. Ethereum was built as a project so that people could build on top of it. Think of the App Store. Nobody needs to know how the App Store runs in order to build an app. They just need to take the software developer kit and build their app. Ethereum allows for distributed applications now that run on the Blockchain as opposed to a single server computer, which is a huge important thing to understand because half of the internet is running on AWS, which is one company servers. If it goes down, half the internet goes down.
This is Amazon Web Services, AWS. What you’re basically saying is this is the difference between one company controlling the entire infrastructure versus a distributed system that is not controlled by any one entity that theoretically it would be much harder to take down. That’s the technology part. The Blockchain part is the mathematics that literally encode all of these transactions into string so that you can find them later. This is the part that is fascinating because sure, cryptocurrency fun and cool, and it’s crazy as can be but the technology behind it lays the pathway for much of the digital future. When I look at cryptocurrency and I see the application for it now, what would it be like if my bank employed crypto or Blockchain technology? We’d never have to worry about passwords ever again, would we?
Theoretically, if there was an additional layer of security beyond just having a string of numbers and letters that was your key like biometrics, fingerprints, retinal scans, RFID chips, they’re additional ways. A lot of the libertarians among us are going to freak out when I say this, but there are additional ways to even add more layers of security. Right now, it’s just the key code, that private key that interacts with the Blockchain. Until that catches up and you can really prove that it’s Mitch and not somebody pretending to be Mitch, that’s going to be a problem. I do see that being a possibility to upend banking, as we know it. I’m hearing through the grapevine a lot of people who work with these big banks as consultants said they’re freaking the heck out about Blockchain. It’s going to potentially ruin their entire business model and they don’t know how they got so far behind the eight ball. They don’t understand how they could have missed this. They were dismissing it, but now they’re taking it very seriously. Another reason why we’re seeing so much more money flood into the space and so many new startups in the Altcoin world and in the ICO worlds, although most of them are crap and won’t go anywhere. Because so many people are clamoring to get into it and I understand, but I also want to just caution people that it’s really early days still. It might take another fifteen or twenty years before you see like the Facebooks emerge and the Googles emerge in this space.
You were kind enough to give me access to your course and that course has helped me understand crypto far better than I ever have before, and I appreciate you giving me access to it. I have a couple of questions for you. These are types of questions that help me help our audience truly understand who it is we’re really talking to. Your answers will help us see you in a much more clear light. Who in all of space and time would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick conversation or lunch with?
You said the same guy as me. Tell me why?
Nikola Tesla is a genius out of time. The things that we’re figuring out now, he had figured out 100 years ago and then some. If you read some of his stuff, it blew my mind. I grew up in south of Shoreham-Wading River area and Shoreham there is the Wardenclyffe facility that he used to perform a lot of his experimentations at. Sadly, it was torn down in World War II because they were afraid that Nazi U-boats would use it to navigate. They tore it down. It was a very tall building. They recently saved it as a proving ground because we’re going to sell it to the highest bidder.
A guy named Matt Inman over at The Oatmeal, if you guys watched his comics or check out his comics, they’re really funny, raised a bunch of money in order to save it, and matched a grant with New York State to raise $1.5 million to save the Wardenclyffe site as a historical site and make it a Tesla Museum. I was excited to hear that. Tesla literally, for all the bashing he got, for all the times he got screwed in business deals, for all the times that he was misunderstood or categorized as an outsider or foreigner, he was a brilliant genius outside of time. He had things figured out like resonance, frequency and harmony and laws of the universe that we’re only now beginning to understand. He could wirelessly transmit electricity from one place to another. It was amazing. He, unfortunately, during his life was not given the credit that he deserved, but I honor and cherish that man deeply and a lot about how he would approach the world.
Elon Musk, for example, gave away all of his patents to Tesla when it was showing that it was successful because he has a bigger mission in mind and it’s not money. It’s, “How do we save the world? How do we make humanity a multi-planetary species? How do we get people off of gas guzzling cars and onto electric and fuel and solar?” Yes, he’s going to make money doing it, but so is everybody else now because now they all have the access to the patents to go and do it themselves.
Did you know who Nikola Tesla’s arch enemy was?
Yes, it was Edison.
Edison had teamed up with General Electric to destroy Tesla. There was a war going on at the Edison labs when Edison lit the town with wired power for the first time. It was direct current, DC. Tesla’s theory was that AC was the only way power could be distributed efficiently throughout the country. He was trying to convince General Electric to ditch DC and go with AC. Tesla of course, had proven, without a shadow of a doubt, that AC was the way to go. Edison instead chose to destroy Tesla’s reputation as a way of discrediting him.
Do you know the real driving reason? It’s because he couldn’t meter alternating current that was transmitted through not wires. There wasn’t a way to meter it and therefore charge for it, and direct current there was. That was the reason. It was economically scarcity driven reason and he was deciding to grab for all the marbles, like the hungry, hungry hippos instead of making more. In a way, Tesla was the original marble maker and he influences people to this day.
I’m glad we both have a little piece of that story, too. It was my passion as a kid. I studied Edison. I read every book in the library on Thomas Edison, and then I started reading every book on Nikola Tesla. Fascinating people, incredible role models, and both of them in many ways. Here’s the last question, the grand finale question. This is the change the world question. What is it that you’re doing or would like to do, that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
I believe that the perception of scarcity does not exist. I’m not saying it never exists, but when it does not exist causes people to do horrible things to one another. War, rape, murder, hoarding, all the things that we disgust. The whole Edison-Tesla feud, scarcity versus abundance. For me, I believe that you can get people out of their scarcity paradigms and the belief that there is scarcity when maybe in fact there isn’t. For example, we already produce enough food in America to feed the world for a week, every day. There’s already enough clean water, there’s already enough energy hitting the world every day to collect the solar and store with batteries. Finally, there’s plenty of shelter to house people and we can always build more but the incentives are perverse. The economics of it are completely backward. We’re moving into an age where we’re needing to change the way we approach things. We needed to start collaborating instead of competing in order to win as a species. My big take away from what I want to do is I look at it as like lighting the fuse in humanity. F, E, W, S; food, energy, water, shelter. How do we get to a place where every human being on this planet has food, energy, water and shelter in a basic, sustainable way? There’s a new floor of abundance through, which nobody can fall into scarcity or even the perceived lack of what the basic needs are. In doing that, you now free up the time, the energy, the attention and the money that goes into all these problems that scarcity produces. In doing so, you now allow people to use that time, energy, attention and money on creative pursuits.
You allow them to now create instead of just be afraid and close off, and worry about where their next meal’s coming from. Five billion people in the world live below our standard of living and we seem to forget about those people. We seem to believe that they’re voiceless. That’s why I’m very bullish on futuristic technologies like Blockchain to get these people back, to get them contributing in the society. To get them on the internet and allow them to provide for themselves until such time where we can provide a very basic high quality standard of living for everybody. I’m always talking to influencers and very wealthy people and philanthropists about ways that we can bring this future about sooner rather than later. I’d like to see it in my own lifetime and that is the point at which we will have made enough marbles because it’s not about making more. Growth without contributions is the mother cancer.
I have a lot of things in common with you in the missions that we’re both on. My mission is to help young people connect with entrepreneurs, conceptualize and build the business while they’re in high school so they can take control of their lives. It’s the same idea. It’s us giving back. It’s reaching down to the youngsters in our world, to the kids in our country, and maybe even internationally. To help them and raise them up so that they don’t choose a life that would have been miserable and horrible for them. Instead, they choose a life of abundance, prosperity and more importantly of confidence. We’re on a similar path. We both have similar missions and it’s been great knowing you so far and this interview has been exciting and wonderful for me. Brad, thank you so much for spending time with me. I can’t wait until we get a chance to talk again soon.
Thank you, Mitch. Thank you everybody for listening. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to share what I believe about the world today and thank you.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Camp Maverick
- Brad Hart
- How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market
- Make More Marbles
- Paper Wallet
- Tim Ferriss – podcast
- Matt Inman
- The Oatmeal
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