Ray Carballada | The Next Evolution of Video Production, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Ray Carballada is the Managing Director and CEO of AmpiFLY, a next stage evolution video production company. He is an accomplished and creative business leader in the converging worlds of content: advertising, television, motion pictures, social, and online media. Before joining AmpiFLY as President & CEO/COO, Ray led Alkemy X’s transformation from a small crewing and post company into a fully integrated creative content company.

Ray’s experience also includes building Campbell Soup’s first in-house ad agency and production services department, and serving as Managing Director and Executive Producer of a Washington, D.C.-based production company. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Master’s in Business Administration from Bucknell University. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Ray Carballada, the Managing Director and CEO of AmpiFLY, about his work in content production and how he grew a small company to over $35 million. Ray also talks about the challenges he faced growing that company and his interest in working with augmented and virtual reality.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Ray Carballada talks about building the first in-house ad agency and production services department at Campbell Soup Company
  • Why Ray decided to work at Alkemy X and what he did to grow the company from $2.5 million to $35 million 
  • Ray talks about meeting and working with Marc Summers
  • The challenges Ray faced in growing a small business to $35 million
  • Ray‘s advice on how to build business processes and working with advanced technology
  • Ray explains why he decided to leave Alkemy X and his experience building AmpiFLY 
  • What makes Ray excited about augmented and virtual reality as opposed to traditional media production
  • Examples of companies and organizations that are using augmented reality 
  • The people Ray acknowledges for his achievements and success
  • Where to learn more about Ray Carballada and AmpiFLY

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

Today’s episode is sponsored by Rise25 Media, where our mission is to connect you with your best referral partners, clients, and strategic partners. We do this through our done for you business podcast solution and content marketing. 

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If you do it right, a podcast is like a “Swiss Army Knife” – it is a tool that accomplishes many things at once. It can and will lead to great ROI, great clients, referrals, strategic partnerships, and more. It is networking and business development; and it is personal and professional development which doubles as content marketing

A podcast is the highest and best use of your time and will save you time by connecting you to higher caliber people to uplevel your network. 

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.


John Corcoran  0:40  

Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, I’m the host of this show. I am a recovering political hack, recovering lawyer having spent many years working in politics, including as a speechwriter ever since working in the Clinton White House for California Governor also spent years practicing law in Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area. And in 2010, I discovered this medium of podcasting, I’ve been doing it ever since, or 10 years of hosting the show. I’ve had the privilege to talk with top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs, all kinds of companies and organizations ranging from YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, Lendingtree, Open Table, FreshBooks, and many more. And today, I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help b2b businesses with the strategy and production they need to create podcasts that produce content marketing and tremendous ROI and connects them with their ideal prospects and referral partners. And first, before introducing today’s guest, I want to give a big shout out to Louis Schiff, who connected me with today’s guest. This is the chairman and birthing of giants check them out at birthing of giants calm also a past guest on this show, and my guest is Ray Carballada. Ray is the Managing Director and CEO of AmpiFLY which is a next stage evolution video production company. They combine new technologies data strategy and product research to help companies use video content to reach new customers.

So we’re going to talk about that they produce branded video using a combination of video virtual reality, augmented reality and entertainment content for brands. He’s also an accomplished strategy operations and production executives and he’s worked in all kinds of different worlds including motion pictures, TV, advertising, social and online media and before AmpiFLY, he actually led transformation growth of Alkemy X, which was a small video production company into a fully integrated $35 billion dollar creative content company. He also developed and sold the first reality TV show to err on the Food Network restaurant impossible. So we’ll ask him all about that. And more about his background first, before we get into that this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media, right? So Rise25 helps b2b businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships done for your podcasts and content marketing. If you’re listening to this, and you’ve ever thought, should I start a podcast? I say yes, you absolutely should. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business. And for me, personally. And we specialize in helping b2b businesses with the right strategy and the behind the scenes team to make sure that you get a really great ROI from that initiative. So to learn more, and get inspiration and ideas on how to get clients referrals and some of the best friendships or your life from a podcast, go to rise25media.com or email us at [email protected] All right, Ray, I’m excited to talk to you about the amazing background here. And you started it all at, you know, this iconic company, Campbell’s soup, and you develop the first in-house ad agency and Production Services Department, which is amazing to think that such an iconic company didn’t have that at all. What was it like building that within such an iconic American company?


Ray Carballada  3:36  

Well, there was, you know, interesting, they had just brought in a new CEO, David Johnson, who really turned the company around, he was the first I think he was pretty sure he was the first outside CEO that wasn’t part of the family that owns Campbell’s. So he was making a lot of demands, and on the company overall. And part of it was, you know, trying to really look at things very differently. They had a design department to design, you know, labels and things like that. And, and this department I took over, it was really a photography department that did photography and some presentations and things like that. And the goal was to really provide a much, much more of an in house kind of agency to work primarily with a lot of brands that didn’t have agencies behind it, like open pit Marie’s, things like that. And then we also, you know, we’re involved in market, a lot of market research, the amount of test commercials that I did for Campbell’s, you wouldn’t believe I mean, some of the things that were going on Actually, that’s how I sort of got my start of looking at data differently, too, because they use data way back, way back round two.


John Corcoran  4:49  

That’s pretty early. Yeah.


Ray Carballada  4:50  

Yeah. So you know, so it was an interesting, interesting job and actually, I learned you know, I learned more about business there are actually put everything together for me in business by working at Campbell’s, because I ended up being very involved in the board and strategy presentations there, helping write them and present them and things like that. And you know, David Johnson CEO was a self made guy from Australia. So, you know, he’d called me into his office, I can remember the first time he called and said, Hey, great. Come on, I want to talk to you about my presentation on Wall Street. I called up my boss and said, David called me. He goes, Yeah, I know, he told me, he was gonna call you to go talk to him. And since then, you know,


John Corcoran  5:36  

that pressure, like was that pressure, like going being called up to the boss’s office?


Ray Carballada  5:40  

Oh, well, well, you know, luckily, my father, I, you know, my father, who was a big mentor of mine has been very successful in the banking business in upstate New York. And, you know, my father always taught me everybody is the same, you know, just be honest with everybody, tell them what you think, you know, work hard, and you’re going to be fine. So, you know, I didn’t have anything to lose with the CEO, I would tell him when I like something, and I would tell him what I didn’t like. And he actually really respected that he told me one time, it’s just, I wish some of the people that work for me directly would be straight with me. Because I know some of this stuff, but he taught me a lot about business and what to do, and things like that he was a and several of the executives there. So it, it had a really big impact on my career, I would say that, I would say it was the best and the worst job I ever had, because the amount of the work that I had to do, and that not only starting that department, and then get getting involved in all these, you know, all these presentations that had a huge impact on the company. And the last thing I did there was present a strategic plan to Wall Street analysts and in New York City, and they stopped the trading of the stock because it was going up so much during the presentation. So nice to say that was during the present. Wow. Good way to leave. Yeah, that’s happening, that was a good way of going out with that one? No, but I enjoyed it, you know, I enjoyed it was a, you know, there are a lot of challenges back then, you know, with the company, but you know, the company was really evolving, and it was a good, it’s a good time to go to a company that we’re then there’s a lot of change going on, you know, there’s a lot of change, I like being in that kind of environment.


John Corcoran  7:22  

So you’d been in a smaller company previously, then you go to this massive 17,000 employee company, and then you move on, you go to Alkemy X, which was a smaller company at the time? And what fueled that decision? Why did you decide to go to a much smaller company?


Ray Carballada  7:43  

Um, you know, I, you know, I thought, though, you know, I had done some work at this company, you know, um, and, you know, one of the owners approached me and said, hey, we’ve been around for 15 years, we’re not growing, our sales are going down, you know, would you like to come in and, you know, help us run the company, run the company. And yeah, we had some conversations, and I thought they had a lot of potential, they were really good with technology, and really good at the things that they, they, they were doing, and they were, you know, committed to take all the profits that were made in the, from the company going forward, and reinvest them back in the company to scale the company. So that was really interesting to me. And, you know, also, I thought that there were definitely some opportunities in the Philadelphia market at the time. So it was I think it was time plus. Yeah, I didn’t expect to be there as long as I was, but the company was growing and scaling and doing well. So you know, I stayed. And also, there’s some personal reasons why I stayed in Philadelphia at the time, so. But it was everything that I was doing it because the original name of the company was shooters, which we rebranded into Alkemy X, was really just applying a lot of the strategies that I worked on or communicated with or were involved with a Campbell’s a lot of it was the same stuff, which just packaged differently for a smaller company. Right. Most everything was the same. Yeah, but the tools are the same. It’s just they’re just reformatted into this to something else slightly.


John Corcoran  9:29  

Yeah. And so you’re there 18 years, you take it from two and a half million to 35 million. Correct? Yeah. Well, well, what do you think was the key to all that growth? Any particular individual things you want to highlight? You mentioned technology was one of them opportunities in the Philadelphia area?


Unknown Speaker  9:47  



Ray Carballada  9:49  

Well, one of the things was that the, you know, the industry was changing. And, you know, my real strategy was to try to look forward and try to, you know, not fight them. That change sort of rides the wave. And that worked out really well for us by doing that. I mean, we won, there was a brand new technology coming around related to the production of television commercials we invested in that built our own, you know, Salesforce, I think that’s a lot of it. Honestly, there wasn’t there’s, you know, that our Salesforce that, you know, that we built, really had a big impact on that growth. There weren’t a lot of companies that really used traditional kinds of sales forces in that industry and still aren’t, you know, they still, you know, sales, the sort of sale, the owner, is the seller, the one who’s doing sales. Yeah, yeah, stop secondarily. And then, you know, we used operational leverage so that we could use more of our profits that we were making, to scale into closer related businesses, I would look at, you know, our if I had, you know, some resources that I was using at 60%. If I could get those 100% capacity by expanding into a slightly different business that’s closely related aligned, then we could scale even faster.


Unknown Speaker  11:11  

What are some examples of that?


Ray Carballada  11:13  

Um, an example that would be is, you know, you talked about, well, we launched the visual effects business, because we were very in the very high end, compositing for commercials, which is very similar to the visual effects business. But you can talk about, you know, you want to talk about the Food Network a little bit. There’s a great example too, as we add capacity, we added capacity and shooting capacity. We had the capacity to be able to do shows, we just didn’t have some of the expertise that we needed to do those shows. So that’s when I went out and we signed a partnership with Marc Summers, who was also very involved with the Food Network to provide that. So Marc, and I work together.


John Corcoran  12:00  

So this is funny, but I actually worked with Marc Summers also, I didn’t even know we had that connection. I went when I was in college, I worked on a DreamWorks was one of DreamWorks first projects, it was a reality. Sorry, it was a game show that he co hosted with Arthel Neville of the Neville family. It didn’t last very long. And but great guy, wonderful guy.


Ray Carballada  12:25  

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So So, you know, we, you know, found Robert Irvine, through another person, you know, what we found Robert, and


the original pilot that we’re pitching was called,


wasn’t called dinner possible. I can’t remember what was called. But


you know, we, we did a sizzle with them and presented the network that network was really interested in the challenge that we had was the because it was the first reality television show that Food Network had ever produced. They were used to producing their cooking shows in two weeks. Now. It took two weeks now, it took us four months to produce one show. Hmm. So obviously, the budgets were more significant compared to what they wanted to spend. So what we did, which was interesting and turned out really well for us is that we def Asus finance the first season in return for I think 15 seasons of international rights, we retained the intellectual rights for taking the risk up front. That turned out to be about a 900 ROI on that investment. Wow. 100%. So we did, and that was pure profit. You know, think about it as pure profit, because yeah, we have to give it to them. Yeah, so worked out, worked out great. And that ended up that whole division over, you know, 12 years, 15 years, total sales, not per year, but during that time probably generated $65 million worth of revenue for the company over the 1012 year period. So it worked out really well. And if you, the investment that we made was actually very direct because it was post production and we had the equipment, we had the people to do it. So other than paying some overtime here and there. It really wasn’t costing us anything to do it. Now if you think about it, yeah, some people say yeah, but if you have capacity and you can invest and create an asset that you can make money off of it worked out really well for us.


John Corcoran  14:38  

So you know a lot of my listeners are curious about the relationships that you build along the way, especially key partners, key strategic partners, key referral partners, that sort of thing. You mentioned Marc Summers. How did that relationship come about? Of course, he was you know, no, whatever the same Marc Summers from Double Dare Nickelodeon right. Okay, good. So, how did that come about? Was he already doing stuff with the food network at that point when you connected Yes, he was already a host on the Food Network. Double Decker actually started in Philadelphia.


Unknown Speaker  15:10  

I didn’t know that. Okay. Yeah.


Ray Carballada  15:11  

Or was pretty sure we shot in Philly. Okay. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was. So Marc had a connection to Philadelphia, which were some of the producing people that I knew. Plus one of the owners knew Marc from college to okay. So, you know, somehow, it got word out that we were trying to develop shows, because this was the second show that we were trying to develop, actually this show with Robert Irvine. And so Marc called me up, you know, we got together, we talked about it. And it gave us, you know, from my standpoint, it gave us instant credibility with Food Network, you know, he, you know, it really helped because he had relationships there and things like that. And it also helped. Mark, it helped mark, because we were, you know, at the time, we were, you know, not a small production company at that point, you know, I would say that we’re probably, I don’t know, probably 15 million, you know, maybe a little less than that at the time, we launched that show. But had you done any reality TV shows at that point, we had worked, we were down further down the food chain. So we were a production company that would work for companies, like Banyan and others that produce TV shows, we work for them as a vendor. Got it. What happened also, too, is that you know, that industry because of technology changing, you know, the production companies that were producing shows didn’t need to go to a company anymore to get the work done. Because the technology was cheaper, it was easier to run, it was, you know, all that kind of stuff. So they started, essentially, you know, competing with their vendors, I guess you want to look at it and what we did as a vendor, we just moved up the food chain, you can do cam, right, exactly,


John Corcoran  16:54  

yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But you use the Marc Summers relationship to help you get into the door. Basic, correct?


Unknown Speaker  17:02  

Yep. Yeah.


John Corcoran  17:05  

And then, tell me about some of the other challenges you had along the way? I’m sure you had many challenges, you know, going from two and a half million to 35 million? What were some of the different, you know, struggling points or challenges that you experienced along the way move business? You know, building the company up during that time?


Ray Carballada  17:29  

You know, staffing, I guess you’d say, is always a challenge. Also.


John Corcoran  17:34  

Was it harder being in a market like Philadelphia versus New York, or Los Angeles, which is known more for Media Production? Or is it easier to get good talent? Yeah,


Ray Carballada  17:45  

it’s harder, it was harder at the time. You know, so you would have to, you know, if you wanted to go out and try to hire a talent out of New York, you’d have to overpay for it to work out of Philadelphia, yeah. Or you’d have to pull a beat talent in from New York and pay them a talent salary. So, you know, we looked at more of a, we were totally vertically integrated, which was different. Also, at the time, everybody’s doing it now. But we were really early about having everything as much as possible in house. And that allowed us to be very profitable, to be able to scale by using that, you know, and, but it also allowed us to control the creative process better. So even though we didn’t have potentially all the great people that they had, we were, we were just better and more connected, and more communicated if and stuff like that. So it just tells when it came from that. But the other thing would be that you reach a point, as you’re growing. Every once in a while, where things sort of feel like they’re going off the rails, you know, things start to get uncomfortable, you start, you know, you might miss deadlines, you might have stuff fall through the cracks and things like that. And the challenge, I think, in any company, or especially, you know, creatively driven companies or companies that are trying to be innovative, you could even say, is putting enough infrastructure to what I would say is to remove the flak to allow people to start focusing again on what’s what got them there. But not enough, not so much that maybe it becomes like a treadmill where they’re dealing with the processes too much, not so much with what they’re actually there to do. So that’s a challenge. I think when you’re scaling a company you do have to take steps where you actually put in more infrastructure to become more of a company or, you know, as I would say, is when you’re running a startup and scaling really fast. I mean, you’re it’s like the MacGyver stage, no matter what it is, you’re gonna figure it out, I’ll get done. Well, that only gets you so far. When you start getting way if you really want to sort of get to the next level, you have to sort of move you got to you have to have some discipline in some areas, and then build the place. Book Two is something else that I, you know, was a challenge is that you learn, eventually you’ll learn just because you think a certain way and things start looking fairly obvious to me or simple to you and things like that. Not everybody that works for you thinks that way, I’ll say be, they’d be running another company someday. So you, so you have to take time to build the playbook and explain to people the things that you’re good at. But the other side is, you know, hiring really smart people and letting them do what they do. You know, I think that, you know, CEOs and people, operating Chief Operating officers, or whatever you want to say, you know, they really work for their employees, you have to look at it that way they work the employees, employees don’t work for that, because the employees work for the customer. So, you know, it’s totally, you know, it’s a, it’s an I know, a lot of people running companies that don’t necessarily think that way. And I think it limits them and limits their ability to scale and grow.


John Corcoran  20:58  

You know, this is an interesting challenge, you know, I was up until about 11 o’clock, my time last night, one o’clock, my business partners time last night, because we were doing this exact thing, where, you know, we’ve got a team of about 20, right now, and we were going through and kind of going through our steps in our process. And at the wall, you know, on the one hand, I kind of feel like many of our team members know the process better than we do. But on the other hand, I felt like, as the owners of the business, we had an obligation to iron out the process, because we’re kind of moving to, we’re using Asana, which, you know, for project management right now. And so we felt like we had to, we did take it and get it to a point of like, kind of 90% there, and then we’ll turn it over a team and say, Okay, you guys make this even better. So talk a little bit about, you know, that kind of challenge. And as you grow as the company gets larger, how you manage to, you know, dictate or layout a process for your team, even even to the point where, you know, you’re not as familiar with those different processes, and it could be in various different areas, it could be in sales, it could be in production, it could be an HR, whatever.


Ray Carballada  22:13  

Um, well, part of it was, you know, really speaking with them and communicating with them. And really, you know, if you’re, if you’re constantly involved in talking to the key, your key people, even people that you might not report to, you’re trying to communicate with them and talk to them and things like that. Not only you, you know, what’s sort of going on within the company, but I think it’s important when you’re thinking about things or thinking about moving things forward to get their input and get their say and feel what they think about stuff. But, you know, once you get that culture going, where you’re winning, and you’re growing, and you’re doing great work, and, you know, the management is paying attention to the customers, it, it just sort of takes on a life of its own, I think part of the you know, part of the challenges, I mean, part of the thing that, you know, I I used to do this, I used to tell people when I didn’t know, something, I would go in and sit down with my engineer who is the one of the most brilliant engineers that I’ve ever met, who is extremely smart. And I would ask him, I’d start asking him questions. And luckily, I mean, people don’t think about this, but I have a photography degree, in addition to business degree, but photography, when I took it was very technical chemistry, optics, all that kind of stuff. Yeah. You know, so I’m pretty comfortable with technology. And I was able to ask him enough questions that I could make a business case for what we were trying to do. And then I would, and he would help me with that. I didn’t want to understand the nuances of, you know, new computer networks, we were putting in new technology or bringing in new software, new brands. My goal was to figure out how it fits the market. And could I sell it and kind of set up a sales plan to sell it? And could we hire the people to, to run it and things like that. So there you go. That’s part of it is understanding what you know, what you don’t know. And it’s okay not to know anything, I know everything but know where your sweet spot is, and how you really move what value you bring to the company really to empower those areas that you can. The other challenge I think is I’m sure you’ve heard of this book, which I think is great. It’s called no man’s land. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, read this book. But you should. If you’re scaling and essentially talking about how you grow as a company, you get to a point where you have to invest so your profits have to go down. You have to put money into the company to get to the next level. It’s sort of like a deep valley you need to go to to jump over. You know, you got to do that. And you can make a decision that you’re not going to do that. That’s fine. But if you want to continue to scale and grow, you have to invest in even more people, more technology. More locations, more marketing, whatever it is, you have to do that. So, you know, understanding that and communicating that to everybody involved, you know that that’s what we’re trying to do, or that’s what we’re going to do I think is important. The other challenge, and this, I think, is really relevant today. And I was living it, you know, when this happened, when, you know, film really went away and everything went to digital, I went very quickly, because it happened really, during the recession, it’s also where digital advertising really took off, is that a lot of companies still think, okay, one when the business starts going away, or when things start going on, then I’ll really start paying attention to it with digital technology now, which is really the biggest impact on every company, primarily on the distribution side, but sometimes on the production side. It’s a digital cliff, it’s not a gradual decline, you’re gonna I mean, and I’ve, you know, before, you know, I was doing some consulting for a while, I mean, companies just didn’t, some of them got it. And so then it was just like, they were really struggling very quickly and went from doing fine to, you know, 12 months later, really having a tough time. You know, so it’s, it’s something that was a challenge that technology was moving so quickly off of, you know, how do you invest in technology? You know, what are you going to do with it? What’s your strategy behind it? Because it’s not only just, just not only just getting the technology in, but when are you going to get it out? And when are you gonna bring in the next thing? and all that kind of stuff? Yeah. And also, you know, I do feel in our industry, their value is moved from the actual technical process, I say, you know, the technical process of producing content has been commoditized. By technology. You can just look at your iPhone. I mean, that’s a $250,000 camera, you know, seven, eight years ago? Yeah, for what it does. So yeah,


John Corcoran  26:59  

my father worked in local TV news, when I was growing up. And I remember, you know, the cameraman would have these massive cameras that give me all kinds of back problems that are so heavy, you know, and I remember him saying, This is like, you know, the 80s and 90s. and stuff, like, I was like, that’s $100,000 camera, you know, right. Now, ever, what’s in your phone is better than that?


Ray Carballada  27:21  

Right, exactly. I mean, it’s just, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s and the thing about it is, yes, the optics, storage and that kind of stuff, but the software is really what makes it autofocus is color balance, all the things that it does. Those are things that used to have to know technically how to do you know, nobody, nobody knows how to do that anymore. I mean, some people do. Yeah, but, you know, the real super high end film, guys, are people shooting movies understand a lot of that stuff, and all that stuff. But, you know, when’s the, you know, you can use this and look at this from any industry, I mean, just look at the things that used to have to hire people to do that you don’t hire people to do anymore? Because the technology does it for you. Yeah, you know, in the media and advertising and production business, is second only to the computer business, as far as its disruption by technology. It was a McKinsey study that I read a while ago, you know, so it’s a, those challenges are, you know, create a lot of opportunities in that space. Um, you know, and that’s, you know, for me, that’s interesting, you know, the challenges and the changing and stuff like that, I’m uncomfortable with that. There’s some people that don’t like change. Well, you know, I don’t know if that’s just because the industry I’m in, I like it, but, you know, personally, it’s just, uh, you know, it’s a very, there’s a lot of opportunities in the space.


John Corcoran  28:42  

I want to ask you about these new challenges with your new company, now running a little short on time. So, but before I do that, what after 18 years, why did you decide to step aside from Alkemy X?


Ray Carballada  28:56  

Well, I had been talking to


the owners about the future of the company, you know, really getting it to the next level. And, you know, I felt very strongly, you know, a certain direction that the company needs to go to, which has really moved away from being a production centric organization and really become more of an agency. Because I felt that our work was starting to get commoditized and the same thing was happening like in the TV show the agencies now we’re starting to do all their work in house and all the stuff in house who are or a lot of our customers. And so I made you know, so we had a discussion about me, even potentially buying the company from them. Needless to say, that didn’t, you know, didn’t pan out the way it was going to so they, you know, essentially bought me out of my contract and I had some small ownership position, I took that and decided it was time to, you know, move on, you know, from there. So, you know, was it a was it? I guess you can say it was a difficult decision, you know, myself and probably three or four other people built that company. For the guys that own the company, you know, everybody has left now has moved on to do other things. And I think it’s actually worked out for everybody, you know, from that, as you know, from that standpoint, I mean, it was just we were, you know, the company really need to do a major pivot, in my opinion, and I didn’t want to try to, I always, you know, my success was based on not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. And that’s really what we’re up against. Now, we just just didn’t fit the marketplace. So we need to change that. Right, right. And it didn’t, they didn’t think so. So much.


John Corcoran  30:42  

So, yeah, what, uh, what is it like starting over again, starting building up AmpiFLY from the ground up.


Ray Carballada  30:50  

Um, you know, as expected, a lot of challenges, you know, a lot of things going on, a lot of explaining to people what we do and why we do it. But what’s great about it, it’s a blank sheet of paper. So, you know, we can, you know, there’s not a lot of, like, I shouldn’t say legacy baggage, when it comes to, you know, to that’s a good thing about, you know, a start up, The bad thing about a startup is there’s not any like that step, but you don’t have anything to build off of, or pivot and pivot pivot auto, so. But, you know, obviously, COVID, and some other things have caused some challenges. But, you know, so far, so good, I guess you would say, yeah,


John Corcoran  31:34  

yeah. What are you excited about when, when it comes to, you know, why go into these brand new areas, like augmented reality, virtual reality? You know, what is it that gets you excited about it? And, you know, why delve into these new areas, when you had a lot of success in more traditional video production?


Ray Carballada  31:57  

Um, well, I’ve done you know, think about it, we started a visual effects company from scratch. So I’m used to sort of jumping into brand new tech driven areas, I’m very comfortable with technology, you know, I have always been very interested in it. And I felt that there are some opportunities in that space. You know, virtual reality and augmented reality. You know, our, you know, our tools that you can use to really, you know, help tell some sort of story for a brand, you know, virtual reality, I think works really well for trade shows, and for possibly some training or entertainment, or tours and things like that. But I think it’s also challenging for brands, because it doesn’t do the straight kind of advertising as you think it would, especially at the front of the sales funnel. Unless it’s like you’re somebody already decided they want to buy a car, and they want to look around the inside and things like that it works that way. augmented reality, I’m a lot more bullish on when it comes to advertising. Because essentially, it’s a digital bridge if you think about it. So you know, somebody with a physical product or physical space or someplace points their phone at a product, and you can pipe them anything digitally that you want with it. With augmented reality, it can be a video, can be a coupon, be anything you want. So it’s interesting. It’s just an it’s another both. Those are just other ways of distributing content. If you think about it, yes, the way of repackaging video content, augmented reality is a little bit more, I would look at I mean, virtual reality looks a little bit more as sort of more visual effects kind of driven. So that’s why I’m sort of comfortable there. But augmented reality is more of a tool, I guess you would say, to deliver content, you just got to know what kind of content works and what you want to package in there, what you’re really trying to accomplish. It’s not so much to, you know, say Oh, when Just be cool to do this, well, what’s the brand trying to do? What are they trying to say? What are they? What’s the business goal by doing that? And how can you solve that problem? Or, or have them take advantage of that opportunity by using that stuff?


John Corcoran  34:10  

For augmented reality? What are some examples of some companies that are doing it Really? Well?


Ray Carballada  34:18  

Um, you know, I think that there are a lot of companies that are out there that are, you know, that are doing it and trying to do it. There’s something and I’m forgetting, I just read something. I think it was the NFL, it might have been major league baseball, I’m not sure which one it was, that is, you know, doing it to deliver tickets, you know, so you can be watching. You can be watching a broadcast at home and you can point your phone at the TV and buy tickets. Hmm, you know, automatically, you know, things like that. So that’s, you know, that’s a very simple application, but the digital bridge, if you think about it, if I


John Corcoran  34:52  

think about it, I mean, so these weird COVID times that we’re in right now, I dropped off my son at preschool this morning and They have a QR code on this on the wall when I check him in. He’s doing his hand sanitizer and stuff. And he’s for and I have to point my phone at the wall and this QR code, and it pops up a little survey form that I have to fill out each morning. So does that count?


Ray Carballada  35:16  

Yes, that’s it’s a form of augmented reality. Yeah, it’s not quite the same. It’s really augmented reality that tends to overlay something on. So in other words, if you, if you pointed your phone, at the school, you can create an augmented reality, we don’t even need the kiwi QR code and it and then what would happen, it would come up and it would show you all the data of how many kids are in school, how many kids Rose zyk, you know, all that kind of stuff. Here’s a message from the principal. Yeah, it’ll pop up and you can watch right there, you know, things like that. So that’s really, okay, I want content that this school is putting out in the digital space, right, an augmented app triggers it for you. Yeah.


John Corcoran  35:59  

Now museums, I think, are adding more interesting content like that. Or it’s also, it’s also an interesting thing for,


Ray Carballada  36:10  

for apartments and things like that, if somebody’s advertising for, you know, apartment space in a printed publication, or on a website or things like that, you know, magazine, you know, old school kind of print, you know, they can point their phone. I’ve seen this where they point their phone at that ad. Yeah, yeah, it doesn’t need me, there’s just a little code, the ad is coded is not a QR code. It just looks like it added it knows it’s got a target there, you know, pops up, you know, okay, well, which one do you want to look at? And, you know, show your 3d tour stuff. And you could even, you know, so it’s just a different way of connecting everybody to a website or some other content or a 3d model. Yeah, whatever. And it just floats over the top of the ad, you know, just there. So it’s just a cool, cool way. I mean, it’s sort of like, you know, it’s Pokemon on steroids.


John Corcoran  36:57  

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I can see, there’s gonna be much more, more and more of that. Well, we’re running a little short on time. But I want to wrap up the question that I always ask Ray, which is, let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys, and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point. And what we all want to know is, who do you think in addition to your family and friends? Who are the mentors? Who are the coaches? Who are the business partners? Who are the peers? Who are the people you would acknowledge in your remarks?


Ray Carballada  37:27  

Uh, well, I would, I mean, I would start I mean, one of the people I would start with is my father, who’s, uh, he’s always been a really good business, business mentor to me. He’s, he’s the one that really, you know, has always been, you know, a servant leader, and all that kind of stuff. And just watching Canvas growing up made a big difference in my career. We mentioned Campbell’s, I would say David Johnson and some of the other executives there had a huge impact on my career. You know, Marc Summers, obviously, you know, from that standpoint, you know, there’s, you know, the people that work with me at, you know, that was that sugars is really about just mentioning, there was like eight core people that really built the company with me everything from sales and creative people and things like that. So those are people that had a huge impact. Even Lewis, you know, I know, Louis, when we first got on the inkless. You know, Lewis had a really big impact on making me think very differently about companies and business and how he had you know, all those people had an impact on my success, you know, from that.


John Corcoran  38:34  

Alright, so AmpiFLY is the name of the new business. Where can people go to learn more about you Ray?


Ray Carballada  38:40  

Ampifly.com or you can find me on LinkedIn and it’s A-M-P-I-F-L-Y.com?


John Corcoran  38:48  

Excellent. All right. Thanks so much.


Ray Carballada  38:50  

All right. Thank you, John.


Outro  38:51  

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.