Joe Vezzani Podcast Transcript

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Headshot of CEO Joe Vezzani

Joe Vezzani Podcast Transcript

Joe Vezzani joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, Home of The Digital Executive Podcast.

Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is Joe Vezzani, a tech disruptor, Web3 entrepreneur and investor based in California. Joe Vezzani is the CEO and co-founder of LunarCrush, the platform transforming the transparency and cutting-edge analysis of social media intelligence and market insight.

Under Joe’s leadership, Lunar Crush revolutionized the digital ecosystem, leading the cryptocurrency realm and applying its real time data as crucially valuable intelligence for marketing, advertising, and a range of industries. Lunar Crush has achieved recognition as a top 200 website, earning coveted placements and trust from renowned industry leaders such as TradingView, Coinbase, and Kraken.

In his role as CEO, Joe champions Lunar Crush’s growth with hands on leadership and mentorship, fostering a rewarding company culture. With an environment of innovation and development. Well, good afternoon, Joe. Welcome to the show. Hey, Brian, how’s it going? Thanks for having me. Awesome. I appreciate you jumping on man hailing out of Orange County, one of my old stomping grounds as, as we talked about, but just really appreciate you making the time two-hour difference here to Kansas City.

But again, just so ecstatic to get into what you do here with your company. So, I’m jumping directly to your 1st question. Joe, can you share the journey that led you to go found Lunar Crush, and what was the initial spark or problem you wanted to solve in the crypto realm that led you to the, led to the birth of Lunar Crush anyway?

Joe Vezzani: Sure. Yeah, I think, you know, when, when you’re an entrepreneur. You know, you’re just constantly thinking about what it is that you’re going to take on. And, you know, for me it’s always been about, you know, throwing myself into some sort of arena, you know, that maybe I was not, you know, the most in depth at and, you know, the best at and trying to learn about that.

And, you know, when I, you know came across, you know, Bitcoin. It was actually my co-founder, John, at the time we were working together. And he came up to me, he’s like, hey man, he’s like, do you have any Bitcoin? And I was like, what is that? And so, you know, we, it was like, this was like January of 2015. And, you know, got a little bit of Bitcoin, you know, I think I got my first Bitcoin at like 200.

I think I might’ve sold that one at like 175 or something. So, it took a loss in my first Bitcoin trade. But you know, we just kind of fell down the rabbit hole and we fell down it together and just always were ideating around the industry and what. You know, this kind of decentralized world and, you know, what it meant that they solved the double spend problem, you know, of money on the Internet and why that was such a big deal and that this entire economy was going to be built on top of.

You know, just that kind of, you know, spark that they, that they created, you know, and, and that Satoshi created with the Bitcoin white paper. And, you know, at the time, even Bitcoin is 5 years old, you know, and, and so for us, it was, you know, like Ethereum came out in 2017, 2016, but for us, you know, 2017 is really when we started thinking really heavily about it was, you know, Wow, you’re going to, you know, the world is going to be built on top of, you know, this tokenization of everything.

And if everything can have a token, how does that disrupt new businesses? How does that disrupt fundraising? How does that, you know, disrupt, you know, globalization of, you know, assets? And you know, we started to go all over, you know, social media looking for, you know, how to invest in these things. And You know, which ones were undervalued and what we found was not a lot of information.

And it was all about, you know, the price of this thing versus the price of the other thing. And so, for us, we were like, Hey, how do we potentially aggregate all of like the social media data that corresponds to all of these individual cryptocurrencies? And some of these things are being mentioned 10,000 times a day on social media.

And, you know, if you’re just looking at your one feed yourself, you know, you might see 500 posts a day if you’re a pretty, like, rabid ingester of social media, and, you know, all of those things might not be about cryptocurrency, and so we said, wow, the retail consumer is really not seeing the whole picture.

And so for us, that’s kind of how we went down the rabbit hole of, you know, Let’s get all this data, let’s see if we can help make sense of it for ourselves and then that kind of turned into, well, let’s create a website and let’s create an app that people can use and kind of democratize the opportunity for this alternative data set for cryptocurrencies and institutions have been doing this, you know, for a long time for the regular stock market.

You know, they have data feeds from places like Twitter and, you know, they’re looking at, you know, all sorts of little nuggets of data and trying to find insights. And they have entire teams that they’ve stood up in order to get this data down. And they, you know, spend a lot, a lot of money to do so, you know, at Lunar Crush, we charge eight bucks a month, you know, for a tool that’s just as powerful, if not much more powerful than what a lot of these institutions have.

And so, yeah. That’s kind of, you know, how we went down that rabbit hole. It’s like, you know, pretty quick from, you know, getting out there, figuring out that, okay, this industry is going to be something very, very big and we need to be a part of it. And then let’s go build something, you know, that we think makes sense in it.

Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. Love the stories. And that’s what I love the most about the podcast is getting to hear these awesome stories of how people started in, and now they’ve brought something into the world. That’s going to make the world a better place. Really do love that. And we’re, like I said, Joe, earlier, we are heavily involved in Web3, DeFi, DeFi all the way for the people.

So, I appreciate that. And Joe, Lunar Crush has been described as a transformative platform for social media, social media intelligence and market insight in the digital ecosystem. Can you elaborate on how Lunar Crush leverages real time data to serve its users? And how this aligns with your vision for the company’s impact on the crypto industry.

Joe Vezzani: So, you know, real time data is ultra important for trading for investors, you know, for people that are, you know, that they have a portfolio that they’re managing, you know, it’s also important for, you know, a passive investor, you know, if you find out that. You know, Silicon Valley bank, you know, as you know, issued some stock and it’s a very, has some very negative sentiment you know, we can deliver you an insight that, you know, gets you out ahead of something like that you could protect potentially protect against, you know, some pretty serious downsides.

And on the inverse of that, you know, if we can deliver you a nugget of information about something that you’ve not heard of, and it’s early, then, you know, maybe we can get you in a little bit earlier than the rest of the world into, you know, some of the best investments that potentially are out there.

So for us, you know, how do we get You know, all this data in real time, and how do we make sense of that data, you know, when we’re pulling down, you know, tens of millions of posts across the internet and crawling the internet for news and all that information every single hour, you know, we have to take all that data, we have to turn it into, you know, Insights and intelligence and analysis and so you spend a lot of time, you know, looking through and sorting what is very messy data, you know, sometimes some of our customers will come to us and, you know, they’ll say like, oh, man, I’m getting, you know, there’s a lot of spam in, in some of the, some of this stuff.

And like, we clean all the data that we have for as much as we can. And we say, you know what, there’s a lot of spam out on the internet. And, you know, you have to, you know, you’re basically trying to always stay one step ahead of what’s out there. And, you know, You know, if there’s a large community of people that are out there trying to sway the, you know, the intelligence of the market one way, it means that it’s very valuable data that’s out there.

And so, you know, for us, it’s trying to take all this data and make it very simple so that, you know, the average investor could come log in to Lunar Crush and, you know, very quickly. You know, kind of understand where the markets sit from a social perspective, you know, and this is cryptocurrencies. This is stocks.

We also carry, you know, all the different NFTs that are out there. And then we also actually have other categories that we’ve created at Lunar Crush. And this includes all like different sports, like the NFL, the NBA La Liga, you know, if you’re a soccer fan or a football fan, depending on where you are in the world, and, you know, we have marketers and, you know, different people that are, you know, part of these brands also looking at Lunar Crush, trying to understand, you know, hey, who are the, the influencers that are making an impact on my business, and, you know, who is, you know, should I contact those people, or, you know, if you’re an influencer, hey, where do I rank You know, in the social sphere, you know, for influencers, when it comes to, you know, these different cryptocurrency projects, or even something like a Nike, right?

And how do I kind of get the attention of those brands? And so, for us, we’re just trying to kind of take all of this data and distill a little, you know, Intelligence from the noise that’s out there. And, you know, I think that’s why a lot of our customers and a lot of people over the years have liked what we’ve done at Lunar Crush is because we’ve just stayed very true to disseminating social information and really going deep on social because a lot of people You know, it’s, it’s difficult and they, they don’t want to go there.

Brian Thomas: Thank you. Appreciate that. And there is a lot of work, obviously, to scrape the Internet on a real time basis, essentially, and, and filter out a lot of the stuff that’s out there. I can only imagine what type of processes are involved in that, but I appreciate you breaking that down for us and bringing us the latest and greatest information as quickly as you can.

So, Joe, what are some of the most innovative features or projects that Lunar Crush has developed under your leadership? And additionally, what challenges did you face in implementing these innovations and how did you overcome them?

Joe Vezzani: I mean, I’ve been, been here since the beginning, so I’ve been at the helm, you know, since day one.

And I would say, you know, when it comes to startup, you know, it’s, you’re just trying to figure something out until something works. And you know, if you’re an entrepreneur out there and you’re, you know, you’re like, Oh, I don’t have the idea yet. Right, like, it’s like you almost don’t even need the idea, you just need a direction to start working down and you just need to start trying things.

And so, it’s almost like you just kind of created the mission, right? And so, for us, it’s just creating transparency on the internet. And then, you know, you just kind of work backwards from there and say, well, how do I, how do I best do that? Right. And where are the markets that you can monetize early on to kind of create the thing that you want to create?

You know, I always kind of give the example of you know, someone like Elon, you know, he probably always wanted his car company. You know, and spaceship company, you know, but he started with, you know, PayPal and other things earlier than that, because that’s kind of what the market was receptive to and within his capabilities.

And so, for us, it’s I kind of think of it around the same realm of, you know, Hey, we’re going to create all sorts of cool things. And it started with, you know, creating transparency for cryptocurrencies, NFTs and stocks. And now it’s, you know, creating transparency across, you know, 32 different categories.

And, you know, having an API when for developers that they can come build on, you know, we’ve got some pretty big customers in the industry, like a Coinbase and Kraken and starting to work with TradingView as well, which is a huge charting software to integrate Lunar Crush data. And another big thing that we’re growing is something called Lunar Crush Earn.

And so, I’m super excited about. And it just went live two weeks ago, and you know, it’s creating transparency for brands and creators. And, you know, since we are out there looking at all the different creators across these different social media networks, we know exactly how many interactions they drive and who interacts with the posts that they put out there.

And we know that kind of consistency and what categories and topics that they’re posting on under. And so, you know, we’ve created a really cool tool. It’s really simple. And, you know, a brand can come in and it’s not, they can pay in crypto, but they can also just, you know, pay in fiat. They can pay with a credit card.

They don’t have to interact with cryptocurrency and they can create campaigns where, you know, basically they say, Hey, I want, You know, say, you know, you’re Brian, I want to, you know, grow my podcast, you know, you could put whatever you want into, into the box for all these creators to post about. And you know, right now, social media campaigns, you know, it’s like, if you’re going to go higher, like a Kim Kardashian, you know, it’s like an awareness campaign.

It’s like a billboard, right? It’s not a performance campaign where, you know, you know, attribution and how many installs that you’re getting or how many visits or how many signups. So, it’s very, you know, it’s very kind of awareness and, you know. I guess I would say like broader based driven than it is like, you know, looking at all the data that’s coming down.

And so, we wanted to kind of marry those things up and bridge the gap between the kind of the creator and the brand. And so, these brands are coming in and they’re, you know, putting budgets up and then, you know, lo and behold, they’re finding out that there’s all these creators out there that, you know, are in kind of the micro influencer.

Maybe they’ve got a couple thousand followers, maybe they have 30,000 followers, and now they’re posting about their brand. And so, it’s, it’s something really exciting that we’re pushing at Lunar Crush that we just launched. And so, you know, I’m very proud of this product because it is a venture that I would say is, you know, adjacent to what we’re all already doing.

But, you know, it’s basically we say, Hey, one thing that the thing that we do really, really well is that we pull data, and we pull it at scale in a, you know, and we organize that in a clean fashion. And then You know, you can build anything you want on top of social media data. And so, this is a, this is something exciting that we’re, we’re really proud of.

Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. And of course, obviously you’ve seen a lot of the, a lot of your creativity, the iterations starting there day one and, and seeing this thing really grow into this very innovative platform that more and more people are adopting. So, appreciate the share. And Joe, last question of the evening here.

Given your extensive experience, how do you see the Web3 and cryptocurrency sectors evolving in the next few years? Are there any trends or technologies on the horizon that you think will significantly impact the industry?

Joe Vezzani: Yeah, I mean, we’re at a very interesting moment in history in our industry here in crypto and Web3, you know, we came into 2024 with a bang.

With the Bitcoin ETF being approved, and we’ve seen, you know, institutional interest in what’s going on, and that’s huge, you know, looking back at 2015, I mean, like, my God, that, that news is, would just, you know, it blows your mind to think about that, but. You know, we, you know, that was a decade. It’s almost been a decade since me joining and understanding about Bitcoin.

So, it’s, you know, back at that time, you’re thinking, oh, maybe 10 years from now. And then you’re thinking, wow, that 10 years, that’s such a long time. But here we are. And, you know, I can’t imagine the news that’s going to hit 10 years from now. And you know, it’s going to, it’s going to come quick. And so, you know, I, it’s a, it’s I think a monumental year for Bitcoin, and I think then, you know, the rest of the market’s trying to understand, well, what does that mean for the rest of the industry?

You know, it’s kind of like Bitcoin has got the, you know, it’s got the okay seal, I guess, by the, by the government and by Wall Street. And so now it’s, it’s kind of like a race to see who else can make that happen in one, in one breath and then in the other, you know, staying true to kind of this mantra of decentralization and, you know, how important it is, you know, to, you know, have things that are transparent out there.

And that’s kind of the reason that these blockchains, you know, I think are, you know, we, we kind of say like, like Bitcoin is like a truth machine and a freedom machine. Because it’s transparent and you can build on top of these things. And so, I think that the most exciting thing that I’ve seen this year is this kind of Bitcoin renaissance of building on Bitcoin.

And you’re seeing different layer twos come to light where, you know, whether they have kind of a proof of transit, like a proof of transfer where they’re kind of settling on the Bitcoin blockchain, or they’ve got some other mechanism that’s kind of tied to Bitcoin or. You know, they’re developing directly on top of Bitcoin like a like runes that was just launched at the having where you can actually launch a token on top of Bitcoin directly on the Bitcoin blockchain or ordinals where you can inscribe.

And then if T or some sort of data onto the Bitcoin blockchain, and I think that these things are really exciting because at the end of the day, you know, we’re all kind of big pointers in the industry. No matter how many things I think people are working on. I think you know; you have to be a bit pointer in your heart of hearts.

And so, if there’s this opportunity now to do all the things that maybe you were doing on other chains on Bitcoin, and you can do that at scale. It’s like, kind of like, why wouldn’t you do that? And so, I think that’s where a lot of the industry is starting to look. And, you know, if we could, you know, sometimes I would always say in the industry, it’s almost like, like we’re too entrepreneurial.

Everyone’s launching something different every other day. I think I just saw a stat today where it was like a million tokens or something were launched, or meme tokens were launched in the last like five months. And it’s like, what’s the impact to that? And so I think, you know, pretty interesting stuff is, is coming down the pike and it’s.

You know, I think it’s, there’s never been a better time and I always say this to be in industry and building.

Brian Thomas: I love that. And I really do appreciate the enthusiasm. We can hear it in your voice this evening, but for the defy community and building upon this and again, love giving power back to the people.

As you know, a lot of corporations and governments. At their hands and everything, and I really do appreciate your insights, your perspectives, and all the great things you’re doing out there. So again, I really do appreciate it, Joe. And it was certainly a pleasure having you on this evening. And I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

Joe Vezzani: Awesome. Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me.

Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

Joe Vezzani Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.

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