This incredible and inspiring interview is a must-listen for entrepreneurs.
Marc Randolph, cofounder of Netflix and author of That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, shares the behind-the-scenes story of how an idea morphed into the company that took down Blockbuster.
He also shares the secret formula behind nearly every successful business—and why you can’t be afraid of looking like the idiot in the room. [26:08]
Then, Daniel and I discuss how my Super Bowl predictions turned out… companies Daniel believes will join the bitcoin bandwagon… and some stocks that could allow you to participate in the bitcoin rally.
Finally, we have some fun reading negative reviews—and Daniel eats some humble pie on a major prediction he got dead-wrong.
We love getting your thoughts—good or bad! In fact, on today’s show, I’ve got a special offer for anyone who sends us feedback about this podcast. [01:01:42]
Wall Street Unplugged | 760
Netflix cofounder Marc Randolph unplugged: Be the idiot in the room
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines, heard on mainstream financial media to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street, right to you on main street.
Frank Curzio: How it going out there? It’s February 10th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged Podcast, where I break down the headlines and… Tell you what’s really moving these markets. So, I have an awesome show for you today. I don’t know why I say awesome show for; it’s kind of funny to think about it. Whenever I watch it, we’ve got an awesome show for you today, no matter what you watch, right? They are not going to tell you we have shitty show today. Don’t watch it. I don’t have any stock picks to give you, nothing, right, no. It’s not going to be that, but truly, this is a really, really good show. I would go to focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, how to be difference makers, since we’re getting a lot of young people listen to this podcast, new listeners, new subscribers. My interview today is incredible, I mean, one of my favorites. I’ve been doing this for a long time. This is a first-time guest, a co-founder of one of the largest tech companies in the world. So, I’m honored to have him on, definitely must-listen-to. We’ll get to him in a little bit. But there’s a lot going on with the markets, right?
Frank Curzio: Daniel Creech and I are going to be breaking it down: The surge in Bitcoin, although it’s pulling back today. Well, like 5%, but still up tremendously. We’re going to tell you some of the stocks that’ll benefit from Bitcoin because a lot of people don’t know. I mean, you hear MicroStrategy and Tesla. There’s a lot more stocks out there, and a couple pure plays that we have in our portfolio that have done unbelievable, unbelievable in our crypto portfolio, and names that they really don’t mention a lot on TV. We’ll break those down, talk about marijuana stocks. I mean, Tilray, is it going to be a hundred tomorrow? It was seven, I think, three weeks ago. It’s over 50 now; crazy. It did have some really good news with Tilray, supplying the UK with marijuana, which is great.
Frank Curzio: And then, of course, I’m going to talk about my Super Bowl pick. Let’s just say that I’m back, right? I mean, I threw out the Eagles. I was an Eagles fan, as you know. I went to the Eagles game, and I was like, I’ve got to pick the Eagles. Outside of that, last year was the only year I won the Super Bowl in the last, I believe it’s 10… I believe it’s 10, might be 11. And I love it. I don’t care: Have fun, make fun of it. But I said KC was going to blow out Tampa, which is the complete opposite. And it’s always been a longstanding joke, where I break down the game and tell you why, and really break it down, and then I’m wrong. And you guys make money. So, you can make fun of me, send me emails, whatever, as long as you’re making money, just keep doing the opposite. But I’m glad that trend is intact because if I would have wanted to, I would’ve thrown a wrench in the whole system: two in a row would have been difficult. We’re going to break it down. I did a walk of shame later on.
Frank Curzio: But first, I want to talk about one of the greatest things we have in America, our country, and that’s capitalism, where anyone, anyone, regardless of race, color, gender, can start their own business, become an innovator, can change the world. If you look at most large cap tech companies, whether it’s Facebook or Microsoft with Bill Gates, I mean, a lot of these companies that started in garages or basements. And you’re going to hear that same story with my interview later on. You can’t do that many countries. I think we take it for granted here.
Frank Curzio: Because a few months ago, I talked about Ibram X. Kendi, who wrote a book in 2019 called “How To Be An Anti-Racist.” Then we had the George Floyd incident, and sales took off. It became a New York Times bestseller, and Professor Kendi is now a huge celebrity. But his message, and I’m quoting here from his book, he says, “To love capitalism is to love racism. They were birthed together from the same unnatural causes, and they shall one day die together from unnatural causes. Because I’d say popular definitions of capitalism, like popular racist ideas, do not live in historical or material reality.” So basically, Professor Kendi is saying that if you believe in capitalism, you’re a racist, and the idea of capitalism needs to die. Think about that. Put politics aside. I always get emails of politics and this and that. People think I’m like a Trump lover or I’m super conservative. Believe me, I’m not even close to being conservative.
Frank Curzio: I just like when things are fair, and I believe in capitalism. When that’s taken away, that’s a major problem. It’s the reason why I’m here. It’s a reason why so many people made it. You don’t have those opportunities anywhere. And look, I believe in free speech. You can say whatever you want. That’s fine. With that said, there’s tons of colleges around America that are hiring this guy to speak directly to students and tell them this message. And I know this because listeners email me all the time when this guy is speaking. This is something that I mentioned about two months ago.
Frank Curzio: And he’s telling them that capitalism, working hard, getting an education, getting a job, to open up your own business… And that concept needs to die. It shouldn’t exist anymore. Kind of ironic, considering the reason why this guy sold so many books, is a professor at a big college, has a big name, a lot has to do, is because of capitalism. I mean, our country allowed you to write a book and use free speech, to say whatever you want; then you have a platform, you have publishers. And then, look how big it… Like, that’s capitalism, right? I mean, there’s nothing being suppressed there, which is kind of amazing that your message is totally different from how you became successful.
Frank Curzio: But I mentioned, we get a lot of new, younger subscribers, listeners, at Curzio Research. And I want to talk to you directly. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, please listen up because our country, America, is only as good as what the next generation makes of it. Now, I look at my journey, and I’m closing in on 50 years old,. Holy cow. Holy cow. I was listening to 50 Cent the other day, it came on the radio, and my daughter’s like, “Who is that?” I was like, “He’s not that old.” Is he 57? Are you kidding me? I was like, “You don’t know who 50 Cent is?” “No, I don’t know.” I was like, “Whoa, I’m getting old, getting up there.” It’s crazy. But I can tell you, growing up, I never thought in a million years that people would listen to me for my brains, or listen to how I analyze stocks, or have over a hundred thousand people a week downloading the podcast, trying to help you out with investing, how to analyze companies, how to use economics and government policies to find new sectors and companies invest in.
Frank Curzio: I always thought maybe I’d be a basketball coach, who will listen to me about basketball skills and everything that I played for my whole entire life. I never thought it would be this. I mean, I was a pretty bad kid growing up. Not terrible, not horrible, but I hung out with a bad crowd, guys that dealt drugs, carried guns, stole cars. I got into basketball. This way, I wasn’t doing any crazy stuff, but I was around it a lot. And I got left back in the seventh grade, the seventh grade, where my science teacher brought me up in front of the class… This is at St. Mathias in Ridgewood, New York, brought me in front of the class and said, “Frank, you’re not going to amount to anything ever. You just need to know that.”
Frank Curzio: And her face was just like so serious on that even today, like, I’d be like, holy cow, you piece of shit. Anyway, I used that as motivation. But I look at that today and it’s funny, man. I lived in my house until I was 27, which I totally forgot. I just took my mom out, hanging out, and we grabbed something to eat, and she said, “Yeah, you were 27 before-” I said, “Really?” My parents liked having me around because I was the youngest, the last one and probably the… Like, oh, you know, just… I would think me… I can’t wait until my daughters go. So, I have a little bit of free time. But of course, when that happens, I’m going to miss them to death. But, by the way, shout out to my daughter, Brianna, who is going to be 13 on Friday. Teenager. I’m willing to accept any emails, firstname.lastname@example.org, on how to handle a girl that’s just becoming a teenager. So, it’s going to be the “I hate you, dad” stage for a little while, but I always hear that they come back later on. So, we’ll see. But it’s going to be interesting.
Frank Curzio: But 27, I found that crazy. I didn’t even know that. But since my dad passed, I started taking everything very seriously. I learned as much as I can from like the year where things started getting bad. I spent a lot of time with them, wheeling around their wheelchair, ask a millions of questions, and it was good. It was keeping his mind off of everything. I mean, he had lung cancer, chemo, lost a ton of weight. He couldn’t walk anymore. I mean, it was nothing anyone, hopefully, a lot of you, don’t have to go through that. It’s painful. But I used that opportunity to really get close and learn everything.
Frank Curzio: Then, I spent time building up my network, getting out there, learning everything I can from people who are smarter than me, who have decades of experience. The reason why I could’ve went to, not that I had a lot of openings, but with Cramer, I had a little bit of an in; he knew who my dad was. He interviewed him before on CNBC and stuff. And he said, “Yeah, we’d love to have you.” And I’m glad I did that. I mean, it gave be a whole education on growth stocks, which is, you’ll see a lot of growth stocks in our portfolios now. A lot of people just don’t understand growth and how you can buy a stock with a 60, 70 PE. But you consider Amazon when it’s trading at 50 and it’s 3,300 today, right? So, just having that education, having the value, combining that, I mean, it was a greatest education ever.
Frank Curzio: And over that time, I realized or learned a few things, and I’m going to go over a couple of them with you because they’ve helped me. And I learned never to be closed minded. And I see guys like Peter Schiff, you have Dent, permabears. You’ll see me on Twitter just rant about Peter Schiff sometimes because he talks about… He hates everybody. It’s “everybody talks about everybody,” just basically telling everyone since 2012 that Bitcoin is the worst investment ever. “You’re an idiot if you buy it,” and he continues to say that. He’s great at stirring up trouble, entertainment. He’s got tons of followers. Good for him. That’s great.
Frank Curzio: But you have to be careful of people who are just closed minded that are just… Live in a certain way, and they’re never going to change. I could talk about Schiff and permabears, where everything sucks unless it’s gold. Be able to change, especially when you get older. I mean, you have to. If the variables change, you need to change. I was crazy bearish on the market. We were able to get out a lot of stocks in my portfolio when the market crashed in February. And I said, this is going to be one of the greatest buying opportunities ever. I thought it would be a year from now. I didn’t know it would be a month and a half, where it started going on. And then I realized, holy cow, trillions and trillions of dollars. I mean, it is unbelievable to see how much money they are throwing into the system.
Frank Curzio: And this is where… It’s on the Curzio Research YouTube page, because I like to bring up things. And this is a report from Bank of America… Just to show you guys, this is kind of crazy. This is crazy. But, so, the fiscal monetary policy tracker, and it shows percent of GDP and the amount of monetary and fiscal for each country broken down. Now, Italy is 73% of GDP. Germany provided 70%. You have Japan, 68%. And then you have US, which is close to 40%. They lowered rates by on half a percent. The total spend here is 8.3 trillion. So, it’s 3.7 for fiscal that they spent so far, and 4.6 for monetary. And that was just the beginning. These are trillions, guys, trillions of dollars. Trillions. When you put that in perspective, I mean, you think about it… If you put in perspective, it’s… Will we ever top $470 billion to stabilize the whole financial world, all the banks, right? Stabilize the whole global system? I mean, trillions, and more’s coming. They’re giving checks away. So, you have to be able to change and know that the liquidity is going to be crazy, low interest rates, buy assets, buy aggressive stocks, time to take on risk, know it’s going to rotate.
Frank Curzio: I mean, that’s really, really important, but you have to be open to change. You got to be able to adapt or you’ll die. And so many people tell me I can’t do something. You can’t… Trust me, you got to be told this a ton over your life. There’s no way you could do it. You can’t do that, no way. If someone tells you, you can’t do something, practice until you can kick their ass in it. Use the word no. Let me tell you, use that as motivation. People make fun of you, use it as motivation. I mean, I was a pretty big kid. I wasn’t bullied, but people made fun of me and called me fat in school, just like kids do. And I used that, especially in basketball. When I played those kids in basketball, I knew who were the ones that said things. And believe me, by the end of the game, they were not happy because I spent three, four days leading up to that game shooting tons of shots, locking them down. As soon as the guy came into a gym, I was guarding him, couldn’t even get to his bench. That’s how competitive I was and motivated I was. And be humble. I mean, most entrepreneurs, their early ventures don’t work. If you talk to them, they didn’t, “Hey, I decided to start this company and it worked.”
Frank Curzio: No. A lot of them fail, and they take those lessons learned and apply them in the future. But be humble. You can be humble and confident, right? A lot of people aren’t humble. I mean, it’s the downfall of Donald Trump.
Frank Curzio: We can’t argue… Yeah, you could argue if you want. I know people hate him to death. His policies are good, but he’s not humble. He’s like, “I did this. I’m great. I’m that.” Most Trump supporters… It’s not like you’re lower than them, just believe in entrepreneurship and less government and less taxes and stuff, which is fine. And Democrats, again, it should be an open discussion, but being humble would have gone a long way, instead of losing Arizona because you trashed John McCain. I mean, trashed him. What are you thinking? And you lose that state, you’re surprised. But humble is a very important quality. Fortunately, even in the political world, none of them commit and say, “Hey, you know what? We got this right. Everyone’s right on call. They all right, all these deaths every day, everybody’s right.” You can’t say, “Well, you know what? We were wrong at the beginning, but we learned. And now, this is how we’re dealing with it.” But if you notice, everybody talks about how right they are with COVID all the time. Be humble. It builds character. You trust people like that. You don’t see that often.
Frank Curzio: You must, must, must be confident. That’s important for entrepreneurship. Whether that’s because you really know your field or you’re incredibly street smart, which I would say is my biggest asset, the ability to read people, see who is full of shit in seconds. And that’s something you don’t teach in books. Anyone can read a book and say, “Okay, this is what I learned.” It’s how you apply that. And also, meetings and getting to see people. I mean, it’s not easy, right? Some people are not people persons, whatever. You like to be in crowds and talk to people.
Frank Curzio: Being street smart is huge. Think about the greatest athletes in the world. If you look at Tom Brady, you look at Michael Jordan, Gretzky, Mayweather, Serena Williams, what do they have in common? They’re confident as hell. I believe they’re the greatest, and they’re going to destroy anyone that wants to take their crown. They always find ways to compete within the competition or make everything a competition, right, even if they make them up. You saw that with Jordan: There’s a series where he was just talking about players, saying, “This guy said I can’t guard him and this and that.” And then, they questioned him and said, “Really, is that true?” He’s like, “Eh, you know.” Just think things that just their way of thinking. It’s got to be competition. I’ve got to win. I’m the greatest. You have to have that confidence while being humble.
Frank Curzio: Talk to everyone, seriously. Talk to everyone and respect everyone. I mean, you never know who that person’s going to be, right? Or sometimes, it’s that you’re talking to… I know a guy, I thought he was from the military, played basketball, a great guy. And we went out for drinks, hung out, met his wife, cool with my wife. I didn’t even know the guy… He’s not in the military. He owns a huge bunch of gas stations. Shoot. He has a bunch of houses and everything. Not that that makes him smart or whatever. I mean… But I treated him as if I would treat anybody. And that’s how… Treat everyone the same. I mean, I never changed my personality for anyone. And I guess if I knew the background, sometimes, some of the people I’ve met, I may act… Tone it down a little bit. But they kind of like that because they’re not used to it, especially if they are very successful people and they’re wealthy and people… They’re so used to everyone kissing their ass. For me, I don’t kiss anyone’s ass. I’m just me. That’s it. Be yourself, look in a mirror. That’s important. But definitely talk to everyone and don’t care what anyone’s occupation is, right?
Frank Curzio: You can always learn something from someone. If you think about, what does the word smart mean? I mean, I’ve got emails, “Frank, you’re smart with your stock picks, stock analysts.” I don’t know. Is that smart? I know my field. I feel like I’m the best in the world at it. I’m confident. I am humble. I get it wrong sometimes. And I break it down because I want to be perfect. And I know a lot of people listen to me on my stock ideas and pay for my research services. If I get shit wrong, people lose money. I take it personally.
Frank Curzio: But smart? I don’t know. I mean, my mechanic is smart. A cab driver is incredibly smart. I think I could tell you more about the local economy than any economist, trust me on that. Most economists look at bell curves. How many economists are conversationalists, that that you could really sit down and have a good conversation? Very rare. Very rare. They’re dry. I’ve interviewed economists. I love talking about the economy. I don’t explain it in bell curves, but the economies are… You look at a cab driver, an Uber driver. I mean, they see everything, right? How people are spending their money, what hotels they’re staying at, which months are the busiest in that area, what new events are going on. More houses are being built and they know everything, everything, about that community. I don’t care where you go and who picks you up, have a conversation with them. They’re dying to have a conversation, in the car all day, just say, “Hey, how’s it going? You know, how has it been busy lately? What’s going on in different areas?” They’ll tell you everything, everything. You can always learn something from someone. So treat everyone with respect.
Frank Curzio: What I realized, for me, I never wanted to be the smartest in the room, otherwise you can’t learn from anyone or get better. And that’s how I started Curzio Research. I mean, I went to Weiss Research at the Stansberry. I went there, I think, for nine months. And it was kind of a joke. But when I was there, everyone was asking me what to do. And I’m like, well, of course, they didn’t pay me for those extra services, right? But I was like, “Okay, I’m ready to open up my own business.” And now again, I still surround myself with people who are smarter than me. This way, you’re always learning, always learning something new. When it comes to different things or reading books, don’t just read. If you want to learn, you have to do it. Do it, have that experience, have that emotion behind it, experience the failure, experience how hard something is and the dedication it requires, whatever it is. Let me tell you in gymnastics, some of those girls are absolutely amazing. The dedication it takes is incredible, but don’t just read about something. Do it. I read about, like, have you shot a gun before? Now, I’m a gun owner and read about it, and a subscriber who came here and showed me how to shoot it. I did it. And now I shoot. And again, it’s… You got to do things. Can’t just read about it.
Frank Curzio: And I can tell you what I hear from a lot of entrepreneurs, is they say don’t try… Or a successful entrepreneur… Is don’t try to start a company because you want to be rich. That’s interesting. Well, you look at the most successful entrepreneurs. They’re going to tell you that they didn’t care about making money when they started their companies. They’re just passionate about their idea and something that could change the world. If that works, chances are, you all going to make a lot of money.
Frank Curzio: But if that’s what you’re thinking off the start, and that’s why even when I looked the mining industry where sometimes, I don’t like to invest in companies that are just junior miners, that their only purpose is to sell that asset to somebody else. Fine. If the price comes along and I’m doing the best in the shareholder’s interest, right? I get it. But it’s nice to see, like, “Hey, this is my project. I’m developing this shit. It’s going to take 10, 12 years. This is what we’re going to do. Here’s a plan. Here’s how we’re raising money.” And if you get taken over, it’s fine. But just to have that. You’re not passionate. I can’t see the passion behind it. If you’re just, “Hey, let me just buy this and then sell it to somebody else.” In a successful businesses, usually the person running the show is very, very passionate.
Frank Curzio: And most importantly, for me, again, my experiences here, and I get a lot of questions on this. Hopefully, I’m not boring you. But work your ass off. There’s no reason why you can’t work your ass off, work harder than everybody else. It should be easy if you’re passionate about something, right? For me, Curzio Research, this isn’t work. Doing this podcast is not work. I love it. I’m going to interview great, great people, going to learn from them, especially the guests I’m bringing on. Trust me. I’ve learned, and you’re going to learn from them.
Frank Curzio: But attitude reflects leadership. And if you’re working your ass off and every one of your plays see this, it motivates them. They start to share your vision. They know how passionate you are about it. That’s important, especially for culture. I’ve seen culture get destroyed. So many companies I’ve been at, it’s terrible. People leave and they don’t care anymore. They don’t work hard. They dread going to work. It’s a terrible environment when that happens, terrible. And I can bet it’s kind of like that at Robinhood right now. Once you lose that culture, nobody wants to work there. They don’t want to be a part of it. It’s hard. It’s hard. It’s like trying to change someone’s personality. You can’t do it. It’s so hard to get back to, “Hey, this is who we are now.”
Frank Curzio: I don’t have all the answers. I’m going to fail at things. I get emails saying, “Frank, you’re so successful, you’re innovative, you launched your own company, launching one of the first security tokens.” But we’re still a tiny company. I mean, things could change quickly. And if we fail to adapt, this business will fail really bad. No, no, I don’t know. It’s true. I mean, it’s not crazy? Think AOL. AOL, the first company that gave you the internet, research in motion, right? They invented the smartphone. They don’t even make them anymore. They failed to innovate. They failed to get ahead of it. And Apple just said, “Hey, I like that concept, but we could do it better.” And that’s what happens. You just got to be on your toes.
Frank Curzio: There’s literally millions of people who started multi-million dollar companies. But for me, I always stay humble. I always want to learn something new every single day, always passionate about everything I do, everything, which is kind of a… I hate doing things half assed. I’m even playing a lot more golf now and getting a little bit better now. So, I’m passionate about things. I want to be good at them. I just don’t want to… I could do this. No. I don’t want to half ass anything, but be passionate about everything you do. And always, always work hard. That’s what you could control, right? That’s what you can control. And that’s been my formula. I’m not sure anyone would define that as successful, since I’m not too sure what that word actually means. I mean, imagine someone who was deaf or mute and overcoming millions of things, holy cow. I mean, that is unbelievable. Imagine being deathly afraid to speak in front of crowds, but doing a presentation for 350 people.
Frank Curzio: I mean, it’s scary. And I could tell you from someone who does lots of presentations, if you don’t want to be nervous, the best way to know everything about your subject, know more about your subject than anyone else. And you’re going to have that confidence because you know that better than anyone else. Because if you go up there and you don’t and you’re getting… People ask you questions and you know how to answer, it’s going to… You lose credibility. If you really know everything down to a T, not to memorize it, but you just know that whatever… You’re pitching your sector, those nerves will go away, at least a little bit. But success, you look at it as measured at one way. To me, that it’s truly giving everything you got to achieve a goal, right? And in America, you could do that. You could build a brand from nothing. That’s what capitalism is. To say that to believe in capitalism is to believe in racism? I mean, this guy is preaching this to college students all over America that he’s probably booked for the next two years. I’m not too sure if parents know this or not, but telling them that if you’re… Capitalism is racism. I mean, it’s insane.
Frank Curzio: You know what? I hope you truly, truly don’t believe that. And that’s why I really bother with this podcast. I get passionate about it, but that’s the universal of capitalism, work hard, you can make money, anyone could do this. I’ll show you how. I know all the bullshit that happens on Wall Street. I’ll teach it to you this way. You don’t make stupid mistakes because I’ve made those mistakes before. That’s what it’s about, right?
Frank Curzio: Now, why am I bringing this up? All this innovation stuff and my story, because my interview today is with one of the greatest entrepreneurs. His name is Marc Randolph, who is a co-founder of a small company I think you’ve heard of: Netflix. The co-founder of Netflix. He grew up in Queens, New York, just like me. Guys, this interview, I’m not going to lie, it’s one of my favorites. And I’ve been doing this for what, 13 years now. If you’re thinking of starting your own business, if you’re an entrepreneur, this may be one of the most important interviews you ever listen to or see, if you’re on Curzio Research, it’s incredible. And let’s get to Marc Randolph right now.
Frank Curzio: Marc Randolph, thanks so much for joining us on Wall Street Unplugged.
Marc Randolph: Oh, it’s great to be with you. Thanks for having me.
Frank Curzio: Wow. So, many interesting topics to get to. I’m a big fan. And the first, let’s bring our audience in here, right? So, you’re a co-founder of Netflix with Reed Hastings, ’97, ’98. Let’s start there. How did you come up with the concept to launch? What was the conversations at the beginning? Because I think, just to see where Netflix is today compared to when you started this thing, it is pretty amazing. But I think that gets lost sometimes. I’d love to hear the beginning parts when you knew you had something pretty big.
Marc Randolph: Yeah. People always think that companies spring fully formed out of thin air and that instantly, we’re doing a House of Cards or amazing streaming deals. But no, they start very humbly. And usually, you start with a crazy idea that turns out to have nothing to do with the idea that eventually works. And listen, Netflix was no different. This was, as you mentioned, back in 1997, and back then, all I was really wanting to do was find something I could sell on the internet. I really… When I saw the internet come along, I was a direct marketing guy, in my earlier part of my career. And I said, “Wow, this is the way to sell things.” And Jeff Bezos was just getting started with Amazon. And so, I knew Reed because Reed and I had worked together at the company he has started and run, called Pure Atria, which we were selling, and both of us were going to be out of a job.
Marc Randolph: And so, he was going to go back to school, but I was going to start something new. And so Reed was going to be my angel, and we just needed an idea. And it worked that we’d commute to work, and I would just pitch him, and I’d pitch him hundreds of ideas. And they were kind of crazy. One of the ones that I was really kind of fond of was, ready? Get ready for this one: Personalized dog food, where we formulate a blend for your pet, for their age and their gender and their activity level and their climate or whatever. And then you subscribe. And I loved that, but Reed, not so much. Okay, here’s another one: Personalized shampoo, where you cut off a lock of your hair, mail it in. And our team of ace hair scientists, whatever those are, formulate the custom blend just for you.
Marc Randolph: And he didn’t like that much. And these are genuinely things I pitched Reed. And then I pitched video rental by mail. We do a standard video store, but rather than having a bricks and mortar, we have it on the internet. And we both liked that a bit better because back then, video rental was about a $6 billion category. The problem is back in ’97, as you may remember, video came on those VHS cassettes. They were big and heavy and by some artifice, they were expensive. It didn’t work, couldn’t make the economics pan. And so that got tossed out the window, along with the shampoo and the dog food. And then, as often happens with stories like this, there was a lucky break and Reed heard about this technology called the DVD that was in test market.
Marc Randolph: And we all of a sudden went, “Wow, this actually might allow us to dust off that old idea.” And so we go, “Well, let’s try.” And so mid-commute, we turned the car around and went back down to Santa Cruz, where we lived, and tried to find a DVD. But of course, none to be had. So, we settled on buying a used music CD, figured close enough, and then bought a little gift envelope like you’d put a greeting card in and stuck the CD in the envelope and mailed it to Reed’s house. And it got there in less than a day for the price of a stamp. And that kind of made us look at each other and go, “Wow, this actually might work.” And so that if there was, as they say in screen water talk, an inciting event, that was probably the moment.
Frank Curzio: You talk about it and the ideas that you’re pitching him, right? And you use the word personal almost every time, personal shampoo, personal dog food. Does that come from you having that marketing background? Because I think when a lot of people do start businesses, they underestimate the marketing aspect. Even my business, with financial newsletter writers, I know there’s great newsletter writers out there. They can’t sell a newsletter, even though their performance is fantastic, because they don’t know how to market themselves. But using the word personalized, there’s something to be said about that.
Marc Randolph: Yeah, there certainly is. The first half of my career, I was a direct marketing guy. I did magazine circulation. I did catalogs. I did direct response marketing. I did direct mail. So, I was deep in that world. And the reason that when I saw the internet come along, I immediately lit up, was I saw the power of this had for being direct marketing on steroids. And part of it was personalization, which is back in the day, back when I was doing it with mailing pieces, it was blunt force.
Marc Randolph: You go, “Hey, Marc Randolph. Working all your friends on Charles Hill Road.” You were doing this false personalization. And all of a sudden, I realized with the internet, I could do a different website for every single different person who came and try and show them things that would appeal to them. So yes, I wanted personalization. The other word you might’ve picked up in all three of those ideas was subscription. And I had come from… Two of the companies I started were magazine publishers, and I knew that circulation business cold, and I knew the power of a recurring revenue model. And then I really blew it though, because when we actually launched Netflix, it didn’t include that because I couldn’t figure out how do I make subscription work with video.
Frank Curzio: That is funny, how the subscription, because that’s what we’re in as well. So, we really understand that market. But I want you to talk about the story, which I saw on YouTube, which is fantastic, about when you guys were starting to grow. I think this was around 2000 or so, you had 100 employees, you’re doing three million in sales on it. And I think you say you were losing $50 million, and you can correct me if I’m wrong on that.
Marc Randolph: Don’t remind me.
Frank Curzio: You’re looking for strategic alternatives, and you met with Blockbuster in the headquarter building, right? And this is a company that’s doing six billion in sales, whatever thousands and thousands of stores. Can you tell that story? Because that was really, really interesting because that strategic alternative, maybe looking to sell the company. But to me, that story, and I’ll let everybody hear at first, encapsulates how competitive you guys became, how driven you’ve become. But why don’t you tell the story and then maybe we’ll get into that part first, because this is great.
Marc Randolph: Yeah. My book is called “That Will Never Work.” My podcast is called “That Will Never Work.” And it’s called that because every single person I pitched that Netflix idea to told me the same thing, which is “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” including my wife, thank you very much. But I hate to admit it, they were all right. It was a terrible idea. And it took us a year and a half of one experiment after another of tiny, incremental progress before we stumbled on the business model that actually was hugely successful. And it was this weird model, which was no due dates, no late fees. You keep the movies as long as you want. When you’re done, you mail it back. We give you a new one, and we don’t charge you each time you swap a movie, you subscribe. You pay a monthly fee, you can exchange as often as you want.
Marc Randolph: And now, that doesn’t sound so bizarre. But back in the year 2000, when we came up with it, 1999, it was unheard of. And so, we did what subscription models do, is you gave away a free month, try it. Now, both you and I love recurring revenue models, but they’ve got an interesting dynamic to it, which is that you have to pay all of your acquisition cost upfront, and then your contribution margin comes in little by little, month after month. And wow, when we introduced no due dates, no late fees, boom. People have a hard time defining product market fit, but you know it when you see it. And it was explosive growth. And we were just so delighted to see this thing take off until the dot-com bubble burst and all the money that we were using to fund that growth, gone.
Marc Randolph: And that’s a very, very scary moment. And as you mentioned, we decided we are screwed here. We have huge successful business, but we’re going broke providing that service. We need to partner with somebody, as we graciously put it, partner. This little 100 person company partnering with a 60,000 employee, 9,000 store, $6 billion corporation. Basically, we got to sell this thing. And it was funny because they were so huge, they wouldn’t even pay attention to us. We couldn’t get the meeting. And the funny part of the story is, they ultimately called us for the meeting when we were on a corporate retreat, up at the Alisal Ranch, this little place in the foothills outside of Santa Barbara. And it was a retreat. I had on a T-shirt and shorts and flip flops, and that was my entire wardrobe. That’s when they called, that they wanted to see us in the morning in Dallas.
Marc Randolph: And we were going, “How are we going to do this?” And decided we did the only prudent thing you could do, which was we chartered a corporate jet, which we figured it was just a rounding error after being $50 million in the hole.
Frank Curzio: True.
Marc Randolph: Yeah. So, we go in it. Of course, we all of a sudden end up in this huge skyscraper in downtown Dallas, in this cavernous conference room with a giant endangered hardwood conference table. And John Antioco comes in, and his shoes cost more than my car probably. And I’m there in shorts and flip flops and a t-shirt, and Reed has a Hawaiian shirt or something. But anyway, it was great. We make a pitch that we would run the online business, they would run the stores. And there was lots of synergies between having a blended that model.
Marc Randolph: And it was going great until they asked the big question, of course, which is how much. And we were ready for this one. So Reed geared up and leaned in and went “$50 million,” which we figured we owed 50, so make 50. Nice, neat ending. And they laughed at us, at the hubris I think, that this little company who was $50 million in the hole at the peak or the trough of the dot-com bubble bursting could want $50 million. And it was this profound blow because to us, this was an obvious alignment. There was so many synergies. This was the way that content could be delivered. It would so much better for both of us. And it was almost like a movie moment because this was the moment where the heroes are trapped back against the cliff, and the enemy is advancing. There’s no apparent way out. And all of a sudden, down comes the deus ex machina, hand of God, to pull our plucky heroes away from danger.
Marc Randolph: But no, not in this movie. In this movie, not only are the heroes not going to get rescued, now they’re going to be competed with by Blockbuster. And I seriously, on the plane, which was a long quiet ride back to Santa Barbara, was just singing to myself that, “Oh God, now we’re going to have to kick their ass.” As my dad sometimes, he used to tell me, “Marc, sometimes the only way out is through.” And that if we were going to make this happen, there was no trick. There was no gimmick. There was no secret passage. We were going to have to fight through them. And it is funny because that was a long time ago, and it took us 10 years. But eventually, that company, which had 9,000 stores, is down to one, and the company that they could have bought for $50 million, last time I checked, was valued at $250 billion.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. It’s an amazing story because I don’t know Reed Hastings, but when I was an analyst for Jim Cramer, we’re covering all the stocks, we listened to tons of conference calls. And I remember the period 2006 to 2009. So 2006, I wouldn’t say it’s starting to come back. It started to really come back 2004 technology, internet and stuff like that, started getting a little bit more back into favor. And listening to Reed on those calls, I’ll never forget, because he must’ve said the word Blockbuster at 20, 30 times, like his goal was to destroy Blockbuster.
Frank Curzio: And even today, when I see Disney launching a streaming service, I’m like, Reed, to me and a pretty good judge of character, and listening to so many of those conference calls, this guy has a competitive spirit. To hear him, where it’s very rare to just hear you talk about how you’re going to destroy the competition when you’re supposed to really be talking about your fundamentals, your financials, the quarter, how it was, it used to blow me away. And I just think that was a pretty defining moment for you guys. And now it’s a great, great story.
Marc Randolph: You’re certainly right. But there is one thing you need to be clear about, which is that a destroying aspect is not out of avarice or out of mean spiritedness. It comes purely from that realization that the only way that you’re going to survive is going through somebody. And if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes. And I think what you heard in Reed was this spirit that, “I’m not going to let this go down. I’m going to figure out some way to make this happen. I don’t care that every analyst is saying you’re toast, they’re going to destroy you with pricing, they’re going to destroy you with their blended model. No, we’re going to figure out some way to survive and thrive.”
Frank Curzio: It’s just an incredible story. And now when you look at what you’re doing and what you’ve done, at least over the past decade, even longer, just entrepreneurs, startups, that your passion, what are the biggest mistakes? Because I know so many people come to you and pitch you ideas. What’s the biggest mistake that you see someone starting their own business make? And I’m not talking about funding, right? Because it seems like there’s a winning formula, when you look at Dorsey and you have a Twitter, Square, Peter Thiel, Palantir and PayPal. And again, these guys, they didn’t get funded off of their first ventures, it was much harder. But what are some of the mistakes they made? Because it seems like there’s a formula where people who run a successful business are able to start several of them, just that repeating pattern.
Marc Randolph: Yeah. It’s really interesting. Netflix was my sixth company and I’ve since done a seventh one. And since then, I’ve been mentoring early stage companies for a long time. And you do see these patterns develop about what does it take to really make a startup be successful, to bring it from, as Peter Thiel calls it, from zero to one. And some of them are not that complicated. And the big one, the big one, is that these successful entrepreneurs, and you’re talking about some of the giants of it who have had multiple big successes, but it goes even for people with medium businesses and small businesses. It’s one, a predisposition to action. These people do more and think less. They do not, let’s study the problem. They do not write business plans. They immediately figure out ways to collide their ideas with the reality.
Marc Randolph: When Reed and I had the idea in the car about, maybe DVD will unlock this video rental by mail thing, we did not run back to the office to put together a pitch deck or begin developing the business plan or apply to be on Shark Tank or whatever the crap people do these days. We immediately turn the car around and said, “Let’s just learn something about whether we’re full of crap or not.” And if we’d mailed the disc and it had cracked, we would have learned something. If it had taken four days, we would’ve learned something. That’s what entrepreneurs do, is they have this predisposition to action.
Marc Randolph: But the other big thing is people have focus. One of the universal problems of a startup is there are hundreds of things on fire. Everything is broken, everything is suboptimal. You never have the resources or the bandwidth or the manpower to get everything done. And you have to be relentless and saying, “I have two things or one thing or three things that if I get those right, the rest don’t matter.”
Marc Randolph: And it’s this dual skill, it’s having this intuitive sense of what are the two things, because they may not be the ones that are screaming the loudest or that are the most obviously the ones that are broken or on fire. But then once you’ve decided, being able to block out everything else and take all of your resources, all of your attention, all of your creativity, and focus it on the things that are critical. At Netflix, we sometimes refer to it as the Canada principle as a shorthand for that, because for years, as we were starting up, everyone’s saying, “Yeah, you guys should be in Canada. That’s an immediate 10% bump,” 10% relative market size, and it’s easy. And you go, yeah, that would be an easy 10%, but there’s two things. One is, it’s not easy. There’s different currency issues, there’s different cross border, the shipping is different, that it does require a cognitive and administrative load to enter a new market.
Marc Randolph: But the bigger thing is that we were organically doubling every year. And so taking that same effort it might’ve taken to get that 10% and just reallocating it to the core business was way better ROI. Ignore all those bright, shiny objects. I mentioned earlier that I have a podcast now called “That Will Never Work,” where I’m basically delivering this mentoring, this tough love, this advice to early stage entrepreneurs. And it’s remarkable how often they come back to similar themes. And certainly one of them is focus. You’re doing too much. Why are you telling me about how much money you’re going to make selling the t-shirts? You need to be focusing on building your brand to the point you have permission to sell the t-shirts. And it’s really easy to say, really hard to do, which is why you see so few entrepreneurs breakthrough, taking their ideas and making them real.
Frank Curzio: It makes a lot of sense, makes a lot of sense. So, you talk about your podcast, “That Will Never Work.” But you also wrote a book in 2019, “That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea.” And I’m going to read this because I thought this was fascinating. So, you talk about you, Netflix, walked away from your lucrative business of selling DVDs to focus everything on rental. You said, “At the time, walking away from 95% of your revenue to chase a dream probably look totally irrational to the outside world. But sometimes, that’s the nature of pursuing unlikely opportunities. You have to do things that will make other people think you’re an idiot.” I mean that doesn’t speak to the power of innovation, right? Where we see never stop innovating.
Frank Curzio: You look at AOL, what happened? They stopped innovating. You look at Research in Motion, they stopped innovating. And they are the founder of the smartphone, right? They created the smartphone, the first smartphone.
Marc Randolph: Right.
Frank Curzio: So, talk a little bit more of that, because I found that fascinating, where a lot of people, even when they’re starting businesses, and I’m in that range too, we’re doing close to three million in sales and growing the company and about 17, 18 employees now. But I’m always looking for the next big idea. Talk about how important that is in terms of, and I know you’re going to bring up the innovation part.
Marc Randolph: So, what I would say, it’s not necessarily finding the new idea, it’s having the courage to pursue it when it’s detrimental to your core business. That’s when you see the real innovators step up. It’s easy to add on something which doesn’t impact the rest of your business. For example, that example you gave, which was rental and sales. At the beginning, sales was taking off. It was 95% of our revenue, whereas rental was 5%. And it was fairly obvious to us that sales was a commodities business that eventually that would go away in a handful of years. But why not just do both? Why not let one incubate the other? And the simple reason is that it turned out that doing both at the same time was really tricky. It was confusing to customers having to say what we did. Our metrics required extra effort to interpret because it blended things we sold and things we rented.
Marc Randolph: The warehousing was tricky because some items went out and stayed out, some went out and came back. So the realization here was that if we really want to be successful, we’ve got to pick one and we got to focus on that one. That was the balls move, and that is what sinks big companies, because these are stupid people. They see the future, they can tell where customer sentiment is going. But to pursue those opportunities are going to require cannibalizing existing parts of their business. And especially once you have Wall Street involved, especially once you have analysts jumping all over you, especially you have to report down earnings on a quarter, it’s really, really hard to do that. There’s some interesting things that are happening right now in the media space.
Marc Randolph: So, look at the bold move that WarnerMedia made just recently when they announced that all of their 2021 movies were going to be a made available day and date with their theatrical release on streaming. That’s unbelievable.
Frank Curzio: It is.
Marc Randolph: That is either the most unbelievably bold stroke about saying and recognizing streaming is the future for our company, or it’s an act of tremendous desperation in the fact that HBO Max is sucking wind and there’s no business in the theaters. And so, it took having their back against the wall to make that bold step. But would they have the courage to make it otherwise, or would they have forever made HBO Max being also ran because it was getting its content six months or three months or one month after theatrical release? When Disney, when Netflix was willing to bring things and immediately do what the customer wanted. I’m sorry, I’m going off on a tangent here.
Frank Curzio: No, no, it’s great. I love it.
Marc Randolph: That innovative courage, innovation is 90% courage and 10% creativity.
Frank Curzio: Love that. Love that line. So, let’s talk a little bit about your podcast, we got about five minutes left, “That Will Never Work.” You’re starting a podcast, why are you starting the podcast? What what’s the podcast going to be about, and why should everybody listen to it?
Marc Randolph: So, when I wrote “That Will Never Work,” the book, it was because over my 40 years an entrepreneur, I realized that all these tips and tricks and secrets that I’d learned starting and growing Netflix, starting and growing my other companies, were broadly applicable. These weren’t streaming tips or subscription tips; they were how do you take an idea from its raw sense and convert it to a real business. And I realized that these things were broadly applicable. And so on That Will Never Work, the podcast, I’m speaking to real people with real businesses and real business problems.
Marc Randolph: People were having problems with co-founders, with getting financing, with trying to focus, with recognizing what should be my tech stack. How do I put this together? Do I need a board? Basic questions. And it is the most fun for me in the world to spend 30 minutes working with them, helping them narrow their idea down and figure out maybe how to crack that problem and move forward.
Marc Randolph: And I’m meeting these incredibly interesting people. This one woman I’m speaking to in the first season, has a business selling erotic art online. And she’s trying to walk this very narrow line between how do I use social media, which has the potential to drive huge gains in the business, with the risk that with a single misplaced pixel I’m going to get banned for good. Another person has taking a… His idea is to take the action adventure vacations he did with his kids, like repelling and zip lining and rock climbing, and bring it indoors to an indoor action park in Texas that truly serves beer. Now, what could go wrong? And those are the types of things-
Frank Curzio: I love it. I want to go right away.
Marc Randolph: Yeah, I love just wading into and helping to wrestle. Another one woman I spoke with, she worked as a coach, a pickup artist coach for years, helping people develop the skills to pick up women, and then finally realized, “This is pathetic.” But that these skills can be used to help anyone establish a meaningful connection, men and women. But how do I get that business started? And this is my purpose, and this is my passion, and I hope that comes through in the podcast. It’s been really, really fun meeting people and helping them get a little bit further. And hopefully, the people that listen are going to learn some things that’ll help them with their ideas or their business.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right? The audience.
Marc Randolph: Absolutely.
Frank Curzio: And so is it a weekly thing, a daily thing, or, how are you going to-
Marc Randolph: It’s going to be one every two weeks to start, and we’ll see how that goes. I would do it every day. In fact, I do. I spend so much of my time speaking with early stage entrepreneurs and that coaching is what makes me alive. But one of the things that I’ve learned is when I want to learn a skill, I don’t read about it, I don’t study it, I just do it. And so part of it is the best way to learn something, just do it. And so what you’re also seeing, besides me trying to coach other people into how to make their businesses more successful, is I’m learning right along with them. And maybe you could give me a few tips.
Frank Curzio: I’ll try to help you with the podcast. I’ve gotten hundreds of people come to me and said they want to start a podcast, and I tell them the same thing, because it’s not a competition. You can listen to a podcast whenever you want, right? But you have to be committed and don’t ever go off your schedule, it’s like a TV program. If you miss it a week, you’re going to lose a ton of people. Probably if I had to put a number on it, I’d say 97% wind up failing with podcasts, of the people that have come to me, because they’re just not that dedicated, and don’t go all in. Don’t do the research on that guests, and…
Frank Curzio: You really have to love it, right? As you know, you really have to love it. I love doing this. I learn from my guests, I mean, there’s 13 years interviewing some of the greatest people out there and they’re just brilliant. And I really love this. I love doing this. So, all right, last question here is you got a minute left and you don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to. I need to know this. Do you still own shares in Netflix? And if you can’t answer that, that’s fine, but man, I hope the answer is yes.
Marc Randolph: Oh, of course the answer is yes. I mean, I would say largely, they’re emotional shares. I’ve been diversifying. I’ve been out of Netflix for 15 years now. So, of course, being a prudent investor, I’ve been diversifying ever since, but it really is the magic stock because my investment advisors, the company may go, “Marc, gosh, with this recent run-up in Netflix, you’re really over-weighted. We really want you to reduce your share. So, we want you to cut you by X percent.” And I go, “That’s a smart move, let’s do it.”
Marc Randolph: And then lo and behold, six months later, it’s right back where it was. It’s the magic refilling bucket. This is not one size fits all, but certainly it’s been a wonderful thing for me to have that emotional attachment. It’s a very small part, at this point of my portfolio, but I love watching what it’s doing, and I’m really, really delighted with the performance and how Reed and his team… And how his co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, are leading this company.
Frank Curzio: No, it is fantastic. Unbelievable. They’re a leader by light years ahead of everybody, I mean, when you just look at what they’re doing, so it’s really incredible. I follow the streaming business. But it really is incredible, they’re doing a fantastic job. So, if people want to listen to your podcast, “That Will Never Work,” how could they do that? I know you have a website, if people want to get in touch with you. How do they do it?
Marc Randolph: Sure, the best way is to come to Randolph Central, which is at marcrandolph.com, and that’s Marc with a ‘C,’ and Randolph with a ph. The podcast will be available, as they say, everywhere podcasts can be listened to. But the best place is at the website. We’ll point you in the directions. It’ll also allow you to find out about the book as well as how to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et cetera, and find out all the wonderful, crazy crap that I’m involved in these days.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, and I’ll be tweeting that on our account, @FrankCurzio. This way you have all the links and everything for everyone. So Marc, let’s… I know how busy you are and how crazy it is, you speak all over the world. I really appreciate you coming on the podcast. It means a lot. It means a lot to my audience. And I just want to say, thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.
Marc Randolph: Oh, it’s my pleasure. This was actually really fun and I hope we could do it again some time.
Frank Curzio: Sounds great. Great stuff from Marc. So glad he still owns shares of Netflix. Isn’t that cool? Holy cow. That guy probably owns like 80 houses. You’re the Co-CEO. Co-founder, right? Co-founder of the company, you’re getting shares at a penny? And yeah that stock continues to go higher and higher and higher. It’s a really cool… But key takeaways guys, right? I mean, it was kind of an amazing interview. Let me know what you thought, email@example.com.
Frank Curzio: For me, I had a lot of takeaways. Let’s just say personalized dog food, right? And personalized shampoo, right? Of how, you made fun of those ideas. Two bad ideas, right? And he says, “Well, you have to be willing to look like an idiot or whatever.” Yeah. Which is cool because that’s how you disrupt things. But then he came up with video rentals through the mail, and that led to streaming, which Netflix is now the 600 pound gorilla in the space. And he’s persistent. He was persistent with those ideas. Also, use the word personalization, right? It’s a digital mark in personalization. He talked about subscriptions and recurring revenue. You look at Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, Apple. I mean these software companies, right? Cloud, data analytics, wireless companies, AT&T and Verizon. These guys generate tons, tons of free cashflow, tons and tons and tons of free cashflow. In fact, you want to see how much? Here it is. I actually did a screen of this.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, the Curzio Research YouTube page, you see Apple is, at the past 12 months, close to 70 billion. I don’t think it’s updated for the previous call, I think it’s over 80 now. You have Berkshire next with 55 billion in free cashflow at the expense. Free cashflow. AT&T is third on that list, which is surprising. It’s bigger than Amazon, Google, which is Alphabet, Microsoft, Walmart, Rolls company. Yeah, AT&T, close to 40 billion. Then you have Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft. 36 billion dollars. Again, that recurring revenue stream, right? Starting business. That’s what you want. It’s really easy if you’re looking to sell your company, that’s the easiest way, right? They want to see recurring revenue and growing revenue. When he said, “Now, I’m going to have to kick your ass.”
Frank Curzio: I thought that was pretty cool, right? It shows his competitiveness. I mentioned earlier, how again, you have to be ultra-competitive and that’s… Most entrepreneurs are like that. You don’t have to be, but you want to be able to beat everybody. You want to be the best. When he said, “So more and think less.” “The best collide ideas with reality.” I mean, I thought it was fantastic advice. I mean, it made me stop and think. There’s no surprise. There is a formula, right? He was talking about the formula. I mean, you have to be a little lucky. Look at the Blockbuster company. I mean, the pandemic really made Zoom and Peloton… I mean, these companies accelerate the growth trend probably by a factor of 50 to 100 X. Sometimes, you’re lucky, and now they’ve got good brands. Take advantage of it.
Frank Curzio: “Go have a predisposition to action,” he said. And also, they have incredible focus where, focus could be a broad term, but say get those two or three things right, and you’ll be successful about your business and block everything else out. And for me, Curzio Research, the first couple of years, I had that problem. You open up your business, you’re hands-on with everything. You want to make sure everything’s good. And then you’re outside your scope, and you’re getting into different areas, and what you’re great at only accounts for 10, 15% of what you’re doing. And now, I hired a great team who’s awesome.
Frank Curzio: Now, I go play golf twice a week. I’m just kidding. That’s important, to do things to the point where people think that you’re an idiot. You’re not going to disrupt markets unless you do something totally different that’s crazy. You’re not going to disrupt the market by doing what everyone else does. You’ve got to be different. One of the biggest takeaways, right? Why not let sales incubate innovation? When he said most of his sales are being generated through subscriptions… But he knew that that was a business, it’s going to slow, eventually slow, but use the money you’re generating and innovate. Look at Amazon, getting into cloud, Adobe, Microsoft, same thing. MicroStrategy buying mass amounts of Bitcoin. I mean that stock was 200 below that. It was 100 something before they were initially purchasing Bitcoin. And last time I looked at it, it’s 1200, might be down today. Bitcoin’s down a little bit today.
Frank Curzio: Innovation is 90% courage, 10% creativity. So, have some balls. Go out there. Netflix almost went under, he said it. Tesla was like a month or two away from bankruptcy, Elon Musk said. Think bigger. There’s always, always, always another level. When you think you have it figured out and everything’s like, I’m great. No, there’s another level. And Amazon conquered the world in retail, right? They went from books to selling everything in the world, and that’s not even their main business anymore. It’s the second largest next to Cloud. Microsoft software 360. It’s the Cloud part that’s the reason it’s driving that stock price up tremendously, right?
Frank Curzio: So, Marc’s working with a lot of early stage companies. He’s mentoring, lots of entrepreneurs, that’s his passion. Anyway, his book is “That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea.” Definitely pick it up; it’ll be worth it. And go give a listen to his podcast. I mean, I hope he does it more than once every two weeks. hopefully, he gets at least weekly. It sounds like he wants to do it. But yeah, he’s going to get a lot of attraction to that. Again, he was great. If you saw the interview in person where you’re watching, I encourage you to research page, show you to subscribe to that. But you can watch that and you see how he’s just energetic and fun and cool. It comes over a little bit different than if you just listen to audio, which is perfectly fine.
Frank Curzio: I get lots of people listen through iTunes and stuff. But his podcast is also called “That Will Never Work,” and I’m definitely looking forward to that to come out. It’s some really cool stuff. I want to thank Marc for coming on. Again, this podcast is about you, not about me, with a little bit of a turn there with innovation entrepreneurship. Okay. Investing podcasts. We’re going to get to that right now, but let me know what you thought, firstname.lastname@example.org that’s email@example.com. Now let’s move on, talk about the markets. Going to bring in my buddy, Daniel Creech, senior analyst at Curzio Research. Daniel what’s going on, man?
Daniel Creech: What’s happening Frank? Oh, just same old broken record stuff. Bitcoin’s new highs. Everybody’s buying it, just earning season’s easy. Life is good, man.
Frank Curzio: It’s funny because everyone says it’s a bull market and shit, right? So, if you don’t have any earnings, if you hadn’t had… Just keep buying like crazy stuff and everything, right? It’s kind of unbelievable when you see it. It is crazy, but there’s a lot going on, right Daniel? I mean, you’re looking at earning season, almost always Bitcoin surging. A lot of Bitcoin stocks taking off here.
Frank Curzio: But let’s first talk about the Super Bowl. Let’s get that out of the way. I mean, my Super Bowl pick was Kansas City to win 34-24. I thought it wouldn’t be close. And I love that I’m back, right? I was dead wrong with that pick, which is fine. I mean, KC just didn’t come to play. They lined up our defense wrong several times, right? They just left people open. He dropped a ton of passes, tons of penalties, although some are questionable, but pretty boring game that I got really, really, really wrong. But I know you watch it too, Daniel. But it’s great that I’m back because, again, the joke was that this is… Every time that I do this, you take the opposite and you make money and that’s what I want. Make fun of me, but you make money, right?
Daniel Creech: Yeah. I mean, it was perfect. Is this two years in a row? Because I know that Eagle’s thing broke you. I mean, you got that, right but then-
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I don’t do the Eagles, yeah. Because I had thrown that out since that was the Super Bowl. But only one out of the past, which was last year, only one I think out of… I’m pretty sure it’s… I got to go back and look, I think it was-
Daniel Creech: I know you had a good track record. I like it’s-
Frank Curzio: It’s like 10 years now, I think.
Daniel Creech: It’s good irony that you break it down in such detail and then are like, “All right, all that’s wrong.” Like, the opposite of that, yeah.
Frank Curzio: And it’s cool. It’s even stocks where you think you have it right and you think everything’s perfect, but sometimes you’re going to be wrong. It’s just wrong. And it slaps you in the face and makes you humble. But it makes you work harder. That’s why I love this, like wow.
Daniel Creech: I didn’t hear all of the… I was sitting back, met some people at a cigar bar and was watching it there, and my interest wasn’t huge. It was kind of an easy game for me. I actually got there on time. It didn’t matter to me if I missed it or not. Whoever won was going to be good. I don’t follow football that much, but I wanted to see a good game. What the hell was the halftime show? I couldn’t hear everything, which was fine. So, I didn’t get to hear all the good Super Bowl commercials, but the halftime show. Hey, they’re way too long for me, I don’t care who it is.
Frank Curzio: It wasn’t… Yeah it got a lot of bad reviews.
Daniel Creech: But anyway, it was interesting. What was your favorite commercial?
Frank Curzio: Wow, my favorite commercial. I like the Scotts Miracle-Gro commercial, I thought it was good. There was another one that… It wasn’t a funny commercial. I thought it was really, really good. I forgot which one. But overall I was… I got to tell you, I was disappointed. Like I thought it would be… The commercials are usually a little more entertaining, but yeah. I only found a few of them that were really cool and others that just… And Robinhood had that towards the end when no one was really watching anymore.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. I didn’t even, I was actually trying to pay attention for that because I saw the headlines. They were going to try to cover their CYA and all that kind of stuff with heartfelt ad, I’m sure. I missed it too, which is kind of funny. The best one. First of all, the whole Doritos 3D chips thing. Wasn’t that like… Didn’t we do this a few years ago? Hasn’t that already been a thing?
Frank Curzio: Not with Matthew McConaughey, but they did it, yeah. It was okay it was good.
Daniel Creech: That wasn’t bad, but The Wasn’t Me with Kutcher and… No, not Kutcher, that’s the golfer. Who’s the actor in… Miley or, is it Kunis? Good-looking? Miley Kunis?
Frank Curzio: I don’t know.
Daniel Creech: Ashton Kutcher. Ashton Kutcher and Miley Kunis, I think. Anyway, that’s terrible. They’re actor, actresses, they’re hilarious. It was the play off of the rap song, It Wasn’t Me. She gets caught and she’s in a closet eating Doritos and all that or whatever. That made me laugh out loud. I actually chuckled at that one.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, no, that was pretty cool. But overall, I mean, look, if you bet Tampa, you love the Super Bowl. If not, it was a very boring, Super Bowl, it wasn’t exciting at all. I wonder, if anyone knows about this, send it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. What were the odds of Kansas City not scoring a touchdown for the whole game?
Daniel Creech: Can you imagine that prop bet? That had to be a ton.
Frank Curzio: I wonder what that prop bet is. I mean it has to be a ton, right?
Daniel Creech: At least 500-1 or 1,000-1, right?
Frank Curzio: I would think. I mean, that’s a crazy bet, but still. It just goes to show you. Yeah, it is pretty crazy. But yes, I’m back. So, again, it’s all about you. I love when you guys make money ,and I feel better because if I would have won this game, it would’ve made it difficult that I won the last two and then you’re not going to know which way to bet. But continue that trend. I only lost once in the last 10 years, again, throwing that Eagles game out because I said, I can’t bet against the Eagles. It’s the Eagles and I went to that Super Bowl and it was, not biased at all, the greatest Super Bowl ever. So, which is really cool. But let’s talk-
Daniel Creech: Moving on.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, let’s move on. Okay. I had to walk a shame. Okay, I’m done. Not to mention, you know what makes it worse is I had a fricking Brady shirt on because I lost a bet, which I didn’t really lose, actually made money because the guy won the league, having Brady’s quarterback. But having the Brady shirt on and picking KC makes me look like an even bigger idiot. So don’t email me about that.
Daniel Creech: Perfect.
Frank Curzio: Don’t let me nominate. Okay. All right. So Daniel, let’s talk about Bitcoin. I mean, you look at Bitcoin, which is surging. The news this week was Tesla bought a billion and a half. You have Tesla now, you have MicroStrategy. You talked about a company that few people know, right? MassMutual.
Daniel Creech: Yeah.
Frank Curzio: Right. That bought it I mean this is getting serious now-
Daniel Creech: Big insurance conglomerate. That was a little while ago, I think maybe even the end of last year. But they put a hundred million dollars into it, which for them is next to nothing. I know their investible assets are well over 2 billion. So percentage wise, it’s not a big deal, but Frank and I were talking… And did you forget about it or did you not hear about it? Because I remember you were shocked. You were like, “Wait a minute. MassMutual bought Bitcoin?”
Frank Curzio: I didn’t know that when you told me. I’m like, “MassMutual did?” And you said yeah. I was like-
Daniel Creech: Yeah I mean that’s one of the, most… It doesn’t, and I’m biased here, because of my insurance background and my interest and passion for some of those products. There is no more longer-term thinking and more safety-first mentality, in my opinion, than mutual insurance companies like MassMutual. So the fact that they do that, it wasn’t as big of a headline as I thought. I thought I would see it more places, but the fact that they did it, kind of dipped their toe into that is amazing. And then of course you have the high flyers, the big followers, like Elon Musk with all the Twitter people. Man, how impressive is it? I mean, you move markets, I’ll give you a… I’ll suck up here and give you some credit. You can move some markets on some gold stocks and things like that. But Elon Musk is moving Bitcoin’s market. I mean, that’s impressive. I mean, you got to give that little bit of a run-up yesterday to his credit. I mean, I can’t absolutely prove that, but I think it plays an important role.
Frank Curzio: And he’s promoting Dogecoin again, which is a joke and Mark Cuban came on and said the same thing.
Daniel Creech: I know, it’s wild. So-
Frank Curzio: There’s so much shit in that space and I hope that a lot of that stuff is starting to move higher. There’s a lot of speculation. Remember guys, in a lot of these tokens, you don’t… It’s not like our token, CEO token, where you get equity stake and you’re getting paid a dividend, right? We paid three straight quarters of dividends, and we’re going to… We intend on continuing to pay that dividend. You don’t get an equity stake, you don’t get anything in these names. So be very careful. I mean, if they get… Someone buys their company, then it means nothing to you. You don’t get anything but more important is, they’re not… The reason why they’re trading on exchanges outside of Coinbase and outside the U.S. is because they don’t have to show the financials. They show that they raised $20 million, you have no idea if they still have it, what they did with it. If they were in Bitcoin still, which would be great. But also they lost 80, 90% because a lot of these people raised money in 2017, early 2018 before crypto crashed. But-
Daniel Creech: Hey, hey, hey, hey. That’s negative. We don’t want to hear negative. We just want to buy and go up.
Frank Curzio: Yeah but you just got to be careful. You want to be careful. You want to be stupid and just go into anything that anyone says. We’re seeing the power of social media firsthand where you get a group, a massive… Millions of people going together to… With GameStop, which is now… Man, I didn’t look at it today, but it was, it went below 60. Right? I mean, I don’t know. I think they said they hit 500 for a second or something, but it was 300 for a while. And now this is what happens. I mean, we all know it’s worth less than $10. It is going to get back down there, it just matters when, but yeah, there’s a lot of people that are getting smoked on it right now which is pretty sad. Right? I mean it’s-
Daniel Creech: Yeah, I mean, it is a bummer. Like, we’ve talked over the last couple of weeks. Some people are going to make money and do good things. A lot of people are going to get hurt and some of them are going to leave forever, some of them will get back up and try again. That’s all good in the macro picture to me. Speaking of GameStop, we talked about this a little bit last week, Frank. In a world we live in, it’s not a big deal for companies to kind of hedge. And Bitcoin isn’t near as crazy as what it once was a few years ago with all the hedge funds and now more companies buying in. Low-hanging fruit… A) Why didn’t GameStop raise money at a higher price? And B) Why don’t they announce that they’re buying Bitcoin?
Frank Curzio: You know what, I don’t know why GameStop didn’t.
Daniel Creech: I mean let’s keep the saga going. What the hell?
Frank Curzio: They could have raised. I mean, the market cap was inflated. What was it like 25, 30 billion or whatever it was from just a few hundred million, I believe. But it was amazing to me that… Why don’t you use the opportunity to raise money at least? And get into digital gaming or whatever. It’s-
Daniel Creech: Because in their defense, over this time they have made some popular headlines about hiring people. I think they got an engineer from Amazon’s AWS, Amazon Web Services division, of course, that’s huge. It just shocked me. And then I want to ask you Frank. You had a good Frankly Speaking question last week on what would you do if you were the CEO of IBM? But if you were a company who… Let’s say you’re an activist investor, who are you going to buy stock in and force them to tell them to go buy Bitcoin and get a 20% stock rise?
Frank Curzio: I mean, I used IBM as a great example because I… It’s just this disgustingly slow grower and now, they’re spinning off, right? They’re… I won’t say garbage, but just their business has pretty steady. It brings in decent cashflow, but it’s not growing and has been growing for 10 years. And now the Cloud, their data analytics and everything, that’s exciting stuff. They’re spinning that off. They just got a new CEO. A lot of good things. You know what? They are one of the first into blockchain with Watson. Why not spend some of that cash? You have a dividend that’s over 5%, it’s five and a half billion dollars. Cut it in half. Cut it in half to two and a half percent and then take that 200 billion, invest some of it in Bitcoin now…
Frank Curzio: It’s not just, “Oh, I want to invest in Bitcoin.” Like almost like you want to put dot com at the end of the name, but it provides excitement for your stock. It creates a level of the younger generation excitement, right? When you buy technology… I mean, look at Cisco. I mean, you own Cisco? Yeah, forever. It’s boring. But look at how Microsoft innovated. Look how Amazon innovates, look at Netflix innovation. All these companies who innovate and excite. There’s no excitement around IBM, but that would add excitement along with the spinoff, which it is coming. And it’s a dirt cheap stock. It should be because it’s not really growing that fast, but it will when they separate. And I think IBM is perfect for that. And not just IBM, there’s a lot of, I mean, you’re looking at a trillion in free cash flow that was generated over the last 12 months.
Frank Curzio: That’s free cashflow, right? So, if you just take the cash balances two and a half trillion in cash and marketable securities. Let’s say if 1% of that goes in, right? I mean, you’re looking at 25 million, 2% going into Bitcoin is 50 million. You’re looking at 6% of the market cap of Bitcoin. Right? And not even talking about the trillion in cashflow. But imagine if some of these companies decide to put 1% of their money in there, Daniel. And why would they do that? Because you’re losing money keeping it in cash. And it continued to destroy the dollar, right?
Frank Curzio: So, what are you going to do? Maybe you buy a little bit of gold? I don’t know. But now as liquid as Bitcoin is, the way you can get in and out of it, it’s just, what are you going to do? You buy in bonds. I mean, high yield bonds, so the largest inflows, the fourth largest ever. But again, a lot of these bonds have negative rates. Cash would inflation, you’re losing money. So, they’re like, “All right, let’s put a little cash into something else.” And to me, it does make sense. But if that trend happens, man, Bitcoin’s going right to $100,000.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, absolutely. I mean-
Frank Curzio: Who would you think? Like, what would be a company that you would think that that should actually-
Daniel Creech: I think the low-hanging fruit… GameStop was kind of tongue in cheek. I think that that’s one that you would play in order to just stay in the headlines and all that kind of stuff. The low-hanging fruit, I think, is the FAANG stocks, including Netflix, Facebook, all those guys. Just because they have so much cash to do with, it’s basically a risk-free trade. I don’t think their stocks are going to get punished for putting a little bit of money in there. I think it would get rewarded.
Daniel Creech: And even if the volatility and all that, and it goes to zero, it’s not going to make Apple or Facebook any difference, or Google if they lost a billion or $2 billion dollars. But you throw those kinds of rocks into the Bitcoin pool, as you said, you’re going to make some waves. And then a fan favorite of ours in CRA, Curzio Research Advisory, Take-Two, the video games. I think that’s easy to branch into if you could release the new Grand Theft Auto and have Bitcoin in it, hell, that’s awesome.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I mean payments. That’s why Grand Theft Auto V is… I mean how many years old is it? 2013?
Daniel Creech: Still. Still like the greatest selling video game.
Frank Curzio: It sells like crazy because they have all these add-ons, you go in there and you buy. It’s kind of like Fortnite with all these add-ons. But imagine if you could use Bitcoin now. And the gaming companies, it does make sense to, because you are going to get a little bit of a… Look a MicroStrategy. It wasn’t like, “Hey, MicroStrategy decided to go into Bitcoin and all right, good for them.” Their stock was below 200, it went to 1250 yesterday. It’s probably lower again. Bitcoin’s down 4% today, after coming close to what? 40, 49. I think it was thousand? I don’t know. To me, it makes sense for a lot of these companies.
Frank Curzio: MicroStrategy. It made sense to them. And now, he had a conference last week. I think I mentioned on Frankly Speaking, on the podcast, I mentioned someplace that, I think, it was 8,000 people, and 6,000 were CEOs of companies, looking to know more about the regulations behind owning Bitcoin as a business and how you could do it. And that many people were interested. These are, maybe, a few Fortune 500 companies, but, whatever, just to sign up. And that’s out there. And that is definitely not factored into Bitcoin, where if people do buy this at a limited supply, you could see it go high. It’s going to be fluctuating again, down 4 or 5% today. It’s up tremendously over the past four or five months, 12,000, like 40,000, you know, 45,000. But, for some of these companies, that makes sense. But you’re right, the gaming companies, why wouldn’t you do that?
Daniel Creech: Yeah, I don’t think it’s a far stretch. I certainly don’t think, and I know you don’t think this either. Tesla’s not going to be the last company to make this announcement or to do this. I don’t think that’s a far stretch at all. So, yeah, volatility should be looked at, trading opportunities, especially with the stocks that have exposure. We’ve talked about Silvergate, high Blockchain in the past. Overstock has some exposure with cryptocurrency trading and such. So, yeah, got to make money while the sun shines, and it’s very bright on that spot right now.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, you mentioned MicroStrategy. Hive Technologies is another one, that I was an early investor in that. I sold out of a little bit of that position. I sold most of it, lower than it is today. And they mined for Ethereum, it’s Frank Holmes’ company, great guy. That’s a pure play, right? Because a lot of people focus on MicroStrategy has gone higher, but we have two stocks that we really like. Actually, three of them, and we can go there because we have it in a crypto portfolio. I’m not going to give too much away, but Silvergate Capital, we recommended it at 12 and it went over 100. So, over 800%.
Frank Curzio: Voyager Digital is another one that does mining, and we’ve got it at 86 cents. Again, take it a little aggressive there. And it’s over $8. There’s pure plays out there. You have to find them. We find them because we’re in these industries, but a lot of people are like, “Oh, I’m going to buy MicroStrategy, I’m going to buy PayPal, I’m going to buy Square.” There’s a lot of really cool, pure plays. And again, they’re going to be risky. These things can move 20, 30%. But, who was it that tweeted it out? Was it… I don’t know, I forgot who tweeted it out, just talking about Bitcoin while they own MicroStrategy. Oh, Citron Research. Remember, you told me that Citron Research tweeted it out and said, “Hey, you know, we told you about MicroStrategy.”
Daniel Creech: Yup, good call.
Frank Curzio: And how much was it up compared to Bitcoin?
Daniel Creech: I’m paraphrasing, but it was something like, since Citron made their call, a Bitcoin is up over 100%, but MicroStrategy was up over 300%. So, definitely out-gaining that. Signature Bank is another one. I don’t know if we’ve talked a whole lot about that one, but it’s been on my list. SB, and why Signature Bank? I don’t want to say it’s exactly like Silvergate, but crypto exposure, clients, etc. So yeah, keep those on a watch list. Hell, that thing’s gone from under 100 to over 200 in the last few months.
Frank Curzio: Silvergate was just the name I’m familiar with. I love the CEO, who has a background from Wall Street, and said, “Listen, this makes sense, blockchain, cryptos, and we’re going to go all in.” Again, you look like an idiot. People are like, “Really? That’s what you’re doing? You’re going all in?” And now look at them, right?
Frank Curzio: And now people are trying to become them. So, we need to add payment systems. We need to have banking systems that we can use to convert this stuff over to cash and make it easy for companies. But that business is booming, things are great for them. And they got into that market at least three years ago, or probably earlier, that’s when we first started hearing about it. But yeah, just cool to see where, I bet he got a lot of flak from people he knows in the industry, that he grew up around, saying, “Are you crazy? You really, this is what you want to base your whole business model on?” Now look. And it just goes to say what we said earlier in the podcast, was sometimes, people are going to be like, “Wow, you’re an idiot for doing that.” You know, that’s not the worst thing, because that means you’re doing something really, really different. And if you’re right, it could really pay off, right?
Daniel Creech: Yeah. I mean, that’s how you disrupt markets and make a name for yourself, and hopefully become really successful, and be able to do whatever you want. And that’s the whole dream.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, basically. I want to change tunes here, because I never really ask anyone to write reviews for Wall Street Unplugged or anything. I’m just like, if you want to write it, write it, whatever. But for some reason, I don’t know if I came up my podcast or something, and I just looked at the latest reviews, and it was kind of funny. We’ve been getting comments in, not a lot, I would say probably between 10%, 15% of the emails, especially when we talk about politics and everything.
Frank Curzio: You know how it is, right? You can’t really express and say, “Hey, you know, these policies make no sense.” And it’s going to result in this, and this, and this. But we’re in an era where if you disagree, you’re a racist, you’re a white supremacist, and everyone hates you, and you’re a super-duper conservative. And it’s like, guys, calm down. I’m trying to make money for you. Yes, we have our opinions. Yes, I hate a lot of this shit that’s going on, and all the hypocrisy, which is an absolute joke, which everyone could see firsthand. But you have to see some of these comments, which is cool. And maybe I’ll start off with a comment from you. You’ve got like four or five of these, which I like, you’ve got some really good ones though. “I got to say, I don’t have Frank’s email. And frankly, I’m too annoyed to look it up. It’s been a long day. Maybe this ends up wasting the time of a support person. I’m sorry if that’s the case, but I really don’t appreciate Frank’s clickbait tactics. Sick of purposely irritating language in the email subjects.”
Frank Curzio: “Also this guy, Daniel, is a reactionary, entirely predictable guy who clearly loves the smell of his own batch.”
Daniel Creech: Nice.
Frank Curzio: “He has a shallow understanding of global economy if he thinks the US is about to descend into a socialist hellscape.” Like, really? It’s like a bad Twitter feed or annoying Facebook thread, come to life. “He’s not making me better financial decisions by spouting predictable political takes. And he’s just come across like a lukewarm cipher. If it takes that, Frank, maybe, and smartly, did not want to say himself?” Like, what are we doing here? And you know what? I reached out to this guy and I was like, “Really, really?” And he was very nice and said, “I was just in a bad mood. It was just emotions.” And I understand. It’s like…
Daniel Creech: I respect opinions. I do have to use that though, for predictable political, how did he say that?
Frank Curzio: “Entirely predictable guy who clearly loves the smell of his own batch.”
Daniel Creech: No, what was the other one part of that. That was a good line. But what was the…?
Frank Curzio: Shallow understanding of the political economy? He thinks the US is about to descend into a socialist hellscape?
Daniel Creech: Yeah.
Frank Curzio: Oh, he’s not helping me make better financial decisions by spouting predictable political takes.
Daniel Creech: Oh, predictable political takes. Yeah, I like that. But speaking of politics, I have to take this time to… You got admit, you got to say, the worst words in the world. I was wrong. Eat humble pie. Because anybody in on this podcast and record, and anybody else that asked me, I thought Trump was going to win in a landslide. I thought he was going to get re-elected. I won’t rehash all that, but I was clearly wrong on that. It had come up at different times, but it was brought to my attention that I didn’t admit that, which is true. So, I was wrong. We can put that in the title for clickbait and see if that gets any reviews.
Frank Curzio: I’m going to title it, “Daniel was Wrong.”
Daniel Creech: Yeah, there you go.
Frank Curzio: Daniel was Dead Wrong.
Daniel Creech: And like that guy said, I don’t get to free think here. I have to read all this.
Frank Curzio: Daniel’s an idiot. We use the term that Daniel is an idiot. I bet you, we get a lot of clicks that way, right? Probably. But here’s some of the stuff. So, if you go on Wall Street Unplugged, we have a four and a half, four…?
Daniel Creech: Are you trying to bait people into giving us good reviews? Who does that? Yelp? Isn’t Yelp accused of that all the time?
Frank Curzio: Yeah, all that stuff. But these aren’t like the last review. You can tell that it’s like an agenda here, where it’s all part, you can see a lot of them are written the same. They’re all one star, but it’s like the last six or seven, I’m looking at it.
Frank Curzio: “So this podcast is supposed to be about vesting. I thought it would be pro-Trump, deny science.” Really? Deny science? I thought I provide a lot of science for you.
Frank Curzio: “What a joke. If I want to listen to Rush, I listen to Rush.”
Frank Curzio: “Rarely about New World Order.” “Scammy.” “I wouldn’t trust anything out of his mouth.” Really?
Daniel Creech: “Scammy.”
Frank Curzio: Yeah. I’m thinking that subscribers are pretty happy, right? We’ve done pretty good. But again, we can always do better, but it’s almost like you can’t say anything, right? You can’t say anything against the status quo right now, which is more government, more everything. We want to control you, stay at home for COVID. You can’t apply something and more logic, even though I feel like that’s a subject I cover much more than 99% of the people you’re going to hear from, including doctors. And frankly, I feel like I’ve been right on that. I’ve been wrong with a lot of things, right? Made mistakes. But COVID, I felt like, we guide you in the right direction. We needed to understand COVID because it has a lot to do with the economy and opening up. Right? We need to understand about economics. We need to understand about new policies coming out, and again.
Frank Curzio: Anyway, a five-plus year listener, unsubscribing. “Quality of interviews has dropped.” Really? We’ve gotten incredibly great, I thought.
Frank Curzio: “Frank used to try to get credible guests. He was a small outfit. So sometimes, they weren’t huge names, but he tried.” Thank you.
Frank Curzio: “The data analysis, it has always been thin and simple. These days, it’s basic.” I don’t know, we do video, right? I mean, you look at the videos that I’m doing now for my three newsletters, they’re like 30, 40 minutes long, where I’m not just giving you a stock, I’m going to show you exactly how I pick it and stuff like that. Again, it’s like an agenda, because you could see this is kind of written the same way. And they’re like, “Attack this guy!” You know, and, “We kind of like Trump.”
Daniel Creech: We need to add that to our bio though, if we’re helping people relieve stress and making their day better since they’re venting to us. That’s a good thing though.
Frank Curzio: “Strangely Anti-American.” I didn’t know I anti-American.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, that makes sense.
Frank Curzio: But I’m also a white supremacist and a racist too. So I get it.
Frank Curzio: “Please reflect on your values, your platform, and your influence over others.” Sorry, by telling the truth, giving my opinion, trying to make you money. And the funny thing is, is if you have a different opinion than someone, and what’s the big deal? Now, it’s like, “Oh, I hate you. You’re a…” I want to hear the other side. I like hearing the other side all the time. Now, nobody likes hearing the other side, right? So is a different world. Where else? I think there’s a couple more.
Frank Curzio: “The podcast used to be great, but it’s not so great anymore. Daniel, who works with Frank, is into conspiracy theories about the election.”
Daniel Creech: Conspiracy?
Frank Curzio: “Fall from grace. Frank is literally a scam artist.”
Daniel Creech: Literally.
Frank Curzio: Literally!
Daniel Creech: Or figuratively?
Frank Curzio: Literally a scam artist. Literally a scam artist. Absolutely. That’s me, doing it, providing a free podcast for you to listen to. I’m a scam artist. “And Frank is a hack.” But again, I’m going over all the negative ones. But you can see it’s all. So anyway, I was going to ask you too, we’re getting lots of new people listening to this podcast. And for me, when I go to podcasts, I’ll look at reviews and we have a very positive review rating, but yeah, we saw a bunch of people kind of like spam this and everything. So if anyone, you don’t actually have to do anything, but if you want to provide a review on iTunes, it’d be greatly appreciated. I don’t think I’ve asked you to do that for at least three years? At least three years, I think? So, you know if you want to write me a review, positive and negative.
Frank Curzio: I don’t care if it’s negative, positive, whatever, just be truthful. For me, I always view criticism as being constructive, right? I mean, not from people like this who obviously, none of them are subscribers, right? A couple of them said they weren’t, but I looked and none of them are subscribers. So, they just had the agenda, and you’re a scam artist and everything. Nobody is a subscriber to our business. And anyone that is would definitely not say that about us, right? And the performance of the newsletter been pretty good. But, yeah. So, Wall Street Unplugged, the reviews. If you’d like to write a review, and I’ll tell you what, for that review, tell you what I’ll do for you. If you write a review, and again, it can be positive, negative, I want you to be honest, and criticism’s good, allows us to see what the problems are and fix them.
Frank Curzio: That’s why I pay attention to customer service, which we get lots of compliments on, right? We really focused on. We know exactly when something’s happening, what we need to fix, and what people don’t like. That’s a big part of customer service. Anyway, if you start to write me a review, again, it could be positive or negative. I’ll give you a three month free subscription to Dollar Stock Club. Which is a pretty big deal, Daniel, right? This is a product that you do a lot of work on and it’s a product that, you can explain it.
Daniel Creech: Good segue into that. Yeah, Dollar Stock Club is fun. It’s a beginners’ kind of newsletter. Like Frank said, he’s offering to give it away. I should know more about this, but what is it, $4?
Frank Curzio: It’s $4 a month to subscribe.
Daniel Creech: You can tell I’m not on the marketing side of it. What does it cost? I don’t know.
Frank Curzio: I just get the picks there. But what we do is we take a pick from every one of our guests. And sometimes, we have to get creative with our picks, and Daniel and I will recommend it because sometimes we have entrepreneurs on.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, a lot of times, guests aren’t in a position to be able to talk about specific investments or whatever. So, we use it to come across to as, however, it came up in conversation, or kind of made us think along the lines of what the conversation entailed or detailed. But yeah, it’s a beginning newsletter. We do it from a very high 10,000 kind of macro view, pick a stock or an idea, give a few solid bullet points on what our thesis is and why. And it is a trading newsletter. Now, we’ve got to kind of adapt. We started this with trailing stops. We’ve kind of gone from that to hard stops just because of market volatility. And we have some huge winners over a shorter amount of time and longer amount of time. You know, about a year is a long time in this trading, but we’ve had to adapt to the environment, and it’s a great way to get in and get exposure to a lot of names across a lot of different sectors. Everything from crypto, gold, oil, silver, conglomerates. I mean, hell, we have everything in there, from… We’ve had cryptocurrencies at times, and we’ve had Coca-Cola in there.
Frank Curzio: Here we go, because I’m going to do something which shouldn’t piss off anyone from Delta, because you get a pick like every week, basically that’s what it is. So, I would say you get probably like 45 picks altogether. Sometimes, we have guests on, but there’s something because most of these stocks are trading above our buy-up-to price. So again, you get stock picks every single week. I’m going to do something which is crazy. And this is going to make you go to our Curzio Research YouTube page, because I’m going to show the portfolio. This is our current portfolio, and it’s not a lot of stocks that you could buy right now because a lot of them are up. Now, the reason why I’m showing you this is kind of a mirrored, 90 with gold mining, Genia was on, consumer staples up 23%. GoldMining, 54%. United Rentals, Charles Payne was on, it’s up 95%. We have a couple in negative, not too big though. Kyle Sonlin came on, and he’s not allowed to recommend stocks, but he is a crypto guy. He’s one of our partners, and I’m familiar with Silvergate Capital. I thought it was a great place to buy it. And we bought at 14 and it’s 100, where is it, did it go to 160?
Daniel Creech: These are as of yesterday. So, this is Wednesday. This is as of Tuesday the ninth. So, it’s down today.
Frank Curzio: So this is why, in August, we’re looking at 900% gains. Maybe it’s like 800% now. John Petrides, Coca-Cola, Artemis Gold, Steven Dean, had the CEO on. This is what you get fresh ideas and why this newsletter is great, is because… Let’s take Chris MacIntosh. Every time I have Chris MacIntosh on, he comes up with a great idea. He’s invested in Bitcoin, I think, at 400, I believe? And wishes he held on everything, but I think he sold. But he came on, and this was in July, and he talked about oil and gas is going to take off. And I disagreed with that. I was like, you know what, I’m not too sure about that. But this isn’t really about me. This is about getting ideas from other people.
Frank Curzio: And for me, I have one oil stock in my portfolio. But missed the move largely, right? I’m always focused on the things I miss, not the things we got right. That’s why I want to always be better. This is a SPDR ETF oil and gas fund that’s a 42%. You look at GoldMining, Texas Pacific Land & Trust company. I’m very familiar with that, back from my dad days. One of my dad’s favorite picks, recommended single digits, but Chris Mayer came on and recommended that. But also, I haven’t been in marijuana stocks, which is, these things have unbelievable moves. And we had Jason Wilson, who runs the largest ETF, on a few months ago. This was November 19th, and his fund.
Frank Curzio: So ETF, MG Alternative Harvest ETF, it’s up 115%. So this is giving you ideas from a whole host of great people, who I vet, and make sure that, look. I’ve had guys on here, doing this 13 years, and their performance has been bad, and I don’t have them on anymore. You listen to me to make money, right? Not saying all these picks are going to do good or bad, but you’re getting different opinions. And we have simple write-ups of these things. And your uranium, Spencer Abraham came on, he’s already up 24%. That was last week. And Smith & Wesson, I forgot the guy who recommended that one.
Daniel Creech: Yeah, well it’s down today too. Look at that, your last three picks, up 40 and 25. I’m in the middle of it.
Frank Curzio: We’re looking at the portfolios. But anyway, I’m not selfish. I’m not selling a product where, “Hey, you know, go in and spend $4 a month for this.” It is a product where we want to get new people in, who are not familiar with our brand. And then when they come in, they’re like, okay, this is really cool. And they subscribe, they start listening to the podcast, and subscribing to it, to other newsletters and everything. And that’s the goal, right? We’ve got to introduce our brand to people, and this is one of the best ways to do it. And I love this product. We don’t talk about it enough. And yeah, for writing a review, I’m going to give you a three-month subscription for free. The only thing you have to do is write that review, copy, and paste it into an email and send it to email@example.com. I mean, you could put in the title “free three months” or whatever. And if you just subscribed, I’m going to add another three months to your service. The least I could do. But again, just for you to go out of your way.
Daniel Creech: Somebody’s got to call you out. Somebody has to write a negative review, copy on it, and get three free months of that.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, if somebody wants to, listen…
Daniel Creech: That would be the ultimate…
Frank Curzio: I believe in honesty. And I love honesty.
Daniel Creech: Frank. I just want to see if you’re honest, you suck. I hate your boss.
Frank Curzio: You’re a scam artist. Everything you do, you lose money for everybody, but I want my three-month subscription. That’s all I’m going to get. That’s what I want to see.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. That’d be awesome. I can’t wait. We need to, we need to see about that one. Send us in. Don’t let us down.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, it’s cool if you want, but the reason why I’ve… firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s going directly to support… This way, I told them to expect emails. So this process, it will get processed really quick compared you sent it to and me sending it to them, email@example.com, if you’re interested. If not, don’t do it. It’s perfectly fine. Even if you want to subscribe again, it’s $4 a month. It’s a newsletter, we don’t make money on it. It’s, an introductory newsletter. I don’t want you to think that it’s a beginner type, totally beginner. But we write a one-page report on that company. We give you a buy-up-to price, a stop, place stop-loss on. And it’s more like a trading newsletter. But again, it opens it up to ideas from brilliant people who I interview that maybe I don’t agree with.
Frank Curzio: And a lot of those things have worked out. So, at least we have access to that. And again, my job is to bring smart people in front of you. I want to see it make money. It’s personal to me. So, me just having a guest on and seeing the performance of that newsletter. And again, if you’re a subscriber, don’t worry, because I show the portfolio, which you could see on Curzio Research YouTube page. But no worries, because most of them are at the buy-up-to price. And we come out with stock picks every single week. We publish it every Thursday. So, we have the podcasts, obviously Wednesday, today you listened to, and Thursday, we come out with that at the end of the close, Daniel?
Daniel Creech: About an hour before market close.
Frank Curzio: Okay. And then we come out with them. And you can’t really gauge what stock is going to be sometimes, where I think you might be able to figure out this week. I talk to these people before and after, off air, and we discuss ideas and I’ll put some of those ideas in there that I like. And ask him if it’s okay if I mention it, they’re like, “Yeah, definitely.”
Frank Curzio: So, it’s not always easy where they’re like a stock pick and you’re like, “I know which one he’s going to pick. Let me jump the gun.” A lot of times, it’s something else that we could have talked of offline or whatever. But I’m proud of that newsletter. And it’s really cool. And I love to see, a lot of people that we’ve had on, have had some great, great picks. And I appreciate it. That’s what this podcast is for: to give you ideas and make you money. So, I think we covered everything there.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. And now, we’ll see what the reviews say.
Frank Curzio: I like the negative reviews. I like to read those.
Daniel Creech: Yeah. We’ll have to do that more. That’s encouraging.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. Keep sending them in, man. I like that. That’s pretty cool. But anyway, we’re here for you. We love you guys. I appreciate everything that the viewership, listenership, that listeners, all our numbers continue to go higher, social media presence. People like what we’re doing. Our brand is starting to get bigger and bigger. We want to continue to focus no matter, how big we get, on the little investor. That’s our business model. That’s we want to do for you guys. I’ll never forget. Everyone here, you’ve been with me for a very long time, most of you, and allowed me to build this company, and it’s really, really cool. So, I take this very seriously, trying to make you money, trying to get the right people in front of you.
Frank Curzio: And you know, our products, we put everything into. We’re not going to get every single position right. But you’ll see the dedication. You’ll see the research, you see everything. And more important, because I’ve been in this industry for 25 years, our product is more about just giving you a pick. And it will give you a pick. It’s how we came to that pick, this way. You could use that research. And you’ll probably, almost very likely, own stocks outside of our portfolio. So, you can use that to buy other stocks and educate yourself. It’s pretty cool right now. So, I just want to say thank you so much. So guys, be sure to check out at Curzio Research YouTube page. Be sure to say goodbye to Daniel. Dan, thank you so much for coming on.
Daniel Creech: You guys have a great week.
Frank Curzio: All right. Covered a lot, thanks. You can subscribe, like it. You’ll see the portfolio coming… It’s really cool, guys. Let’s just check it out, okay. If you subscribe or not that’s fine. But we’re building up our presence on YouTube and the video format’s really working. And I would say that interview with Mark, if you can, even if you listen to it, watch it. Because when I watch it again, and there’s so many things that I took for it, but just the passion and you see it, it’s a different level. It’s the same words, but it’s just different. Trust me, when you see it on video… And I think we’re going to do some work with Marc in the future. Because I really like him, and he’s a great guy.
Frank Curzio: Also, we’re closing out our Curzio Venture Opportunities. That’s… Small caps are on fire, and we, you know, promote newsletters and do promotions when I think it’s a great time. Right now, it’s a bull market in very risky stocks and small caps. It’s going to continue. Liquidity is going to continue to enter this market. It’s not going anywhere. Interest rates going to be low forever, three years or longer. There’s so many factors right now, underlying factors. If we do see pullbacks, more and more money is going to come into this market. Plus, we have the reflation trade.
Frank Curzio: We are going to see an absolute explosion in travel. COVID cases are down 60%, people are dying to get out. Hotels are talking about this in October, how booked they are in a pent-up demand in October. And we had a little bit of setback, right? Places closed again. We had a cruise line that just… It’s 180 days, I think. And they opened up one day. They sold out. I think it’s for 2023. In one day, one day, they sold out.
Frank Curzio: You’re going to see every hotel packed. You’re not going to be able to get a room. You’re going to see casinos packed, you’re going to see Vegas packed. People are dying, dying, dying to get out. And now that we have the vaccine and over a hundred million people, it’s been distributed already. You’re going to see things open up. And when it does, you’re going to see exponential… That is not factored into a lot of these stocks, where they might go back to those pre-COVID high, guys. But you have to realize they cut expenses tremendously. Their margins are going to explode. They’re going to be able to generate the same amount of revenue and probably 70, 80% more profits because of all the fixed stuff that they cut.
Frank Curzio: That’s what you do. When you come out of this, you’re going to see explosion in profits. You’re going to see explosion earnings growth going forward. And a lot of that is not factored in to airlines, to hotel companies. And that’s one of the things we recommend in CRA. But the small caps have tons of potential. And you know, Curzio Venture Opportunities opens up the door for those small caps. We’re offering a 40% discount and they’re closing, I think, in a couple of days. So if you want to take advantage, go to our website, curzioresearch.com. If not, no worries, but I would do it now because that 40% discount is going to go away in a couple of days. Okay guys, that’s it for me. Thank you so much for listening. And as always, I’ll see you in seven days. Take care.
Announcer: The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its hosts and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility. Wall Street Unplugged, produced by the Choose Yourself podcast network, the leader in podcasts produced to help you choose yourself.
- Guest: Marc Randolph, cofounder of Netflix [26:08]
- Super Bowl recap… Who’s joining the bitcoin bandwagon… Names to watch for the bitcoin rally… And going through our negative reviews [01:01:42]
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