What is Multiscreen as a Service™ (MaaS)

What is Multiscreen as a Service™ (MaaS)?

Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is all about Multiscreen as a Service™. What is it? How has it evolved throughout the years? Listen to Matt DeCoursey and Randall Crowder, COO of Phunware, talk about MaaS™ and more.

Covered In This Episode

Have you heard about Multiscreen as a Service™? It may be unfamiliar territory for many entrepreneurs out there. Lucky for you, it’s within Matt and Randall’s radar of interest in this episode of Startup Hustle.

They discuss the definition of Multiscreen as a Service™ and its evolution as tech advances too. The duo also talks about Phunware and what it can offer to the world. There are so many great nuggets of insight in this episode! 

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So what are you waiting for? Listen to Matt and Randall today!

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Highlights

  • How Randall started his entrepreneurial story (03:19)
  • What is Multiscreen as a Service™? (05:10)
  • Discover Phunware’s specialization (06:46)
  • On being late for Zoom meetings (10:41)
  • The benefits of going to Westpoint (12:28)
  • Founders discussing leadership (19:10)
  • The significant development and evolution of MaaS™ (22:15)
  • On the subject of cross-compatibility (26:54)
  • Let’s talk about contextual engagement (32:05)
  • Discussion on Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and Web3 (36:30)
  • Information on the internet (38:00)

Key Quotes

When you feel that something doesn’t make sense, you’re probably missing something.

– Randall Crowder

Entrepreneurship is a lonely venture. And it’s challenging . . . But, you know, this is part of it. To accomplish great things often comes at a price. You’re going to need to decide what you want to make now when it comes to your skills or ability.

– Matt DeCoursey

Deliver something in front of a customer. Do some research. Take actions to move in a direction of where you’re headed because the world needs more people innovating.

– Randall Crowder
Build your Business

Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00

Matt DeCoursey

And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. So, yeah, over the life of Startup Hustle, we’ve talked about so many different things. You’ve got SaaS, Software as a Service. We even did a whole episode to help define all of the many, many business acronyms that exist out there. Because, gosh, there’s so many of them. And today, we got a new one, MaaS (M-a-a-S), that’s Multiscreen as a Service. We’re going to get to that and a whole lot more. Before I introduce today’s guest, today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, and Full Scale can help you build the software team quickly and affordably. We have the platform and can help you manage the team. People, process, platform, lots of Ps, lots of acronyms, and lots of stuff to talk about today. Go to FullScale.io to learn more about that. But we’re going to learn more about who I’m talking with today. Joining me is Randall Crowder, and Randall is the COO of Phunware. That’s “Ph,” almost like fish, wait. That’s an F, or is it?

01:07.87

Randall Crowder

Ah.

01:10.79

Matt DeCoursey

It could be both if you’ve listened to the show or read my book. You know that I’m actually a fish fan. So there you go, Phunware, and that’s www.phunware.com. There’s a link for that in the show notes and a link to learn more about Full Scale. But straight out of Austin, Texas, Randall, welcome to Startup Hustle.

01:29.54

Randall Crowder

Hey, I appreciate you having me. And it’s not just another episode, right? I heard, yeah, here. It’s the one episode of this, so that’s for good.

01:36.50

Matt DeCoursey

What, well, may. No, we’ll be waiting on the road. That was what came out today on the day of our recording. Now, we’re gonna, I don’t know, man, you never dared a dream. Maybe nine, maybe 29, thirty-five, I don’t know.

01:44.70

Randall Crowder

I like it. Well, man, it’s an honor to be here. So we keep your rockets.

01:51.21

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, Ran, I don’t. I don’t know enough about my own show to even tell you that. Um, so you know, I’m hoping.

01:54.66

Randall Crowder

Ah, it’s a lot. I mean, you’ve been talking to a lot of people and a lot of really interesting stories I Really appreciate. You know, being on here, and I love that this episode is sponsored by Full Scale because, as we talked about before the show, I’m going to reach out and talk about that and as we kind of parlay into Phunware. You know we have a need for scaling our own teams. You know we have onshore folks that we use, but we need a broader team that we can scale. So we’re gonna have another fun conversation about that.

02:20.12

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, and I won’t record that.

02:23.49

Randall Crowder

I never say anything that I wouldn’t allow to be printed in The New York Times or shown on Tv so you can record anything I say.

02:29.58

Matt DeCoursey

That’s true. That’s probably really, really good practice. Well, let’s start with this. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your own backstory and what brought you to Phunware? I know I’ve noticed, according to my notes, that you’ve had some interesting training and experience over the years.

02:42.47

Randall Crowder

Yeah, you know, I always kind of say I’ve been. I’ve spent a career collecting jobs I’m probably not qualified for, so I’ve kind of been all over the place. You know, I got into the army. I went to Westpoint, so I got into the military before 9/11. 9/11 was my senior year, and so I had no idea what I was gonna get into. But. Went to my class in the morning at Nine Eleven, and a cartoonish colonel said, well, cadets. You’re all going to war, so best laid plans went out the window, and spent a decent amount of my time overseas doing crazy things. I came back to Austin and got an MBA here. And I’ve been an entrepreneur ever since I ran a large angel network called the central Texas angel network grew that to be the most active angel network in the country started my own venture fund focused on healthcare was actually one of the investors and helped organize the first none of start fundware back in 2009 and I went off and spent a decade in venture capital. Came back to Phunware and took over as CO about a little over years ago and I’ve been rocking this ever since and I’ll rock this until the wheels fall off.

03:42.47

Matt DeCoursey

You know so many of our guests over the years have not been from publicly traded companies, and that’s exactly what you guys are, you’re on the Nasdaq at PHUN, you know.

03:52.55

Randall Crowder

They might be smarter than me. I don’t know that to be in public, you know, be careful what you wish for right?

04:00.50

Matt DeCoursey

I’ve had that discussion with many people as well. You know that, but with that you need to be prepared that anything you say might actually end up in the New York Times. I mean you are truly public. It’s a different world. Yeah yeah.

04:06.80

Randall Crowder

Yeah I think I’m paying 8 different lawyers at this point and I think all of them usually cringe when I start talking because they’re like hey man you talk a lot and you talk fast and I don’t know what you’re going to say next. So let’s be careful.

04:20.48

Matt DeCoursey

I get that same warning from my whole team. My attorneys, my wife, and people we’ve never even met. So yeah now what Phunware is a Multiscreen as a Service integrated Enterprise software platform for mobile. What does that mean?

04:24.66

Randall Crowder

Ah, the wife might be the most important.

04:37.77

Randall Crowder

It’s a mouthful. Ah, it’s a mouthful you know when we started it was a lot simpler. We actually built mobile apps for large brands transitioning from web to mobile and back in 2009, nobody was doing that mobile was just becoming a thing we actually helped.

04:39.22

Matt DeCoursey

What does that even mean?

04:50.20

Matt DeCoursey

Um, hippo.

04:53.11

Randall Crowder

Draft guidance for the app store. We were one of the first ones that published it. We built the first NFL app, the Nascar app built all of Fox’s mobile application portfolio, we did the Sochi Olympics, we’ve done the presidential election, hotels, and hospitals. you name it. We’ve probably done it but mass. Is this the idea of taking all of that knowledge? All of that experience, all of that code history and building a platform that would allow us to license mobile software the same way you would license a CRM from salesforce so no more custom one and done jobs you license software from us. The end result is a mobile application. It’s got more features, more stability and is more easily scalable than anything you could do in a custom world.

05:34.37

Matt DeCoursey

So much about building a mobile app or really any app in the beginning is what I often refer to as framing and plumbing and it’s like the least exciting and often most frustrating part for founders because it doesn’t feel like you’re really getting much done you like.

05:42.10

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

05:51.17

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

05:53.74

Matt DeCoursey

You want to see something, touch it, click it and deal with it. So I mean essentially it is that what you guys special lies in is framing and plumbing as I would as I would put it.

06:02.73

Randall Crowder

It’s you. It’s so nice to talk to somebody. I mean you live and breathe this and you have such a great team. You know that is exactly what it is so you know I always say you know we’re not 1 mobile application to replace them all. We’re one mobile application to rule them all.

06:18.78

Matt DeCoursey

12

06:19.95

Randall Crowder

You know we are that foundational layer you can standardize on us and then you can build all of the features and actually integrate features on top of it so we actually just launched a multimillion-dollar deployment for a smart workplace solution. You know they licensed our software they wanted to build like the office of the future. And so we’re up to about – different integrations for them. You know one company does their parking, one company does their room booking, one company does lighting, one company does temperature. But when you download the app that they licensed our software to deliver it all feels like a product. It feels like a seamless UI, single login user account. But you have access and plumbing to all 27 of those different companies. That’s what we’re really kind of transformational. We’re giving people a platform to actually establish all of their operational discipline on top of.

07:10.79

Matt DeCoursey

So where does the multiscreen come in?

07:13.69

Randall Crowder

Yeah, great question, so that was actually you know we’ve always run back to this and sometimes and and I’m sure you spend some time thinking about this as well. Just like positioning you got Kodak out there that didn’t mean anything until it meant something and so you know do you go back and re-brand something. It was an early concept. I think it doesn’t necessarily apply as much today because of the rise of mobile. You know we live in a mobile-first world that’s quickly becoming mobile only, but we still need to recognize that there are all sorts of other touch points with customers. So if we go into a venue and we’re making it a smart venue. That mobile might be what we do none and it might be our direct point of contact with that consumer. But you’re going to walk by digital signage. You’re going to walk by sometimes you know so you know actually digital screens inside elevators. You might have an infotainment system in your car. There are all sorts of opportunities to create digital content and then display that in specific areas where a customer is most likely willing to pay attention to you, and so that multiscreen is meant to kind of capture that holistic thought about engaging. Ah, customers anywhere. They are.

08:20.63

Matt DeCoursey

I mean that that makes a lot of sense because I think one of the things that will frustrate me. It’s amazing. You can have a $100000 car that you love for every reason other than like the way your phone connects to it.

08:31.38

Randall Crowder

Are.

08:36.60

Matt DeCoursey

Literally took a Range Rover and gave it back because it couldn’t stay connected to Bluetooth. I was like I love everything about this car but you can’t connect to my phone. I don’t need it and yeah yeah.

08:40.15

Randall Crowder

Um, if you it’s how people live you I mean you hit on something so important and I love you know the premise of this show. You know when entrepreneurs entrepreneurship is just I mean I think. Ah, real entrepreneurs are in your blood. You can’t think of living any other way, and that hustle is so integrated into that DNA, and I always tell entrepreneurs like you know you have to understand you know, get yourself. You know, talk to customers and see how they live with it like you know I don’t care. What runs this technology I just know when I click a button, my mom’s on the other end and you really have to understand what are the use cases. What are people going to do? How are they going to engage with it and really think about that because we see the same thing all the time and I was joking with them. We were doing another smart workplace pitch with a fortune.

09:16.35

Matt DeCoursey

Yep, and.

09:30.27

Randall Crowder

They and they are a technology company and the av was just a total disaster like they couldn’t figure out how to start it. They couldn’t connect their computers and I was like you know there’s $2000000000000 ideas in this world. One is probably cartilage because everybody keeps you know, having orthopedic injuries and the other is just seamless. Turning on a v in meeting rooms that nobody can seem to figure out and like Cisco is a major investor in us when we were private. We’ve had issues with them as well. So seamless connections and the ability to display content in a meeting. Somebody’s got to crack that code, whether it’s a car or a meeting room.

10:03.53

Matt DeCoursey

It will you’re right it does I have said myself I’m like aren’t we a technology company. Why can’t yeah I think a problem that we need to solve is how to get everyone to show up to the Zoom meeting on time. How do we fix that because.

10:09.98

Randall Crowder

This should not be a problem.

10:20.40

Randall Crowder

Ah, if you sell that I’ll come work for you. That’s it.

10:22.28

Matt DeCoursey

God, well you get 8 people waiting on a call and you know all of a sudden you’re 4 minutes late. I mean you’re wasting a lot of time if you look at your labor expense and you’re doing managerial accounting. You can almost have like another line item for wasted Zoom time. You know you’re like shit.

10:33.47

Randall Crowder

Yep. Ah I hundred percent said this in their day I was like you know there are some 30 minute zoom meetings I have where I’m like this is a 3 minute pop-in if we were in the same office like this does not need to be scheduled, but like.

10:40.16

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah.

10:46.50

Matt DeCoursey

Um, yeah, if yeah.

10:51.65

Randall Crowder

And so we’re we’re actually we just built. We just moved into our new headquarters in Austin. It’s actually really cool if you ever go out in Austin if we’re going out to Kerrville again, you got to come out. Check it out so we call it the fun house with a ph of course but it’s like a historic building you know historic home that we kind of retrofitted into an office building but we’re getting everybody back into the offices. Mean there’s just a level of camaraderie and a level of retention quite frankly, you know people that have a relationship with other people are more likely to stick with those people and the people that we’ve lost over the last you know year or 2 in the pandemic are people we hire during the pandemic who never met anyone. And so I miss that you know just being able to break bread being able to talk quickly around a coffee machine being able to pop in just to get some quick questions. You know, not everything needs to be a meeting but not everything needs to be a Zoom meeting either.

11:42.33

Matt DeCoursey

So I want to roll the way back machine back to like before any of the Phunware stuff I Want to talk about Westpoint for a minute because you know for those of you that might be listening that aren’t aware I mean this is that Westpoint is the Harvard of the military.

11:50.51

Randall Crowder

Um, yeah.

11:59.84

Randall Crowder

We should not appreciate that.

12:02.30

Matt DeCoursey

Of the army. Basically, it is not easy to get into, and it is certainly not easy to get through. Um, yeah I only have the first one guy from my graduating high school class. It was a long-ass time ago at this point.

12:16.50

Randall Crowder

Reserve.

12:17.88

Matt DeCoursey

Went to Westpoint and I remember talking to him afterward I played football with him and stuff like that, and um, you know just was at a different level with that. What is it? What did you learn at Westpoint that you were able to carry over to entrepreneurship?

12:32.60

Randall Crowder

Oh man, such a great question and it’s funny because first I will encourage everyone to go read. You know I don’t get paid to say this, but you know start at nation is an incredible book on Israel’s role service plays in Israel’s innovation there entrepreneurship ecosystem because you know everybody in Israel has to serve. You know they’ve really lent a lot of credit to that idea of service and what role that has played whereas we haven’t figured that out yet. You know we don’t know what to make of our you know servicemen and women like we don’t know a lot of them get out and they go get into supply chain management. They go. Get into security contracting, and it’s like no what you learn in the military is incredibly valuable if you understand how to apply it, if you understand what roles that leadership you know has what roles organizational development has but even more importantly, it’s perseverance.

13:23.70

Matt DeCoursey

Um.

13:27.57

Randall Crowder

You know Steve Jobs is that famous. You know a quote about entrepreneurship where it’s just like you know the successful entrepreneurs just persevere a little longer and I think that’s what being in you know any kind of shared pain any side of you know and and sometimes that’s starting a company for me I got my first you know. Experience in two days in football in Texas heat. You know we were talking about the heat humidity in Kansas City same in Texas and it’s that you’re with a team. You’re going through something voluntarily, and at any given moment you could stop if you wanted your body’s telling you to stop your soul’s telling you to stop. Sometimes your family’s telling you to stop and you say you know what I have more in me I have more to give and I’m going to keep going and then you go to somewhere like Westpoint and it’s even worse now you got people yelling at you and it’s meant to try to break you. It’s meant to try to break you down and then build you up. And a different form but a better form of your previous self and then you can quit but you don’t and your teammates you know your fellow cadets. You know everybody’s telling you like we got this you come together as a family as an organization and you go to like you know the army you know I deployed. You know now it’s life and death literally. Um and I think all of these are so true and analogous to running a company. You know the successful companies all were on the brink of bankruptcy they’ve all had lawsuits. They’ve all had founders. You know, get killed or quit and you know they’ve had a scandal and they just persevere.

14:43.32

Matt DeCoursey

Um, one.

14:59.13

Randall Crowder

And I think it’s so special to have had those experiences in your life. So that you know how capable you are.

15:05.66

Matt DeCoursey

I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it in that perspective because as you were you know talking I’m picturing you you always see in the movie and maybe it’s more of the Navy seal training because I think that kind of get that that seems to be the movie that’s on more you know that ring the bell ring the bell.

15:19.96

Randall Crowder

Yeah yep, yep.

15:24.45

Matt DeCoursey

All you How to do is get up and ring that Bell dude and this ends you can you know? And I guess if you think about it I mean the same thing goes as an entrepreneur I mean you can get up and ring my bell you can quit and I and I think that well that’s what I wanted to ask because I was sitting there thinking have I ever had anybody. That’s it.

15:35.63

Randall Crowder

It’s the body.

15:42.25

Matt DeCoursey

That I knew went to Westpoint or Westpoint. Um, ah you know on the show and I don’t think that I had and that’s like a completely different level. It’s like boot camp times one hundred I mean for my understanding. It’s yeah it really is and it’s That’s ah.

15:45.74

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

15:57.30

Matt DeCoursey

It’s ah, a fully immersive experience that I mean it’s college, but on a different level, I don’t think I would have made it through that kind of college. I don’t know Gri. I’ve dropped out of 5 colleges. So.

16:02.60

Randall Crowder

I absolutely have no doubt you would make it. I mean you can yeah and one of the good things about being you know that that’s different though that there’s something about you know College is a very individualistic Experience. You know that year into your question about Westpoint in the military. And I’m very much kind of a loner but I mean I love people. I love being social. But yeah I like walking with my dog by myself. I work out by myself. Um, the military forces you into that. It’s not me. It’s us and you always hear this you know in you know, any kind of war that you know talking about. Yeah, I love the flag. I love the country, but at the end of the day.

16:25.15

Matt DeCoursey

So honor an all trans horse.

16:30.60

Matt DeCoursey

And which always curious you.

16:39.20

Randall Crowder

You know I’m doing crazy things that sometimes win amazing medals and awards for the people around me and that’s special. You know you talk about the bell and the seal. So you know in Ranger school. We have what’s called it lom so that acronym which you go in full circle back to the beginning of the military loves their acronyms. Ah Om is a loss of motivation.

16:43.10

Matt DeCoursey

Want us for our own.

16:59.16

Randall Crowder

And so you’d literally they always had a truck and you’d be well on like a twenty mile March you know forced March and you’d have people just say I’m done throw off their bag and they’re like up we got an m they’d get on the truck drive back. You know, get a you know, nice meal and ah and a hot cup of coffee and I remember you know, just. Being in those experiences. It’s all like a blur, but I remember you know marching through the Tennessee Valley divide on you know, no sleep for you know, 72 hours and somebody had posted something on Linkedin. A friend of mine named Scott and he was like yeah I don’t think he’ll remember this but I remember we were we I was you know on the brink of quitting. And he was already carrying I was carrying a hundred pound rucksack and he was the gunner and so he had another hundred pound rut sack of ammunition and you know I apparently I took it from him and I carried both rucksacks you know up this you know Tennessee valley divide so that you know he would make it and I’m like that didn’t sound like me I don’t even remember that. But he says no I remember it as plain as day and that’s what these things do these crucibles. Do. It’s not just about you winning. It’s about all of you winning and that camaraderie that comes together and man I see that all the time now in company building and and what do you do as a leader you know you going out. Yeah, the Philippines for you know, – employees and having that touch point with people you know leading from the front, leaders eat last you’re the last you know man a step or woman to step off the battlefield. These things are important and I think you know leaders. Not just in the military but in all organizations have to understand that.

18:31.70

Matt DeCoursey

Well I agree. And yeah I think that when it comes to being a leader. Well okay, you made leaders eat last. I don’t even eat lunch I’m like go you know go I’m going to stay here I’m going to keep working and.

18:40.39

Randall Crowder

Um, yeah I got too much to do.

18:46.57

Matt DeCoursey

It’s interesting man because I see a fundamental shift in some of that occurring and I had a really bright young man named Jake Bejoreth that’s half my age here in Kansas City and he was on the show recently and we were talking about hustle culture. And he he goes man I’m afraid to say what I really want to say because I might get canceled because and that and that era it’s like it’s like you get work shamed and I’ve had it happen in the Startup Hustle chat like I was ah in the Philippines and I did really bad travel planning and I was there over easter I hadn’t even.

19:07.25

Randall Crowder

Ah.

19:13.27

Randall Crowder

God Oh yeah.

19:23.20

Matt DeCoursey

Thought about it I was there on the Easter Sunday I’m clearly there’s not a soul in the building and I took a picture and I was like you know what I’m going to work today I’m going to work today and I got man I got shamed endlessly I was I was setting a terrible example I was like.

19:26.20

Randall Crowder

Yeah, what the? yeah oh yeah.

19:36.99

Matt DeCoursey

Hey man everyone just had four days off in a row because that’s a different holiday over there like I didn’t require anyone to come in. But you know, the more and more I thought about it, I ended up making another post later that said you know, out of the hundreds and hundreds of people that I’ve talked to on this show that have been wildly successful that have raised. Collectively billions of dollars and created billions of dollars in revenue. No one said you know what I did this part time. It was so easy I can’t believe this was so fricking. Easy. You know I never heard it wait. Okay, well.

20:02.86

Randall Crowder

Yeah, oh yeah, the money just fell out. He fell on me. Yeah.

20:14.90

Matt DeCoursey

Speaking of being easy finding expert software developers doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io where you can build a software team quickly and affordably use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs and then see what available developers testers and leaders are ready to join your team. Visit FullScale.io to learn more Let’s talk about tech for a minute on the on the the trailing vapors of that you mentioned 2009 and so that was right around the time I actually none really got serious about full-time entrepreneurship I wrote about it in my book million dollar bedroom if you want to read all about it.

20:51.69

Randall Crowder

Found.

20:52.80

Matt DeCoursey

You know those are wild times because so I often look at dates like that and when I recommend a senior developer to someone like in mobile I’ll be like well this guy started when that was iPhone 3. I believe or maybe even 2, right on the cusp of that.

21:02.92

Randall Crowder

Ah.

21:09.52

Matt DeCoursey

So much has changed since then and to give those of you perspective that might not remember that that was when you actually had people actually had like a dedicated mobile site. It wasn’t even always an app. You know it would be like mobile dot FullScale.io and now that’s completely unheard of.

21:18.20

Randall Crowder

Um, oh yeah, yeah.

21:28.26

Matt DeCoursey

What are some of the big changes that went so well with that if fundware was developing a platform for that. That’s in the trash. Now that’s not even a thing where have been what have been what have been the big evolution points when it comes to Multiscreen as a Service or the platform that you’ve developed because.

21:35.60

Randall Crowder

Yep, go.

21:43.16

Randall Crowder

Um, yeah.

21:45.50

Matt DeCoursey

Really in the end, the great one of the best and worst things about technology is essentially what you’re building right? Now, you’re eventually going to throw away and rebuild in a different way.

21:48.18

Randall Crowder

Always changing and that’s why we went to a platform. Yeah as a service I guess if we’re being really honest. Yeah there’s another acronym even clunk here. It’s lowercase m capital p lowercase a a s and it’s you know m pass and it’s mobile platform as a service. Really I think we’re a mobile platform as a solution and so why I say that is it doesn’t matter where technology goes everything that we do is modular. So every feature that goes into our mobile apps is modular and configurable and that’s important because. Every venue or brand that we work with is a little bit different and so like. For example, we have a permissioning module. So every time you know Google and Apple decide to exert monopolistic control and change something about how you do location sharing or foreground versus background listening.

22:37.13

Matt DeCoursey

This thing with one chain.

22:38.63

Randall Crowder

We make one change and then everybody that’s licensed our software gets it. You don’t have to worry about updating your code or doing anything. It’s over the air. It’s done. 1 of the things that a lot of people don’t realize about us is we also have the best location software in the world and so we actually beat Google for Kaiser from one’s business. On our location software. So if Gps and satellites work outside. How do you find a mobile device inside because mass is all about helping brands engage, manage and monetize their customers but look if you can’t find somebody. How are you going to really engage them? Our location software allows us to take any signal strength inside a building, high low density with five beacons doesn’t matter and we can triangulate you and give you real-time blue dots indoors just like satellites can outdoors but we’re sub one meter accuracy and none latency. That’s huge when you’re trying to not get lost inside a massive casino or a hospital. It’s huge when you’re just trying to engage someone contextually because that’s really what we’re doing. How do I get the right content to the right customer on the right screen at the right time in the right place in order to drive productivity. Drive profitability hopefully do both. That’s what mass is designed to do so we can give somebody a mobile application with that location software embedded with an analytics package embedded with content management. You know having API calls back to our platform. Everything works out of the box. All meant to be interoperable, and then when you say hey I’ve got all this other stuff like I’ve got an electronic medical record over here I’ve got bill pay over here I’ve got telemedicine over here from a hospital cool. All of that gets piped in. We’re a platform and so some of it’s our code, some of it’s somebody else’s code, but it all presents to the customer as – seamless solution. And that’s what’s called digital transformation. So it’s no longer good enough to have a mobile app that can answer your question directly. The biggest change in digital transformation is how you take all of that cool IOT you know the internet of things that everybody heard about several years ago and how do you make that usable. How do you take all the information in the virtual world, curate it and then deliver it to customers through any screen but likely a mobile device so that I can inform your real world experiences that’s going to change everything and that’ll be table stakes in the next couple of years.

24:57.11

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah I think the location thing. Yeah I just kind of went through this and sorry Google for what I’m about to say but your your ah your your maps really frustrated me in New York City recently and.

25:03.90

Randall Crowder

Is.

25:11.51

Matt DeCoursey

You know I get it. Ah, it could be a challenge. The buildings are tall might not be able to see where you’re at I was just trying to get from my hotel to Radio City Music Hall man and I was like kept taking the wrong turn or going past something because it wasn’t updating quickly and it’s like and and you know the thing is is like I could have just like.

25:20.92

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

25:27.68

Matt DeCoursey

Ten years ago because I just looked at a map and I’ve been like I’m like you did it in the military in the military you didn’t have a frickin. You didn’t have a you weren’t sitting there watching your dot move up the street. You know you’re like yeah.

25:29.17

Randall Crowder

Um, not a quest. Yeah. I trained all my soldiers with a compass and a map because I said look you know any really good world. WarIiSatellites are going none and if you are dependent on satellites or technology. You’re going to lose and so we were always trained.

25:45.42

Matt DeCoursey

You with so much training work I might have done better with a compass to be honest because I yeah I was struggling with that a little bit but.

25:51.74

Randall Crowder

What do you do in Analog war? Left.

26:00.98

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, um, you know I wanted to do a little add on there with the platform as a service the mobile platform as a solution I like that too I think cert solutions are a little better and than service on some days. Yeah, I think one of the things that’s been huge is you talk about the world of technology kind of rising to meet the needs.

26:08.55

Randall Crowder

You know the meaning.

26:19.34

Randall Crowder

Yes, yep I’m one of the last ones.

26:19.75

Matt DeCoursey

Is cross compatibility because you know you mentioned like I think you held up an Android device a minute ago when I saw yes so I got an Apple and I remember well back it well back in the day man. It’s like you would have one or the other and I spend a lot of time talking to people that want to work with us at Full Scale and.

26:30.97

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

26:38.60

Matt DeCoursey

I mean, really, it’s amazing I still open people’s eyes because they’re like hey I want to build a mobile app. Okay well have you considered the platform you’re going to use with that and they say well yeah I know I want to have ah I want to have an Ios app. Okay, well you need to there’s things that can help you build in a way that you don’t have to have two separate products running parallel.

26:55.50

Randall Crowder

We have no.

26:58.17

Matt DeCoursey

And in 2009, that’s exactly what you had to do and you know in the years that followed you, you remember how many hey we have an Apple app. We have an iPhone app but we don’t have one and not an iPhone app or the other way around. Ah, that was really frustrating for technologists and still is on some level and you know you don’t need to deal with that. It’s much easier and more efficient to have a codebase that can spit out different versions.

27:23.13

Randall Crowder

Yeah, no.

27:25.67

Matt DeCoursey

You know there’s multiple platforms that do that that you know if people are building their own solutions and not using an actual you know you know platform. But I mean I mean if you talk about early stage startups and preservation of capital and all that like you got to go about this in a smart way. We even did it.

27:37.38

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

27:44.18

Matt DeCoursey

If you’re interested, scroll down in the feed a little bit. There was a 2 two-part series I did with a guy named John Rake that’s all about planning your mobile app and and building it, and he’s in that business, and you know there’s there’s a lot to be considered and and the user experience is the key thing and yeah, that’s another thing that’s changed as well as the native app.

27:50.48

Randall Crowder

Nice I Want to check that out.

28:04.60

Matt DeCoursey

Isn’t as naive as it used to be, um, which totally rely on running in your phone, and now they’re kind of like hybrid and sorts, you know like when you’re on yeah Espn the yeah Espn app and looking at your sports scores. You know it’s relying on a direct connection to the internet and then.

28:04.60

Randall Crowder

Now.

28:11.32

Randall Crowder

Yep.

28:20.98

Randall Crowder

Nope.

28:21.77

Matt DeCoursey

Um, it does from someone that travels I I have a love hate with location-based stuff because you know I’m in the Philippines and I’m trying to get my local news and it’s like telling me like what’s going on in Manila and I’m like okay, so yeah I’ve got this like war of settings.

28:37.49

Randall Crowder

Well and that’s ah but we talked about a V and we talked about connecting to a computer that’s a stupid problem to have and so we you know we we address that in our platform because even just the privacy around that you think about your workplace you know and we’ve got some really interesting Ip around this one thing we do really well in the location is just.

28:38.11

Matt DeCoursey

That goes on in my devices.

28:56.90

Randall Crowder

Seamlessly switching between hardware so like we just launched Atlantis and the Bahamas so it’s like – in and of itself called Paradise Island 5 distinct resorts so we’ve done the entire island and so we have seamless indoor and outdoor switching. So we go from satellite.

29:03.65

Matt DeCoursey

So we did the entire point and so yes.

29:10.33

Randall Crowder

Go indoors. You’re going to go maybe back to wi-fi you go outside but under an awning. Maybe it’s a beacon that doesn’t matter to the user. It’s just seamless and so you know that kind of you know, switching is important but it’s also for privacy so we don’t store any pi any personal identifiable information. You know when you go into the workplace. You might want those location settings on for a variety of reasons, but the minute you leave you want that to shut off, and you don’t have to think about shutting that off that needs to happen. Ah, autonomously the same thing with traveling, you know, understanding what those settings are it’s a silly problem to have I had that happen. You know we just got back from a wedding in Cabo and it’s like. For the next week. You know Yahoo still thought I was in you know Mexico and I’m like stop like I am clearly no longer in Mexico like but you know you’re right? You know there’s technology that will always, you know, be frustrating but I think that’s why the platform approach is important because you know you were talking about coding. You know there’s a lot of legacy. We’re getting to that stage now where mobile is a little bit more of a certainty, and now some of that old stuff does need to be updated. You said it very well whether it’s Moore’s law or just a natural evolution of innovation things change. You know you can’t. If you’re deploying to Android you better be you know, writing in Kotlin you know you’re not going to be using Java anymore if you’re you know if you don’t know what swift is and you want an apple you know app an Ios app you better figure it out pretty quick and I’m sure those coding languages will change and so. We keep all of our customers updated. They don’t have to think about it and I think that’s going to be the power of platform approaches. You know I could hire – threads in a shed to build me a CRM. Why would I just license salesforce or Hubspot and just focus on my business people just want the solution. You know we live in an on demand economy. With limited attention span and so you just got to give people value. Don’t you know it’s an overengineer, don’t try to show them how smart you are just delight your customers and everything will be great and if you want to take it a step further take moments of anxiety and turn them into delight. Then you have something that’s a real winner.

31:13.31

Matt DeCoursey

So one one of the big topics amongst just everyone is web 3, and you know I see you guys are working on some blockchain enabled data exchange. Let’s talk about that. So what? What do you have in mind there and where’s some of the use cases for that.

31:18.71

Randall Crowder

Now.

31:29.51

Randall Crowder

Yeah, what’s cool is like you know, so everything we’ve been doing and talking to up until this point is this kind of idea of contextual engagement. How do I make every engagement between a brand and a consumer personal and relevant and actually Kathy Mayer sits on our board now she’s a former CMO and cdo a carnival.

31:36.58

Matt DeCoursey

Actually, it is an incredibly good point.

31:47.58

Randall Crowder

We were riffing with this with her probably back in 2017 and it was all about okay, if what I’m doing to engage. My customer is valuable to me and it might very well drive profitability. I might be willing to pay them to engage with me. So think about that like. You know, a rewarded survey. I want you to answer a question or tell me some more information about yourself. Think about it like a rewarded video. I want you to watch this commercial or more practically I want you to show up to your doctor’s appointment on time. It’s a once a year problem in the US alone patients missing their doctor’s appointments or being late. hundred and fifty billion that’s a stupid problem to have and so maybe I’ll just incentivize them to show up on time you know I’ll incentivize you to check a bag and so we started with this idea of okay, can we take blockchain technology because nobody wants to use fiat to incentivize anybody let’s use Blockchain. To basically deliver microtransactions at scale that are incentivizing engagement every time you click something share something like something go somewhere do something you know you’re generating not only valuable engagement and awareness. But you’re also generating data and so with all that data we begin to collect that. And actually a lot of people don’t realize it’s about Phunware. We’ve got over a petabyte of data. Our platform at scale sees about a billion active devices a month early on in the history of the company. We had a hypothesis that I wonder if we could create a Phunware id for every human being on the planet with a mobile device touching a network. Kind of laugh but you know you have to have a big audacious goal when you’re raising venture money and we raised $100000000 as a private company but fast forward to today. We’ve got over 15000000000 fund are ids so we actually did it and we’re actually in the process of doing it and so we said okay if we’re kind of a data company masquerading as a mobile company. How do we begin to activate that data? How do we make it useful? How do we make it something that could maybe usher in the next great transformation. You know we helped with mobile we’re helping with digital transformation. You’re exactly right? web 3 this concept of decentralization is very new but it’s very powerful. I kind of got into the habit of saying it’s probably the single greatest innovation to reach the global economy since the medici’s commercialized double entry accounting if it can be deployed successfully. That’s a big if we’re not even close to that yet. So we got a fun token. Which is actually we’re the one publicly traded company with a digital asset like this. It’s actually on uniswap now it’s about to start launching a couple centralized exchange law tokens, but we’re working through that kind of incentivization structure with fun tokens that’s like picks and shovels, then all that data being generated that we’re managing.

34:32.26

Randall Crowder

We want to turn that over to the consumer. We want to say look, it’s your data, you own it. You sanitize it and if anybody buys your data. It’s your permission that they got to get and if they buy it, you get compensated for it, so we have a fun coin as the sister token to fund the token. Actually a security token. It’s a regulated security token. So we’re the publicly traded company with not only utility token but the publicly traded company with a security token that’ll start trading on securitized which is a licensed ATS later on this quarter and so both of those tokens kind of work in tandem. Um. Will hopefully be the foundation for a decentralized data economy. You know bitcoin proved. You don’t need banks in the middle, you can transact between 2 people in a trustless manner. Someone’s going to do that for data you don’t need Facebook and Google and credit agencies in the middle. It’s your data, the brand only cares about you. Just right now. Those data oligarchs are the only game in town, so somebody needs to just introduce a new model to say not so fast. There’s a better way to do this and that’s the start of every great entrepreneurial story. There’s got to be a better way. Yeah.

35:42.40

Matt DeCoursey

Well, there’s a whole lot of disruption a whole lot a whole lot. It does and it’s going to be interesting because yeah I think one of the things when it comes to crypto web 3 all that is is that’s.

35:47.89

Randall Crowder

That means opportunity.

35:57.40

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, often grossly misunderstood like trying to talk to my dad about what bitcoin is. I’m like this isn’t always new money. It’s not like we’re not necessarily like I mean sure there are some ah, there’s a series that has been on HBO about the anarchists.

35:57.67

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

36:12.99

Randall Crowder

Yep.

36:13.32

Matt DeCoursey

And I just decided to watch, and you know they’re hoping that you know bitcoin takes down the entire world’s economy or something. No no, it’s not yeah, there’s like yeah yeah, yeah, if I had a Rick flair button I could hit right now I would do that.

36:17.15

Randall Crowder

Yeah, it won’t. The man has been the man for a long time and the man will be the man long after Bitcoin is more ubiquitous.

36:32.24

Matt DeCoursey

Because he’s ah you know if you want to be what if you want to beat the man you got to be the man it goes but yeah, there’s there’s ah, there’s ah you mentioned the double entry accounting while that was a great thing. The problem was that the eraser still existed. So.

36:36.29

Randall Crowder

Ah moment.

36:44.63

Randall Crowder

Yeah, yeah, very true.

36:47.59

Matt DeCoursey

Um, it became a little problematic and that’s actually how that’s actually what I’ve done trying to explain to people that a lot of stuff with web three and ah the and the blockchain is just going to kill a lot of a lot of fraud and a lot of bad acting and erasers and.

36:57.96

Randall Crowder

Yes, yep.

37:04.82

Matt DeCoursey

Things are disappearing because unless you if it’s on the right blockchain I mean you look at something like Ethereum I mean you have to shut off the internet and delete everything to get it to go away and you know so there’s a lot. Not.

37:12.38

Randall Crowder

Yeah, well and that’s the rub though right? like it’s like you know and I try to tell people this all the time you know when you feel like something just doesn’t make sense. You’re probably missing something. You know I tell my mom this all the time like you know cause like you know George Bush sent her baby boy to war. And yeah, he got shot at and almost killed And, cetera, etc, etc and she always likes to say well and there were no weapons of mass destruction I’m like well your hypothesis is probably wrong. They probably were.

37:36.32

Matt DeCoursey

Said Fred is Joe.

37:47.00

Randall Crowder

Well aware that there weren’t but they were using it as an excuse to achieve a different objective now. Whether or not that objective was just or right. That’s a totally different conversation, but you’re assuming that they were like oh crap we made a mistake where.

37:51.48

Matt DeCoursey

To.

38:02.44

Randall Crowder

We are. We’ve overthrown governments. We’ve overthrown countries. I mean you know, the nation-state that is the US is very good at what it does, and it’s unlikely that we made that mistake. It’s likely that we fed it to the public to justify forced projection of the military. Into a part of the world that you know we were losing airspace in Kuwait we were losing airspace in Turkey and oh by the way Saddam was a little crazy and his kids were even crazier and oh by the way some people were gonna make a lot of money along the way in the private sector. So. There are a lot of different competing reasons for anything, but you know people are pretty smart. And people understand where the puck is going to head, and the same thing will happen in a lot of different areas. But yeah I’m with you. I’m so excited about the possibility of thinking about if the stock market you know t zero tried to do this. But if the stock market was on a blockchain you get rid of naked shorting dark pools all sorts of things. And the cyn gulp side of me is like that’s why it’ll never happen the same thing with elections we could get rid of election fraud. It was just all in the blockchain but like how does that happen if the system is designed to protect itself. You know a lot of people don’t want radical transparency because they’re cheating on the margins they like.

39:15.20

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, well yeah, yeah, like yeah yeah.

39:18.10

Randall Crowder

Gray area. They love the gray area and so they don’t want ah somebody to shine a flashlight on top of it. So I think the system will protect itself for a while, but as entrepreneurs, the more we can innovate and put models that are just Undeniable. We can start chipping away at that veneer.

39:36.78

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, and that’s going to be an interesting transformation now. It’s ah yeah here we are at the end of the show and it’s time to move on to the founders freestyle. It’s the way I like to end my shows. Say my shows I’m not the only host to Startup Hustle as you are probably aware make sure you tune in to the weekly shows with Andrew Morgans he’s going to tell you how to sell more shit on Amazon I know that much tune in with Lauren Conaway who is brave enough to talk about all the stuff I’m not and join my business partner.

39:55.50

Randall Crowder

Ah court.

40:04.57

Matt DeCoursey

And often co-host Matt Watson who is probably going to be talking to somebody’s CTO Matt and I are about to launch a new eight-part series about software development lifecycle that’s going to be fun and interesting and if you get a chance make sure to check out our whopper 52 part series about how to start a tech company. Yeah.

40:20.90

Randall Crowder

So.

40:24.22

Matt DeCoursey

You know what’s funny about Randall is that we like software so much. We delivered that 52 part series two months late and over budget. Um, yeah, well yeah, yeah, but.

40:32.61

Randall Crowder

But I bet it was well worth it. I’m going to check it out. I want us to know that I’ll have our team start thinking about that. There’s so much to learn from that discipline.

40:42.87

Matt DeCoursey

Well, speaking about trying to keep things on budget if you need to hire software engineers, testers, and leaders, Full Scale can help. We have the people on the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts when you visit FullScale.io. There’s a link for that in the show notes. And there’s a link for fun where check it out. They got a lot of info on their site. All you need to do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with our fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders at Full Scale. We specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you.

40:58.34

Randall Crowder

Um.

41:15.51

Matt DeCoursey

Learn more when you visit FullScale.io. Man, you know, but you talk about needing disruption and fixing stuff. There’s this massive shortage of software engineers in the United States, but people have these nightmares with finding the right people offshore, and we just fixed all those problems man but built by founders.

41:22.78

Randall Crowder

Um, well.

41:29.50

Randall Crowder

Love that.

41:35.30

Matt DeCoursey

That’s you reach out and talk to people all the time. So here are the founders freestyle. Ah, it’s your freestyle. Randall, you know here we here we end up at the end of these shows and this time goes by quickly I don’t know if you can give advice. We’ve had people rap recite poetry. Um, yeah, it’s a freestyle man, you get to do whatever you want. So how would you like to leave things off about today’s show or anything else you like to say before I do the same.

41:58.10

Randall Crowder

You know I love yeah I love talking about Phunware I love I love you know everything that we’re doing because I think it really is going to be the future of how brands engage but when shows like this I mean I think people. Um, you know anything? That’s about it. You know that’s just a passion of mine. So I would leave it with just encouraging people to to start, you know to try you know I think and it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. Don’t let people tell you you don’t have the right pedigree or the right background or the right experience or the right access to money you know none of that matters. And I think it was Tony Robbins that always says you know resourcefulness is the greatest resource and you have enough and sometimes when you’re back against the wall. You’re perfectly positioned to do something and I think that’s what I would encourage people to do. You know we live in a generation now where content is at our fingertips. You know you see people. Will spend 2, 3, 4 hours on Tiktok Instagram youtube motivational videos. I hope people watch this whole video but discipline yourself, maybe watch fewer videos and get to work and really apply a lot of what you’re learning. You know, take steps. To make something actionable. Don’t just watch it get real jacked up grip more motivated like I love that guy that guy’s kicking ass I want to kick ass too and then go as Jim Carrey said eat a sandwich you know book a meeting go you know jot down your ideas. You know. Actually deliver something in front of a customer. Do some research. You know, take actions to move in a direction of where you’re headed because the world needs more people innovating. I mean we need more people thinking about it and then you know just think about your daily life that the friction that you have in your daily life. What could you do to make that better? Um, because I think it’s the greatest journey in the world. You know, operating without a safety net, hopefully doing it with really incredible friends, sometimes family I would recommend almost neither, sometimes find someone you respect who has experiences that complement your skill set leave the family and friends for you know Saturdays. And the weekends if you have them but prepare not to have them. You know, prepare to work. You know till you think you can’t work anymore and then work some more and work some more and do it some more and just don’t quit. You know you can pivot but don’t quit, and I think if you know you can figure out that formula. To be you know, passionate and authentic about what you want to do and how you want to add value and leave the world. A better place. You know entrepreneurship is absolutely in your DNA and go out and do it.

44:37.45

Matt DeCoursey

That’s well said man, it’s well said and some of that stuff I felt like you’re reading down in my book million dollar bedroom as sometimes you just gotta jump and build wings and I think the key is it’s a good idea to make sure you at least have access to the stuff to build the wings before you leave the ledge but nothing’s going to make you build.

44:43.23

Randall Crowder

Ah, yeah.

44:50.85

Randall Crowder

Yeah, that helps.

44:54.16

Matt DeCoursey

Nothing will make you build them faster than the impending doom of hitting that canyon floor, and you know I’ve spent oh man, you know I’m 47 years old now, and I’ve kind of like I mentioned having almost 300 employees only one of them is older than me. Um, yeah I know. Ah.

44:57.23

Randall Crowder

Oh yeah.

45:10.95

Randall Crowder

I’m getting there too. It’s like I used to be the young guy in the room and now I can’t make all my jokes I used to make.

45:13.33

Matt DeCoursey

Yeah, not anymore I’ve kind of transitioned into like the professor and I wear glasses now and I didn’t used to. But yeah, there’s a couple things from today’s conversation that stood out first off it was you know half an hour talking about.

45:18.72

Randall Crowder

Um, ah.

45:32.55

Matt DeCoursey

Being at Westpoint and you know you do reserve the right to ring that bell, and you can go travel to a safe space and a safe place, and you’re probably going to have some really safe dreams and accomplishments at that point. Um, you know, Overall, when it comes to being an entrepreneur. It is I. You know I, actually. Ah.

45:34.95

Randall Crowder

Yeah.

45:52.23

Matt DeCoursey

I share so many of my feelings and experiences through this show and also through the Startup Hustle chat group on Facebook, and I did that recently when I was in the Philippines just, and you know, my daughter had her braces put on. And my wife sent me a picture, and it wrecked me, man. I started crying, man, and I’m not a crying kind of guy. I mean, most people were shocked. They’re like, well, so you are human. Ah, but you know entrepreneurship is a lonely venture. And it’s challenging. And you know, like that’s a time when it’s like you know and don’t let the toughest of the tough tell you. So oh, you probably cried at some point at Westpoint. You might not have shared it on Facebook afterward. But you know this is part of it. You know, to accomplish great things often comes at a price that you’re going to need to decide what you want to make now when it comes to your skills or ability. You know you really did nail it. It. Ah, you know, everyone, rewind 2 minutes and listen to what Randall said again. You know I mentioned earlier I dropped out of college now. Of them was a top business school, right? So I had actually been like my Westpoint, but I started a business, and I rolled with it. You know, but um, I let people tell me till I was about 25 that I didn’t have the pedigree, that I didn’t have this, or I didn’t have that, and it was all false. You know you get to create your own path and your own journey. The things that you don’t know you’re not going to know until you go figure them out, and you’re in this golden age of free like you get episodes of Startup Hustle at the time of this recording. Literally a vault of how to do it all at this point like I don’t like we struggle to come up with something new to talk about like it’s all free. It’s all fucking 3. You don’t need a college loan. You don’t need a part-time job like you, but as Randall said, you got to. Quit doing the shit that doesn’t provide any value in your life and replace it. Just do a little tiny bit of it. I talk about that in my book to balance me. It’s the replacement theory to take the lowest value activities in your life and replace them with anything. That moves you towards a goal in your personal, professional, or physical life. All 3 are huge winds, and you need all 3 to get to the top, and that’s like what I was struggling with in the Philippines is I was missing my, you know, I had to pay the price to this a little bit of my personal life.

48:29.77

Matt DeCoursey

You know, sometimes, it’s going to hit. I didn’t ring the bell. I actually mentioned in that post I am a soldier, I am a warrior, and I’m going to go out there. And I’m going to fight the fight because I do it for my family, and that’s why I’m there. You know, it really just comes down to how bad you want it and what you are willing to do to go out and get it. So get to work, get to work. Go do it, and that’s how I’m ending the show, man. I’ll see you down the road.

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