Catch Reyn Aubrey on the #PirateBroadcast™ - russjohns

Catch Reyn Aubrey on the #PirateBroadcast™

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[00:00:00] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.

[00:00:10] Russ Johns: Hello and welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™. Here we are Reyn. Good morning. How you doing my friend?

[00:00:16] Reyn Aubrey: Good morning. I'm doing great Russ.

[00:00:19] Russ Johns: Today is a new day. I can't believe it's September. I just can't believe it's September. Where did the time go? Time flies when we're having fun, right?

[00:00:30] Reyn Aubrey: Amen.

[00:00:31] Russ Johns: Hey, I know that we were talking about before the show and you got a lot of things to unpack because you were born in Hawaii, surfing, just kinda hanging out there and enjoying life. And you decided to go to school and ended up in Denver. And now you're opening up and building a company called Pocket Change. I was actually looking at it earlier last week and unpacking it for us because it's a new way of looking at being useful. Invaluable in the community and using the community to help others. That's kinda what I gathered from what I saw, which is good messaging. And so maybe you can expand on that and tell us a little bit more about what prompted the launch.

[00:01:15] Reyn Aubrey: Absolutely. No problem. So thanks so much for having me on, I appreciate the opportunity and to speak to everybody. Pocket Change is we've been deemed social media that makes things better, so we're a social media platform, just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You download it onto your phone. We're an app, an iOS But we think that there's an opportunity to use the techniques of social media that allow billions of people to connect and create things. And to do that in a positive direction, rather than a divisive echo chambering toxic one. So what we're really trying to do is we're trying to build an online space, build a social media platform that's good. So we're doing a lot of things in that area to make that happen. So one of the things that's cool about Pocket Change is every single post and every single reply on the planet sends a free donation to charity at no cost to the user. So the more time you spend on Pocket Change, liking pictures of people at the beach, more times you upload a picture of your dog, money is going to ocean charities and dog charities and all kinds of charities related to the post that you're making at no cost to you. So the more time you spend, the better the world gets, so that's Pocket Change in a nutshell. We wanted to make something as easy and addictive as social media, be a net positive force for the world. And that's why we created this app.

[00:02:34] Russ Johns: That's awesome. And I guess my biggest challenge would be, how do you monetize this? Is it through advertising dollars just like Facebook and putting things out there?

[00:02:45] Reyn Aubrey: Yep

[00:02:46] Russ Johns: So more eyeballs. So rather than just keeping it all and becoming the billionaire that Zuckerberg is, you're going to get to help the planet out.

[00:02:56] Reyn Aubrey: Exactly. We think that there's really an opportunity to be a billion dollar company and do a massive amount of good for the world. That's our goal. Let's say every time you made a post about a mountain and money went to land conservation, what if Patagonia paid for that donation and said, hey, we care about land conservation, right? That would be advertising that's great for the planet, advertising great for the brand and advertising great for the person, everybody gets benefit. So doing things like that.

[00:03:21] Russ Johns: Yeah, you could, you could expand that to 10 different levels because the sponsor could co-op and match funds. So for every thousand eyeballs or something KPI, you could actually expand your bottom line with that.

[00:03:36] Reyn Aubrey: Yup. That's the goal because we know that if you build a big company and you can tie in purpose to that building of that company and what benefits the company benefits everybody, that's how you're going to build a successful company in today's age.

[00:03:51] Russ Johns: So here's the catch 22. Are you going to have mechanisms in there that that allow advertisers to show up on people's feeds for their specific ads?

[00:04:00] Reyn Aubrey: Right now we have no algorithms on the platform. So what is what you get advertise, we're going, gonna do a lot of things differently. We really want to make things as opt-in as possible for users. We don't want to, obviously data privacy is really important to people and it's really important to us. And so we want to make sure people are opting in to the information that is being given to the advertisers and that they're getting benefit out of it in the form of charitable money going to places that they care about.

[00:04:26] Russ Johns: There's a lot of platforms now are actually taking... and if I have a paid youTube channel, I get to skip the ads. That still adds to the bottom line. That's still contributes to the goal of the organization, however, I could see that very easily, people can say just like Patreon or some other paid platforms that they can get content, they can get interaction, they can be involved in engagement. So I love the idea. And so what possessed you, Reyn,what possessed you? It must be some of the island fever coming over, Hakuna Matata. What possessed you to start this thing? And how did it begin and how long has it been going?

[00:05:08] Reyn Aubrey: Yeah, absolutely. I'll give you a quick backstory on me. I was born and raised in Hawaii, like you said, I was always entrepreneurial. So I was always building different little businesses and ventures. And in high school, my senior year of high school, I built a hoverboard company. If you remember those two wheels self-balancing and became the number one hoverboard seller in Hawaii outsold, Walmart and target I'm in my state and it was a successful business for a 17 year old. And I had a moment, a couple of days before Christmas where I was counting up cash from the hoverboards that we'd sold and, pretending to be a rapper and doing all the things that you do when you're 17. And I realized that if I only use my love of business to put zeros into a bank account, I would leave life disappointed, bored and having wasted my passion. And so I knew that the next thing that I built had to be something that built a massive business to fill that itch. And it also had to be something that was net positive for the world. And that's where I stumbled into Pocket Change. It was in my dorm shower at my university. It was coming from having just watched a video on Facebook. A chemical attack in Syria and wanting to do something meaningful and wanting it to be really easy. And that concept developed into first, it started as a donation button that sat on Facebook and then it developed into a mobile app. And then it finally developed into our full fledged own social media where doing doing good was as easy as pressing a white button or easy as replying to somebody as simple and effortless.

[00:06:35] Russ Johns: That's awesome. I love that. I love that idea. And there's so many great ideas that come from the shower. I just have to say exactly the thing about it is are you a programmer or were you traditionally trained in programming and coding?

[00:06:51] Reyn Aubrey: Not at all. So that makes it even crazier to try and do a tech company. I am not a programmer. I know the basics. I run our product team now with the help of some really incredible developers, primarily Jay. I'll give him a shout out really incredible guy. So we basically had to build up a product team inspire people to get excited enough about the vision, to want to join us and take, sub market pay and be willing to work long hours and all of these things. And so that's what we did. We found some incredible people and that fell in love with what we were doing and we're off to the race.

[00:07:23] Russ Johns: I love that. So how many are on your team?

[00:07:27] Reyn Aubrey: Yeah. So on our tech team, we've got three. We have a designer, a front end dev, and a backend dev Jay. And then myself as the PM. And then on our growth side, we have three people doing growth and strategic and backend, legal, pitching, all of that kind of stuff. So we're working long hours.

[00:07:44] Russ Johns: So you bootstrapping or in your series A yet?

[00:07:48] Reyn Aubrey: We are all angel funded at the moment. So we've raised from angels all over, California, Montana, Hawaii, New York. So we've got angels all over the place. Just the same idea, get people excited about the vision and convince them to come aboard.

[00:08:02] Russ Johns: I've produced shows for the angel network. So I have a few connections over there. That's why I asked. But yeah, I just want to make sure that people understand that these are the kinds of things and I was talking about this yesterday or another. I have another podcast over on,, but this is the kind of information and ability and the opportunities that are out there right now is, you can start a podcast with a cell phone, your smartphone, you can create a YouTube channel. You can actually create programs fairly easily nowadays compared to what it was 10 years ago and the coding and the opportunities are out there. So someone like yourself, just picking up, taking an idea, moving it forward, wireframing it and putting it out there and saying, hey, who's on board? Who wants to jump on this wild, crazy train?

[00:08:54] Reyn Aubrey: Absolutely.

[00:08:56] Russ Johns: And thank you for doing it. I just really appreciate the fact that you're doing this. I want to give a shout out to a couple of people in the room, Elize from South Africa. Good morning, Russ and Reyn. Karen is here. Karen good morning, Russ and Reyn.. Russ Hedge is in from Oregon. Good morning. He says, love the pirate community. Thank you, Russ. I love the fact that you're here and I love you, man. So Howard Kaufman says congrats on a very innovative and value proposition, innovative cause and value proposition. Thank you. And Russ says I'm all about purpose. We were talking before the show and the pirate community is all about this thread of #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree and there's a purpose behind it. There's community behind it. There's an opportunity to actually do something good. We don't have to follow the news and be the sheeple. So following along on everything else, we can actually do something different. We can actually create something different. And so walk us through the stages that you're going to be developing this product on, because I think it's important for people to kind of plant in their mind. It starts out small, has to grow. Some growth hacking probably needs to take place and some abundance and so what efforts are you taking to build and grow and expand this besides being on the #PirateBroadcast™?

[00:10:19] Reyn Aubrey: Yeah, that's our big one. Right now we're in a stage where I'll take you through a couple of things. So right now we're in a stage where it's all about getting content on the platform. So it's one of the things I'm excited about being on the #PirateBroadcast™ for because 90% of the interaction on Pocket Change happens from people engaging with other people's posts, liking or replying, stuff like that. And right now we have a deficit of good content being posted in the app. We need more people to be posting content. People are hungry for it. So we're really all about right now getting creators to be sharing their content on Pocket Change. A picture, any picture you take, if you do art, posting any of your art, sharing your your podcasts. Like all of these things, people are really hungry and looking for stuff to consume on Pocket Change right now. So we're all about that. We're trying to get as many creators, influencers, onto the platform posting as possible. And then we're going to start expanding more. We're also in tandem right now, fixing bugs, making everything load faster, look smoother, polishing, refining, rinsing the bottle. So that's the stage that we're in right now. After we have done that for a little while, we're really gonna focus on expanding the platform into social media that makes things better, building some features there. So I'll give you two examples of features. One that you just mentioned, you talked about doing your own research and, understanding things and thinking deeply. One thing that we're developing is something called a context button. So a context button, you can just tap the button and instantly get context from people on all sides, all backgrounds, all perspectives and read and understand and make your own decisions. That's how people think about things. People don't like to be told, this is the truth. This is the only truth. People like to be able to say, all right, this is the truth. And I want to understand what any of the disagreements are. I want to understand what people are talking about. And so we want to build the context button to allow people to do that.

And then we also are building features like connection points. So connection points is one I'm really personally excited about where, on Twitter, when you see somebody post something that you disagree with, all you have to go off is maybe a blurry picture of their face, a weird username and their opinion, right? On Pocket Change, what you're going to have is you're going to have, when you sign up, you're going to enter in some things that you're passionate about, excited about, things that you care about, and then Pocket Change will automatically match the things that you have in common with somebody else and give you some more context on the person. So if me and you are on Pocket Change and you see me post something that you disagree with, you'll see, Reyn Aubrey posted this. You guys both love pirates and always were fascinated with pirates as kids. You guys both grew up in the same hometown. And as you said to me before, you both have meaningful experiences in Hawaii. Reyn was born there and you were married there, let's say, and all of a sudden, it makes me a much more real person. I'm not just an avatar, I'm not just a screen name. I'm a real person that I can have a real respectful discussion with. So that's kind of the basis of what Pocket Change is all about. When you sign up for Pocket Change on the very first screen, you see our community strives to treat everyone with respect. Criticize ideas, not people and connect with people you disagree with. Those are our three guiding principles and everybody who signs up agrees to them and all of our rules, all of our moderation, all of the culture of the platform is based around this idea. That respect is the foundation for everything. And we really want to get respect and we want to be able to give respect. So if that's what Pocket Change is all about.

[00:13:50] Russ Johns: I really appreciate you saying that. And one of the things that I struggle with at times on social media today is the fact that I'll start researching a topic and I'll look at that topic and I'll read a couple articles or I'll watch a couple of videos or something like that. I'll consume some content of some songs and then all of a sudden everything in my feed, that's all I get in my feed. I don't want a single purpose feed. I want diversity. I want to be able to see different ideas. So the context is really great because show me all views from this topic and let me do the research myself and assess what I believe to be true for myself. And I think it's important.

[00:14:41] Reyn Aubrey: It's massively important. We don't have any algorithms in Pocket Change that feed you content or track you or any of that kind of stuff. You follow the people you care about and then you get a chronological list of all of their posts. So it's all about, and as the platform gets bigger, we're all about, connect with people you disagree with. We don't want people on echo chambers, nobody grows when you're in an echo chamber. So we're all about that. I love that perspective.

[00:15:04] Russ Johns: I want to say hi Mike Ruman, he was on yesterday. Mike was a pirate,he became a pirate. I've known Mike for a long time and we had a great conversation. So if you didn't catch that, go to a and you can catch up on all the last little bit. Also, Jenny Gold is in the, Jenny's up in your neck of the woods. She's in Colorado next to Denver.

[00:15:28] Reyn Aubrey: Hey Jenny.

[00:15:29] Russ Johns: And Wendy is good morning Reyn and our beloved Admiral, I was taught that rain brings blessing, seems that applies to Reyn. Cool context button. And Jenny says yeah, Reyn. Liz, I was just talking to you about Bill. I hope Bill got on your email list, by the way. Liz is a master at email marketing and just a cool individual that's also a pirate. Wendy says how important it is to always be connected. Connecting the dots, context is queen and she rules the house. Even when content is king. Learned from Gary Vee. You just took it further. I have to agree with Wendy, context is queen and context in like you said, we can't live in a vacuum chamber.

[00:16:22] Reyn Aubrey: Amen. Yeah. Wendy is spot on there. That's totally right.

[00:16:25] Russ Johns: Yeah. She's a great connection. Pirates, make a connection. Get on Pocket Change, Reyn made this specifically for us.

[00:16:37] Reyn Aubrey: Amen. I'm a pirate now, I got to rep the community.

[00:16:40] Russ Johns: You got to rep the community, Reyn. And pirates can always come back. So as of Monday, I'll have 500 episodes. So a few people have been here, a few people in the community and make those connections reach out and introduce yourself and say, hey, I'm a pirate. I just want to connect with Reyn. So where do you enjoy people connecting with you?

[00:17:00] Reyn Aubrey: The best place is you can follow me on Pocket Change. I'm @Reyn, of course, the CEO, I gotta always be promoting, always be selling, always be closing. So Pocket Change is definitely the best one. I'm on there all the time. And then LinkedIn's probably great too, Reyn Aubrey on LinkedIn. That's a very easy one. I've got all the profiles on everything, so you can find me and you can connect with me also through any of the Pocket Change socials, which are always Pocket Change or Get Pocket Change.

[00:17:25] Russ Johns: So is it currently free or is it a pay for app?

[00:17:30] Reyn Aubrey: Entirely free. So you just go to the app store, tap one button, it costs $0. And every single donation to charity in the app is also free. So it's totally free.

[00:17:40] Russ Johns: Free 99 folks free 99.

[00:17:44] Reyn Aubrey: There we go.

[00:17:46] Russ Johns: I love it. On a personal note, are you taking time out to do anything? Rest, relax and hang out with friends and hobbies in your life? Surfing isn't really available right now at this point in time.

[00:17:59] Reyn Aubrey: No, no, it's not. I've got an electric skateboard that I ride around that gives me the feel of surfing, but the big one that I do in my personal life is karate. I've been studying Shorin Ryu karate out of a Lakewood Shorin Ryu dojo with sensei, Tom Constantine. And that's been really awesome for everything, mental, spiritual, physical. Been doing that about since the start of the year. And it's been fun.

[00:18:23] Russ Johns: Oh, fantastic. Fantastic. I was in Judo for years.

[00:18:26] Reyn Aubrey: Very cool.

[00:18:27] Russ Johns: Yeah. This is a judo nose.

[00:18:28] Reyn Aubrey: I know. I'm going to get there soon if I keep doing it.

[00:18:35] Russ Johns: I love this conversation because it's really important for people to understand that we can have business and do good.


We don't have to have business at the cost of somebody else. Disadvantage we can advantage everyone and create solutions that are really important and meaningful to a lot of people. So get on Pocket Change. I really encourage that connection there. So I want to be able to also make sure that you have an opportunity to dig into what is the future? You gave us a couple of apps and so how long have you been in existence?

[00:19:10] Reyn Aubrey: Pocket Change, the social media platform launched June 17th. And then we had a couple of iterations before that trying out different things.

[00:19:18] Russ Johns: Okay. And did you use the university students to test this out on?

[00:19:23] Reyn Aubrey: Yep, so my co-founder's actually a guy I met at the university of Denver. And we're currently working with a couple of students potentially going to be joining the team on our growth side. The university of Denver has been really incredible for us. Especially early on in our journey, when I didn't have any connections in Denver, leveraging professors and mentors in the network helped us get our very first investor and kind of growth.

[00:19:46] Russ Johns: Interesting. So now we're getting the meat and potatoes. So what's your strategy for marketing this tool besides #PirateBroadcast? I love that you're here and thank you so much for being here because we got some pirates.

[00:19:59] Reyn Aubrey: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah our strategy, the big one is influencers. We really want to get influencers in, posting about Pocket Change and sharing it with their network. So really anybody, but anybody big on Instagram, YouTube, promoting it to their network not work, doing paid campaigns with them. Let's say a photographer, Nat geo photographer who posts on Instagram, getting them to share Pocket Change to their network and so on. We do digital advertising, we have our own social media channels. But the big one is word of mouth. People telling their friends about it once they're already on the platform.

[00:20:32] Russ Johns: All right. I'm also getting the same message on my computer uploaded on iPhone. I'm not sure what that message is. Wendy, what's the message? I just want to make sure you guys are ...

[00:20:43] Reyn Aubrey: If you want to put in on your web browser, that's our website and you can get all that and get all the information.

[00:20:51] Russ Johns: Let me put that in here.

[00:20:53] Reyn Aubrey: Sure.

[00:20:53] Russ Johns: Let's get this one in here. All right. Add banner, I'll show this.

[00:21:01] Reyn Aubrey: Perfect. That's our website.

[00:21:02] Russ Johns: So go to the website, navigate, we were doing this on the fly before the show. So if anyone has an error on the pirate link, give us some grace here. It's the #PirateBroadcast™, not the perfect broadcast.

[00:21:20] Reyn Aubrey: Exactly. Exactly.

[00:21:22] Russ Johns: So go ahead and go to, sign up, get involved, get engaged. I'm going to go there after the show and get on there. When will I be able to stream live to Pocket Change?

[00:21:35] Reyn Aubrey: Hopefully soon. If we can get more users on there and get some more funding, we can build out those kinds of features. You can already share links of course, onto Pocket Change, but hopefully we can get live streaming in.

[00:21:46] Russ Johns: Yeah cause realistically, I would love to be able to stream live on a platform like that. And the #PirateBroadcast is all about kindness. It's all about giving back to the community. It's all about not being a pain. I just really encourage people to sign up, get notified. Share it out on social, put it out on Pocket Change. So I'm going to go share some links out there today.

[00:22:11] Reyn Aubrey: I appreciate it. And if anybody has any questions or need me to play any tech, support I'm happy to do that. We're very fresh, so there's plenty of bugs. And so just message me on there or tag me in a post or something, I'll be watching, if anybody's having any problems, just let me know.

[00:22:27] Russ Johns: Yeah. And be kind, I'm a beta tester for a lot of different softwares and it takes time to identify how somebody uses a program to really dive deep into solving little bugs. They're just minor adjustments, so don't get frustrated with the fact that they're going to be dropping off and maybe making a change or updates or things on a regular basis. Cause that's the nature of the business.

[00:22:52] Reyn Aubrey: Exactly. I can't promise you it'll be perfect, but I can promise you it's going to be getting better every day. That's what we're doing.

[00:22:58] Russ Johns: Reyn, I really appreciate the fact that you're here and happy September 1st, everyone. I really appreciate it. Wendy says, oh, but that could be me cause I could barely jiggle the handle on the toilet, but we'll get there. Reyn will get off and we'll go inspect it and I'll post updates. So Reyn, let's keep in touch today and go back and forth and get everybody signed up and logged on.

[00:23:22] Reyn Aubrey: Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me on Russ and thank you so much, pirate community. I love being here and yeah, please reach out if I can ever be helpful. This wasa ton of fun..

[00:23:31] Russ Johns: Fantastic. And everyone, please, if you like this content, you want to share it, please share it out because Reyn's doing some great work. He's doing an initiative that is going to help a lot of people, help the planet out, get some things moving forward in a positive way. So let's support this kind of initiative and make sure we're doing okay because, you know why? Because #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday.

[00:24:00] Reyn Aubrey: Amen.

[00:24:01] Exit: Thank you for joining the #PirateBroadcast™. If you found this content valuable, please like, comment and share it across your social media channels. I would love the opportunity to help others grow in their business. The #PirateSyndicate™ is a platform where you show up, we produce the show. It's that easy. If you want to be seen, be heard and be talked about, join the #PirateSyndicate™ today.

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