Dave Selinger | Working With Jeff Bezos, Co-founding Billion-Dollar Redfin, and Leveraging AI To Fight Crime

Dave Selinger 10:19

seemed like the right thing to do, you know, just, you know, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, there you go, that’s the left foot. That’s the next one is do it and then go to the next one. It didn’t really seem kind of as a, you can, as an adult looking back that that’s a career defining moment. Right. And to me, it was the fifth day at work. And that was the conversation we had. And then there was the next day and, and I do remember it being a little bit weird, because, again, I joined this team. And now I’m managing the team. And there was a little bit of weirdness that happened around that. But it again, it just the gravity of it never, never really struck me. And part of that, you know, and I reflect on this a little bit is that I was so egotistical that I probably just believe that I deserved his job, and the guy above him his job, too. So obviously, that was the right decision to make anyway. Right. Right. And, and so, again, I just I took it in stride, I enjoyed it, I learned a lot. I think one of the things that I again, as I reflect on it that probably served me very well at the time was I did have that ego that I couldn’t do this, despite all the odds being against me. And that probably allowed me to just go in, put my blinders on and dig in and go do it anyway, even though no one had done it before. It was unproven. In fact, not only had no one done it, these other people who had been there before you had tried to do it. Now they’re being shown the door and you’re being asked to do it. But again, it just, it’s one of those opportunities where when you look back, you asked about Jeff Bezos, and he was very available. He was in, in the office every day, my office was just a few doors down. So I heard him all day long is this raucous laughter very, very loud laughter. And so all day long, you know, if anything, you’d close the door to your office to get some quiet from the Deaf lab. Pretty crazy. Yeah, he was, but he was in it. I mean, he knew every project that I was doing, and every and when I sat in other meetings, where other people were presenting projects, you know, everything about them was always very well informed about the user’s experience of these things, not necessarily him how everything worked, but how would it impact this vision he had for the journey of his customers? Yeah,

John Corcoran 12:36

yeah. He’s famous for the extra chair in the conference room at all times representing the customer.

Dave Selinger 12:42

Yep. Always, always taking that perspective. And how did this actually work? And that actually, again, to kind of take it back to my role, that was kind of how I ended up getting the job was that that my role was in customer behavior research. And that was the name of the team that I took over. And it it could sound like a research organization. And where his problem was with the way that he had been led until I took it over was that it was treated as a research that customers were one of 20 objects that you would study. But they weren’t the center of the universe. And when we, when we reformulated the team. under my leadership, one of the key things was to talk about the customer’s journey and change it and test it and, and get a feel for it in, in the vernacular of feeling, right. So we went from, for example, developing statistics, what’s the median length of time that people spend on Amazon’s website, that’s the way a statistician would look at it? Or as I said, let’s put that on pause. I want to know that number, for sure. But what I want to do instead is I want to grab random examples of customers, and I want to look at them in depth on a poll a customer, and present everything about her to the team, and then understand what do we think we could glean from the data trail that she’s leaving behind. And one of the first customers we built this tool that would literally like is like Wheel of Fortune, you spin the wheel and outcomes, a customer outcomes, this customer and we look at her and she’s entering in orders every single week on the same day, at about the same time. Oh, that’s kind of interesting. Well, let’s look at her her shopping behavior. How does she do that? Why is this happening? She doesn’t visit the website at all between these periods where she’s buying and she enters in the ISBN number of every book, one add to cart to add to cart three Add to Cart very clear that she’s either a librarian or you know, some sort of managing a bookstore or something like that has a very clear set of instructions is coming with a mission. And I remember presenting that to my team. And, and the way I said it was I said, I’m going to say tell you the characteristics that we would capture from a statistics perspective. And then I’m going to present her to you. And I want you to see how far apart those two things are. And so her average session length was 15 minutes. And she’d always on average by $300. And she would buy five things per visit. And it would always happen on Tuesday. And it didn’t really tell you that much, then when you looked at it, you realize this is a librarian. And here’s how I serve her. And here’s how she wants us to act to her. And I remember making that emotional distinction to my statistics leaning people. And that became kind of the new DNA of the team, that it was going to be all about the customer, not in theory, not as statistics, not as summaries, but as individuals, and that our job was to take these individuals, and certainly to use the tools of statistics, but not to reduce customers to statistics, in fact, to make them richer because of statistics.

John Corcoran 15:54

So let me ask you this. So now, today, it’s not unusual to land on Amazon, or any website for that matter and see browsing history, see other things you’re interested in. And it sounds like that’s what you’re going towards. But in 2003, a lot of that stuff I imagined was not quite possible. So it sounds like you’re kind of saying, Hey, guys, here’s a great idea. And I imagine there must have been some pushback like, oh, well, that sounds great. But we can’t do that.

Dave Selinger 16:20

Yeah, I mean, there was one point where privacy became like a real, like, what are we doing? What What will people say? How do we messages to people. And what we found was that if you messaged it really clearly to communicate to customers, I’m showing this to you, because you did this. And these things are related for these different reasons, that in general, the concerns of like spying and privacy started to go away, because you’re very clearly messaging to them what you’re doing. Now, that’s changed over time, right? People are becoming much more comfortable with things, right. Like, we now expect our devices to recognize people’s faces, right? I mean, that’s like, an expectation of technology versus an invasion. And if you’d have done that, in 2003, that would have been an invasion of privacy, you have to call the CIA and the FBI and like, we’ve been up in arms, right? And so, you know, we learned a lot of these lessons by trial and error, how do we, how do we take data? That’s, that’s this thing that’s been relegated to PhDs and statisticians and insurance companies and make it something that is more akin to an adjunct to our experience, if not an enrichment to that experience. And then fundamental to that experience, ultimately, and that’s, that’s really the journey that my team went through there. And it was is, as you mentioned, not only did my team go through that at Amazon, but it turns out that that became the beginning of that journey for the world and that church for every consumer, on every device, for sure.

John Corcoran 17:50

Yeah, every interaction. Yeah, right. I mean, as part of a much larger movement that many other every other company has, in many, many, many will say that companies have to engage in, because eventually it’s going to look like just a static website, if, you know, companies are not, you know, hyper personalized. And all of this is relevant to your current work that you do now, but I don’t want to get to that quite yet. Before we get on to talking about leaving Amazon co founding. Redfin. One more question about Bezos because we talked about him here. I don’t want to dwell on it. You know, I started my career working in politics. I worked in the Clinton White House, and people asked me all the time about what was Bill Clinton? Like, what was he like behind closed doors, that sort of thing? And I always say they

Dave Selinger 18:32

don’t want to know the answer to that question.

John Corcoran 18:35

You get jokes like that. Hey, come on. It comes with the territory half an hour. I gotta tell you, it comes with the territory. And, you know, I always say, look, I mean, people have different impressions of the guy, every different president. Whenever I saw him behind closed doors, I never once saw him say anything rude or snide, even though you have some, you know, a wide range of different people that meet you on a rope line, things like that. What was your experience, like any other observations about the man, Jeff Bezos, from behind the scenes that you care to share?

Dave Selinger 19:10

I mean, look for his personal I’m sorry, Bill for my joke. I went to school with his daughter. His daughter is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the chance to hang out with. Yes. Very humble, insightful listening. And she and Chelsea was being made fun of when I went to school with her. As if you don’t remember, right, she’s on the cover of Newsweek and all this stuff. And her love life was getting analyzed. It’s just terrible and she was always so just calm about it and took it in stride. I just I was always impressed every time I spoke to her one anecdote about that.

John Corcoran 19:48

I remember visiting the Stanford campus around the time you were in Stanford, visiting a friend of mine who had worked at the White House, who knew Chelsea and we were talking on campus and Chelsea walks by no see good service, nothing says hello says hello to me. We chatted for love and went on. She was like, like a normal.

Dave Selinger 20:05

student. Yeah, she was awesome. So anyway, and I’ve actually met Bill Clinton as well. And he’s, I think he’s pretty cool too, in my opinion, but but Chelsea is, I hold her in the highest regard. So Jeff Bezos, though, to take it back to him. You know, the number one thing I would highlight about him is there’s, you know, there’s a bunch of negative stuff about him in terms of how he’s using his capital and things like that is when I look at how he at least viewed the world when I interacted with him very regularly. I think we ascribe a lot of global megalomania maniacal intent to these people that either end up in these situations or, or have worked their way into these situations. And I don’t think that he, at that time, saw his aspirations, again, using that same term as a as a Megillah, maniacal aspiration. He saw it in the same way that I saw getting the opportunity to be the manager, this team is left foot, right foot, like we’re going over here. And the future is over here, where everything’s going to be on the internet. And I am just going to be the smartest, best hardest driving person that I can be to go after that vision. And that was the sense that I got from Jeff. And certainly the vision was big, and the future was far out there. And his drive was unrelenting. But from again, behind that closed doors, one on one type conversations. It wasn’t from these global aspirations perspective, it was from building this amazing future that would that would open up all these doors for people to make education available and books available to everyone, right? Like, yeah, so you can look at Amazon and kind of see this or see this or see this, that may be negative, and here’s their labor relations, and here’s how they’re impacting climate change, or whatever. But Amazon made it possible for almost every child in the world to access almost every book in the world. And that was very, like, we’ve forgotten this, that was very much not possible. 20 years ago, I used to go to bookstores with my dad in the late 90s. And you would say, hey, I really want this kind of unique book. And the used bookstore clerk would pull out a newspaper, print book and leaf through it till he found oh, here’s your book. Oh, there was a copy available last year in March, but there isn’t one now. And then there’s the end of your surgery. Yeah, you’ve reached the end of the road, there isn’t a next step. There’s no way to get the information that you wanted. And, again, progress comes with, you know, pluses and minuses. But I think that is an amazing accomplishment for us. The fact that my kids wake up, my daughter and I were watching Hunger Games on Tuesday. And she said, Daddy, you know, I want to read the books. Sweet. On Thursday, we’re reading the books, we have the audible book going, so we can read together at night. And and during the day. If we’re driving somewhere we can we can listen to the audible book, it’s it’s a really amazing transformation.

John Corcoran 23:37

It’s an amazing different world that our kids are being raised in compared to 20 years ago or so. Yeah. I want to ask about so at some point in 2004, you say to your family and friends, guess what, guys? I’m quitting Amazon to go start this little real estate thing I wanted to do on the side. I love to ask people about what was that? Like? I mean, you must have gotten some pushback from people saying like, what are you doing here? How did you articulate what the idea was?

Dave Selinger 24:01

Well, so my mom, at the time thought that Jeff Bezos was my best friend. And so on a weekly basis and I had coffee with Jeff a couple couple years ago and I asked him if he remembered this and he politely smiled so I can’t tell if that meant yes or met No, but she used to send him a personal email about me and what it was like raising me every single week when I worked for him, he had nothing better to do with his time I want my mom sending those watts so there’s my mom so now you know a little bit about how I grew up so you know when I quit I not even entirely sure I consulted my family. I’m not I’m not one of those people that for bet again, for better or worse really values or people’s opinion. Yeah,

John Corcoran 24:53

but still very close friends to theirs peers, right. They are their teammates at Amazon.

Dave Selinger 24:58

Even then. Thank you It’s a little, like, Hey, here’s what I’m thinking about doing. And I’m probably going to do it anyway. But I’d love to hear what you have to say, you know, to be fair, though, I ease my way into it. So I started building Amazon Redfin, eight months before I left Amazon. And so it was already launched, it was already actually very successful. By the time I left Amazon and joined full time. And it had just gotten to the point where it was so successful that it couldn’t continue with me doing it in nights and weekends anymore.

John Corcoran 25:29

And so tell me about the early days. So was the vision, what it’s become today was that the long term vision or like many startups, was there many iterations in the early days,

Dave Selinger 25:40

there were a number of iterations that the initial view that we had as founders in the market was that real estate agents are either generally really good or really bad. And about 80% of them are in the unfortunately, in the really bad category, they do one or two transactions a year. Maybe they have good customer service. But when you look at the fundamental financial and familial impacts of the decision of buying a home, the fact that they gave you good customer service doesn’t justify the amount of money that they’re making you buy a $300,000 home, they’re making almost 10,000 bucks from that. And the fact that they brought you coffee, while you were filling out the, you know, the offer, that’s not worth $10,000. But the fact that they convinced you to buy the wrong house that was at the wrong price, and led to you having to short sell it five years later, that is what you paid them for. And they still are, quote unquote, doing it wrong. And I really, I hated that. I hated that, about that, that whole kind of economic system that we’ve got there. And so the view at Redfin was, and the three founders, Michael, and David and myself, we were all very passionate about making that industry more consumer oriented and arming consumers with better data, and providing them a better end to end experience that led them to making the right decision at the right time with the right information. And I would say in that sense, our vision was that the internet and connected technologies, were going to change that, number one, number two, that the user experience would be at the core of determining the success of that, that process. And then number three, that the economics model of agents needed to change in order to accommodate that, have those I would say the first two are fundamentally true. And the third one, which is the one that we were really passionate about, turned out to be not as true. And in fact that the economics are just fine, so long as you help people do the right thing the right way. And, and so, you know, we did have to do some tricks and tax the first product that David and Michael had made. When I joined the company, I was the last co founder join the made a Windows 95 kind of client application that you could download and use. And no one would surprise surprise, no one was downloading it and using it because Windows 95 At the time, again, all the kids listening won’t even like whoa, what is this? What is the download an app and you download it from the internet, and then it would take over your entire computer and suck your you know, your bank accounts try. And some some nice friends in Russia and China would now have a new car. That was kind of the way Windows worked at the time. This is before Bill Gates sent out this notorious email saying do not allow Windows to continue until we fix our security issues. But that aside, the result of that for the original app for Redfin was that nobody used it, they had zero users. So I joined and convinced them to change it to an internet connected version and put it on the web. And obviously, when when we did that, the rest is kind of history, we made the first interactive mapping application on the internet. We made the first interactive real estate application, we made the first interactive GIS, geographical information systems and data application on the web. And that became the inspiration for Google Maps and Apple Maps. And, and yeah, it’s been an amazing legacy.

John Corcoran 29:24

And all those things were not at all in existence at the time. Yeah, the was literally like cobbling together different publicly available or database, he had to purchase all those different ideas. Which was the most difficult or challenging? Do you ever reach a point where you’re like, Oh, crap, like, we really need this piece of information or this data set. And how are we going to get it?

Dave Selinger 29:49

Again, I’m kind of a left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot kind of guy. And so when we would hit those problems, I would, you know, put my head down, leave my shoulder into it, and then just keep pushing Getting into like gateway. And so you know, one of the first things we had was that the maps were really difficult to deal with. So we bought raw satellite imagery. And then we had to cut it up ourselves, I wrote a program to actually splice this up into pyramids, you have like the, the zoomed out images and the zoomed in images, I think we had eight years where you could zoom in and out. And that didn’t exist. So I just wrote one and made it myself. Geographic information databases did not exist. So I just wrote one, I use my sequel to do that. And again, that’s what I found so enthralling about the experiences, we set this vision way out there, we’re gonna make an interactive map, no one ever done that, we’re gonna put a bunch of data on it, no one had ever done it, then we’re gonna put it on the, on the web and, and put real estate listings on it. And no one had ever done that. And, and it was neat. You know, it was it was a phenomenal experience. I have put together a team of about 12 engineers, and we do that together. And we’re all still in touch with each other to this day.

John Corcoran 30:56

Yeah, you go on and you go to Overstock, which I don’t remember how big Overstock was at the time. But what initiated that departure for you? And what are we there’s kind of a common thread amongst your everything you’ve done, which is hyper personalization. But talk a little bit about that experience at Overstock.

Dave Selinger 31:17

Yeah, I was hoping to be able to go to Overstock, and do kind of a surgical insertion there and make them as exciting as Amazon, I found. I’ll just make this one short, they had some financial issues that year. So it turned in from a, hey, let’s do this fun project into a hey, can you do me a favor of kind of saving this company from a financial disaster? I did that and then I left as shortly thereafter and started the next company which elements and wasn’t it was not big enough to really be able to create that thing that I thought would be neat.

John Corcoran 31:50

And RichRelevance. Talk about the the vision behind that?

Dave Selinger 31:55

Yeah, so RichRelevance, again, the common thread here being kind of data and artificial intelligence. We wanted to build a as my two best friends from when I was small in that small town in Oregon, and I started a company, mighty corsi and Tyler Cowen and we started RichRelevance to build out the personalization team as an outsourced team for all of the other retailers that couldn’t create that and out so we built amazing technologies. One of the very first Sass companies if you know, the term, SAS is the the cloud version of software CRM, you know, salesforce.com is a part of the biggest SAS company out there. And so we’re one of the very early entrants into that space and built out a great team. And I again, one of the neatest things about that one, we accomplished a lot. It turned out that that wasn’t the best business models, that company, we sold it a few years ago, but not for a huge outcome. But what I what I learned at that company that was really great was we built really sustaining relationships, there are groups of people there, that we built such a great culture around what we did. Now, it wasn’t just like culture, we play foosball together as culture around the passion and zeal for what we do. And the great work right, it wasn’t the pink eraser.org It was really all loved the work that we did. And there’s a there’s a group of guys that still go skiing together every winter, there’s a couple people that met each other, its relevance and got married. There are best friends that that were one another’s maid of honor and best man at their wedding that met each other at RichRelevance. I still, actually every single week, the last couple of months, I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons with one of my employees from from RichRelevance, not between the two of us with our kids. We’re both and teaching our kids to do this. And he’s the Dungeon Master. And you know, so it’s kind of funny to have the roles reversed. He’s now the boss and I have to do it. He says he told me a couple of weeks ago to kill my hair.

John Corcoran 34:03

He was getting even.

Dave Selinger 34:04

Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t the nicest to him when you work for me. So it’s, it’s probably okay. Yeah. Oh

John Corcoran 34:11

comes around. Before we get to your current company, I want to ask about, you’ve been involved in a lot of different nonprofits. you’ve woven that into your career background. Talk a little bit about how you’ve married your your background in Silicon Valley and startups. And, you know, if you’ve been able to kind of weave that into the way that you are involved in various different nonprofits, rainforest connection, is one silicon climate and other one. Yeah,

Dave Selinger 34:40

I mean, this has been a journey. For me. I grew up in a town that was was relatively, you know, on the socio economic scale was not a 10. Right. I mean, it’s a relatively poor area. A lot of people rent mobile homes do not own property, they’re struggling to get by. And I saw my ability to get out of that area and achieve the financial success that I did as a phenomenal opportunity to make people aware that when you live in that rarefied bubble, that the rest of the world is 100% still there, and, and not in some kind of, I guess, now, not as much of a bleeding heart liberal kind of way, but very much just, there’s there are realities of the world and that we should embrace them and what we do, not for the reasons if pity or anything like that, but just for the reasons of pragmatism, practicality and, and be real about that. And so I’ve always committed myself to being a part of what I see as the best way to become part of the solution for the future. And is a little bit Buddhist, I was raised Jewish, but the goal of all that is to reduce suffering. And I think that’s the only metric that I’ve been able to come up with that I thought made sense. And if you if you expand it kind of enough, it’s it continues to make sense, it’s not something that kind of degrades at the extremes, if you can reduce the suffering of people, and you take in the totality of their experiences doesn’t mean just feeding people or, or giving them money on the side of the street, but looking again, at the totality their experience, and and embracing who they are. That that’s a good thing. And so very early in my career, I started my very first nonprofit when I was 21 years old. I started with Josh McFarland, he’s a partner now at Greylock venture capital. And it’s called my two front teeth. And we figured out how to use the internet to give kids gifts for Christmas. And the first year we did that, we I think we got 120 or so kids, and we found them at a local food bank that weren’t going to get any gifts for Christmas. And we put a little tiny drawing that they had drawn up on the internet. And so you could have kind of a personal connection with this person. It wasn’t just giving money. It wasn’t some just disconnected way we were using technology to actually bring people closer. And we did that for I want to say six or seven years every year. And it was it was amazing, something I was very proud of doing. We’ve partnered then with a company called another nonprofit called Femi giving tree. We folded that into family giving trees operations, and then I joined the board of directors there are I think, almost 10 years maybe maybe more.

John Corcoran 37:36

Very cool. Alright, let’s get to Deep Sentinel, because then we’re running a little short on time. Deep Sentinel is, well let you describe it, but described as a pioneer in AI based home protection combines home and commercial monitors, and also real time humans speaking over speaker as well as artificial intelligence to interpret activity, whether it’s benign or whether it’s actually someone trying to break into a house or something like that. It’s blows my mind, but 2016 2015 time period is when you started it. And again, going back to the beginning, like Did you see the vision of this is what the company was going to become?

Dave Selinger 38:19

Yes. So for Deep Sentinel, what you did a great job describing to kind of put it in one word, what what I have built and what we as a team in Deep Sentinel have built is the only company that creates a product that you can buy off the shelf, put cameras around a property and we stopped crimes. We stopped vandalism, we stopped car theft, we stopped catalytic converters, we stopped packaged up, we stopped break ins, we stopped assaults. We stopped crimes. And the reason that’s important if you own a ring or an ester, and this is kind of my origin story was my neighbor had a bunch of cameras around her house. And then she had a home invasion. And the cameras did live. Literally nothing, nothing to deter it. Nothing to protect her when it was happening. And even nothing to help the police do any sort of an investigation after the fact because these guys were put ease in masks and there’s just no identifying characteristic. There’s nothing to be done with these cameras. I remember sitting there with a police officer and saying, Well, she has an alarm. She has cameras. How did this happen to her? And I met that kind of euphemistically, like as a person, what more could she have done? Isn’t this what you do? How could that happen? And he answered it very practical, which I thought was this incredible aha moment for me, which is, well, what the hell did you expect those things to do? The alarm wasn’t armed. And by the way, even if it is armed most alarm calls or false alarms so police don’t respond very quickly. And then secondly, what did you want her cameras to do? They did exactly what they’re supposed to do. You have a very high resolution picture of a bunch of nondescript guys wearing hoodies. Congratulations. Yeah, and Then they did this home invasion and you still have that. And I was like, Oh my God, what did I expect? I expected them to stop the crime. And he said, well, good luck with that. And I said, Well, okay, we’ll take that. And that’s where we created the incident was we created cameras that are able to stop crime. And we do that by combining an AI and guards. But let me kind of reduce that to an example if that’s okay to kind of get you to understand. So it did. The second you enter a property is protected by Deep Sentinel, let’s take my home, for example, the cameras are trigger, they detect motion. Everybody’s cameras do that. That’s nothing special. But what? What special happens next? From that, second forward, there’s an AI tracking you it’s looking at every movement that you make every every every step you take. And I don’t know if I violated copyright there, sorry. But

John Corcoran 40:48

now I’m being sued. Great.

Dave Selinger 40:52

All right, as long as it’s you, thank you, and you said it, except that liability statement as a disclaimer, and so that if you do something suspicious, that AI then brings that video, live within seconds to a human being and says, Here’s what I want you to look at, here’s what I think is wrong. And here’s what I think you should do. And those guards if you’re, let’s say, pulling out a crowbar and banging on my front door, within three seconds, you’re going to hear over a loud, 100 decibel speaker. This is Deep Sentinel security, you need to step away from the building right now. The police are on their way. And there’s three really important things to just happen right there. Number one is that it happens almost instantly happens quickly. Number two is that because it’s a live person telling you to stop even if you’re a criminal, who, you know, you kind of know what you’re getting yourself into, you still don’t want to actually get caught, right? You know that you’re getting recorded, and nobody’s going to do anything with that you know that the neighbors might see you. But as soon as you know that they actually do and there’s somebody watching you and telling you to go away. We see this massive psychological change and most criminals and they turn tail. And the third thing is really the important one too. The police are on their way. And in fact, the police are on their way. And that’s because when we call police I mentioned how burglar alarms are really, you know, high and false alarm rates. Were very different when a burglar alarm calls. Let me tell you what Deep Sentinel says. So Deep Sentinel would say in that case, hey, I’ve got this redheaded guy named John. He’s at David Salinger’s house, he’s got a crowbar and he’s breaking in, he’s about I don’t know, you look about 510, maybe six feet tall, normal build and white skin. For every single police officer in the nation, every dispatcher in the nation, what they just got was a fully verified call for service, they got a description of the crime, the location of the suspect the description of the suspect, and whether there are any weapons. Bam, I can now stop doing whatever I’m doing, because I know that that is a live crime that’s fully verified. And when I arrive on that crime scene, I know which person to accost because I details providing what’s called situational awareness, the description of the suspect their exact location at that exact moment. So

John Corcoran 43:02

imagine at some point in the future, you’ve been like texting them a photo, a screenshot or something.

Dave Selinger 43:06

And we do you know, it’s always we’ll get a call from an officer that’s responding and say, Can you this my personal phone? Can you text me a picture the amazing and, and that’s, that’s exactly right. And again, if you’ve studied some of these recent police events, lack of situational awareness is a big freaking deal, because they’ll show up and they’ll have the wrong response, they’ll approach the wrong person, they’ll go to the wrong location. And so that real time situational awareness means that we’re good for the property owners, we’re good for the for the police runs. And in fact, one of the cool things that you may not think of as we’re actually good for, for criminals, well, hold on just a second. I now work with me on this work. Give me just a second. Give me an Amen. So for the criminals, you know, we actually saved them a little bit too, because at the end of the day, we told them, right, the police around the way you’re going to get caught. Don’t get caught, save yourself a trip to jail. Go go back home. Yeah, this is not the not the time to be out here. And I joke about that a little bit. We did. We’ve had a couple of situations where we’ve had criminals that were breaking into properties. And there was an armed individual on the other side of that door. And that criminal may or may not have known that. And we literally probably saved their lives. Yeah, because had they proceeded they would have been shocked. Yeah, yeah.

John Corcoran 44:25

Now was the original vision possible when you founded the company I met him probably took a little while to get the kinks worked out. 

Dave Selinger 44:34

Figure out what took a long while to get the kinks worked out. Is hard is a hard company. Yeah. And it’s you know, it’s worth it though. I mean, because every day you mentioned you watch some of our videos I get to wake up every day to a chunk of videos. Here’s what we

John Corcoran 44:48

did last night. Here’s I want to livestream I want to just the YouTube live stream it’s so cool just asked if you

Dave Selinger 44:53

want the live stream by the way you can get closest thing to it and go to our YouTube channel. We produce a video every single week, and it’s just hard hitting I stopped this as the central security go,

John Corcoran 45:02

I want I want it like red zone like NFL red zone where it’s like it just watched it all times. This is

Dave Selinger 45:07

what we will just do it live stream on Instagram. And every every time we do one, I’m telling you, I’m telling you, I

John Corcoran 45:13

mean, people would watch it like crazy.

Dave Selinger 45:17

Yeah, we should totally, I’ll think about it, I’ll think it’s deep. I mean, all the companies, I’ve gotten a chance to be a part of have all changed the world in one way or the other, you know, I mentioned, like, getting to change the shopping experience for all the people on the planet need, getting to set a precedent for how people search for addresses and data and Google Maps. Like, that’s really neat. But nobody’s life is actually fundamentally transformed and better because of that, and a Deep Sentinel, I can see that I’ve changed that right at Deep Sentinel, I get to bring together those two things that I’ve been spending my career on, which is kind of making the world a better place over here. And I’m trying to run my career over here. And this is a for profit business that every day, every week, I get an email or a letter from a customer saying, Oh, my gosh, you made my life completely different. I was, I was scared every day because I was leaving my shop at night. And we have $25,000 A cable and every one of our trucks. And every week someone would break into one of my trucks. And for the first month of my life in the last three years, nobody’s broken in. And that’s 100%. Because of what you guys do a Deep Sentinel.

John Corcoran 46:27

That’s amazing. I do I do want to ask about you mentioned earlier privacy concerns, do you find now that the ball has moved? So like 20 years of, you know, people are not as concerned about that because of just kind of expectations? Or do you do get pushback in that area? Do people say like, oh, is an invasion of privacy? Yeah,

Dave Selinger 46:46

I mean, I wouldn’t say in general, people are nest is out there ring is out there. And frankly, because of what they those companies have done, right, those companies are giving your data to police departments without your permission. And also, we don’t do any of those things. So when the on the great stack of meeting the needs of privacy and providing a service, we’re way, way, way in the green relative to a lot of those other companies that are pushing those limits. I mean, you look at like, the Chinese man, camera manufacturer, some of them are sending data to the Chinese government for crying out loud, right like that. We’re so tight on what we do. And that’s one of the things I love about it. Because we know who our customer, we’re charging you a service to do this thing. And so we just do that for you. That’s all that’s what we do. We charge you for it. And we do it. You know what we do when you get to hold us accountable to it. You know, Google’s got this crazy business model where we do a lot of stuff for free for you. It’s great. And somehow we have a multi 100 billion dollar valuation don’t ask how we make that money. We’re advertising selling your data, selling your soul selling your address, and your children. But, you know, we’re good, right, like and so I think the fact that I don’t have to do that you I know exactly who my customers are. And they pay me means I’m not in that kind of torn situation that Google finds themselves

John Corcoran 48:06

  1. Yeah, we’re almost out of time. And I want to get you out in time to last question number one, your dad, I know, that’s important role for you. How do you balance having, you’ve done a lot of different companies having a company that’s growing, and being a father at the same time?

Dave Selinger 48:21

So I’ll say first and foremost, I screwed that up real bad. Early on in my career, I used to travel Sunday through Thursday, every week for the first couple years in my older daughter’s life. And if you know, I’m not a person that lives with regret very much, but there’s one thing I could change, I would undo that. And so that’s been kind of the trajectory of me as an entrepreneur is is trying to figure out what that what are the specific practices, what’s the playbook that lets me say, I’m a good dad, and I’m still a good entrepreneur. And so the couple practices are, when my kids asked to do something with me, I find a way to say yes, you know, you want to go play soccer. Sweet. I’m gonna finish this, I need five minutes. I’m gonna go do it. And I’ll put my next meeting. And we’re going to make that happen. Number two, when I’m with them, I’m not on my phone. If I get a call, I may answer it and have to deal with it. But I’m not constantly on my phone. I don’t answer texts. I definitely don’t answer slack. When I’m with my family. I do everything I can to put it down I have a special, the whatever they are the don’t disturb mode on my iPhone. It’s family time. And if my assistant calls, or my parents call, then it comes through or my wife calls, but I don’t get slack messages. I don’t get emails, I don’t get any of that stuff off. And then the third thing is I actually bring my kids into my business so my kids feel like they are the owners of Deep Sentinel as far as they can tell it. You know, whenever we raise around a capital like Daddy, did you have to sell some of your stock because I want your stock when you die.

John Corcoran 49:51

Tough Questions, man. You’re tougher than my board members, Jake well,

Dave Selinger 49:55

and they’re talking about me dying a lot more often than they probably Should I mean like they like behind me, for anybody that’s watching kind of some of the images, you’ll see there’s a bunch of images of camera tips that No, they weren’t part of designing that stuff. And they love it. They feel that that’s part of our family and we talk about it at dinner, we talk about why that’s important and bringing the values of being of service to your your peers, and your fellow citizens, creating value to society broadly. And then just working hard, right, they know that I work hard. And they also know that they’re my number one priority is

John Corcoran 50:36

60 seconds. Last Last Last question. I’m a big fan of gratitude. Who would you express gratitude to particularly peers and contemporaries and mentors who’ve helped you along the way in your journey?

Dave Selinger 50:49

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that question a bit. I’m going to pick I am going to pick a guy named Steven Tryon. Steven Tryon is a former colonel in the Pentagon. And he was one of my mentors. And he taught me the softer side of leadership, even from a military perspective. And he prided himself on his ability to work with people in all different kinds of situations, and to be able to listen to them, and bring separate points of view into the same conversation without having to diminish one perspective or the other. Without having to play some, you know, namby pamby emotional game, just, let’s, let’s fully hear this out. Let’s give you 100% of the time and energy to hear point A. Now, person B, let’s give you 100% of the time and energy and attention to make your point. And any questions that are not fundamentally and intentionally clarifying questions are off the table, clarifying questions, all good, all good all day long. And it’s a that was one of the things that I try and I aspire to do all the time, in my, in my career and in my personal life is to be able to truly sincerely hear disparate points of view and and to give them 100% of the chance that they deserve. 

John Corcoran 52:25

That’s great. Dave, this has been great. Where can people go to learn more about you connect with you learn more about Deep Sentinel.

Dave Selinger 52:30

So John, as I mentioned, the very first place I’d send you is go to YouTube search for Deep Sentinel and all we’ve got a YouTube channel and we shoot videos out I think we’re sending two out this week of just like bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. Stopping crimes if you’ve ever watched cops, that’s basically this is like the 21st century version of cops. Then if you want to learn a little bit about more about me, I post stuff about politics and leadership and business. The best place to do that is on LinkedIn, go to LinkedIn search for do Salinger, and you can follow me there. Alright, Dave, thanks so much. Hey, thank you for having me.

Outro 53:03

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution Podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast.