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EPISODE 092 : 12/15/2022

Scot Wingo

Spiffy’s Co-founder and CEO, Scot Wingo, is a 4-time serial entrepreneur from the Research Triangle Park, NC region. Scot is an industry thought leader in E-commerce, E-service, and the future of mobility. He has appeared on CNBC and The Today Show, and has contributed thought leadership to the WSJ, New York Times, Forbes, and many other publications. Scot is co-host of The Jason & Scot Show podcast, and regularly speaks about E-commerce and mobility across the country.

Host: Ned Hayes and Kira Cleveland
Guest: Scot Wingo

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Topics discussed in this episode

  • Detailed small business insights from Olympia, Washington
  • Small business resiliency and adaptation during COVID
  • Doubling community outreach during the pandemic
  • Opportunities for small business loyalty programs

Watch Spark Loyalty’s Small Business Success Channel

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Audio Transcript

Ned Hayes [00:00:00] Welcome to Spark Plug, where we talk to smart people working at the intersection of business and technology brought to you by SnowShoe, your smarter loyalty leader. Today’s Spark Plug is happy to welcome Scott Wingo to the podcast. He’s the CEO at gets Spiffy technology enabled on demand service that allows customers to schedule car maintenance through an app. It’s an eco friendly car service solution, serving B2C markets as well as fleet markets across the U.S.. Scott has a great background of developing startups over a nearly 20 years now. He has a history with Auction, Rubicon, Channel Advisor and Stingray Software in addition to Get Spiffy. So we’re really excited to have this contributor to the Forbes Technology Council and Retail and eCommerce podcast. We’re really excited to have Scott on the show. Welcome, Scott.

Scot Wingo [00:00:52] Thanks, Ned and Kira. I appreciate you having me today. 

Ned Hayes [00:00:54] Well, as I just mentioned, you have such a great background in the startup world and consumer facing companies. So I’d like to start at the beginning. Where did you start out with this kind of Passion for nature partnership? 

Scot Wingo [00:01:07] Yeah, it started out when I was a youngster. I’m from a little town in the middle of nowhere, South Carolina called Akin. And the only thing kind of unusual about my upbringing was my dad was an auctioneer, and we didn’t know to call it that back then. That’s a pretty fancy word for Aiken, South Carolina. So we didn’t really I didn’t learn that one until I was in college. And so we always said my dad was self-employed, so he and he was a computer programmer and he did his own thing. He was a consultant for a while and then started a business doing software for carpet companies. So I you know, that the live the conversations at the dinner table were all about entrepreneurship. That turned out and gave me a good taste for it. 

Kira Cleveland [00:01:47] That is awesome. As far as that background goes and getting to have those conversations with the family. I love it. What advice would you give to an entrepreneur just starting out? 

Scot Wingo [00:01:57] Yeah, so entrepreneurship, a lot of our mindset about it is formed from the media we consume. So a lot of people that I run into see something like The Social Network, which is the story of a fictionalized story of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. A lot of them watch Shark Tank. Yes. So there’s there’s definitely a part to entrepreneurship that is fun and exciting and doing the pitch and all that kind of stuff. But they they don’t really glamorize some of the hard things, you know. You’re 100% accountable. So you’re your own boss. So there’s no one to complain to you. So it can be kind of lonely. And then, you know, entrepreneurship has a pretty high failure rate. So you have to kind of go into it with a mindset that is kind of almost foolishly optimistic that even if your fail, you’re going to dust yourself off and do it again. So, so kind of foolish optimism is what I would encourage. 

Kira Cleveland [00:02:47] All of that. 

Ned Hayes [00:02:47] Well, you’ve had quite the successful run of it. I mean, you’ve sold two businesses, Stingray Software that sold to Rogue Wave software, and then you sold Auction Rover Recon to go to the is now part of Yahoo! So how do you take a business from just starting up into a place where it’s ready to be for sale? That seems like quite the endeavor. 

Scot Wingo [00:03:09] Yeah, it it takes a while. That’s the other thing is, you know, a lot of times these the exits and things we do as entrepreneurs, there are exciting news items and but but it’s easy to forget. So, for example, a company I started in 2001 called Channel Advisor just recently got announced that it’s being acquired. But I’ve been working on that for like 21 years. So, you know, you have to kind of start with the basics. Part of my playbook is because I’m in the ecommerce space and kind of the digital world, I’m always trying to think of, All right, what’s going to go digital next? So in the early days, so auction over the company you mentioned got me exposure to auction sites. And then that was kind of the germ of the idea for the next company channel advisor. And so trying to think about these multi-decade long trends that I as an entrepreneur can partake in and figure out a customer pain. So that’s the second step, is who’s my customer going to be and what’s their pain and how do I solve it? I’m a software person, so I’m logically using software for most of that. And then, you know, then as entrepreneurs we go, you start something and then you you pull this thread and you have to figure out what’s on the other side of that thread. And there’s a lot of in the early days of startup, you have to figure out what’s your product market fit. I don’t know if you guys have talked about that, but I’m happy to elaborate. And then so that usually gets you from zero to maybe a million or 2 million run rate. And then then you got to go through this kind of valley of death from how do you get from 2 million to 10? How do you build repeatable, measurable, scalable processes and procedures to get kind of things really chugging? And then how do you scale up from there when you do all that? Then usually that’s when you create this, you get the attention of acquirers or you can open up the door for an IPO is when you get to. North of anywhere between 80 and 200 million in revenue. 

Kira Cleveland [00:05:06] That’s awesome. And you know, since you brought up kind of product market fit, would you be willing to expand on that? How do you approach that or how do you think about that? 

Scot Wingo [00:05:14] Market reason kind of coin, it is an investor and offshore and really, you know, when you have this idea and you’re trying to figure it out, it’s very hard to figure out what product customers need and how to get it to them. So you do a lot of exploring and trying to figure out, okay, how, how do I solve the customer’s problem? What value am I delivering? Who are my competitors and all that kind of in a package as product market fit? I do a lot of mentoring and it’s the hardest thing for me to mentor people and because you kind of have to live it and breathe it and it’s like a full time. It’s like an 80 hour a week job figuring out. So I encourage people to do a lot of customer interviews. That’s where I’ve kind of gotten there. A lot of people, you know, another option where a lot of people look up to is Steve Jobs. He’s certainly amazing, but he kind of echoed Henry Ford where he kind of he kind of took this mindset of I’ll I’ll create the thing and the people will rush to it. I’ve always inverted it and tried to make customer really understand my customers that I’m working with and want to attract and figure out how I can solve their pain. There’s a famous Henry Ford quote where he said, If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster or worse. And I get that. But, you know, at some point, today’s customers are a little bit more savvy there. If I’m talking to a retailer or something like that, they they’re much better at expressing they’re not going to do the faster or worse thing. They’re going to say, you know, well, when I use Amazon, I get X, Y and Z. And if you could do something similar, you know, so so people are pretty sophisticated in what they want and understanding their pain and how companies can solve it. So I found the path to that product market fit is through a lot of customer interviews, asking them open ended questions, understanding the problem that the customer is having and how you can solve it. 

Kira Cleveland [00:07:03] That’s a great roadmap. Thank you for that. And you know, kind of going to your background again in ecommerce and technology, you know, how did that background enable you to take risks in business? 

Scot Wingo [00:07:14] Probably the most eye opening thing is, you know, in ecommerce, you make all these guesses, right? You’re like people will like, you know, X, Y and Z and then you put it out there and they do the exact opposite of what you think they’ll do. It’s very humbling. And, you know, so then what I’ve learned and this goes back to even auction over days and even even stingray is it’s very easy to sit there and think that you can kind of build something for for what people need and then put it, you know, like, let’s say you take 6 to 12 months and you put it out there and then you’ve horribly missed the mark. So what I found is that you making little small iterative steps, and today we call that we would call it agile development. There’s kind of a name for this and people apply it to startups. So kind of agile startups, you know, the idea there in Facebook, they use this phrase go fast and break stuff that that I kind of like. And what they’re basically saying is you can do all this planning and it’s really not worth it because until you get something in front of the customer, be they A, B to B or a B to C customer, you can’t predict what they’re going to do or what they’re going to want and how they’re going to use it. So it’s better to kind of just take a stab and put a minimum viable product out there and then iterate quickly. So because of that, you end up feeling a lot. And so everything we do in the digital world many times is a lot of ab testing. And inherent in testing is, is winning and losing and failing and just kind of making that part of your, your every day kind of mindset of how you approach these problems. So I think kind of having gone through that helps a lot. 

Ned Hayes [00:08:42] So you’ve gone through this repeatedly, but you’ve always been based in the South, as far as I can tell. Is this true? 

Scot Wingo [00:08:48] Yeah, yeah. I’m from South Carolina. I mentioned and I went to University of South Carolina for undergrad and then North Carolina State University here in the Raleigh Durham area. And then I got a job up in Connecticut at a startup and realized I love startups but not cold weather. So moved back down to this area in 1995. And all of my startups have been in the Research Triangle Park area. 

Ned Hayes [00:09:11] Right. Right. So does being located in that area in the south or in the Research Triangle Park really make a difference to starting businesses? Has it really provided impetus to your businesses to get off the ground? 

Scot Wingo [00:09:22] Yeah. High tech startup needs a lot of inputs. Number one is one way to think about a software business is we take these kind of ideas out of the sky and we implement them in software, which is also kind of a you can’t put your hands on it. Right. So so we take ideas and we turn them into intellectual property and then that intellectual property adds value and people pay for it. Well, the the little engine that creates that intellectual property is is smart people. So a big input into any tech startup is smart people. So because of this area, we have the three big universities and then we have a lot of even know surrounding smaller universities. The big universities being North Carolina State Duke and then you can see Chapel Hill. But then we also pull from East Carolina and App State and down in South Carolina and Clemson and up into the Virginia area. So there’s a lot of folks that have gone to school and studied the latest and greatest stuff, either in this area or moving to this area. And that’s a big reason why it’s a great place to start a company. And then the other one is access to capital. So we have you know, we’re not Silicon Valley by any means. And, you know, even like New York, Boston is some of those centers. But the quality of life here is just different. It’s warmer than than New York and Boston. And then, you know, it’s a lot less expensive than those kind of high buzz areas like Silicon Valley and maybe even Austin at this time. So, you know, we really like that. It has that that aspect of it still relatively inexpensive. You can raise a family here. Also, we’re not super obsessed with technology. You know, when I got to Silicon Valley, it’s exhausting because you go get a Starbucks and everyone’s pitching each other and then you go somewhere, you go, you know, you go see a movie and everyone’s talking about a cryptocurrency before the movie starts. And you’re just kind of like, gosh, guys, never, never take a break. So so we have a little bit more of a balanced world here in North Carolina that that suits what I’ve been looking for. 

Ned Hayes [00:11:15] Right. And the bulk of your career has been really close to consumer products and retail especially. So I’m really curious if you’ve seen technology change, how retail is growing and how retail is touching consumers. 

Scot Wingo [00:11:28] You know, e-commerce is the biggest change to retail since probably the catalog, I guess I would say. Yeah. And maybe the big box retail. 

Ned Hayes [00:11:37] Physical changes are positive or negative somewhere in between. 

Scot Wingo [00:11:41] Well, depends on where you were on the adoption curve. So one of my favorite books is The Innovator’s Dilemma, where these businesses that were formerly innovative, they they kind of calcify and they miss the next trend. A good example would be Sears. You know, Sears was crazy innovative, used to be able to buy a house from the Sears catalog and it would be delivered to you and all this kind of cool stuff. But then they totally missed the Internet and, you know, no longer really a viable entity. So e-commerce was bad for them, but e-commerce was good for Amazon. And the counter story to that is we’ve had $1,000,000,000,000 market cap company in the form of Amazon be formed where, you know, Bezos very early on made a big bet on this whole thing and and it paid off pretty handsomely for him making one of the top richest guys in the world. So, you know, then there’s middle ground in there. So like Nordstrom was really early on and kind of thought about this harmonized customer experience and the you know, if I pass through it in hindsight, the companies that really put the customer first and thought about it through that lens versus a financial lens or a legal lens or whatever. They’re the ones that really kind of navigated and leveraged it as a asset versus a liability. So so I would say in the whole, I think it’s and then so on the company side, it’s a mixed bag. But on the consumer side, you know, think of how much more time we have in our lives. You know, we wouldn’t have survived Kogan if it weren’t for e-commerce. And, you know, e-commerce has just given us back so much time in our lives from having to go to all these brick and mortar stores to get everything. 

Kira Cleveland [00:13:13] Absolutely. And, you know, kind of in that reflection on e-commerce. You are a podcast host with a focus on retail and e-commerce. What are the most surprising discoveries about retail you’ve learned from your podcast? 

Scot Wingo [00:13:25] Part of what I like, I’m a Elon Musk fan and one of the things he’s so he’s you know, people ask, well, how did you figure out how to do these reusable rockets and stuff like that? He always goes back to these kind of core principles, if you will. And in his world is physics. So the underlying principles end up being physics. In my world of ecommerce, I think it’s really fascinating to study these consumer behaviors. So on our podcast, we dig into that a lot. One of the big ones that came out of the recession of oh eight and oh nine, that led to me actually kind of studying this consumer behavior led me to start my current company. Spiffy was this really fascinating? They call it the bifurcation between the value only consumer and the convenience oriented consumer and just kind of drilling in on that and thinking about it. And then once you think about it, you kind of like see it everywhere. It’s one of those those kind of things. And you meet people and you’re like, that’s a value oriented consumer and you know, that kind of thing. Those to me are really interesting fundamental principles of our world that are really interesting to study and see how companies are use that, then leverage that consumer behavior to sell more or miss the mark and that kind of thing. So, so I really enjoyed learning more about the psychology of, of the whole thing and then how people apply that to different business models. 

Kira Cleveland [00:14:40] Absolutely. We understand you’re also a contributor to Forbes Technology Council and a board member on several different projects. How do you juggle at all and what technology helps play a part in making all that possible? 

Scot Wingo [00:14:52] I try to stay pretty active. I also do some angel investing here in the triangle. You know, I try to be as efficient as. Also, you know, my go to is my Google calendar and all the assorted things that kind of go along with that counly and all those types of things. On email, I’ve been I’m a huge fan of Superhuman. That’s been a big game changer for me. There’s kind of email for people that have kind of a familiarity with interactive coding environments, so it’s kind of like it gives you these fast controls so you can get your email faster. So I’m always trying to find little productivity hacks and tools. There’s no silver bullet. There’s you get a kind of chew away at it a little bit all the time to stay on top of things. So I don’t have a super productivity tool by the Big Swan as I try to think in chunks of time. I have my spiffy time, which is my 9 to 5, and then I have family time. And then in the evenings I stay up pretty late and that’s when I do my extracurricular stuff like podcasting or working on writing some articles or whatever it is. 

Ned Hayes [00:15:50] I’m just chuckling at you having sticky time. I know that your company is called Spiffy, but it’s still funny. Yeah, well, I know we talked a little bit about technological advancements. I don’t think I’ll really touch on Elon Musk taking Twitter backwards, but I’m curious if you could look at retail and how retail might benefit from more technological advancement. Where do you think that technology could really help retail to accelerate? 

Scot Wingo [00:16:16] That’s kind of fascinating. So my company channel advisor, you know, we started we help brands, retailers sell on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. And because of that position of the company, we got to work with really big companies and really small companies. And it’s it’s kind of mind blowing when you start dealing with like these big retailers. You know, at the end of the day, there’s a lot of CSV files moving around from inventory and things of that nature. So it feels a little tricky to talk about some of these advanced things. So, you know, sometimes we’ll be talking about Amazon’s just walk out technology where you don’t you have to visit the cashier and then you kind of remember, you know, somewhere inside of, you know, insert name of big retailer, there’s a CSV file that’s tracking everything and you’re kind of like we should fix that. And that, you know, like APIs and stuff like that, not just these big files full of inventory and information. So we still have a lot of blocking and tackling the retail world to tackle, I would say. But then it is fun to think about where we go. Yeah, I love tracking these next generation ideas. It’s hard to predict when they’ll come through. It’s fun to watch what’s happening in China, you know, kind of if we look a year or two out in China, there’s there’s all this live streaming has become the big e-commerce platform. So kind of like everyone running their own little QVC channel. The influencers all run their own little, essentially a QVC type channel. And then there’s aggregation points for that. So that that’s kind of interesting. You start, you know, we’re starting to see some of the influencers in the US flirt with this and there’s a marketplace called whatnot for collectibles that is really taking off and doing multiple billions of dollars in sales through a live stream platform. It’s kind of fun to watch how they operate that. And then if we push out past the next couple of years, starting to think about what are drones, is that going to be real or not always going to be a gimmick? What about 3D printing here at Spiffy? We’ve gotten some pretty big 3D printers and it kind of blows my mind where, you know that teams like, you know, we need a gadget that does this and then they just like print it and it’s kind of like makes your head explode. And then, you know, there’s a lot of talk about the metaverse and what that’s going to look like. Well, you know, at some point, Apple is going to come out with an offering there. And, you know, so I like to think about those things that are are four or five years out. Again, just like any consumer behavior, it’s hard to predict, but I think having a working familiarity with them is important. So when they do get here, it’s not your first experience with virtual reality. You’ve tried on the early Oculus and then the better. And so I spent a fair amount of time playing around with those technologies. Just kind of keep an idea open to what what’s going to be coming down the pipe. 

Ned Hayes [00:18:52] Right? Well, there is so much coming down the pipe, as you said. I’m intrigued that you mentioned Livestream Shopping. We interviewed the VP of product over at Chop Shops this year and they’ve had huge success with Livestream. And I really see a convergence happening with Livestream and the metaverse, you know, kind of augmented reality or augmented shopping. And I was curious if you maybe it’s not with that phrase of augmented shopping, but I’m curious if you’ve thought more about how those two things might converge. 

Scot Wingo [00:19:19] You know, it’s kind of fun to see some of the demos, the being able to see a version of yourself trying on an outfit or something is kind of interesting. You know, maybe you could be watching a livestream in the metaverse and then like see the products in it. That would be a better format. And then you could kind of like, you know, you see something interesting and you could like virtually look at it like maybe it’s pair of shoes and you could hold it and spin it to get a 3D view. There’s a lot of interesting use cases and because you can’t really predict consumer behavior, you kind of have to throw a lot of stuff against the wall that’ll see what’ll stick. And, you know, I think we’re going to have years of that and a lot of it you’ll look at it and be like, This is weird. I would never do this. And then suddenly you’ll have that one experience and you’re like. I would actually do this. And, you know, this was pretty helpful for me. And I don’t know what that experience is yet, but I think it’s in the next 18 months. Well, we’ll probably see something pretty interesting there. 

Kira Cleveland [00:20:09] Absolutely. As we look toward more digital business models, how do you think this is going to affect retail employees? 

Scot Wingo [00:20:15] I think at all shift, I think they’ll become some of the roles that are less subject matter expert. So, you know, the cashier role, the kind of running a register, taking an order, those types of roles will probably be replaced by either a kiosk or a robot or something like that because or the customer, the customer will just scan the product, kind of like the Apple store, you know, really have a checkout person. But then what that does enables us to take those dollars you spending on that less value added skill set and then have, you know, a subject matter expert there. So you can envision the employee of a future store really helping you understand the value of the different types of running shoes or whatever it is you’re looking at to have a much deeper conversation about it than you can today, because the store has to take the dollars they have available for people and spread them so thin. It’s very hard sometimes to find someone that can answer the question that kind of go deep on it. And because the Internet gives you that surface level, you really kind of want people in the store that can go like, you know, I wore these on a hiking trip and they they kind of rubbed off the site. You may want to try this. I feel like that’s going to be kind of where where the store employees really add a lot of value in the future is going a lot deeper on product knowledge. 

Ned Hayes [00:21:28] One thing that we’ve heard repeatedly is that people go to a physical retail store because they want something curated. They want something that feels like an experience rather than just a, you know, I’m picking up a box. They actually want to go in and try on different sweaters or they want to, you know, have the ambiance of candles and perfumes and like, I’m buying something really special for my wife, so I want the whole experience to feel special. It sounds like you’re kind of touching on creating something special in the retail experience rather than just stay alive body standing there. 

Scot Wingo [00:22:00] Yeah, I have zero fashion sense, so someone can kind of like curate a couple of outfits that kind of go together that’s super helpful for someone like me. Other people may be turned off by that, like they kind of view that that’s kind of the fun for them. So that’s the hard part about it is everyone’s curation is a little different. So, so understanding that customer and kind of providing what they’re looking for is going to be tricky. But that’s where digital can help again, right? Because you can imagine and a lot of stores are doing this with the call retailing, kind of in-store retailing. If you go to Nordstrom’s, a lot of the folks had a tablet, so they may know, I’ll pick on Kira. Kira comes in to the makeup counter and they may know that she prefers a certain brand. So why even introduce this other brand? If we know that she’s here probably for this brand she has some loyalty to and that that’ll be a much better experience for her than, you know, having to explain. No, I prefer this brand over the one you’re about to promote. 

Kira Cleveland [00:22:52] Absolutely. I definitely would like those kinds of customizations in this call. Admit to it. How do you view E commerce solutions enabling customers to become brand advocates? Speaking of, you know, favorite brands. 

Scot Wingo [00:23:07] There’s a lot of interesting people that turn brand ambassadors into fans and that kind of thing. I don’t know if there’s a great solution. You know, we kind of went through ratings and recommendations and but that just feels like kind of five years old at this point. One of the more interesting one is back country, which is I’m not a super outdoor enthusiast, but they have a whole name for these people and they have a whole gamification there where the customers, not only do they leave reviews, but they help the almost like personal shop. So so you could say, hey, I’m going on this hike on the Appalachian Trail and they’ll you know, they’ll put together a shopping list for you and they do all this for free goat heads or there’s like a cool little name for them. They’ve done this interesting job of taking going super deep into this category and incenting their customers to be these brand advocates for the retailer, and they compensate them through some gamification. I think there’s some discounting or something like that, but it’s not like they’re paying on the affiliate fee or anything like that. So that’s one that’s been interesting. Fun to check out. 

Ned Hayes [00:24:10] Well, it’s really interesting. You’re talking about brand advocates and the idea of loyalty is absolutely key there. Somebody has to believe in the brand. How do you see brands adding loyalty and really enhancing loyalty as they move forward? 

Scot Wingo [00:24:24] It’s getting harder and harder because I think consumers get so many messages. It’s harder and harder for them to be loyal to brands. And then, you know, there are generational trends. So if you look at Gen Z and millennials and I know some people hate these comparisons, but if you had to take all this with a grain of salt, it’s none of these are written in stone. They’re just directional. You know, a lot of those, you know, study after study shows that those folks have an affinity for brands that that have a social element to them, like the Tom’s of the World and those kinds of things. And it’s funny you read that. And then, you know, every I have a daughter that’s 16 and. All her friends, all they wear is Lululemon. So, you know, there’s definitely like a trendiness to it as well. The brands speak to people through and you kind of hit on this. The summation of all the experiences is kind of what a brand is. So, you know, if you have a good interaction, you get the clothes that whatever the brand is, you enjoy it, you get another one and they learn more about you and you know, you get that feedback loop. Then you can start to build this relationship with the brand and brands are doing it to a variety of different things in-store experiences, different special types of products, different levels that people get into as they have a more affinity with the brand. There’s a lot of different things people are doing. Nike has their whole drop system where, you know, if you want to get a certain type of shoe, you have to do this thing in the app and they run you through a gamification to kind of keep you active in this app, a lot of things like that. So there’s there’s a lot of experimentation going on in this area. So it’s pretty interesting. 

Kira Cleveland [00:25:55] That is interesting. How do you see businesses should measure the effectiveness of customer loyalty programs? You know, does technology play a part in this perhaps through reporting or what is it you see around that? 

Scot Wingo [00:26:08] Yeah, loyalty is tricky. So you want to be able to measure things like churn if you can, and then frequency the lifetime value of that customer and those types of elements to see if your loyalty program is driving that, that the behavior you’re looking for. Yeah, probably the best one I’ve seen is the Starbucks star program. I don’t know if you guys participate in that, but, you know, they saw their CFO recently and they were talking about the macro. You know, obviously, we’re kind of in these recessionary headwinds and they were talking about how they can kind of like dial up the star system and keep people loyal and keep that frequency up by giving a little bit of a discount. But at the end of the day, they don’t want those people to kind of say, well, you know, maybe I’ll just stop drinking Starbucks for a week. So they’ll kind of say, hey, here’s some stars to kind of get you. Yeah, you missed a week. Here’s here’s some stars to keep you on on the program. So it’s really interesting to watch brands, you know, leverage those programs to get the desired consumer behavior they’re looking for. 

Ned Hayes [00:27:05] Well, it sounds like you really have your finger on the pulse of retail and what brands are doing. So what if we asked you to look forward a little bit? Where do you see retail and especially technology and retail really going? 

Scot Wingo [00:27:17] Yeah, it’s kind of fun to think through. You could see a day where your purchases are split into kind of the mundane and, you know, subscribe and save kind of gets taken to the extreme where, you know, every so often the stuff that you kind of need that are replenished will just kind of shows up at your house and, you know, it’d be creepy for it to be put in your house, but, you know, it just shows up there in a very convenient way. And then you could decide that would be kind of that side of things. So it’d be very transactional and just kind of show up and maybe there’s some serendipitous element to it where kind of like a Stitch Fix or something. They say, you know, Hey, try these three or four things. But too much of that I think gets a little annoying because you kind of feel like it’s being pushed on you. Then on the other side, you would have these highly predicted, you know, using the latest in AI and machine learning and really understanding new experiences that would say, now you’re looking for a new outfit or whatever it is. Here’s a highly curated type of of experience and maybe to the point of custom, you know, I think we’re not this kind of ties into the 3D printer thing. You know, what? If we get to the point where people can you don’t have to be a supermodel or whatnot or, you know, buys brand designer stuff to have kind of custom whatever it is you want. I don’t think we’re too far away from that. So I think those experiences will get bifurcated. You’ll have this like super transactional, kind of boring stuff, but it’ll be good because you won’t spend time on it. And then the things you want to spend time on, you can get almost to the point of customizing an emoji type thing that, you know, you can customize the product and have it sent to you in two days. 

Kira Cleveland [00:28:51] Well, I’m definitely intrigued with that vision of it. You know, speaking of the future, a little more. One of our favorite kind of wrap up questions is what do you hope your legacy will be? What do you want to be remembered for? Scott. 

Scot Wingo [00:29:02] Yeah, as an entrepreneur, I had a lot of mentors that just kind of gave their time freely and encouraged me to be an usher, so I tried to pay that forward. So in several my companies, a lot of the folks have come out and done their own companies. So that makes me proud too, that I hopefully had some influence on that decision. And as I mentioned, I do a lot of mentoring for other folks in the startup ecosystem. It’s kind of a local thing, so most of them are here in the Triangle area and just try to support them. And I think, you know, helping people in that way, in a way I know is, is the legacy that I’m looking to build. 

Kira Cleveland [00:29:36] That’s beautiful. 

Ned Hayes [00:29:38] That would be a fantastic legacy to have to really feel like you’ve influenced people for the better. Good. 

Scot Wingo [00:29:43] Thanks. Yeah. A lot of people view the world and the zero sum game kind of thing. So there’s a winner and a loser. But the fun thing about entrepreneurship is you create something out of nothing and everyone can win. If they see that and they can replicate it. Then again, it’s not a zero sum game. It’s a positive. Some gaming and creates more companies and more opportunities out there for everybody. 

Ned Hayes [00:30:03] Thanks for sharing your vision with us today. I really appreciate it. 

Scot Wingo [00:30:06] Thanks for having me. I enjoyed the conversation. 

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