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Mint Season 1 episode 10 features American entrepreneur and author Peter Shankman. He is best known for founding HARO, an online service for journalists to gather feedback from the public. His fight for creating more positive awareness around ADHD has led him down the rabbit hole of monetizing his community through $SHANK coin.
We talk about the launch of his new book and how he’s incentivizing his audience to get access to that book by holding $SHANK tokens. Peter breaks down some tips to future creators who are exploring the path of launching their social token and what he wish he had known before doing going live with $SHANK.
Thank you to Season 1’s NFT sponsors!
1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co/
2. POAP – https://poap.xyz/
Interested in sponsoring future seasons? Get in touch here!
Adam Levy: Peter, Mr. Shankman. Welcome to the podcast. Thank you for being on how are you?
Peter Shankman: Good to be here, man. I’m doing well. It’s a, you know, another, another week, another day in New York city, which has been a crazy, crazy time for the past. God knows how long, but yeah, we’re doing okay this weekend, you know,
Adam Levy: I know, I know we’ve been locked down, but I see you innovating and pushing the barriers as a creator, which is why I wanted to have you on today, specifically, because you recently launched SHANK token.
Adam Levy: So it will be, we’ll be diving in on that, but before we get more towards the currency side. I’d love to kind of get at your background and tell me a little bit about yourself, or what’s your background?
Peter Shankman: What’s my background. Well, I have a weird one. I started my career, at America online. I founded the newsroom back in 1995 when AOL was the internet.
Peter Shankman: And, did that for a few years, sort of ahead of the game ahead of the time as it were moved back to New York city, Back in 97, I guess, and sort of the first PO one of the first PR firms that catered to the.com boom. , had no idea what I was doing. I was 20 something years old and I was just, you know, figured this might be fun.
Peter Shankman: And we had like a, you know, God. 10 15 clients, a rep, Napster and Juno, and just, it was crazy, crazy times. A lot of fun sold the majority of the agency back in 2001, kept the name, decided to take a year off, booked a flight to Asia. Two weeks in, I booked a flight back home called my mother from the airport.
Peter Shankman: I said, I said, I’m coming home. She goes, why? What happened? This was the year I’m like, you never taught me how to relax. And I slammed on the phone. So came back home consultant for several years. Eventually we ended up creating something called help a reporter out and HARO sort of changed how journalists and sources, found, found each other.
Peter Shankman: It was, sort of, an immediate blow up, in about just under three years. It went from launching to, being acquired by PR news wire. And it was, a pretty crazy time. So that was 2008, 2007 to like 2010, actually got acquired damn 11. Let me at 21, 11 years ago this year, or this, this, this week.
Peter Shankman: Wow. So yeah, it’s crazy how fast that happened, but, no, that’s good stuff. And, so, you know, that was, I sold that company and then, started speaking consulting and still doing mostly that, you know, it’s been a weird, weird year and a half with, with, with COVID, but mostly speaking consulting, traveling around the world, consulting to brands, on both customer experience, customer service, as well as neuro-diversity the concept that, that, different brained
Peter Shankman: individuals are going to be responsible for more and more of the benefits and the, of your company. And as well as, as you know, both from a hiring perspective, as well as a customer’s perspective. So you have to sort of understand the different brains. So add ADHD, autism, spectrum, executive function, things like that.
Peter Shankman: So I’ve written several books. Most on customer service and PR, but my most recent one was called, “Faster Than Normal,” which focuses on, on ADHD as a gift, not a curse. And it’s also the number one podcast on ADHD online called “Faster Than Normal” same name. And, we’ve had everyone from Tony Robbins to Keith Krach of DocuSign, to Seth Godin, to, to, to the band Shinedown, politicians, authors, porn stars, you name it all on this podcast about, talking about how they use their add and ADHD to their advantage.
Peter Shankman: So yeah, it’s a lot of fun. I’m, I’m, I’m very fortunate in having a really good time and.
Adam Levy: Here I am. Here you are. So what was that process like of getting acquired? That was a, that was a three-year type of project company you were building out. And then one of the largest, if not the largest PR companies came in and took you guys up, what was that process like?
Peter Shankman: It was pretty crazy. You know, the company sort of came in out of the. They were our largest advertiser and they were basically like, why aren’t we continuing to advertise from you? Why don’t we just, why don’t we just, buy you shit. Okay. That could, that could work, you know, sort of out of the blue type thing.
Peter Shankman: But, it was, yeah, it worked really well and it became, it became, an incredible experience for me going through it. You know, I always joke, it took about four months. If we didn’t have lawyers that would take about four hours, but, That’s why I have lawyers,
Adam Levy: I guess. There you go. So, so kinda dumping more, down your crypto route because you’re very unique in where, where you’re at right now, because he recently launched $SHANK on rally.
Adam Levy: And many, many people have been talking about doing their own cryptocurrency, but very little have actually kind of followed through. You’ve you’ve been one of the first few to kind of go towards that route. Hence why you’re here today. , and I, I’m curious how long you’ve been dabbling with crypto for?
Peter Shankman: Well, I, yeah, so this is always a fun story. I bought, my first 10 Bitcoin at about $94 a piece and I sold them. $1,004 a piece I’ve since more or less gotten over that. I really haven’t, you know, look, I made money, right. I made what almost 10 grand. So I’m, you know, that’s cool. But yeah, that, that hurt a little bit, but you know, I look, it, it hurts a lot less now seeing, seeing the price of crypto now versus, versus what it was, you know, I guess a month ago, but yeah, I, I am always into interesting things.
Peter Shankman: My whole premise is if it’s something exciting and interesting, It can’t hurt to put a few hundred bucks into it. If you have it and see what happens, what’s the worst thing that happened. It’s like play money, right? It’s the premise that you probably gonna blow that money on something else, blow it on drinks or a night out or whatever, you know, so you blow it here.
Peter Shankman: And, worst case scenario, it has a really nice return. I mean, I sort of buying a white point at five bucks and I get out of it, get out of liquid entirely. There were a couple of hundred, but it was still like what a nice, nice hit. Right. So, you know, the premise is I’m, I think a lot of it comes from ADHD as well.
Peter Shankman: Just the belief that, you know, What the heck, right? There’s, what’s the worst that can happen. Right. And so, so I, I tend to, I tend to live my life on the premise of what’s the worst that can happen, which is ironic, cause I’m a skydiver, but, I do enjoy, you need to stop chewing on this, on the window.
Peter Shankman: I’m not even joking. I will kick you out. I will throw you out of the window. I have a nine month old dog who, has decided that his new fund is chewing on the windows. So this is waffle needs to stop. Stop showing on the windows, but he’s a good boy. , so now here, we’ll go get that. So, yeah, I was, this was a cat guy and then, my last cat passed away and my daughter’s like, I want a dog.
Peter Shankman: I’m like, we’re not getting a dog. And of course, you know, every dad is just the, not getting a dog, went up with the dog. So here we are. But yeah, I mean, I just, I like experimenting. There’s something called earth too. And that I’m playing with right now, which is sort of like, you can, you can. You, can purchase quote unquote, land virtual land above real places.
Peter Shankman: Right? So it’s the earth to.io. And so I own the apartment building in which I live. Right. And I own the apartment building, which my parents live a few blocks away in Midtown. And, and, and, you know, it’s gone up 50% in value since I bought it. , of course now I have to figure out how to sell it. Right. And, and, and, and so, you know, I just, I look at these things.
Peter Shankman: I figured that one day. In like 15 years when I’m like, I don’t know, 64 or something, I’ll hire someone to just investigate my entire life and find out where I put all this money in, what, in, what should I put all this money? And, you know, he’ll come back and be like, well, okay, so here’s some money that was, you know, you made somebody on this and then you didn’t.
Peter Shankman: But yeah, there’s a lot of stuff out there. I just figure again, it’s one of those things that you never know. Right. I never, you know, I remember, Right before when Peloton went public, right for lockdown. , I I’ve been a Peloton junkie for years. I love my bike and I’m like, I want to get on this Peloton train that sort of buying Peloton.
Peter Shankman: And just because I know how much it does for me right now, it helps my brain. And of course they were getting older overvalued to this and then COVID hit. Right. And I’m like, when I saw COVID it and I saw, wow, they’re closing Equinox. I can’t go to the gym anymore. I’m going to buy some more Peloton stock.
Peter Shankman: And it’s done very, very well. So it, you know, at the end of the day, for me, it comes down to, is this. , it’s a different, I don’t, I don’t know if it’s the same strategy as most investors. I think if the same strategy is Warren Buffett where he’s like, yeah, I like this. I like this company. I use their product.
Peter Shankman: I’m the same way. I’m like, this is interesting to me. Let’s see what happens. Right.
Adam Levy: So, so when you’re approaching, like what’s the worst thing that can happen, with social tokens is your worst case scenario, cause you kind of use that as your strategy, explaining your thought process, how you approach things; When you were kind of dabbling or getting more down the rabbit hole for quote unquote social tokens, what was that worst case scenario for you?
Peter Shankman: I’m the worst customer for me was okay, this, this, this, this turns out to be ridiculous. , no one buys it and it was, it was, it was fun. I mean, it didn’t cost me a lot of money, right. It wasn’t, you know, rally picked 110, I think influencers, I hate that term with a passion, 110, like creators.
Peter Shankman: We’re going to call them, you know, and gave us these tokens. Right. Go play with them. Talk to your audience about them, help us build this brand. And so to be able to watch it has been really exciting and really sort of fascinating to see how it felt, you know, what are the things that I’m doing that affect that?
Peter Shankman: What are the things that, that Rally is doing that affect that? What are the things that Elon Musk, who won’t shut the fuck up is doing to affect it? You know, all those types of things. So, it’s like, who’s, who’s speaking about what who’s talking about. What, in the meantime, I’m just trying to do what I always do, which is grow my brand and produce great content.
Peter Shankman: And if I can continue to do that, Well, the people who have bought my tokens will probably do a little, well there, you know, which is how I look at it. But again, it’s, it’s, I find that the, the, the, the worst thing that can happen is that people invest in something or get involved in something. And then that’s all they look at and all they think about for the rest of their lives.
Peter Shankman: Right. Which will totally screw you. And, and the key is, you know, I, I learned this lesson when I worked at AOL. If you went to keyword and typed in AOL, it would bring you your stock price, right? The AOL stock price. And this is back when we all had options, pretty hidden nothing, 400 times a day, right.
Peter Shankman: It’s not moving that much. It’s a long-term game, is how I look at it anyway. And so, so I learned that early and so I just, I put it in and my job is not to increase or decrease the value of $SHANK. My job is to continue to create great content and do great deals with companies and get my name out there and improve what I’m doing and, and benefit people.
Peter Shankman: And by default, that will benefit, the $SHANK coin and benefit crypto as a whole and benefit rally as a whole. But, you know, I think too many people look at how can I increase my value, increase your worth increase, or I’m sorry, people say, how much, how can I increase my worth, increase the value of the content you give out?
Peter Shankman: You know, what a lot of people don’t realize, especially about these tokens that are up, you know, the concept of a creator economy, right? People don’t realize that. And I’ve been trying to explain this since day one. I tell this to all my clients where I speak about. Good, consumer, the minds behind the consumer and customer experience, having an audience of any kind is a privilege.
Peter Shankman: It’s not a right. No one has the right to an audience. No one in the world is right to notice. We have the privilege or we have the right to create great content, which hopefully can build us an audience. But yeah. Having an audience is a privilege. You create great content. You continue to earn that privilege.
Peter Shankman: Right? I, my mom was director of performing arts for the city school system in New York city growing up public school. And she always talked about having ha how music education. Was a birthright, not a privilege. This is the exact opposite, right? We don’t have the right to an audience. We have the privilege of creating great content, which will give us that audience.
Peter Shankman: If we screw up and they go away, we lose that audience. And I think more companies need to understand that it’s not about increasing your worth. It’s about creating better value for the people who are helping to drive your economy, help you to drive you. , coin your NFT, your token, whatever it is, right.
Peter Shankman: Create great content, create stuff that people want to see, create stuff that your audience understands that appreciates, and that will help drive everything.
Adam Levy: So when you’re building great content, when you’re building your brand, there still comes the question that people will get lost in the dollar amount.
Adam Levy: Right? A lot of creators might get lost in that. And I think you’re actually, you’re preaching to the choir here one, but you’re, you’re, you’re preaching facts. These tokens should be driven by something more than just a price, right. It’s underlying value is, is the people is the content like you said, but go ahead.
Peter Shankman: I’ll just say, I think that a lot of the value, that people don’t necessarily realize about these tokens, especially the ones on rally for the creator economy is the concept of access I get all the time. Hey, can I pick your brain about something? Hey, can I do the take into that? And I’m usually happy to do it right now.
Peter Shankman: I have this option of, okay. You know, Yes, you can go buy 25 tokens, become a coin holder, right? It’s it’s not that expensive. It’s actually relatively cheap right now. Right. Become a coin holder and let’s see what creates, let’s see what we can do now. You’re now you’re a viable part of this group right now.
Peter Shankman: You are a, you have a, an influence in what happens to my economy. Go get it. So, yeah. When, when someone, I used to talk about this, when I ran HARO I would create or help reporter I’d create, surveys every month and say, Hey, are we doing this the right way? Or should we do it this way? Or move it, change it this way.
Peter Shankman: And, and anyone who replied the more people that replied one way we change it. And then the people who saw the change, oh my God. They listened to what I asked them to do. They became invested in what I was building. Right. Because they helped design it. Whatever it was, right. Whatever change they helped make.
Peter Shankman: It’s, you know, saying that you’re invested in my economy now is actually, it’s funny. Cause it’s true. If you are invested, literally invested, but there’s also the investment that you believe in what I’m creating and you believe in my value. If no one believes in my value, this is all a pointless conversation.
Peter Shankman: Right? Right. You’re wasting your time talking to someone if no one believes in that value. So the premise of being able to create something solid and something good that people see value in is more important to me than the concept of the price of the coin of the price of the token.
Peter Shankman: So if I can create value, and then return that to people by saying, Hey, you have 25 coins, you’re a coin holder, come hang out with me. Right. Come backstage. It’s backstage pass, essentially. Right? You wanna chat about this. You want to go for a workout training for the, for the, for the Ironman in Kona, Hawaii right now, cause I’m really stupid. And, it’s an October and I got like four and a half, five months. Die, but you know, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m training, I’m out there every day. And so, so that, I’m also a single dad who has my kid the maternity time. So that severely limits the time I have to do anything else. Right. So, you want to meet me?
Peter Shankman: You want to chat with me? Great. Meet me outside. We’re going for a run, right. Or we’re going to go for a bike ride, or we’re going to go for a Peloton class and I’ll take you for coffee afterwards. But you know, now you have an easier way to get there, right? Now you can say, Hey, I’m $SHANK holder coil, can I get some time with you?
Peter Shankman: By all means, we’ll figure out a way to do it. And so, it’s, it’s that access level I think is, is super important than not enough people.
Adam Levy: A hundred percent. And that’s what I tell everyone, social tokens, equal access, or at least right now with how people are using them. But that could also work the other way around when you have these token holders that want your time, they want your energy, and they think they’re able to get that now because they hold your tokens.
Adam Levy: It could work both ways, right. It can work really well and you incentivize really good behavior, but then you’re going to have the bad actors. How do you kind of approach those bad actors? What have you thought about that? Has that happened to you already?
Peter Shankman: It hasn’t happened to me yet, but you know what?
Peter Shankman: Here’s how I look at it. I’ve been telling people that they can, they can get to me, they can get . Access to me, since I had any kind of a following right. 2000, 3004. , during that time, maybe I’ve been approached by five people who have less than a positive intentions. That’s five people out of hundreds of thousands that I’ve met, spoken to keynoted for, been on TV in front of, you know, I don’t do Fox TV, Fox news anymore, just cause like I can’t in good conscience, but backed by the thoughts I get the majority of them from there.
Peter Shankman: Right. You know, I’d go on O’Reilly and I’d get. Unbelievable horrible tweets afterwards, but now it’s just like, you know what? I believe the majority, well, here’s a couple of things you didn’t know. The first thing is you have to believe that the majority of people in the world are not out to hurt you.
Peter Shankman: They’re out to better themselves. And that’s a huge distinction because that allows you to take the personal out of all this, right? The premise that, oh, I can’t believe he did that to me. He didn’t do that to you. He did that to benefit himself. To get it happened across you. Right? I just, this morning I was walking, I was walking the dog back from the dog park and, I was, I was crossing the street and I passed some woman who was, I guess, on her phone and didn’t see me.
Peter Shankman: And there’s plenty of rooms, like two feet in between. She’s like, excuse me. I’m like, okay, we have plenty of room. We’re not going to do this. You know? And I just get this New York city, I just kept walking. I said, you are so rude. I’m like, all right. I stopped and I wanted to have this conversation I did, and I just kept moving, kept walking, but I’m like, I want to be like, do you really think that I started my day, I woke up this morning.
Peter Shankman: I’m like, I’m going to find some chick and just mess with it. Like, it’s my life. That boring way. I have nothing else to do. That’s how I’m gonna know it’s a sidewalk in Manhattan. Shit happens. Right. And, and so you have to sort of understand that. And also you have to understand that you can’t control people.
Peter Shankman: All you can do is control your reaction to what people do. Right. And so once you learn that. It’s not always easy, but it’s, it’s a lot easier to, to be able to understand sort of how you can get through things. , without having to, like I said, take them personally or let them drive you crazy. I remember my ex wife and I had a great conversation once we’re still very close friends.
Peter Shankman: She, she came up, she was over one day to get to drop off my daughter. And , oh, I had the worst day and she tells me this one. I lived in Ireland. So that was the, that was what happens again, it just ruined my whole day. I’m like, was it really this terrible day? Or was it 15 minutes that you’ve managed to milk into like 12 hours, you know?
Peter Shankman: And I think only ex-husbands can say that to them. So I was like, you know, that’s, that’s how you, I guess, become an ex husband, but it was the premise that I was 110 where she was like, you know, you’re right. And, and it’s, we just got to let the most, let’s let the shit go. So in terms of bad actors, you know, it hasn’t really affected me, especially not yet on Rally.
Peter Shankman: They’re bad people everywhere, but there are good people everywhere too. And I’m just a believer that there’s more good than that out . There a lot more.
Adam Levy: When you were, when you were kind of putting this token together and rally reached out to you, what were some of the biggest questions or concerns you had for them as a, as a newcomer.
Peter Shankman: Yeah. I mean, my first thought was, okay, they want to give me this token. , do I have to buy a whole bunch of computers and mind this shit? I mean, I didn’t know how any of that was going to work. Right. And so they were really forthcoming and I learned so much so quickly from them, about what to do and how to do it.
Peter Shankman: And that just made life so much easier because I’m like, all right, all I have to do is do what I always do, which is promote my brand, right. Create good content and share that content. And now there’s a new way to do that. And that really sort of made things so much easier, so much. , you just need to think about it.
Adam Levy: So did you like approach a lawyer at all with doing this?
Peter Shankman: No, I did talk to him. I haven’t had dinner with my lawyer and I was mentioning it to him. He’s like, oh, that sounds fun. So it wasn’t really that bad.
Adam Levy: I think it stays fun because it’s coming from the point of view, from a legal, at least standpoint of membership and loyalty points kind of thing. Right. And rewarding, rewarding fans, or incentivizing fans to get, to become greater stakeholders in someone’s quote unquote economy in someone’s self-someone’s, quote unquote, I guess, influence to an extent and providing access, like you said.
Peter Shankman: But I mean, I’m the first person to go in there and say, look, this isn’t financial advice.
Peter Shankman: You know, I’m not, I’m not selling stock here. You know, I. I’m just sharing it and I give away so many; The nice thing about rally. What I love about rally is how easy it is to earn additional rally coins. Right? So every week with the, with the, with the rewards system, they have set up as long as I continue to grow my audience and grow my, my, my, my, coin.
Peter Shankman: I continue to get rewarded with rally, which is that going to convert into more $SHANK, which I can. So I’ve given away thousands of dollars worth of $SHANK coin like a lot. , when I first launched, I remember, giving it to, a bunch of people and it was really cheap and it started blowing up and they came in, was like, holy crap has happened.
Peter Shankman: Look at how much this is what, and I’m like, okay, great. Don’t think about that though. Think about continuing to stay in the, whatever in the margin of the mindset.
Adam Levy: Sure. A common keyword that you kind of see appear in crypto. And, and I’m not sure how familiar I know you’ve been buying Bitcoin early on.
Adam Levy: You sold, you bought lite coin, et cetera, but a common key word in crypto is a governance. So a lot of these tokens that, that people hold at least with more traditional DeFi projects or other crypto projects. That one token equals one voting, right? And if you hold enough tokens, you can actually make quite the impact on the project’s destiny.
Adam Levy: Do you envision like at some point, integrating more of that point of view into $SHANK where you’re creating your, your, your fans, your audience, they hold $SHANK token, you’re building a greater brand around yourself that continues to grow, continues to prosper, and now they can actually have a say in the future of, of Peter Shankman to an extent.
Adam Levy: Yeah. Do you see that kind of development?
Peter Shankman: Yeah. When I was talking HARO, I used to, I used to ask all the time it’d be so busy right. In HARO that I’d be like, okay, I haven’t eaten. I tweet out what should I have, which I, what kind of foods to have. And other people are like, dude, you trying to be healthy. What are salad?
Peter Shankman: If I could order a pizza. But, I mean, I’m, I’m, I love the concept of, of, of, sorry, ADHD just kicked in. That’s it. Wow. That’s a G six flying really, really low, which I live on 42nd street and eighth avenue. And there’s literally a G six flying really low over, over ninth avenue, which should probably shouldn’t be, but I’m sure it’s fine.
Peter Shankman: Sorry, governance. I think that. I love to listen to people’s advice. I love to get people’s info in terms of what they’re thinking about, where the next thing should be, what should I focus on? , it was a great line from a song. It said, listen to everyone, but be careful whose advice you take. And I’ve always been a believer in that.
Peter Shankman: You know, I, I, I want to learn as much as I can from everyone. Everyone you meet knows something that you don’t, right? And I don’t think enough people remember that. I think that, that, that being able to, learn from other people, by letting, by giving them access to you, you know, one of the biggest problems is that as a society, we don’t listen as well as we should.
Peter Shankman: We tend to, listen to someone else, just so we can get to a spot where they’ve stopped talking so we can start talking about ourselves again. Sure. And I find that, that one of the funny things about ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the hyperactivity part can actually be controlled and I can sit there and listen.
Peter Shankman: And one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to when I’m on a plane, right. And I travel all the time and I want to play if you’re next to me, If you in the seat next to me, unless you fake your death, I’m gonna know everything about you. By the time we land. You’re that guy I’m like, I’m not the guy talking.
Peter Shankman: I’m the guy who listens. Okay. You’re not going to anything about me. I’m going to listen to everything you have to say. And once in two minutes, you’re gonna start getting comfortable with everything I have to say and be like, oh, well, yeah, I’ll keep talking. This is what a really good listener. I’m not a good listener.
Peter Shankman: I’m listening to you because I want to learn about you. And what wound up happening over years is that I wound up putting that together as a database. I know everyone and reporters started calling me. Hey! Peter, who do you know, I’m doing a story on blah, blah, blah. Who do you know? Oh yeah. I met this guy called he called this guy, how important from that?
Peter Shankman: Right. So I think the ability to listen to an audience is great. And if I, if people are invested enough in me to the point where they think I’m valuable enough to buy coins, and then they want to give me advice or talk to me about something, you know, chances are, that’s a win-win for everyone. I’ll give you another example.
Peter Shankman: I am @petershankman on every single social media platform out there. And the reason I am is because for the past 15 years, with the exception of last year in COVID, both my parents were teachers, when I started doing all this and they’ve since retired, but I asked them to give me some of the children, some of the students, every day or once every three months on a Saturday.
Peter Shankman: And I meet these kids, the ages range, age ranges from like nine to like 21. And I, I. Take over a pizza place in Midtown. And I invite these kids and their parents and the parents would sit in the other sides. They wouldn’t bother the kids and I’d just feed the kids pizza. And I would listen to them for like three hours.
Peter Shankman: And that’s it. I’m just, I’m just here. Just talk amongst yourselves. I’m about to get your phones feel free to, and I’d watch them. And I occasionally what happens that, oh, it’s a new one called Snapchat. Oh, wow. Shit. Write that down. Right. I have, I got my username on every single I was on snap. God in 2014, I don’t remember when it came out.
Peter Shankman: Right. But, but layers of urban now, same thing with TikTok, which was musically before that, you know, all these things that just because I like listening and learning, I remember being on a plane once and I was sitting next to it. It was, it was, it was, I was in the front of the bus. It was me and this older woman and her two daughters were.
Peter Shankman: We’re on the other side, on the other side of the cabin, that was in one and the one was in B and then these kids were in like DNA. And I sit in the mother, like, do you mind if I switch with you so I can ask them questions? I spent five hours learning from these two high school kids about what was important about these graphics.
Peter Shankman: There’s a, I don’t remember the name of it now, but there’s a, there was, an app that the kids really like all this stuff. Right? Who wouldn’t, why wouldn’t you do that? If you’re given the shot, why wouldn’t you take that opportunity?
Adam Levy: I think, I think that’s part of the process of being an early adopter, which kind of correlates to why you’re such an early user for, for all these social tokens and, and whatnot.
Adam Levy: But you, you create a lot of utility for yourself, a lot of value for yourself and others without tokens already. Right. For example, you gave, you gave the perfect example of reporters hitting you up. Who do I reach out to? I’m writing this story and X, Y, and Z. Can you connect me with blah, blah, blah. Right now, do you kind of see yourself adding that level of utility, like you want me to connect you with someone by my token, see yourself, telling reporters that?
Adam Levy: I don’t necessarily doing it that way. No, I still, at the end of the day, because here’s the thing. If you have to force someone to do something, then it’s all about what can you, what can I get out of it?
Adam Levy: And I don’t, I never want to do that. I get stuck at, I give away in about three minutes. I have an email going out automatically that I wrote, this morning. , I send my stuff. , I give away 99.9%, my content for free, because I know that the 0.01% of my content, I still have, you’re gonna buy and you’re gonna spend money on it.
Adam Levy: And so I don’t see that where I ever told reporters, oh, you want to, you know, go, go buy this. That’s not who I am, but rather I would say, Hey, you know, if this has been useful, feel free to grab a few coins, maybe they go up in value or they won’t, but whatever, it’ll give you access to more of this stuff, but you know, you can always call me when you need me.
Adam Levy: So it’s, it’s sort of running that fine line, right? I don’t ever want to be that guy who says, oh, you have to pay me for this or whatever. It’s also the reason that I, that I allow my, allow my assistant to book all my speeches. When it comes down to how much I’m going to charge, I let her do it. Cause I, I would, I I’ve done this before.
Adam Levy: I have way under priced myself because, oh, they seem nice. You know, I, let me cut them a break. They’re not kidding. They’re not cutting anyone a break. Why should I cut them a break? You know, I’m the one people are coming to say, yeah, it’s that, it’s that, it’s that, you know, you gotta learn that. So yeah, I definitely let, I definitely make handle that, but I’m telling you to stop chewing on this stuff, but at the end of the day, again, it really comes down to knowing what the right thing is to do and knowing what benefits my audience.
Adam Levy: Right. And how I can put that too.
Adam Levy: Yeah. So talk to me more about this utility that you envision benefiting your audience. What did you, what, what kind of like access have you planned? Is that still in the works? Like talk to me more about the utility.
Peter Shankman: So I, have a book, called, I have five books, but one of them them’s called “Zombie Loyalist,”
Peter Shankman: And it was a really, really beneficial, people called it like the, the, the customer service Bible. Right. And I wrote it in 2015, the rights got reverted to me in early 2021. And so now, I am going to redo the book and update it for, you know, post COVID customer experience world.
Peter Shankman: But in doing that, anyone who is a coin holder over 30 coins, and I’m going to self publish it this time. It was published by Palgrave and villain last time. But this time is publishing. Anyone owns over 30 coins is getting a copy for free, right? And so that’s, there’s an easy sell, right? Who wouldn’t want that? Right. It’s beneficial.
Peter Shankman: It’ll help you, whatever. So it’s those kinds of things that I, that I, that I imagined.
Adam Levy: So 30 coins right now, that would be, so let’s say your tokens trading at what? Around $4. That’d be like $120 for the book, but it would be a long-term incentive to continue participating in the Peter Shankman community.
Peter Shankman: Plus you’re not, you’re not buying the tokens to get the book you’re buying the tokens for all the other stuff you’re gonna get as well as the book.
Adam Levy: Right. So can you, can you talk to me more about that other stuff? So the book, the book is a beautiful example. I think that’s actually a very unique kind of approach to doing it. What else did you kind of have in mind?
Peter Shankman: What else am I doing? So I’m definitely doing things where, you know, if I’m in your city, let me buy you a cup of coffee, right? If I’m in your city on a, on a keynote and anybody could probably let’s go for a run, let’s work out. , whatever it is, are you in New York?
Peter Shankman: You know, come as my guest to Equinox, let’s work out there, let’s go home. Right? Whatever, you know, and it’s stuff that I would do in a lot of ways for free. Sorry, he’s he found the one squeaky toy, but now it gives him now it gives people a way to, really connect and have a, you know, it’s not just like, oh, if I have the time, it’s like, Hey, you bought this toy.
Peter Shankman: You bought this, this token let’s make this happen.
Adam Levy: I hear you. What, what, what about this? Cause I feel like some listeners will be thinking, okay, they bought the tokens, they got access to the book, they got access to all these perks, but then they sell it once they get it. How do you, how do you control that?
Peter Shankman: If that is what they want to do, you know, by all means they have every right to do it. I don’t necessarily believe that’s going to happen because I believe that it would benefit them to hold on as I bring more stuff to them. Right. As I create more, you know, I I’ve back in the day back when I was running HARO, I would throw events.
Peter Shankman: I remember, I had a friend who did handle PR for Ted’s Montana grill and was one in Midtown. And I would like once a month, I just take it over. And then I put a mesh on a HARO, Hey guys, whoever’s in town, come have a drink on me. Yeah. Right. And we just take it with, so I fully intend to keep doing that in different cities when I’m on the road.
Peter Shankman: Once, once you know, the world is starting to open now again, post COVID. Once that’s once that happens. Yeah. By all means I’ll be in, I’m going to be in, Dubai, in I’m going to be south African, early July and then Dubai in mid-July. But for work, anyone who’s out there wants to hang out. Let’s schedule something, know, grab a couple of tokens and I’ll come on and buy you lunch.
Adam Levy: Nice. Maybe I’ll just have to meet you there and do that myself. When you, when you think, I guess let’s, let’s talk five years from now, 10 years from now, assuming, a lot of creators of this new generation of creators are going to be launching themselves on the public markets, quote, unquote, grading incentives for the audience to get more ingrained and become more intimate with their brand, by creating more intimate and personalized experiences.
Adam Levy: Right now, we kind of determine influence as a society or at least a lot of people through how many followers you have, how many subscribers you have. Do you think people will start determining one’s influence based off what their token price is trading at? For example, this person’s trading at five dollars, but they’re not as good because this person’s token is trading at a hundred dollars, right. Rather than, rather than associating their influence with millions of followers.
Peter Shankman: You that’s a really good question. Problem is is that we were cited in the very short attention span. And so when you give people the opportunity to attach a number to something, It works for them because they don’t necessarily want to do the homework to find more. It’s why for a small period of time, that WebsiteClout was so successful. Remember Clout?.
Peter Shankman: Oh, he’s a 94. He’s a 91. He’s 38. It was a way to, to qualify and quantify. Problem was it wasn’t very accurate, and what the hell did it mean? Right. Really can get a bit of room at the Bellagio. I think that that will always be those people who were always a society that’s going to want to work on numbers.
Peter Shankman: The people I want to hang out with are the people who see past that. I see beyond that who see it. There’s more to that. Definitely.
Adam Levy: So do you think we’re going to get to that black mirror type of situation? Because, because I would have heard that too, right? Because I prefer that too. Obviously you got to find the quality in people, right.
Adam Levy: And if people are just clout chasing or, or token chasing, right, based on value, obviously that’s one type of human being versus another, right? Not categorizing you that obviously, but I’m saying in general, right? Because these social tokens, it’s a social experiment. The closest thing we have to that right now with a public stock market is Bitclout, right?
Adam Levy: Where people are trading other people’s influence based off what they tweet their interactions with each other. And Rally’s kind of like the less aggressive version of that, by, by incentivizing more utility behind these tokens. In general, you’ll be having public markets of people and communities, that are going to be publicly traded.
Peter Shankman: It’s nothing new back in 1988, there’s a website called Hollywood Stock Exchange. Right. Which is the, exactly, literally the exact same thing you could, you could buy it wasn’t real money at the time, but you could buy puts in calls on what actors you thought could be successful. What movies you thought were gonna be successful?
Peter Shankman: It was a huge thing. It was eventually acquired by, I think the internet movie database. So, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things where it, where, where it’s nothing new. I mean, we’ve been putting, we’ve been assigning value to things for years and putting money on things for centuries, you know, Look at it, go back to ancient Rome.
Peter Shankman: People would, would, would have speaking podiums, on the corner where they would talk and they would try to explain their points and Plato and Socrates used to do this all the time or so crates as it were, you see this all the time and, and based on how many people understood him, determined how much bigger he got.
Peter Shankman: Right. And, and, and. The crazy thing is that back then he had actually dumbed down his thoughts. Right. Because if he talked in, in, in traditional philosophical way, no one understand it. But again, that’s the, you know, it’s not, it’s not a surprise and it’s not a coincidence that these guys became hugely famous.
Peter Shankman: Right, right. So that’s nothing new. I think that, that with any luck, this democracy helps democratize that a little more. You know, I remember back when, Back when the verified accounts came out, everyone was clamoring over my God. Everybody got, I need the blue check mark check mark. Right. So I’ve had the blue check mark.
Peter Shankman: I’m pretty sure it’s never gotten me a date, right. I’m pretty sure it’s never gotten me an upgraded car. I don’t know. But you know, I just don’t look at it like that. Again, my job isn’t so much to care about that shit. My job is to get great contacts, to create great content. Right.
Adam Levy: Right. And I only bring that up because it’s fun to speculate.
Adam Levy: It’s fun to kind of, to think about what this may unfold to. , and there is a large group of people that do like, kind of depend on, on influence, based off follower counts, subscriber counts, et cetera, et cetera. And this might just be the next thing that kind of falls in line with that. , but, but, but we’ll see how that plays out.
Adam Levy: Kind of like a final question over here, if, if there’s a new creator, right. And I’ve been coming, whether they be gen Z millennial, what advice can you kind of give them? Like what, what, what is something you wish you would’ve known prior to launching $SHANK?
Peter Shankman: It’s the same thing that I’ve known for years in that things don’t happen overnight. Even the things that look like they happen overnight, take 20 years. Right. Nothing happens overnight.
Peter Shankman: The premise of creating something, work really hard at it and it will come, but it’s not going to be very few overnights. You know, everyone’s like, oh, HARO only took three years. No, HARO took 20 years of me talking to every God damn person next to me on the seat and on the airplane and everywhere where I made their name.
Peter Shankman: Right. I created the name, you know, and then had built this Rolodex. That’s what built Hara. Right? So it didn’t, it took three years to actually start a company to sell it. But that was 17 years in the process. So I think that again, just, you know, things take good things take time.
Adam Levy: You mentioned something about state in the beginning, and then you, you kind of, it
Peter Shankman: Was a different thought I was going to go into, into a long diatribe. It’s not worth it now, just the premise that, that it’s a lot of, a lot of what happens is state of mind, right. Where you are in terms of what you’re building. Oh, I’d love to what’s my coin. Wow. It’s up 33 cents from where it was, you know, my entire portfolio. It’s ridiculous way to think. Right, and, you know, check it every once in a while, but live your life.
Adam Levy: I love it. Peter. You’re the man. Thank you for being on. , and I hope to have you again soon. You’re always welcome and thank you.
Peter Shankman: Good time timing. Stay in touch.