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Ep 18: Francisco Dao. Crashing trucks in Peru, sailing yachts in Croatia and launching a caffeinated energy bar

Ep 18: Francisco Dao. Crashing trucks in Peru, sailing yachts in Croatia and launching a caffeinated energy bar

Host: Joshua Strebel | Published: December 14, 2019

Francisco Dao has served as a columnist for Inc.com, founded an exclusive adventure sports retreat company for entrepreneurs, served as COO for an AI-focused incubator and is currently bringing a caffeinated energy/nutrition bar to market. In this interview Joshua interviews Francisco on his entrepreneurial journey, the underbelly of the self-help market and his current challenge founding a consumer product goods company. They also talk about vehicular carnage in the deserts of Peru and sailing the British Virgin Islands. Enjoy this spicy episode.

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Show Notes

0:00:46   Welcome and context
0:01:48   “Mad Max’ing” in Peru
0:09:56   “Personal connection without pretense”
0:12:46   “I love watching you guys become kids and interact with each othedr as 12-year-olds”
0:22:46   What got you onto this path of entrepreneurship?
0:27:16   “I was a live person Siri”
0:34:02   “I end up as the leadership columnist for Inc.com”
0:35:54   The self-help world is built on these two lies
0:43:56   “There are eras in terms of open communities”
0:48:06   “It’s like planning a seating chart at a wedding”
0:49:50   “The reason to try to be rich is so you can be around interesting people.”
0:52:48   Tell us about your current hustle with the Kafa bars project?
1:04:34   Where can people find you online?

Show Transcript

Joshua: 00:00:46 Hello everybody. Welcome to the podcast today. I’m with my good friend Francisco Dao. He’s a world traveler, entrepreneur and probably one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever met. Go ahead and introduce yourself. Francisco.

Francisco: 00:01:01 I don’t, I don’t know if I can come up with a better introduction than what you just gave me. I’ve got so much to live up to now. As Joshua said, my name is Francisco. I yeah, I travel and I entrepreneur whatever the hell that means. Here’s, here’s the latest, which I’ll pitch some more, but I dunno, I guess Josh, you know, most or some of my background, which I think is probably more humorous than most people. I tell people when I introduced myself, they were like, who are you? I’m like, I’m Forrest Gump. Really? Completely random. Bizarre. You did what? Yeah, I did that. So I don’t know. I would start and I’ll fill in the blanks.

Joshua: 00:01:44 Well, I’ll give some context how I met you. It was about five or six years ago and I get off a plane in Lima, Peru, and meet up with some friends of mine. And then meet you and it turns out that you organize the trip for, I dunno, 18, 25, 30 young entrepreneurs and will well respected individuals to go hike the Inca trail as well as, I don’t know, we’ll call it mad max through the desert. And it turns out you did a lot of those trips and they were called 50 Kings, correct?

Francisco: 00:02:25 That is correct. They, they start in 2011 with a cattle drive was the first thing and they changed every year. So we’ve had a couple of pirate Wars. We had her, our race through the desert and Peru, which I’m pretty sure I can’t ever go back to Peru. That was some damage.

Joshua: 00:02:49 There was a little bit of automobile damage. I believe the loss rate was 70% on the vehicles.

Francisco: 00:02:57 Depends. It depends on, you can just split or loss. Half of them left on flatbeds too. If you’re just going by damage, it’s probably higher than 70%. But in terms of being trucked away or able to move into their own power,

Joshua: 00:03:15 It was probably one of the funnest five or six days I’ve had just a, the, the scenery on the, on the coast of Peru there on the Pacific coast. It looked like Mars. It was just desolate sand. I kind of felt like we were, we were, we were on another planet. You remember that? Afternoon we were driving along the beach in that little Valley and the fog had come in and it was just amazing.

Francisco: 00:03:43 Yeah. [inaudible] a lot of it was and it wasn’t, and it wasn’t just Brown sand the whole time right there in the desert. There were these different sort of landscapes within the desert. Yeah. I mean, I mean, I planned the trip. I guess I’m biased, but yeah, I was, it was an amazing trip, I think. I mean, I think everyone thought it was a, it was kind of a once in a lifetime thing, which is a funny thing to say because and I still do the trips, but they’re kind of different now. But you know, I did these trips for eight years. And so it’s always this weird thing for me to say, Oh, I do a once in a lifetime trip every year. That doesn’t make any sense. But

Joshua: 00:04:20 Yes. So cattle, cattle wrestling cattle, cattle wrestling Peru cruises. You’ve, you’ve done, I was just with you in the Virgin islands a few months ago and you’re, it looks like you’re going to Croatia this summer. So what other spots have you gone but mostly why?

Francisco: 00:04:42 Yeah, so, so probably second to the Peru trip is I, we did an kind of an amazing race to a drug smuggling game across Panama. So the teams that had these, these sort of challenges they had to do. And, you know, again, you get the, that competition involved and it gets kinda crazy. Why do I do these things? I dunno how far back I should go with this. I’ll go a little bit far back and then, and then maybe a little bit further, but I’m, I’m sort of obsessed with the human condition kind of sociology in a way. And I believe that what makes people happy in life, not, not for a day or for a week or anything like that, but what makes people happy in life are two things. Meaningful work. Do you actually care about the work that you do?

Francisco: 00:05:33 What do you mean? Does it matter? I mean, and, and it doesn’t have to be big. I mean, you know, as a preschool teacher doing meaningful work, I would argue 100%. Absolutely. They’re doing meaningful work, right? And real personal relationships and, and the real personal relationships is something that I think we’ve largely lost. I mean, you hear people talking about digital distractions and this and this and this and, you know, blame the phone. I think the phone is, is not a great thing to always be, have your face buried in and too, but even before that, I mean, I find a lot of people have problems. Even having a conversation, you know, you sit down across from lunch from someone and they’re always like, Oh, hold on. And it’s just like Jesus Christ, put the shit down and pay attention to the person in front of you.

Francisco: 00:06:19 And so, you know, I started these trips with the idea that if you, if you take a group of people who, you know, you don’t have to be best friends but, but they have to be worth talking to. Right. My thinking is like, you know, Josh, if you turn to the person next to you, you know, I’ve assembled this group and you turn to the person next to you, you don’t have to love them, but you can’t feel like I’m wasting my time talking to this person. So if you get a great group of people together like that, and you take them off to some place that’s special, that is different, that doing activities that they don’t normally do, I’m releasing them in a lot of ways from responsibility. So we have a lot of entrepreneurs, people like yourself, and it’s like, I don’t want to have to think about it.

Francisco: 00:07:03 Like, yeah, you know? Yeah. I mean, I’m a planner, so planning sort of easy for me, but for a lot of people, even for entrepreneurs and things, it’s not certainly a vacation to some strange place. Another guy who goes on the trips, he’s been on a few trips in the past and he’s going he’s coming next year to Croatia. His name is Paul, but Paul just had an exit and he had promised his childhood friends that he’d be ever had an exit. He would take them on a trip. So Paul starts asking me, we talk all the time. He says, he says, where can I go? You know, where can I take my friends? My childhood friends are not all doing great. And I told them if I ever had an ex I’d take, and we started talking about places and I said, yeah, Paul.

Francisco: 00:07:40 I said, here’s the thing. I said, most of these places you’re talking about, they sound good on paper, but once you get there, it’s mostly just a lot of sitting around on the beach. I’m like, we can sit here and talk about Fiji or you know, Tahiti or whatever it is, but what are you really doing when you get there? You’re mostly just sitting your ass on a beach. And he says, yeah, that’s what I kinda like. That’s what I keep coming back to. Cause I come completely spoiled. He was [inaudible] to me, I can’t go on vacations anymore. So just there’s that element. And then so like I said, you, you know, you get this group of people together where everyone is is at least worth talking to and then you have them go, you know, two, three days, four days, five days unplugged doing some activity that that’s really, they’re going to remember for the rest of their lives.

Francisco: 00:08:28 And the relationships just become fundamentally different. They’re just fundamentally different because you know, you’re always like, remember when we were in Peru, you remember when you heard the BVIs and you know this and this and this happened. You just, and, and it’s so different and it, and what said, I’ll tell you kind of a sad thing as people do not understand it. Everyone says they do. Right. So I, I, I’ve, I’ve said this little spiel, you know, a thousand times to a thousand people and everyone says, Oh yeah, yeah, I totally get it. I totally get it. And then you wa you look at the things that they do and the things that they choose to do and you know, they’ll say, yeah, you know, but I don’t have a lot of time off, so I’m going to, you know, I’m going to go to Coachella. Great, fine.

Francisco: 00:09:11 I’m sure Coachella is a great time. I’ve never been a whatever. I’m not really concert person, so I’m not going to like specifically back there. It’s just like, okay. I mean, so you’re going to go to a great dance party for a weekend in the desert. I guess you’ll remember that for a long time, but it’s thousands and thousands and thousands of people. It’s, you clearly don’t get it. So so that’s why I do it. You know, we’ve evolved a little bit now. We it used to just be, I curated every person now. Now we go on these regatta trips and I let people get a boat so that they can bring their spouses and their friends, but it’s still still largely curated.

Joshua: 00:09:52 The personal connection without pretense is kind of what, how I put it to myself is, you know, as, as a entrepreneur, a tech entrepreneur or whatever, it’s almost like you’re kind of pigeonholed in a mold. Like you gotta you gotta always EV, I’m always crushing it. Everything’s awesome, dah, dah, dah, dah, always be selling, et cetera. But you’ve created an environment with these groups that, you know, you get there and the first, you know, 20 minutes you’re, you’re kinda got your face on like, yeah, I’m, I do this, I do this. This is, this is how I define myself. But then after 20, 30, 40 minutes, you can let the pretense go and you can just kind of unplug mentally and just be yourself and genuinely connect with people. But people that understand your circumstance, they understand your life. They understand. Yes, the, the struggle and the turmoil that you’ve gone through.

Joshua: 00:10:43 But you don’t have to pretend to be anything. You’re not anymore. You know, you don’t, you don’t have to be pretend to be the smartest CEO in the world. You can just be a business owner with some other business owners and just relax and meet them on kind of mutual territory. And it was, for me, it was so relaxing and fun, a just the absurdity of Peru. But then as you said with the regard as in, in the BVIs yeah, my wife and I went, we took a couple of friends, we had this glorified beautiful RV on water with eight other and you know, just sailing around it and yeah, there was beaches, but there was like two new beaches a day as we sailed between. So, you know, do you feel that that is the most rewarding for you? Yes. You get to see the world, but you really get to witness in enable these kind of personal connections.

Francisco: 00:11:35 It’s a, yeah, it’s actually the personal connections that’s most rewarding for me is to be able to watch that. Right. Cause, like I said, going back to to why I do it is I believe what makes people happy in life or meaningful work. I don’t have any part of that hope. You know, we’re dealing with entrepreneurs, most of you care about your companies and so you know, that of the type of people that go on the trips, the meaningful work part of their life is already taken care of. Or at least I think it is most, most of the time it is. But you know, the relationships part, you know, outside of their spouses, if they’re married, it’s kind of not because you’re working alone, you know, you put your company first, you know, and, and you know, there are groups out there, you know, various, you know, YPO, which I think you’re a member of. I know some, I know they go on some trips. I, I guess they’re okay. I don’t know. The dynamics are different. I, I don’t want to say good or bad. I mean, you know, I, I know a lot of friends of mine are members of YPO. They seem to like it. OK. But you know, it’s the dropping of the pretense. You know, one of the things that I really, I love watching you guys become kids.

Francisco: 00:12:55 And it’s like, it’s like, you know, to, to let these, these men, men and women and women when it come to, to let these people, you know, who, who, you know, 360 days of the year have a lot of pressure know, or at least a lot of responsibility anyway. And you know,

Francisco: 00:13:22 Each other as 12 year olds, you know, and you know, and then in terms of the activity, I tell people, I said, you know, I just, you know, people say like, well what are the people like? And when you tie on, you know, and then, you know, what’s the craziness and all that. I said, look, I said, if you, if you got a group of 12 you actual 12 year olds, not you guys have, you got a group of 12 year olds together and you gave them bicycles and you, you know, sorta just put them in front of the house on the street and said, well, you know, you can do what you want. There are going to be some 12 year olds who are going to stay right for the house and kind of ride in circles and there are going to be some 12 year olds. We’re going to take their bikes and go looking for ramps or building rants or you know, trying to go into the woods or the desert or whatever it is. And I said, where are the guys who go looking for ramps in the woods?

Joshua: 00:14:08 Right? And the bigger the ramp, the better.

Francisco: 00:14:12 But it’s that freedom. It really is like fundamentally there’s a freedom element to it. Like you said, leaving the responsibility but also going on and, and, and being that 12 year old who’s looking for the, for the jumps in the woods. Right? But that there’s a freedom element in that. So for me that’s, you know, I look, I go on the trips too, right? It’s not like I planned the trip and stay home. I mean, I planned the trip cause I want to go on the trip and I’ll tell you kind of a, an interesting, funny thing that, that happens all the time is, you know, I’ll tell people, yeah, I plan these trips, blah blah, blah. And they’ll say, Oh, so you get to, you get to go to these places, plan them. And I know it’s a, it’s a strange comment to me because I’ll say, well I do, but that’s actually sort of the sucky part.

Francisco: 00:15:00 Yeah, yeah. Right. I mean, well go on to some country by yourself is, okay now, now I’m in some country by myself. I’m looking for the best place to stay. I’m looking for the best activities. I’m not complaining, you know, I, there are worse jobs of course. But you know, it’s weird that people’s minds go to that as being the best part of this job. That’s not the best part of the job. The best part of the job is when I’m sitting there and watching you guys get me banned from Peru by destroying our trucks or whatever. I was sitting there watching that, right, sitting there watching that, those activities. I’m thinking, you know, this, you know, these guys, you know, may maybe, maybe they won’t be friends forever. I don’t know. But they will have these shared moments and it will certainly have these relationships for a very long time.

Francisco: 00:15:55 And so that, that’s the rewarding part to me. That’s so awesome to see. You know, and, and you know, I, I don’t, I don’t know how many trips you take with your spouses, but now, now with the new model and people’s ability. So I’ll give you an example. Cause there’s Alex Russian, it’s who you, who you met in the BVIs. We’ve, we’ve done a few trips that are sort of offshoots of 50 Kings. They weren’t officially 50 things, but, but you know, kind of that group. And we went off on the side. So we sailed Greece a few years ago. Our friend Joe was there as well. And Alex and his wife were there. We still to Cuba. So we sell from key West to Cuba, which was pre opening of Cuba. This was, no, this was post, but nobody sales. I mean, people fly.

Francisco: 00:16:52 So you know, to say, Oh, and it’s long sale. People think, Oh, they look at it on a map and they’re like, Oh, it’s 90 miles. Oh, it’s 14 hours. Wow. I mean, that’s what, and it’s big T you, you don’t see Florida and you don’t see Cuba when you’re in the middle of that crossing, you’re like, people are swimming this shit. Like, what are you nuts? You know, pulling in sunrise, there’s a coast of Cuba and you just sailed there from Florida, from QS, just kind of mind boggling. And then pulling into Hemingway Harbor, you know, just, you’re like, we’re sailing into Huba right now. Like this is kind of snippy. But Alex, Alex rationale, I call him Russian. Alex, he’s American. Alex and his wife were on that. And so there’s, there’s also this element that at least with a couple like that and that, not that his marriage is in trouble, his marriage is great, but it’s almost like he gets to take his wife on these great trips because of me.

Francisco: 00:17:50 Ah, well, you know, you’re not too bad of a third wheel to have around come on. Well, I mean we’d throw a cabin so Joe was there too. But you know, just being able to, to, like I said, watch those relationships, watch those experiences, you know, be there. One of the things, all it kind of just personally chipping out is right. So you live in Arizona? I live in LA at the moment. I used to live in New York. I used to lose sepsis. Go, you know, we have friends in Portland, we have friends and it’s like all of a sudden we all show up in some place. I loved that first day cause it’s his band back together. Yeah. It’s so, it’s, it’s just this weird feeling like, you know, I, I don’t see you, I haven’t been to Tucson. Right. But all of a sudden it’s just like, poof, we’re all in Lima, Peru.

Joshua: 00:18:43 Yup. And you pick up, you pick up right where you left off. Like the, those are the types of friendships in the world that I think are invaluable. That, you know, you can go 10 years without seeing somebody and just maybe a few text messages and then you meet them in the airport and you pick up right where you did 10 years ago.

Francisco: 00:18:59 Right. And then it’s like, poof, we’re in Tortola brothers, Virgin islands. It’s, it’s so neat. I don’t know. For me, that’s just a such a neat, neat, neat thing. It’s just like, poof, here we are right here. I need to see you. Where are we? Hey, there’s not that. Remember that time it came to two sides where can remember that time we were at a Leverich Bay and the BVI some Adolpho.

Joshua: 00:19:24 Well there is, there’s one other aspect of this that, that I thought was interesting and this is going to sound a little classist or elitist, but this is a real problem I have when I was in Phoenix when I was in Phoenix for 11 years, that’s where I built our company. And I built it in a community with a bunch of similar age, similar kind of stationed individuals and we all kinda came up together. So we all got these shared experience of we remember what it was like you know, worrying about hitting payroll to here’s my new sports car, or here’s my new really expensive watch. And then I moved down to Phoenix and I don’t have that community anymore. So I, my kids go to a great school, lovely individuals that attend the school and I kind of hang out with the dads group, but I have to like self-censor I can’t have a normal conversation with them that I would with somebody else simply because I look like an asshole, you know, like they’re, they’re a more traditional middle class. And I’m like, Oh yeah, I just got back from the BVI, it was sick and then everybody’s eyes roll. And I’m like, Oh, okay, that’s, I should, maybe I shouldn’t talk about all these other things. But on those trips, again, you’ve just fit right into your crew on kind of the same socioeconomic level. And you can have these discussions that may be in polite company or, or normal middle-class company. You’d really come off looking like an arrogant jerk for it. But it’s just our life experience right now. It’s still a little different.

Francisco: 00:20:54 I mean, that matters. I mean, it definitely matters and sort of the re I won’t name him by name in case some of his friends watch, but you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You know, we have a friend who comes on the trips who comes from a a pro BMX background and he’s done very well, but a lot of his friends are basically just these former BMX riders who, you know, God knows what they’re doing for a living. I mean, maybe nothing. And he’s, he’s started a company, has done very well and you know, he loves those guys. You know, when he was 17, 16 years old, he’s out doing BMX shows with those guys. So he’s known them for, you know, 15 years. But he picks us to pick up every check. Yeah. All right. He just had like, these guys were literally broke and he has to pick up every check and he has the money in it. You know, it’s not the money, but it’s just this weird kind of, you know, thing.

Joshua: 00:21:54 It kind of probably puts him in an awkward position about let me open my garage and show you my new toy. But you know, that’s like, it’s like almost, you’re rubbing it in at that point. You know, it’s, it’s just having a group, like whether it’s a YPO or EO or your mastermind group or a group of friends that you’ve assembled. Francisco, I think for any entrepreneur out there, no matter what station you are in, in, in your journey, just having a group of likeminded people in the similar socioeconomic bracket, you can really kind of let your guard down and just, you know, be, be where you are in the moment without having to feel so guarded that w if you say just the wrong thing, someone’s going to take your legs out or accuse you of being, you know, classes or something like that. You know, it’s, it’s a fascinating world. We live in that and everybody’s on a different path. Speaking of paths, what the heck got you into tech or entrepreneurship like a, you know, 20, 25 year career, right?

Francisco: 00:22:56 Something like that. Unfortunately. all the shit, well, as I said at the, at the beginning of the podcast, my life has been like Forrest Gump and you know, I, the word entrepreneur has been so abused. Everyone says, I’m an entrepreneur. It’s almost embarrassing. But it’s, it’s like saying I’m a social media expert. Like nobody wants to say that anymore. It’s embarrassing. But I liked it. I don’t like there are entrepreneurs in, there are entrepreneurs and I’ll explain what I mean in tech, you have these tech entrepreneurs who, you know, raise some seed money from 500 startups or whatever it is, and then they write a blog post about the struggle and how they’re suffering with depression and how it’s so hard. And I read those and I think what’s hard, you just wasted five 50 grand of Dave McClure’s money. Like, what are you, what are you depressed about?

Francisco: 00:23:58 I should be depressed, was wasted 50 grand of his money. You know, I, I’ve been a guy who will just put down this credit card, right? You get an idea and you put down your credit card. And it’s like, you know, people say like, well, how do you do that? Well, what do you mean? How do you do it? You open up your wallet and then people have all these hangups or it’s like, well that’s, I said, look, you know, you, you, you either believe in it or you don’t and you, you’re either comfortable, comfortable with uncertainty or you’re not. Now if you believe in it and you’re comfortable with uncertainty and open up your wallet and put your credit card down and stop writing blog posts about how you’re depressed cause you’ll lost Dave’s money. So, you know, it’s in my twenties, I own part, I didn’t own the whole thing, but in my twenties, I own part of like the fourth largest traffic school in California. So when you’ve got a ticket, you went to traffic school lately. Bizarre and met some guys who knew the business, blah, blah, blah. We also together on a limo, companies on board are part of the limo company. I own well you know this, I don’t, I don’t even mind talking about it a few years later, a few years. Well actually I’ll tell you the whole story cause it’s actually a hysterical. Yes.

Francisco: 00:25:20 So, so in my twenties, I was in LA, so I am, I am 49 years old. So the years are very easy because it just matches up to the, to the calendar year. So in my twenties, in the 90s, it was when I had this traffic school and as part of this limo company. And then I left that I decided I just hated both businesses. Both businesses were just like, I hated it. And it was just like, it goes back to the meaningful work. It’s like, okay, even if the business is doing okay, I hate it. Like why do it? I moved back to San Jose where I grew up. I started getting my MBA, I dropped out, I started another company, gotten, couldn’t get along with my co founders, left that and then the.com. So this is, you know, two thousand two thousand one.com. Collapse dot bomb collapse comes in.

Francisco: 00:26:07 So San Jose Bay area at the time, literally there was no traffic and people don’t know how bad like the dot bomb situation was. You went from, from glory days, everyone having the huge parties to you could drive to work at seven 30 in the morning and there’d be no traffic on the ghost town. Huh? Just a ghost town. So I was out of work. I was unemployed, I dropped out of business school. There was no work to be had. So I moved back to Los Angeles in 2002. I’m struggling. I mean, just unemployed, struggling, and you know, I got a job you know, literally just trying to, trying to get by. And I got a job. They don’t exist anymore. Clearly they called [inaudible] now where I surfed the internet, I looked up things on the internet for stupid people. So the company people would pay on it now, 20 bucks a month, and they could call in to a live person, me and a bunch of unemployed actors and we would look things up for them.

Francisco: 00:27:04 And they do it. Like people would just call a hundred times a day. I would Google, I’m really good at Googling. You were Siri before Siri. Siri. I was at a live person series. And, and you know, again, just trying to get by. I just trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I’m trying to get by and and you know, every dollar counted and I’d always been a good writer. My college degree is actually in screenwriting and so I knew I could write and I ended up getting a job, a job freelance. It was like they don’t exist anymore. It was a review site called adult DVD, empire and adult DVD empire wrote porn reviews and, and you know, they were an affiliate site. So so the other work does adult DVD empire would send me three porn DVDs and I would watch, I would watch them and write reviews and then submit the reviews and send the DVDs back and they would give me 15 bucks for each partner.

Francisco: 00:28:13 Oh, tell me your name. [inaudible] Yeah, so, so my name was rock bottom because this was when Dwayne Johnson, the rock was, was popular WW, and he’s a star. I mean, everyone knows him as a big time actor now. But when rock was a wrestler, he was absolutely hysterical on dairy. I spent so many evenings in college with a six pack watching them, watching the rock. So, so my screen name was rock bottom and I started to learn more about the porn business. And what I learned was that on the wholesale side, when a, when a port, and again I guess things have changed now if it’s streaming and everything, but this was 2002, 2003, 2002, 2003. What a poor DVD is released, the wholesale prices, you know, something like 10 bucks and then three months later the wholesale price drops to between a dollar and $3.

Francisco: 00:29:10 Well, unless you’re just like the biggest pervert ever, who has to watch brand new porn, who cares if your DVDs are three months old?

Francisco: 00:29:34 So I started a website called rock bottom video, which is now belongs to someone else. I long gone, gave up the domain, but I started a website called rock bottom video where all of our DVDs were 99, 99 or less. Our slogan was, if you’ve got 10 bucks, we’ll sell you porn. And and I and I tried to sell DVDs. We still had some, we didn’t really know what we were doing. This was again, two, the other two still relatively early days of eCommerce. Mostly I got to go to porn parties. I got to go to a decent number of foreign parties, which was so that, that kinda, you know, I don’t know what it was, a year and a half of going to porn porn, I’ve been a porn movie reviews. So it’s really funny. Cause they’re sort of the reverse of reality. So I remember being at at if you, if any of the viewers know who Jesse Jane is she was a big time porn star in the 90s.

Francisco: 00:30:34 So Jessie Jane was the star of this, this movie, this movie, this feature film, those feature film. And we were at a club, we were at a club in Beverly Hills and you know, party and then they gather everyone into a room and they started showing, it’s like a movie premier. Oh, it’s a screening. It’s a screening. It’s a screening and jet Jesse, Jesse Jane is sitting, you know, a couple seats down to three seats away from me. And it’s so funny because I’m going to make some assumptions here. I don’t know if this is true. I think most people fast forward through the dialogue and just watch the sex and the screen thing. Jesse is sitting there and she’s kind of, she’s sort of embarrassed. She says, she says, can we fast forward through the sets and just get to the dialogue?

Francisco: 00:31:28 And I’m like, I am living in a bizarre world right now. I’m living in an absolute like reverse bizarro world. This is just the craziest thing on that earth. So from there so I ended up getting a better day job. So, so back at back in tech, I had to sell rock-bottom closed robot. So I closed it cause my, my co founder, my partner at the time, I mean we were literally shipping out of his garage and he just started getting sloppy. And somebody ordered a DVD called called 40 lays and 40 nights. And he, and he shipped them, he shipped them a video called [inaudible]. I mean I’m, I’m probably getting it a little bit wrong, but you’ll get the gist of it. I think that the DVD was called 40 of the world’s most fabulous. She made,

Francisco: 00:32:33 Exactly. So I, at the time, you know, I had a day job, I got back, you know, sort of career track. I wasn’t no longer surfing the internet for stupid people Googling things for stupid people. You know, so the day job was going well and I started doing standup comedy. So I, I was a semi-pro stand up comic. I had been paid on more than one occasion, very small amounts. But I have, I have had a couple of paid gigs in my life and and I got laid off from my day job for my good day job. I was doing international sales for a tech company. I got laid off in June, 2004 and I had been, at this point, I had been going out in the evenings and doing standup comedy, so I get it in my head that I am going to be a motivational speaker now.

Francisco: 00:33:26 Yeah. Well Tony Robbins, Tony Robbins. Now I was, you know, a marginally successful entrepreneur kinda, you know, I mean, my business has worked, but I wasn’t rich. You know, and I went to a crappy college, so there was nothing, right. There was nothing there. So people said, well, you know, if you want to be credible, you should write and get things published. And this was before everybody was blogger. This was when, you know, your writing’s still sort of mattered. A little bit long story store. I ended up as the leadership column for inc com for inc magazine. Online company online. Yeah. so I do that. It’s not paid, but this was before everyone was a contributor. Like I had a photo and a column. All thing still doesn’t mean I’m making any money as a motivational speaker. But now all of a sudden I’m, I’m credible.

Francisco: 00:34:24 And long story short, I meet some people, they say, Oh, you know, you’re the leadership columnist for inc magazine, you know, online and do you want to be a life coach? I’m not touchy feely. I mean for anyone watching, I mean this is actually as nice as I get. I’m normally like you talking about how is that gonna work? But they told me, they were like, well, I said, well, what’s the gig? They said, well, we’ll get you the clients. You basically just talk to them on the phone and we’ll give you 70 bucks an hour. Huh,

Francisco: 00:34:59 And this is kind of the thing earlier where I said, you know, you end up with these job titles that you’re embarrassed about, like social media guru. Right. I ended up as a life coach, which is just super embarrassing to me. To me it’s just super embarrassing. But I would lay in bed and you know, literally would be on something like this, talking to people going, well, how are you going to do that? I want to be rich and famous. You live in Idaho and you’re kind of ugly. Oh, crusher of dreams. Well, yeah, the self-help world is based on lies. All of it. All of it is based on lies. Lies that you tell yourself are lies. If the coach tells you both. So, you know, one, I’ll, I’ll expose the two sort of main ones. One is this whole, you know, they’ll tell you these stories of, Oh, you know, Oh, Brad Pitt was the apoyo Loco chicken before he became, you know, Brad Pitt. That’s a true story. You know, are all these for all reasonable purposes. Unless someone was a child star. Every actor in LA, every movie star has worked as a waiter or waitress or something of that sort. Right? Jennifer Aniston was a waitress. Brad [inaudible] play a local chicken. Those are both true stories. And so people tell these stories, you know, to motivate, you know, okay. You know, if I just, you know, work cause the oil, oil, local chicken, I’ll, I’ll, you know, I’ll turn into Brad Pitt.

Francisco: 00:36:29 No, there are so many actors and I’m using actors, musicians, you know, fill in the blank, right? Yeah. Who were leaders and never became Brad Pitt and never became Jennifer Aniston. Right. I, you know, I lived in L a long time. I’ve partied, I partied with Ron. Ron, Jeremy has been to my house. I partied with Corey Feldman on multiple occasions and this is back in the nineties I’ve known actress who’ve quote unquote made it and then their show gets canceled and they move away. Or Hey, like, like even when you make it, that doesn’t mean you’ve made it forever. Right. You might’ve had three years on a show and then, and then you never work again and you move away. No, I’m not saying this to crush anybody’s dreams. I mean, if you want to go for it, then go for it. But when people tell these stories, you know, they’re, they’re telling you these stories with the survivorship bias.

Francisco: 00:37:24 Yup. Right? For all reasonable purposes, every actor in LA was a waiter. That does not mean that every actor who came to LA and waited tables became Brad Pitt. Right? So that’s a lie. That’s just fundamentally a lie. All right. Those stories are just a lie. I mean, there’s just the other lie, and it’s almost all based online as well, but the other sort of big lie that I think is told this, people say, well, what would you do? You know, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Well, that’s a ridiculous state. If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would be Jon Bon Jovi. I mean, well, I’m, Toby is Mac Bon Jovi is married to his high school sweetheart. The guy became a rock star at 19 he’s had a 40 year career, 35 year career, whatever his 40 year career in the rock and roll hall of fame. His band is largely intact. Richie Sambora left like five years ago. But otherwise he said the exact same day. And the whole time I’d be Bon Jovi. I don’t sing. I don’t play guitar at all. Right. But if you’re just, if you’re telling me that I can wake up tomorrow and be whatever I want to be, yeah. Well that, that’s the answer. The real question that should be asked. The truth is,

Francisco: 00:38:44 Well, if I told you I would pay, well, you’re already successful. But you know, someone out there trying to figure out what they want to, if I said, okay, I’ll pay you, you know, 50 grand in a year, 60 grand a year, enough for you to live no magic and win the lottery, get a check for 50 grand a year, how would you spend your days? That’s the real question. Right? So if, if Jon Bon Jovi hadn’t never become Bon Jovi, would he still be playing guitar? Would he still be writing music? Probably. I mean, I don’t know the guy, but, but you know, I mean, there’s a high probability. Yeah, right.

Francisco: 00:39:26 Would I be playing guitar? No. Cause I don’t play guitar down. But if you’re telling me I can wake up tomorrow home and be yeah, yeah, yeah. And so the cell phone world is built on these lies. And I ended up as a life coach. I never, I never, you know, peddled these lies, but someone paid me 70 bucks an hour to talk to people on the phone. So I do that for a few. So back to the story, I haven’t forgotten the story. So I do that for a few years and after about four years, so now we’re like 2008, I decide that I just simply cannot talk to these people anymore. I, I hated them. I said like, I can’t tell you, I just, I hate you all. I dread these calls to just listen to these people in their bullshit are difficult sometimes. Well, it’s, it’s, it’s that the self-delusion, right? I just don’t like self-delusion. I just, just be honest with good or bad, right? If you’re a selfish person, say you’re a selfish person, right?

Francisco: 00:40:30 And you commit crimes, say you’re a criminal. It’s just this, it’s hypocrisy. And self-delusion just drive me kinda nuts. So in 2008, I decided that that one of the things that was important to me was I want everything, all of my stories actually looped back on until their, it’s kind of funny. You know, you were talking about, about being around great people and sort of a pure group or at least people that you wanted to be around. So 2008, I decided that I was going to add sort of a a side life goal to things I wanted in life and what and, and what that was, is I wanted to be around interesting people because I just spent four years talking to people. I hate it.

Francisco: 00:41:17 Very disinteresting people. Yeah. So I was like, you know, I need to be around interesting people. I have to, I want to be around the most interesting people and I can, and the tech industry, the start, when I say tech, I really mean the startup, you know, I’m not talking about big companies, the middle of America, but the startup industry at the time was kind of neat. It was kind of open. It was relatively easy to meet people. And I thought, and because I was still a leadership poem in this for inc magazine, I was able to get press credentials and I just sort of made it a point to meet. It’s not, I’m not technical, I don’t know how to code or anything, but I made it a point to meet interesting people that, and again, it just sort of the, the world aligned where those people for me happened to be in the startup world. Because I just wanted to be around interesting people. I wanted to be around people that I found interesting, that were doing things that I, you know, could, could look up to who could accomplish things who accomplish things that I had an accomplished. So it just became a thing. And, and from there I ended up running a regular conference, which allowed me to be at a, meet a bunch more entrepreneurs and VCs and that kind of thing. And then from there that evolved into, into 50 kids.

Joshua: 00:42:31 Yeah, no worries. Actually, do they do come full circle in that time? I think that 2006, seven, eight nine, that late arts timeframe I think is very special. Maybe because I’m biased because that’s when my Mike started really kind of got my career going, but it seemed like, you know, it was, it was the post.com bubble. We went through a little depression and then things are starting to come back. But things were new and interesting. Social media was just taking off and we’re now, Twitter is just a shit show. You know, back in the early days, anybody you wanted to meet that happened to be on there, you had like this instant connection. You’re like, Oh shit, you’re an NBA player. Hey dude, what’s up? Oh, and he replies, Oh, I’m fine. I’m playing the Cavaliers tonight or something. It was just so easy in new and the, I think the vibe and like the community, like the in-person community events too was very different. Now it just seems jaded and every like South by Southwest is like 50,000 people or something now. Like how do you have a personal connection there now? I don’t know.

Francisco: 00:43:41 You, you don’t. So there’s, there’s a couple things. Again, all of my stories actually looped back on each other and everything. I, I sort of, they all end up making sense or at least I think they do. One of the things that, that I’ve come to believe in is I think there are areas in terms of communities or things like that. And you know, as you said, this sort of six, seven, eight, nine, there was an era, there was just this period where things were open for whatever reason, you know, and you can’t predict the arrows. There’s just sort of, if you’re lucky to be there when during that era I was lucky to be there, you know, you were lucky to be there. Now, you know, people that I met back then so easily, you know, walk around the floor of tech, crunch, disrupt.

Francisco: 00:44:27 It’s like I met all these people. How no, no, they were just, they’re not there anymore. You know, you go to a tech crunch conference now there are no, who are these people? I got that. Then you were just walking around. It’s like, Hey, there’s, you know, so-and-so. And there are so and so, they’re just, so the one is the era is that concept of era two is so I have a theory, I have a belief that all open systems degrade and a, and that doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline, right. So I didn’t go to an Ivy league school and I certainly wasn’t in an Ivy league school in 2004. But look, I love Facebook. I still use Facebook. I spent it, it’s wonderful, but I got to think Facebook was better when it was the Ivy leagues. Only if you are a college, you know, you are a Harvard, Columbia, whatever student in 2004, and it was just a bunch of Ivy league kids right

Joshua: 00:45:17 Before the Russians. [inaudible] Facebook. Yeah. Which is worse though. Russia, Facebook are old people. Facebook. you know,

Francisco: 00:45:31 So, you know, you talked about Twitter, right? So Twitter, Twitter was always open, but it was, I don’t want to say it was a secret, but it was underground. And then, you know, now you go on and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a hive of scum and villainy. It’s most Isely from star Wars, you know, that happens in real life as well. You know, you’ve seen a, I dunno if you know what bar camp is or any of the viewers art camp is, but I remember the first bar camp in LA was just like this sort of magical, cool, everybody knew each other a two bar camps later. It’s people trying to sell you real estate, right? And so, you know, the open systems do gray. And I think all open systems do grade. That’s just, it just can’t be helped. And so, you know, do you talk about being an a lead us or saying things that might be sent a little way? I don’t think it is. Right. Because just like if you don’t have some sort of barrier to entry, your, your system, your, your system is going to degrade.

Joshua: 00:46:35 Yeah. And so that’s essentially what you’ve done with your trips. You are the barrier to entry and kind of curating personalities hikes and such. So then when you brought them together, there was some commonality there. Intentional on your part.

Francisco: 00:46:50 Whoa, Whoa. 100% intentional. Yeah. I mean, it was actually very, I tell people, and again, the trips are a little bit different now. I trust the, the boat leaders to, to curate their own boats. It seems to have worked okay. Except for our one friend who, I don’t know what happened there. And the bait boats, some of the boats were amazing. One boat was

Joshua: 00:47:11 Fascinating, fascinating.

Francisco: 00:47:17 You know, most people actually have no idea how curation works or, or, or even how, how social dynamics work, but they do if they really think about it. So there’s a couple that I believe. One is that what makes a, I’ll use the term VIP even though it sounds kind of douchey, but what makes a room VIP is not the best person. That’s the worst person, right? So if you, you know, using the Harvard as an example, we went to Harvard right now, left the professors, left the campus, but took away 70% of student body and replaced them with clowns. It’s not Harvard anymore. And you can sit there and say, my professor won a Nobel prize. And that might be a true statement. But if 70% of the people in that room are idiots, I’m sorry, that’s not a Harvard classroom or Stanford or you know, fill in the plane. The other thing is just that dynamic between people. So I tell people it’s a, it’s a little bit like, I’m like, think about like planning the seating chart at a wedding.

Joshua: 00:48:13 Ah, that kind of making me sweat. If you, if you’ve been through that with your spouse, it’s, it’s an interesting endeavor.

Francisco: 00:48:24 It’s an interesting endeavor. But if you do it right, it’s awesome, right? If, because it’s just like, Oh, then then you’ll, you know, and then, and then you can, you know, you do it right and do it well. Then you can watch how these tables that you flip together, you know, had a great time. Whereas if you don’t plan that seating chart, well, you’re just like, Oh, squeeze, screwed this, screwed this up. Oh, you know, there’s those dynamics there. But really, I mean, just that open, open versus closed system and it costs in itself. So here, here’s a kind of a related, I’ve started thinking recently and the reason I, I have these sort of ideas and things that I play with in my head at one of the things is above sort of financial security. And we’ll even go a little bit finding financial security plus toys, right? Yeah. So above financial security plus toys, what’s the point of being rich?

Joshua: 00:49:21 Oh, both financial security plus. That is a very good question cause he can’t spend it all fast enough. If you’re the bill Gates of the world or even somewhere well below bill Gates, you know, even $1 billion, a single billion on flooding, it’s unfashionable. No,

Francisco: 00:49:37 I mean you got a real, how to go out Michael Jackson style, just buying ridiculous things to go through $50 million in a lifetime. I mean, you’ve got to really just be like, so I started thinking, I was like, well I, I actually think the reason to be rich or tried to be rich. I’m not rich. But the reason I tried to be rich above financial security plus toys is so you can be around interesting people. It goes back to that be around interesting people, right? As I look, if, if you know, if you’re a guy worth, again, we don’t even have to talk about billions. If you’re a guy with $50 million, you can go to places with other people who are interesting, who are not going to ask you to pick up the check for dinner or whatever it is. Right? And so it just becomes like, ah, all right. So that’s actually like, don’t think about it that way, but it’s kind of true.

Joshua: 00:50:31 Your value system shifts not on the material, but to the experiences. Like Sally and I, we were just talking about this the other day. Our couch is starting to fray and she’s like, I’m not buying a new couch. This couch is just fine. I’m like, that’s my girl. I said, let’s talk. But we will squirrel away money to go take a sick vacation and have a great experience, but we’ll be fine with the couch. That’s, you know, showing a few threads. But we also have little kids that’ll just destroy it. So,

Francisco: 00:51:01 So it’s but, but the relay and the way you view, I believe, and I’m speaking in generalizations, of course this doesn’t apply to everybody, but, but I think, I think what you value actually changes. So, so, so something that I would tell people to say, say, look, if you, if you’re a nobody and I’m a nobody, I mean I’m just some dude, right? If you’re a nobody, you want to be famous, generally speaking, right? I’m, I’m making a generalization here, but if you’re a nobody, you want to be famous. You want to, you want to be a superstar, you want to go to the restaurant and get the best table, right? But if you’re famous, what you actually want is privacy.

Joshua: 00:51:44 Do you want your nom and nymity back?

Francisco: 00:51:47 All right? You, you actually want the exact opposite things. If you’re already, if you’re Brad Pitt, you want to be able to go to Clooney’s house, have a private dinner. They’re already Brad Pitt. You don’t need to, you know, and so there’s this weird sort of flip now. Now you want to be at Clooney’s house with interesting people. You don’t want to be excluding these house with idiots. Right? But, but you do want to be there with a smaller group. Yeah. Five, 10 people. Right. And, and so there’s just this weird sort of value system shift where sort of the more successful people become. Most people, again, not everybody, but I think most people, right? You get someone with a lot of money, the last thing they want to talk about is money. Cause people are hitting them up for money all the time. You get someone who’s famous, well the fame wears on them, so they want their privacy back, right? Whereas if you have no money and you’re unknown, those are the things that you want. So there’s a very interesting sort of reverse, you know, flip and what, what people value.

Joshua: 00:52:47 So you have spent a lot of time, it sounds like through your career, working with people and understanding people and how people work and the dynamics of group dynamics and stuff. So how have you parlayed that into, you know, kind of current ventures? What are you doing today to keep yourself busy?

Francisco: 00:53:09 Well well we still do 50 King’s although it’s now called regatta con. And you mentioned we’re, we’re going to Croatia. So we have we have, you know, boat booked and Croatia and yeah, I don’t know if anyone’s watching this and they’re interested in us in Croatia. Hit me up. We but I, I started you know, I mentioned earlier that I, I am kind of a quote unquote pure entrepreneur. Someone who, you know, gets an idea or it gets, you know, like see something that he thinks is interesting and we’ll put his credit card now. And so so I started a caffeinated, I’ll take one out of the box. Coffee bar, coffee bar. So Kafka is Kotler coffee. I don’t care how you pronounce it, is a region in Ethiopia where coffee, the origins of coffee, apparently in some South Africa, I think coffee is a a racial bad term in America.

Francisco: 00:54:14 It’s a region. The real definition is, it’s a region in Ethiopia where coffee came from and I created a caffeinated protein bar. We’re getting some nice traction. We’re in a very fancy there’s a restaurant, a restaurant, sorry, there’s a supermarket chain, five stores, small chain in LA called [inaudible], which is like the super high end, more expensive whole foods. People are like, yeah, people are like of whole foods, his whole paycheck, your one, his whole bank account. It’s like the celebrity whole foods. Everyone’s like this limp. So we’re in Erawan in LA and you know, you can order an online coffee bar.com. I’m, I’m a bachelor, I’m a lifelong bachelor. I’m, I’ve never been married. And so I don’t cook, but I try to eat like sorta kind of healthy and, and so I bars, which is better than fast food I guess.

Francisco: 00:55:04 Although I eat fast food too, but I’ve always just tons of bars because it was a way to at least sort of control what I was eating. Yeah. And you know, there’s some, there’s some okay bars out there and there’s certainly some decent bars out there, but I never found one that I like really, really liked. And the other thing is I don’t drink coffee, not cause I’m anti coffee just cause I’m a bachelor. I’m too lazy to make coffee for one. Yeah. And you don’t want to be that guy that uses the pod system and just polluted. Yeah. Big old machine coffee for one. So, so, you know, I made this caffeinated protein bar all natural. How much caffeine is in it? About a cup of coffee? About a cup. Yeah. So if you Google, if you Google like caffeine and a cup of coffee, it’ll say 80 to one 40.

Francisco: 00:55:49 So this is 110 milligrams. It’s a 17 grams. Oh shoot. 17. Oh, hold on. I dropped it on my computer screen. Oh, we’re back. 17 grams of protein. Yeah, so, so we’re doing that. It’s exciting. I’ve spent all my money on it. As I was talking about, I’ve put the credit card down and maxed it. You’re bootstrapping this venture? Yeah, I mean we, we probably want to go out and raise like a little bit. I don’t, I don’t really, I don’t want to say I don’t get it. I know how the math works, but like, you know, the people who go out and raise millions and millions of dollars, they don’t realize, it’s like, well now you have to sell it for like 100 million. Like that’s the math starts, the math starts working against you. You probably want to go

Joshua: 00:56:37 When it’s just you, you can you know, do it as you want. Once you bring in institutional money, there is only one or two outcomes. You die or you’re in every supermarket in the United States cause they won’t settle for anything less.

Francisco: 00:56:52 Yeah, I mean we’re looking at like, if someone, one of my jobs that we, you know, we didn’t talk about it is I used to, again, Forrest Gump is I used to run an AI accelerator, you know, and we were given a a hundred, a hundred thousand dollars for 7%. I’m totally down for like that. You know, you could, you can still, you know, sell the company for 2 million bucks and everybody makes money. You know, it’s like, it still makes sense, but when you look at some of these numbers of like we went out and raised 40 million, wait, how are people gonna get their morning? You’re going to have to sell this. You know what? So, so, yeah, so we’re probably looking for, you know, a hundred grand, 150 grand, something like that. But, but that, you know, the math taught you, you know, you talked about you have to be in every supermarket. I mean, I don’t know. I look at the math on like Soylent or Bulletproof coffee, the amounts of money that they raised and maybe they’ll get there. I don’t know. No, man. I, I, you know, nobody knows the future, but just from a pure math standpoint, I’m just like, these people just have to just completely go nuts. I mean, somehow they got to make these companies worth $1 billion if for people to make money.

Joshua: 00:58:02 Sounds like you’re, I’m looking for Mark Cuban on shark tank. Hey Mark, when you’re listening I’ve had these coffee bars. They’re amazing. They have this sweet kind of toasted toffee taste to them. They’re delicious.

Francisco: 00:58:17 So people like them. We’re actually doing a demo tomorrow at a, at a celebrity gym. There’s a gym here called rise nation in LA, which is basically like, you could Google like Jennifer Aniston rise nation and it’s like Jennifer Aniston’s favorite workout.

Joshua: 00:58:31 Ah, so a little product placement in front of influencers.

Francisco: 00:58:36 Yeah, I mean at the end of the day, I mean, you, you’ve had it, people seem to love the bar, right? If the bar doesn’t taste great, then it doesn’t like you people. Why don’t want to eat the damn thing. So we F w you know, we’re, we’re real happy with, you know, the taste and the nutrition, caffeine, protein. They know that those elements of the bar and now it’s just a getting it out there. You know, I’ve tried to try to get it out there.

Joshua: 00:59:04 If I can ask you, what was the it’s not really manufacturing, but you know, you, you had to do prototypes and testing and, and you had to find the Baker or the suppliers of the ingredients and then someone to actually make it and wrap it. I mean, what was that kind of process like? Briefly.

Francisco: 00:59:22 Yeah. So we, we skipped over, I say we, I have a co founder. He did all the packaging. Everybody loves the passion, good looking. A lot of people will start like a, like a food or CPG, consumer packaged good company. They’ll literally start in their kitchen. Well, as I said, I’m a bachelor, I don’t even make my own coffee. So there was just no way for me to be making, making these bars. I found it w like our first step, we basically skipped over that stuff. So I went, I had the idea for the bar because if you’re someone who works out, there’s something called a pre-workout, which is what people will eat or do before they go to the gym. And a lot of people and it doesn’t, it’s not limited to pre-workout. It could just be, you know, morning breakfast on the go.

Francisco: 01:00:09 But that was where your inspiration came from. It came from two, two parts. So one was just the breakfast on the go, cause I don’t drink coffee cause I’m too lazy to make it for one, it’s just stupid to make coffee for one. I think, I don’t know, some lady in the Superman, I was in the supermarket, the, the high end market that we’re in doing the demo. Literally. it’s, you know, I’m, I’m in the market doing demos, I’m, I’m doing everything in this company. And you know, some, some woman comes up and I said, would you like to try a sample? And she says, sure. And I go into my, you know, 32nd spiel. And I said, yeah, you know, I’m the founder of the company and I don’t like making coffee. She just gave me this look. She’s like, that’s pathetic.

Joshua: 01:00:53 So you got to clean up

Francisco: 01:01:01 The element of just sort of all in one breakfast on the go. Right. Picking up a cup of coffee on a scone or a muffin or whatever it is, or I can just get this and it’s better for you and you can drive and you’re not going to spill it. And you know, whatever it is. That was one. And then the pre-workout angle with the other angle. So you know, for the guys, I say guys, women too, whatever, you’ll sometimes see people do like a red bull on a protein shake or a monster protein shake or a cup of coffee and a protein shake or something like that. I’ve done that. It’s kind of gross. It works, but it’s kind of gross. So again, it was kind of a thing of like, look, if we put the caffeine in the bar, bingo, it just solves all the problems. And it’s not gross. I’m not sitting here with a, with the, you know, Berry tasting monster, you know, Milky tasting protein shake. It’s

Joshua: 01:01:54 So you, you went, you went right to the food manufacturer. Tell, told them what you wanted, tested a few samples, dialed it in and away you went.

Francisco: 01:02:03 Yeah. Yeah. So I found, you know, I contacted you to co-packers and ordered some samples from them and you know, started working with them on the recipe. It’s on what we want. Our product has, it has honey and dairy in it, so it’s not vegan. The first, we originally tried a vegan recipe and it was just not good. I was just like, I’d really love to be able to advertise vegan, but nobody’s going to want to eat this except Deegan’s.

Joshua: 01:02:28 But you know, it may be good for vegans. Maybe they’re used to chewing on cardboard. I don’t know.

Francisco: 01:02:33 Yeah. It didn’t all a, like a lower standard of what’s good. Sorry, vegans. I said you know, I, I want this to be amazing. You know, I’m willing to, to, you know, we, we can still make it all natural, just only going to have honey and dairy and, and it’ll change the, the, the makeup of the bar. And so we just ended up with a recipe that I thought was fantastic. And again, people seem to really love it. And then, and then, you know, the co-packer does to production. So you know, I, I, these grubby hands are never actually on the bar. I mean the co-pack or they’re FDA approved, they have all the certificates. It’s a massive, I honestly don’t understand how people, you know, make product in the kitchen to sell on a supermarket. It’s just weird to me. Like it’s just like you just like cook this at home and then show up at the supermarket, like, just weird. Like, so yeah,

Joshua: 01:03:24 Very reasonable way to look at it though. You’re like, my expertise isn’t in making food stuffs, so why should I bother doing that?

Francisco: 01:03:33 Yeah. And there’s so many little regulations, you know, what can you put on the rap or what are your health claims or not Plains and all these things. Right. And so, you know, we work with a, you know, a co-pack or you know, to, to not just make the bar, but you know, help us with all of, you know, sort of make sure we’re within FDA compliance.

Joshua: 01:03:51 Yeah. Well it is delicious. We have a box that we bought when you announced him and it’s just about empty. So I gotta go get some more from you. So Francisco, what a great conversation from from your beginnings as a, a reviewer for porn DVDs to inc magazine to adventure trips for 12 year olds or adults that adults like to ask at a act like 12 year olds. It sounds like it’s been quite a journey and now coffee bars are in sell on sale in the LA area. Right. So thank you so much for joining me. It’s wonderful catching up with you. Can you tell everybody where to find you online?

Francisco: 01:04:37 Well I, I don’t tweet much anymore unless I’m, I’m tweeting about this, but my Twitter handle is the man.

Joshua: 01:04:44 See that’s 2008. You could, you could get that.

Francisco: 01:04:48 I could be the man. Yeah. I don’t know. I’m Francisco Dow. Last name is D as in Delta. A as an LFO was an Omega. I’m, I dunno, I guess you can find me. CAFO bars, K a F a B a r.com. Regard a con. Do I have a regatta con website? I think a regatta con

Joshua: 01:05:10 There, there is a Facebook group for regarded on a Facebook page. Okay.

Francisco: 01:05:14 Yeah. So anyway. Yeah,

Joshua: 01:05:17 So thanks again Francisco, and we look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Francisco: 01:05:21 All right, thanks Joshua. Cheers. Bye everybody.

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