#1921 How this betting site is surviving its second economic meltdown

Andrew Warner 0: 04


Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of mixergy. Joining me is an entrepreneur who launched his company back in 2007, the very next year, within months, actually less than 12 months after he launched, if we hit that 2008 economic meltdown, the world changed. And I asked him about it and said, you know, truthfully, I’m embedding so I think things would have been hard for us no matter what. But there’s no doubt that the combination of the two him being embedding and the fact that this was a tough economic market really made things difficult for him and he’s smiling as he talks to me about it because he says that it influenced his business made him into a better entrepreneur, and I’m asking, I’m gonna ask him about why and how. All right. Jason, Trost Jason, I forgot to ask you. Is that the right way to pronounce your last bros like most? Oh, trust, Jason trust. The founder of Smarkets, they let you bet on just about anything. And anything that has like a binary answer Am I right about that?

Jason Trost 1: 04


Yeah. Anything that’s a yes or no? Yes, exactly.

Andrew Warner 1: 08


So for example I’m seeing right here. We are recording this on Wednesday, March 18. And there’s a question on the site that says, will the see the opening ceremony of the Olympic games that take place on 24? July? Yes or no? 86.9% 86.96% say no, and are willing to put money behind that. And 16.13 say Yes, right.

Unknown Speaker 1: 32


Yes.

Unknown Speaker 1: 34


That’s what I would be betting though right about now.

Andrew Warner 1: 36


You’d be betting No, yeah. I don’t know why the Tokyo is still saying that they’re gonna do this.

Jason Trost 1: 41


I think it’s because they spent 20 $30 billion preparing it so I don’t know how much they can save but I think because they spent so much money getting it ready that you know, they want to try to get it alive if it can. I wonder if like, how much would it cost to put everyone in one of those outbreak like the movie outbreak spacesuits, so that everybody is better. protected, right? Well, they could probably do that. But they wouldn’t have enough hospital beds for all the people who came in with a virus.

Andrew Warner 2: 08


This is a really difficult situation. I’m glad that we’re smiling a little bit through this because man, it has been incredibly painful. But I wanted to come and do this interview to find out what happened as he built up his business in this tough economic environment and to learn a little bit from him and frankly, also to give us something to take our minds off of all the constant Corona news that’s going on. So we’re here with Jason toast, and we’re going to find out how he built his business thanks to two phenomenal sponsors, you know about them already. The first if you have your own idea for business, you’re building it up and you need to hire phenomenal developers at a reasonable price, Toptal.com/mixergy and second, if you’re building your website for the very first time, go to Hostgator.com/mixergy I feel like there’s something going on over there as we’re talking what’s what’s over your left shoulder.

Jason Trost 2: 54


Oh, I got two monitors set up because I you know, I my home. You know, I’m just sort of monitoring things. I On the left hand screen at your home office, but is there is there a fire

Andrew Warner 3: 03


at work? Oh,

Jason Trost 3: 04


no, I’m just checking the news like everybody every five minutes sign. The last five minutes.

Andrew Warner 3: 11


What’s your revenue? Let’s put you on edge already.

Jason Trost 3: 13


What’s my revenue? last year? We did 20 million Sterling. With us now. Well, the exchange rate just tanked. But before is like 23 $24 million profitable breakeven last year. Okay.

Andrew Warner 3: 30


And this year, you aiming for profit, do you think?

Jason Trost 3: 32


I hope so. But things are blowing sideways now with all the sporting events being canceled.

Andrew Warner 3: 38


Right. Right. And so you’re losing a lot of betting action?

Jason Trost 3: 42


Yeah, I mean, we have cash on our balance sheet. So we’re finding the short term. If things come back online, I think we’ll be in pretty good shape because people will be bored and want to place bets and do that kind of stuff. So I’m curious to see if the Premier League comes back and you know, all the different sports if the if certainly they’re going to play them with empty seats. So if they come back with empty stadiums, I think we’ll be in good shape.

Unknown Speaker 4: 03


Right?

Andrew Warner 4: 05


In other news, you got great hair. What are you gonna do about a haircut? We’re not allowed to go out and get hair cut my own hair.

Jason Trost 4: 10


I am going to go long, I guess go California surfer.

Andrew Warner 4: 16


You did start in 2007. And I asked you about how difficult it was considering the economic meltdown. What? How hard was it back then for you?

Jason Trost 4: 26


Yeah, I was just having flashbacks. I was I remember sitting in my, we started the business in my my living room in London. were two American guys but we started the company in London. And we both were from finance. So I used to be a trader and my my co founder was a software engineer for a hedge fund. And we remember just shaking your head the way the market just melted down. So you know, I think from the on the positive side in the day to day, it didn’t affect us that much. Because you know, we are two guys with you know, we just started the business like you mentioned and then And we didn’t you know, when you’re two guys in a garage, you don’t really need that much money to keep the lights on. When I first started the business, I had this naive vision, this had nothing to do with the crash. But you know, I think my co founder, and I put it in like $20,000, my co founder put in $20,000. We’re both computer science graduates. And we had this really crazy idea that the two of us could just bang this thing out. We’ve hardly needed any employees and like, we could sell it in two years. And that couldn’t have been further from the truth. But I remember when I started, I had that distinct vision. So I didn’t think I needed millions of dollars to go raise and hire legions of engineers and all those kinds of things. So even though the market was crashing around us, it didn’t bother me too much because I didn’t think we needed the money.

Andrew Warner 5: 46


You know, I started mixergy at the time, and even though the market was crashing around me, I didn’t feel it because for me, everything was on the way up because I started with zero revenue. Any dollar was an extra dollar, you know? Yeah. And then expenses were coming down, it wasn’t super competitive to fight for everything with everyone else. And so I didn’t feel it as much as other people. Though, as I walked around the neighborhood, I did see banks closing, which was painful. I did seem to suffer.

Jason Trost 6: 12


I think not to be too much of a downer. But I think in many ways what’s going on now is a lot worse than 2008. Oh, totally. Yes.

Andrew Warner 6: 21


I don’t I don’t mean to compare it. If anything I’d compared to depression teams will say

Jason Trost 6: 26


I’m just even like economy to economy. You know, like leaving aside the health risks, like economy to economy, I think the economy is in a lot worse shape than it was in 2008. Because in 2008, I think, I mean, a lot of people got their hands. A lot of people lost a lot of money with housing and all that kind of stuff. And of course, the banks lost their shirt with the bad loans that they did, but like, relatively speaking, the action that the federal government did a really good job of kind of coming in and shorting things up in pretty short order. And I think the problem now and I’m not an economist, but I’m kind of a avid reader. For your times, it’s been like, yeah, I’m an avid reader. With that in mind, I think what makes things worse now is there’s been so much free money floating around and that So the combination of like, I don’t know, 4050 60% of people are in danger of losing their jobs, and all the money that’s available is going to evaporate at the same time. I am quite, I am quite worried. I’m sorry. You said you started the intro. You want me to change the topic so we can talk about sports coming back online. I’m not trying to,

Andrew Warner 7: 35


but I’m fine with that. I’m fine with that. One thing that stood out for me in our conversation before we got started was you said Look, I had the combination of no one wanted to put money in here because it was gambling and illegal in the UK, but no one wanted to put it in. And yeah, we weren’t in a great environment financially, economically. And so I was cheap. And and so I asked you how cheap are you? Do you remember? And you gave me a few examples.

Jason Trost 7: 59


Yeah, I have You know, I was saying that I knew what literally everything in the business costs. So I would basically have two ideas in my head one I had, how much revenue we had and how much cash in the bank and every day I would kind of do a back of envelope calculation, when we’re gonna run out of money. I think at the leanest It was like a month or two away. I never missed payroll, but I there was a period in 2012, which was about five years after I founded the business where we basically didn’t pay literally any bill except payroll. So I didn’t pay rent, I didn’t pay my suppliers and I was really really good at telling the suppliers that you know, and this was this was true wasn’t a lie, that I had a funding round coming. I’m good for it. Give me a break. And I pretty much didn’t pay anybody I would say for upwards of nine to 12 months that was like the darkest period that wasn’t in 2008 obviously that was in 2012 but but because I wasn’t able to raise money nobody wanted to invest in gambling people still by and large don’t like to invest in gambling because a they don’t undersell. And and be it’s got that kind of tinge to it. You know, it’s it’s a I wouldn’t say it’s as bad in perception as as pornography or something like that. But it’s got that kind of like, yeah film on it that people don’t want to go near even even as it becomes more regulated. I think that attitude will change. But that’s certainly historically been the attitude. So because born the financial crisis, couldn’t raise any money, how to make it work. I just became really, really thrifty. You know, from it. I learned to negotiate everything I learned to cut, not all non essential costs. And I think I’m blanking on some prominent examples, but I know a lot of the current superstar internet companies got started in this era. And I wouldn’t say, Well, I think the thing that makes you really sore is becoming capital efficient. And I think that’s what the crisis the financial crisis 2008 really makes you do or any any financial crisis. So I think one of the big things that is going to slap people in the face is all the free capital that’s been floating around, you know, when you raise 100 million dollars, you’re not focused on what the cost of pens are. And you know, to a certain extent, it’s fine, like you want to grow your empire, all that kind of stuff. But as you grow, as you grow faster and faster, you become less, less efficient. And I think ultimately, what makes a really successful long term businesses that kind of capital efficiency, and because we had no money, we just we had to be good at it out of necessity.

Andrew Warner 10: 31


Before you get started with this, you’re a stock trader.

Jason Trost 10: 33


I was a stock trader for a year or so the computer science stock trader for a year did a start up for a year ran out of money, did that by myself. And with that startup, that startup, my dad was a physician, and he had this idea for a lab test diagnostic thing which might be handy right now. But anyway, I coded it up at university and after trading for a year I took my bonus check did it for a year out of my living room in Chicago. How much was

Andrew Warner 10: 59


the bonus Check for

Jason Trost 11: 01


$20,000

Andrew Warner 11: 02


Wow, we you gave that up? No, no, I totally sorry for some reason I thought it was $20 million. What the hell is going through my mind because 20,000 for beginner is great too but I guess wait 20 million This is the world that we were living in No, Canada, I just was I had to change it from 4 million to thousands. Okay,

Jason Trost 11: 20


my rent check was $637 for a one bedroom out of a two bedroom I shared with somebody was saying, Can you imagine rent for $650

Andrew Warner 11: 29


now

Jason Trost 11: 30


wrigleyville which is like I don’t know if you know Chicago but really does a nice neighborhood and $650 for veterans crazy.

Andrew Warner 11: 37


What was the idea that you that your dad had that you

Jason Trost 11: 40


called it was called the cipher and basically, it’s it basically you punch in high low normal for all your lab test results. It does some algorithmic magic and pops out a diff what’s called a differential diagnosis which basically says these are all the diseases and conditions that match the lab tests. results that you have.

Andrew Warner 12: 01


Okay. All right. And so this is what your dad, this was your dad’s idea from what I understand your dad was a guy who grown up believed in entrepreneurship but never had that idea, right?

Jason Trost 12: 11


Yes. Well, this is one of his ideas. He had this. He was a pathologist, and he had this idea of medical schools, I think, and he never did anything with it. He always kind of put that on the back burner.

Andrew Warner 12: 20


So you didn’t have an idea. I feel like I felt from what I understood about your dad. He was a guy who always wanted to be an entrepreneur believed in entrepreneurs just didn’t have that idea. But it seems like he had this one in the back of his head just didn’t have an opportunity. Oh, no,

Jason Trost 12: 33


he’s, he’s always been. He’s always had ideas. He just I think combination of reality with having a family and the logistics of actually business. I think those two things. I was just looking at my birth certificate. I think my dad had me when he’s 29, which is I guess, not too young. But my, my dad went to a lot of university, so between University and then I think he pretty much had us at the end of his university. So Yeah, I think logistically, he just couldn’t figure out how to do a startup, but he had lots of ideas.

Unknown Speaker 13: 05


Okay, so then what happened to the company you started together?

Jason Trost 13: 08


Ah, I ran out of cash. But I, that’s why I when I went and got a job at UBS, and I thought I was gonna keep doing it on the side even looked at working at a pizza restaurant because I still still believed in this thing. There’s a pizza place just down the road. So I thought I could work at a pizza place and keep working. But anyway, I ended up working at UBS. And after working at UBS, I just couldn’t context switch. So it kind of died on the vine, if you like,

Andrew Warner 13: 33


I get that. And so you didn’t give up on entrepreneurship. You came up with the idea for markets how

Jason Trost 13: 42


it was my co founders idea.

We kind of came at it from both angles. So my angle was when I was a trader, somebody showed me this website that would like to trade the presidential election. It’s called trade sports. And I thought that is and I was I wasn’t still I’m a political junkie. And I thought it It was really amazing that you could trade you can buy and sell john kerry contracts and george bush contracts. But even though I had a degree in computer science and was a professional trader, I couldn’t understand the interface. So I thought there’s gotta be a better way to do it. And then my co founder, was living in London, working in the city. And two of the guys he worked with were big Betfair users, which is a big betting exchange based in London. And the guy he worked with the guys he worked with sort of slow and complained about it, but it was printing cash. So he got together and said, Hey, you want to start a company to compete with this? And this guy started the business with Hunter. I really were really good friends from University College. And I always wanted to do business with him. I tried to get him to join the medical software startup. So as soon as he brought it up, I was like, Yes, let’s do that. Okay.

And it wasn’t my idea.

Andrew Warner 14: 52


It was 5050. Partnership. The Yes. Okay. Yes. And so the first thing that you did was get together, sit down. down and even though you’re the guy who got a computer science degree, it was he who built the first version of the site

Jason Trost 15: 07


via I mean, I take it around the edges, but he did the core of it. Yeah. Well, it took me years to get a live demo though. That was one of my, you know, if I could rewrite history, I would go back and try to fix that. But it took us two years to is February 2010. Before we started getting, you know, paying customers. So then how did you live for the first three years? We did three or four rounds of friends and family. So we did like 100 I’m blanking on the numbers but yeah, the first one was like 100 50,002nd round was like 100,000 us third round was like 300,000 us something like that. Wow. Okay. And so you you were doing what went and had to go into the first version that took a couple of years. Ah, we, by several orders of magnitude underestimated how complex this is. The software was because it because if you if you sort of sit in your armchair and be like, I want to make a betting website So it’s like I need some data I needed and you know, deposit money. And, you know, it doesn’t sound that hard. But the logistics of putting together a betting website, I can tell you from 12 years of experience are a lot more complicated than it seems like so I think in general, we we both vastly underestimated the complexity of what we need to put out.

Andrew Warner 16: 23


Jason, what would you have given up if you could have gone back and told your trunk yourself? What have you learned? What would you not have included in the site? By the way? I’m looking at the earlier version of the site? There was a lot of wayback machine. Yeah, there’s a contact form on the site as a phone number on the site. And there’s not much more while this is on the site, what was what was going on? What would I be surprised by what what could you have actually gotten rid of? To launch faster?

Jason Trost 16: 50


Well, to get into the details, my co founder decided to use a language called Erlang, which is a very esoteric language. That’s prominent in telecoms was designed by Ericsson, the telecoms company and Sweden. And it has some really, really nice properties. But in general, and you know, with the benefit of hindsight, ended up being a really big mistake as a language to use. And furthermore, not only was a mistake, it was it’s very good at very specific applications, but broadly speaking, is very bad for broad based applications. And we use Erlang for absolutely everything. So one of the big mistakes that I would have undone is, you know, when they’ve used Erling for everything

Andrew Warner 17: 33


Okay, and then what about feature set what was in it that use

Jason Trost 17: 36


other features? That was fine, I think I think the feature set was fine. I think we over engineered probably the demo version. And and putting in early was very difficult because it’s an esoteric language. There’s not a lot of libraries available to make it easy to you know, it wasn’t like Python was still pretty young back then. But still, Python had a huge community in comparison to Erling Yeah, I think we underestimated how much we would need to rely on the open source community to get everything off the ground.

Andrew Warner 18: 08


And I was looking you up a lot of articles even later articles, not just the ones around the launch, basically compared you to Betfair. Yes. What What were you trying to do that Betfair didn’t do?

Jason Trost 18: 21


So two things one, it was very expensive, it was still very expensive. And, you know, when I was a trader, I was trading in like 2003 2000 for like a penny would be a big deal. And and, you know, now it’s probably fractions of a penny, but a penny was a very substantial amount of pay. So if I’m buying IBM stock or whatever I want to buy 50 sell 50.01 you know, selling 50 selling at 50 when I could sell at 50.01 is like the worst thing that you can do and you call that pain the bid offer spread. Now in sports betting in a stock context, you might want to pay 10 2030 basis points for The bid, you know, transaction fee. For those of you don’t know, there’s 100 basis points in a percent. And in the stock trading world, it’s in the UK anyway, it’s like 8%. So another way to think about if you want to withdraw $100 from your ATM, you’re going to pay an $8 fee to withdraw those hundred dollars. That’s essentially the business model of sports betting. Now the thing that was screwed up about Betfair, they were a little bit cheaper but instead of 8% or say four or five 6% and I thought it’s ridiculous that they charge that the second thing is even today and we’re still trying to move our website away from this. There’s still geared it still looks like a betting website. And what I was always interested in going back to the going back to the my sock trading world, I wanted to make sports you know event trading an asset class, so I’m trying to take financial technology and apply it to sports and I thought Betfair was too much of a

Andrew Warner 20: 01


Like mortgages became an asset

Jason Trost 20: 02


class, exactly like

Andrew Warner 20: 04


stocks have been an asset class always. Why would that need to be an asset class? I could understand allowing people to bet on the presidential election, right? That’s a way to hedge against risk in your stock portfolio, for example.

Jason Trost 20: 19


Yeah, I think by and large, the sports betting industries is is, is going to remain at least for the foreseeable future, entertainment driven, which is there’s nothing wrong with that. But I also think there’s also there’s nothing wrong with developing a robust financial grade market. So a presidential election would be a good example. So like, let’s say, for example, going back to 2016, Hillary versus Trump, Hillary is going to destroy the Affordable Care Act, Hillary is going to save it. If I’m a healthcare company, I have potentially billions of dollars exposure to option A versus option B. And there really are great places to hedge. There are supporting examples. Now it’s a little bit esoteric, I agree. But just for this is more as a thought. Experiment but if I am in the Champions League, I get a payment of x. It’s like $30 million, or something $40 million. And if I’m in Europa, I get like $10 million. And if I’m not in the Europa League, I get zero or something like that. So the difference, you know, it could come down to one game or a few games that there could be a $20 million, literally at stake, which is not even for a club like Arsenal or something like that. It’s not an immaterial amount of money. So there should be application, you know, there is a there is a example here. If I own Arsenal, I want to be able to hedge my risk to not getting into the Champions League. Another smaller example would be like let’s say I want to print a bunch of T shirts Arsenal made the Champions League and I spent $100,000 on the you know, there’s the like, I will want to hedge my exposure that Arsenal doesn’t get into the Champions League, and I have to throw those t shirts away. So any business that needs to hedge you know, like the The world is no different. It’s I think it’s more interesting in the geopolitical space. You know, what’s the currency going to do? What’s the policy as the law is going to change? Yes. But in the sports betting world, I think there are examples as well.

Andrew Warner 22: 13


Even if I can even see the Olympics being one that’s worth betting, if somebody is investing in an Olympics related business, I could see them wanting to hedge. Right, I get your point. And then you also told our producer, Facebook was just getting started and just starting to take off, what was the connection to Facebook for you?

Jason Trost 22: 32


Well, you know, I’m still I still haven’t figured this out by 12 years later, but basically, when I was a trader, it was so I worked in basically a giant Open Office and the traders would not stop talking. I mean, some of them are just absolutely hilarious. But it’s it was such a way to gauge the emotion of the market. So if people are groaning, cheering, saying Look at this, you know, it’s this kind of like Organized cacophony of dudes shouting, screaming and yeah, you actually get a lot of useful information from and combine that with, I was always interested in social networks. And you know, it’s kind of passing the sentence now but back in, you know, I studied social networks and at university in, you know, 2000 2001, before Facebook was was, was launched. So I was very interested in from the early perspective of like, I remember AOL chat, I really thought that was an amazing application. So, what I was looking to do is combine that you know, that trader floor ask environment with the need to, for people to communicate in general and I thought, you know, the Facebook model, I thought you could combine, you know, the exchange features of Betfair, the social features of Facebook and that was what early smart This was intended to be.

Andrew Warner 23: 58


Okay, I get that. It’s frickin compelling to just go through this. I can’t stop looking through your site every time I research who I stop researching because then I say well, which which leader will actually be pushed out of office first apparently right now according to smart gates, it’s Benjamin Netanyahu 73.5%. Up Donald Trump 17.5%. They say Benjamin Netanyahu first, and in last place out of these four is reset, or to one

Unknown Speaker 24: 30


or two on the turn. What

Andrew Warner 24: 31


does it mean by the way that it’s 73?

Unknown Speaker 24: 34


Which market would you like?

Andrew Warner 24: 35


The world leaders departure named leader to leave their elected position first? I gotta put your side I gotta block your side from I wish I could bet sometimes, but I actually

Jason Trost 24: 45


moved to the UK. So basically, have you heard the term prediction market?

Andrew Warner 24: 50


Oh, yeah, totally. No, I this has been around for years. There was a college professor who was allowed to do this for the presidency and a small level $50 payments, right. I forget the

Jason Trost 24: 58


name. It’s been around election markets.

Andrew Warner 25: 01


Yeah, that’s the one. I was never run by a college professor. I was

Jason Trost 25: 05


run over Iowa. I don’t know if it’s a single professor, but it’s run out of Iowa. Yeah. So basically what we do is we do prediction markets on an industrial scale. So this is a prediction market. Now I’ve I’ve never found a better way to describe it. Now. prediction market is an awful thing to call it because people think this thing predicts, right? I think about it more like it’s, it’s Wisdom of Crowds, it aggregates real time information. So this isn’t necessarily forward looking. But right now the market thinks that Netanyahu is in 74% chance to to leave their position first. Now, the more right you are and the more wrong you are, the more you lose money and the more you make money. So the principle is that if you have enough diverse people betting real money on this, the average will be kind of correct. So there’s, there’s a book I think the author’s name sir Ricky, he wrote a book called Wisdom of Crowds he wrote about This idea, if you take a rhinoceros and have like 30 people guess the rate of the rhinoceros, the average guess will be correct. It’s that kind of idea. You know, if you ever watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, that’s Lifeline is always asked the audience is that kind of principle. And it’s basically taking that ask the audience Wisdom of Crowds idea and putting real money on it. That’s essentially what a prediction market slash betting market is. And that’s what we do. Now. It gets a little bit confused, because everybody, nobody really associates that with sports. But underlying the thing that powers sports betting is a prediction market. So it is the same thing. And when I say I want to turn this into an asset class, I basically want to say I want financial grade pricing and financial grade software so that people can trade events, whether it be politics or sports.

Andrew Warner 26: 56


I get that. And I also if you saw that I was looking down it’s because I was confused. Yeah, George Neumann is the name of the professor who created it. He was the founder of it, but others went up. No, I never. I just heard that story years ago. And I remember how amazing it was. I heard

Jason Trost 27: 11


that story. And I remember in the late 90s, that God or the I forget what the ARPA, ARPA, tried to do a futures market on terrorism contracts and agree that Yeah, you do remember that?

Andrew Warner 27: 24


Because they were they figured we would know you’d be more likely to know or this would be another indicator of a terrorism attack if the markets in terrorism attacks are going up. And people basically from what I remember said, this is the government profiting from terrorism and they miss they miss the message.

Jason Trost 27: 44


Yeah, well, you know, now with the hindsight of experience, what I would say is like if the market moves substantially what you do is you look up who bought that, who bought or sold that and like have the FBI go visit their,

Andrew Warner 27: 56


their house so truly, this is one of the problems they would have had to iron out. It They would have to be anonymous. And basically what they’re doing is they’re paying money to people who are going to commit terrorism, to rat on their friends, anonymously, which is what we’re looking for. Okay, let me take a moment. And, and talk about my first sponsor. My first sponsor is a company called top towel. If there is a, you know what, imagine if you could have gone back in time Jason and signed up for top towel. One of the best things that you could have gotten from top towel is a project manager, say, look, this is one of my past guests. He had a great development team. I said, Why did you go to top towel? He said, I needed somebody externally to manage my team and tell us what we’re missing. What do we not know that we need to know? You’re nodding the whole time. I wish that the pod let the podcast record show is nodding.

Jason Trost 28: 42


He’s not like,

Andrew Warner 28: 43


Yeah, what you get then is an outside project manager who can help organize things help lead things if you’re out there listening to me and your company needs that kind of organization. If you need a new developer if you’re willing to and today I think more and more people are willing to hire somebody who works remotely. This is the company to go to topic. Tao will allow you to hire the top talent. We are talking about people who compete so hard to be in the top count network that they do blog posts when they fail to get in the top town network to say what they could have done differently. I know I read this anyway, you could hire that level of developer from top towel right now. All you have to do is go to top towel comm slash mixergy. And before we even hire, what what I’m going to tell you is going to happen is you hit that button, you schedule a call with one of their managers and you just tell them pour out your heart What are you looking for your fantasy listing a developer, what is going on at your company, let them then tell you Yeah, we could do that we’ve got somebody or you know what you’re dreaming too big kid. We can’t do it for you. Then you could talk to the developers they put in front of you and if you want to hire them, boom get going like so many people who have interviewed have done and if you’re not happy, say thank you for the call and you move on. This could change your business literally it has for people who I’ve interviewed in the past and it will for you top tau actually I don’t know for sure if it will call Go To top 10 comm slash mixer D schedule a call you decide for yourself. I will I will tell They’ve been with me for years. And people who’ve signed up love them top tau.com slash mixergy. I love them to Pt aol.com slash mixergy. Top towel.com slash mixer. Oh, I forgot to say at our developer credit, you get so many things. If you go to top tau comm slash mixer, do they give you all that kind of incentivize people to use a URL because who could remember the frickin URL? Right. That’s the disadvantage of podcasting has. There’s no like trackable link. If you go and sign up for top towel, you shouldn’t hear me do an ad for top towel again, maybe two more times to reinforce that you didn’t you made the right decision. But that’s it. There’s no

Jason Trost 30: 38


signup you need. You need recall to get people to go back though. No. So like,

Andrew Warner 30: 43


the developers right there in your slack. He’s calling you Hey, what’s the project? What are we doing?

Jason Trost 30: 47


Yeah, but what if you need to? I don’t know. Yeah, I think we call you know, repeat repetitions. Not a bad thing.

Andrew Warner 30: 54


Well, this is why I have to keep doing the ads over and over. I admire to some degree people who get to record the ad once And they do it over and over satchet said, and that’s what you should do. I sold it as just a short ad. One minute had you go longer than a minute and number two, if it’s recorded, they’re perfectly fine. And you don’t have to apologize occasionally, when you say something stupid that hurts the brand, which doesn’t hurt the brand, but there’s been times when I have to apologize in refunds.

Jason Trost 31: 21


I like the way that pod. I don’t know if you listen to pod save America, but I like the way they do their ads where they kind of joke through that they and they make fun of the copy that I

Andrew Warner 31: 29


like that too. I like that too. I feel like in the tech business world, there are people who are really clever, who just say I’m gonna record it once and that’s it. That’s not my gig. Yeah, I don’t know if Tim Ferriss does that. But for years he had Joe Rogan does that and I admired that. You know, there’s no mistakes, you get the best take and that’s it. But I can’t do it. And sometimes I’ll even engage a guest in and the guest will say well actually I can’t for the longest time I talked to people about takedown within the interview. They go Yeah, I love it. I love it. Just like they told me before the interview started then they say but I don’t hire from them because I needed You’re an all in person team. Thank you. Could you give me that objection before? All right, I specifically save and if you hate them just go on like

Jason Trost 32: 11


we are in personality team.

Unknown Speaker 32: 14


Are you really? Yeah. Oh my god. How’s it working

Jason Trost 32: 17


for you? You find remote work. I mean now, I mean, we’re making it work but, but I hate it. Why would you hate it?

Unknown Speaker 32: 23


i? Well, do you tell me what do you hate about it?

Jason Trost 32: 26


Well, I’m I don’t I don’t want to fill up another hour. But I don’t know i’m i’ve read some article in The New York Times recently said Steve Jobs is famously again, six you need those kind of spontaneous moments of creativity. I think there’s that I think humans need contact I think. I don’t know. I think it’s easy to drift to drift away when you’re at home. You know, I don’t know I think in general, more or less, everything’s better except your commute, working out of the office.

Andrew Warner 32: 54


I think everyone is different. I think there’s some people were built for remote. Other people were built for in person. They needed seems like you are the fact that you love the company in a trading room with all the crazy out there things that says something about you. For me it’s something in between I need to be in an office. I can’t have anyone else around here like in between sessions where I’m talking to you. I like to just be able to sit back if I’m scratching I don’t want anyone noticing. I don’t want anyone interrupting when it’s not a scheduled interruption. I want to be able to listen to music it’s crazy loud sometimes get into French pop for a while now I’m into like Persian dance music do you know this thing exists in Persian they got Persian Bhangra. You know what got me into I don’t know obama is what type

Jason Trost 33: 38


of music is that’s the kind of the the pumpy prep. I don’t know what you call it like the the dancey Indian music. It’s called nothing like

Andrew Warner 33: 46


hip hop with I guess, punk era, which I never heard of before. They’ll do violence and a hip hop thing. Yeah. The thing that got me into it was there was an article about a New York Times reporter who disappeared. And the article is trying to understand why the guy disappeared from Iran. And it said We think it’s because of this documentary, the first set was fine. The next video or the third video was was not. And they played a trailer. So I hit play on the trailer and go This music is good. Let me go find it on Spotify. And Spotify finds me five other songs just like my playlists. Now we’re like driving neighbors crazy. It’s good thing you work remotely,

Jason Trost 34: 20


saying, that’s what I’m saying? I am. I should also say I’m very against open plan. So I think you I think businesses should have offices. So I think you should be able to find quiet at the office too.

Andrew Warner 34: 36


Yeah, I’m with you. That’s a problem that I have at home. We don’t have space like that. So let’s talk about you launch a site How did you get anyone to even come and use it and trust you with their money?

Jason Trost 34: 48


Um, very, very slowly. The first kind of big thing that we got promoted on was there’s a there’s a very interesting character in the UK called ghetto. Fox he’s kind of like a rush limbaugh Mike drudge type character in the UK, probably closer to the Drudge Report than limbaugh. But basically we did a deal. He was really into sports betting and he, I think in 2010 there was a general election in the UK and he promoted the crap out of us and we did a rev share and ended up being a great deal for us because we didn’t have to pay any money and he just, he put one of his side hustles was that he ran an ad network for political ads. And so he just put us everywhere and that was probably one of the first places we got customers. The second other major place that we got customers which is a complete shock is a whole industry of people out there that just are signing bonuses and and Miss pricings on bookmakers know kind of like you’re in the UK they have money saving supermarket but unlike in the USA, it’s kind of like the points guy kind of thing. Okay, like the points guy you know that like the people that find the credit card bonuses, the Free fighters

Andrew Warner 36: 00


are offering what the

Jason Trost 36: 03


other bookmakers give you signup bonuses okay and because we’re an exchange you can are about the signup bonus so

Andrew Warner 36: 09


oh yeah talk about that. Yeah

Jason Trost 36: 11


get it yeah so basically like roughly speaking Bethany says five has a 200 pound signup bonus. got about three to five credit account deposit. They met so you pot deposit 200 you get 400 in your account, you deposit a couple thousand because you need to hedge out the other side in some markets. You buy something on BET 365 you sell it on some markets and if you went on BET 365 you have to have rules to get the bonus so I think you have to bet three or you have to bet three times. So anyway, so if you lose on BET 365 and you went on some markets then you keep the money and you’re done. And then if you went on BET to bet this is why we keep going and then from that 200 pounds, you should be able to get like 150 pounds for like once you understand how to do it in like 20 minutes, 30 minutes, something like that.

Andrew Warner 36: 59


You Yeah, that makes sense. And you know what, it’s fine for you. It’s great for the person who’s doing it, it’s fine for you. It sucks for the other company that’s offering the bonus, but maybe even for them, they end up doing well it kind of sucks.

Jason Trost 37: 12


So we know we’ve made a lot, a lot and buy a lot. I mean, 10s of millions of pounds for this. So we completely found this market by accident. So basically one of the affiliates affiliate marketing is really big and sports betting. Mm hmm. And basically this affiliate found us and affiliates always looking for the next new thing. And and so they I think we were more, they were more responsible for finding us and vice versa. But anyway, we did a special promotion, gave them a discounted commission, and then our numbers just went once we and that was our first foray into like a deep penetration in a market that we had no idea existed. So between the politics with Geeta Fox in the end this network in the UK they call it match betters or sorry, arbitrage but my God, the problem with living between the UK and the US is I get so mixed between British English and American Why are you in the US? I’m American. But why? Why did I move here? I got. I was in London in the UK and I was getting ready for the American market to open up and Brexit really peeved me.

Andrew Warner 38: 26


And so you just left but your business is there and

Jason Trost 38: 28


you are. So I opened an office here so we have 20 people in LA ad in London and 20 in Malta, so we’re 120 people in total. And here you back. So London. Okay.

Andrew Warner 38: 40


And by the way, I went on to it’s ghido Fox,

Jason Trost 38: 44


Geeta Fox, he’s like the UK Drudge Report. Yeah,

Andrew Warner 38: 46


it’s well, maybe a little more it’s order order calm order an order.com. Yeah, look at the title of the site is ghetto Fox, parliamentary plots and conspiracy. I get it. sense of like, where he’s going with this, that that makes sense. It also makes sense that people would head you. What I’d love to know a little bit more about is this thing. Was it match betters was the affiliate deal that you had with people?

Jason Trost 39: 13


No. Yeah, we did a deal. The site isn’t around anymore. And I’m blanking on the name, but basically we did the gamma, the TGT the gambling time. So basically, we did a deal with them the way affiliate marketing works embedding is usually do some combination of CPA rev share, or both. And they send you customers and you cut them a check. And we still we still do that with a lot of websites. And I think the gambling times found us before we found them. And we like the guy proposed do a special commission because at that time, we had a 5% Commission. And he’s like, do a 1% commission for us. And we’re like, Yeah, why not? We’ll try it and we ended up I forget how many but I would say like we had like 500 active customers a week or something like that. Something really, really small. Then he ended up getting like 2000 Within a month or something with a good people,

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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