Chattin’ with Scott Warner
Other than exuding an immense amount of coolness, Scott Warner lives by two mottos: Work hard and never give up. OK, a third motto as well: Don’t be afraid to pivot. In the 7 years that Gigg has been in existence, Scott has pivoted his company over 100 times. No joke. So many different avenues, so many different directions.
Trying to keep striving, keep going. He has an unconquerable spirit in business. He keeps trying new things till he finally finds the right path. And in the 7th year of his business, things are finally taking off in a massive way! It’s been amazing to chat with Scott about his incredible journey and how we went from helping promote bands to now being the software solution for businesses in desperate need of some savvy social media.
He has had an amazing journey so far and it’s awesome to see where his business is headed. Hope you enjoy this podcast!
Who Is Scott Warner?
Scott Warner, Utah entrepreneur and CEO of Gigg, is now a social media phenomenon. His business and pivoting expertise have led to a following of 350,000 on Twitter alone. His innovative marketing platform Gigg blends word-of-mouth marketing with automated tools and strategies, enabling musicians and artists to really engage with their fans. Scott Warner had a fascinating upbringing and an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. He’s also passionate about sports, music, and cereal, and lives to inspire and motivate his followers.
Warner was born in Long Beach, California, and moved to Mesa, Arizona, at 13. In his senior year of high school, his family finally moved to Utah County in Utah, which he now calls home. He also studied at Utah Valley University but dropped out to follow his business and entrepreneurial dreams. Scott Warner also spent time on a mission in Nashville for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Scott Warner has always been interested in sports as well as business, particularly baseball and football. Scott Warner is a self-proclaimed Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars fan and is now married to Mickell, a former BYU Cougarette. They live in Utah with their four children. Warner often jokes that he only went to university to appeal to Mickell’s father and ask for her hand in marriage, but he’d always had other business ideas.
As a child, Warner was already a budding entrepreneur and began pivoting his first business. He opened a lemonade stand, which quickly developed into selling softball snacks at games. From a young age, he also had a strong work ethic and helped his father by selling newspaper subscriptions. After dropping out of university, he got a sales job at a home security company, Pinnacle Security, where he became a pioneer in security sales and vice president of the company. He then went on to develop his own business ventures.
Scott Warner is known for his most successful business Gigg, a social media platform for musicians to reach out to more fans and market themselves using word of mouth. Gigg also has a wide range of innovative tools to help convert followers into leads and sales. Users can organize competitions for their fans and manage their social inbox, both great ways to make contact and truly engage with followers. The main feature is the Gigg board where musicians and artists can add posts from customers and calls to action. Users are also able to use the Gigg analytics tool to monitor their performance and improve their marketing strategies.
Scott Warner is famously a master pivoter, with the skills to adapt his businesses to the needs of the market. He’s constantly reevaluating and pivoting his businesses and finding new ways to help companies and individuals gain exposure through social media and marketing. Warner will always be a family man at heart, however, and has collaborated with family members on several of their business ventures, offering his expertise and support. Family values are extremely important to him, and he feels everyone needs to be accepted as part of a community.
Another of Scott Warner’s latest projects is the BEEamicable sexual harassment prevention app. Steve Sax, one of Warner’s all-time favorite baseball players, enlisted the help of Gigg to create the app. The idea behind the app is to avoid litigation relating to sexual harassment in the workplace and to resolve employee disputes more amicably. They developed BEEamicable as a way for coworkers to communicate safely about sexual harassment, without perhaps going down the HR route. Scott Warner is a true entrepreneur and an expert in pivoting businesses towards new methods of communication.
As well as business, Scott Warner regularly tweets about his faith, family, and interests. He’s an avid music fan, which evidently led to the creation of Gigg, first set up for musicians and their followers. He’s also very much into his sports. His favorite baseball team is the L.A. Dodgers, and he passionately follows the BYU Cougars in every football season. Warner also eccentrically refers to his cereal obsession on social media, claiming that everyone secretly loves cereal, and his kids eat it every day after school.
Scott Warner continues to encourage and motivate other budding entrepreneurs through positive affirmations on social media. He insists businesses should never give up or be afraid of pivoting. He is continually pivoting his own business to adapt to the ever-changing market and this why Gigg is such an effective communication channel. Scott Warner’s insatiable business spirit is why he’s such an inspiration today.
Scott Warner Podcast Transcription
Charan: What’s going on, guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand podcast, and I’m here with my good buddy Scott Warner. Okay, here’s a funny thing, dude. Here’s a funny thing, I’ve got to give a little bit of backstory.
Scott: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Charan: Okay. Backstory is, Trey Warner, who I have interviewed on this podcast, is your brother. I had no idea.
Charan: I had no idea. For a long time, I didn’t realize-
Scott: When did you put it together?
Charan: Well, he told me and I’m like, “Wait a minute. Hang on. Things are clicking in my brain that should have been clicking a long time ago.”
Charan: Trey Warner and I met because of acting circles. We met because of acting circles, and he was on a TV show that I was putting together and it was awesome. So anyway, he was telling me that and we were doing the show and it was great.
Charan: Next thing I know, he’s like, “Scott Warner….” I’m like, “Wait a minute, Scott Warner, that sounds familiar.” And he said, “Well, yeah, Scott’s my brother.” And then I’m like, “Wait, Trey, what high school did you go to?” And he’s like, “Timpview.” And I’m like, “You and Scott went to Timpview?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” And I’m like, “I went to Timpview.”
Charan: So apparently, Scott and I are alums from Timpview, same year too, ’98, right?
Scott: Yes, sir.
Charan: I was a ’98 graduate-
Scott: No way, man.
Charan: … of Timpview High School, dude.
Scott: Yeah, I went to Timpview my senior year.
Charan: That was it, right? That was it?
Scott: Yeah, yeah. That’s it. That’s it.
Charan: Wow, dude. Well, we should have hung out more.
Scott: Yeah, man. Seriously. You were part of the cool crowd.
Charan: No, I wasn’t. The senior year was when I became kind of somewhat cool.
Charan: Yeah, it took a while. It took a while.
Scott: What was the moment that changed everything?
Charan: I think it was when I finally realized I’m the only Indian in Timpview, and I’m going to own it.
Scott: You owned it.
Charan: I had to. I had to.
Scott: Yeah, man.
Charan: I mean, there was another guy from Sri Lanka, but he didn’t count. He was not Indian.
Scott: That’s great.
Scott: Very cool.
Charan: But dude, I appreciate you taking the time to be on this podcast, and it’s good to actually hang out with you-
Scott: Yeah, dude.
Charan: … now that we’re out of high school, man. Yeah.
Scott: It’s only been three years, or something, four years. You know, man?
Charan: I mean, I know dude. Yeah. I mean, we’ve got a lot to catch up in three years, plus 17 or so, or 18 or whatever it was.
Scott: Yeah, I can’t even remember. It’s been some time.
Charan: Yeah, ’98, 2020. I can’t even do the math.
Scott: Gosh, time flies.
Charan: Can you believe it, dude?
Scott: It’s kind of scary.
Charan: It’s a little.
Scott: It really is scary.
Charan: Yeah. Well, dude, let me tell you a little bit about the Lemonade Stand podcast, because I’m so stoked that you would come and be a part of this.
Scott: Well, I saw your interview with my brother, and it was great. So, yeah. If Trey was on, I knew I had to come on and do it better. That’s how- [crosstalk 00:03:54]
Charan: I was like, “All right, I’m going to give it a little bit of time to let Trey’s glory kind of fade. And then, I want you to just come in there with some thunder.”
Scott: Trey’s special. Isn’t he kind of special?
Charan: He’s a very special human being.
Scott: We could talk about Trey this entire podcast, his stories.
Charan: And that would cover the podcast-
Scott: For sure.
Charan: … 100%.
Scott: Yeah, he’s special.
Charan: No, dude. It’s amazing. You guys are both incredible geniuses, in my opinion. Trey’s incredibly smart in music, in acting, an incredible salesman. He was telling me all about all the stuff that you’ve been up to. And then when I started putting it together, that, “Oh my gosh, Scott Warner from high school,” it was really cool.
Charan: The Lemonade Stand podcast is all about the beginning stories of creators, of entrepreneurs. How they even got into the world of business to begin with, or how they even started thinking, “Hey, I want to not do the 9:00 to 5:00 thing. I want to be my own boss and create my own thing.” For some people, and this definitely was Trey, and probably you as well, because I think he roped you into this, you guys were spray painting, was it sidewalk, the numbers or whatever, for homes or whatnot?
Scott: Yeah, Trey and I did everything together growing up. Legitimately, everything. Even all the sports teams, we played together and we did everything together. And so, a lot of the stories that you probably heard from Trey are going to be very similar to mine, except I’ll probably tell the story better.
Charan: Well, you have better hair than he does.
Scott: Well thanks. I just chopped off three inches.
Charan: Did you?
Scott: Yeah, I did. I did.
Charan: Well, you didn’t have to do that for the podcast. Come on. I mean, it’s mostly an audio.
Scott: Yeah, I wanted to look the part, man. I’m feeling good. My wife finds me more attractive-
Charan: Well, that’s good.
Scott: … with my hair cut. It takes her back to when we were first dating, and she fell madly in love with me.
Charan: Well, I’ll tell you what, you definitely look very aerodynamic.
Scott: Thank you. Aerodynamic, yes.
Charan: You must’ve saved gas mileage coming over here. That looks so great.
Scott: Thank you.
Scott: Thank you. Well, that’s cool, though.
Charan: Yeah. No, it’s been such a fun ride, learning about the stories of entrepreneurs. Now, you work, and we’re going to get all into this, but I want to talk a little bit about how you even began your journey into, well, ultimately what is now Gigg, right?
Scott Warner Talks about Becoming an Entrepreneur
Charan: Let’s talk a little bit about your journey into being an entrepreneur. You did spray painting and all that stuff, for homes and whatnot.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. We did. I can’t remember if Trey really talked about it. I mean, ever since Trey and I were kids, or I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by the opportunity to go make money.
Charan: That’s awesome.
Scott: I’m grateful for parents that taught us work ethic, and how to go after whatever it is that we wanted. Early on, our dad put us boys in a position to generate money. I remember him taking us to, I think it was, whether it was Sam’s Club or Costco, and helping us buy chocolate bars or sodas at wholesale price. We’d go sell, we build a snack shack on the corner during the softball games, and sell stuff. We got so excited when we’d make a profit.
Charan: For sure.
Scott: We were always trading baseball cards, and you remember Pogs? You remember Pogs?
Charan: Dude, are you kidding me?
Scott: Slammers and pogs?
Charan: Slammers and pogs?
Scott: Yeah, man.
Charan: Of course. Of course.
Scott: Always trading, and yeah. And yeah, you heard the story with Trey and I spray painting curbs, my dad. Did he tell you story?
Charan: A little bit, but go ahead.
Scott: So, a guy knocked on our door, I think I was maybe 12 and Trey was 11. The guy said, “Hey, let me spray paint your curb. It’s kind of faded and it needs a polish, I’d love to do it for you. I think he was charging 10, 15 bucks. And my dad said “Hey, I’ll give you 20 bucks,” or something, “if you let my two boys watch you.”
Charan: Oh, I love that.
Scott: So, “My boys, I think they can do this.” He was a young college kid, and so I remember Trey and I sitting on each side, one on one side of him and the other on the other side, and we just watched him do it and learned how to… That actually was what we did. We were knocking doors. Actually, prior to knocking doors for curbs… actually, excuse me, this was after. See, I get lost in time.
Charan: Yeah, I noticed.
Scott: So, we sold door-to-door newspaper subscriptions for a while, Trey and I.
Scott: Did he tell you about that?
Charan: He didn’t. I don’t think he did.
Scott: Yeah, so we knocked doors selling newspaper subscriptions to the Arizona Republic, was the name of the newspaper. Who knows if it’s even still around. Anyway, then we started doing, the curbs was before. But we always kind of were learning how to sell as kids.
Charan: Yeah. That’s a valuable skill, man.
Scott: I believe it’s one of the most valuable skills that anyone could learn. We learned the art of sales, and negotiating, and getting to know people or not being afraid to approach people. It has really, really panned out for both of us. And even my younger siblings, our two younger brothers and our sister, they’re just incredible people.
Charan: That’s awesome, man.
Scott: They’re super, super great.
Charan: Well it has been really great. I know we haven’t spent as much time together as I have with Trey. But just spending time with him and seeing his work ethic, I think it’s super important. At a young age to learn that work ethic is so valuable, and it’s not something that can just be like, “Oh yeah, I’m just going to go take a class on work ethic.” It’s something that you have to really work for and do.
Scott: It’s so crucial. It’s funny that we’re talking about this. I have boys now, my oldest just turned 15.
Scott: Yeah, man.
Charan: Oh my gosh, that’s crazy.
Scott: Yeah, you’re making me feel old, dude.
Scott: We’re the same age.
Charan: No, well, you are old.
Scott: This is the life I have, bro. We’re the same age.
Charan: I don’t think I am. I don’t think I am. I’m actually a little younger than you.
Scott: Oh, good.
Scott: Well, good. Good for you, man.
Charan: I feel great.
Scott: Okay, good. But my oldest is now 15. I’ve got, I’ve got a 10-year-old boy, a seven-year-old boy and a 13-year-old daughter. My oldest son, I constantly am thinking, What am I doing to kind of force his hand or force him — you never want to force but-
Charan: Of course.
Scott: … but, Really inspire him to want to get out there and work hard for whatever it is that he’s doing? He’s been out knocking and selling the curb, spray painting the curbs. He doesn’t love it. But we’re trying new things. We just started doing something new. And man, I’ll tell you what, if I had the internet as a kid with the… well, there’s some bad things.
Charan: For sure.
Scott: I’m grateful I didn’t have some of the-
Charan: As a kid, yeah.
Scott: Well, the internet was around when I was a kid. We just didn’t know really, what it was. But we recently found a new thing that he’s really enjoying, which is he’s buying and selling cards on eBay.
Charan: Oh, that’s smart.
Scott: Baseball cards. Yeah. He’s learning to find, discover cards that aren’t being sold for maybe what they’re worth, buying it and then reselling it. We’re going through cards that we have, we do baseball cards together. Just like I did as a kid, which was so fun. He’s really enjoying how he can make money online.
Charan: That’s awesome.
Scott: As a parent, it really is imperative that you look for ways to inspire your kids to want to get out there and work hard. There’s a number of ways you can do that.
Charan: Well, like you said, the internet is definitely changed the way things happen, our days.
Scott: Oh, yeah. For sure.
Charan: But yeah, man, there’s just something about work ethic and using that focus to help you face boredom. Because I really feel like a lot of times the dangers that kids face can actually be negated if they focused instead on work.
Scott: Work ethic is everything. Another thing that… I’m fascinated by Millennials and the younger generation. One of the things that a lot of people, they get a lot of flack. Some of the most creative geniuses, as long as they have work ethic, are lethal when it comes to a business.
Scott: If you can identify some of these younger folks that understand the internet, social media development, there are so many different things that a lot of these young people run circles around us older folks on. And if you can find someone with work ethic that understands the game, I just kind of mentioned and has creative ability, I mean, that’s what I look for in my business.
Scott: But yeah, work ethic is huge. It’s interesting how a lot of these younger folks get that work ethic. A lot of them are sports, they learn sports. They had parents maybe, that that needed their help.
Scott: They had responsibility, they were raised by a single parent. And bless the heart of the single parent that raised this young man or woman up to understand work ethic. They are powerful. They can be very powerful people and do a lot of good in the world. At the same time, man, there’s some young folks that just don’t, they don’t get it. They don’t have that work ethic, they didn’t learn it. They didn’t have teachers or leaders that inspired them, and it could haunt them the rest of their life unless they turn things around.
Charan: I think it’s so interesting that you mentioned that, because we’re living in such a critical age of life, I think.
Scott: Oh, for sure.
Charan: I mean, the influence that social media has on people can be so dramatic, positive or negative. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the documentary “The Social Dilemma.” Did you see that one?
Charan: Really interesting, fascinating story.
Scott: It’s scary. Fascinating.
Charan: It’s scary. It’s scary. It’s very interesting to see when someone, like a young person, has so much stimuli coming at them all the time. How do they navigate that? Because I did not have social media, the same way. We grew up in a world where I would call people’s landlines, to go and talk to people. And that’s what I knew. And then, my dad introduced me to email and I’m like, “What is this? Will anyone ever use this?” That’s my thought, right?
Charan: And now, here we are in this age, where it’s like, every bit of information is available at our fingertips.
Scott: It’s a crazy time. I just had lunch with some friends, and we just talked about this. If you really think about it, humans were never really intended to be in front of a screen.
Scott: We’re supposed to be out, hanging out, camping, having fun, hanging with family. I mean, you look at how the world has changed over the course of the past, I don’t know, what’s it been? 30 years, since the internet really boomed, I guess?
Scott: It’s changed everything. So many people are stuck in cubicles, in front of screens. They’re on their phone, looking down at their phone or watching a TV screen. That was never really what we were intended to be or do.
Scott: There’s some great things that go along with technology, and talking about the screens, and you can do some amazing things. But it’s a matter of learning how to… what’s the word that I’m looking for?
Charan: Just kind of managed expectations and have the boundaries.
Scott: Yeah. Boundaries, limitations, “moderation” is a word that comes to my mind. But it’s learning to manage that. I’m learning more and more, these kids, our kids, those kids would stay on that flipping Xbox or PlayStation from the moment they got home until, I would say, they’d keep going until 1:00 AM until we stopped it, or until they… their eyes start closing.
Scott: But it’s a crazy, crazy time. You’ve got to learn to control yourself and help those you have stewardship over, your children especially, protect them. But on the other side, when you go to the other side of things, with technology and the internet, there are some incredible opportunities that the human race has never seen before. As far as opportunity to, if you have work ethic, capitalize on that in a business, and do some good in the world. People are begging for good in the world, right now.
Charan: Yeah. It’s interesting, you and I have a mutual friend who passed away recently, Colin Kartchner. It was so tragic. Colin and I, I’ve told people, we’ve been friends since I was 13, because we were in the same school the whole time. He spoke so loudly and strongly about the dangers of social media towards kids, and the things that have happened because kids were not prepared for something like that.
Charan: But it’s interesting because the solution, I don’t think… I know he was saying, “Don’t give them smart phones,” but we’re evolving to a society where it’s almost a necessity now.
Scott: It’s part of life.
Charan: It’s part of life.
Scott: It’s there.
Charan: It’s there. Whereas back in the ’90s, I never thought, “Oh, I need to call someone. I need to text someone,” or anything like that. Now, it’s like I have to have my phone on me so I can communicate. Communication, it’s been such an important part of life right now.
Scott Warner Talks about Finding Positivity
Charan: You work in the technological space, and you do some awesome stuff. I want to kind of dive into that a bit. How have you been able to find the positive in it, and do a lot of good and all that good stuff?
Scott: Again, there are so many positives about being able to connect with the world with your voice and your business, your faith. There are so many different things that you can do. I guess the positive things that I’ve learned, is the benefit of being positive.
Scott: Again, I was just mentioning, the world is absolutely begging for goodness. The people are looking to be inspired. I think when people can share things that are good, that are inspiring, motivating, people that can be real about things maybe that they’ve struggled in life with, to help others that are struggling with something similar, it’s an incredibly powerful opportunity for anyone and everyone. So, putting some good out in the world, using your social media pages is incredibly powerful and good.
Charan: Yeah. Were you drawn to technology? Is that what led you to the path that you’re on right now?
Scott: I’ve always been fascinated by technology. I’ve always been blown away by the opportunity that’s there with technology. I’m a social person. I was blessed to be put in many different spots as a young kid to meet people, and learn how to meet people. I love meeting people, it’s one of my favorite things in the world. I love to be around people, get to know people, learn about their past, what they’re up to now and their goals in life. I just always have been fascinated by that. But what really led me to technology, or a career in it, was the music industry.
Charan: Oh yeah, you were in music as well.
Scott: Yeah, I liked to believe that… I’m probably the least musically inclined in my family.
Charan: I don’t believe that for a second.
Scott: No, that’d be [crosstalk 00:19:23]. My youngest brother is without question, the least musically inclined.
Scott: Well, you dealt with… you know Trey.
Charan: For sure.
Scott: Trey is probably the most talented human being that I’ve ever met. And that’s saying something, and please don’t let Trey see that. [crosstalk 00:19:37]
Charan: Yeah, I’m going to delete that part of it out.
Scott: Because, Trey’s head is massive. Both physically and-
Scott: … emotionally, mentally.
Scott: Yeah, Trey’s very confident.
Charan: He’s very confident.
Scott Warner Talks about Gigg
Scott: Yeah, he’s very good at what he does in the music space. But I built my company Gigg, focused on helping artists get discovered, help them be more efficient or effective in driving their brand to the masses. Helping build campaigns around marketing initiatives, that their fans were doing the talking, and then helping them monetize. That was kind of the premise of the Gigg business.
Charan: Well, yeah. Tell me a little bit more about it. I’m so curious to learn more about what that’s all about.
Scott: In the early stages we were focused on partnering with mainstream artists, to help them push a tour, an upcoming single album. Even albums from the past, on their anniversary. There’s tons of different things that we were looking to help with mainstream artists. But how were we were doing that is, we were inviting undiscovered artists to submit videos, to compete head-to-head-
Charan: I love it.
Scott: … to open for a band, or to get in the studio with an artist. And we had tens of thousands of artists that would-
Charan: So crazy. Yeah.
Scott: … submit videos, and go get friends and family to vote for them. Whoever got the most votes, would end up getting that opportunity. And then, we built fun ways to capitalize on content that was being shared online. I started realizing about three or so years ago, that what we had created for the music space was something that everyone could benefit from.
Scott: Everyone wanted new ways to engage fans or find new fans. Everyone wanted ways to monetize online, be more effective in their social strategies. And so, we kind of pivoted and started selling the product and software to businesses.
Charan: Oh, rad, dude. How has that been received in all this stuff?
Scott: It’s been amazing. This was a really special year for us, and we’ve been putting the product into a lot of businesses hands. So, it’s been awesome.
Charan: That’s amazing. It’s kind of crazy when you go from a B2C to B2B, you know what I mean?
Scott: Oh, yeah. For sure.
Charan: It’s a totally different game, I would think.
Scott: Totally different ball game. Looking back, I think one of the mistakes that I made, I wish that I had started with the business-to-business model. Because the truth is, the businesses have the money to pay.
Scott: Artists are kind of broke.
Charan: Oh, they’re totally broke. That’s what they need the service.
Scott: That’s exactly why this is going to be so special, because I definitely intend to get back into the music space and I’ve actually started dabbling with it recently.
Charan: Oh, awesome, man.
Scott: Yeah. So, for sure.
Charan: No, I think that’s really great man, going to businesses and doing that route. Because so many businesses I know, that are even big, don’t really know much in the world of social media, I feel. They’re kind of clueless.
Scott: They are clueless. Shocking. I mean, and we’re talking large corporations. Enterprise, massive global companies that I’ll be sitting with in a boardroom thinking, “You got to be kidding me.”
Scott: “You need to go find one of these kids I was talking about earlier, that could run circles around this team that you’re paying bookoo dollars to. They just don’t know. They’re set in their ways, in a lot of cases. But, that’s where the opportunity is. And that’s why I get excited.
Charan: No, that’s that’s amazing man. And congrats to you. It’s such a great thing, and it’s cool that you were able to see the need to pivot and you pivoted. You know what I mean?
Scott: Yeah. 14,752 times. We’ve pivoted so many times, and you’ve got to pivot. You’ve got to pivot. What’s interesting, so this is our seventh year. I’ve heard and read in many, many places that the seventh year is when things really start coming together.
Scott: For the most part.
Charan: Seventh year?
Scott: It’s an interesting stat. I’ve even thought about really, really dive in heavy when I have some time one day, to talk about the seventh year for businesses. It’s really, really interesting. So, for any of you entrepreneurs, the question is, if you have an idea and want to go after it, and you’re serious about it, are you willing to go after this idea or this vision for seven years, at least? Because that’s when things maybe start turning in a good manner, the way that-
Charan: Why do think it takes seven years? What’s the reasoning?
Scott: I don’t really know. But I feel like, in seven years, you really, really have a chance to learn your space, learn your competition, learn what solutions you truly are providing and put together a great team. I think those would be some of the things that- [crosstalk 00:24:46]
Charan: Yeah, I think, like you said, having an identity, understanding where things go. It’s interesting. Are you, are you familiar with that show “Silicon Valley”?
Scott: Oh, yeah.
Charan: The HBO show, right?
Charan: It was interesting because, of course, I knew so little about the business place and the entrepreneurship place until I was on that show. Then when I did that show, I was educated to so many things I never even thought about, right?
Charan: But they always talked about the need to pivot, and the need to identify your market and say, “Okay, look. Clearly, there’s a big global structure looming over us and we can’t do a thing about it, it’s time for us to switch things up.”
Scott: For sure.
Charan: “Do things a little bit differently.”
Scott: It is hard as hell, pivoting. Especially, and all my investors and partners know this, I didn’t want to get up out of bed to do anything outside of the music space. Because I just love the music industry, I’m fascinated by it. There are so many opportunities there, so many. But I knew that I had to. And it takes guts, it takes courage to pivot. And even when I pivoted in the early stages from music… no joke, we’ve probably pivoted 100 times in the past seven years.
Charan: That’s crazy, dude.
Scott: Finally, have found a niche, or are in a position where we have software that really has become interesting to businesses, and you got to go after that. You got to go after it. When you find an opportunity to move and get after something that’s working, you got to stick with it.
Scott: And then, one day, you might be in a position to go back to what you were working on previously, which will happen.
Charan: Yeah. Well, it’s interesting you say this, because I’m a part of a virtual reality company, we talked about this, because, right above you guys.
Charan: It’s interesting how many times we’ve had conversations of, “Yeah, we’ve got to pivot. We’ve got to change this up, because the demand’s just not there.” It’s so crazy, because the industry that we’re in, we have to not just create the product, but we have to create the market for the product.
Scott: That’s right.
Charan: Because the market’s not even that high or demanding.
Scott: Well, the other thing that I would mention, is one of the big, big mistakes… I’m going to write a book on mistakes too, one day.
Scott: Sometimes as an arrogant, prideful business owner or founder, you think you know what people want. You don’t really know a whole lot about what people might want. You got to let your customers and the people that are using your product, help identify what things you need to be providing back to them. You need to build on the things that you’re learning from them and their experience with your product, or your solution or whatever it is.
Charan: Got it. Yeah.
Scott: It’s crucial. I kept building and dropping, and actually flushing money down the toilet, building what I believed the customers all wanted to see. I can’t tell you how many things we’ve developed, that really are literally in the toilet right now, spinning down the pipes. But again, that seven-year plan. The seven years allow you to make mistakes, you got to be willing to make mistakes. You got to push your limits.
Charan: Well, it’s interesting you say that, because a lot of times entrepreneurs have the “If you build it, they will come” mentality. But the problem is, they’re building their dream, not even knowing if their dream is something that people really want. Unfortunately, that’s the case, right?
Scott: I totally agree.
Charan: But I do think there is an important part of actually doing that, just so that that might not be what people want.
Scott: That’s right. And then be willing to pivot.
Charan: Yeah, be willing to pivot.
Scott: Well, what’s interesting is, a lot of the things that I know that the musicians and artists want, it’s interesting. I know they still want it, and they taught me a lot. I started building some of these different features in our software, based on their feedback. But what’s interesting is, that those same things were needed by other people. Even the stuff that the artists were pushing us to build, that they wanted, everyone wanted. So, you’re absolutely right in that.
Scott: But your vision — I have my vision and I know where we need to go and where we will go — it’s how you get there. It’s how you get there. But you got to let these experiences and data, the feedback that you’re getting leads you to get to that point.
Charan: Yeah. It’s interesting because that journey is not straight, getting to that point. I mean, like if you’re hiking, it’s so many switchbacks back and forth. I’ve just learned, you can’t get attached to the plan. Have the goal to give you direction. But as far as how you get to that place, you got to just trust the process, man.
Scott: Yeah. You got to be nimble.
Scott: Got to be nimble.
Scott Warner Talks About Overcoming Struggles
Charan: Absolutely. Well, speaking of being nimble and flexible, because every entrepreneur faces struggles, emotional struggles, personal struggles, financial struggles. Can you think of a time in your life where you were like, “Oh, that was a hard blow.”
Scott: A hundred thousand of those.
Charan: A hundred thousand of those?
Scott: Yes. They’re the ones that-
Charan: Yeah. Can you think of one specific one, where you’re like, “This is going to be my great lemons-to-lemonade story”? Like, “When Charan asks me this question, this is going to be the one I’m going to tell them, because this was such a blow.”
Scott: Gosh, this is hard, because there’s five or six. I mean, just last night I was telling my wife how… yesterday was a frustrating day. Friday, last week, was incredible. The Thursday before that Friday was horrible.
Charan: Oh, my gosh.
Scott: But last night I’m like, “Mickell,” no joke, “this is so hard. This is so hard.” It’s such a lonely road at times. A lot of times, when you start a company and you’re building a company, not too many people check up on you. They don’t come and say, “Hey, how you doing, man?” Rarely, outside of maybe mom or dad — and grandma.
Charan: And Trey?
Scott: Trey, no. Trey, never… Well actually, I take that back. Trey’s been better.
Charan: Okay, good.
Scott: Anyway, but Trey, yeah. Trey definitely does check on me. My siblings, the family. But even then, not often. It’s you against the world at times, and I have great partners and so on, but they need to be checked on too.
Scott: But I will never forget, when I knew I needed to make a heavy pivot, heavy pivot, and I had to let go of everybody. I let go of my entire team, it was 16 or 17 employees. We were in an office space, and we had to move out. My good buddy Mark let me take, I call it the attic, of his building, one of the buildings that he owns. I remember sitting in there by myself, looking around, had blown through millions of dollars, investment dollars from friends, from new partners that I had found and my own money, thinking, “What in the hell have I done?”
Charan: Things just kind of felt like it fell apart.
Scott: Yeah. It felt like it fell apart, in that moment. But I don’t know what it is. I have always had this, and I attribute most of this to my mother, my dad, mostly my mom, to this belief in myself or belief in what it is that I have going on, and that I can do it. Whatever it is, no matter what it takes, no matter what it takes, I’m not going to stop. It’s a powerful thing, and I’m grateful for that. Not a lot of people have that. I don’t know if it’s just maybe something you’re born with or not, but I think it can be learned.
Scott: But in that moment, I had to make the decision to pivot, and I had to build a new business plan, a new model. And that moment started for me. I guess that the lemons to lemonade was, I lost everything. Everything. I put everything on the line. I sold all my homes. I sold all my precious metals. I put the home that I was living in on the line. I dumped everything that I had worked so hard on into this, and lost really, pretty much lost it all. But I hadn’t lost it all, and I had to learn that. Because, I had learned… I call it very expensive tuition. I got my arse kicked.
Scott: But I battled and I put a business plan together. I got a couple dudes… well, one dude excited about it, Ryan. You know who I’m talking about… to come in and join me. Then I found another couple folks, and another couple of folks, and we’re now off to the races. This is the year that we’re on our way, and it’s getting very exciting.
Charan: The seventh year, man.
Scott: The seventh year.
Charan: When did the big fall happen? What year?
Charan: Okay, 2016.
Charan: Wow. You had a couple of years of building and changing things up, and now you’re on a really good trajectory.
Scott: Yes. Very, very good.
Charan: Man, that’s amazing, dude.
Scott: It’s been so hard.
Scott: It’s still so hard. We’re in the middle of a money raise. I mean, the reason yesterday was hard is, had a raise not go the way that we had hoped, and got to go again, find another person. Keep going, keep battling.
Charan: I’m telling you man, raising money, I know I’ve done it, because I’ve tried doing it for movies, and it’s tough.
Charan: It’s tough, and so I don’t envy you.
Scott: It’s the worst. The one thing that I am realizing, I can now, and this is because of my team and the software, I can look whoever I’m talking to about raising money and say, “If you put your money in, we are going to turn that into a lot more money.” I have no doubt, it’s just a matter of time. When you go into your money-raising meetings and you have that confidence, someone’s going to bite. Then you’re going to make them proud that they bit.
Charan: That’s amazing, man. Well, listen, if I had a bunch of rupees laying around, you know I would’ve bet on you, dude.
Scott: I liked it. Thanks, man.
Scott: Appreciate it.
Charan: Of course. That’s what I do. That’s what I do.
Scott: Thanks, man.
Scott Warner Talks About What Brings Him Joy
Charan: Okay. Last couple of questions I want to talk about. What brings you joy, right now?
Scott: My family. That would obviously be my family. I mean, I don’t even have to think about that for more than a millisecond. My family is my joy. Family is everything. It is my everything. It’s my reason, my why, they are everything to me. I’m talking about my immediate family, but then, my extended family.
Charan: Of course.
Scott: That brings me joy, and my faith. Yeah.
Scott: Those are my things.
Charan: It’s interesting, because we’ve had a very rough year. The world has had a rough year, a very rough year. It’s one of those things that I think about, because ever since I was a kid, my life has always been so inconsistent, I would feel… Just so many things would change on me, all the time. My parents got divorced, people moved away. I just had to adapt. And so, that actually kind of led me to being very comfortable with uncertainty. And the uncertainty that comes with acting is constant. It’s just constant. But I’m okay with it. I’m okay with it, because I’m like, “What else is new? This is what my life has been.”
Charan: So when COVID hit and the world kind of shut down, I was like, “What else is new?” Because I knew that life has always been kind of unpredictable.
Scott: For sure.
Charan: But with that, there have been certain things that have always been predictable for me. And for me, my faith is a big part of it. Trey and I, we talk about this all the time. But for me, it’s like, dude, my faith in God and His love for me, that sustains me and keeps me going through. And yeah, family and friends. Those things that are so constant, are the things that sustain you and kind of keep you moving forward when your career may not be moving forward.
Scott: You take your relationships into the next life. Your knowledge and your relationships, and those are the most lasting, meaningful parts of life. That’s where the danger of the internet comes in. That’s where you can lose those opportunities to improve relationships, and knowledge, even.
Charan: Yeah. It’s so true. I think we’re all looking for a connection, good human connection.
Scott: Sure. Absolutely.
Charan: And when the internet offers something a little bit different than true, authentic human connection, and we latch onto that, then it becomes-
Scott: It’s a problem.
Charan: … a very dangerous problem.
Scott: That’s right. I couldn’t agree more. Yes.
Scott Warner’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: But I’m glad that you have your priorities straight and you’re helping push that along, which is amazing. Last question. What would you tell the young Scott Warner? The one that’s barely spray painting the curves. The one that is excited about, but I’m not really sure what’s going to happen with it. What would you tell that Scott?
Scott: That’s a great question. I would tell him something he already knows, because his mom told him this, “Never, ever, ever quit, ever” and “remember who you are and the things that matter most in those trying times.” I think one other thing that I wish I had learned earlier is to not care what other people think. The only people that you should really care about, what they think is, I would say your parents, your wife and your kids. Those really, really matter. And, of course, God.
Charan: Of course.
Scott: However, I spent way too much time worrying what other people thought, and it’s such a waste of time. It is such a waste of time, to worry too much about what people think. Just be yourself, the right people will be there. The wrong people will not.
Charan: That’s the exact thing, right? You got to be authentic to you.
Scott: Always. And people know when you’re authentic to you, it’s easy to tell. As I get older, I can tell when someone is not really being authentic to themselves. My son brings his friends over, and you can just tell they’re struggling to figure out who they are. I mean, but that’s everybody.
Charan: But, that’s everybody at that age.
Scott: Between 13 and 18, that’s such a crazy time for everybody.
Scott: But the ones that are authentic, they’re the ones that are going places in life.
Charan: Yeah. Absolutely, man. I mean, it’s so interesting, because we sometimes slip into that trap of, “I’m doing these things, but maybe it’s more because it’s an expectation put on me from somebody else.” Instead of “No, this is really what I want to do.” But I found in my life, the more authentic I have been, the more success I’ve had.
Scott: That’s right. Amen to that, brother.
Charan: Yeah. Well dude, I appreciate you taking the time.
Scott: Yeah, it’s been fun.
Charan: This has been awesome. Thanks again, and legit, let’s go hang.
Scott: Let’s go.
Charan: Let’s go do a Timpview reunion, or something.
Scott: I’m down. I’m down. Thanks, man.
Charan: Sounds good, man. Yeah, of course. Thanks again.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to the Lemonade Stand podcast, and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use, to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback and reviews, and if you or someone has an awesome lemonade stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much, and have a great day.