Josh Jones is the richest, goofiest, most confident yet normal-seeming person who was a Bitcoin pioneer, recently bought an airline, and is a partner at The Fund LA.
Josh Jones is with me today. Josh is a person who likes to start stuff.
Josh started a successful hosting business DreamHost and ran that for 12 years. Josh started EPUB. He was a very successful Bitcoin pioneer. He recently bought an airline. Of course, he’s an investor at The Fund and he runs a local accelerator. Hello, Josh,
Hello Minnie, thanks for having me. sounds like me kind of.
I mean, there were many other things I could have said. Did I mostly summarize,
That was pretty good. Yeah. The EPUB bud was the name of it, but yeah, that’s a lot of the stuff.
Well, I tried to go based on your LinkedIn, but your LinkedIn said that you like gondolas basketball, lunch, and the internet. So.
Yeah. Let me tell you about lunch.
It’s coming up. So, Josh, I wasn’t sure where to start, but I thought, default is kind of, you go chronological. So I thought we’d start chronological and see where we, where it all takes us. But maybe starting with DreamHost, like you started in college, right?
Yeah. I was at Harvey Mudd college out here. I think it was a sophomore year. Second semester, I was really into the internet, which was just starting, or the web was starting. I ran into some guys I knew in the computer lab in 96’ when we didn’t have our own computers and they had some logos on the screen and I was like, are you getting those logos for?
And they said, we just started a company. And I said I hate those logos. And I hate the name of the company, but I’m in what are you doing? And they’re just like the internet. said, yeah, I love the internet. And it took us about two years to figure out what. And we still never really figured out what we were going to do, but in the meantime, we needed to like host what we were going to do.
And we bought a server and our friends asked if they could use our server for stuff they were doing. And we tried an ad network and we tried these things that we try to Shopify thing, we tried a door dash thing. And all that really took off was people kept wanting to pay us to use our server.
And so he sort of started, I was like, well, just so we don’t have to get a job or I don’t have to get a job when I graduate two years later, it’s like, let’s just charge people for web hosting and we’ll figure out the cool thing later. And it’s still up and running and private and independent and going in LA.
And I was there for, I guess, 17 years, although yeah, I stepped back in 2010, but I, I sold out my shares in 2013. It was all bootstrapped and crazy.
Wow. and what was, what is DreamHost like? What’s its brand what’s its, you know, what makes it special?
Yeah. People would always ask us that. Cause there’s like 20,000 web hosts. And I didn’t really know. I was like there’s 20,000 members and we are one of them. It was pretty much our thing. Um, one time someone did kind of hone in on like, oh, you guys pay your like customer service people so much. they’re all in-house and we give everyone like ownership and.
somebody at some point I was like, that’s your special thing is like, you have good customer service because you treat your employees well. Um, and I think we were just [00:03:00] early and, uh, we did really well, but in general, I credit kind of most, all of my success to, you know, right place at right time at a tidal wave of money.
Like thought the internet was gonna be big, but it got really big. And we thought a lot of people would kind of want live hosting, but we didn’t realize like everybody would buy a domain that, you know, like I thought it was like businesses, and like big businesses, but it’s like, Your cousin has 12 domain names for no reason, you know?
So it just got so big. So in one hand, it’s like we did really well, but on the other hand, we started like before GoDaddy and basically did the same thing as go daddy. And we go, daddy started with like $50 million and we started with $50,
Yeah. Do you still like the space at all or, or, I mean, the internet is still big.
Yep. I do. I mean, in general, the good thing about that business was like, we kind of up in that business, I think, because it was so kind of worked with our lifestyles of low [00:04:00] pressure kind of it’s we’re a little bit high pressure because if the site goes down, people get mad, but if they’re paying.
$8 a month. Like you can’t get that mad. And know, and we didn’t have phone support cause we were still in classes at school, which now, you know, nobody has phone support. so we were ahead of the time on that. and in general that was like, I don’t think we ever had, and to this day probably had a quarter we had less revenue than a quarter.
you know, we’re pretty early on in the like SAS, the greatness of SAS now, real SAS is even better where it’s just like, you know, web hosting. We’re kind of like a landlord renting out physical you know, real SAS of like, it’s just software that costs us, like nothing that’s even better.
so you, at some point, took a step back from DreamHost, was EPUB hub, is that the right thing? Was that next,
The domain was available. well, basically I stepped back from dream host in 2010. We’d kind of gotten big enough. I’m good. [00:05:00] it had lost some of its luster over 14 years doing it.
And we had four equal co-founders who we were all co CEO for this whole time. there were some, drama and arguing at times. So I stepped back in 2010 and started to just see what else was out there. And I, well, I had this idea. I was like, oh, I’ll make a children’s book.
And then I was like, isn’t it it’s just like my posts. I was like, I’ll make the website. And then the end, it’s like, it’s probably. A tool for other people to make flip sites, then make a website yourself. So I was like, I’ll make a tool for other people who want to make books, but the iPad was about to come out.
So I was like, I bet children’s eBooks become big because the iPad is going to be big with kids. so I was like, I’ll just make kind of a YouTube for children’s eBooks, which is a weird sort of niche.
the EPUB format was what was pushing with the iPad. And so I was just like of like EPUB, but I came up with it and it had an online thing. Any file format, ebook and we’ll [00:06:00] convert it into an EPUB, So it was kind of like one of those, like build a tool and then it will build into like a network maybe.
but so what actually happened was a lot of people uploaded a lot of books to convert them to EPUBs and then they sort of became free on the internet. And a lot of people started searching for like free game of Thrones and it was like, oh, here it is.
Which is exactly how YouTube started. It got big also. And it really, it took a while, but it got pretty big. I think I was doing over a million visitors a day, at one point.
then I was like, what if I turn on ads? I don’t know. I wasn’t really planning on doing this as a business. And I was making like $2,000 a day ads, which was than I was taking home from DreamHost, And the take home message of that was I got this confidence that I was like, I can do whatever I want and I’ll be fine.
and, uh, also, I got into Bitcoin in June of 2010. and I bought Netflix it was at its lowest it had IPO, when it was having problems with its Quickster service. Do you remember when they pivoted to like splitting their DVDs off and their stream?
and it was like, all of a sudden wall street just took a dump on Netflix. It was like, there’s this stupid, they’re going to fail. Nobody wants this. They’re there. They’re doing this, on the internet and Quickster is stupid. And you know what? It was, they, they went back and they said, nevermind, no Quickster.
And they put all their DVDs back under the Netflix brand. And that’s what everyone was like, what are they doing over there? And I bought it all, all my whole IRA. I put it in Netflix.
Wow. We have a judge. How do you like when other people are going to say like, Josh, like, what are you doing? Getting interested in Bitcoin, what are you doing? Like buying Netflix? Like how do you get over that? what are you telling yourself?
I think irrational, self-confidence basically huge ego. that yeah. I don’t know. I th I’ve never like, I didn’t like soda as a kid. Like first time I had like, first time you have soda, right. It’s kind of.
carbonation and I never drank it again. And I never, to this day, I don’t like soda.
And I only later, like maybe my twenties realized that was pretty weird so I guess I don’t have a lot of like worrying what other people think, [00:08:00] even it’s not even not worrying. What other people think it’s, it’s thinking, what else is wrong?
Like literally care what they think if don’t even consider that it, like I could be wrong, I’ve gotten a little better at that. And as I’ve gotten older, but my default is just you know, if I’ve sort of thought about it and, figure it out, it makes sense to me then I pretty much consider it right.
Unless Someone is really got a good argument, but just the fact that like everyone else.
on earth thinks Bitcoin is crazy. And no one’s telling me why matter. You know?
Yeah, But, so keep going down this path with Bitcoin, like 2010 is what you said, like Mt. Gox. Wasn’t when was got like Bitcoin wasn’t big at all in 2010?
think Mt. Gox had started
no, it was because it was actually tied in, which is sort of the thing with investing. I say like early, what you want become a successful investor is leverage a little bit like outside sort of asynchronous.
It’s Bedrick returns, right? when we started DreamHost and we started taking credit cards on the internet, we thought we’re doing awesome. We got all these sign-ups.
And I was [00:09:00] like, Oh,
my God, it’s, it’s a hit. And then. Two weeks later, we start getting all these faxes, And, uh, that’s how the merchant providers would tell you that your customers disputing charge you tried to do on their credit card.
And it turned out it was all stolen credit cards. And thought we were things too And it was actually, you know, guy in Vietnam, You’re hosting stuff for them.
Yeah. they’re, signing up just to spam to test a credit card or to do a denial service attack.
and so we lost all the money. We thought we’d got And then they charge you $35 per transaction. And they you’re going to lose your merchant account with all this charged back to your, the fraudster.
And so I actually back then was like, what are we going to do? If we lose our merchant account, we’re pretty much dead. Unless we tell people to mail us checks and the checks can bounce and there’s fees. So maybe we can tell people to mail his cash. I don’t mind if they bail, it’s a hundred dollars bills.
We can look at it in the sign and find the little Stripe. And then I was like, is prepaid pal and everything. I was like, would it be cool if you could email money or just digitally [00:10:00] send like cash, and not use credit cards, but just like real. But I couldn’t figure out a way that my co-founder and I kind of thought about it for a couple of days.
And like, I couldn’t figure out it’s really the double spend problem and sort of forgot about it. And then like three months later, PayPal and x.com came out and I was like, oh, that’s the way to do it. Like not a protocol, just make everyone in the world, sign up for you. And, uh, so I kind of was kicking myself for not doing a PayPal back in 96.
And then, uh, I heard about Bitcoin in 2010 on slash dot. I just saw an article that it was like digital electronic cash protocol, Bitcoin. And I was like, whoa, it just gave me this flashback and I was just curious, how did they do it? And so I looked into it and it looked like it actually worked and was legit.
And I was like, this is the thing I wanted, like 96, this will be actually really useful for like web hosts. So I immediately sort of saw. Angle and then down the rabbit hole and still took me two years before I really bought any, I mean, there wasn’t anything at that point. I wish I’d gotten more into it quicker you know, it was like a fraction of a penny [00:11:00] or something, if you want it to, to buy and buy someone a forum.
But I did mine a block, cause I’ll tell you could do to use it. You can get any, unless you downloaded the software. And then it just ran on my little $300 media PC for a few months. And then I checked one day and I was like, I have 50 Bitcoin. And was like, cool, it’s worth, know, $3 or something at the time.
I don’t know. And then I checked back two months later in 2011, it was like a dollar. And I was like, oh, and then it was like $6. And I was like, this computer paid for itself and it was $36. And I was like, that’s crazy. And then actual $1 or $2 or something. And then it didn’t, it didn’t go to zero. And then I started realizing if, if people, if it’s useful and there’s limited supply.
And then maybe I should just buy some, And there was, I don’t know if there’s anyone who was into Bitcoin at that point who just had some actual money to just buy a bunch. at least I was one of the first.
So I started in February, 2012,
Um, well, but to your point, like buying it and then having the stomach to continue to hold it to and also tell me about Bitcoin [00:12:00] builder. or, I mean, you have some Bitcoin war stories. I’ll just leave it there and.
I do have some, it, yeah, no Bitcoin builder. what happened. 2013, I end up selling dream house shares to my co-founders. well, it was weird because the day I got my like wire from selling my dream home shares, like Bitcoin was worth twice as much, which I, you know, I’d worked on dream for like 17 years and I bought Bitcoin like 17 months ago or something like that.
but then I was like, what should I do now? And we’re also to have kids. I was like, I don’t know if I want to have a lot of ideas of startups, but I want to go full time into a new startup, I could always do a little bit of like arbitrage and Bitcoin, like.
Day job. so Gox was starting to go under, but it wasn’t clear they going under, but they were having issues with drawing to the U S there was this big spread there, and my sister lived in Japan. So you could withdraw yen, but not dollars. And you could make 10% every time. So we started just would basically wire money to Bitstamp buy Bitcoin at one price, [00:13:00] send the Bitcoin to Mt.
Gox, sell it for 10% more, via yang, wait for that to process wire it back to me, And it was like every week we could make maybe 6% after fees, Mt. Gox, February, 2014. Started to go under for real, like stop letting you withdraw again, me and 99% of people thought they would be fine. They’re the biggest Bitcoin exchange And I thought people starting to trade locked Bitcoin for real Bitcoin at like a 5% discount, 10% discount on forums.
And I realized, and I, at this point I known, I see how good it was to be a Bitcoin exchange in terms of like, have a web hosting was a nice, easy business where you just money. like running a Bitcoin exchange is like a really good business you just do nothing and just make money.
And so I was like, I could actually make an exchange between Mt. Gox Bitcoins and real Bitcoins. I think I have a record in business of having the idea on a Friday.
Watching it on Monday. And then two weeks later it was, I think I made $500,000 in fees
day. [00:14:00] So I was like, it was like $180 million run rate in 17 days from idea Um, and then it turned out Mt. Gox, wasn’t solvent and went bankrupt. And now I’m the biggest creditor to the Mt. Doc’s bankruptcy, which has been going through Japanese bankruptcy court for seven and a half years.
But it will hopefully pay out
Wow. I mean, so maybe just to go back to this like confidence thing, Maybe it’s the. You just have done things and they’ve worked and that’s keeps giving you confidence. And so the lesson to all of us is just try some things. Some of them will work.
Yeah, I think it is. I mean, some of it is I got to give it to my or whatever, know, had a healthy upbringing probably too, probably too confident, but it’s better to air. If you got to err, on the side of too much or too little confidence, it seems better to go with too much. I mean, with, DreamHost, it was like two years for us to. Mess around on the internet before we started making. And it was $2,000 a month. I remember we were going to make by may it is funny cause I was like, [00:15:00] I was thinking about going to work at Google and then only later did I find out it would have been Googled like first or second employee 98.
And uh, but I was like, I don’t want to go to San Francisco. And I got my own company. That would be cool. And I did think Google would be more lucrative in the end, but I thought I want to do my own thing. But if I had known how lucrative and how quickly I would have gone with Google, and after I kind of stepped back from DreamHost, I probably did five or six little things.
And then, you know, like a couple of them worked out and then Bitcoin I got into, and it wasn’t for two years that it, until I realized I should buy something,
it’s just being there right place at the right time. But you can be a lot of places at once well, exactly. And speaking of being in a lot of places, I had mentioned in my intro that you recently bought an airline. Josh, can you tell me more about what you are doing with an airline
sure. so I left months, 2013, I had gotten into Bitcoin was become, was going crazy and then going less crazy. And I tried to figure out what to do, but I didn’t really want to work. Exactly. I started, [00:16:00] advising and seniors at Harvey Mudd who were doing a 3d printing startup.
And then they ended up getting into Y Combinator. I went to like the demo day and like summer of 2013. But I kept going to demo day and I was like, maybe I should be like a YC partner would be better than being a demo day attendee. it seems like a cool thing, kind of B to C all these big companies in the future and make lots of money and not work that hard. And just talk about your own ideas all day. It seems like a great, great job but I don’t have the track record or the connections or living in the bay area.
So I was sort of like, Oh,
I have to start my own YC, I guess,
And why would anyone join mine and what would be my angle? And then I kind of fell into the Harvey Mudd one. And then I was like, shit, that’s actually not that thesis. I started this accelerator and, then a company in the 2019. Was doing a, LA based startup for flying over all traffic float shuttle was going to do, a commuter airline, like Santa Monica to Pomona and van Nuys to the Santa Ana.
And just [00:17:00] of two hours in traffic, it’s 15 minutes in the air and it’s going to be like $39 one way. And they actually got it up and running really quickly. And they brought in this guy from the airline industry, Rob McKinney, who had run Mokulele in Hawaii and they launched, I think it was March 7th, 20, 20.
And, uh, they had a great week and then COVID shut everything down they were like, they were thinking Kobe was gonna be a month or two. And they had actually had a good week and they were already looking for more planes. And so Rob had run an airline in Alaska before, and he was like, bet there’ll be some regional carriers that are having trouble.
And maybe there’ll be some cheap airplanes for us to grab. And we’ll and behold Raven, which was a private equity roll-up of all the regional airlines in Alaska, it with $90 million in debt filed for bankruptcy, April 5th, 2020 in Robin, Tom were on top of it and to get money to put a bid together, to take over the airline, had a new business plan of how they’re going to scale back and make money.
and they sort of reached out. So I. and long story short through various [00:18:00] iterations. And last, literally five minutes before the deadline, we ended up winning the bid, to buy Raven the core assets, seven of the airplanes.
And then we at least four more and the IP and the flights, the FAA certificate to operate. and Robyn, Tom moved up to Anchorage the next day from LA and, and from Malley. And I stayed in LA and have been of the board. I put in most of the money
And now we run this regional airline in Alaska called Raven.
Um, so you’re running Raven, but Northern Pacific is related to Raven, but slightly different. So maybe, also tell me about what Northern Pacific is.
So, okay. Don’t mind if I do. So we got, Raven up and running, which there have to give a hundred percent of the credit to them. like it’s funny. Cause another company bought the 1 35 certificate, which we bought at 1 21, which is more than nine passes. 1 35 is like nine and under and mostly like cargo stuff.
And we were up and running and we just waiting on the FAA, And they’ve been living up and running and launched as soon as we [00:19:00] could and got everything and got up. This other company just gave up like days ago.
just execution. You know, it was like, we both started at the same time. They in theory had an easier job. It was like an easier certificate and just couldn’t get their, I don’t know, paperwork together
and how many people work for Raven? Right.
uh, about 400.
Oh my gosh.
Yeah, they hired back 400 people in like two months and just it’s, it’s crazy. And it does, I don’t know, 50 or 60 million in revenue it’s up to, was just, it was crazy. And we got it for 8 million and the government also gave us 30, some million overall from the PSP grants
Yeah. And then, So basically we got it up and running and early on, they had this idea, which actually came originally from one of our consultants who Rob had worked with before. And they’re, they’re basically your, your route planning and pricing and scheduling consultants. Cause it’s hard, man. Most airlines don’t like, they usually hire the pilots, the flight attendants and the maintenance, and then like, everything else is outsourced.
Like the ticketing, the [00:20:00] pricing, the marketing, so anyway, he’s this awesome guy. And he used to work at Alaska airlines and he had had this idea like five years ago to basically do what Iceland there does to Europe with a stopover in Reykjavik a hub and spoke system with narrow-body planes and Anchorage would work sort of perfectly for doing that from the U S to Asia.
And he tried to get Alaska airlines to do it. And they’re like, we don’t really like to do stuff too fast and we don’t have the right kind of airplanes and that’s not really our focus. We’re kind of expanding to the us. And then. And so once we ended up taking over Raven he was like, should really do this.
And I have all this stuff worked out and I think it’s going to be good. And it’s like, what moves the needle?
And what’s interesting and it’s sort of what makes life worth living. And so I was like, let’s go ahead and try the Asia thing and let’s look into it some more. And that one would be like, You know, starting at probably an extra $300 million and going up to, you know, one to $2 billion, It’s a hard operational thing to do, but like if you’re 20% cheaper [00:21:00] than current options, and if COVID is over the market, is there, like you just show up on orbits and you know, people will buy it. So we started to do that and now it’s called Northern Pacific and should be launching in the spring.
So this is okay. Again, this is you taking a much bigger bet. And the analogy to Reykjavik is that everyone stops over and like does a night of touristy things or something
Right. that is what they encourage like in Iceland air. And we’d think maybe 10% of people would do that. And especially in the summer, maybe more really though, it’s just cheapest way to go from, us to Asia.
if you want for no extra charge, in Alaska for a day or two or three or a week. And if you’re on vacation anyway, and it’s on your way, I mean, a lot of people will never been to Alaska. It’s on their bucket list and they would do it, but it’s right now, you got to go to Alaska to go to Alaska.
You’re not just on your way to visit Tokyo and you know, it doesn’t look like it on a map, but on a globe you’re flying right over Anchorage already. It’s adding less than 3% to the route [00:22:00] difference.
Now, the other thing is because you’re stopping to refuel in the middle, don’t carry as much. on a big, long transpacific flight, a lot of the fuel is to carry the fuel. And so if you have half as much fuel, you actually have less than half, as much fuel because you don’t need as much fuel to carry the fuel.
there’s sort of a network effect. you know, so it’s hard to justify a direct flight, obviously from Kansas city to Neglia, there’s never going to be enough people, but maybe once you have destinations in Asia, you can do a daily, Kansas city to Anchorage because you’re getting anyone going to Asia from Kansas city is going on that flight.
And this has already 400 employees. You’re aiming to make this a billion dollar in revenue business. Do you have thoughts on running such a large enterprise? Well, Robin, unfortunately our CEO has been running airlines and knows what he’s doing and has been in the space for his whole careerSo that’s the main thing. Yeah. When I was telling people, they were like, no, what are you doing? You’re buying and you didn’t know, no it’s going to be a disaster.
I was like, no, I’m not, I’m not going to run it it’s weird because it feels actually a lot like DreamHost, which I didn’t think there’d be, it feels like very different, right, Like a regional [00:23:00] airline versus internet web hosting, but you are doing like a consumer business and customer service and, you know, you need a nice checkout flow and you need marketing and there’s, there’s the same thing you do like crazy promotions sometimes. And you have a loyalty like referral programs.
And it’s actually like that side is actually pretty similar. and it was the same thing too, where I wouldn’t really touch Like I was doing customer service, software development and marketing. And then it’s the same thing here where like, I don’t touch the airplanes or how all works.
It’s just, you know, where the web hosting one person you get. Whatever $50 a year. And then with an airline ticket is like $500. So There’s more zeros on some of the numbers,
So it’s, it’s not too crazy.
Well, it doesn’t sound too crazy when you say it, but no one else I know is making these leaps buying airlines.
Do you have advice for founders executives on jumping into new things or running innovative companies?
I guess so, yeah, it’s [00:24:00] really, it’s really empathy. I think it’s, it’s really like, weird. Cause it’s this, you got to have this ego to feel like you’re right. And you’re confident and you dry stuff and you do things and you’re not afraid of failure really that much, but not, um, yeah, the bad ego of, um, fucking customers don’t know what they’re doing anyway.
those and get other, I think. It really is empathy in terms of a lot of different definitions of empathy.
I mean, I don’t know how many times. There’ll be some crazy customer and, you know, everyone be like, just tell them to fuck off, you know? And I’m like, I know they’re being crazy and irrational and angry with us, but like put ourselves in their shoes.
Like I’m 70 years old. know. I sign up for this level of my email’s not working and I don’t know, but then yeah, and pragmatism, which I think comes from just like your goal should be to make money and get rid of, and a lot of people, I think their goal is to be the boss or play the game or be in the, [00:25:00] you know, have respect, which I think also comes like, if you have good. Or too good ego.
You’re not that worried about respect from other people. Cause you you already know you’re awesome. You don’t need this validation And so you’re not chasing like the crowd or chasing whatever, you know, status. And it is just more about like, what is the thing that I can make with the least amount of work for me that makes the most money because other people want it, And yeah. getting that sort of right. Or trying over and over again and there when you finally hit it.
So is this like what you’d be looking for when you invest?
Yeah. I guess, I don’t know if I’m the greatest investor in thing. Cause I, I kind of get caught up on the idea a lot I just liked the idea and I’ve already learned that like. I’ll be like, I had that idea. Yeah. That’s a good idea. I’m interested. I want it. but then it’s like, and then the founder just like is bad.
It doesn’t do it. Right.
you’re doing like, you’re burned through all that money and you never, like, why didn’t you launch and start iterating and whatever. And, unless I already knew the founder. Like if there’s someone where I, I know them and I know they’re awesome from something I’ll be like, okay, that seems like a weird idea. [00:26:00] I have no interest in, but here you go. Like, I trust you.
Yeah, do you think some, some people are just meant to be entrepreneurs?
Yeah. I think it’s hard is the thing I felt bad. Like. I would tutor computer science or not tutor it, but graded a little bit in college. And it was so weird. Cause this is like an engineering school. Everyone’s already the top of their class. It’s really hard to get into Everyone had to take a basic computer science class, half the people, a hundred percent on every homework and tests. It took them 10 minutes, half the people just didn’t get it. I don’t know.
like, it was like, wow. here.
It takes them hours and hours and they’re just like wrong. And so I sort of had a feeling of like, I don’t know how teachable it is some, but like it’s something in the brain of some stuff. And so, and I’m a big nurture person, but as I’ve had more kids, I’m a little like, yeah, there is a lot of nature. I’ll have sort of a bad short-term memory, I think. And I don’t even remember that failed at, like, it was hard for me to think of any things that have failed that I would have, but I know there have been dozens and dozens of [00:27:00] sighted little projects that I did that it just nothing, and I don’t even remember them.
so some of that helps,
I think the harder you work, the faster you do stuff, more you get to compound your, your progress and the more chances you have at just being in the right market. Cause you’re in 10 markets at once
Yeah. I mean, that’s what I was going to ask you because, Northern Pacific seems like a huge endeavor, but actually I didn’t ask you yet about flying. Which kind of to the point of having, you know, your, fingers and multiple things. So we, we w we launched this airline and then we had to get our frequent flyer program back up at some point. And I was. Oh, I’d worked on this thing with, with Michael blend back in 2014 That was a loyalty points for buying domains and web hosting and stuff like that, that we sort of launched. I think we were about seven years too early so we didn’t really focus on it, but it realized that the perfect use case.
Idea is an airline and they’re kind of the original loyalty program. And now they own an airline. I’m not probably the only person in the world where this intersection of 11 years of crypto plus owning an airline. [00:28:00] And we were like, well, we gotta make it a free or like loyalty program we’re basically modeling after sort of Binance coin or a couple of these are loyalty tokens that are out there, actually bringing it to an airline.
So we call it fly coin and earn it for flying and well shortly we’ll be on a real blockchain and tradable and know, Sendible exchangeable and there’ll be sort of a limited supplies. So you have the fly coin, you’re than just a user. You’re kind of like a owner in the airline.
In the same way that people who own like Tesla stock buy a Tesla car, that’s sort of the big idea. I think with what and loyalty can help happen.
So if I own the fly coin, then I want my friends to use your airline. There’s a limited supply, that sort of thing.
Yeah. It was like, as soon as you buy some Bitcoin or have some Bitcoin, like, have I told you about Bitcoin?
It’s the same sort of feeling, whereas I don’t go around telling you about my, you know, I have 86,000 [00:29:00] United points. You should follow it. Who cares? Like, right.
Yeah. And then it’s crazy because we just put a press release out randomly airlines are cold, calling us saying, Hey, we need a new loyalty program or we don’t even have one.
And Can we get on board? I mean, it’s sort of the perfect use case of crypto.
Cool. And for those of us, without an airline, any thoughts on other crypto use cases that you think are exciting? it’s still, I’m still so like hung up on. You’ll be nice if you could actually use this stuff, like why hasn’t anyone made it usable?
want apple pay for crypto. Like, it should be totally doable. Literally. I’ve laid out the design for it a few times of just like, I go to a website and there should be a QR code on it or a QR code in real life, I should be able to point my phone at the QR code. It opens it up can send a shipping address, my email.
I can choose which cryptocurrency to pay with and I can do it. And it’s done, and I don’t need to create an account, and I don’t need to, everything apple did with apple pay can be totally done in a distributed way with crypto, with no fees. And would [00:30:00] actually be pretty good That’s it? It should have come out 12 years ago and, and no one cares. Cause it’s the only reason people do crypto is to say, hold it and see it go up.
Yeah, but it kind of goes to the same concept of like the decentralized version of X.
Right. and you know, really it’s funny. Cause everything encrypted, like NFTs and all this type stuff, like people were sort of talking about it, working on it. There were a little versions of it, 2012, but finally hitting kind of more mainstream and in general, there’s in a startup or a business there’s more money to be made and something.
Right. Then innovating, know, like apple didn’t come up with a first phone, So I actually think probably in the next five years, it always seems like way too late. Like apple finally gets into something and you know, and it’s like, like when the iPhone came out, it was like you’re too late guys.
I was like, Nope, they weren’t too late. So they’re going to come into crypto probably the next five years. And they’re actually going to make it usable and be like, yay. Finally happened.
well, Josh, this is great.
It’s been really fun. Getting to know all of your endeavors. Thanks for coming on the podcast.
Well, thanks for having me. I love it. I appreciate it.