Sociopaths & Impostors: How To Sell Your Baby To A Giant

September 4, 2020 |  

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Jonathan Evans was an air ambulance helicopter pilot when he started to think about how drones could safely navigate the sky around him. Commercial pilots had rules of the sky, but there were no guidelines for drones despite companies from Amazon to Walmart beginning to experiment with using drones.

Evans decided to start a software company called Skyward with a vision to create the “rules of the air” for drones, laying out a set of “digital train tracks” to bring order to the chaos beginning to emerge above us.

Evans eventually raised $8 million from various investors, including from telecommunications giant Verizon’s venture capital arm. Verizon knew intelligent drones would need to be connected to the internet to use Skyward software, so they were keen to own a piece of Evan’s company.

Verizon was so desperate to control Skyward that when Evans received a call from aerospace giant Airbus about a possible collaboration, Verizon dispatched their corporate development team within hours to turn their investment into an outright acquisition of Skyward.

Evan’s story has a lot of entertaining twists and turns through which you will learn:

  • About the hype cycle and why you want to sell before it ends
  • How to test the loyalty of your COO
  • Why feeling a sense of “imposter’s syndrome” is typical for founders
  • What a “bridge to the middle of the lake” investment is
  • Why you should never negotiate with a corporate development representative from a Fortune 500 company
  • Why Evans uses the word “sociopath” to describe some professional investors

During the interview, Evans described the fateful moment when he realized it was better to take Verizon’s acquisition offer rather than go it alone. He recognized that their proposal was the best he was likely to get for a long while. If you’re wondering whether it’s time to consider selling, get your PREScore™, which will evaluate how personally ready you are to exit when the time comes.

Our guest

Jonathan is the CEO of KinectAir, a brand new private charter operator in the USA and soon Europe. KinectAir will deliver a flexible on-demand flight network that will democratize frictionless, safe, and direct air travel. KinectAir is saving people the time and hassle of using major hub airports, by using turboprop aircraft and elegant software to access thousands of underutilized airfields. Meaning accessible flights closer to where passengers need to be. Jonathan is a lifelong aviator, starting out as the youngest helicopter pilot in the US Army for a time and progressing into Life Flight services, where he honed his entrepreneurial skills in property alongside saving lives. At that time, Jonathan saw that drones were going to be an incredible tool but that they had to co-exist with established airspaces. He used his vision to set up 5G 'skyways' for safe drone services and operations in the regulated airspace we all know today. This company was Skyward, the drone software company he sold to Verizon in February 2017. Jonathan sits on NASA's Urban Air Mobility industrial round table, looking at the next generation of personal air mobility and loves nothing more than discussing how advanced air mobility is going to evolve in the next decade and beyond! Twitter @JonathanEvans Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-evans-08584840/

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Transcript

John Warrillow:

So once a year you go to the doctor, right? They take your blood pressure, maybe they prick your finger and they take a little blood, and they give you a sense of your cholesterol level. Maybe if you go to one of those fancy healthcare facilities they get you to run on a treadmill for a while to see how your heart is doing. You get a checkup. The same thing should be true of your business. When we look at your business through the Value Builder Score we’re going to look at it through eight key drivers that acquirers care about, whether you want to sell your business immediately or in 10, 20 years from now. These are the eight factors that business buyers care about. Knowing them now will help you maximize the value of your business going forward. Just go to valuebuilder.com and take the questionnaire.

John Warrillow:

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while you know that I’m often cautioning you about private equity groups, and corporate buyers, and you may think it’s a little bit overhyped, but my next guest will hopefully disabuse you of that fact. He will describe the acquisition of his company Skyward by Verizon. Now, in the end it worked out great for both parties and I think it’s a fantastic acquisition story, but my favorite part was when Jonathan got into the description of the corporate development executives at Verizon and how different they are from the venture capital arm of the business that originally invested in his company.

John Warrillow:

Skyward is an amazing company. Think of it as a business designed to control the chaos in the skies as drones become more and more popular. Everyone from Amazon to Walmart are now using drones in some way, shape, or form, but that’s creating a lot of chaos above us. Jonathan Evans’s idea was to create some software that would sort of regulate that, create some digital train tracks in the sky that would enable companies to deal with drones safely. He will tell you an amazing story of how he launched the company and how he ultimately got acquired by Verizon. I think you’ll find it interesting. Here to tell you the rest is Jonathan Evans.

John Warrillow:

Jonathan Evans, welcome to Built To Sell Radio.

Jonathan Evans:

Thanks, John. It’s good to be here.

John Warrillow:

You are in a tent in the middle of nowhere. So okay, so let me set the stage here. I know a lot of you are going to be listening to this on an audio device, but I happen to be doing this live with Jonathan on YouTube. So I’m looking at him, and he’s kind of wearing like a cool shirts. He’s in the background there’s a mountain range, and it looks like he’s in a tent. So Jonathan, where on Earth are you?

Jonathan Evans:

Yes, yeah. It’s a tent called the Lotus Belle, which is sort of like a simple yurt almost, and I’m on a platform and everything. Yeah, one of my dreams was always to get some acreage property out in the Columbia River Gorge and build my own little homestead. I started doing that, well, in about February, March, which you might remember another big thing happened. I swear I didn’t come out here to bury myself in a hole because of the pandemic. These were my designs for a while, now I’m living the dream and building a house out here, and this is a perfectly good summer quarter, so yeah.

John Warrillow:

Wow. It’s like built in social distancing. It’s perfect.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. No, I can’t think of a cleaner, and finer, more beautiful place to be. As tragic as the global pandemic is, we’re all trying to make it through with a few glances of beauty I think, and improve our lives, and that’s what we’re doing out here.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. Well, if you get a chance hop on YouTube and check out Jonathan’s setup. It’s a cool setup and it’s going to make you incredibly jealous if you live in a big city right now. But it’s all made possible I guess because of Skyward. So tell me about this company. How did it come about? What did you guys do?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Skyward is a drone operations management software platform. I come to that sort of geeky aviation project, if you will, originally as a professional aviator. I started my professional flying career in the Army in I guess 1997. I flew Black Hawks in the Army for about nine years, mainly like fly ambulances whenever I could get that assignment. I did that as well as a civilian for a little while. I flew all over the West and then up in Alaska for a while. Then I took a job down in Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, flying an ambulance again. I kind of liked that job.

John Warrillow:

What is it about that job that you like?

Jonathan Evans:

I mean, we’re the best part of people’s worst day. If you’re getting picked up by a helicopter it’s definitely going to be a story for the rest of your life. I always wanted to have some … I just love flying, first and foremost, and I think from an early age I wanted to find some real purpose in it, not just to sort of enjoy the sensation of wiggling the stick and moving around in three-dimensional, four-dimensional space, space and time there however you want. I mean, there is a lot of freedom and enjoyment in it, but there is something about flying an ambulance that has a lot of purpose and meaning, like I say, connect with people in ways that you wouldn’t normally get to.

John Warrillow:

Were you super smart in school? Did you do well in science and that kind of subject?

Jonathan Evans:

Well, so I guess I have a mixed track record with school. I was a solid B student because I kind of didn’t like doing my homework. I was busy building things, and creating things, and rallying my groups of friends around any other project than school. I was always in the right classes to sort of track towards college. I had very, very smart … I’ll tell you what. I realized in those honors and AP classes how unsmart I was compared to the people that were in them, and some of my best dear friends in life sort of taught me about humility early. No, I mean, I just have I think an intellectual curiosity, and I have a drive towards creativity around especially building complex things. When I was in fifth grade I probably rallied kids around building a fort that was way out of our capabilities, but I just kind of had that drive. I still do.

John Warrillow:

That’s really cool. So how does it go from flying really sick people in helicopters to owning a business? Give me the transition there.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of downtime honestly in flying an ambulance. Any kind of first responder life, it’s probably marked more by the time in between than the sort of adrenaline soaked moments that it affords. So yeah, I’m, like I said, a geeky pilot. The military not only trained me to fly helicopters, it also trained me as a network administrator. So I was surfing, I always say I surfed till I got to the bottom of the internet on certain subjects, and just scrape the bottom and be like that’s all anybody knows about that. I felt like I kind of did that with drones while I was on duty.

Jonathan Evans:

Drones really struck me as I could see them very directly, I guess, a path to them becoming a network of flying aerial robots, sort of like a network of IoT that could move around in space, right?

John Warrillow:

IoT. If you use that term that won’t be familiar with everybody. Can you define IoT?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, internet of things, and that’s sort of just a little foreshadowing of what Verizon saw in us for sure from the outset, is there’s a whole new generation of 5G technologies and others that are joining the Verizon and other LTE networks that are not just these supercomputers that we hold ubiquitously in our hands and connect us to all other connected people in the world, which is quite a feat. We’re attaching more and more things to the internet in this sort of third wave of the internet at a civilization level, at an infrastructure level. So smart meters for your home tied to the internet in a very passive low energy way at the edge is a great example of one. Sensors in refrigeration at commercial and industrial levels, sensors for all of the road infrastructure and traffic flows, right?

Jonathan Evans:

These things are all getting tied into the internet, and that’s sort of what’s described broadly as the internet of things. Drones as a technology are a perfect sort of mobile dynamic node moving in sort of the great blue space of the sky on a very broad view of the internet of things. I think that’s what I could see sort of from the grounds up. As an analog helicopter pilot I used to say I was sort of a WET software autopilot in flesh servo auto drone basically is what I was. I could see how if you could take all of the rules of the road I understood as that analog sort of cog in the wheel of this great aviation machine and collapse that into software, then you could truly have a conduit to take these new robotic aircraft into the sky. There’s only one missing piece, they have to be ubiquitously connected to the internet, hence the nice marriage with Verizon, the nation’s largest network.

John Warrillow:

Okay. So let’s get to that in a moment. Just so I understand this, so drones … So I know commercial airplanes, my late father-in-law was a pilot, and so he told me that planes flying eastward are all at the odd number 1,000 feet, 33,000, 35,000, and then westward it’s the opposite, or whatever. I can’t remember which one is which, but that keeps the planes from heading, kind of hitting each other head on, right? Because all at once go in the same direction, or 1,000 feet above or below they’re going the other direction.

John Warrillow:

So your idea was to take those sort of lanes in the sky and apply it to drones?

Jonathan Evans:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), and you just described what’s called the semicircular rule. I’ll just sum it up real quickly for you. That if you’re heading easterly then you want to fly on the odd altitudes, and if you’re heading westerly you fly on the even altitudes. That’s sort of the first risk mitigation strategy of federated self-aviation airspace management, which have been most of aviation’s history, right? At the edge we have rules of the road just that we inherited a lot from maritime honestly to sort of brake right if we’re heading towards each other. Those rules get ensconced and evolve from there, and eventually we have other risk mitigations in centralized air traffic control facilities that are also able to control us and see us in space and mitigate the risk of any kinds of collisions.

Jonathan Evans:

If you look at the order of magnitude, or two, or possibly three more aircraft in the sky that drones represent, that these networks of flying robots represent. It’s clear that you need to go to a risk mitigation and airspace management strategy at the edge, federated again, that the nodes in space are able to follow the rules of the road autonomously and mitigate them against other nodes that are in space. So there’s a common framework that has to sort of emulate the tech stacks that we see in both the internet and in really the mobile networks and how they do handoffs of control of these small supercomputers in our hands.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

Very similar.

John Warrillow:

Because Jeff Bezos is threatening to fly us all toilet paper in a drone to every house in the world. So eventually we’re going to have these drones all over the place.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Oh yeah. Once we cross the threshold in the regulatory art of what’s called beyond visual line of sight operation of the drone, which we haven’t crossed yet, but we’re really on the cusp of it. That really means that today a drone can be flown from the pilot being on the ground within visual line of sight of the aircraft that she’s controlling, right? All the risk mitigation is about her visual capability to separate it from other aircraft that might be in the area, and also the area that she’s allowed to be flying in is quite mitigated by the FAA as well. So that’s the current sort of state of regulatory art that we’re allowed to operate these technologies in.

Jonathan Evans:

Does it really allow for the sort of network view that I have of the aerial robot flying as this network of IoT? To get beyond visual line of sight we have to be able to trust a whole lot of things from an aviation perspective, including the connectivity to the drone is going to be there, if it’s going to receive any kind of strategic or even tactical signaling about where it is to move in space. We haven’t yet certified a network like Verizon’s to the FAA’s satisfaction to an aircraft that is also airworthy in every other way at the edge as well, but that tech stack is starting to add up. I’m grateful to see the project that I started in Skyward continue to live and thrive at Verizon as a growing division there that’s going after that certified FAA tech stack now.

John Warrillow:

Just as an aside, you sound way smarter than a B student. Just as an aside, I think that’s a total load of whatever.

Jonathan Evans:

It’s probably a matter of investment of effort, I think it’s which games do you want to play.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, exactly. So you were an ambulance pilot, you’re breaking the internet trying to figure out drones. How do you go from that to creating a company? I’m imagining this is massive amounts of capital to create a software company that’s going to do all this. What was the next step?

Jonathan Evans:

Well, actually, we walked a path that could be well satirized I think by HBO’s Silicon Valley.

John Warrillow:

Yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

Have you seen that? I mean, we were a West Coast company, Portland, Oregon. So not exactly San Francisco or the Bay Area, which is kind of a bedroom community to it as technologists, and only an hour and a half flight away. So we did walk Sand Hill Road and brought this idea. Again, I was sort of walking in the room to say, “Look, I’m a geeky pilot. I understand aviation really well and I can see how you can collapse this into software.” I’m not a software programmer, I’m not an engineer, but I speak geek enough to always riff with them, and I always have. So I could see sort of a clear path of intelligence of taking this very clear, these rules of the road, this anthology, this database that’s 100 years established by the FAA and others around the world, and just bringing that into the information age, just programming for that. Nobody had ever done that, and it seemed very, very clear that if you could do that and take all the rules. I know as a helicopter pilot moving around in the same regulated airspace and program for it, then these aircraft could just start to move around on that software program, right?

Jonathan Evans:

That was always the thesis, that was always the idea. It took a lot of unpacking and explaining of how the regulations work in aviation, but venture capitalists eventually believed me that there was a path here. For what it’s worth this isn’t all a hero’s tale. I wasn’t right in terms of the timing. The story that I told was not right. In 2012 I started that journey. We ended up raising $8 million over about five years through a few rounds capital. When I started telling that story in 2012, 2013 on Sand Hill Road and others, I saw this industrial revolution really taking place within about five years, and that threshold being crossed, and all of these sort of industrial ecosystem, and tech stack coming together to make it happen that seemed the art of the possible to me, and for multiple reasons it hasn’t. I think probably it’s an easy thing to say regulatory inertia, but I don’t like to beat that up too much because that’s also the same institution of safety we trust when we walk down a jetway and I think that’s pretty sacred. So if it takes longer than I anticipated as an evangelical at the beginning of this industrial revolution, then that’s okay, as long as it arrives to improve on the standards of safety we have in the aviation system today.

Jonathan Evans:

I wasn’t right. The full wave hasn’t taken place yet. I would actually say that we sold at the top of what you’d call the hype cycle, and I don’t know if your listeners are familiar with that. In the adoption curves of any technology there’s this first hump, the top of which you call a hype cycle, and I think for commercial use of drones, industrial use of drones, we’re still the only software company to exit to a Fortune 500 company. I think we did it at the top of the hype cycle, and gratefully the project has now been incubated basically from Verizon what you’d call patient money from 2017 on, and has actually been invested in that patient money. I think the industry and the project of Skyward have actually arrived now to the troth of disillusionment and are coming into industrial adoption right now. Verizon is shepherding that and with Skyward being a subsidiary.

John Warrillow:

Got it. You’re referring to Clayton Christensen’s, I can’t remember, the Crossing the Chasm. Is that the book you’re referring to?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Yep.

John Warrillow:

Worth the read for sure. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I remember it resonating when I did. So you lived that curve.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

Yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, and I think we were lucky. I’m not trying to say like, “Oh, look at me, so smart, I sold a company.” I hyped up a company and sold it at the top of the cycle. By any means, please don’t take it as that. I was very, very fortunate that that was the timing of all of these nuanced dances that take place in a startup cycle for sure. That’s I know your whole thesis and world to look at it.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

How do you approach these junctions, you know?

John Warrillow:

Yeah, yeah. So what was the original business model? So I get the product vision, but I’m curious to know what you envisioned to be the way you were going to make money.

Jonathan Evans:

We did start making money, and this is a lot of our legitimate traction in the early marketplace. It didn’t have the full rising tide of industrial adoption behind it. We did have all the early adopters. We had a book of business that included a lot of Fortune 500 companies that were doing the first early adopter use cases of drones in media, of drones in construction, of drones in telecom tower inspections, of drones in utility work, right?

John Warrillow:

So those companies would buy your software to manage their fleet of drones?

Jonathan Evans:

You got it.

John Warrillow:

Okay.

Jonathan Evans:

We were a SaaS product for the most of our lives, the vision always being to converge on this collapsed vision of what the telcos would call an OTT, an on the top network. So it’s a software to find network on top of ubiquitous industrial grade infrastructure just connectivity. OTTs have also been kind of the enemy of telcos, Netflix, Amazon, Google. The whole net neutrality debate comes from that, right? That well, they’re getting all the value of using our pipes kind of debate, right? So Verizon looks to build and kind of not get their ass kicked in the next generation of this third wave of the internet. That’s why they looked to buy a company like ours, is because we could become that OTT to manage the aircraft in regulated air spaces on their network, and that’s a really nice marriage.

John Warrillow:

I mean, you’re a helicopter pilot, at some point you must have brought some people together that know how to run a software company, no?

Jonathan Evans:

Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Okay.

Jonathan Evans:

Oh no, absolutely, from the outset. I mean, when I was invested in … The first major investor that came in, institutional investing say VC, was Voyager Capital based out of Seattle. They gratefully introduced me to probably one of the most important partners in the whole team along the journey, Mariah Scott. This is a classic VC thing to do. You’re just a helicopter pilot with a lot of zany ideas, was a B student, and keeps dropping out of school. By the way, I dropped out of college and then I dropped out of an MBA to start [crosstalk 00:21:08].

John Warrillow:

Why did I know that in advance?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Exactly.

John Warrillow:

And you’re the living B student.

Jonathan Evans:

So they look at me and they’re like, “Okay, good. We got the stem of the T, if you will. Now we need to kind of up level that passion and that vision intelligence to scale at the top of the T.” And that’s a lot of what a VC represents in investing in your company. Not just the dollars, but actually bringing a level of sophistication to maybe a deep intelligence passion idea that needs it to actually reach some kind of a scale and sophistication that you could not only sell the product to a Verizon, an NBC, a DPR Construction, but also sell the whole company to a Verizon, right? So there’s a whole lot if you go from that nascent clay of wanting to be an entrepreneur to coming through I think that first institutional investment and learning how to make a real company.

Jonathan Evans:

One of the best things that they tend to do, and they did with me very successfully, is introduce you to somebody that’s got that corporate sophistication and has a deep background in scaling a company in the corporate world to marry up with basically my intelligence about aviation, and that was Mariah Scott. She had 16 years at Intel, she ran Intel Inside for a few years. She was a fantastic partner. She came in as my COO after basically the first investment by Voyager, and we walked the trail ever since. After we sold the company in February of 2017 to Verizon, she became my co-president of that division. We kind of made official what was always a very plural relationship with CEO and COO. Then when I finally made my transition last fall, end of last summer, I was very confident in doing that because I had spent the last year handing off the full reins to Mariah and now she’s the president of the subsidiary. So, that worked really nicely.

John Warrillow:

What did that feel like to have the VC who is now a fairly influential person in your organization, in your life where you’ve kind of tied yourself to, them bringing in their own sort of person, if you will, not an employee but someone they knew of? I’m guessing at some point that may have felt like, wait a minute, I’m losing control of my baby here. All these people are sort of driving the bus now. Did you go through any of those emotions or what was that like?

Jonathan Evans:

Oh yeah. Yeah, very empathetic, John. That’s exactly dead-on. I mean, there’s also this well-documented notion of the impostor syndrome that I was living through as well. You just said it, you’re this helicopter pilot. How did you figure out how to build this software, right? And that’s kind of the way I felt every time I walked into a VC’s office, even though I maybe didn’t look that way. That’s well-documented. People have talked about that many times. I’m happy to say I lived through it and had many ways that I kind of grew through it. I’m happy to unpack a little, but the answer to your question is yeah. I mean, it took me a little bit of time to build trust with Mariah and I had a question about was she here because the VCs are judging me as maybe not being good enough. Quite frankly, at times they were. I mean, we had some very contentious moments with our own board as the journey went on. We had trouble raising money at times, and it looked like the thing might die on the vine like a lot of tech startups do, VC backed tech startups do.

Jonathan Evans:

There was talk about removing me and trying to find somebody else to lead this thing. Gratefully, is turning that corner where I sat next to Mariah and she kind of sits as the real heavy at the table and goes, “Well, I’m not working for a company he’s not the CEO of.” And I realized oh, okay, it was really a Hollywood moment where all of the insecurity you just asked about was dissolved. That was probably maybe a year into our working together, where it was a little like oh god, I don’t know what I’m doing, and she really does, but am I going to still get to do anything? There was a lot of insecurity there, for sure, but we continued to work well together in that year and build something real.

Jonathan Evans:

Then to come to sort of a gut check real moment in an emotional moment with the board and have her be very clearly just all of a sudden transparently my business partner in it and saying that I wouldn’t work for a company that you weren’t the CEO of. That galvanized our relationship, and then we spent the next three years, four years raising capital, building the company, and then ultimately selling it to Verizon. Now she continues to, like I said, lead a growing thriving project. When we were bought I think we had 25 folks in Portland, Oregon, and I think last time I checked in with Mariah she said they’re at about 125 now.

John Warrillow:

Wow.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

That’s unbelievable.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

How does that feel to be the father of … Be like a footnote in history, the drone guy, how does that feel?

Jonathan Evans:

I don’t know. I guess I try not to think about it that way too much. I enjoy the journey very much. I’ll say it’s been a real honor to get to do these things. I always had this fervency, even in high school, that I wanted to do something big. I knew that, and it’s kind of why I dropped out of college and joined the Army, and kind of went to war flying helicopters and figured that’s big. But that’s sort of a young man’s foolishness, and I learned that by going to Kosovo and flying an ambulance there, and going, “God, that was a stupid thing to think was big.”

Jonathan Evans:

Then as I continued to kind of be on my journey in flying and doing very sort of entrepreneurial ideas and trying different things, I kept that fervency and at some point I thought aviation is where I want to do it. It’s very clear. Since I was 19 years old in the uniform I’ve spent my journey flying. Yeah, I’m pretty geeky about it. I love the technology too, and I love as a network administrator I could see that basically aviation had skipped the internet, and I was like, “Oh, there’s something I could work on.” Right? So, that’s kind of where it came from. I didn’t kind of just want to keep flying the ambulance, you know? I wanted to be part of a bigger system, and drones definitely seemed like a catalyst to that ambition, and I kind of took it. If you look at what I’m doing now, I’ve started my next company, it’s called KinectAir. We’re building an on demand flexible flight network available to all of us in our phones like we’re used to in Lyft.

John Warrillow:

Oh, cool.

Jonathan Evans:

It’s sort of the ultimate … It’s a culmination of my journey in that I’ve spent time in the ultimate on demand aviation charter system in that ambulance, under very acute conditions we’ll say moving towards people’s very acute demands. I kind of saw that a very proto really analog driven system could run with sort of brute force of Medicare and Medicaid and insurance companies behind it. You could build an entire national network that way, and I saw that 10 years ago.

Jonathan Evans:

Now that I’ve been through the journey of building a software company and now I’ve been a vice president at Verizon even for a year or so, I kind of have seen again sort of full stack of how that all works and what I was looking at from the bottoms up as a helicopter pilot. Now I’m like okay, I’m going to provide a flexible on demand software to find flight network to real paying customers and real butts in seats, we say, on crewed aviation, C-R-E-W-E-D, and also some might argue it’s spelled the other way, but crewed aviation and real airplanes. It would apply all of these sort of software, because one of the hardest parts about the drone industry and that hype cycle I was talking about, we lived that the whole time. We were pushing a rope uphill. We kept saying there’s going to be a market for this service, and we kept building in a small but growing, an anemic flywheel by sort of enterprise standards of revenues proving that there was some pull on that rope, just a little pull on the rope, but not industrial scale, not Verizon scale. It’s going to take still years to get to enough connected devices to make this bet worth it, if you will.

John Warrillow:

I want to get into how Verizon kind of came into the picture and then I want to end off, more talk about KinectAir. Before we go to KinectAir though, just back up to Verizon. So the first round of investment were professional investors, venture capitalists and so forth. At what point did … I’m assuming it was the kind of the venture’s arm of Verizon that invested originally.

Jonathan Evans:

That’s right, yeah. In our second round, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Okay, so that’s sort of like as I understand it big companies will have this sort of VC arm where they’re trying to get in early on cool ideas.

Jonathan Evans:

That’s right.

John Warrillow:

So they invested as part of the $8 million raise over time.

Jonathan Evans:

Well, it was a total of $8 million. I think it was 1.5 was the first round, 4.1 was the second. We had a bridge to the middle of the lake we call it, and then raised-

John Warrillow:

What is a bridge to the middle of the lake? I have no idea what that is.

Jonathan Evans:

Well, we were running out of money and we hadn’t raised our next round. We were perpetually trying to raise the series A. We ended up calling it seed one, seed two. We ended up actually having a $10 million series A raised with Sony and Techstars ventures was leading it, Yamaha Ventures was joining. We were having two more what you call strategic VCs. So Verizon is a strategic VC as opposed to a financial VC. We had built another syndicate for our series A of $10 million. We literally when we took the acquisition we had to shut that down. We had to shut down wiring of funds almost with one of our VCs on that $10 million round.

Jonathan Evans:

So anyway, we were constantly trying to raise money because again, there’s no real pull on the rope. There’s no real revenue growth, there’s no … It’s still this lost leader to a future that we and the VCs that invested in us believe in. That’s sort of that cliché almost hockey stick in the future that you get to burn capital towards in the Silicon Valley model. We kept doing that, and we kept having to sort of burn capital to get to a future that again, that rising tide industrial scale has still not risen. So I was wrong, right? I always like to underline that point. It will, it’s coming right now I think. Actually anybody interested in space, if you’re going to make a move, I’d be looking at industrial drone plays right now. The Verizon tide is coming under it, for sure.

John Warrillow:

It’s really coming.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah.

John Warrillow:

What kind of valuations are you raising? Because I’m assuming it’s some astronomical multiple of revenue.

Jonathan Evans:

Oh, it’s not. You don’t even do that. You can’t even do that at this stage in these sort of inception companies because it would look obtuse, right? I look at the portfolio of what you usually talk about, John, it’s almost always in that kind of a paradigm, right? And it makes sense, right? Net present value of future revenues it’s how you buy a stock of any kind, right?

John Warrillow:

Yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

In this world it’s really about this sort of inception zero to one bet. Verizon acquiring us is trying to buy basically a kernel of intelligence to insert into a scaled network. That’s one of the most audacious things there is to do. It’s one thing to raise capital on Silicon Valley. It’s another thing to sell your company to a Fortune 500 company. Those are great wonderful life changing things in my life for sure. I’m not trying to pooh-pooh and all, but the thing I’m proudest of honestly is what you just said, it’s what’s it like to be the father of the thing, to see it continue thriving. I think Mariah is leading an effort to actually solve the innovator’s dilemma and I think that Verizon will actually scale that kernel of intelligence that a couple of really smart folks at Verizon were smart enough to see and go, “Oh, we could do something with that.” And we shared that on our side. We said, “Yeah, if we could take what we’re doing here in Portland and we could actually marry it up to the nation’s largest LTE network, we could do something significant.” And they are. I say they now. That is I will say a little bit of a pain, but I say they now. They are, they are doing it.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, you got to let your kids go off and be what they will in the world.

Jonathan Evans:

That’s right.

John Warrillow:

How did the conversation with Verizon go from happy venture capitalists to no, no, we want to acquire you?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. That was actually a pretty good story. So Dave Famolari, he’s one of my best investors I had. He wasn’t a fiduciary board member, because usually the strategic VCs won’t do that because of conflicts of interest, but he was a observer on our board and he was a regular advisor to us, and he’s the one who had shared the vision at Verizon with us, that we could do something here.

John Warrillow:

So Dave works at Verizon?

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. He was the venture arm you’re talking about. He was the partner in the venture arm. We met in New York for the first time when we were on the trail. He ended up investing in that second round, and was with us all the way through. Just a great advisor, really intelligent, kind human being. I have to say it’s not necessarily always a modality you get in the VC world. Just a really insightful intelligent kindness to our business, definitely, and his. I think he certainly shared a vision and ownership of what we were doing and recognized the big picture would be nest us at Verizon.

Jonathan Evans:

So we were on the trail as usual. I think we were at a conference, and I get randomly kind of pinged by Korn Ferry. If you know who Korn Ferry is, they’re sort of an international executive recruiting firm. I don’t know who they are. Again, I’m still in the headspace of I’m just this helicopter pilot getting lucky with Silicon Valley right now.

John Warrillow:

Korn Ferry is sort of the most prestigious recruiting firm. If IBM wants to hire a new CEO, they use Korn Ferry to do that, right?

Jonathan Evans:

That’s right. I guess, I ended up learning this. They kind of reached out to me and say they’re reaching on behalf of Airbus and that would I be happy to talk to them. I said, “Sure.” Because I was more curious about what Airbus is interested in drones more than anything, because I hadn’t really heard them there yet. Airbus is a really big player in aerospace of course.

John Warrillow:

Did you think that Airbus was interested in hiring you as an employee or acquiring your company?

Jonathan Evans:

I didn’t know. I literally didn’t know that Korn Ferry was what you just described. Mariah asks me when she sees it on my calendar.

John Warrillow:

Oh, no.

Jonathan Evans:

She goes, “Why are you talking to an executive recruiter?” And I go, “What are you talking about?” And she goes, “Korn Ferry.” And I was like, “Oh, I don’t know. They said that they wanted to talk to me about Airbus.”

John Warrillow:

That’s awesome. She’s probably thinking you’re hiring a new COO.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, exactly. Everybody is getting all paranoid, and I’m like, “I don’t know.” I’m just naïve. Yes, so I take the call and it turns out it’s a guy that actually sits on the board of Airbus. He’s a captive recruiter basically for the board of Airbus. Yeah, it was a big no shit offer of sorts to start developing the relationship towards … They asked me would I like to start a new envision division of Airbus in drones, and I said, “No, I’d like to keep running Skyward.” And I countered, “Would you be interested in acquiring my very small startup of,” I think we were 15 people at the time, “To be the beginning of that division?” And they said, “We would be interested in that.” And I said, “Then we can talk.”

Jonathan Evans:

So, that was the first phone call. We followed up with an email saying that we’ll be coming to Munich soon to meet the CEO, right? That was going to be the next talk, was to meet the CEO of Airbus, and I was like, “Okay, this sounds pretty real.” So we got on the phone pretty quickly with Dave Famolari, again from Verizon who is on our board, and kind of just briefing him on this great lucky out of nowhere news, that it looks like we might have the beginnings of an acquisition sniff going here. This is early, we didn’t think this … I mean, it didn’t feel that we were in the hopper for acquisition and anything like that, right? You can see it’s an acquihire kind of paradigm. These companies are trying to grab really smart teams at certain dawn of the drone industry.

Jonathan Evans:

We got off the phone with Dave, just giving him that quick update. I think it was within an hour or a couple hours that my inbox was blowing up from corp dev of Verizon. I got on the phone with them and it was right there. I’ve been instructed by senior vice president Mike Lanman to make you an offer for acquisition of your company. Johnathan, are you interested? And I was like, “What?” Kind of on the phone away from my face kind of thing. I thought, “I better get off the phone because I’m a terrible zero-sum negotiator.” I’m just not that kind of a leader. I don’t have sort of brass tack in me, I don’t think. I knew that this was legit. So yeah, entertained the offer. I got to be honest, at first I kind of had a brash [inaudible 00:38:37] thought there’s probably not a number big enough, because I was really enthused about the project still growing, and we had this series A, and we were going to get to keep doing it. I thought, “Let’s keep doing it.” But again, retrospect, very clearly I’m glad I got over that in about a few days, a week or whatever because yeah, we sold I think at the top dollar we possibly could’ve for our project.

Jonathan Evans:

Then got to inherit a fantastic sponsor of the project in Verizon that not only can make it real at the infrastructure level of the network, but could also continue to invest millions of dollars into the growth of that division and actually build real nodes in space. That’s what it’s doing now, and that’s the coolest part so far.

John Warrillow:

So as you’re thinking about what your number is and you’re talking to the Airbus guys, did they get to the point of actually putting a number in front of you?

Jonathan Evans:

No, they weren’t close to that. It was really just the are you interested in meeting and starting to talk at the C-suite level about this, which that’s strong. You don’t get that out of nowhere either, but we weren’t anywhere close to the acquisition term sheet level. Clearly when I had the first conversation with corp dev at Verizon, they knew their number. They already knew it. It was loaded. They wanted to have a negotiation with me on the phone right then and I was like, “Nope. I’m getting off.” So there is a piece of advice for anybody. Don’t negotiate the sale of your own company, I can’t recommend that, unless you’re really good at that. It’s a great time to get a broker. Those are called investment bankers, and they kind of have reputations as good and bad as VCs, but I had some great ones, and they were super sophisticated and capable of handling those phone calls basically moving forward.

John Warrillow:

So did they … Okay. I’ve got so many questions about this. So Verizon has a number in mind. Did they give that to you over the phone?

Jonathan Evans:

I can’t remember if they did that first time, but I remember knowing that I can’t be the negotiator. I remember deflecting away from negotiations on the phone on that first call.

John Warrillow:

Did they try to pull your number out of you? What do you want for your business kind of thing?

Jonathan Evans:

Of course. This guy’s job … This is why I recommend going to an investment banker, which I say affectionately about my investment bankers are the most darling sharks that you could ever hire to get into that tank with this other shark, right? Because that’s the thing, this guy’s job every day for Verizon has nothing to do with the passion about or zeal about acquiring this kernel of intelligence to scale for Verizon. That’s the VP’s job. The VP that wanted to acquire us, that had to go to the CFO’s house to get the money to do it, he’s the passionate one, right? He’s the one that sees the vision. He’s not allowed to negotiate with you either. They have a whole bureau there, like they do for everything in a company that has 150,000 people. They have a whole division that’s almost sociopathically detached from the value that’s trying to be achieved, right? It’s literally I am a machine, I acquire other machines for the least amount of money I possibly can, and this guy’s job is to do that every day. My job is to build value as an entrepreneurial CEO, right? So all of a sudden I’m in a shark tank and I’m trying to build value, and they’re like, “No, it’s a zero some game.”

Jonathan Evans:

I knew I was outclassed and outmatched by this negotiator, for sure. I was so grateful to grab Kamal over at GCA to do the negotiation for us.

John Warrillow:

Yeah, let’s give Kamal a shout out.

John Warrillow:

So how did they try to draw out the number from you? What questions did the corporate development people from Verizon ask you? So Jonathan, like what question would they ask to try to solicit the number from you?

Jonathan Evans:

They didn’t. They gave us an offer and we said, “No, no, no. That’s way too low.” Like you do. Then it was about more us, I think. Honestly, in this situation I learned so here’s what I can give hindsight and show what I didn’t know was behind the curtain. I learned that Kamal ended up maxing out what was available to the vice president’s budget, maxed it, maxed the budget. So the negotiation was sort of, but it was opaque to us that that was the ceiling. It started to feel like it, I’ll say, because it was like we can’t seem to push them any further, but it was, and we would’ve scuttled the deal to have pushed further. So I know that in retrospect, right? Meanwhile, it feels like it’s negotiation tactics, right? When they’re saying no to your higher number you have to be willing to walk away if you want to keep getting a higher number. That’s one of the hardest moments in this whole thing, I think, because I was already over the emotional threshold that I didn’t want to walk away from this. I did want this deal somewhere in this ballpark. Now I don’t want my own negotiator to drive my psychology too far into the negotiation space to threaten that, right?

Jonathan Evans:

There’s a lot of dynamic psychology going on there. That’s ultimately what Kamal was really good at. The investment bankers are really good at, is they’re really good at behavioral psychology and they’re really good at reading basically through the corp dev officer what the body language really is about the value system behind it, right? They’re good at reading me and Mariah, she was a board member too, we were equal partners in this as well, making these decisions. He was able to read in us where we were psychologically on the deal as well, and then navigate to the optimal value of the art of the possible, I think. We’re really talking marginal differences in the big picture. There was an order of magnitude in which that was going to come in. We made three to 5X for our investors, depending on when they came in. It was a success, it’d probably be considered hitting a single or double by most Silicon Valley standards, but I think 100% a year is pretty good return for most people.

John Warrillow:

That’s great.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. I’m glad that I, again, my initial reaction was there isn’t a number high enough. It’s not about a number. To me it’s a life changing experience economically, so I don’t want to pooh-pooh that at all, but really it’s that the project can thrive, that it can live, that it can soak up those new resources and become what I envisioned, I guess. That’s the ticket.

John Warrillow:

What took you from emotionally non-committal, meaning eh, it’s not enough, whatever. What actually took you to emotionally being, “No, no. Come on, don’t screw this up. I want to get this deal done”? What was the trigger that put you over that?

Jonathan Evans:

It was I remember … You’re good, your questions are good, John, because you hone in right to the interesting scenes in the story that I might forget. There was actually a moment I remember a conversation where Mariah and I went into our conference room, just us. So we’re not evangelicals for the entire drone industry for a half a second and not say the tide is rising, the tide is rising to our team, to journalists, to investors, to everybody, our entire lives for the last five years, right? We’re always like, “The rise, the rise, the rise, the rise. The market is coming. Trust us, we’re leading it.” We turned to each other and we said, “Is the market on the rise and how long is it taking?” And we both said, “No.” And it was like both of us being vulnerable enough to admit to each other that everything we’ve been saying, I’m not saying we were bullshitting, I really believed it. I really did, but when I had to have a gut check about do we want to take a $10 million series A right now and try to keep pushing this rope uphill for 24 months or do we want to take 5X on the earliest money and our investors right now and turn this project into an industrial project of Verizon in this market? Which vessel has viability, and it was very clear to us get on the big fucking vessel, right?

John Warrillow:

Yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, yeah.

John Warrillow:

So how did Kamal discover what the upper limit of the VP’s budget was?

Jonathan Evans:

There was some clear hardness.

John Warrillow:

How did he do that?

Jonathan Evans:

He got the first couple million in the first 15 minutes of the conversation, right?

John Warrillow:

And he increased.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, it’s just like in the first negotiation he got what he could, I think. I can’t remember each iteration. They probably incremented up maybe two or three times, but it clearly hit a ceiling. It was getting to the point that his advice to us was walk away, right? That’s the last card you have now, just walk, right? So it was a good number. It returned money to our investors, and again, I had decided to get on the big vessel. It was clear to take the project there because we were going to go through a lot more open ocean here.

John Warrillow:

Dave from Verizon, the VC arm, almost the way you described him almost sounded like a, I don’t want to be pejorative in saying this, but almost a mentor figure for you, a real, at least a very good close relationship.

Jonathan Evans:

Sure, yeah.

John Warrillow:

Here he is, now he’s sort of in a way arm’s length as an adversary in this negotiation.

Jonathan Evans:

Oh, not in a way. Back to that sort of … This is why Kafka writes about bureaucracies, because they all do this. They all shape themselves into detached realities, right? Just because the sprawly nature of the beast, right? So Dave, by rule of some kind, was immediately cut off from communication with us. Again, we didn’t get to interact with any of the people that loved us as Verizon as soon as we were interacting with corp dev. Literally, I felt like towards the end of the hopper, a couple times like they should bring some kindness back into this equation because it’s starting to get to be a hard red pill to swallow here, big red, right? You guys are being tenacious, and mean, and annoying, and bureaucratic. 90 days of trying to get your company actually acquired by inc, it was another whole experience and you can see foreshadowing of all the experiences we’re going to have integrating the company there. It got to be a morale dimmer, we’ll say. I would’ve liked to have been able to talk to Dave a little bit more as we started to say, “Hey, this is really happening. Let’s do this.”

John Warrillow:

How has it impacted your relationship today? Where are you guys at today you and Dave?

Jonathan Evans:

Well, we check in I’d say probably like maybe once a quarter.

John Warrillow:

Okay.

Jonathan Evans:

We might check up, have a call or something. He’s still a VC. Turns out that when you’re an exited entrepreneur VCs just love to talk to you about the other stuff they’re looking at. I’ve got great relationships with all my VCs and I continue staying in touch with them. I look at a lot of drone plays for them basically, right? Yeah, Dave is over at Hearst Ventures now. First when we started talking I was like, “I don’t know anything about the media, Dave.” He’s like, “Oh, no, no.” Hearst Ventures is kind of more like family office VC. They look at everything. He’s got a really interesting AI portfolio. He’s a really smart guy and he’s got an eclectic view of technology for sure.

John Warrillow:

So you were able to salvage that relationship even though it got acrimonious in the negotiation, not with Dave, but with his partners.

Jonathan Evans:

As soon as we were in the company, we were reunited again. It was sort of like, neat, now we’re on the same team. Yeah, but there was just this whole bureaucratic thing during the acquisition that there were a lot of little bureaucratic rules to follow for them clearly.

John Warrillow:

Yeah.

Jonathan Evans:

I got to be the brash West Coast long-haired technology guy that gets to be like, “I don’t like all these rules. This is stupid. This is why you’re buying me.”

John Warrillow:

I can’t believe you lasted as a VP of Verizon for a year.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, well [crosstalk 00:51:25].

John Warrillow:

I would’ve given you about a week.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah. Well, it was an individual contributor gig. It was a nice title to kind of establish the industrial category basically after I’d handed off the reins of running the division entirely to Mariah, which she was doing most of the journey anyway. I then got to spend a year as an individual contributor as the VP of global aviation policy at Verizon. I did a lot of basically sort of industrial diplomat work. I spent a lot of my time in NASA and at the UN, and at GSMA, which is the folks that do Mobile World Congress. Trying to get interoperable standards for these basically flying cellphones roaming around in regulated air spaces. We wanted to use that title to really affect the industrial category, to have Verizon really and establish it as a new industrial category, and that was sort of the last lap that I did in the project. I was grateful for it, it was a great … That was a lot of fun to actually do [crosstalk 00:52:23].

John Warrillow:

That actually sounds pretty cool.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, yeah.

John Warrillow:

So tell us about KinectAir, the new company. So you were saying the idea is to connect. Well, I won’t do it. Explain it in layman’s terms for folks who may not have heard of KinectAir.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, so it’s an on-demand flexible flight network available to you, all of us eventually. We do the full T that I was referring to. We not only do all of the operational intelligence it takes to actually fly the most efficient and rightsized aircraft available in the market today but we also are scaling that concept using software so that we can bring into our network aircraft that are geographically distributed and are able to affect the much more efficient on demand systems so you’re not flying empty legs with those aircraft using software.

Jonathan Evans:

So the experience to you it’s going to be new because, maybe you have, John, but not too many people have been able to ever order a private chartered aircraft of any kind, usually a jet. In this case we’re using, like I said, rightsized efficient turboprop aircraft, so not jets, that actually bring the price of operations much more into the bell curve at the outset. Then again, affecting the efficiencies we can using software in how we dispatch them in time and space to customer demand and how we can generate demand, à la sort of HotelTonight kind of auction on the empty legs, if you will. Being able to do that offers this on-demand what we say personal air mobility to a whole new market that has never really existed before. Yeah, and we’re already seeing that, we’re already proving that. We’re really just getting started.

John Warrillow:

I’ve read a ton of articles lately about the dramatic increase in private aviation as a result of the pandemic, right? People are not comfortable flying United to whatever, LA, or wherever they’re going. If they can afford it and if they can … So this is bringing the costs of private aviation down dramatically to people.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, and the joy of the experience too, right? Even if you fly charter today you’ll find it to be a rather banal experience, a pretty khaki experience I’d say.

John Warrillow:

Khaki.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing to me for how much it costs to fly a private jet charter, sort of how unluxurious it is in a lot of ways. But yeah, you’re absolutely right. Using the right aircraft that are in the market today, that they are the superlative of efficiency in their categories. That’s the major jump, and then using software to smooth out the curves is another major increment in being able to bring that price to more and more people, and really most importantly access. I challenge you to go try to order a charter flight right now in your phone and transact for it. You probably can’t do it.

John Warrillow:

Huge hassle.

Jonathan Evans:

Huge barriers to entry to join any of the programs that have it on apps at all. You have to pay to get in to begin with. So we’ll be offering an app in the App Store that you can download and that you could transact right there for your first flight.

John Warrillow:

That’s so cool. We can’t get the app yet, is that right?

Jonathan Evans:

Not yet.

John Warrillow:

I couldn’t download it yet? Okay.

Jonathan Evans:

Not yet, no. We’re working with a very small group of beta travelers that we broker flights to and we also work on building the right software experience for them. We’re working basically the big data machine learning AI backend that it takes to actually connect these geographically distributed assets in space. It’s both aircraft and qualified senior captains that are able to fly those aircraft to our operational controls and trust. So in other words, this isn’t just any aircraft, any pilot getting put together on the internet, which Silicon Valley has tried to go after that model I’ll say a couple times. We feel the full responsibility of the whole team we’re building, and air service first and connecting it with software.

John Warrillow:

That’s really cool. I can’t wait to check it out. So KinectAir is the name of the company, coming to an App Store near you at some point in the future.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, and you can join the community right now. One of the big lessons learned from the very, like I say, go watch HBO’s Silicon Valley if you want to understand the clichés and satire that I got to live in the VC backed tech startup world. One thing that was provided for in the Jobs Act of I believe 2017 is the idea of to crowdfund equity. So that wasn’t ever available to me with Skyward that you could actually do a Kickstarter like campaign for up to a million dollars of the early equity, or even later equity of your company. I looked at that and we took some time to make the decision and really look at it, but these FINRA credited crowdfunding platforms now, we chose to go with Wefunder, who I think is best in class and have a good relationship with the CEO Nick there. It’s a magnificent platform. It basically allows us to offer to the public the first million dollars of equity in this tech startup personal air mobility service. What we’re using it as, we call it our community round, where basically our very first investors are the very people we plan to fly, right?

John Warrillow:

That’s so cool.

Jonathan Evans:

They’re so invested in the concept that they literally are buying equity at it from the outset and they’re voting with their money that they want it. It has this very altruistic flywheel growing and the team morale growing. It’s so the opposite spin I remember of sort of my first walking down Sand Hill Road and getting kicked in whatever you want to say politely, in the chin many times, and kind of coming back to the team and being like, “Don’t worry though, we’ll get there.” The morale cycle there was a downward cycle every time we got told no, and we got told no. You get told no 95% of the time. But here in a community building way it’s sort of like a marketing campaign and people are being like, “Yes, yes, yes, and we want to be part of that community.”

Jonathan Evans:

So anybody that’s listening out here I’d encourage you go to Wefunder.com/KinectAir and you’ll get a very comprehensive profile on the company there, like we would provide to any sophisticated investor or VC. Yeah, you have the ability to get a slice of the future of aviation.

John Warrillow:

That’s so cool. Well, we’ll put that into the show notes. Again, it’s Wefunder.com/KinectAir.

Jonathan Evans:

Yes.

John Warrillow:

Are you a LinkedIn guy? If people wanted to reach out and connect with you, is there any other social platform that you accept invitations to or anything else, or is the Wefunder the best URL at this point people to.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, LinkedIn is great. Yeah, there’s a lot of people on there now that I don’t necessarily know. It’s a great place to connect.

John Warrillow:

That’s another spot.

Jonathan Evans:

Yeah, and Twitter. I’m @jwce21. I tend to lurk and read there more every day than write, but now and then if there’s something interesting about KinectAir I’ll tweet something that I hope isn’t terribly bombastic, since that seems to be the order of the day.

John Warrillow:

Yeah. You got to watch Twitter, man. Well, listen, I can’t tell you, I can’t thank you enough for doing this, specially from your yurt in the middle of nowhere. I think it’s awesome.

Jonathan Evans:

Solar powered Wi-Fi, globally connected off the grid.

John Warrillow:

Love it, man. That’s awesome. All you need is like … What is that? Is it a Rivian the electric powered car that has the thing in the truck on the top? Do you have a Rivian yet?

Jonathan Evans:

Not yet, not yet, but I’m going to, I think. Now that.

John Warrillow:

It’s all in order.

Jonathan Evans:

I’m going to take a picture of us here in the yurt.

John Warrillow:

Awesome.

Jonathan Evans:

So my team can see it.

John Warrillow:

That’s great. Listen, it was great to do this. I wish you all the success with KinectAir and I know you’ve helped a lot of people in our conversation today, so thanks for doing it.

Jonathan Evans:

Thank you, John. Thanks for reaching out. This is a real honor. Really, you have a very insightful way, I have to say. It was an enjoyable conversation.

John Warrillow:

You’re very kind. All right, man. We’ll see you again.

Jonathan Evans:

Take care.

Speaker 6:

Thanks for listening to Built To Sell Radio with John Warrillow. For complete show notes with links to additional resources visit BuiltToSell.com/blog. John is the founder of the Value Builder System. To find out how to improve the value of your business by 71% visit valuebuildersystem.com. John is also the author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, and The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry. Connect with John at Facebook.com/builttosell or on Twitter @JohnWarrillow, W-A-R-R-I-L-L-O-W. Thanks for listening.

 

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