Side Hustle City

A Masterclass in Adaptation and Insight with Telecommunications Vet Paul Rupert

April 02, 2024 Adam Koehler & Kyle Stevie with Paul Ruppert Season 6 Episode 22
Side Hustle City
A Masterclass in Adaptation and Insight with Telecommunications Vet Paul Rupert
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Prepare to be captivated as we sit down with the ever-insightful Paul Rupert, whose career is as varied as it is fascinating. From the corridors of the Capitol to the front lines of tech revolutions, Paul shares the twists and turns of a journey that's as unpredictable as it is inspiring. Discover the uncharted paths from political campaigns to the Reagan administration, the birth of enterprise zones, and how regional pride shapes the heart of America’s political battlegrounds.

Ever wondered how AI could aid in disaster relief or what quantum computing means for global communications? Paul Rupert, with stories that span decades, unveils the transformative power of emerging technologies, taking us back to a time when Sam Altman was a rising star. His experience weaves through the advent of AI to tales of cryptography and the nebulous world of tech innovation. Paul's narrative, peppered with encounters from smoky bars to Silicon Valley, reveals the profound impact technology has on our lives and hints at the foretelling nature of his insights.

Navigating the complex seas of messaging business regulations and international telecommunications, Paul Rupert proves to be as adept as he is entertaining. He recounts the intricacies of compliance battles, the art of simplifying the overly complicated for global audiences, and the unexpected ways his political acumen has influenced his professional ventures. As he switches from tales of scuffles in France to the corporate boardrooms where he's shaped the mobile telecom industry, Paul's stories offer a masterclass in perseverance. Join us for an episode that's packed with laughter, lessons, and a lifetime's worth of experience, all shared by a man who's traversed over 60 countries and countless challenges with an unyielding spirit and relentless curiosity.

As you're inspired to embark on your side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality.  With a team of experienced marketing professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, we are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more, visit www.reversedout.com.

Talking Trading - Expert trading and investing tactics so you can excel in the markets.
Your key to getting the results you deserve.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts  

Make More with Matt Heslin
Explore strategies to thrive financially, build legacy, and enhance life experiences.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the show

Subscribe to Side Hustle City and join our Community on Facebook

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevie, my co-host. Let's get started. All right, welcome back everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. And guess what? Kyle Stevie, two co-host. Let's get started. All right, welcome back everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. And guess what? Kyle Stevie, two in a row. I know I'm hot. Yeah, he's hot man. He's here, he's to my right and we have a special guest today. Kind of a jack of all trades in the. I mean, you've done a ton of stuff, man. I'm reading your bio. I'm like man, I've done nothing. But Paul Rupert joins us today. Welcome to the podcast, paul.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for inviting me to your podcast and nice to know that you're from Cincinnati, ohio. Yeah, ohio people, that's right.

Speaker 3:

That's right, got a Columbus or Cleveland guy here.

Speaker 1:

I'm not, I'm not from, I'm not from Cincinnati, he's Kentucky. So they don't. They don't think they're from Cincinnati, but you know.

Speaker 3:

No, we're not from Cincinnati, we're from Kentucky.

Speaker 2:

Well, I grew up in Rocky River, Ohio, which is around nine miles from downtown.

Speaker 1:

Cleveland. So you're, yeah, I mean, we're all Ohio guys Like people, except for him, he claims he's not from he's. Northern Kentucky, ohio, like we're all kind of the same people. Yeah, I lived like you could see downtown from my house back before likeati so backwards that the poor people used to be able to have down like view of downtown. Yeah, and everybody else was out in the suburbs.

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh, the fireworks from our porch, yeah, and then people from the suburbs in ohio. Like the fireworks is daylight out, but you can see the smoke they're further away than he is.

Speaker 1:

He's five minutes from downtown and he's like I'm not from cincinnati, it's like dude, you can see downtown that river is.

Speaker 3:

That river is a great. That's like donald trump said build a wall, and god gave us the ohio river. We call it the ohio, and then they invented bridges and it's like we're in trouble now well then, you guys got to pay for the bridges and don't even cross them.

Speaker 1:

I know, see, this is our problem, paul.

Speaker 2:

So here we are, but anyway, we're the same people like we're not even getting into east side, west side, which is the same issue in cleveland, so you know we got, we got that, we got Eastside, westside, we got Ohio, kentucky, we got all these battles.

Speaker 3:

Actually in Cincinnati it's like Westside versus the world. Nobody likes the Westside.

Speaker 1:

I know they hate us for some reason. Northside and.

Speaker 3:

Eastside get along okay.

Speaker 1:

Beer and burgers. Man, that's the Westside. Just beer burgers just hanging out.

Speaker 2:

Beer, burgers, you know. Then you go wine and cheese on the east side. That's what they got over there. We're real people, just like cleveland. Although they're the west side of cleveland, there are a number of places where the wine and cheese crowd.

Speaker 1:

Uh, thrive, let's call it that. Oh yeah, oh yeah, you still got those folks up there too you've got the kelsey brothers.

Speaker 3:

They're excellent representation of cleveland cleveland heights.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, on the other side right well.

Speaker 1:

So, paul, you were spent some time in dc, speaking of places that aren't anything like where we came from.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right out of college I got a job with the United States senator. I went to school in Missouri, ended up working for the Missouri senator named John Danforth, did that for about four years and then started running political campaigns for the Republican National Committee. I got trained by them. It was kind of like a combination of a boot camp, grad school and a job all at once, and my job and what I was trained to do was essentially campaign management, which is very similar to starting a startup, oddly enough.

Speaker 2:

And from there, after doing that for two cycles, which is four years or so, I ended up getting a job in the Reagan administration at the Department of Labor, after working with the secretary of labor at that time, a guy named Bill Brock, on an event, and he thought that you know, I guess my skills were pretty good.

Speaker 2:

And he said you know, we could use somebody like you in the offices downtown. And so I ended up getting a job at the labor department, went to graduate school, thought I was going to get out of the political world, but I got pulled back in and helped george herbert walker bush get elected. Wow. And from there, uh, I ended up working with jack kemp, who was a cabinet secretary at the housing and urban development, also former quarterback for the buffalo bills and former congressman from buffalo as well as the san diego chargers, as I recall then, and work for jack doing economic policy development in an area called enterprise zones, which is different types of tax programs and benefits that are given to small business owners in, let's say, you know, blighted economic areas, in urban areas, but we expanded that to be both urban and rural areas.

Speaker 2:

And that's what I was doing for Jack for a little while.

Speaker 3:

Is that kind of like what Trump did in 2017 with the opportunity?

Speaker 2:

Well, all of this is this is all retread. This is a policy that was actually invented by Margaret Thatcher in the.

Speaker 2:

UK back in the day, yeah, and I can't remember the term of it, but I think it was very similar to enterprise zones, something like that. And then Jack imported it, so to speak, and it's been a continuing effort to try to build up, you know, various types of lower underdeveloped economic zones across the country. You know, thinking, okay, if we can pour money into it by providing tax incentives, we get people to move in, different start businesses, et cetera. So it's been something that they've politicians have been trying to leverage for the last well, now 30 years.

Speaker 2:

And then I got out of that business, and then I got into the telecommunications and the high-tech world.

Speaker 3:

So do we refer to you as the godfather of Opportunity Zones.

Speaker 2:

Actually I was called the Zone Czar.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I like it even better. Oh, that's even better. That's awesome actually, that's way better the Zone, Czar man.

Speaker 1:

Why isn't that?

Speaker 3:

in your bio. I don't know if Czar is politically correct anymore, but yeah.

Speaker 2:

We're talking about stuff I haven't really got given any thought to in about 20, 20 odd years, but um, yeah, that's what I was referred to.

Speaker 1:

The zones are. Don't be surprised if that shows up in the podcast art well, go for it, man paul rupert zones are.

Speaker 1:

Then you got into the telecommunications world and uh, we have a little bit exposure that here in cincinnati with uh, cincinnati bell. It was kind of an independent thing for a while there and they they branched out a company called broadwing, I remember for a while, yeah, and uh, yeah, we kind of had everything here by ourselves, like we had cincinnati gas and electric, we had our own water thing we had. We were like self-sufficient here for a while and then everything got bought out, like duke came in and bought out, uh, or synergy came in and then du, duke came in and bought out Cincinnati Gas and Electric.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Within, like three years, of the purchase.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think Cincinnati Bell might be owned by somebody now too.

Speaker 2:

Well, Cincinnati Bell probably has been wrapped up under the umbrella of what is now AT&T, which is the old SBC Southwestern Bell Corporation.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

But oddly enough, uh, back to the messaging business business. I got pulled into an opportunity, which was inside a startup relating to messaging SMS, and the solution was essentially making SMS interoperable. What that means is that originally SMS was just native, meaning restricted to GSM radio formats. So in civilian speak, that means that SMS was really running on T-Mobile US, but nothing else, because Verizon and AT&T Blue, as we used to call it back then, were using different types of radio formats and this company that I became involved in. We were able to create a technology that allowed you to send text messages between and among CDMA, tdma, all the non-GSM radio formats, and Cincinnati Bell was one of those targets of ours. I had a friend who was one of my colleagues. He handled domestic sales, I handled international sales, so I built it out from scratch. Sales I handled international sales, so I built it out from scratch. Five years later, talking about capitalism and how you're able to leverage opportunity, we sold the company for about a half a billion dollars Wow.

Speaker 2:

Nice oh wow, literally scratch to about 160 million in revenues and sold it for 487,.

Speaker 1:

as I recall, geez, wow, see, you got to love it, man, you got000,. As I recall, jeez, wow, see, you got to love it, man, you got to love it. You build something. And then it's cool because then anytime you see your stuff being used or somebody brings it up, you're just thinking to yourself like man. I remember the early days when it was just like two or three guys sitting around a table.

Speaker 2:

You got it. Yeah, Even in the sense that I have two. I'm a co-author of two of the patents that we developed while I was there. There you go, and they're still in play today. Nice, you're like Qualcomm and the company that we created. I helped sell. I was part of the management team when we sold the company. That company has been acquired twice and is now part of a Swedish firm that does about $2.8 billion in revenues using the same technology platforms.

Speaker 1:

So this isn't just a. So you see, some of these startups, they, you know, they scale up, they sell and they're in some like you look at it and you're like, oh, especially with these AI ones, right, they're just repackaging, uh, chat GBT, like they're using chat GBT but they're putting a different front end on it and giving it a specific purpose. But it's really, they didn't build anything, they just figured out a way to remarket it as a niche of this large language model. So there's businesses like that and then there's businesses like yours, where you actually have to understand the technology.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we had to understand the technology. There's no question about that. The two founders came up with the opportunity. But I will say this that in most cases, from my own experience in developing innovation within the mobile technology world, many times there are these green shoots that occur where the technology aspect is being developed by a number of different companies at the same time, and that's exactly what we discovered.

Speaker 2:

Again, my responsibility when I came into the company was to take it to an international opportunity.

Speaker 2:

A friend of mine who was a venture capitalist, who was giving them a term sheet, said they don't understand this yet, but there's going to be more opportunities offshore than there are on offshore, and they were just focusing on the domestic North American market. I agreed with them, put together a plan for the board and they were like, yeah, go do this. And in the end we went from you know, most startups are looking to go from zero to one, you know, minimal, viable product. Our perspective, which I had a pretty strong hand in developing, which was no, we're going from zero to a billion, because we were leveraging what are called network effects within the telecommunications world. The telecommunications system that we have is the most complicated, most comprehensive machine man has ever made, because it's always changing and it touches practically everyone on Earth. In fact, there are many places on Earth where it's easier to reach out to a mobile phone than there is to find fresh water, almost like Coke, which is a Coke within grasp of everyone on the planet.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think yesterday proved how just invaluable it is everyday life now for everybody.

Speaker 2:

Oh, no question, yeah, no question. And relative to your comment about AI, it's funny. I've got a good friend who I've known for about 20 years and, ironically, he runs a podcast consulting company. He developed this around eight years ago, so he was way ahead of the curve. But guess what his undergraduate degree is in Artificial intelligence. Oh, okay, okay. And he didn't get it just last year, he got it 25 years ago.

Speaker 2:

What, yeah, wow, yeah, you know, the reality of AI is there have been even in the AI community. This is something that I've I've worked with and had to come up to speed on because of the nature of the AI being applied to both routing and security, relative to your text messaging being able to be delivered and sent all around the world sent all around the world. But, as he puts it to me, when he got out of college, they were suggesting well, we're not sure what you can do, but maybe you should go teach English in Japan. And then he explained to me, as we got in the last few years relative to AI and the emergence, that there have been two winters, which is essentially the hype cycle of artificial intelligence.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if you've ever seen the Gartner hype cycle but, there's literally this thing called the trough of disillusionment and he said you know, there've been two troughs, two winters of disillusionment in AI over the years. One was in the seventies and again in the nineties. You know, it really comes down to how much processing power was available to be able to conduct artificial intelligence. We're finally being able to converge the lines between the artificial processing, the intelligence aspect of it, and the processing power capabilities in computers.

Speaker 1:

Which is why NVIDIA is worth so much money and why their earnings came out yesterday. That's right $325 billion overnight. That's just insane. It's because of earnings.

Speaker 3:

Nobody's seen that before they made a Netflix. Nobody's seen that type of growth Evaluation, netflix overnight it's insane, it's insane.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it's what? $2 billion now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and what if? Scenarios? I met Sam Altman, who's now the CEO of ChatGPT. Openai. And this was almost 20 years ago and he was just starting a business in Silicon Valley and he was a young guy back then.

Speaker 1:

He used to lecture at Harvard, didn't he? Was it Harvard he lectured at, or was it Stanford?

Speaker 2:

He's a very smart guy. Like I say, he was in his early 20s and at the time I was probably in my late 30s thinking damn, that guy is sharp.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, that guy is sharp, yeah, yeah, well, you have to be. I mean to build. You know a company that essentially changed the game, and now they got all these other companies scrambling to try to figure out how to incorporate AI into any product that they have, and that's one of the reasons. You know the processing power, the. You know it's always the plumbing of these things that do really well. We saw it on the Internet with Cisco, with EMC, with all these companies that were the, the, the plumbing of the Internet. Those are the ones that end up doing really well too. You know the picks and shovels, right.

Speaker 2:

Correct, and all these companies. I have to admit that I am in line Behind that or, if you will, that same line right now, because even yesterday on LinkedIn, I published an article no, it was this morning converging disaster relief and the application utilization of AI and chatbots in a disaster relief scenario. Oh, interesting. Yeah, I wanted to do something outside of the box, so have you done anything with blockchain tech and critical infrastructure?

Speaker 2:

I know blockchain because for a long time, probably about three to five years ago at that time frame, blockchain became, let's say, prominent as a potential technology in mobile communications and mobile messaging, primarily because of routing and security issues. But this was back in the gosh. What are they? The different type of financing oh, an OC instead of a VC.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I'm blocking on the wording, but there were all these companies and ironically they were all Russian companies that were saying that this should be applied in a mobile messaging context, which would have disassembled the network and put the power of messaging solutions meaning it being sent from your handset which meant that you know that you were essentially disrupting the mobile network operator out of the equation.

Speaker 2:

This was all in theory, and somehow these guys were saying this is a better way of doing things. Well, years ago, when I worked for a mobile network operator that we now know as AT&T back then it was called Southwestern Bell I was in a presentation once by the CEO and he was like if you go back to the days of AT&T and copper investment, it's a little over $60 trillion have been invested over the last century in telecommunications. So when you start playing with entities with 60, have the capabilities to invest $60 trillion over a hundred years, you better be damn sure you're going to beat them. You know, if you touch the king, make sure you kill him, and those ideas never got any traction, so that's why I exposed your blockchain.

Speaker 1:

Well, because I saw on your bio too, you had a lot of, like, cryptography experience and I thought you know, oh well, cryptography, blockchain, blockchain uses cryptography Well yeah, interesting.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, cryptography, blockchain blockchain uses cryptography. Well, yeah, interesting. Recently I've started to look into quantum computing. Oh yeah, and that was just again one of these things as to what's the capability, that's just over the horizon. This is kind of the realm that I'm involved in back to, either as an executive in these various companies or as a consultant back to the industry is looking at harvesting innovation within a real-time basis, and what I mean by that is, you know, you don't turn innovation into a product or a service overnight. Usually it takes about three years if you've got a good cycle on that. So that's the window of operation that I work in cycle on that. So that's the window of operation that I work in. And I came across somebody that I was talking to about quantum computing and ironically it was in a bar and it was a woman who had been a former CIA agent.

Speaker 2:

So, she ran agents for the Central Intelligence Agency and we were talking about stuff and this is for this is a sidebar to your question. But there's an entity called NSIN and NSIN stands for National Security Innovation Network. So it's a loose affiliation of executives, tech geeks, cyber specialists as well as those who are involved in the intelligence community, and that kind of caught my interest in. Recently I did a podcast on this, on quantum computing. A friend of mine who runs a different podcast entity called oh gosh, I think it's called Passages. I'll send you a link for it. So we were talking about quantum computing. So the whole idea is how do you apply these various types of developing technologies to the telecommunications network on a global basis? And that's kind of the realm that I occupy now.

Speaker 3:

Isn't Peter Thiel like a big dog with the incense? I think it's something along the lines of basically, you do like facial recognition and everything like that often.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. It's the same thing. I wouldn't doubt it now at this point, like facial recognition is becoming a thing, yeah, yeah, I doubt it now at this point, like facial recognition is becoming a thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, that's another arena that I've had some exposure to. A board member of a company that I consulted to actually runs and started a facial recognition company. I'll send you a link on literally a blog post I wrote about five years ago on facial recognition being utilized by MasterCard.

Speaker 1:

Basically what I'm getting out of this conversation is don't piss off, paul, no, I just. I used to know some really important people but no more. I love it. I love it. Well, I mean, you've done so much. I mean, in a way, you could almost be considered like a futurist because you've done so much. You've grown up in technology. You've grown up in one of the most complicated areas that we have, which telecommunications, and you've seen it mature Through the whole transition.

Speaker 1:

Through the whole transition, but you've seen it mature into what we have now, and now it's starting to merge. Ai is starting to become a piece of all of these different industries. Yeah, it's all conflating. It is no question about that. It is.

Speaker 2:

Even in the space that you know, the traditional space, the traditional label for the space that I'm involved in is called communications platforms as a service, and what that translates into is essentially combining text, data, voice and video all into one package, and the capability to be able to integrate that so that a consumer experience would be seamless going across these platforms, if you wanted it to be.

Speaker 2:

It's essentially ensuring that a consumer would be able to send a text anytime, on any platform, of any choice they may have, and getting a resolution out of it. And then that leads into another arena called conversational commerce, which is essentially, how do you leverage telecommunications platforms meaning the communications piece, conversational piece into various types of commercial opportunities.

Speaker 1:

That's unbelievable man. You've got some.

Speaker 2:

And it's only restricted by your creativity and ingenuity.

Speaker 3:

That's really what it comes down to I feel like we're kindred spirits, because I started with atari and then I transitioned through the whole nintendo, sega, genesis and now I can do super awesome avatars on online gaming. So I I feel like I that's a great riff.

Speaker 1:

I know what's kyle doing. What's he doing on his podcast. He's like under utilizing his talents right now.

Speaker 3:

It's the delivery. I'll put everybody to sleep with my voice.

Speaker 1:

Well, there's that. Yeah, maybe you just write and I'll go up there and do it and I'll get people hyped up and you just write all the stuff.

Speaker 3:

See, I've been doing dad jokes with the slow delivery and I even want to talk about pissing people off. Like politics, you Talk about religion.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you do dad jokes all day. People want to kill you.

Speaker 1:

This is Kyle's life now, so we're going to get him. Eventually. He's going to be on stage, We'll get him up there, Don't worry. So. Trends in cybersecurity. So I just had this. I was watching. I watch a lot of YouTube videos and you know, try to break down what's happening in the world all the time and I stay up till I don't know. Last night, I think I went to bed at five 30 in the morning, but this is my life. If you look at my aura ring thing, like my wife got me this thing to just show me how bad I am, and uh, and I still run like a couple of miles a day.

Speaker 1:

So like I've got that and I don't sleep but I'm looking at AI and cybersecurity now as an investment. So they're like a crowd strike type of company. Sure, these types of things and I noticed that you do you know you're talking cybersecurity, intelligence, things like that yeah, but with your background and then being able to kind of foresee what's going on, this sounds like these types of companies are like the next wave. These are the next ones to start getting attention from Wall Street.

Speaker 2:

Well, I guess I should now read the disclaimer that you should not be making taking any information as investment.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, this is not investment advice, guys. This is all speculation.

Speaker 3:

But if you ever listen to us speak knows, not to you know.

Speaker 2:

I would guess that I look at myself more as a projector of an opportunity as opposed to a prognosticator, just being able to see. You know, I coined a term once called innovationeering, coined a term once called innovation earring, and the objective behind this is essentially, as you see, an opportunity that might be interesting once you might file it away and go oh, that's kind of an interesting thing. The second time you see it, then all of a sudden you know your nerves flash as to hold on a second. Let's look at this third time. If you've seen it, then it's too late.

Speaker 1:

Look at this third time, If you've seen it then it's too late.

Speaker 2:

And so the cyber piece cyber is such a wide, widely defined and loose term because there's so many aspects of cybersecurity I've been involved in. Quote cybersecurity through network, security of mobile telecommunications networks Now, if you were talking to a traditional cybersecurity guy, he goes no, no, that's not cybersecurity. So that's you know. I would probably say that's a little bit, we've jumped the shark, or we're a little. You know, we're a step behind On the AI piece. I think we're right in the midst of that transition and the markets are starting to recognize the potential impact and making that bet. But not all bets come to pass, do they? That's why I say we're in this transition arena, this transition period. Maybe it's year two of Microsoft or something like that, whatever might be akin to that, or the second year Google's involved in it. That would be. My caution is to you know, make sure that you're at the right time at the right place.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, I mean and speaking of that, I mean you advise private equity and like you said here, you know private equity, more competition, I mean anybody can kind of just. I mean you don't even have to have a series seven to open like a fund a lot of times like it's. It's pretty wild, probably not. The barrier to entry is pretty. The bar to entry is pretty low, uh, but you could like it's all of those people's money.

Speaker 2:

You know that's what it comes down to on that part but that's how you get wealthy.

Speaker 1:

Like I tell people all the time. It's like dude, you get wealthy. You start a fund Like just it's other people's money. You get say it's a two and 20.

Speaker 3:

It's two percent or whatever. Yeah, you got two percent every year, yeah, and you close it out.

Speaker 1:

You get 20 percent of the profits and you didn't even do any money. You did a little work.

Speaker 2:

And the carryover is how you get wealthy. That's it Lived in a company that got acquired by the Carlyle Group, oh yeah, and we recognized that about five years out there was a very large bill coming due. Let's just put it that way. But interestingly enough, that company just got rolled over and rolled over, and rolled over by Carlyle. But in other cases where I've been involved in that I've been involved in advising on a potential acquisition that it was in the space and they wanted somebody who had the commercial acumen and experience of the messaging business.

Speaker 2:

And in that regard the bottom line was, if we buy it, we got to be able to strip it apart or we got to be able to polish it up really quickly and turn it around. That was kind of the guidance, let's say in layman's speak. And in the end we recognized that that wasn't going to be able to polish it up really quickly and turn it around. That was kind of the guidance, let's say in in layman's speak, um, and in the end we recognized that that wasn't going to be possible, so we walked away from the deal. Wow.

Speaker 2:

And that was you know. What was on the table was about a half a billion dollars is what they were asking for it. Yeah, it was a good gig. You know golden crumbs, Exactly.

Speaker 1:

Oh I love it.

Speaker 3:

Those are the best guys.

Speaker 1:

Okay, when can you start? Right, exactly, exactly.

Speaker 3:

My father-in-law's cousin was was he a vice chairman of global buyout for the Carlisle group for a little while?

Speaker 2:

Oh wow, your father-in-law.

Speaker 3:

No, no, no, my father-in-law's cousin.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, greg. Summers I was going to say what are you doing here, man? I?

Speaker 1:

don't know, you probably have a job with him, making more money than you're making now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, no, no. My father-in-law's a doctor. He's very successful in that, but he's not a businessman.

Speaker 1:

My dad definitely was not a business guy, greg, though very good at business yeah, I, I would say so to be involved with them. So who do you help now, like I mean, you've got all this stuff, what's your target? Who are you trying to work with you?

Speaker 2:

know I wish it was so linear, to be honest.

Speaker 1:

It's so hard.

Speaker 2:

The reality is that, you know, I've consulted to everything from Facebook, western Union, wells Fargo, mastercard, to small companies that you would have never heard of, or even large companies that you would have never heard of, or even large companies that you would have never heard of, and, most recently, because of my understanding of the messaging business globally as well as in North America, a customer care as a service provider. There's actually a term called CCAS, and it's all about customer experience. They had been utilizing text messaging as a major component of their offering to their customers, which were primarily enterprises, the likes of which included medium-sized insurance companies, credit unions, retail outlets, things of that nature, small credit card companies, etc. Things of that nature, small credit card companies, et cetera. They got fired by Twilio. Oh, and what does that translate into? Well, there are specific regulations that you have to adhere to relative to the types of messaging that are delivered to inside North America. You've got to be able to opt in to certain types of messages Inside North America. You've got to be able to opt into certain types of messages, and they hadn't. You know, to be honest, they weren't as tuned into the business as they should have been, and some of their customers were running traffic that was essentially not authorized was forbidden traffic, and that's why Twilio said well, no, we're tightening up our regulatory practices because of the other things we were talking about earlier in terms of their profitability, etc. And they got a 30-day notice.

Speaker 2:

And then I got a call and, oddly enough, I got the gig primarily because one of their sales VPs had heard me speak on an analyst call where the analyst asked me to essentially give an overview of the CPaaS world, that communications platforms as a service world. And that's how I ended up being brought in and spent six months embedded into the company helping them navigate through getting reconnected into the messaging business. The first thing we did was ask for another 30 days, which we were able to get that, so that we have maneuverability to be able to decide okay, who do we want to go to next? And then I opened the doors to get those things done quickly and to make sure that they tightened up their product operations. So they were fully compliant and the reality of the text messaging world is that it is an industry, regulated business, so it's not like the FCC is out there through their enforcement division sending out missives. It's a matter of the FCC recognizes that they have to look out for the public interest.

Speaker 2:

So the dynamics of what is allowable in text messaging is done through industry trade associations like, excuse me, the Cellular Telephone Internet Association, as well as essentially private contracts between the mobile network operators and the entities that are called aggregators, who connect directly to the mobile network operators, and the entities that are called aggregators, who connect directly to the mobile network operators. And we're not talking about hundreds of these, we're talking only about three in the US. But there are thousands of aggregators that are bringing together different types of businesses in this type of message flow going to these direct carrier aggregators those three that I mentioned, two of which I've worked at and one that I consulted to, and that's what I did. So that's kind of what I do today, you know.

Speaker 2:

And before that, well, that was a due diligence that I did for the National Bank of Kuwait's private equity arm, and there too it was a matter of we're looking to make a $40 million investment into a Middle Eastern CPAS provider and we'd like somebody to. The reality is, I'm the one who ensures that nobody's calling the bullshit card In the sense that no, that's not. These claims for opportunity or projections of potentiality are a little off, either by magnitudes, or they're pretty on target.

Speaker 1:

Whatever it might be, I think they probably want to just take your brain, create an AI out of it for the telecommunications industry and just ask it questions there are so many people that I work with that they're all smart, but they're smart in different ways, and I have been able to find the niche where I can.

Speaker 2:

And I'll be very candid with you. I think much of this is due to the fact of my prior experience in the political world, that I can articulate conceptualities and take the complexities and simplify them so that they're easily understood.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and that's a good. No, I say like this is gonna sound terrible. So if you want to, not if you want to warn everybody about this, it's a second. But I've been around a lot of very intelligent people like neurosurgeons and things, that people that ilk. They're touching the spectrum on like the like special, special side of just incredibly brilliant, but they lack the ability for communication, they lack the ability to understand that they have an audience and they're not connecting to that audience at all. So be able to touch those points, that side of the spectrum where all the brilliance happens and dictate it to people that are normal like us but they have all the intelligence, where all the brilliance happens and dictated to people that are like normal like us but they have all the money, is invaluable, I think.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely yeah, and that's, you know, in whether I fell into this or this was just kind of destiny. I look at it as sometimes you know we didn't. I've alluded to my experience in international markets. I think much of that is due a I happen to be half French. My mother used to start dragging me to Europe when I was five years old, and so I had a different perspective on other parts of the world than you know. The guys that I played with on my street in Rocky River, ohio sometimes.

Speaker 3:

Where did your mom used to drag you when you were five, Adam?

Speaker 1:

We used to travel a little bit, but not to France.

Speaker 3:

I used to get drug up the hilltop. Dad would give us a quarter so we could have a couple of beers at the bar, so we could play the Pac-Man, my dad would take me to the Yellow Submarine up in Clifton and he would drink and we would play darts.

Speaker 1:

We didn't.

Speaker 3:

So how was France.

Speaker 1:

So France, what did that give you? Like that, just you knew there were somewhere, there were bigger places than Rocky River.

Speaker 2:

Well, the first day, I was in France, I think it was, yeah, just about the first day I was in a fight, primarily because A I didn't speak French that well, and second because I was an American. Yeah, good for you and you were from Cleveland, so but that kind of opened things up in terms of hey, there's a difference in terms of the world. Thankfully I had my french cousin to be able to save my ass.

Speaker 1:

Um, but you're from cleveland, man, you're like representing like. You're like look, you don't know where I'm from. I'm not just from regular america, I'm from cleveland, bro, like from cleveland yeah, the hard streets of rocky river ohio. Oh yeah, yeah well, there are some hard streets in cleveland. Now like indeed yes indeed there are.

Speaker 2:

You know, to answer that question, that came into play primarily. So I got into the mobile telecommunications business primarily because there were these operators that were starting up and they were called GSM operators and there were seven that started around 1996. And I fell into a network of people that, through my connections with the cabinet secretary, he introduced me to a venture capitalist. And then I ended up finding out that there was an opportunity that I wanted to get out of the political world and that I fit, and that was a company called Pacific Bell Mobile Services. Now the reality of that is this was Dodge City back then.

Speaker 2:

And when I say Dodge City, I came into the interview and the interview was doing very well. They were looking into my experience in business development and, as I said earlier, I was, let's say, transmogrifying political experience and running political campaigns into the reality of startups. And they bought the line. But one of the things that I said to them was I don't know anything about the technology and how this works, and the guy who was interviewing me was like I don't know how it works either. I came from Sega, my boss came from Sega.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I wanted to work for Sega at one point.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So you know, this was the dynamic. It was in Silicon Valley, it was in California and near San Francisco, and within about six months my job got eliminated, meaning the job that I came in for. I was setting up kiosks for handset rentals, so that if you were getting off a plane from London, you would be able to get one of our handsets and you would rent it. You would be able to get one of our handsets and you would rent it, because back then there was no interoperability, as we called it, between the two GSM radio formats, so one was in North America, the other one was in Europe, the rest of the world. And so what do we do? Here's the business opportunity let's start renting handsets. Paul, this is your first job, okay, well, within about eight months, motorola and others, the handset manufacturers, came up with a means to be able to make those handsets interoperable.

Speaker 2:

And all of a sudden, I was looking for a new job inside the company and we got a new CEO just about at the same time, who had been a board member of a French-based company called SFR, which is also a mobile network operator in France, and the company that I worked for we owned 25% of it. It was Pacific Bell Mobile Services, as I said, and I was talking to him in a brown bag lunch and I said we have the 7th largest economy in the world but we only have 8 roaming partners. Meanwhile, belgium, if you go, talk to them like BelgaCom, because I knew the European market again because of my experience in France they have over 150. What do you think about that? He goes let me give some thought to that. The next day I was being tapped to become the international roaming director.

Speaker 2:

What does that mean? I was responsible for negotiating now all the B2B agreements between our company and all the 1100 operators around the world and that part of my selling point to him was hey, you know, I've got an understanding and I've been looking at these various types of services that are being offered by SFR and France Telecom, belgacom, bix, et cetera all these orange in the UK, and I think we could steal them and then apply them here. And he was like yeah, I agree with you, and that's where we came to the agreement is to. I think you should take this job. You know, do this job.

Speaker 2:

And I had no idea that job even existed but it did, and so I then spent the next three years primarily on planes. My routine was two weeks in California, two weeks in Europe, two to three weeks in California, two weeks in Asia, and, by the time that I left the company about four years down, I traveled to around 60 countries around the world.

Speaker 1:

Wow, good for you Wow that's awesome.

Speaker 2:

So that ability to seamlessly swim in different streams, if you will, I think that was developed because of my experience going to first France and then my mother turned it into the European tour, so to speak, the Grand Tour.

Speaker 2:

But that helped because I have a sister who's 11 years older.

Speaker 2:

She got married to an army officer, so we were in Germany a lot and, but Italy, Czechoslovakia was probably the most exotic place I've been, was went to as a kid and since then, even when in the telecommunications space, telecommunications space I lived in China for nine months in 2005, completing a deal, and I think all that is due to the fact that even in the political world we didn't talk about this. But the best job you can ever have in politics is being what's called an advanced man, and what does an advanced man do? So you know, every time the president or cabinet secretaries have these various types of rallies, there are teams of people, usually about three to five people, that come in three to five days beforehand to make sure that everything is run up to snuff according to the standards and the levels of perfection that are required by advancing or an event with the president or the vice president or cabinet secretary and I was an advanced man and part of that is making sure you get what you want without pissing people off.

Speaker 1:

There you go, there you go. Well, hey, I'm running for a county commissioner right now.

Speaker 2:

Well, I could do one of the events if you'd like, and it would be run like a top, I assure you.

Speaker 1:

I'd be afraid to even ask you. I mean, you seem way overqualified.

Speaker 2:

You got to start somewhere. I mean, I started on congressional races. As I said earlier, my original background in terms of running campaigns I ran a house race in Iowa and then I ran a Senate race in Ohio and we were running against John Glenn at the time. Oh yeah, and the great irony there is, my father ran for Congress as a Democrat when I was a child I was about six years old. But I also have a second cousin who worked for Senator Glenn and the two campaign. I was the deputy campaign manager of the other team and meanwhile the campaign manager of Senator Glenn. He meanwhile the campaign manager of senator glenn. He was a gentleman named rupert rupert who's just recently retired as being a judge. So, um, you know, we had the family representing both sides of the the uh campaigns.

Speaker 3:

Wow, do you ever say to get into his head? You know, I don't believe you guys landed on the moon. I'm not buying this moon landing.

Speaker 1:

If you want to get punched in the stomach.

Speaker 2:

Really Okay.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that would be wild. I just need money raising help.

Speaker 2:

Buzz Aldrin, there are telescopes that actually you can see on the moon, where, like Friendship not Friendship 7, but where did they land?

Speaker 1:

You can see the tracks and everything, yeah, but where did they land? What was the tracks and everything? Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you can see the actual, the flag remnants of the limb modules still on the earth. So how do you explain that one then? I'm not. No, no, no, no.

Speaker 3:

I'm not doubting it, I'm just saying just to screw with the guy, like get him pissed off before. I can't think about how he's supposed to rally.

Speaker 2:

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah to rally.

Speaker 3:

I'm sorry, I'm sorry yeah that's the one guy you probably don't want to piss off Buzz Aldrin's, the one that would detonate people.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know again the strangeness of life. I met Buzz Aldrin and I met John Glenn before he passed away. Oh, you met them both, Nice yeah.

Speaker 1:

Nice.

Speaker 2:

And, ironically, at the time I was what's called an independent executive director on a company that was a hair care company and Buzz Aldrin was at an event that was being put on by the CEO. Oh wow, yeah, we were at the same table.

Speaker 1:

Man, and you met a lot of people, man. So what would you say?

Speaker 3:

Why are you with us? I know why are you wasting your Friday afternoon with us.

Speaker 2:

You meet a lot of people, so that's also part of this drill.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to just tell everybody I met you. I know it's like why are you wasting?

Speaker 3:

your time with us on a Friday afternoon.

Speaker 1:

You just increased our what is that Seven separation? Yeah, seven, I'm one degree away from Ronald Reagan.

Speaker 3:

This is fantastic.

Speaker 1:

Adam was on a podcast with Paul Rupert. Paul Rupert met Buzz Aldrin. This is what we're going to do. Let's see.

Speaker 2:

Buzz Aldrin. I've met Bill Clinton, mrs Clinton, al Gore. That's a completely different event. But let's see Walter Mondale, john Glenn. As you mentioned earlier, I worked for Jack Danforth, jack Kemp.

Speaker 3:

Let's see. I'm sure you met Bunning then. Right who Jim Bunning? Jim Bunning, I know of him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he played for the Cleveland Indians. He was a congressman or a senator from Kentucky, as I recall. Yeah, he's from right here.

Speaker 3:

He was a senator.

Speaker 1:

I just saw his daughter at church on sunday and we got a lot of people from ohio kentucky in politics a lot of abraham lincoln started mcconnell, uh. Vivek ramaswamy's from the west side.

Speaker 2:

He's from my side of town oh really, yeah, I didn't know that yeah he went to saint x, he's hardly.

Speaker 3:

Uh, he's hardly a hard scrabble.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but he's from there, Obviously. What's his name? Jd Vance. He's from Kentucky and Ohio. I mean, there's a bunch of people.

Speaker 2:

Me, you, there we go, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, man this is awesome.

Speaker 3:

I feel like I'm going to go this weekend like a champ, though I'm like one degree of separation from like the most powerful people on earth I know this is pretty awesome, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

well, paul, how do you? What would you say to young people out here who are trying to start companies or uh, you know they're, they're trying to get into an industry and and and they're starting from scratch? What would you say to some folks startup people, side hustle people you know being, you know being in one of the most complicated industries ever? Would you tell them not to be intimidated? Would you tell them to fight through things Like what's the secret?

Speaker 2:

Sure. So, since we've been on this political theme, I don't know if you know who Alistair Campbell is. Alistair Campbell was Tony Blair's media guru. Oh, now, I raise this only because he coined this great term which is called perseverance, and perseverance is the combination of perseverance and resilience. Oh, I like it. And it's a great term because it applies directly to your question as to be persistent and continue on and be resilient.

Speaker 2:

Often I have a challenge coin on my desk over here. You probably can't see it. Oh yeah, there it is. It's a challenge coin from a British Army officer who was an SAS officer. Oh, and the motto of the SAS is who dares wins. So that's been one of the things that I've always thought about, and that's that's about this. I met this gentleman back in the political day, so that's about 30 years old. Wow. To answer your question is, first off, don't give up, as Wilson, as Winston Churchill used to say. You know, if you're going through hell, keep going and don't let someone else define what you think your sense of success is all about, because, at the end of the day, it's not what others think of your success, it's what you think of your success, and success may be just around the corner. I mean, life is full of ups and downs. I'm at an age now where I can say that you know being long of tooth, et cetera, but the reality is just continue on and, uh, don't give up.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it. Paul, where can people find you? How do they? What's your website? Give us some links and this way is just just on linkedin.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, um, you know my full. My linkedin name is paul r middle initial and then rupert, that's r-u-p-p-e-r-t. Uh, that's the easiest way to be able to access me, although I do have a website. But you know that's being refreshed. That's gpvltdcom, which is my company, global Point View. Love it, man.

Speaker 1:

Paul thanks so much for spending time with us.

Speaker 2:

a fellow Ohioan, it's been like a couple of beers in a bar. This has been great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, this guy will have beers with you. I don't drink at all because my family history. You don't want me drinking German-Irish. Like stay away from it, Okay.

Speaker 3:

But my drug of choice is coffee and you can tell my drug of choice is whatever you got, his is bourbon.

Speaker 1:

Don't let him lie, bourbon, he's in Kentucky. That works, yeah. So you come to Ohio or you come to Northern Kentucky or anywhere near Cincinnati, you let us know.

Speaker 2:

I was there about a year and a half ago, so that was well. My uncle passed away. The gentleman that I mentioned lived in Cincinnati, and so where was I? I've forgotten. Some huge mall is at the hotel that I stayed at. I can't remember where exactly it was in town. Yeah, I can't recall yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, you come back here and we'll take you out. How about that?

Speaker 2:

Okay, talk a little bit more, continue it, I can't turn that down. No, no, no, no. So, guys, more stories, that's right.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Well, we're learning. We're learning a lot today, but Paul thanks for being on the show. We really appreciate it. Guys, check out Paul, rupert Paul and connect with Paul and, yeah, wealth of information.

Speaker 2:

Thanks very much for the opportunity to talk to you today.

Speaker 1:

Yeah thanks for coming on See ya, Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle City. Well, you've heard from our guests. Now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, Side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Bye.

Side Hustle Success Stories With Paul
(Cont.) Side Hustle Success Stories With Paul
Emerging Technologies and Industry Trends
(Cont.) Emerging Technologies and Industry Trends
Navigating the Messaging Business Regulatory Standards
From Political Campaigns to Telecommunications
Perseverance and Success in Politics