12 Oct 2022 · 56 min read

Zak Manhire on Web3 Loyalty, Memberships and Fr0ntierX | Ep. 165

In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Zak Manhire, Co-Founder of Fr0ntierX, talks about Web3 loyalty, fractionalizing subscriptions, and making customers feel like shareholders.

About Zak Manhire

Zak Manhire is the Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer at Fr0ntier X. Zak is a true partnership expert and led Costa Coffee’s commercial strategy and was Commercial Director for EMEA at Monster Energy closely working alongside TCCC. Most recently, he was Chief Commercial Officer for a portfolio company within The Foresight Group. Zak has experience with an endless list of major brands such as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Starbucks, and Uber. 

Zak Manhire gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com. 

Highlights Of The Interview

  • Web3 loyalty programs; making customers feel like shareholders
  • The power of Web3; fractionalizing subscriptions to increase loyalty and brand recognition
  • Keys to business success; knowing your customer and knowing when to pivot 
  • How Web2 brand assets can be used for Web3 utility
  • What to expect when moving your career from Web2 to Web3

Full Transcript Of The Interview

Matt Zahab 
Ladies and gentlemen, we're back. We're buzzing as always super pumped to have today's guest, Zak Manhire on the show today, I'm a little jealous of him. He is currently in the south of Spain. Beautiful People beautiful food, beautiful weather, beaches, saltwater, mountains, football, you name it, and I'm freezing my NADs off in Toronto where she goes you cannot win them all. Zak is the co-founder and chief revenue officer at Fr0ntierX. He is a true partnership expert and lead Costa coffees commercial strategy and was commercial director for EMEA at Monster Energy, closely working alongside TCCC. Most recently he was Chief Commercial Officer for a portfolio company within the foresight group. Zak has also experienced with an endless list of major brands such as Adidas, Coca Cola, Red Bull, Starbucks, and Uber. Wow, ever heard of them. Without further ado, I'm very pleased to welcome Zak Manhire to the Cryptonews Podcast. Zak, welcome to the show, my friend.

Zak Manhire 
Thank you delighted to be here. 

Matt Zahab 
Pumped to have you on man. What a background. You've worked with some, some pretty big companies. One that stands out is Starbucks with the recent announcement a couple of weeks ago Starbucks polygon, get on the news. Pretty bananas.

Zak Manhire
Yeah, it is. It was big news. I like what they've done. They're very progressive and innovative, they always have been massive membership program. Why not explore it. And funnily enough, I used to do a lot of the Costa customer loyalty programs as well when I was there. It's a really interesting dynamic. And one actually, that's pretty difficult as a business to account for as well. Because there's so much gray area with breakage and slippage on cards and everything else that comes with it. So trying to have something that's immutable within that is a perfect combination. And hopefully it'll open the doors for everyone else to follow suit.

Matt Zahab
That’s very true, you are an actual, true expert when it comes to partnerships, loyalty, and you know, the term expert gets thrown around quite a bit, it's very laissez faire, but you are actually one of them. Now, as a marketer myself, I'm incredibly curious. And I'm always trying to learn new ways to create these loyalty programs and form these long lasting, you know, partnerships with asymmetric upside on both sides of the transaction. What are some of the things you wish you learned out of at a younger age or earlier on in your career for potentially a new marketer who's trying to incorporate some type of partnership or loyalty program within their company. 

Zak Manhire 
I think that the biggest value is to truly know your customer, truly know who the targeted customers, what the objectives are of the business, if it's increased ATV, if it's reaching a new audience, if it's incremental sales, if it's loyalty, consumer health, it all kind of starts and finishes with the customer, you need to know them inside and out. You need to know what gaps are there, you need to understand competitor analysis, and you've got to take a viewpoint as well. And, not be afraid, afraid to kind of showcase that. I mean, you know, there's something called The Peter Principle that happens a lot within major organizations. And I don't know, if you've come across the Peter Principle before, I've experienced it a lot in almost all of the companies I've worked in and Peter Principle is essentially when a company grows too fast. And what they do is they promote internally all the time, till the point where that person who's been promoted is actually inadequate at their role, but they've been there because they've been promoted into it. And that happens a hell of a lot. And what ends up happening is everyone's very protective around their role. They're not, they don't want to be creative, they don't want to think differently. And sometimes this is just about keeping the job and maintaining the status quo. And, and sometimes, you know, data can be misled, interpreted in different ways. And I think, having an idea to say listen, I don't think that's our target customer. I'm looking at the metrics, and there's different trigger points here. And actually, I think we can be appealing to a different audience and how to look at that. And as long as you can rationalize it, rather than just taking it thinking it's your gut feeling, you know, get data get science behind it test groups, as the only way to evolve. 

Matt Zahab 
Did you? You must have, I can't say did you? Can you give me some examples from Costa or? Forsyth group Adidas Coca Cola Redbull, Starbucks, Uber, any of these world class you know multinational companies that you worked for? Can you give any examples of how you got to know your customer and then how you've developed a partnership initiative or loyalty program from knowing your customer? 

Zak Manhire 
That's a really good question. It's quite difficult one to answer because most of the companies that I've worked with have been multi market, so the customer is, is often it's similar and it can be very, very broad, right? If you're a Coca Cola customer depends if you're a Coca Cola customer, or if you're a SKU product or, you know, an acquisition or portfolio business or SKU within it, you know, they kind of touch everyone at some point within that old beverage portfolio. So it can be difficult to understand it. I guess it's literally case by case basis. And you've got to look at what the product offering is to really understand. And it's sometimes it's not about even knowing your customer, it's about the future customer, right? It's a little bit like Monster Energy drinks in Red Bull, Red Bull very much to appeal to that kind of when it came in, and it blew the market up. And what they did was phenomenal. What they continue to do was phenomenal. But actually the majority of Red Bull drinkers now we're probably 40 Plus, you know? Yeah. And so, you know, how do they attract the younger audience? Well, they probably don't, they probably missed it, or do they even need to in the first place, you know, I used to work at Red Bull many years ago, as well. And then you look at what the competitors are doing in the landscape and what they're trying to target. And whether it's health and fitness, or the current New trending industry, or whatever else it might be and how they appeal to them with branding messaging. You know, you see energy drinks now and there was a correlation with you in energy drink you, you would take the playbook from Red Bull and try and replicate it. And now what they're doing is switching it up a little bit. They're looking at who consumes the most amount of energy? Well, actually, the most amount of energy is probably taken by gamers. So you know, that's a great audience to attract. That's who we go off to go after gamers.

Matt Zahab
Wow. I didn’t really, really good point. Never really thought of that before. You have a lot of experience in the drink industry. And it's like, it's one of those industries. It's like, you know, like, I'll throw the ball over to my court. I used to work in the sleep industry. It's like, it's one of those things that literally every person on the planet is could be part of your target market. Everyone drinks, right? Yeah, there's some people who will never touch an energy drink. But everyone sleeps. Everyone needs a bed. Yes, there's some people can't afford one. But everyone needs it. How do you compete? How do you differentiate yourself? How do you position your brand in the drink industry? When there's trillions of freaking competitors? 

Zak Manhire 
That's a good question. I mean, yes, I'm quite well-versed with drinks. But again, listen, if you're working at a corporate organization, one of the big boys, you don't have to do a lot, you know, you've got the listing capability, you've got the marketing support, you can fail to the tune of millions and millions of pounds with a with an innovative new product, and it doesn't even touch the sides. If you're talking about a startup place, then it's very, very different, then it's kind of having a defined goal of you know, what, what is the need state that I'm going to address? You know, is it energy? Is it impulse? Is it hydration? Is it whatever it might be? Is it dairy? Is it to intolerances, what's my target addressable market? And then how I go to market with that and think differently, and you know, whether that's a different angle and approach. And listen, the space has changed dramatically. There's some great companies, there's one in particular in the UK, young foodies does fantastic with SMEs and startups and really helps them to penetrate the space unusually often than not if you start taking a small amount of market share even a point here and there. You know, the likelihood is you're going to be acquired pretty quickly.

Matt Zahab
You see prime, yeah, like Logan, Paul.

Zak Manhire 
Sorry. Yeah. Sorry. For a minute. You meant Amazon Prime. 

Matt Zahab
No, my apologies.

Zak Manhire

Yeah, yeah, they've done well they've got it into they've got some good distribution networks now as well.

Matt Zahab 
That's just. The influencer marketing space. It's just it's so fascinating how quickly that blew up. How it was almost like an overnight thing, right where it's like, you know, you have your Kylie Jenner in the makeup Kim Kardashian and her skims insert influencer X name with product y and it just, it sells out right away. It the range and scope they have is absolutely bonkers. Like, I don't think Gatorade could produce that much hype with a new flavor like prime did. 

Zak Manhire
Not in a million years. 

Matt Zahab
Like it's crazy. And will people fall in love with people before they fall in love with companies? Right? It's just bananas.

Zak Manhire 
And also to that point, authenticity come comes into it, you know, if you know that you subconsciously see through it. Yeah. And you do now you know, influence marketing 10 years on, you know, and it's very transparent. You can see when someone's just being paid to promote something or there's a sponsorship angle, if someone's actually this is my product, and I'm taking it to market and I'm going to put it on the table of everywhere. And I'm going to make every opportunity to talk about this and to display it and to promote it. It's powerful. But you won't get that if it's just paid sponsorship or you just don't get that same buy in and love.

Matt Zahab 
It's crazy. And this brings us to Web3. Like you can, as a creator, or as a builder, you can get even more of the pie, you get a bigger piece of the pie. If you choose to build on web three, before we sort of get into all of this, and before we get into Fr0ntierX, which is really just a one-stop shop for brands, looking or creators looking to get into web3, you guys take care of absolutely everything. You've brought that, that expertise, from your web2 experience over to web3, along with your cofounder and the rest of your team. And you guys literally do it all. It's just a classic, one-stop shop, but tell me what gets you super fired up like what gets you going about what three, you didn't need to make the jump into the space, clearly, but you did. Why was that?

Zak Manhire 
I didn't need to in terms of financially, I didn't need to jump into this space. Now I had a very good web2 career on a, on a trajectory path that was looking very, very promising. But also, you know, it destroys your soul. When you work so hard and you've been grafting for years and years and 15 years moving up the ladder, moving different companies, having the you know, I think often stay in a company longer than two years I moved, there was opportunities to move. It was the greatest way of increasing your salary was my viewpoint. And I can vouch for that as well. It definitely did that. But then comes the anxiety of moving the new people, the new processes, the new personnel, so you have to adapt to it. And eventually, you know, you kind of where your battle scars and, and burnout as a badge of honor. And you just kind of have enough, and you just think I can't keep doing it keep doing 60,000 miles a year, I can't keep working 80 hour weeks. And I think it's not that you can't keep doing it. It's that you don't like doing it. And the opportunity web3 is a passion of mine anyway, you know, it's something I love. It's something I've been in for seven years, and in essence with crypto. And I work those same hours now, but it doesn't feel like work, you know, and it's enjoyable. It's play, and it's and it's something new and there's no, there isn't the red tape that you get in web2, it's a lot more collaborative, there's a lot of opportunities, people are a lot more open to working together to figuring out things together, seeking opportunities and for the greater good of everyone else. So yeah, I mean, it was a tough day, it wasn't a tough decision. You know, we had a goal for Fr0ntierX. And our original goal kind of changed dramatically from where we were 18 months ago to what we are now and yes, we're a full turnkey solution provider. Well, essentially, we kind of fell into that, you know, we wanted to create a marketplace. First and foremost, we saw the enormous opportunities that NFTs could bring in 2020. And we thought, you know, for mass adoption, it can't stay in its current format, you know, it simply can't. So we went about creating a marketplace. That was we bootstrapped it. And we thought, you know, let's create a marketplace, unique features, filters, fully customizable. And then kind of like, you know, four months of bringing in developers to work on it, we realized open order books were coming. Everyone was going to have marketplaces, there wasn't anything unique. And actually, that wasn't, that wasn't what we wanted to do. And but whilst we were building the marketplace, you know, we understood that web2 UX and UI is still as powerful as ever. And we needed to ensure that wherever we were building a web2 non-native web3 user could use it seamlessly. So we brought in a creative studio as well with UX UI, graphic design. We work across cinema 4d, Houdini, everything else and, and that kind of thing, grew arms and legs in itself, because then all of a sudden, we could actually create NFTs, we could create assets, we could create branding, we could create the full A to Z. And it was a big a big hook for us. But at the heart of who we are, you know, we're a technology company. You know, when we build proprietary Tech, we have a global exclusive partnership with LG Electronics, which is the press release goes out at the end of this week. It might be a month, it might be Monday.

Matt Zahab 
How do you snipe that? That's huge.

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, it's big. I mean, again, it kind of formed comes back to what we understand of web2 businesses, and we understand you know, every different business, whatever vertical they're in, or whatever sector they operate very, very differently often. And you know, I'd spent some time working with LG. Throughout the years whether it be working at Coca Cola, whether it be working within the portfolio company I was at with foresight and there was a lot of work going on within QSR and FTTs. Obviously the LG screens were in then it was back building housing around the LG screen so I kind of knew how they operated and I knew what their objectives were. And there's only so much hardware you can sell. You know there's only so many new TVS means you can keep building and selling. And actually a driving point for LG is around software and licensing of software. It's a big play. And we realized very, very quickly that if we could build sophisticated proprietary API software, that there was an ability for us to utilize NFTs within their current CMS providers. So whilst we've got the screens if they're Web OS connected, so if you think that I don't know what the market share is, to be honest with you, globally, it's probably about 21%. So we'll probably correct me on that. LG is probably 21%. Samsung's probably 27 28%.

Matt Zahab
For screens? 

Zak Manhire
For screens, just you can call them screens, you could call them.

Matt Zahab
Holy shit. Wow. 

Zak Manhire
Yeah. So you've got screens, monitors, digital displays, professional signage, TV, you name it, so it all kind of bundles in. But then LG, you're also an own-label kind of manufacturer as well. They supply their screens in their tech. So I mean, I didn't even know this until quite recently. But even iPhone screens or LG technology, I believe. I'm not too sure. Yeah, I do that it's so what we realized was actually what we can do is not just say that we can create you some software that you can verify your NFTs display them trade them to do things along these lines, but how do we take it to a level above near field technology? How can a screen that's in a hotel room realize without even opening their phone that actually that person is going in the room so they can AirDrop them a loyalty point or whatever else it might be? And then if you start looking at some of the QSRs and different things along those lines, you know, why wouldn't McDonald's want to look at a different type of Happy Meal where someone could pick a, an NFT, which could have some gamification element to it? You know, so we started looking at all of this and thought, right, how can we do this. So we built the software to enable that, and all it's going to do is communicate with the CMS provider. And we can do that in a number of different ways. Like I mentioned, with near field technology, or whether it just be QR code, whatever it might be, if it's in hotel rooms, you know, eventually you should be able to program your NFT, which, you know, in some of the more high tech hotels, you've got everything from temperature control, lighting, control, menu, everything, and that could just be stored on chain. So when you go in the room, it automatically loads based on your NFT. So there's loads of different things that we can we can look at. So it's about taking it out. level above.

Matt Zahab 
Wow, you got my head spin in there. A lot of NFT utility I've never thought of.

Zak Manhire 
Huge amounts. I mean, yeah. And even when you're going into it geolocation, you know, a big thing for web two companies at the minute, you know, I know, DTC is huge right. But even if you look at some of the great DTC companies, they kind of go in full cycle, or full circle, should I say but, or 180. I've even got it wrong that time. But, you know, you're looking at kind of like a DTC model. Harry's razors are a good example. Right? So they, they blew up, you know, subscription raises everything else. And then they realized they kind of capping themselves a little bit by ignoring bricks and mortar. So they go back into bricks and mortar, and then the cycle continues. And, you know, footfall and increasing footfall is a key objective of anyone who's got bricks and mortar equity. You know, if you've got the biggest day out there, you want people to keep coming to your struggles. Otherwise, it's the death of high streets. It's the death of stores everywhere. And we've seen that happening over the last five years. So how can you reward someone for going into a store? Okay, well, NFTs is a perfect way of doing that. But how can you then really be specific with that with geo targeting, you know, how can you if there's a new game launching or if there's a specific team playing that you could suddenly do NFTs and airdrops just in that one store so that you create hype, there's a big queue going there, people get something on the back of it doesn't have to be non-tradable, it can be tradable as well. So there's loads of different loads of different or you can even then create it dynamically. So the more that you collect by going into different stores, the more that that builds up in the value and Rarity, which can give a different type of utility. But again, you're going into things that the utility comes down to basically the partner you're working with and what they're willing to part with. I mean, you look at big brands and FMCG brands, or fashion brands, you know, they have huge, huge web2 assets, they don't even use or a lot of them, you know, they don't utilize fully, you know, they could sponsor one of the biggest sporting events in the world where they have free tickets, and they end up giving them away to friends and family because they haven't got enough participants applying to I mean, a little bit like on PAC promotions, not that many people take part in on PrEP promotions. If you were to look at the numbers, you'd be staggered, how little because you just look at it and think well, I'm never going to win that I'm not going to enter it. You know, I'm never going to win a five day safari to South Africa. Yeah, I can't be asked taking the rim pool and coffee. Some people do you know, there's endless professional competition entries or people who do it. But actually, if you looked at the percent ratio of winning it, I mean, you've got like 100,000 I'm better chance than the lottery, you know, you still buy a lottery ticket. So yeah. Why is going on a bit of a waffle?

Matt Zahab 
No, that was that was electric. I love that. Why? Why don't more of these multinational web2 brands with huge assets and brand loyalty and brand recognition? Why don't they use their assets more often? Like you don't I mean, like you just brought it up. But it's just seems like it's almost the big dog theory where it's like, we're so big, we're so cool that, you know, we don't even need to do this, but they're leaving a lot of low hanging fruit. Within arm's reach.

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, again, I think it just comes down to the nature of the beast and the organization. And yes, you know, each, usually each different subdivision will have its own marketing budget. There's too much pit correction too many people. And those, of course, when you're a massive, massive company, as well, you have to be so careful about the brand equity, you can't do anything damaging, it's the reason why we built our wallet, and our application, which launches in two weeks. You know, we realize big brands are not going to ever manage their own discord, they will never go near it, they just it's too risky for them. It's far too risky for them. So then, I mean, what we've built with our wallet is token gated, chat, token gated announcements. Everything that you can imagine alongside though, which actually then makes discord semi redundant for the larger brands, they can build their community, we, we did, we've done something very clever with LG as well, where we built proof of attendance, which actually can take a photo or a video as a timestamp, which is embedded into the token instantaneously. And that's non-transferable as well. So you're actually, in theory that it's an non fungible token that's non fungible as well, because it's a picture of you. So yeah, I mean, it's, it's pretty cool. And there's loads of different applications. But you've got to understand that big brands are very risk adverse date, but they do want to push boundaries, they do want to be interactive, they do want to be build engagement with their, with their consumers, it's just difficult to do that on scale on mass, you know, it's very, very difficult to get a global program and it can take years.

Matt Zahab 
It's true, and like you said, they almost have more risk than reward, you know, like one bad web three stunt and their fuck the show's over. Right? The show doesn't go on. And yes, the show goes on. But that hits

Zak Manhire
The heads will roll.

Matt Zahab
Exactly, that really does hit the brand, where it's just like for smaller brands or first startups, you almost have asymmetric upside. So if you fail, it's okay. There's only a couple 100 people or a couple 1000 People who know about you Who gives a shit, right? But it's you when you're talking about some multinational corporation publicly traded VOD shareholders it's, it's not an easy sell?

Zak Manhire 
Well it's not, again, it's the quality of people in the space as well. You know, if you think about this systematically, if you were a large organization, brand, company, whatever it might be, the first port of call would be your marketing division to say, what is this web3 I want to hit or they might have come to you with it. They might not have much information on it. The second port of call would be one of the incumbent agencies that works with you. Eventually, someone's going to say, Yeah, I know all about this, I'll help you on the journey. Whether it's a cash grab, or wherever they might be looking at whether it's a long term play, but often, they don't realize the opportunities and the utility, and they're trusting a third party to deliver for them. You know, they wouldn't probably trust a third party to run their social media, you know, it's pretty, it's pretty much in house. So if you want someone to lead your entire web3 strategy, personally, I always think it's stronger to have someone in house that's leading it, that is the go to person that can communicate with the shareholders, the C level, the marketing divisions, everyone to say, Listen, this is the art of the possible this is what we can do. These are this is our capability, this is the assets that we can utilize. Now, how do we formulate this into a long term plan and strategy? You know, you've got to be thinking of three years and five years ahead, how do we build a community? How do we do? How do we reward people for being such a loyal consumer of ours? Or how do we reward people to, you know, convert from a different brand to our brand? 

Matt Zahab 
That's very powerful. One thing I'd love to talk about Zak, you've touched on a shit ton of different utility points. This goes back to the point you said in the first five minutes of us chatting and that's knowing your customer, how do you choose what sort of utility avenue to take the client down when you're speaking to one of these bigger companies that you guys are partnered with because there's literally infinite utility, right? Like you can tokenize almost anything you can gate X, Y, or Z in whatever fashion you'd like to you can create loyalty program X or membership y brand equity Z, you can do whatever you want. When it comes to web3, and crypto. The possibilities are literally endless because of this new technology we have in our hands. How do you decide which avenue to go down? Is it really just like you said, knowing the customer and then figuring out what their pain point is classic sales kind of thing.

Zak Manhire 
It's knowing the customer, it's knowing the assets available, how innovative and progressive they want to be with that. And again, it's a case-by-case basis. I mean, think things move so quickly in web3, we know that everyone knows that. To me, it just never made sense digital mirroring. I mean, I just, I just don't get it. It doesn't sit right with me. I don't get why someone who drinks Coca Cola or whatever drinking might be or Pepsi would then want a digital version of that in a Metaverse or in the metaverse. You know, it's like, What the fuck? Who’s gonna, I've got an Apple phone, but I'm gonna go and queue in again to get an Apple phone. Yeah, digital mirroring doesn't work for me. And even if it was a wearable, it still doesn't resonate. I don't think that's true value yet. If there's interoperability, and all of a sudden, that asset can move across closed ecosystems, which are current at the minute and web2 ecosystems. And if it gets into the larger gameplays, then absolutely, there could be something in that. But I think it's all about understanding and thinking like, go back to basics and think like, what would enable someone to want either purchase this or want to keep hold of it? Like, what where's the value there? What you know, is it? Is it scalable? Can this go on mass? Or is it small scale, and then thinking okay, how do we do this? And what are the mechanics behind it? And I think problem is the industry is changed so much that big brands are going to struggle to charge for NFTs are charged large amounts of NFTs moving forward unless they're super exclusive ones. I just don't see it. I don't see it playing out that way. But listen, I'm prepared to be proven wrong on many things. So yeah, it's a case-by-case basis having a look at it and saying like, What would somebody really get back from this you know, that could be a fantastic pool and figuring it out then I guess. 

Matt Zahab 
Zak we’re gonna take a quick break got to give a huge shout-out to our sponsor to the show this PrimeXBT. I love these guys been using them for a hot minute now as they offer a robust trading system for both beginners and professional traders. Doesn't matter if you're a rookie or a vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. They are also giving listeners of the Cryptonews podcast a huge promo code and that is CRYPTONEWS50 to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account again, that is CRYPTONEWS50 one word to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Now back to the show with Zak. So a couple more contextual shitty questions on my end and then we'll get into some more wide-ranging fun stuff. I am constantly thinking of what I feel like is a no-brainer move or play or entry into web3 for a massive brand like we've been talking about. You brought up so many utility avenues with the sort of LG screens that you know the hotels the knowing of your temperature whatever kind of pillows you like the menu blah blah blah, the McDonald's stuff. Do you have any other really specific examples doesn't even need to be for brand it can be for anything when someone's like exactly me utility point, why is Web3 the future? Do you have any like locked and loaded off the top of your head that you always give people know.

Zak Manhire 
No, to be honest with you or don't and because every time someone asked that you'd say something and a week later that kind of sounds pretty stupid when you hear it. So I tend to keep big statements like that at bay, but I think it's a future of sales and marketing to me, you know, it's having someone entwined and embedded with the actual brand themselves to make them feel like a shareholder essentially they are or to reward them properly for loyalty not like a stamp on a piece of card that you get a free one after 10 drinks. You know, that's not loyalty, that doesn't, that's just impulse. That's just because there's a shop there. And it's closer for his convenience. You know, that's often what drives people is impulse and convenience. 

Matt Zahab  
Like everyone, everyone's always talking about ticketing and loyalty and how you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs which is the hockey team in Toronto could issue NFT tickets instead of piece of you know, cardboard or thick paper. You know, what's that piece of paper called? cardstock I don't know whatever, you know what I mean? Any examples? Like nonobvious ones that you know, the average Joe or Josephine hasn't already thought of.

Zak Manhire 
I think I mean, I think if you think about musicians as a good example, right? Musicians have constantly kind of won there's an angle for them as artists as well because a lot of their revenue just like kind of boxes, I guess a lot of their revenue is taken by production, studios management, everything else along those lines. But if you break it down again from not just the artists but if you think about the fans right now, I've listened to music and when I was a kid, you know there were certain songs that I play on repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. I got nothing out of it other than having that song stuck in my head forever. But what if you could reward someone, you could track it immutably and you could reward them so that if actually, the amount of times I listened to that person on Spotify, my NFT changed and Rarity, and that gave me different access on a web2 domain, I didn't even know I was on chain, I didn't even know it was an NFT. It's just that, actually, wow, this is some crazy, weird science. But I'm listening to this song. I've been listening to this song all week. And now all of a sudden, I've got backstage access to something or I've got access to a ticket. And then if you take it a layer up, then I layer on top of that. And I say to the fan, you know, not only is it that if you listen to our song, but actually if you engage positively across social media, we'll also track that as well, where you know, there's algorithms to track it. And then all of a sudden, that really loyal fan, who because if you think of the touch points of a musician, you know, you've got a streaming service, you've got their website, and you've got their social media, there isn't many others, you know, you've got, you're not huge man. So actually, how do I know who my fans are, you know, difficult, but actually, if I can then see and see, I've got some super loyal fans. Here, I've got one person who comments on my social media three times a day, every single day given me love, and they listened to me, they've just listened to my album 200 times in the past month, Jesus, you know, I'm gonna give them access, or you just create the parameters to give them access to certain things, you know, it might even be some type of video message, it might be some unique content might be early access to a song, early release of a song, there's loads of things you can do. And again, if you think of gaming as well, gaming is a good example. And that will grow. I don't know how it's pretty difficult when there's closed ecosystems. But eventually, when there's interoperability, you know, at the minute, everyone talks about play-to-earn play to whatever else it might be, it's just not the games aren't there yet to make it kind of large scale. But if they if there's some suddenly triple A games, and that they're out there, and all of a sudden, the assets that you have in one could be utilized in another format, that it's powerful, you know, no more is there that closed ecosystem of centralization, where there's someone like EA Sports with FIFA, where they've got all these kids dropping serious money, on packs on cards on everything else, just for the next year, the know, game coming out, and all of this, all of that stuff's gone, you know. So it'll be interesting, the dynamics will change. I don't think it'll be without resistance and challenges. But it's a starting point for sure.

Matt Zahab 
Which sort of specific area of NFTs and web3 specifically do you think will be the catalyst for mass adoption? I know a lot of people last year, the easy baton hypothesis was gaming, play-to-earn, which is now really not even thing. We're seeing a lot of the, you know, free to play, or free-to-own models come out which sub-industry or sub-sector of what three and a half, two used to think will pop off and on board the first billion users?

Zak Manhire 
Ah, well, I mean, it's really difficult. I mean, I'll probably go with the what most people would say, which is loyalty at the minute, and then how loyalty traverses into something else. And I think, I think the hospitality industry in general, and all the different subdivisions that falls into hospitality and for basically leisure, tourism and hospitality, I think if you can connect the dots there, it can be incredibly powerful, because, you know, if you think of credit cards, travel companies, they all have loyalty and membership, but there's no one who correlates them all singularly. So it's, you know, you've got so many different touch points. It would be great. You know, if in the future, someone brought out an NFT program that actually you could connect everything to absolutely everything to so actually you didn't have any more logins you didn't have anything else, it was just built into not a sole bank token, but a non-tradable token of your own sat in your wallet. And it kept connected absolutely everything everywhere. You didn't have to register, you didn't have to forget your card or stamp things along those lines. I think.

Matt Zahab 
I would pay stupid amount for that. And that ID you just said is applicable to like even think about finance, think about your TradFi your personal feed accounts, then your centralized exchange your multiple Metamask your ledger, like imagine if that was all in one spot? Where's that to see your net worth on any given day. 

Zak Manhire 
So we actually do that with our app. So our wallet, you can connect unlimited amount of wallets. And it'll show your entire holdings without putting the asset at risk. So beyond ledger, and we can show it all still there live as well. So it's pretty powerful what we can do in terms of that aspect, but break it back down. I think there's, Listen, I'm not here to kind of have a go at the larger corporations and businesses and everything else. But one of the big ones that I see happening, if someone can figure it out, maybe it's us, maybe it's someone else or maybe it's a collaborative effort, but I think subscriptions is going to be big. So if you think Sky, Netflix all of these other companies, I mean, break down actually what subscription is, you know, we pay or a consumer pays 10 pound a month. There's no defined hours in that that's 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That's our subscription. But what if I only watch it one hour a week? How's that kind of fair. So imagine if you could fractionalize, your subscription model, have them all in one place, and then we're to actually lease out. So if someone if I had Sky Sports, and I could watch all the sport, but you know what, I'm going on holiday for a week, I'll fractionalize this, and I'll just sell the rights to someone to have my subscription for a week, they can pay a very nominal fee, and they can watch whatever game they want over that day, and vice versa. And actually, then you're utilizing the full 24/7, which is what you're paying for anyway. And you could split that across different people, again, it's going to come with challenges, and there's going to be a lot of pushback. But you know, it seems sensible, sensible option for people, I think people would love that ability to be able to do that to split their costs. 

Matt Zahab 
That fires me that fuck up. I would love to be able to do that. even think of like, even the fight like you know, watching UFC, like, do I really want to pay, I don't want to watch out the prelims I just want to watch the main event. like it'd be nice to just pay for the main event or football on Sunday. And instead of having you know, a design subscription and watching, you know, all the Premier League teams play, it's like, what if I just want to watch, you know, Chelsea menu where, you know, the Derby, whatever, that be a treat, you know.

Zak Manhire 
I mean? I mean, even if you were to think about it, 168 hours in a week, and you only wanted to have those hours, right? You think about that. So two of those hours, and then the cost over four weeks. So if your subscriptions 50 pound a month or 12 pound 50. And then you're taking three and a half percent of 12 you're paying peanuts to watch that game, you're not paying 12 pound or whatever it is for one game. So again, I think that would be sensible and fair, whether they'd allow it or not. But yeah, so that'd be my answers on that one. Probably in a couple of weeks time people be like What an idiot man?

Matt Zahab 
No, that's not uh, “what an idiot” That's, uh, I think it comes down to like the traditional model where it's almost twofold. You have your like, full on subscription, or it's free, and they hammer you with ads, right? Like traditional cable TV kind of thing would either option be open to this, and I'm positive, they must have hired one of the big four consulting firms to come in and build some financial model to see if you know, the model that you and I are speaking about fractionalized subscriptions. If it's worth it for them. Yes, they would definitely have more users. But would the LTV be the same? You know, I can't see how they wouldn't have already modeled this. You know, I feel like there's a reason why we don't have this yet. Or maybe that's just the cynic in me. But yeah, I don't know, I feel like they must have already modeled this.

Zak Manhire 
I don't know, maybe they have they possibly have. But I think it's not even sometimes down to the financial model modeling of it. It's not about what the yield might be, or what the risk might be. I think a lot of it, they're so scared about data and they want to harvest data as well, you know, they see the value in the data. And actually, they would then look at this and say, Well, are we opening a legal loophole here? How much work have we got to put in behind this? Because GDPR still does come into certain equations, but you can, you can easily navigate that if you've got an appetite to do it. But again, if you're a major corporation, the first thing that you know, everyone's got negative connotations about how they harvest or utilize data. So it can be met with resistance, right? It's, you know, you see streaming services all the time, but popping up left, right and center. But I think they're going to have to address it before it gets. There's only so long people are going to be paying for these massive subscriptions that just keep going up and up and up, you know.

Matt Zahab 
Yeah, the show will end at some point. Looks Zak, I want to this has been an absolute treat. And I know we're getting a little tight for time here. We've covered most of the almost all the web3 topics that are in the show notes here. But I want to talk about you a little bit more I want to get into your head. Hot takes, advice. You've had an impressive career. Any advice you'd give to your, you know, 21-year-old self coming out at uni, a fresh, perhaps non-bearded, Zak, hungry and ready to tackle the world? What do you wish you knew, at the age of 21.

Zak Manhire 
To not believe that experience is the same as knowledge. To not look up at people and feel like what they say is right, because they're older and they're more experienced to understand actually to be very open to learning different points of view, to be able to be compartmentalized and to be able to look at things objectively and to say, Okay, well I can see the argument for this. I can see the argument against it and just never take things too personally right take us just understand that this is worth Write, it's a byproduct of where you want to go and what you want to be. And eventually, you'll find the thing that you love, and you'll fall into it. And, you know, we'll all be pretty good there. I mean, and just don't care what people think, you know, don't care around your boss's expectations or things along those lines, they'll come and go, you know, you don't have to bend over backwards to do work for them, of which you'll get zero acknowledgment. Often, maybe not. Maybe it's slightly different. But yeah, probably it. 

Matt Zahab 
That was great. One thing you mentioned earlier, and you and I see eye to eye on this as well, is the importance of jumping around, especially in today's day and age, it's very difficult to climb the corporate ladder and keep getting those pay raises. I personally, you know, I'm, I've a lust for learning. I know, that's a cheesy line. But I look back at my early career and how often I jumped around and what I got to learn from different mentors, different leaders, different systems, processes, procedures, and then those companies, how much did that attribute to your present-day success? Like, did you create-

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, I mean, you can't even put it into, into perspective, in terms of everything that I did, has always kind of channeled me to who I am now, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, in fact, knows time will tell, I guess, I think I've seen it, a lot of times where people get very complacent, they tread water. They don't, they don't absorb as much information as they possibly could. And that's because they don't enjoy where they are. But one of the big problems I see is the institutionalization of people following a certain process and a certain way of working. And, and without having the ability to think that this is just their way of working. And actually, I would do things far differently. Or, you know, if you've worked somewhere for five or 10 years, especially at the pace of technologies, the pace of innovation, the pace of progressive ways of working and everything that comes along with that, then you're you know, you're going to come a little bit unstuck if you do have to move you know, and a lot of people get the scare and then they just think you know, I've gone too far or I wouldn't be very good at it. And I think it's again, okay to feel comfortable. You know, everyone talks about impostor syndrome. You know, it's okay, it's okay to feel uncomfortable at work. You know, if you could go into a job and knowing that you could do it's the wrong job for you. You're not pushing yourself enough. You know, you should have the ability to say well, I can learn this on dial learn quickly, you know, I can definitely do this. I've got the right skills, the right attributes to deliver this in, in a good way, but I'm learning just like everyone else would have to learn. So yeah, just kind of go with it.

Matt Zahab   
Love that. Couple more questions here. Hot take factory let's step in and put our shitcan boots on, put them up all the way to the knees. What's the Zak hot take that really only, you know, perhaps a couple other people believe in that many don't it can be doesn't have to be business related can be health, wealth, happiness, politics, sports, food, nutrition, whatever. What does Zak hot take? 

Zak Manhire 
I guess, spend as much time with your loved ones as you can. Because life moves very, very quickly, I guess, treasure and I guess the other one would be cut the time wasters out of your life as well. Anyone who brings you down anyone who's negative to the work that you're trying to do, or the goals that you're trying to achieve for the endpoint, you want to get to anyone who doesn't contribute to that, you know, they shouldn't have a part in your life. You know, there's too many people who are happy to bring negativity. And you know, Misery loves company, right? So just try and stay positive, get some fresh air. And, you know, invest in yourself. It's the only thing I would ever invest in is myself. Because you know, there's only one life you've got to live it. Now we're here for we're not here for a long time. We're here for a good time and just be a good person, the way you act the way you work. have integrity, and have fun.

Matt Zahab 
Love that. Zak, this was a blast, man. Really appreciate you coming on.

Zak Manhire
Yeah, cool.

Matt Zahab
And fired up for round two. Before you go, can you please let our lovely listeners know where they can find you and Fr0ntierX online? And on socials?

Zak Manhire   
Yeah, listen, you can just hook me up on LinkedIn. No problem. There are quick Google search, whatever. You can find us at Fr0ntierX.com. That's where the 0 x the other one doesn't look like a tech company, but it's not us. So with 0x and then you'll find links to all of our social channels there. We're going through a bit of a rebrand positioning at the minute. Because we don't convey ourselves the way that we want to. And you'll see that updating in the next few days. It's been a blast. I loved it.

Matt Zahab 
No, this was so much fun. You're on a Twitter guy. I was trying to look you on Twitter. Nothing.

Zak Manhire 
No, no. Well, I do.

Matt Zahab 
Just burners?

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. We've got a couple of burners. I mean, the my co-founder Yen's is obviously driven. And he's, he's very active on Twitter. To me, I like to watch I don't like to interact and it's just something that I came and maybe that's just the way I am, you know, I got rid of a had Facebook, and then I got rid of it maybe eight years ago. And I've just never bought into it. I've never bought into it. I'm quite glad I don't you know, I spend my time swiping through information and articles as opposed to pictures and it's better for my mental state that like Don't you know? And I just made that decision. And that's good enough. I mean, Twitter is very important to me. I mean, luckily, we've got a phenomenal team around me. So they send me all the articles that I need to see or, or any influencers that are posting very interesting articles or threads. So we get to I get to keep up with it. Get to keep my finger on the pulse. But yeah, you don't you can't find and stalk me or you can't find something that I wrote 12 years ago that could get me sacked from my job in 20 years. Let’s put it that way.

Matt Zahab 
I look what I will defend Twitter in some capacity, Twitter is the best for learning I, I would pay I probably pay 100 bucks a month for Twitter. Again, if you've spent time and I've spent years curating my news feed, it is absolutely brilliant. The Bite Size Info I get is incredible. I get you know, whether it's politics or whatever. I also get it from both sides of the spectrum, which is lovely. Facebook, Insta, all shit, TikTok. I've been spending too much time on TikTok recently, but if you heard to be real, yeah, I will never get be real. But like the young kids, and I don't know how many young listeners we have on the Cryptonews pod. Cut that shit out of your life. You cannot let some app tell you to take a picture within two minutes. That is absolutely fucking bonkers. You will never be able to have any deep focus. You won't get into a flow state cut that shit out. Can’t believe that's the thing, man.

Zak Manhire 
It’s crazy. I mean, you talk about Instagram. And I talk with people we know. And they're their children. And it's like that is dead. You know, Snapchat? Yeah. Okay, they still use that. Most of them will use a gaming platform and use that as their social engagement. I mean, my kids are eight and six. And I'm trying to push them towards AI learning and prompt engineering.

Matt Zahab 
That'd be sweet. Good dad. Good dad.

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, I think I think Darley too. And I'm just blown away with AI and prompt engineering, I think. I think it's the future. I mean, what's possible with that is insane. Once it gets more refined, you know, from the fact that you could probably write a book and have, and have it visualized as well, just through AI is nuts, just through a paragraph, you know, it could be insane. And we have a lot of fun playing around with it. You know, we do some of the smaller platforms as well that are out there. And the betas and we will put like Pomeranian paddleboarding on top of Everest. And as we go straight away, we have a lot of fun. So yeah, but I think there's a big future to be had with that as well. But it's interesting the dynamic shift as well between what we consider social media platforms, what we can consider media platforms and we start dropping the social media and then what we consider a gaming platform and what we see is the convergence of all of them it's super interesting to see you know, especially Roblox is a big one for my young kids six, six and eight. They love it, they socialize on it, their classmates are on there but you know, it's not without its you know, I don't think it's, it's not the perfect version yet something will come out to replace that I'm sure which will take over a lot of things a big play in the next year or 2.

Matt Zahab  
100%. 1, your damn good dad. 2, you just gave me an idea. And I love fucking around with all the AI image creators as well. It's so much fun for the folks at home. I can include a list in the show notes. Or maybe I'll just make a Twitter. 

Zak Manhire 
There's one on hugging places that I can send a link they're pretty cool.

Matt Zahab 
They're incredible. But I don't think are there any social media platforms that literally like think about like an Instagram or Pinterest just for AI generation, right? Where it's like, you make your crazy ass photo and then you share it and people can like it, comment on it like, mind you, you could just do that on Instagram. But that seems pretty cool. It's almost like a no-brainer.

Zak Manhire 
Well, yeah. I mean, you could almost have it like kind of, you could Pat map your entire path of where you want to really create your bucket list with prompt engineering very, very quickly to say, Listen, there's me sitting on top of Everest. I'm going to be there one day, there's me. There's me sailing across the med. I'm going to be doing that one though. Well, yeah, I mean, at the minute is only a bit of fun. It's just to me, it's amazing to see the capability of what's being produced. I mean, we're very, very lucky that our VP of Engineering is Vladimir Alcatel, who's a phenomenal coder. And, you know, he's former head of AI globally for BMW Group. He's so having some of the insights to what he looked at in the past. And what he's looking at now is, it's mind blowing.

Matt Zahab 
It's pretty crazy. You'd think that for the last like 15 years of our lives with the, you know, after you put in your username and password, the CAPTCHA where it's like, please click on all the trees, click on all the you know the bridges. It's like, now it's coming to use. There was a reason for it.

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, I mean, I think mixed reality will be here next year. I'm pretty confident in some format that's going to be here. I think that'll be big. You know, no one's no one wants to stick a fucking headset on to go into what they believe the metaverse is just it's just not going to happen. But mixed reality I think we'll think Apple, I think Matthew we're probably looking at it as well.

Matt Zahab 
It's, Zak. It's one shades like you're wearing when, when. But that's the thing that when a human can put on a pair of sleek shades that aren't intrusive, and it doesn't look like you're about to scuba dive 6 trillion feet underwater, that's when shit will pop off. You know, because right now it's too. It's too intrusive. You just it doesn't feel right. Whereas imagine, you can look at me and you know, have your own little world just with your slick pair of shades up. That's pretty powerful. That's some cool shit right there.

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, that's what and I don't think we're that far from that happening. And I think that's, that'll be a big push and a big play. And then you'll see the growth of digital wearables, you'll see the growth of kind of, you know, basically taking the Pokemon go model and using on that and take it to a different level. Again, being able to see assets and rewards, being able to see walking past you and then knowing just as I walk past you, I'll know instantly your Matt, you've got a podcast, but I'm super keen to listen to that. Because you know, I can see that you're advertising yourself. It's pretty cool. Whatever it might be, you know that the possible. So it's, yeah, super exciting times ahead. And I think we, all we do is we try and innovate, stay up to pace with it, try and collaborate and we join a lot of dots. And that's it. And that's what I think we do is as humans and individuals anyway. Yeah. So I look forward to that when it comes, eventually.

Matt Zahab 
Exciting times. Tammy Cook, Tim Cook said one thing, his last hurrah before he retires since the apple spectacles or the glasses or whatever, they're calling them Apple glass, and it's called. You don't want it you don't bet against that guy. You know? 

Zak Manhire 
I'd agree. I mean, I've seen one recently. I think RayBan did it. Yeah. And they did a I think quite a few people. Have you seen them? They've got the output is in the frames? 

Matt Zahab
Yeah, the rod? 

Zak Manhire
Yeah. So that you can kind of listen to the music and it's three triggers.

Matt Zahab 
They have a camera too.

Zak Manhire 
Pointless. It's like the worst invention. I was like, I can't even hear it. I couldn't hear it very well. And people could still hear it who were sitting next to me. I don't get this. This is just like a speaker on the outside of the lab. Anyway, that's a different point. But yeah, I'm looking forward to what the glasses might look like, what they can do. Whether it is glasses, whether it's something else. I think there's some pretty cool shit that's going to be coming out soon. 

Matt Zahab 
How Apple's that ey. It's going to be from head to toe, air pods. Glasses, phone, Apple Watch. computer, tablet, you know. 

Zak Manhire 
I mean, this an iMac or two apples 

Matt Zahab 
To apples like it's Yeah, it is reds, my money. They just it's just take my money, please take new new comes out. Take more of it. It never ends. Like look, you know, like it's, it's all day.

Zak Manhire
It's and I think that, you know, they're very smart. They, they build incredible products, in my opinion. But, you know, I was bought into it. I had the first iPhone. And I've never had a different phone since so it's kind of it's just part of me. It's what I know. It's how I operate it. Know, my body's function that way. I'm confident you know, but then yeah, they hook you in, you know, the new iPad Air has got the one chip and I'm like, that'd be pretty useful. Or do I wait? Oh, do I wait for the iPad Pro? Which probably have an empty chip in it. I don't even know if that's been announced yet. So it's yeah, all the fun and games that come along with it. But again, you know, things I've got, I've got an iWatch sitting on my wrist and I can't even remember the last time I unlocked it. You know, it's just like it just sits there sometimes see the time when I don't need it. It's not necessary in my life. I thought that being able to check my heart rate was a good thing. But you know, the amount of times I was done on Dr. Google trying to find out what problem I had because my heart rate was like too low or my oxygen levels were too low and it was like nearly death sentence. So there's pros and cons to it all.

Matt Zahab 
I love it, Zak, too much fun, man. We got to do round two. Then another piece you guys are buzzing at. Hopefully that'll be pretty soon. Pleasure meeting you next time in the south of Spain. I'll hit you up. Be great to go for a couple pops. And thanks again really appreciate this. This was an absolute treat. 

Zak Manhire 
Yeah, love it. Absolute pleasure. Look forward to the next one.

Matt Zahab 
Folks. What an incredible episode with Zak Manhire from Fr0ntierX dropped tons of knowledge bombs, incredible stories as well. And if you're a marketer, this one was definitely for you. So You did enjoy this episode and I really hope you did please do subscribe it would mean the world to my team and I speaking the team love you guys, Justas, sound editor you are the GOAT appreciate you bro. And to all the listeners love you guys thank you so much as always and keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy, wealthy and happy bye for now and we'll talk soon.