On our very first episode, we are honored to have Vince Caruso, CEO of FMW Media Inc, the man behind “NewToTheStreet,” and blockchain show “Exploring The Block”. FMW media offers a thorough platform to cover IR needs by utilizing traditional media to provide full marketing service for financial solutions. In addition to sharing his story as a successful entrepreneur, he is going to share his views on technology and blockchain in today’s market. If you would like to get inspired from his professional advice be sure to check this out!
Angela: Hello everyone I want to introduce you to Vince Caruso. Good morning Vince, how are you?
Vince: Good morning good Angela how are you?
Angela: Good, so Vince here is the CEO and the president of FMW media. FMW media offers a thorough platform to cover investor relation needs by utilizing traditional media to provide full-service marketing to financial solutions. So can you tell me a little bit more about your company and what made you start such a company that’s very interesting.
Vince: Thank you. So what made us start. This is kind of funny a little bit. So we were investing that this is back in 2008,2009. Lending money, the money that we made from other businesses to public companies. So we would lend the money saying , a hundred thousand; two hundred thousand; three hundred thousand, and we would lend the money under the market. So if the stock was trading at ten, we would get it at seven or eight. We would get the stock at seven or eight and then,okay great we got a great price with 30% under the market. Why do we believe in these guys? Cause we check them out and then they would do what they said. So great! Everything should be good. Six months later, stock’s down; stock’s flat. Nobody cared. So what we said is why not make a show, called it “New to the Street”, because we believe these products are new,hot, and there’s something interesting.
Angela: And people don’t know about them, right?
Vince: Correct! Putting them on TV by the time, and making our own show about our own clients so that’s how “New to the Street” started.
Angela: Is that how you came up with the names like, basically okay?
Vince: New to the street and I think you’re going with” Exploring the Block”
Angela: Yeah, yeah.
Vince: When Blockchain came to place and blockchain companies would come to our show.
Angela: Especially a lot of people who didn’t know about them at the time so I thank you.
Vince: Yeah nobody knew about them, agreed.
Angela: What was your dream when you were starting your career, do you think you have fulfilled that dream?
Vince: Well, the dream was to be different. Okay, that’s number one, not to be like following into what anybody else was doing, to do things differently. Actually, it is kind of funny that I started when I was 15, I will go to the beach with a lot of my friends and I realized people were laying on these blankets. They have to get up to get refreshments, ice cream or whatever. So we started filling up coolers with dry ice.
Angela: So you are always looking for a solution (Nodding her head).
Vince: Correct. You have to have solutions. I think in order to fill that niche and a funny story: I was selling ice cream on the beach, Jones Beach, with coolers like Italian ices, fudgie wudgie bars, frozen milky ways,etc.
Angela: How old were you?
Vince: 15, or 16, and I met Jordan Belfort, from Wolf of Wall Street, he was selling too. And it was almost like a fight for who’s beach it is. Long story short, ten years later, we met in the market again when he was doing with IPOs and Stratton Oakmont, and I was investing in them. Kind of going into this segue to “New to the Street”.
Angela: That’s very interesting.
Vince: Yeah, definitely, definitely.
Angela: So what would you say has been your greatest failure and what would you say you learned from it? I don’t think you have too many.
Vince: No, I had some failures (Laughing hard) I mean I try to learn from each one of them. One of the failures that I made is one of the companies we started when we were young, like right after high school. It was doing a sealcoating driveway, Asphalt. I started the company with my
friend Ron together, we went to high school together, St. Anthony’s. And we did it in the summer to start and I should have stayed in that business. I love what I do now. They have been two different companies I started and sold. But I feel like, if I would have taken or worked a deal out for a piece of it, it would have been a nice thing. And I give him all the credit, the guy built a 200 million dollar company and he loves what he does. And it gives him some time to be with family more.
Angela: Did he give you credit at all? (Smiling)
Vince: (Laughing) You know what, I give him credit. I think he gives me credit. I am more creative so I got him the phone number like, 1-800-asphalt, or 1-800-sealcoat. We were big wth 1-800 numbers back in 1986-87. I bought so many 800 numbers, like doctor’s
Angela: That’s smart. Did people buy from you now?
Vince: I sold them all to doctors, lawyers.
Angela: Wow, it was like websites. I forget what they called.
Vince: Domain names! We owned, right now probably the two of the most valuable domain names in the world: one is fitnessclub.com and one is deposit.com for banking.
Angela: So you are always thinking since you were 15.
Vince: Trying to (Smiling and nodding head). So domain names are what we bought years ago so for example, that’s said fitness club we bought. I bought that back in 96, and I bought the phone number “1-877-Fitness”. And Bally tried to buy, so they kept offering us 350, 450, 550 (thousand) but I have never sold it to them. Now because of blockchain gives the ability to see who checked into a gym. So they say, (for example) Angela came and checked in at twelve o’clock, she worked out for an hour. With blockchain, I could say she came in at 12:00 and worked out till 1:00 that the data was there. I can put that data up on the block which you would control and if a health insurance company wants to say “we’ll cover part of your membership”, they know you were there, three days a week or four days a week. Now, if they want to save you money on life insurance and health insurance, they can verify it on the blockchain and not
based on your word on “you actually be there.” “how long were you there for”,“through our recognition and now offering you discounts and leads, which is what I’m building for fitness.com so that’s something that nobody’s doing but we’re able to tie it in. Even more so, let’s take it to another level. Let’s say you start a blockchain company and even if you have a lot of money, you’re going to compete against like LA Fitness, these big clubs. So you’re going to need a name for that blockchain company. Now, why wouldn’t you call it “fitnessclub.com” when you put that on TV and the phone number, 1-877-fitness. You’re gonna draw a lot of people to it cause they already knew without picturing what you are . (“Exactly” by Angela) So that’s how names from years ago can fit it to now.
Angela: People should be thinking about that.
Vince: That for the future. Like if today, I’m 18-year-old, I’m thinking what’s in the future: drones, driverless cars, etc. Now I’m thinking about why not buy a name like “driverlessinsurance.com”or “Savemyrobots.com”, cause people are gonna have robots. So you have to think of things that are going to be in the future, like one of those plant-based foods starting to get crazy. If I’ve got every plant name for a burger and now look, there are companies like that. What’s that burger company?
Angela: Oh yeah, the one has no meat. Is it Bareburger?
Vince: Yeah, maybe. There’s another one called, Beyond Burger and they’re worth like 4 billion dollar IPO. You’ve got to think for the future
Angela: Outside the box (agreed by Vince)
Vince:I said what’s now another thing today is people who work in what they decentralized workplaces, so technology that supports that is going to drive the future
Angela: Yeah, and maybe people should be thinking a lot into like crypto stuff, or blockchains.
Vince: Blockchain is going to be a big part of the future even with what you know Celeri Network does, the ability to have people invest and pull money into helping merchants and people with advances.
Angela: What is one interesting fact about you? I know there are many (Laughers) but you have to pick one you think it’s the most interesting.
Vince:I float! I use a floatation tank every day and it’s actually a figure like a bathtub that’s enclosed, completely dark and you go in and it’s epsom salt that’s 93.5 degrees. (“Wow, that’s crazy, where do you buy something like that?” by Angela) I actually looked online and I bought it from a company out of California. They shipped, they came and they set it up. When you float, you actually don’t even know where you are in about 15 minutes. And they say you go into theta waves when you’re resting and you actually still be able to think and you could solve problems
in there. Once you come out, you’re so relaxed. They say one hour of floating is like eight hours of sleep.
Angela: Do you feel like that when you come out like, you think better? you’re more refreshed?
Vince: Absolutely, absolutely. It’s definitely good.
Angela: What would you consider as your strengths to be a successful entrepreneur?
Vince:I think what you have to be, I don’t know sometimes I’m like this all the time, You never quit, you can never quit! You have to do whatever it takes to find the solution, but you also have to know if the solution is not working and you’re in an industry that’s going down or changing, you have to be able to pivot. You have to be able to reinvent yourself. That’s the case.
Angela: (People) also need to go through times and change with today’s technology and go with it,
Vince: You said it right! Absolutely! You have to be able to adapt to the technology and I think
with tools like Youtube. It’s easier than before.
Angela: It’s easier! Like social media. It’s so easy to get out like that rather than before.
Vince: Before it was like you have to go to school, you have to get textbooks, and you have to learn it from the way that one person knows it. But now you could say I like the way he or she explained it, and I would like to learn more from them. So in two seconds, you can meet them, knowing who they are, what they wrote.
Angela: So do you think that this generation has it easier?
Vince: Well, I think there’s more competition today. I think that they may have it a little more difficult.
Angela: Yeah, you know especially in New York.
Vince: (Agreed) I think there’s competition here. But I think anybody who is willing to work harder and is able to pivot (“could stand out and do it”, added by Angela) correct, anybody. I don’t care if you don’t go to school or you go to school, it doesn’t matter. I mean I once put guys from Harvard, Ivy League schools, against people who went to Community College. And Community College crushed them and sometimes the other way around.
Angela: Yeah, it’s about who you are and what you are capable of.
Angela: So can we go back into crypto now. (“Sure”- Vince) I saw a quote that you said, “Crypto is here to stay”, could you just elaborate on that?
Vince: Sure, so when I said “Crypto is here to stay”, I was kind of making a mistake saying that. As I’m learning it more, the blockchain is here to stay, the ledger of that trustless where you could make a deal with someone else and follow what’s called a smart contract. If you follow what that each contract is. You get rewarded on the agreed amount, and you don’t need a bank. You don’t need an intermediate attorney, it’s all done the blockchain. Everyone can verify and see it. So I think that’s here to stay and I know that that’s the future for almost every industry, every vertical.
Angela: Being an experienced entrepreneur, what would you say are the obstacles most people face when they’re starting a business? And what would you recommend them do?
Vince: Get out of the bed in the morning. Even if it’s not early, trying to find the hours you’re gonna work. For me, if I’m not filming at the Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange or anywhere, I have to get up really early. I’d like to get up at 8:30 A.M, and work from 9:00 A.M to 1:00 P.M, my first shift for myself, that is when I get done with my to-do list of what I had to do as the most important things for that next day. Then from like 1:00 to 3:00 P.M, I usually eat a little bit and then float for two hours. After floating I am 100% relaxed so I’m able to go back and do another shift. After the second shift, I will turn it down, go see my girlfriend, do
family course and spend some time with them.
Angela: So you balance it all out.
Vince:Yeah mm-hmm come back at 10 o’clock at night.(10:00, 10:30, even 11:00) and then work 11:00 P.M to 2:00 A.M, total quiet time. That’s when I can think of what to change, what project that I’m building that no one knows about, and what else I’m gonna bring out later. And then I crash and then start all over. Friday from like three, four o’clock on till Sunday afternoon, I don’t do I don’t do anything. That’s family time, I hang out but ready go crazy again.
Angela: And you know the audience wants to know what kind of employees do you usually hire and how do you describe your employees?
Vince: The people that I love to work with are people who like experts in what they do
and the people that I like to teach are people I know are never gonna give up and they’re going to appreciate it. I’d like them to stay with me as long as possible but at least if I feel like teaching them something. Something that they could do to help other people. Overall, people that aren’t afraid to take chances, work hard and show me that they know. They don’t necessarily have to have necessary great experience but if they’re willing to learn.
Angela: What would you consider a smart investment?
Vince: Actually you cite some of the big companies that I feel like saying Apple and brands like that will always be there, and Amazon, of course.
Angela: But do you think that young people should be putting their money to “safe stocks” like that and I mean “safe” in quotation marks, like they’ve been around for so long.
Vince: I think a little bit of their money but I think if you’re from from like between 15 and 30 (years old), you should put 90% of your money into yourself to your business to making your
Skillset better, whether that’s another language.
Angela: So investing in yourself.
Vince: Investing in yourself. Whether into your health, into learning
about industries that you want to be dominated. Putting it into yourself and don’t worry about other investments or other people. Building your own dream.
Angela: That’s great, thank you so much, Vince!
Vince: Thank you!